Friday, January 25, 2013

Ooyala

Video streaming solutions start-up Ooyala has launched a new product called Twitter Video Card, which it actually developed in collaboration with Twitter. Twitter Video Card allows Ooyala customers to embed videos directly inside their tweets. It shows up as a thumbnail in the Twitter stream, which followers can click on to play without having to leave the social media site. Since Ooyala worked with Twitter on the Twitter Video Card, the product has received official certification from the social media company. This means the embedded videos will be accessible across all Twitter platforms, including its desktop and mobile websites, as well as its native apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Congrats to both ESPN and Pac-12 for launching this innovative video technology. When TV broadcasters deliver video directly to their Twitter followers, they connect with viewers in new and meaningful ways. They are also redefining the television experience by making it mobile, social and fun. Check out the customized look and feel of the Pac-12 player, tucked inside a tweet.


According to Ooyala release, the Twitter Video Card is also armed with the company's proprietary video discovery technology, which will algorithmically surface relevant videos once a user has finished watching a particular clip. Using Pac-12 as an example, the Ooyala player within the tweet will be able to recommend a post-game press conference clip to a user who has just watched highlights from that game. For advertisers, Ooyala notes that Twitter Video Cards will be able to tie ads (presumably pre-rolls) to the embedded videos.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

43% of pay-TV subscribers have used a TV Everywhere service

This is according to a new study from GfK Media, by way of a report from Multichannel News. While that number is impressive (I certainly fall into that catagory) fewer than 1 in 5 pay-TV knew what “TV Everywhere” meant. What's holding pay-TV customers back from greater adoption? Well, for one, the entire process of authenticating their TV subscriptions. Among those who have watched TV programming online, 70% said the authentication process would probably deter them from using a TV Everywhere service. Among the other findings from the survey of over 1,000 people, TV networks/programmers are currently doing better than MSOs and other providers when it comes to consumer adoption of their TV Everywhere offerings. The findings show that 37% of those who have ever viewed TV content online, watched it through a network's app or website. On the other hand, only 30% of those surveyed indicated watching TV programming through a cable operator or TV distributor's online portal. How important is TV Everywhere in regards to customer retention? Among those who use TV Everywhere services, 65% of respondents said the services were inconsequential in determining whether to keep their current provider, while 25% said it made them more likely to keep their current provider. Wall Street Journal/Digits Blog or Multichannel News

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Second Screen: Past, Present & Future

Remember way back (like maybe 2005) when there was only one screen that TV broadcasters and Cable networks needed to fill. These days, it's all about the two-screen experience. People have been watching television with their laptops, smartphones and tablets in hand for a while now. But last year, Networks and show Producers alike tried harder than ever to bring television to a second screen. Even the 2012 Summer Olympics received the second screen treatment with its very own Android and iOS apps, which let users catch live streams of events, access stats and more from the comfort of their couches. If you're starting to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of options, you're not alone so during the recent CES show I took the opportunity to spend part of my day at Second Screen Summit to talk shop and discuss the future of the industry.

Put aside for a moment the tweets and check-ins that have been typically considered the currency of social TV, despite uncertain value in driving actual ratings. TV networks in 2013 are going to make further efforts to seamlessly connect their traditional programming with the second screen in a way that reinforces both venues. That might mean more entries in the model of Bravo's "Top Chef" companion "Last Chance Kitchen" -- an online and on-demand series that pits eliminated contestants against each other for the chance to re-enter the main show. Also expect to see more like CBS'S successful CBS Connect, which infused NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI and Hawaii Five-O with second screen features. With an iPad in hand, NCIS fans can review evidence in-sync with the show, read up on suspects, rifle through maps, interact through social networks and more

Another tend shows more traditional TV shows integrating live on-screen results from polls and games conducted via apps or the web. Successful attempts will provide entertainment with substance and stakes but at this juncture no one company has the preverbal "silver bullet". What will more likely happen over the next 12-18 months is consolidation when major providers like Comcast, Dish, AT&T and others who have (or are about too) launched tablet apps with guide various remote control functionality will then buy the GetGlue's and Viggle's or whatever to incorporate their functionalities so that the operators can more effectively compete with each other." Clearly many companies are vying for a foothold in our living rooms and for the foreseeable future we will see the ecosystem continue to grow and diversify. Personally I think it's an exciting time in the business. More to come on this subject this year but for now if you seek additional info see:
Engadget: The state of the Second Screen (01/11) or Mashable: Second Screen

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aereo: An Industry Disrupter!

Aereo, the ambitious New York start-up that pipes live broadcast television to mobile phones, tablets and Web browsers, has so far been available to customers only in its hometown. Now fresh off of their CES announcement from Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s founder and chief executive where they have recently closed a $38 million round of financing that will be used to roll out its service to 22 additional cities across the country, including Austin, Tex., Boston and Miami, beginning this spring. So how did Aereo strike deals with all of the networks, and every local station in each one of these markets? It seems like an impossible challenge, particularly for a startup but they had a clever solution: They didn’t bother. Instead, they erect an array containing thousands of micro-antennas (see below) in every city. Each Aereo subscriber has exclusive, private access to one antenna. Amazingly enough, this makes it all perfectly legal (from their perspective at least).


Obviously the company has its challenges from broadcasters who are eager to shut the company down, contending that it violates copyright law. We all realize it's a money thing and personally as a cable subscriber paying way too much for monthly service, I know a large amount of my bill goes to broadcasters who give their service away for free to those with an antenna. Why because I choose to have access to cable programming should I now also pay the broadcasters for theirs? They have [broadcast] spectrum. They are required to program in the public interest and to offer it widely for free. This is a David and Goliath fight for sure but for that, I highly respect scrappy Aereo, just for the sheer guts of the undertaking.
TechCrunch's video with Jordan Crook  as he talks to Chet Kanojia, Aereo's CEO and Founder, onstage at CES 2013

Sunday, January 06, 2013

GetGlue's Top Ten's for 2012

GetGlue has released their results for the top 10 social TV shows and movies on its platform for 2012. Here's a quick rundown:
  • Top three scripted broadcast shows in terms of new episode activity were: Once Upon a Time (ABC); Glee (FOX); Grey's Anatomy (ABC).
  • Top three scripted cable shows were: True Blood (HBO); The Walking Dead (AMC); Game of Thrones (HBO).
  • Top three movies in terms of total social activity on GetGlue: The Hunger Games; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.
  • Top three scripted shows in terms of total social activity: The Big Bang Theory (CBS); The Walking Dead (AMC); True Blood (HBO).
  • See the full list: GetGlue’s Infographic

    Saturday, January 05, 2013

    ConnectTV's Local Ad Network

    ConnecTV has unveiled a national and local ad network for second-screen TV ads. The company announced that over 400 ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CW national and local affiliates will be the first participants in the new ad network, which allows advertisers to pair their TV spots with a synchronized experience on tablets and smartphones. Available via ConnectTV's free second-screen app or any ConnecTV syndication partner, the new Ad Sync platform allows brands to deliver extra goods such as promotional offers, contests, and marketing alerts, as well as the ability for viewers to watch product-related videos, find the nearest store, or even purchase what they're seeing on TV. At launch, ConnecTV says it's offering an exclusive "Charter Advertising" program, which will let brands and agencies to customize companion-marketing experiences and lead second-screen research panels, among other things. The new ad network will be sold by both ConnecTV and its broadcast partners, which include Belo, Cox, Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, Meredith, Post-Newsweek, and Raycom.

    Thursday, January 03, 2013

    425 Million Web Connected Devices in the US

    According to the NPD Group there are 425 million devices connected to the web inside US households. The largest number of these devices are computers at 183.8 million and as one could assume traditional computer's share of connected in-home devices is diminishing, fueled by the rise of connected gaming consoles (39 million), Blu-ray players (12.9 million), and TVs (16 million). Portable devices such as smartphones (133 million) and tablets (31.8 million) are witnessing hockey stick growth curves and the NPD says that by the end of 2013, there will be a shift toward "screen-sharing across devices." Much like what users can do with Apple's AirPlay, which allows them to throw content from one screen to another; this shared screen experience is converging device ecosystems and will allow for OTT content to become even more prominent on the TV. We are certain to see a multitude of these up and coming devices at next week’s CES. More: NPD.com

    Tuesday, January 01, 2013

    Happy New Year and Welcome back

    Wow! 2013... who woulda thunk? I've disappeared from the blogosphere since mid '08 and while I've been crisscrossing the globe while working with AccuWeather I never kept up with my Musings! Well, obviously... I'm back. The past five years have gone by quickly and from a technology perspective they have been game-changing. Fortunately in my position heading Global sales for all things Television, Video and Convergence I got a front row view and the ability to work with companies large and small that are changing (or hoping too) the way and places that we choose to view content. In the five years I've been a wicked road warrior thee link between mobile devices and internet websites via "social networking" have become a standard in digital communication. In 2010, 2 billion people used the Internet, twice the number using it in 2005. Cloud computing has entered the mainstream in and in a very short while tablets and phones are expected to exceed personal computers in Internet usage. It's a big new world and an exciting time to be in the media and content business. Lot's to talk about so let’s get right to it! Welcome Back....