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?"