Friday, December 19, 2014

TV Binge and Time shifting Update

The first “TiVo State of TV Report,” offering insights into viewing habits, as well as the top-streamed and time-shifted programs, was released on Thursday. In general the research indicates that Television viewers prefer to watch sports events and animated cartoons in real time, while saving dramas and sci-fi shows for later. Not surprisingly, they also prefer shorter commercials and tend to hit the fast-forward button quite a bit. These were just a few of the findings. Here are some other highlights:
  • Drama and science-fiction genres deliver the highest percentage of time-shifted viewing on prime-time cable and broadcast networks.
  • Crime dramas ranked third in the prime-time genre, with 59 percent of crime dramas watched on a time-shifted basis.
  • “Scorpion" and "How to Get Away with Murder" ranked as the hottest new programs on the TiVo Commitment Chart, which tracks the volume of Season Passes set for new programming.
  • On average, TiVo subscribers pause their favorite shows 8.03 times, hit rewind 7.83 times and press the fast-forward button 25.11 times in one day.
TiVo said its viewing analysis was collected from an anonymous daily sample of 350,000 active TiVo DVRs. The streaming analysis is based on viewing data from the third quarter of 2014, collected from an anonymous sample of 25,000 households with the company’s streaming services. More: Advanced Television 12/19/14 - TiVo: Time-shift and binging proliferate and Investor.com 12/19/14 - Time-Shifted TV Viewing Now The Norm, Study Shows

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

ABC News GoStream Launches

Where do you go to get the news of the day? Well many of us now find it 24/7 from mobile and other digital properties. Well add one more resource to your content arsenal as another News organization just made it even easier to find the news you want whenever and wherever you want.   Today ABC announced the launch of their new online video initiative called GoStream.

According to the network, they are putting more power in the hands of their reporters as the new service allows any of ABC's field journalists to fire up an app and begin sending raw video to ABC News, which will then disseminate the streams to ABC News via the LiveU streaming platforms. ABC News will then disseminate on its ABCNews.com/live platform – which will undergo a redesign as well as its mobile apps and Apple TV. Viewers will be able to choose from any number of feeds during major events, which will not air with a delay. The program could be broadened to include civilians that live stream as well. More: Mashable.com 12/02/14 - Live from everywhere: ABC News journalists will stream video to your screen


Have something to add to this story? Please share it with us in the comments.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Aereo's final chapter - Broadcasters Picking its Bones

Aereo is the undisputed leader when it come to my favorite company to write about over the past couple of years. You will remember them as the ambitious startup that aimed to stream live broadcast television and offered cloud based DVR services to subscribers for a small monthly fee. Roll forward to this past Friday, months after the devastating loss they suffered in the Supreme Court, they filed for bankruptcy. Although this seemed to be the final chapter in their short lived history, it doesn’t have to end this way. While the courts ruled that Aereo’s business model ran afoul of copyright law, the underlying technology, which uses tiny antennas to stream video to subscribers, could still be very valuable. The reality is that Aereo only foreshadowed a massive industry shakeup that is changing everything about television.  As more people cut the cord and switch to on-demand services like Netflix and HBO Go, cable television (as we now know it) will slowly die out as will the lucrative retransmission fees they pay the broadcasters. Apparently I'm in good company with my prediction as Reed Hastings CEO Netflix has thrown down the gauntlet to the traditional television business, declaring it will be dead by 2030.

The latest news that has peaked my interest is this weeks comment from their Lawyers stating that there is "plenty of interest in the company’s assets" and asked the bankruptcy judge for an auction to be scheduled for Feb. 17. More: Bloomberg 11/24/14 - Aereo’s Assets Eyed by Possible Bidders, Lawyer Says

Monday, October 27, 2014

Amazon Launches Fire TV Stick

In the growing competitive field of Streaming Sticks, Amazon introduced the Fire TV Stick today. Designed to take on challengers like the Roku Streaming sticks and Chromecast dongle, Amazon’s HDMI-based media adapter represents a smaller, less expensive complement to their $99 Fire TV box. The new smaller and even more affordable device sells for $39 and features access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Twitch, WatchESPN and a variety of other services right out of the box.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, said in announcing the new product, “The team has packed an unbelievable amount of power and selection into an incredible price point.”


The company said the Fire TV Stick has 50 percent more processing power and 2x the memory of Chromecast, and 6x the processing power, 2x the memory, and 32x the storage of Roku Streaming Stick It supporting standards like DIAL allowing users to fling shows from services like YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix (coming soon) from an Android phone or iPhone. They began to take pre-orders today and will start shipping the new product on 19th of November.

Overall the specs look good and based on Amazon great success with the Fire TV Box, which launched a little more than six months ago and quickly became the best-selling streaming media box on the e-retailer, the Fire TV Stick might be the first product that will be a serious challenger to Chromecast in terms of both features and value. Obviously Mr. Bezos believes he has a winner, the rest of us will have to wait and see how it performs in the real world to be sure. More: TechCrunch.com 10/27/14 - Amazon’s New Fire TV Stick Is A $39 Chromecast Competitor With A Hardware Remote and Variety.com 10/27/14 - Amazon Whips Out TV Stick Against Google’s Chromecast and Roku and/or Twice.com 10/27/14 - Amazon Unveils Fire TV Stick

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TV Everywhere Growth Surges 388%

Television is changing and viewers are embracing and personalizing it as they're consumption habits morph. According to Adobe's bi-annual Video Benchmark Report, authenticated TV Everywhere viewing surged 388% in the second quarter compared to the same quarter last year. Indicating that more people watched more TV online than ever before while programmers witnessed broader use as unique monthly viewers increased by 146 per cent across browsers and TV apps. Although online TV consumption still remains fragmented across platforms, gaming consoles and OTT devices gained the largest percentage of market share and Android apps surpassed desktop browsers as access points for watching TV online.

The findings from Adobe’s Report are based on aggregated and anonymous data from more than 1,300 media and entertainment properties using Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Primetime. They noted that a series of major global sports events buoyed results, including the Sochi Winter Olympics, March's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the summer's World Cup. The report includes 165 billion total online video starts and 1.53 billion TV Everywhere authentications across 250 pay-TV service providers covering 99 per cent of pay-TV households in the US. The analysis also examined TV Everywhere content from 105 TV channels and more than 300 TV apps and sites. More: 10/21/14 FierceCable.com - TV Everywhere use surges: authenticated viewing jumped 388% in Q2, Adobe says  Also MediaPost.com 10/21/14 - Devices And OTT Lead Video Consumption Growth

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

OTT gains on traditional TV particularly among Millennials.

Late yesterday, measurement specialist comScore, issued a research paper titled "The U.S. Total Video Report" that looks at shifting TV viewing habits in the digital age. There's little doubt that American's viewing patterns are quickly changing, and our youth are leading the way.  The study – The U.S. Total Video Report, which tabulated results from 1,159 respondents in August – found that Millennials (adults 18 -34), watch original TV shows on digital platforms one-third of the time. ComScore notes that the older the viewer, the more likely to watch on a TV set. In other bad news for TV broadcasters, comScore found that 1 in 6 millennials hadn't watched an original series on a TV set in the past month. Instead, they're getting their video from set-top boxes such as Roku and Apple TV, and game consoles.

Unsurprisingly, Millennials are also more likely to be cord-nevers or cord-cutters and they are more likely to time-shift their viewing: 46 percent of them time-shift shows, while only 35 percent of those 35 to 54 do so.  Among other findings, consumers who subscribe to paid digital video services are more likely to binge-view TV shows over a monthly period – 87% vs. 69%. TV via the DVR (43%) is the preferred binge-viewing platform, followed by the TV via VOD (19%); Internet connected TV devices (12%); live TV – a category that includes reruns or marathons from MVPDs – (11%); tablets (4%), desktops/laptops (3%); and smartphones (2%).

While comScore's results are interesting, their methodology  and approach called Total Video to track unduplicated audience metrics across platforms has some flaws. ComScore surveyed 1,159 viewers with an online questionnaire, so those surveyed are all active internet users. The report is available for free download (registration required). MORE: TechCrunch 10/14/14 - Netflix Leads In U.S. Digital Video Subscriptions In Home And Among Millennials by Ingrid Lunden

Friday, October 03, 2014

Roku enables screen mirroring for Android and Windows devices

In what seems like an effort to catch up with Apple's Airplay and Google's Chromecast, Roku, the leading OTT device manufacture unveiled their screen mirroring feature yesterday.  Launching in beta, This should work with anything that supports Miracast screen mirroring, but so far Roku has only tested a handful of devices to ensure a stable connection.

In the companies blog they state: "Screen mirroring is one of the simplest ways to share any type of content with those around you, and you won't need additional apps or software. All you'll need is a compatible device with mirroring capabilities. Once you turn on mirroring for your phone, tablet or laptop, you can pair with your compatible Roku player (presently Roku 3 or the Roku Streaming Stick) and whatever you see on your mobile device is exactly what will be displayed on your TV."

In full disclosure we use their streaming HDMI stick at home and it packs a lot of punch for the dollar. I believe this is a great first step for Roku, as it takes their inexpensive streaming hardware and opens up a whole new world of opportunities. This isn’t likely to be used by the casual user, which is Roku’s target market, but it makes this hardware a lot more compelling to a wider audience now.
 More: engadget.com 10/03/14 - Roku tries out screen mirroring from phones and PCs

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is the FCC Redefining Television

The Federal Communications Commission is preparing a proposal which could help the fledgling OTT industry by treating certain online video services like cable and satellite TV providers. The move would help the online services gain cheaper access to major network programming and could allow them to become stronger competitors to the dominant pay-TV providers like Comcast.  Gaining rights to popular channels has been a major hurdle for online TV services. Sony Corp. and Dish Network (as previously reported here) are among the companies considering Web-based services to compete with traditional cable and satellite operators. The big issue and cause for some OTT failures like Intel’s exit from its “OnCue” service, is in securing highly coveted programming from ESPN, NBCU, AMC and others is that the networks typically are owned/controlled by the larger MVPD’s (Comcast, Time Warner, Cablevision).

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was asked about the matter yesterday and stated that a proposal is circulating among commissioners “is probably a bit of an overstatement.” Nonetheless the industry analysts are buzzing. “This is a very big deal,” said Richard Greenfield, an analyst for BTIG. “It could pose very significant challenges to the traditional cable TV bundle.” Paul Gallant, with Guggenheim Securities, said in a note today, that broadcasters such as CBS Corp. and 21st Century Fox Inc. would potentially benefit from having more buyers for their programming.

According to an unknown source by Bloomberg, the change would affect online video providers that offer a cable-like programming service on a schedule, and not on-demand services like Netflix, which allows subscribers to watch videos whenever they want. But it could revive the controversial online video service Aereo, which allowed subscribers to watch broadcast TV channels on their computers and Internet connected-TVs.
 
Although for now this may just be chalked up as a rumor, it is one that would have a broad impact on the business as it is today, a  move which could significantly broaden competition in the MVPD market. More: FierceCable 09/30/14 - Rumor mill:Aereo-like platforms may be given program licensing rights by FCC and/or Variety.com09/29/14 - FCC Wants Some Online Providers to be Treated as Cable Operators

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sony Goes Over the Top with Viacom Deal

Sony, like Dish Network and others that we've reported on recently, is developing a broadband-fed services and they took a step closer to reality yesterday as they announced that they had completed a distribution deal that covers 22 Viacom cable channels at launch, as well as access the Viacom's full on-demand package.  In addition to popular services, including BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, Sony will be able to offer customers access to Viacom’s TV Everywhere websites and apps as well as its full VOD package.  The company first announced its plans to offer pay TV channels over the Internet by the end of this year, and this is a big step in delivering on that promise.  More: Bloomberg.com 09/10/14 - Sony Recruits 22 ViacomNetworks for Internet TV

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Dish Digital prepares to Launch Nutv


In what appears to be a common theme trending in the industry today, Dish’s internet TV service, Nutv, plans to launch before the end of the year. Dish Digital, the satellite operator’s online business subsidiary that is going to be in charge of the new service, has filed a number of trademarks for the brand, including one with a logo that could be used at launch.

The Nutv brand has also surfaced in conjunction with one of Dish Digital’s existing apps, suggesting that the app may be used for the new service as well. Dish has secured digital licensing deals with The Walt Disney Company and A+E Networks so far to program the service. It's unclear at this point if it will make more content deals, given that obtaining a low under $30 price point is key to the new offering. A Dish executive recently said that the company plans to target “cord cutters, cord nevers and… cord haters” with the service.  Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said during the company's second quarter earnings call in August, "We'd like to get them started on pay-TV. We'd like to get them started on ESPN. My concern is that we're missing a while generation of customers."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shomi - A New Kind of Video Streaming Service

Shomi is a future Canadian video streaming service owned jointly by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, tentatively planned to launch in November 2014. According to the companies press release, the new subscription-based service that provides access to shows on-demand, with apps for tablets, phones, web, Xbox 360 and set-top boxes at launch. The shomi service will be available only to Rogers and Shaw Internet or TV subscribers n its beta form, and it’ll be available beginning in November for $8.99 per month price tag, the same, as Netflix.

Shomi’s entire launch document for this service is an obvious attack on Netflix, with the inference being that for Canadians, at least, it’ll provide a much better content library, offer over 11,000 hours of programming. The focus seems to be especially on TV shows, though in addition to 14,000 episodes and TV titles spanning 340 series, shomi will have 1,200 movies. In keeping with Canadian content regulations imposed on broadcasters in the country, 30 percent of the content is Canadian.
As for other advantages, shomi offers trailers to preview its content, as well as “factoids for movie titles,” whatever the hell that means. Surprisingly, given this is coming from cable companies, shomi isn’t being stingy with viewing permissions, allowing up to six profiles per account and simultaneous viewing on two devices as well as their set top boxes. Netflix, which doesn’t make a big deal about shared accounts, still allows simultaneous streaming on only two screens at a time with its basic account. Plus, this will presumably work on user’s existing cable boxes in the country, which could drive adoption based just on convenience.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nielsen - Live TV Viewing Still Dominates

No surprise that Nielsen recently reported that live viewing continues to dominate overall TV consumption, but there are pronounced differences between individual markets. Their Local Watch Report released Thursday which focuses on device penetration and consumption habits, found that throughout the U.S. daily live-viewing still heavily out ranks time-shifted viewing for adults 25-54.

Interesting fact from the report reflect that viewers in Pittsburgh watch the most live TV daily, coming in at 5 hours and 19 minutes, while San Francisco watches the least: 3 hours and 27 minutes. Most cities averaged between 27 and 49 minutes of time-shifted viewing daily, and 3 minutes to 15 minutes of OTT viewing. In primetime, the numbers begin to even-out between live-viewing and 7 day time-shifted viewing. Cities including Houston (47% vs. 44%) and Los Angeles (49% vs. 44%) almost split equally. In Dallas, time-shifted viewing is higher, at 47%, than live-viewership, 44%. Pittsburgh continues to prefer live TV, at 68% in-the-moment viewership versus 22% time-shifted viewing.
 
As smart technology continues to influence how and when viewers watch television, 72% of Americans own a smart phone while 41% owns a tablet. Eighty-two-percent of Orlando residents own a smartphone, the most in the country, while D.C. out-performs in tablet usage with 56% of the nation’s capital residents owning one.
 
Nielsen has tied this information, along with a case study comparing the media habits of San Franciscans and Cincinnati residents, to the upcoming mid-term election. They believe the localized information will help broadcasters “tailor their messages in just the right way." More: Nielsen.com 08/14/14 - Local Watch: Where You Live and its Impact on Your Choices

Friday, August 08, 2014

Cord Cutting Slowing

Recent reports state that connected devices have exceeded 1 billion home makes one wonder where the "cord cutters" really are when new data from analysts MoffettNathanson shows that the pay-TV business only lost about 300,000 subscribers in Q2. But that’s basically flat compared to a year ago, and that’s a change from the year-on-year declines of the previous few quarters.
And after factoring in the housing market a key driver for pay TV the research firm concludes that “it appears that cord cutting slowed to an annualized rate of 400k homes, a meaningful deceleration and well below the peak rates of cord cutting seen in 2012.” More: Recode.net 08/07/14 - "What Happened to all the Cord Cutters?"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Connected TV Device Market to Grow 100% by 2017

If you don't have a streaming media player (we have two and I'm considering a third already!) by now, it's likely you will in the next few years. According to the NPD Group, the number of streaming media devices in the U.S. will reach 204 million with in the next three years, an increase of 100% and a total that will be more than double the number of projected households connected to the Internet.
The connection rate is also projected to increase. While 60% of Internet-capable devices are currently connected, NPD projects that 76% of installed units will be connected by 2017. The evolution of hardware and digital content distribution is constantly changing the TV viewing experience," said Buffone, executive director of NPD Connected Intelligence, “The hardware is able to engage with consumers in ways that it hadn’t before. Over the coming years, the consumer’s preferred device for apps on TV will be shaped by the next generation of video game consoles, Smart TVs, and a new wave of streaming media players.” MORE: RapidTVNews.com 07/23/2014 - Connected TV device market to skyrocket in US or MediaPost 07/22/14 - Connected TV Device Market Set To Explode

Cable Companies High Speed Data Subscribers soon to surpass video customers

Signaling a major shift in priorities for cable customers, a Moody's Investor Service report says cable operators will, beginning in 2015, start serving more broadband subscribers than video subscribers. The company estimates that subscribers to cable broadband and video services pulled even at about 50 million apiece at the beginning of 2014. As more and more customers consider broadband service an must-have product – a Pew Research Center study showed that 53% of adults said it would be “very hard or impossible” to give up their broadband service while just 35% said the same for TV – Moody’s predicts that cable operators will make it easier to unbundle broadband offerings. MORE: Multichannel News 07/24/14 - Moody’s: Broadband Subs To Surpass Video in 2015

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Connected TV Devices Exceed 1 Billion

New research from Parks Associates and also from Strategy Analytics puts the number of connected TV devices, which includes set-top boxes, smart televisions, game consoles and more, now exceeds 1 billion installed units, and are on pace to hit the 2 billion mark by 2018. No surprise that Roku is now the most widely used streaming media player in 44 percent of American homes that watch online video through their living room TV.

The studies verify that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of pay-TV subscribers have at least one device connected to their TV, according to Parks, an increase from 53 percent in 2013.  Roku devices and Apple TVs account for 72 percent of streaming media device sales in the U.S. in 2013. Up and coming Google’s Android TV/Chromecast and Amazon's new entry, FireTV could both prove to be strong future competitors, the report notes, while also pointing out Apple TV as a "sleeping giant." MORE: 07/10/14 - techcrunch.com - Connected TV Market Crosses 1B Devices As Google Pins Its Hopes On Android TV or ParksAssociates - The Evolving Market for Streaming Media Devices (sub. req.) or 07/09/14 FierceCable - Parks: Roku owns 44% of the U.S. OTT device market

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Netflix Maintains Lead over Amazon for Top Movies, TV Shows

Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson opened the book on his findings of how Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Redbox Instant compare in their offerings of top 50 movies available for streaming over the past three years and top 75 TV shows available from the past four years. The report revealed that Netflix continues to outpace Amazon.com’s subscription-video service in terms of content-licensing, delivering substantially more of the top movies and TV shows from the last few years.  There’s no question that Netflix, by stocking more hit shows and movies, would to some degree appeal to a wider base of consumers than Amazon’s service. But Netflix hasn’t decisively won the SVOD war: Amazon remains aggressive in looking for exclusive TV licensing deals to expand its 40,000-plus title Prime Instant Video service. More: Deadline 07/03/14 - Amazon Narrows Gap with Netflix in Hit TV Shows but not Movies
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Aereo - SCOTUS rules in favor of the Broadcasters

Aereo - Time to modify the business plan?
After my recent post about Aereo & the NFL, I felt it was worthy of a follow up on today's Supreme Court decision. I've always seen  Aereo is an industry disruptor but the question remained, was it legal or were they skirting the law? The verdict is in and the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, has ruled that Aereo's technology is indistinguishable from cable systems and publicly performs copyrighted content and that Aereo violated those copyrights by delivering broadcast programming without permission. Barry Diller, whose IAC/InterActiveCorp was the principal financial backer of Aereo, said in a statement that ruling was not a “big (financial) loss for us,” adding, “but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers, and beyond that I only salute Chet Kanojia and his band of Aereo’lers for fighting the good fight.” Stock prices for CBS, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Comcast rose on the news of the ruling.  MORE: The Los Angeles Times 06/25/14 -Supreme Court rules against upstart Aereo TV service in copyright case and USA Today 06/25/14 - Supreme Court rules against Aereo in Internet TV fight or The New York Times 06/25/14 - Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Broadcasters’ Challenge
 
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Aereo Disrupts NFL's TV Business Model with a favorable Supreme Court Decision

Aereo, the Barry Diller backed company that I've written about in numerous posts on SMM is certainly a hot topic these days.  Since it launched, it has been embroiled in legal battles which have pushed their way through the court system where as early as today the Supreme Court could issue a ruling in the dispute between the broadcast networks and the startup streaming service. Although it more than likely will be some time before the courts ruling may actually come down, the media is a "buzz" about the topic. Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article that claimed that, if Aereo wins, “the foundation of the NFL’s television business could crumble” because “a thriving Aereo could help fans bypass the broadcasters, devaluing their expensive contracts with the NFL.” In my opinion this claim is bias and full of false statements but I am not the final judge that will determine the faith of this industry disrupter. Truth be told, I honestly hope that Aereo if not some spin on it's technology will prevail however, I'm acutely aware of what a big stakes game this is.  
The Little Antenna that could
change the broadcasting industry
Read up on it at: The Washington Post - Cecilia Kang's 06/17/14 - How the Supreme Court’s ruling on Aereo could change how we watch football and also review a good contrasting perspective with Chris Morran' 06/18/14 piece on Consumerist - No, A Supreme Court Victory By Aereo Would Not Crush The NFL. I'll be interested to read your feedback as well as watch how this all plays out.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

News that Finds You - BreakingNews.com's Proximity Alerts

Geolocation services are not new to smartphones, and place-based features have only improved over the years however in the battle for attention on your phone, Breaking News, a startup owned by NBC News, wants to win by finding smart ways to show you less. Today they debuted a new feature to their iOS app that pushes proximity-based news alerts when a big story breaks near a user’s physical location. Geo-targeted to mobile devices, the alerts highlight major stories that are relevant to people nearby, including significant earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, public safety alerts, evacuations and more.
Proximity alerts will also accompany users as they travel internationally. NBC says Breaking News is the first mobile app to offer the innovative service.
“In a world where news alerts are out of control, our mission is to deliver the breaking stories that are uniquely important to you,” said Cory Bergman, general manager of Breaking News. “Few things are as important as learning about a big breaking story that just happened near your location. Proximity alerts are lightning fast, and the service sets Breaking News apart as the go-to app to discover breaking stories that matter to you, wherever you are.” The app also includes the addition of a “Watchlist,” where users can easily track breaking news in their favorite interests in real time, as well as a new design, infinite scroll, simple navigation, faster search, and an improved iPad view.

The Breaking News app update is available today on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and it will be available for Android devices soon. To download the Breaking News app for iOS, visit BreakingNews.com/apps. Also read their release - Introducing proximity alerts and much more in the new Breaking News iOS app

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

AT&T takes aim at Comcast with Direc TV Acquisition


AT+T may be on the verge of buying DirecTV for $50 million, which would be the largest in years and reshape the television business at a time of rapid change in the industry. Reports of rumors on the acquisition appeared all over the blogosphere today an a official announcement may be just weeks away. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reports the two companies are discussing a deal that would involve a mix of cash and AT&T stock. A combined AT&T-DirecTV would hold a vast swath of wireless spectrum, the public radio signals that make smartphones and tablets work and would also be better positioned to compete against the proposed Comcast/Time Warner combined entity.  The pact would be a way to expand its video offerings, which is similar to how the Comcast and Time Warner Cable deal could deliver. AT+T currently provides pay-TV service through its U-Verse brand. MORE: WSJ - 05/12/2014 -
Bloomberg - 05/13/2014 - AT&T in Talks to Buy DirecTV for About $50 Billion

Friday, May 02, 2014

64% of U.S. Homes Have one or more CE Devices Connected to the Internet

According to a new research report from Parks Associates, (64%) of US broadband households have at least one consumer electronics device connected to the Internet, which could include a smart TV, Blu-ray player, game console, set-top box, a digital media receiver or Google Chromecast. Gaming consoles were found to be the most popular of connected devices. The report also noted that of the 50+% of U.S. households that use connected consumer electronics devices also subscribe to Netflix. By comparison, Amazon, which has made significant gains in the OTT video market this past year now has nearly 20 per cent of all US broadband households as Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Google Says YouTube Activity Impacts Television Viewing

Google is citing a new study tracking TV viewer interest over the course of the
year based on Google search and YouTube views. While Facebook and Twitter scramble to attract more TV advertisers to their platforms, Google also wants a bigger piece of the pie. It believes TV networks should view YouTube as a cornerstone of their marketing campaigns, an indispensable tool for speaking to younger viewers. According to the study, 90% of TV viewers also visit Google and YouTube and their online behavior is a clear indicator of a show’s popularity. More: MediaPost Search Marketing Daily 04/10/14 - Google Links Searches, YouTube To Television Viewing and The Wrap 04/10/14 - Like Facebook and Twitter, Google Tries to Prove TV Needs Its Help
 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Apple TV, Roku _ Who's Winning the OTT War and what are we Watching


Among those who use streaming media players, Roku owners access new subscription video platforms more than Apple TV which becomes more interesting when you factor in that currently there are more Apple TV devices deployed. This new research was published and presented at this week's NAB show by Parks Associates where they profiled the different device owners streaming and content purchasing habits. Their findings showed that 86% of Roku owners use one or more subscription OTT service, versus only 77% of Apple TV owners. Additionally, 75% of Roku owners use Netflix, compared to 63% among the Apple TV crowd. As a point of difference, more Apple TV owners use Amazon Prime Instant Video – 40% versus 28% and Apple TV also has a clear lead in sales passing $1 billion last year. On a similar topic, the latest study from video delivery firm Qwilt shows that Amazon's Instant Video is the third largest video site (March 2014), behind Netflix (57.5 percent) and YouTube (16.9 percent). Although it's sitting at a modest 3%, Amazon is still beating out Hulu (2.8 percent). I expect to see this number rising  considerably, since this data was collected before the Fire TV set-top box hit the market last week. More: 04/09/14 Advanced Television - More Roku owners than Apple TV owners use OTT and 04/09/14 Multichannel News - Roku Tops Apple TV In OTT Usage: Study and Qwilt 04/04/14 - Amazon Rising – Amazon’s Streaming Video Surpasses Hulu and Apple

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Local Broadcasters Test Over-the-Air Interactive TV

I think we'll all find this upcoming test interesting to follow. Broadcasters in three cities are teaming up with technology companies to test over-the-air, interactive TV. The trial is intended to demonstrate the capability for viewing enhanced content and advertising delivered to LG Smart TVs in Atlanta, Cleveland and Orlando markets during live news broadcasts. Utilizing an internet back channel will give the stations the ability to add interactive components to their newscasts which offer viewers with LG Smart TV's polling and other interactive services. The tests also plan to include additional photo and map overlays offered to viewers wanting more information about particular news events and weather reports, as well as personalized traffic information and content from the station’s own websites. Functionality also includes the ability to interact with advertising by requesting more information such as store locations or receiving coupons.

The driving force behind this test is Pearl, a venture that consist of eight TV station groups that was formed four years ago to explore and pursue new opportunities in digital media. Currently Pearl TV broadcasters reach 111 million U.S. households representing 63 percent of the U.S. population with 170 network-affiliated and top-ranked TV stations that collectively book nearly $4 billion in annual advertising revenue.


Stations participating in Atlanta are WSB (Cox), WGCL (Meredith) and WXIA (Gannett). Cleveland stations that are participating in the trial include WOIO (Raycom), WEWS (Scripps) and WKYC (Gannett). In Orlando, participating stations are WKMG (Post-Newsweek), WFTV (Cox) and WESH (Hearst).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rovi Acquires Video Search firm Veveo


Video-search firm Veveo, in a deal valued at up to $69 million, is being acquired by top interactive program guide vendor Rovi. Veveo's personalized natural language processing platform will "complement and leapfrog" Rovi's analytics and metadata systems, said John Moakley, Rovi's executive vice president of data solutions.  In addition to developing technology that allows viewers to use search for content using apps on smartphones, Veveo has said previously that it would license its technology to set-top and smart TV manufacturers.
The deal is expected to juice the bottom line for Rovi and they have stated that the Veveo deal will contribute to "double digit revenue growth and be accretive in fiscal year 2015". But the company said that the acquisition would also "likely lower" its adjusted pro forma income per common share this year by 3 cents to 6 cents.
Bottom line, the Veveo acquisition will deepen Rovi's cloud-based search and recommendation capabilities, enhance their entertainment metadata and guide solutions with next-generation semantic capabilities, and help them grow their advertising and analytics offerings. More: 02/24/14 Bloomburg.com - Rovi to Buy Veveo to Bolster Television Analytics

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CHCH Ontario & Cogeco Cable Canada First to Offer Geolocated TV Ads

CHCH TV and Cogeco Cable Canada ("Cogeco") are pleased to announce that CHCH made Canadian television history last week by being the first television broadcaster to offer its advertisers the ability to customize their message to their potential customers, according to their geolocation. Cogeco subscribers viewing CHCH will see the content of ads evolve to become more pertinent with regards to subscribers' market locations.

The new service is thanks to the leading edge INVIDI Advatar® addressable advertising platform that supports geo-specific content delivery. The development of this platform is the result of collaborative efforts among Invidi Technologies Corporation, cable distributor Cogeco, CHCH Television and software distributor Capital Networks Limited, who is managing the ad insertion operation for the Advatar® platform.

"Cogeco is proud to be the first Canadian cable distributor to support television advertising by geolocation," stated Jean-Pierre Caveen, Vice President, Affiliate, Partner and Carrier Relations at Cogeco Cable Canada. "This new and more efficient advertising opportunity brings the print direct marketing model to television," concluded Mr. Caveen.

Through the INVIDI Advatar® addressable advertising system, CHCH's advertising clients can deliver tailored messaging during a commercial break to households of a specific geographical area within Cogeco's footprint in the Golden Horseshoe area of Southern Ontario. "The first advertiser to take advantage of this leading edge technology is the New Democratic Party of Ontario," said Geoff Thrasher, General Sales Manager, Channel Zero Inc. "Their ads will only be seen in households within the Niagara Falls by-election riding boundaries, and with no spill outside of this area, the targeting ability of the Advatar® platform allows clients to include television in their media plan - affordably," concluded Geoff.

Advertisers can utilize this technology during CHCH's key 6 & 11 Evening Newscasts, as well as throughout the channel's popular primetime movies and programs including U.S. simulcasts 20/20, 48 Hours and 60 Minutes.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mobile posts Dominate TV chatter on Facebook

As the battle for control of social media in and around the television between Facebook and Twitter continues, a report released today by Facebook in partnership with SecondSync, a social TV analytics provider shows that up to a 25% of television viewers post (on Facebook) about programs that are watching. Up until now the assumption was that most activity took place pre or post the shows airing and not in real time. Additionally the survey uncovered that 80% of TV-related chatter on the social network comes from a mobile device.
Other relevant findings from the analysis of real-time patterns and types of engagement included:
Real-time interactions: TV-related Facebook interactions happen during the show airing.
  • Widespread reach: The scale of TV-related chatter seen on Facebook corresponds to the broad reach of the social network. Shows such as the Sound of Music Live and Breaking Bad generate 7.34 million and 4.47 million audience interactions respectively.
  • Mobile engagement: 80 per cent of TV-related chatter on Facebook is generated from mobile devices.
  • Multiple interaction opportunities. Posts are most closely aligned to real-time TV ‘events’; the bulk of TV conversations are contained in Comments; Likes have a long tail of engagement.
Accounding to SecondSync, they plan to continue to work closely with Facebook. Areas of future research will include investigating the extent to which Facebook drives TV tune-in, measuring the reach of TV-related interactions, and looking at the effectiveness of Facebook calls to action in TV advertising.
are contained in Comments; Likes have a long tail of engagement. MORE: Secondsync.com Feburary 2014 Whitepaper - "Watching with Friends"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yahoo's IntoNow fades to Black

I guess I can remove this app from my iPad. Obviously I wasn't using it and apparently I wasn't alone. Yahoo's IntoNow second-screen app is shutting down effective March 31st. You may remember it as one of the many that popped up in the early part of the decade. Purchased by Yahoo in 2011, it offered Shazam like capabilities which gave it built-in auto content recognition (ACR) technology for recognizing television programming, a feature which first caught my attention and had me downloading it and trying it out. As with other second-screen apps it also allowed the users to check-in to the television shows they were watching and share their viewing habits with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Frankly, I found this to be a feature I never used. If I wanted to share info like this I would have asked them over and made popcorn! Ryan Lawler @ TechCrunch agrees writing, “The idea was as preposterous then as it seems now, but thanks to the relative early success of Foursquare back in those days, eager app makers were trying to get people to check into every damn thing.” MORE: techcrunch.com 01/29/14 - Yahoo Is Shutting Down IntoNow, Nearly Three Years After Acquisition by Ryan Lawler

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Verizon ramps up TV, buys Intel Medias OnCue


Verizon announced Tuesday its agreement to purchase the assets of Intel Media, a division of Intel dedicated to the development of cloud TV products and services that includes the OnCue Cloud TV platform. Financial terms were not disclosed, and although the deal has to pass through regulatory screenings, it’s expected to be closed by the end of Q1 2014. From the industies perspected, OnCue was a long shot for Intel. Headed by Intel Media VP Erik Huggers, it was definitely one of those try-it-and-see-how-it-goes sort of endeavors. According to sources at Verizon, they are aquiring all of Intel Media, including their 350 employees, intellectual property rights, and other assets. "The OnCue platform and team will help Verizon bring next-generation video services to audiences who increasingly expect to view content when, where and how they want it," said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cloud based DVR's are on the Way

According to hothardward.com, Comcast is currently testing a cloud DVR service called X2 in the Boston market. Cloud base technology offers consumers the ability to watch whatever programming they record wherever and whenever they choose to view it. The current test only allows for tests on iPhones and iPads and at present it is unclear when other types of devices will be added. At CES earlier this month STB manufactures like Cisco, Alcatel Lucent, Simple.tv,Tivo and others proudly demo-ed their versions of this technology however none of them had a large scale test in place at the time. MORE: hothardware.com - 01/20/14 Comcast Testing Cloud DVR In Boston, Take Your TV Shows On The Road by Seth Colaner

Monday, January 06, 2014

Roku gets Smart (TV)

Anthony Wood broke the news late Sunday prior to the CES show that Roku has decided to take another route to win the war for controlling your TV, soon Roku will be integrated into your new smartTV. Partnering with TCL and Hisense, the company plans to release the Roku TV later this year. This is a bold move from a company that has already positioned themselves as the leader in the OTT world. The field however is becoming crowded with existing and new entries all over at the 2014 CES show. This new strategy if carried out correctly could be the beginning of an entirely new era for connected TV's.
 MORE: Roku Blog - 01/05/14 Introducing Roku TV or WIRED - 01/06/14 Roku TV Is the First Smart TV Worth Using or

Friday, January 03, 2014

ABC.com limits access to New Episodes

In a definite sign of things to come, ABC announced that next-day access to new episodes of ABC shows will be restricted to authenticated cable subscribers on participating pay-TV services and Hulu Plus subscribers starting Monday, January 6, according to the net's web site. (ABC owner Disney co-owns Hulu.) Access will be free to everyone eight days after the initial air date. Fox instituted a similar delay in 2011.