Cox is putting an end to its Flare family of digital entertainment services. The cable company will start to wind down its web video service FlareKids, the online gaming service FlarePlay and the digital storage service myFlare next week, and complete the shutdown by May.
Cox had been using the Flare brand as a kind of incubation platform for new services that made use of its broadband infrastructure. FlareKids, which launched in August of last year, aggregated kids videos in free mobile apps.
FlarePlay offered subscribers the ability to play video games on their TV sets without the need for a full-fledged game console, and myFlare provided consumers with online storage for their personal media. Combined, these services attracted more than 300,000 users, according to Cox spokesperson Todd Smith.
Cox originally had bigger plans for the Flare brand, which included the launch of a video aggregation service dubbed Flare MeTV. Domain registration records also indicate that Cox considered the launch of a Spanish language video service under the brand. And back in 2013, Cox briefly trialed an online TV service dubbed Flarewatch in cooperation with Fan TV.
But in the end, Cox just didn’t see a way to make money with these online entertainment services. “As market conditions within which these services continued to harden, we were unable to monetize the user interest and web traffic to the level we needed to sustain the business,” Smith said.
He added that Cox will continue to explore new online businesses, and that the company had successfully incubated some health- and security-related services. It looks like media just proved to be a harder nut to crack.