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Mobile Video, OTT and payTV
OTT Video - Video everywhere - Multi-screen TV - Mobile video
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{Core Analysis}: Citrix selling Bytemobile?

{Core Analysis}: Citrix selling Bytemobile? | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
In a press release dated July 28, Citrix Systems has announced that it will collaborate with Elliott Management, an activist investment firm who has amassed 7.5% of the company's common stock and has been advocating for strategic changes in Citrix' product portfolio and operations.

Elliott had announced their plans to actively be involved in Citrix' strategy in a letter to their board on June 11. The letter laid out a plan for Citrix' stock growth and investor value creation including executive and operational changes, as well as spin off or sale of business units, including ByteMobile, acquired for $435m in 2012.
Citrix is rumored to have retained financial advisors for the sale of ByteMobile.

Concurrent with the announcement that Citrix will collaborate with Elliott and give them a board seat, Citrix' CEO has announced his retirement effective as soon as a replacement is found.
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TV operators favour mixed SVoD and TVoD OTT

TV operators favour mixed SVoD and TVoD OTT | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
TV operators are looking to launch OTT services to provide multiscreen access and compete with the likes of Netflix, with most favouring a hybrid model, according to research by MPP Global.

MPP found that 60% of operators said that hybrid OTT, combining transactional and subscription video-on-demand in a single service, was the model best suited to their business.

According to MPP, four out of five operators see changes in how their customers are accessing goods and services, and three out of four are integrating new pricing and delivery models such as SVoD and TVoD. The research found that 86% of operators anticipate that revenue from SVoD and TVoD services will increase over the next 18 months.

According to MPP, 37% of organisations believe that these new pricing models deliver competitive differentiation, while 32% believe they provide additional revenue opportunities and 32% believe they reduce churn.

The research found that TV operators favour three broad pricing and packaging models. The first is to introduce smaller, tailored or personalised bundles of content and channels users have chosen for themselves, rather than a big bundle. Second, they are favouring time-limited passes, such as the day, week and month passes offered by Sky for its Now TV service, and third, they are looking to make use of video metering technology to offer freemium services, providing consumers with limited free access to video content, based on a choice of considerations which the operator can define, such as happy hours offering free access at low usage periods. With the latter model, operators have an opportunity to attract customers by offering free access before asking them to sign up for a transactional or subscription service.

Some 56% of organisations surveyed believe that cloud technology has been the primary driver for new delivery models.

“This research shows how the OTT market is constantly evolving and growing. With an increasing need to reach and attract customers and stand out from competitors, more and more TV operators are shaping their business models to accommodate consumer demands while offering a reliable revenue stream. We can expect to see the number of OTT models continue to increase with consumers embracing the changing way they can view and pay for video content,” said Paul Johnson, CEO of MPP Global.
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Verizon's OTT mobile video service will support sponsored data

Verizon's OTT mobile video service will support sponsored data | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |

Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) forthcoming over-the-the-top mobile video service will support sponsored data, with advertisers subsidizing the cost of consumers' video consumption, according to a senior Verizon executive.

"Ad-sponsored data is part of the product offering," Marni Walden, EVP and president of products and new business innovation at Verizon, said during a conference call with the media to discuss the completion of Verizon's $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL.

Verizon plans to launch the OTT video service sometime this summer, and Walden provided a preview of the product and also discussed, along with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, how the telecommunications giant will incorporate AOL.

Walden's comments on the ad-supported data consumption echo those of Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo. "We're going to bring a product to market where people can enjoy that product and they won't necessarily pay for it through their data bundle," he said in May during an investor conference, according to a Verizon transcript of his remarks. "Some people have called it the sponsored data model, but it's really going to be monetized through the advertising model."

Walden said on the call that such a business model would comply with the FCC's net neutrality rules. "We believe we're well within the ability to do that within the rules we need to abide by," she said. She also said there would be "some premium offers" with the video product as it evolves.

While Walden did not say when exactly Verizon would launch the mobile video offering, she said Verizon is in the process of securing deals with content providers for live content, "emerging" content that will be mostly Web-based, and on-demand content. She said Verizon is "planning on having a number of fresh titles" with the service, but she did not elaborate.

The service will work over Wi-Fi networks and mobile networks, including competing wireless networks in the U.S., though Walden said the service will work best on Verizon's network. Verizon, for instance, will be the only one using LTE Multicast technology to stream live events, she said.

Verizon does not have plans to launch the service globally, at least not initially, Walden said, but she added that what is "so exciting" about the AOL deal is that it gives Verizon global capabilities to launch and support advertising. "We think that's the next obvious step," she said.  

Live content will encompass things like sports and concerts, Walden said. In April Verizon announced content deals with ESPN, CBS Sports and several other college-sports-focused platforms. The deal with Disney's ESPN, the priciest of all cable channels, isn't full-fledged--the Verizon service is only acquiring select college football games and "30 for 30" documentaries. But Verizon did license the full CBS Sports portfolio and the ACC Digital Network, as well as digital video services Campus Insider and 120 Sports. Verizon has also licensed content from Viacom, as well as YouTube programming network AwesomenessTV.

As part of the AOL deal, Armstrong will become the head of Verizon Digital Media Services, Walden said. Bob Toohey, who had been president of the unit, will now report to Armstrong.

Walden said Verizon intends to become the No. 1 "global media-technology company" for content creators, advertisers and consumers. She said AOL's advertising technology will let Verizon create value ad revenue on top of its access networks, especially for the OTT video product.  

Armstrong said he thinks that in the coming years, 80 percent of consumers' media consumption will be over mobile devices and that joining forces with Verizon will help AOL take advantage of that trend. He also said that the content delivery network and video delivery markets "will be one of the most important for the future." Armstrong said that AOL's global reach and advertising technology will be used for both video on demand (VOD) or audio and video on demand (AVOD) services.

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{Core Analysis}: Building a mobile video delivery network? part II

{Core Analysis}: Building a mobile video delivery network? part II | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Part I

Frequently, in my interactions with vendors and content providers alike, the same questions are brought up. Why aren’t content providers better placed to manage the delivery of the content they own rather than network operators? Why are operators implementing transcoding technologies in their networks, when content providers and CDN have similar capabilities and a better understanding of the content they deliver? Why should operators be involved in controlling the quality of a content or service that is not on their network?

In every case, the answer is the same. It is about control. If you look at the value chain of delivering content over wireless networks, it is clear that technology abounds when it comes to controlling the content, its quality, its delivery and its associated services at the device, in the network, in the CDN and at the content provider. Why are all the actors in the delivery chain seemingly hell-bent on overstepping each other’s boundary and wrestle each other’s capacity to influence content delivery?

To answer this question, you need to understand how content used to be sold in mobile networks. Until fairly recently, the only use case of “successful” content being sold on mobile networks was ringtones. In order to personalize your phone, one use to go to their operator’s portal and buy a ringtone to download to one’s device. The ringtones were sold by the operator, charged on one’s wireless bill, provided by an aggregator, usually white-labelled who would receive a percentage of the sale, and then kick back another percentage of their share to the content provider itself who created the ringtone.
That model was cherished by network operators. They had full control of the experience, selecting themselves the content aggregator, in some case the content providers, negotiating the rates from a position of power, and selling to the customer under their brand, in their branded environment, on their bills.

This is a long way from today’s OTT, where content and services are often free for the user, monetized through advertisement or other transparent scheme, with content selected by the user, purchased or sourced directly on the content provider’s site, with no other involvement from the network operator than the delivery itself. These OTT (Over-The-Top) services threaten the network operator’s business model. Voice and messaging are the traditional revenue makers fro operators and are decreasing year over year in revenue, while increasing on volume due to the fierce competition of OTT providers. These services remain hugely profitable for networks and technology has allowed great scalability with small costs increments, promising healthy margins for a long while. Roaming prices are still in many cases extortionate. While some legislators are trying to get users fairer prices, it will be a long time before they disappear altogether.

Data, in comparison, is still uncharted territory. Until recently, the service was not really monetized, used as an appeal product to entice consumers to sign for longer term contracts. This is why so many operators initially launched unlimited data services. 3G, and more recently LTE have seen the latest examples of operators subsidizing data services for customer acquisition.

The growth of video in mobile networks is upsetting this balance though. The unpredictability and natural propensity of video to expand and monopolize network resources makes it a more visible and urgent threat as an OTT service. Data networks have greatly evolved with LTE with better capacity, speed and latency than 3G.  But the price paid to increase network capacity is still in the order of billions of dollars, when one has to take into account spectrum, licenses, real estate and deployment. Unfortunately, the growth in video in term of users, usage and quality outstrips the progress made in transport technology. As a result, when network operators look at video compounded annual growth rate exceeding 70%, they realize that serving the demand will continue to be a costly proposition if they are not able to control or monetize it. This is the crux of the issue. Video, as part of data is not today charged in a very sophisticated manner. It is either sold as unlimited, as a bucket of usage and/or speed. The price of data delivery today will not cover the cost of upgrading network capacity in the future if network operators cannot control better video traffic.

Additionally, both content providers and device vendors have diametrically opposed attitude in this equation. Device manufacturers, mobile network operators and content providers all want to deliver the best user experience for the consumer. The lack of cooperation between the protagonists in the value chain results paradoxically in an overall reduced user experience.
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Sprint drops throttling policy after net neutrality rules take effect

Sprint drops throttling policy after net neutrality rules take effect | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |

Sprint (NYSE: S) decided to end its practice of slowing down the data speeds of its heaviest mobile data users after the FCC's net neutrality rules went into effect last Friday. The decision is one of the first concrete impacts of the rules, which apply to wireless networks and bar data throttling except in cases of "reasonable network management."

Sprint said it has always been transparent about its network management practices. "To ensure the greatest number of customers enjoy the best network experience possible in times of heavy congestion, Sprint did reserve the right to prioritize network resources for the top 5 percent of heaviest users," Sprint said in a statement to FierceWireless.

The company noted that it only throttled the speeds of its top 5 percent of data users during times and locations experiencing congestion and that "those reserved resources were allocated to the remaining with the goal of improving their experience."

Sprint reviewed its program and decided to abandon the practice, and the policy change applies to both postpaid and prepaid customers. "Although Sprint believes the program was a reasonable network management practice under both the old and new rules, we determined that the technique as we applied it was not needed to ensure a quality experience for the majority of customers," the company said. "Sprint doesn't expect users to notice any significant difference in their services now that we no longer engage in the process."

The FCC's rules say that a network management practice will be considered reasonable if it is primarily aimed at "achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service." The practice needs to be related to a "technical network management justification" and not business practices.

Under the rules, carriers are not allowed to engage in practices that permit "different levels of network access for similarly situated users based solely on the particular plan to which the user has subscribed," which seems to indicate that carriers are not able to throttle the speeds of a subscriber simply because they have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, for example.  

The FCC proposed yesterday to fine AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) $100 million for not being transparent enough with its grandfathered unlimited data plan customers about how and when their speeds would be reduced if they use too much data. The FCC said that AT&T violated the transparency rule of the net neutrality rules because its disclosures about what would happen were not sufficient to give consumers an informed choice about their plans.

AT&T throttles the data speeds of customers on legacy unlimited data plans only when they are connected to congested cell sites, regardless of the kind of smartphone they have. Customers on such plans who have HSPA+ devices can see their speeds reduced for the remainder of their billing cycle after they use 3 GB of data, while the threshold for LTE smartphone users is 5 GB.

AT&T said it would contest the FCC's findings. "We will vigorously dispute the FCC's assertions," the carrier said in a statement. "The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers, and has known for years that all of the major carriers use it. We have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the FCC's disclosure requirements."

Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) still throttles the data speeds of customers on its 3G CDMA network who are on legacy unlimited data plans who cross into 5 percent of data users when they are on congested cell sites. Verizon argues this "network optimization" policy affects a small number of customers. The company abandoned plans last fall to extend the policy to its LTE customers. Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis declined to comment or speculate on what Verizon might do going forward.

On T-Mobile US' (NYSE:TMUS) Simple Choice plans, once a customer has used all of the LTE data included in their plan, their data speeds are automatically slowed to 2G speeds for the remainder of their billing cycle. The exception is T-Mobile's $80 per month unlimited plan. A T-Mobile spokesman did not have a comment at deadline on if or how T-Mobile might change its practices.

A U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Currently, if a U.S. Cellular customer has a non-tiered data plan and exceeds their data limit, their data access will be slowed down for the remainder of their billing cycle. Customers may also see their speeds reduced if they "consume large amounts of data in places and times of network congestion."

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BT and EE extend converged multiplay services

BT and EE extend converged multiplay services | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
BT and its probable mobile subsidiary EE have each extended new service offerings relating to real-time LTE broadcasting, as well as enhanced premium sport and new 4K TV offerings.

BT recently acquired the exclusive rights to European football’s principal club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, which it has added to its growing portfolio of TV content. The telco undertook a skimming approach to market entry by significantly undercutting Sky, which owns the majority of the premium TV market in the UK, as a means of rapidly gaining market share. BT is now entering its third season of broadcasting Premier League football weekly, which is free to BT TV customers and £5 per month to BT broadband customers.

BT Sport Europe, the newest channel in its suite, will be a free addition to its portfolio, and is set to broadcast 351 matches across the 2015/2016 season. As an aside, it’s also pulled in the BBC’s sport anchor Gary Lineker to host its European football coverage.

Adding to its developing TV service offerings, BT is also launching a 4K sport channel in August, BT Sport Ultra HD, for football and rugby in eye-wateringly high definition.

Its emphasis on sport has primarily been in aid of becoming the ubiquitous communications provider in the UK, enticing in new broadband customers with affordable value content. Multiplay and converged services could give operators the tools with which to snare customers with a one-stop-shop for all digital home services.

Paolo Pescatore at analyst house CCS Insight reckons BT’s growing influence in the sport broadcasting arena is becoming a headache for its rivals, namely Sky.

“Being one of the first to launch 4K in the UK will be quite an accolade for the company,” he said. “More so given that other providers such as BBC and Sky have traditionally been the first to launch new features/services.”

“This is a smart move and makes perfect sense. The company is using the success of BT Sport to turnaround the fortunes of its BT TV service. It’s a potentially lucrative package, with Champions League, Europa league and many of the European domestic leagues being offered for free as part of BT TV, or just £5 more for existing BT broadband customers. While still offering BT Sport 1 for free to broadband subscribers. That’s great value!”

Speaking of BT’s increasing acquisition of premium sport content, Pescatore says BT’s competitors like Sky will have to respond, and up their proverbial game.

“These wealth of announcements demonstrate BT’s clear appetite to be a credible player in the UK,” he said. “It has raised the stakes and Sky will need to respond. Within a short period of time, BT has proved to be highly disruptive and we expect the company to continue innovating and challenge Sky for access to more premium sports content.”

In February bidding for Premier League broadcasting rights took place. BT will pay a total of £960million for the rights to air 42 matches per year for three years, whereas Sky will be stumping up £4.2billion for 126 matches per year for the same duration. If BT wants to up its share of English football broadcasting when the next auction takes place in 2018, it will have to significantly up its outlay on rights acquisition. Whether it will be able to keep its prices at rock bottom as part of a sustainable long-term market growth strategy remains to be seen, but the telco has achieved remarkable growth since its sports broadcasting debut two years ago, and appears ambitious to continue in the same vein.

Meanwhile EE, the acquisition of which BT is attempting to convince the competition authority to approve, has launched a real-time 4G-enabled action and activities camera. The camera is hooked up to EE’s LTE network and gives consumers the opportunity to broadcast and live-stream whatever they want via its new personal broadcasting service “skeegle”.

EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee said the new camera and skeegle service is a response to perennially connected consumers.

“Over the past two years we’ve witnessed how 4G connectivity has changed behaviour and instilled a desire to connect and communicate instantaneously when out and about,” he said. “We’ve introduced our ‘connected strategy’ as we understand our customers not only want superfast coverage, they want products that give them the very best experiences, coupled with the most innovative and exciting ways in which to share them.”
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Sprint's Prepaid 'Boost Mobile' Launches Mobile Live TV Service

Sprint introduced a new OTT live TV service - the BoostTV - for its Boost Mobile prepaid brand, which now features the new boostTV Live Sports premium add-on service that can be purchased for US$10 a month. The BoostTV Live Sports add-on is a video-streaming service that allows customers to watch free and premium live and on-demand sports content, including the upcoming Copa America. Via channels such as AyM Sports, Azteca America, BeIN Sports, BeIN Sports en Español, Fightbox, Latin American Sports and TyC, BoostTV covers a wide range of sporting events including baseball, basketball, boxing and soccer.  
According to Sprint, the new live TV service will also be available to new customers who can sign up for the service during service activation either in-store, or online, at 
The boostTV app via which the service is delivered is currently available for select Boost Mobile Android-powered smartphones including HTC Desire, LG Tribute, Motorola E, Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Samsung Galaxy S6.
Doug Smith, Director, Product Marketing, Sprint Prepaid
With the boostTV Live Sports add-on, Boost Mobile customers can score a front-row seat at their favorite sporting events. BoostTV Live Sports offers baseball, basketball, boxing and much more, including year-round soccer with top leagues such as Liga MX, Copa MX, prestigious European leagues like La Liga and Serie A, plus popular tournaments like 2015 Copa America live on boostTV, exclusively on BeIN SPORTS, all from the palm of their hand.
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Video to drive threefold increase in IP traffic

Video to drive threefold increase in IP traffic | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Annual Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, with video to account for 80% of global IP traffic by 2019, according to research by Cisco.

The firm’s tenth annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast claims that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes per month by 2019, up from 59.9 exabytes per month in 2014, after growing at a compound annual growth rate of 23%.

These gains will be driven by global increases in internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, as well as by faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services, according to the forecast.

“It took 32 years – from 1984 to 2016 – to generate the first zettabyte of IP traffic annually. However, as this year’s Visual Networking Index forecasts, it will take only three additional years to reach the next zettabyte milestone when there will be more than 2 zettabytes of IP Traffic annually by 2019,” said Cisco’s vice president of service provider products and solutions marketing, Doug Webster.

IP video will account for 80 percent of all IP traffic by 2019, up from 67% in 2014, according to the study, thanks to the evolution of advanced services like Ultra High Definition and 360 degree, spherical video – as well as “increasingly video-centric M2M applications”.

“Residential, business and mobile consumers continue to have strong demand for advanced video services across all network and device types, making quality, convenience, content/experience and price key success factors,” said Cisco.

The VNI forecast predicts that there will be 24 billion networked devices/connections online by 2019, compared with 14 billion in 2014, due to an “influx” of sophisticated devices including tablets, smartphones, internet-enabled ultra-high definition TVs, and wearables like smart watches and health monitors.

“Globally, there will be 3.2 networked devices/connections per capita by 2019, up from 2 per capita in 2014,” said Cisco, which added that the average fixed broadband speed “will increase two-fold from 20.3 Mbps in 2014 to 42.5 Mbps in 2019.”

Cisoc predicts that by 2019, more than 14% of monthly global IP traffic will come from cellular connections, while 53% of monthly IP traffic will come from WiFi connections

Citing figures provided by the United Nations’ department of economic and social affairs, it added that there were 2.8 billion internet users, or 39% of the world’s population, in 2014, and by 2019, there will be about 3.9 billion web users, or 51% of the projected global population.
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Spotify adds to capacity crunch with streaming video service

Spotify adds to capacity crunch with streaming video service | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Music streaming company Spotify has announced the addition of video clips to its service, which has the potential to add significantly to the exponential growth in mobile data consumption.

Spotify is currently the leading music streaming service, with the majority of that consumption taking place on mobile devices. While this will already represent a sizable contribution to mobile data traffic, the addition of video to a user-base already accustomed to regularly streaming content on their devices is likely to take data consumption to a new level.

The initial content partner list is quite extensive and mainly US-based, although the BBC is on the list. There is TV content such as chat shows, sport and music videos as well as some original content such as celebs picking their favourite music.

“We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience,” said Daniel Ek, Founder and CEO of Spotify. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout your day. And we’re just getting started.”

Simon Jones, VP of Marketing at internet video delivery outfit Conviva, reckons Spotify might be on to something, so long as it can get the bandwidth it needs. “Consumers, increasingly drawn to the transactional and self-guided nature of video on demand are expanding their use of web-delivered video, and making choices for premium entertainment beyond the set top box,” he said.

“A premium service, of course, requires a premium experience – consumers engage most when they are served an optimized experience, and then disengage when they are dissatisfied. So it’s a calculated risk for Spotify: with excellent content, delivered smoothly, they can capitalize on the global shift to net TV; missing on the quality of experience on video – which they have aced with audio – could represent a challenge to their otherwise pristine brand image.”

Meanwhile BT’s drive into the content space continues with the announcement of a deal with HBO to offer streaming and download-to-own sets of some of its most popular programming such as Game of Thrones, which can also be streamed through mobile devices.

“We are committed to offering the widest choice of on demand and live content, with pricing and flexibility to suit all our customers,” said Alex Green, director of BT TV. “The new deal with HBO comes at the perfect time for people who want to catch up with world-class TV shows over the long Bank Holiday weekend. But of course you get to keep them so you can watch over and over again.”
wesleystudemire's curator insight, May 27, 11:22 AM

Good article !

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Vodafone plans mobile TV push with app overhaul

Vodafone plans mobile TV push with app overhaul | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Vodafone has announced plans to enrich its My Vodafone app “in a massive way”, adding functionality like video so that it acts like “a TV in your hands.”

Speaking on the company’s fiscal fourth quarter and fully year earnings call yesterday, CEO Vittorio Colao said that Vodafone currently has 12.5 million My Vodafone app users, but claimed this is something “we need to improve.” He also said that Vodafone can increase the average use of the app from the current figure of 5.5 times per month.

“We’re going to enrich the app in a massive way, use it much more as a video, as a TV in your hands and as a contact mechanism also to reduce the cost and the context that we have in the real world,” said Colao.

Currently the My Vodafone app lets users keep track of their bill and account spending and search for nearby WiFi hotspots. However Vodafone said that other new functionality that it hopes to add are contextual offers and webchat.

Also speaking on the earnings call, chief finance officer Nick Read said: “We believe we can drive our adoption of My Vodafone app to over 70% of European smartphones from the 25% today.”

In a presentation to accompany its results, Vodafone said that it aims to achieve this 70% My Vodafone app penetration by full year 2017/18.

Elsewhere, the company listed the roll out of a consumer broadband proposition and TV offering, and growth in 4G among its main 2015/ 16 priorities for the UK.

Colao said that Vodafone will roll out consumer broadband in the UK in the summer and its TV offering “later in the year.”

Commenting on the UK TV service, which Vodafone first confirmed earlier this year, Colao said “it will be a modern, cloud-based, appealing TV offer which, of course, our competitors will fight against and will try to limit our commercial reach.”

“We have 11.3 million broadband customers, 853,000 more than last year; 9.1 million TV [customers]; 5 million broadband NGN customers. What is our ambition? Our ambition and priority for next year is to become a unified communication provider. We have expansion plans [but] I don’t want to go into details into the expansion plans country by country,” said Colao.
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China Telecom teams up with Tata Communications over global video delivery

China Telecom teams up with Tata Communications over global video delivery | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Chinese telecoms giant China Telecoms has announced a partnership with Indian network player Tata Communications to facilitate video transmission to and from China and the rest of the world.

The first implementation of this new partnership was the live streaming of the 2015 World Figure Skating from Shanghai to Japan, via the MDX Center exchange in Hong Kong. Both companies are keen to bring attention to their contribution to tackling the logistical challenge of booming on-demand video traffic.

“Mobile video consumption is growing at an exponential rate with  a robust growth trajectory expected in the next five years,” said Pengcheng Fan, VP of Product Development at China Telecoms.  “Through our new video network partnership, China Telecom Global can provide seamless connectivity for our media and entertainment customers across China and the globe. This partnership is defined by connectivity to key global destinations, premium quality and industry leading SLAs. We are excited since this partnership helps to further differentiate our service offerings in the market.”

“Tata Communications is dedicated to offering its media customers access to key media hotspots for the distribution of premium broadcast quality content across the globe. This partnership with China Telecom Global is a natural step in that direction and marks the expansion of Tata Communications’ Global Video Network reach into China. We are excited to leverage China Telecoms Global’s video network in China and offer our customers access to this key region, connecting broadcasters, media and entertainment providers, new bureaus and service providers across the globe.”

This is the latest in a growing trend of telecoms collaborations between the two most populous countries in the world. Last month the former Chairman of Tata – Ratan Tata – revealed a strategic investment in Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, which is currently looking to extend its domestic success internationally
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Procera Networks to Be Acquired by Francisco Partners

Procera Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: PKT), the global Subscriber Experience company, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by private funds managed by Francisco Partners Management, L.P., a leading global technology-focused private equity firm, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $240 million.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Francisco Partners will commence a tender offer no later than May 5, 2015 to acquire all outstanding shares of Procera’s common stock for $11.50 per share in cash. This represents a premium of approximately 21% over the closing price of Procera’s common stock on April 21, 2015, and a premium of approximately 32% over the unaffected closing price on January 22, 2015, the last day prior to an article reporting the potential sale of the company. Procera’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction.

“After careful consideration and an extensive process to review strategic alternatives, the Board unanimously concluded that the sale of Procera to Francisco Partners is in the best interest of the Procera stockholders," said Thomas Saponas, chairman of Procera’s Board of Directors. "This transaction delivers immediate and substantial cash value for our stockholders, while supporting the long-term success of Procera’s customers, partners and employees."

“Francisco Partners seeks out leading technology companies with a differentiated offering and compelling product roadmap,” said Andrew Kowal, partner at Francisco Partners. “Procera is one such best-of-breed company in the network intelligence space, and we look forward to partnering with Procera to help the company and its customers drive actionable intelligence with Procera’s solutions.”

“As part of Francisco Partners’ portfolio of companies, Procera will have the resources and financial expertise needed to attain the next level of growth and to strengthen our competitive market position,” said James Brear, President and CEO of Procera. “I believe this transaction delivers compelling value to our stockholders, and we remain firmly committed to establishing Procera as the leader in improving the customer broadband experience for carriers and operators.”

The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares of Procera common stock representing at least a majority of the total number of outstanding fully-diluted shares (assuming the exercise of all options and the vesting of all restricted stock units), the expiration of the waiting period under any applicable antitrust laws, and other customary conditions. Upon the completion of the tender offer, Francisco Partners will acquire all remaining shares through a second step merger without the need for a stockholder vote under Delaware law. The closing of the transaction is not contingent on financing. The parties currently expect the transaction to close in June 2015. Upon the completion of the proposed transaction, Procera will become a privately held company.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is serving as financial advisor to Procera. Paul Hastings LLP is acting as Procera’s legal advisor. Shearman & Sterling LLP is acting as Francisco Partners’ legal advisor.

Preliminary First Quarter Results
Procera today also announced preliminary results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2015 is expected to be in the range of $19.5 million to $20.5 million. The ratio of bookings to revenue for the first quarter was below one. The company expects the gross margin percentage to be approximately 60% and to incur a net operating loss on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis for the first quarter of 2015. The company is not revising its previously announced guidance for the full year.

The above information is preliminary and subject to Procera’s normal quarter-end accounting process and review. Therefore, actual results may vary materially from these preliminary results.

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YouTube confirms subscription plans

YouTube confirms subscription plans | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
YouTube has confirmed plans to launch an advertising-free version of YouTube that users will be able access by paying a monthly fee. 

In a letter sent to YouTube content creators, the Google-owned video site said that the new paid offering will “generate a new source of revenue” that will supplement ad revenues.

YouTube said that with the launch it will update its terms for content creators, in a similar way to when it began distributing and monetising content on mobile devices three years ago.

“It’s an exciting year for YouTube, as we push ourselves into uncharted territories. But we continue to be guided by a desire to deliver the choices fans want and the revenue you need,” said YouTube.

Though details of the pricing and rollout of the subscription offering were not announced, tech site The Verge reported that YouTube will charge users roughly US$10 per month and launch the feature in the next few months, citing unnamed sources.

YouTube said that the launch of its subscription service will build on the momentum of its YouTube Music Key Beta service release last year and the recent launch of the YouTube Kids app.

“Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we’ve seen tremendous engagement. And we’ve seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience— it’s already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month,” said YouTube.

A trial version of YouTube Music Key launched in November in the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland and Ireland, offering users ad-free and offline playback of music and music videos.

At the time, Google said that, when fully launched, the Music Key subscription service will cost US$9.99 per-month. For this price, users will also get access to Google Play Music All Access – Google’s existing Spotify-style, pay-monthly music offering.

Speaking at tech site Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference in California last October, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki hinted at YouTube’s subscription plans, claiming that while YouTube’s ad-supported approach has allowed it to build massive scale, “there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads.”

YouTube first started trialling subscription options on its site back in 2013. In a small trial, it allowed 53 participant YouTube channels to set small monthly fees for users to access their content. Later the same year, it opened up monthly subscription options to channel owners that have 10,000 or more channel subscribers.

News of YouTube’s latest monthly subscription plans comes less than a month after Vessel, the online video start-up from former Hulu boss Jason Kilar and former Hulu CTO Richard Tom, launched to the public.

Vessel is designed to offer “early access to the web’s best short-form creators”, with users paying US$2.99 per-month to get access to videos – typically for a 72-hour period – before they are available for free on the web on sites like YouTube.
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Report: Verizon's mobile OTT video service to be called 'Go90,' will have some content exclusively for Verizon Wireless subs

Report: Verizon's mobile OTT video service to be called 'Go90,' will have some content exclusively for Verizon Wireless subs | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |

Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) forthcoming over-the-the-top mobile video service will be called "Go90" and will offer users both full episodes of TV shows from certain networks as well as music videos and other shorter pieces of content, according to a Variety report. The report, citing information from a pre-launch website for the service that was live but has since been taken down, said that initially the service will be entirely free of charge.

According to the report, while Go90's iOS and Android apps are going to be free to download from the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) App Store and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Play store, at least some of the content will be exclusive for Verizon's wireless subscribers.

Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo confirmed last week that the OTT video product will be launched in "late summer," which technically could come as late as the third week of September. Shammo and other Verizon executives have discussed a variety of business models the carrier may employ for the service, and the company has announced some content deals, but Variety's report adds more details to the service that Verizon has been largely mum about, including the service's brand name and pricing.

The website stated that Go90 will deliver "live music, exclusive events, best of web content, sports, prime time and more." Users will be able to watch "full length shows and short highlights, all for free," the site said.

An "About" section stated: "We didn't want to mimic TV--that's just an appliance you rearrange your living room around. Instead, we wanted to create a mobile-first, video-based app that can keep up with you and your on-the-go social life. One that features completely immersive live and on-demand content, no matter where you are or where you're going. No cord required."

Earlier this month Verizon announced that it signed a multi-year deal with Vice Media to bring Vice's content to the service. Verizon has also pledged to offer 200 hours of original programming from YouTube video specialist AwesomenessTV, sports programming from ESPN and CBS Sports, and made-for-cable reality series from Scripps Interactive Networks.

According to the Variety report, the Verizon website also listed other as-yet unannounced content partners, including Victorious, GoPro and Vevo, and screenshots of the Go90 app published on the site indicated that the service will also have content from Fox and AMC. Go90 will also include content from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV via a partnership with Viacom, the report said. There were also references to NFL content, for which Verizon owns the mobile right, the report noted.

A Verizon spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, a Verizon spokesperson told Variety said that the content listing on the site was inaccurate but declined to comment further.

Verizon has not revealed the brand name of the service. However, according to Variety, in May Verizon used a shell company called 2342 Holdings LLC to register four trademarks for Go90 and also used that same company to register the domain

Shammo said last week that at launch Verizon will not have the full range of content, or "everything that we contemplate within the product set" for the video service, but it will be "an initial launch and as the year goes on it will progress." Shammo also noted that AOL content will be part of the offering thanks to Verizon's $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL, including content from the Huffington Post and TechCrunch.

"This is a lineup that is really around all live-type news clips and sports and events, so very different than what anyone else is bringing to the marketplace," Shammo said, according to a Verizon transcript of his remarks.

Shammo told Reuters last week that the video service will have advertising-supported content and will include some free sponsored content. "A sponsored data model down the road... that will generate the usage and the eyeballs that are very appealing to advertisers," Shammo added.

That fits with what Verizon executives have said before. "Ad-sponsored data is part of the product offering," Marni Walden, EVP and president of products and new business innovation at Verizon, said in June during a conference call with the media to discuss the completion of Verizon's AOL deal.

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{Core Analysis}: Building a mobile video delivery network? part III

{Core Analysis}: Building a mobile video delivery network? part III | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Part I
Part II

Content providers and aggregators have obviously an interest (and in some case a legal obligation) to control the quality of the content they sell to a consumer. Without owning networks outright to deliver the content, they rent capacity, under specific service level agreements to deliver this content with managed Quality of Experience. When the content is delivered over the “free” internet or a mobile network, there is no QoE guarantee. As a result, content providers and aggregators tend to “push the envelope” and grab as much network resource as available to deliver a video stream, in an effort to equate speed and capacity to consumer QoE. This might work on fixed networks, but in mobile, where capacity is limited and variable, it causes congestion.

Obviously, delegating the selection of the quality of the content to a device should be a smart move. Since the content is played on the device, this is where there is the clearest understanding of instantaneous network capacity or congestion. Unfortunately, certain handset vendors, particularly those coming from the consumer electronics world do not have enough experience in wireless IP for efficient video delivery. Some devices for instance will go and grab the highest capacity available on the network, irrespective of the encoding of the video requested. So, for instance if the capacity at connection is 2Mbps and the video is encoded at 1Mbps, it will be downloaded at twice its rate. That is not a problem when the network is available, but as congestion creeps in, this behaviour snowballs and compounds congestion in embattled networks.
As more and more device manufacturers coming from the computing world (as opposed to mobile) enter the market with smartphones and tablets, we see wide variations in the implementation of their native video player.
Consequently, operators are looking at way to control video traffic as a means to maybe be able to monetize it differently in the future. Control can take many different aspects and rely on many technologies ranging from relatively passive to increasingly obtrusive and aggressive.

In any case, the rationale for implementing video control technologies in mobile networks goes beyond the research for the best delivery model. At this point in time, the actors have equal footing and equal interest in preserving users QoE. They have elected to try and take control of the value chain independently. This has resulted in a variety of low level battles, where each side is trying to assert control over the others.
The proofs of these battles are multiple:
Google tries to impose VP9 as an alternative to H.265 /HEVC: While the internet giant rationale to provide a royalty-free codec as the next high efficiency codec seems innocuous to some, it is a means to control the value chain. If content providers start to use VP9 instead of H.265, Google will have the means to durably influence the roadmap to deliver video content over the internet.
Orange extracts peering fees from Google / YouTube in Africa: Orange as a dominant position for mobile networks and backhaul in Africa and has been able to force Google to the negotiating table and get them to pay peering fee for delivering YouTube over wireless networks. A world’s first.
Network operators implement video optimization technologies: In order to keep control of the OTT videos delivered on their networks, network operators have deployed video optimization engine to reduce the volume of traffic, to alleviate congestion or more generally to keep a firmer grip on the type of traffic transiting their networks.
Encryption as an obfuscation mechanism: Content or protocol encryption has traditionally been a means to protect sensitive content from interception, reproduction or manipulation. There is a certain cost and latency involved in the encoding and decoding of the content, so it has remained mostly used for premium video. Lately, content providers have been experimenting with the delivery of encrypted video as a means to obfuscate the traffic and stop network operators from interfering with it.
Net neutrality debate, when pushed by large content providers and aggregators is oftentimes a proxy for commercial battle. Th economics of the internet have evolved from browsing to streaming and video has disrupted the models significantly. The service level agreements put in place by the distribution chains (CDNs, peering points...) are somewhat inadequate for video delivery.

We could go on and on listing all the ways that content providers and network operators are probing each other’s capacity to remain in control of the user’s video experience. Ultimately, these initiatives are isolated but are signs of large market forces trying to establish dominance over each other. So far, these manoeuvres have reduced the user experience. The market will settle in a more collaborative mode undoubtedly as the current behaviour could lead to mutually assured destruction. The reality is simple. There is a huge appetite for online video. An increasing part of it takes place on mobile devices, on cellular networks. There is money to be made if there is collaboration, the size of the players is too large to establish a durable dominance without vertical integration.
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Facebook set to ‘take on’ YouTube’s video dominance

Facebook set to ‘take on’ YouTube’s video dominance | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Facebook is making a “serious play” for content owners and looks poised to take on YouTube’s dominance in video content, according to a new research report. 

Ampere Analysis said that Facebook’s video views are “rocketing” and that recent trials with content owners like NFL and Fox Sports “suggest it’s primed to become a plausible alternative to YouTube.”

The report claims that Facebook’s video views are “catching up” with YouTube’s and will exceed two trillion this year – two thirds of YouTube’s projected total for the same period.

Ampere said it expects Facebook to trigger an “advertising ‘arms race’” by competing directly against YouTube for user-uploaded video audiences and predicted that it would start to introduce pre-roll ads on some of its video content to improve revenue-return for key content partners.

“As Facebook moves from testing its advertising models to more actively soliciting content creators to join the platform, it will come under increased pressure to match the opportunities and per view returns generated by other platforms – notably YouTube,” said Ampere research director and former IHS analyst, Richard Broughton.

“Ultimately, despite Facebook’s current reticence around offering pre-rolls, it may have to bite the bullet and add them to its repertoire. If the social network’s own video ambitions are to be realised, and if it is to convince content owners it is a viable alternative to YouTube, it must deliver comparable returns.”

According to Ampere estimates, almost 15% of internet users across Western Europe and the US have watched videos on Facebook in the last month, while a sixth of Facebook video viewers have not watched YouTube in the same time period.

At its F8 developer conference earlier this year, Facebook said it would now let viewers watch and interact with Facebook videos from anywhere on the web, with the launch of its new embedded video player. At the same time the social network previewed an “immersive, 360-degree video experience” in the service’s news feed that lets viewers choose the viewing angle to explore your surroundings.

Earlier this year, Facebook reported an increasing shift towards visual content, claiming that in the past year the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US. Since June 2014, Facebook claims it has averaged more than one billion video views every day.
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AT&T to be fined $100 million for throttling ‘unlimited’ data speeds

AT&T to be fined $100 million for throttling ‘unlimited’ data speeds | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
The US telecoms regulator – the FCC – has announced it plans to fine AT&T $100 million for “misleading consumers about unlimited data plans and violating transparency obligations”.

Following an investigation the FCC is alleging “AT&T severely slowed down the data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans.” This wouldn’t be a problem if AT&T had told them it would do this but, apparently, it didn’t.

AT&T got into the ‘unlimited’ game way back in 2007 and while it doesn’t offer such tariffs to new customers now, it does renew old ones. In 2011, the FCC says, AT&T implemented a policy that throttled the data speeds of these subscribers after they’d passed a data threshold within the billing cycle. AT&T stands accused of insufficiently communicating this policy to ‘unlimited’ tariff subscribers.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”

“Unlimited means unlimited,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “As today’s action demonstrates, the Commission is committed to holding accountable those broadband providers who fail to be fully transparent about data limits.”

In what is surely not a coincidence, Sprint has announced it will stop similar practices and this all seems to coincide with new net neutrality laws. AT&T is, of course, expected to dispute this allegation and fine.
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{Core Analysis}: Google's MVNO - Project Fi is disappointing

{Core Analysis}: Google's MVNO - Project Fi is disappointing | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
A first look at Google's MVNO to launch in the US on the Sprint and T-Mobile network reveals itself a little disappointing (or a relief if you are a network operator). I had chronicled the announcement of the launch from Mobile World Congress and expected much more disruption in services and pricing than what is announced here.
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{Core Analysis}: Data traffic optimization feature set

{Core Analysis}: Data traffic optimization feature set | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |

Data traffic optimization in wireless networks has reached a mature stage as a technology . The innovations that have marked the years 2008 – 2012 are now slowing down and most core vendors exhibit a fairly homogeneous feature set. 

The difference comes in the implementation of these features and can yield vastly different results, depending on whether vendors are using open source or purpose-built caching or transcoding engines and whether congestion detection is based on observed or deduced parameters.

Vendors tend nowadays to differentiate on QoE measurement / management, monetization strategies including content injection, recommendation and advertising.

Here is a list of commonly implemented optimization techniques in wireless networks.
TCP optimization
Buffer bloat management
Round trip time management
Web optimization
 JPEG / PNG… transcoding
Server-side JavaScript
White space / comments… removal
Lossless optimization
Throttling / pacing
Adaptive bit rate manipulation
Manifest mediation
Rate capping
Lossy optimization
Frame rate reduction
Contextual optimization
Dynamic bit rate adaptation
Device targeted optimization
Content targeted optimization
Rule base optimization
Policy driven optimization
Surgical optimization / Congestion avoidance
Congestion detection
TCP parameters based
RAN explicit indication
Probe based
Heuristics combination based
Encrypted traffic management
Encrypted traffic analytics
Throttling / pacing
Transparent proxy
Explicit proxy
QoE measurement
page size
page load time (total)
page load time (first rendering)
Temporal measurements
Time to start
Duration loading
Duration and number of buffering interruptions
Changes in adaptive bit rates
Delivery MOS
Spatial measurements
Packet loss
Presentation MOS

An explanation of each technology and its feature set can be obtained as part of the mobile video monetization report series or individually as a feature report or in a workshop.

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Mobile video traffic to grow 55% per year, says Ericsson

Mobile video traffic to grow 55% per year, says Ericsson | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Mobile video traffic will grow 55% per year until 2020, driven by video streaming services and the growing prevalence of video in online content, according to Ericsson. 

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report claims that smartphone subscriptions will more than double by 2020, with 70% of the world’s population to use these devices by that date.

“Each year until 2020, mobile video traffic will grow by a staggering 55% percent per year and will constitute around 60% of all mobile data traffic by the end of that period,” said Ericsson.

“Growth is largely driven by shifting user preferences towards video streaming services, and the increasing prevalence of video in online content including news, advertisements and social media.”

The study claims that smartphone penetration will reach 6.1 billion by 2020, with 90% of the world’s population to be covered by mobile broadband networks.

Some 80% percent of all mobile data traffic will come from smartphones with North America and Europe to continue to have highest data usage per smartphone. However, almost 80% of these new smartphone subscriptions will come from Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Be-Bound®'s curator insight, June 16, 7:14 AM

In countries where a mobile broadband is available, mots probably, but, this increase will reach its pinacle soon if we don't extend the data coverage worldwide.

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Telekom Slovenije to offer TV over LTE/4G

Telekom Slovenije to offer TV over LTE/4G | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Slovenian telco, Telekom Slovenije, is preparing to roll out television, internet and fixed telephone services over its LTE/4G network.

The new solution will be available starting next month and will be available to those who live in areas where a broadband cable connection is not possible, but where LTE/4G is already available.

“Telekom Slovenije is among the first operators to offer such a solution, which was for the most part developed in-house,” the company said, describing the new service as a “new milestone in telecommunications development.”

“Technological advance requires ever greater network convergence. The objective of this type of development is to provide reliable, simple, and excellent user experience in accessing the desired services – anytime, anywhere – regardless of the technology and network, which can either be fixed or mobile,” said Matjaž Beričič, director of Telekom Slovenije’s convergent core network.

Beričič said that the user experience for customers accessing video and TV content on TV screens over the LTE/4G mobile network would be comparable to the experience using its fixed network.

When customers order the new service they will receive the hardware they need – an IPTV set-top box (BOX S), a modem with SIM-card, and a set of outdoor antennae.

The internet access data rates offered in the new solution for TV, internet and fixed telephone services over the LTE/4G network will be up to 10 Mbit/s downlink and 2 Mbit/s uplink, according to Telekom Slovenije.

The platform and design of the architecture, the development of the network for content provision, the integration of the systems, and the development of the backend systems for service and content management are all down to in-house expertise, the company added.
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YouTube introduces 60fps live streaming » Digital TV Europe

YouTube introduces 60fps live streaming » Digital TV Europe | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
YouTube has launched 60fps live streaming, a few months after adding support for higher frame rate video playback on its site. 

YouTube launched 60fps live streaming yesterday as an “early preview” on HTML5-compatible browsers.

“When you start a live stream on YouTube at 60fps, we’ll transcode your stream into 720p60 and 1080p60, which means silky smooth playback for gaming and other fast-action videos,” said YouTube product manager Alan Joyce in a company blog post.

“We’ll also make your stream available in 30fps on devices where high frame rate viewing is not yet available, while we work to expand support in the coming weeks.”

YouTube said that high frame rates are “especially important” for gaming streams, and that any app using its live streaming API can now add a new ‘high frame rate flag’ to enable 60fps streaming.

At the same time, YouTube announced it has added HTML5 playback for live streaming – “another long-requested feature” – with plans to add more live streaming improvements soon.

“As of this week, YouTube live streams will use an HTML5 player in supported browsers. And because our HTML5 player supports variable speed playback, you can skip backward in a stream while it’s live and watch at 1.5x or 2x speed to catch back up,” said Joyce.

Separately, YouTube also announced yesterday that it is adding the ability for users to click to buy products from within video ads that appear on the service.

TrueView for shopping will let advertisers showcase product details and images that viewers can click to buy from a brand or retail site across mobile phones, desktops, and tablets.

“Brands that have participated in our early tests of TrueView for shopping have seen strong results for driving interest and sales. Online home goods retailer Wayfair, for instance, saw a three-times revenue increase per impression served when compared to previous campaigns,” said Google.
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{Core Analysis}: Mobile video monetization: the need for a mediation layer

{Core Analysis}: Mobile video monetization: the need for a mediation layer | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Extracted from my latest report, mobile video monetization 2015.  [...] What is clear from my perspective, is that the stabilization of the value chain for monetizing video  content in mobile networks is unlikely to happen quickly without an interconnect / mediation layer. OTT and content providers are increasingly collaborating, when it comes to enabling connections and to zero rate data traffic; but monetization plays involving advertising, sponsoring, price comparison, recommendation, geo-localized segmented offering, is really in its infancy. Publishers are increasing their inventory, announcers are targeting mobile screens, but network operators still have no idea how to enable this model in a scalable manner, presumably because many OTT whose model is ad-dependant are not willing yet to share that revenue without a well-defined value. Intuitively, there are many elements that today reside in an operator’s network that would enrich and raise the value of ad models in in a mobile environment. Whether performance or impression driven, advertising relies on contextualization for engagement. A large part of that context could/should be whether the user is on wifi, on cellular network, whether he’s at home, work or in transit, whether he is a prepaid or postpaid subscriber, how much data or messaging is left in  its monthly allotment, whether the cell he is in is congested, or whether he is experiencing impairments because he is far from the antenna or because he is being throttled because he is close to the end of his quota,  whether he is roaming or in his home network… The list goes on and on in term of data points that can enrich or prevent a successful engagement in a mobile environment. On the network front, understanding whether a content is an ad or not, whether it is sponsored or not, whether it is performance or impression-measured, whether it can be modified, replaced or removed at all from a delivery would be tremendously important to categorize and manage traffic accurately. Of course, part of the problem is that no announcer, content provider, aggregator or publisher want to have to cut deals with the 600+ mobile network operators and the 800+ MVNO  individually if they do not have to. Since there is no standard API to really exchange these data in a meaningful, yet anonymized fashion, the burden resides on the parties to, on a case by case basis, create the basis for this interaction, from a technical and commercial standpoint. This is not scalable and won’t work fast enough for the market to develop meaningfully.This is not the first time a similar problem occurred in mobile networks, and whether about data network or messaging interconnection, roaming, or inter-network settlements, IPX and interconnect companies have emerged to facilitate the pain of mediating traffic, settlements between networks. There is no reason that a similar model shouldn’t work for connecting mobile networks, announcers and OTT providers in a meaningful clearing house type of partnership. There is no technical limitation here, it just needs a transactional engine separating control plane from data plane integrated with ad networks, IPX and  a meaningful API to  carry on the control plane subscriber together with session information both ways (from the network to the content provider and vice versa). Companies who could make this happen could be traditional IPX providers such as Syniverse, but it is more likely that company with more advertising DNA such as Opera, Amazon or Google would be better bets. [...]
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Telenet blames OTT competition on ‘above average’ video churn

Telenet blames OTT competition on ‘above average’ video churn | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Belgian cable operator Telenet reported that subscribers to its total basic and enhanced video services decreased by 11,900 quarter-over-quarter to 2.07 million – an “above the average churn” compared to previous quarters in 2014. 

Announcing its first quarter 2015 results, the Liberty Global-backed operator attributed the churn to “the intensely competitive environment, characterised by the availability of other digital and over-the-top (OTT) platforms in our market,” as well as its January 2015 price adjustments.

“The aforementioned organic loss rate excludes migrations to our enhanced video services and represents customers churning to competitors’ platforms, such as other digital television providers and satellite operators, or customers terminating their television service or having moved out of our service footprint,” said Telenet in its Q1 earnings announcement.

“Given the historical video penetration in our footprint, the limited expansion of the number of homes passed and strong competition in the domestic TV market, we anticipate further churn of basic video subscribers, offset by further growth in multiple-play subscribers, generating a higher ARPU relative to the basic video ARPU.”

Telenet did add 8,000 enhanced video subscribers in Q1, bringing this total to 1.69 million customers. However, it noted that this was a slowdown in additions compared to last year, when it saw strong uptake in Q3 2014 after it phased-out its SD video platform.

The operator said that as of March 31, 2015, approximately 81% of its video customers subscribed to its enhanced video services compared to around 79% a year earlier.

At the end of Q1, roughly 207,300 customers subscribed to Telenet’s ‘Sporting Telenet’ pay TV channels, up slightly compared to Q4 2014.

Some 23% of Telenet’s digital TV subscribers now also use its ‘Yelo TV’ multiscreen video app, while its subscription VoD packages ‘Play’ and ‘Play More’ had 176,700 customers, up 17% year-on-year.

Overall, Telenet reported a 6% year-on-year revenue increase to €443.4 million. Operating profit was down 11% to €131.4 million and net profit was down 12% to €34.1 million.

Telenet CEO, John Porter said: “As in the previous quarter, net subscriber growth for our advanced fixed services of enhanced video, broadband internet and fixed telephony was impacted by the intensely competitive environment and the fading impact from the revamp of our triple-play bundles ‘Whop’ and ‘Whoppa’.

“During the quarter, we also experienced a further anticipated increase in churn for all advanced fixed services, in addition to basic video, as a result of the January 2015 price adjustment. Still, we achieved 34,200 net subscriber additions to our advanced fixed services in the quarter, while continuing to see a solid inflow of triple-play subscribers.”

The results come a week after Telenet agreed to buy domestic mobile operator BASE Company for €1.325 billion from Dutch telco KPN.
Patrick Lopez's insight:

Better get used to it. "Above average video churn" is going to be the new normal.

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{Core Analysis}: Video Monetization 2015 report and market shares released

{Core Analysis}: Video Monetization 2015 report and market shares released | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Live from Las Vegas, where I am at NAB, for the week, the mobile video monetization and optimization 2015 report is now released. You can find the updated description and executive summary there, as usual, table of contents and terms are available upon request, do not hesitate to contact me (

As usual, I provide market share calculations in term of deployment per vendor, the unit being one operator / country. For instance, Verizon Wireless counts for one deployment, even though the operator might deploy 40+ data centres. Groups such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom or Telefonica count for each of the properties where the technology is deployed.

For this 2015 edition, we have seen quite a lot of changes year on year and an acceleration from the trends highlighted in last update, ranging from the continuing growth of mobile data and video traffic, complicated by the increasing encryption and privacy concerns. 

Emerging markets and MVNO with smaller volumes fuel the growth with lower price points and tier 1 replacements are slowing down due to regulatory uncertainty. It is hard to predict how long this is going to last, but I am betting on a protracted battle and operators slowly having to take investment decisions despite uncertainty because their network is under too much pressure. TCP optimization, caching, throttling will continue to lead engagements in countries under strong regulatory mandate or uncertainty, while transcoding, DBRA and other lossy technologies will continue to lead in emerging and weak regulatory environments.

The mobile video monetization and optimization market segment researched in this report is composed of 8 primary vendors.

2015 has seen a great change in market shares, as indicated in the previous reports and throughout my quarterly updates. You can find the fall's market shares here, if you want to track the vendors' progression.
Citrix keeps its historical market leader spot, with a slight progression to 32%. 
Flash Networks had lost the number 1 spot last update and is maintaining itself at 31%. 
Openwave is solidly in third place, growing to 13%.
Fourth place is now claimed by Allot, with the fastest progression this update to 7%, 
Vantrix is in a slight decline at 6%. 
Nokia declines to 5% and has decided to resell Flash networks going forward. 
Opera has declined to 4%. 
Avvasi closes the market share with a growth to 2%.
The market share calculations are based on a proprietary {Core Analysis} database, collecting data such as vendors, re-sellers, value of the deployment in term of total cost of ownership for the operator, operator name, country, region and number of mobile broadband subscribers. These data are cross-referenced from vendors' and operators' individual disclosures. This database also includes over 130 opportunities in video optimization that are at different stage of maturity (internal evaluation, vendor trial, RFI, RFx...) and will close over the next 18 months.

To understand the vendors' trajectory, velocity and strategy better, contact me.
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