Category Archives: OTT

Cable TV Industry Threatened by OTT

cableOne of the hot issues being discussed in this weeks Los Angeles Cable TV Show is the pressure Cable TV operators are faced with in terms of end-user authentication issues and from Over The Top TV, which is Television that consumers consume straight from the internet such as Hulu, Netflix and Crackle.

An excerpt from Fiercecable illustrates some of the discussion taking place:

Skipper called upon the cable industry to do a better job of selling its offerings to consumers. “Shame on us if we don’t work to sell the value of a pay subscription and a triple-play.  We are allowing them [OTT players] to set the tone of the conversation. We should be saying we have a better product.”

Skipper also called for a tighter partnership between programmers and distributors, noting that initiatives like TV Everywhere are not progressing as quickly as they should and that’s impacting the customer experience.

In fact, improving authentication on TV Everywhere services was a recurring complaint among the programmers on the panel. “I wish our cable partners would look at how to make the customer experience better,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A&E Networks. “That part of the partnership needs to be solidified.”

While this debate heats up, Singaporean Cable TV Operator StarHub has just released the first of 3 new cable-based Set Top Boxes for the Singapore consumer TV market. But why? Why not continue down the OTT path?

The folks at Techgoodnu seem to have a good answer for why, they explain as follows:

Why has StarHub invested more money on set-top boxes, when people are already watching TV on all sorts of personal and mobile devices? And this when StarHub itself already has similar “over-the-top” services delivered over the Net rather than the old cable network?

The answer, as one might predict, has to do with content partners. StarHub cannot afford to open up that fast, just as partners that provide it TV content are worried they will lose this well-established way of delivering content.

But everyone knows that things are changing. In the past, set-top boxes were important to secure the content delivered to homes, so people cannot easily record it onto their own devices.

That’s silly now, if you just look up all the pirated content on Piratebay, for example. If you create a popular TV programme, expect your content to be pirated, set-top box or no.

The debate is interesting, but it is clear that cable TV operators need to do both, continue to enrich and improve the Cable delivery experience, while also embracing OTT and the wealth of new content it can offer.

Television for Dogs?

DSCN1739A sure sign Television is going through massive disruption. DogTV offers a 24/7 digital TV channel consisting of “dog friendly programing scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone”. As described at the DogTV website:

“Through years of research with some of the world’s top pet experts, special content was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and supports their natural behavior patterns. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop stress, separation anxiety or other related problems.”

Can a concept like Television for Dogs really survive? Yes. At least, Discovery thinks so. According to Advanced-Television.com, Discovery Communications invested in DogTV and will roll out programming in North America, South Korea and Japan.

“More than 40 million American households own dogs, and they are spending more than $55.8 billion annually on their pets. It’s a thriving industry,” said Yossi Uzrad, Chairman of DOGTV. “DOGTV is a proven tool for relieving stress and anxiety for stay-at-home dogs, and a partnership with Discovery will help accelerate the network’s growth, while making DOGTV even more accessible to dog owners,” added Gilad Neumann, Chief Executive Officer of DOGTV.

TV Reaches Tipping Point in 2014

digital-trends-20142014 is the year TV will change most dramatically, according to Business Insider and eMarketer, and reach a “tipping point”, which is where is the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

Specifically, 50% or more US internet users, will consume digital TV online; through mobile devices, tablets and laptops in the US this year. The significance of this metric is explained by the Verge, who makes a compelling case a that US Network TV is nearing collapse.

Interestingly, no one is thinking to measure how much second screen or media stacking could be having an effect on the how much consumers are ad skipping. Nielsen themselves are giving the numbers. When do you think viewers actually use their mobile devices? During commercials of course.

• In US, 77% use TV & internet simultaneously (Nielsen)

• 86% of US smartphone and 88% of tablet owners use it while watching TV once a month (Nielsen)

• 45% use their tablet while watching TV daily (Nielsen)

• 44% of total tablet usage is while watching TV (Nielsen)

• 62% of TV viewers pick up the phone as soon as TV advertising break starts. (Nielsen)

As smartphones and tablets become more ubiquitous, this behaviour is only going increase. Not only are audiences shrinking, but those that are still there are, between PVR and media stacking, are apparently not watching or paying attention much to 30 second spots.

Full Story at the Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/11/5299736/is-american-network-tv-facing-collapse

 

 

Operators Seek Innovation to Survive

20131214_WBC037Comcast is arguably America’s most powerful media business since it controls both what people watch on television as well as the the pipes that deliver the TV content and Internet.

To remain on top, it is seeking new ways deliver TV content to meet the demand from their subscriber base concerning how they want to watch TV and consume their entertainment content.

In a recent article in the economist entitled Thinking Outside the Set-Top Box, the direction Comcast is just now moving towards lays out like a blueprint for what Right Brain Interface has already design, developed and built, with their product called bhaalu. Portions of quotation below highlighted in bold underscore these points.

Comcast has responded by trying to resemble the firms that could unseat it, offering more interactivity, personalisation and portability. “Television is going to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” says Brian Roberts. Comcast executives talk about “apps” for the television and rolling out innovations every three to six months. The firm is paying particular attention to its user “interface”, or what, until recently, was called a TV guide. Comcast’s is now arranged not numerically by channel, but alphabetically by programme, by network and type of content. Couch potatoes even less inclined to effort can download an app to their iPhone and shout commands at it to locate shows.

Comcast’s new set-top box is “cloud-based”, adding to the potential for flexibility: films and programmes stored in the cloud can be watched on any device. It tracks viewing history and recommends programmes accordingly, much like Netflix. Comcast has made it easier for TV-watchers to find their way to full seasons of episodes that are available on-demand so people can “binge” on shows.

Other pay-TV providers are experimenting with new features, and some have approached Comcast to license its technology. One popular idea is “TV Everywhere”, which makes it possible for pay-TV subscribers to watch live and on-demand programmes on their mobile devices wherever they like. It has started slowly but is taking off as more content-owners agree to license the digital rights to their programmes. Tools like this may help Comcast and its rivals justify their high prices and convince people to stick with their television package.

Full story here: http://www.economist.com/news/business/21591600-americas-largest-cable-company-becoming-more-firms-it-battling-against?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/thinking_outside_the_set_top_box

2014 Trends in Online Video

tv-trendsPatrick Hurley of Skytide has put together a work-in-progress whitepaper about the trends in online video viewing that can be expected for 2014. In these trends, he lists #1. Social TV will take off. #3. Quality of experience (QoE) will trump all. We couldn’t agree more on both of these aspects, these indeed are two of the more predominately driving features of bhaalu. Here is the whitepaper:

IPTV and Internet Video $35 Billion by 2018

Source: Digital TV Research

Source: Digital TV Research

The numbers are in, and they are big. According to Online TV and Video Forecasts report from Digital TV Research, Online TV and video revenues worldwide, over fixed broadband networks, is expected to reach $34.99 billion in 2018, an increase of over $30 billion from 2010′s recorded $3.98 billion in revenue.

According to the Online TV and Video Forecasts report from Digital TV Research. By 2018, 520 million homes in 40 countries will watch online television and video, up from 182 million in 2010. And
OTT is expected to increase substantially as many players in the industry expand internationally.

According to the Online Video and TV forecast:

Online TV and video advertising has been the key driver for the OTT sector, with revenues of $7.4 billion expected in 2013, up from $2.4 billion in 2010. Rapid advertising expenditure growth will continue, to reach a global total of $16.4 billion in 2018. However, advertising’s share of total OTT revenues will fall from 60.6% in 2010 to 46.9% in 2018.

The fastest growing paid-for OTT revenue stream will be subscription services. Although the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus are already reasonably well established as streaming subscription services in North America, international markets have been relatively untouched – until now.

Online television and video subscription revenues (SVOD) will soar from $1 billion in 2010 to $6 billion in 2013 and onto $13 billion in 2018. The number of homes paying a monthly fee to receive SVOD packages will climb from 21.9 million in 2010 to 67.8 million by end-2013 and onto 160.6 million in 2018.

Subscription TV services will slow the Video On Demand and Pay Per View market as they offer similar value propositions. Yet, IPTV and video on demand and pay-per-view revenues are expected to increase precipitously from $207 million in 2010 to $2,103 million in 2018.

VOD Versus DVR Industry Discussion

black-arrow-AdWeek-panel-2As the Fall TV season kicks off, several TV industry insiders provide a round-table discussion concerning how the TV landscape has changed over the past year. The event was hosted by MLB Advanced Media. Here are some highlights:

  • Video On Demand is in 60% of households and viewership has grown 40% in the past year.
  • Binge Viewing is an absolute phenomena, we have entered the golden age of serialized dramas.
  • DVR versus VOD: This topic was a big focus of the video. VOD is the preferred technology for monetizing, DVR gives viewers control over the box, which makes it harder to monetize. DVR puts immense pressure on the eco-system, because consumers are capable of zapping through advertising. Healthy advertising revenue stream is a critical component. The way to achieve is through robust on-demand offering.
  • Multiscreen is also changing the landscape, viewers want to consumer their TV content through mobile devices at any location, at any time convenient with their schedule. Video on demand and DVR technology offers that.
  • VOD has been around for a decade, but TV Everywhere is the shiny new toy getting all the attention.

For more perspective visit this article at the Black Arrow website, and/or watch the full video below.

M1 MiBox Displaces 1Box

M1, the third largest Telco in Singapore after SingTel and StarHub has announced its successor to  the softly received television platform 1Box. The new TV device is called MiBox, and it doubles the amount of paid online content previously offered.
mibox-448x198

The MiBox Set-Top box TV device allows customers to stream online content to their TV. MiBox will replace the telco’s current service 1box, which was released back in 2010.

MiBox offers 18,000 videos-on-demand, 116 TV channels, 1,200 e-books and 370 apps, some of which are free. The service is priced at S$8 (US$6.33) a month with a two-year contract for M1 fiber customers, bundled with an Android set-top box, a selection of free shows and other content. For non-fiber customers, the service is priced at S$12 (US$9.50) per month.

“Media consumption habits are shifting towards an on-demand, a-la-carte model. M1′s MiBox aims to enhance this experience by delivering convenient and affordable access to an exciting library of entertainment, e-learning, and gaming content optimised for the TV screen,” P. Subramaniam, M1′s chief marketing officer, said in the release.

Full story at ZDnet.