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Mobile Video, OTT and payTV
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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.”
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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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{Core Analysis}: Net neutrality... so what?

{Core Analysis}: Net neutrality... so what? | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Extracted from "Mobile video monetization 2015".

In the US, on February 26, days before the mobile world congress, the Federal Communications Commission released a declaratory ruling on “protecting and promoting the open internet”. The reclassification of fixed and mobile network services under title II telecom services by the FCC means in substance that network operators will be prevented from blocking, throttling, and prioritizing traffic and will have to be transparent in the way their traffic management rules are applied.  This is essentially due to an earlier ruling from the DC circuit Verizon v. FCC that struck down FCC’s rules against blocking and traffic discrimination but remarked that “broadband providers represent a threat to Internet openness and could act in ways that would ultimately inhibit the speed and extent of future broadband deployment.”

It is a great issue that broadband providers in this case are exclusively network operators, and not OTT providers, who have, in my mind the same capacity and have a similar track record in that matter. The FCC tried to provide “more broadband, better broadband and open broadband” and in its haste has singled out one party of the ecosystem, essentially condemning network operators to a utility model. This nearsightedness is unlikely to continue as several companies have already decided to challenge it. Less than a month after its publication, the order is being challenged in court by the United States Telecom Association, a lobbying group representing the broadband and wireless network operators as well as Alamo, broadband provider in Louisiana. There is no doubt that legal proceedings will occupy and fatten lawyers on both sides for years to come.

In Europe, the net neutrality debate is also far from being settled. After the European Commission seemed to take a no throttling, no blocking no prioritization stance in its “Digital single market” initiative, network operators, throughout their lobbying arm ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ association) started to challenge these provisions at the country level. Since the European Commission has not yet passed a law on the subject, the likeliness of a strong net neutrality stance will depend on support from each nation. In November 2014, compromises in the form of “non-discriminatory and proportionate” plans were discussed. The result is that net neutrality is still very much a moving target, with a lot of efforts being expanded to enable a managed internet experience, with a fast and a best effort lane. The language and ideas surrounding net neutrality is very vague suggesting either a great lack of technical expertise or a reluctance to provide an enforceable guidance (or both). It is more likely that countries at their individual level will start passing law to regulate some aspects of traffic management until a consensus is found at the European level.

In conclusion, there is obviously much debate over net neutrality globally, with many emotional, commercial, technical implications. There is at this stage no evidence of any regulatory authority having a good grasp of both the technical and commercial realities today to make a fair and enforceable ruling. As a result, politics, public sentiments, lobbying and lawyers will dictate the law for the next 5 years. In the meantime, it is likely that loopholes will be found and that collaborative approaches will show a lucrative business model that is likely to make the whole debate obsolete.

More analysis on traffic encryption, mobile advertising, data, video, mobile and media trends in  "Mobile video monetization 2015". 
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QuickPlay secures $ 57 million dollar financing

QuickPlay secures $ 57 million dollar financing | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Multiscreen and OTT video specialist QuickPlay has secured a C$57 million (€42 million) investment from private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners, financing partner Orix Ventures and Difference Capital Financial.

The latest round of financing means that QuickPlay has benefited from over C$150 million in investment capital to date. The company recently acquired LTE Broadcast specialist Roundbox to enable it to tap into delivery of video over mobile networks via the eMBMS multicast technology.

“We have enjoyed successive years of high growth with our managed services, building a unique position that continues to disrupt the market. Quickplay is reaching a scale that makes our platform the natural choice for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and Content Providers to connect,” said Wayne Purboo, CEO and co-founder of Quickplay. “We are thrilled with the confidence shown in the potential of Quickplay with this financing – we will focus heavily on key investments that further accelerate our growth, and contribute to the success our current and future customers.”
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Ericsson, EE say LTE broadcast big in converging market

Ericsson, EE say LTE broadcast big in converging market | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Infrastructure vendor Ericsson has said now that convergence is finally taking off, it is ready to bridge the gap between the broadcast and telecoms industries. Talking at a an event in London, the Swedish firm’s Head of Broadcast and Media Services Thorsten Sauer said the firm predicts by 2020 50% of all content viewed will be on mobile devices and on-demand.

As multiplay gathers pace in the UK with BT leading the way with its bid for EE, as well as heavy investment in premium sports rights by BT and Sky and the latter’s planned move into the MVNO market, Ericsson said it is grabbing the opportunity presented by convergence.

“One thing is clear from talking to our telecommunications customers and our media customers: on the media side very high on their agenda is how to translate their business onto new and mobile platforms,” Sauer said. “This is extremely high on their strategic agendas. And on the telco side the role of media is very high on their agenda. So convergence is truly happening, and that puts us,Ericsson, in a very interesting position.”

As part of this strategy, Ericsson has made several acquisitions in recent years to build up its TV portfolio, including that of  UK-based broadcast service firm Red Bee Media last May. The vendor claims it now handles 1.6 million media assets annually for numerous broadcasters.

Also talking at the event, EE’s Senior Manager of Network Strategy Matt Stagg said operators have to accept LTE networks need to be largely geared towards video streaming. “3G was a voice and text service with data, which was high-speed data for browsing, and it did some video,” Stagg said. “Now [with 4G] we’re talking of a video distribution network that needs to support communications.”

According to Stagg this requires a significant shift in thinking from operators’ part, and ultimately will push LTE broadcast at the forefront of the industry. “The biggest fundamental shift we will see in the next decade for mobile distribution of TV is LTE broadcast. EE’s vision for LTE broadcast is that it will be better than TV,” he said.

However, Ericsson’s recent survey looking at consumer behaviour around TV and video found data and content costs are still barriers for mobile viewing. But at the same time 4G and the popularity of unlimited packages are lowering the bar for users.

According to Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson’s ConsumerLab, consumers increasingly want much more personalised TV viewing, and on-demand and catch-up services, multiple devices per user and 4G adoption are driving mobile video.

“All this means it is indeed time to change the structure of TV services,” he said. “We hear people saying that they would like to have a totally personalised experience of pick and mix [content] but they would still like to have help with the aggregation of that. 48% of the [2,000] people we interviewed said they would be willing to pay for that package: personalised but a single-aggregator service.”

The UK Culture and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey also made an appearance at the event. Echoing Sauer’s words he said: “we are in the cusp of convergence.”

In his short speech he also listed some of the things the government is doing to help the industry move forward: “we as government are working with companies like Ericsson, we are supporting the roll-out of broadband across the UK, we’ve got our mobile infrastructure project which is designed to cover not-spots with mobile, we’ve got the new geographic target for mobile operators to reach 90% of the country geographically by 2017.”

Meanwhile the UK Finance Minister George Osborne in his budget speech pledged a £600 million boost to clearing spectrum to be auctioned for mobile networks. He also promised funding for public wifi for libraries, and provision of broadband vouchers to more cities. He also made promises on ‘ultra-fast broadband’: “we’re committing to a new national ambition to bring ultra-fast broadband of at least 100 megabits per second to nearly all homes in the country, so Britain is out in front.”

The big thing for LTE broadcast is that it makes it possible to simultaneously deliver the same content to virtually unlimited number of users without using up the full capacity of a network. It will be interesting to see how this space develops as providers and operators alike seek for new revenue opportunities in the converging marketplace.
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OTT to grow massively, Netflix now “outspending BBC” on content

OTT to grow massively, Netflix now “outspending BBC” on content | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Bundled and standalone OTT video subscriptions are expected to grow massively over the next five years as traditional cable TV subscriptions continue to decline, according to  Ben Keen, chief analyst and VP, consumer media, IHS. However, the transition to digital and the success of cable broadband – itself a driver for OTT – mean that cable is still a strong growth industry.

Keen told Cable Congress attendees in Brussels yesterday that subscription and ad-funded OTT services are expected to grow significantly, with total online video revenues expected to surpass US$35 billion by 2018.

In Europe, IHS expects bundled OTT subscriptions to reach close to 30 million by 2019, while standalone subs are likely to add about 40 million, taking the total over 70 million.

Keen said that OTT leader Netflix is now a major investor in content, with its subscriber growth closely following that investment in content. He said about 20% of Netflix’s content spend is on original content with the balance spent on acquisitions. He said Netflix now outspends the BBC on content overall, and spends more than HBO and Discovery, with only Sky spending more, driven by its massive investment in sports rights.

Keen said Amazon is also spending significantly on content, outspending for example ProSiebenSat.1 Group.

While OTT is growing, online video revenues still only amount to US$33 billion, less than the US$273 billion spent on pay TV.  Nevertheless, the cable TV business is under pressure, with TV subscribers declining from 2009. Since 2013, subscriber numbers have started declining in central and eastern Europe as well as western Europe.

Within  the overall TV market, cable’s share has fallen from over 70% to just over 40% within a decade, under pressure less from OTT than from IPTV and, in central and eastern Europe in particular, from satellite.

Despite the pressure on TV, cable is still a growth industry, said Keen. “The industry has been transformed by the transition to digital,” he said. Over 70% of European cable TV revenues are now digital, said Keen, and TV ARPU has continued to go up as a result.

Broadband internet has however been the main driver for growing ARPU and growing revenue for cable. Almost half of all cable revenues are now from broadband and telephony rather than TV. Keen said that DOCSIS 3.0 is now available in most cable homes.

Overall, he said, the cable industry has almost doubled in size over the last decade, adding €12 billion in value.
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Ericsson and Opera enter into partnership to deliver marketing services to operators - Opera Software

Ericsson and Opera enter into partnership to deliver marketing services to operators - Opera Software | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Mobile operators worldwide will be able to generate new revenues and grow market share thanks to the combination of Ericsson’s Media Delivery Network (MDN) solution and Opera Software’s Rocket Platform.

This collaboration will enable new monetization and network services that include the launch of Opera’s Rocket Marketer, which delivers in-session content, messaging and offers from an operator within a user’s browsing session, putting operators and their unique value proposition back in front of their customers.

The solution will also leverage access to Opera Mediaworks, the world’s largest independent advertising platform, to further assist operators in monetizing their core assets.

“We are pleased to form this partnership with Ericsson. The collaboration integrating our new Rocket Platform into the Ericsson Media Delivery Network allows operators to interact with their customers in a highly targeted manner, providing offers, promotions and recommendations advantageous to both,” said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen.

Enabling operators to deliver content and bring added value to the media chain
Ericsson’s Media Delivery Network is a single, all-software solution for the optimized delivery of managed and unmanaged content across both fixed and mobile networks. Ericsson’s focus on enabling operators to bring added value to the media chain is what shapes the solution, which uniquely couples innovation in caching and optimization with the connection of essential partnerships to unlock new growth through media-centric business models.

“Right now operators face the real challenge of generating sustainable business growth as network traffic scales rapidly and new internet-based apps erode some of the traditional consumer services they provided. This partnership really enhances the Ericsson Media Delivery Network solution as part of our MDN Connect framework, enabling our operator customers to deploy new services, and grow new revenues through leveraging the wider Opera ecosystem and browser-based capabilities on consumer devices,” commented Ove Anebygd, Vice President and Head of Solution Area Media, Ericsson.

Flexible, NFV-ready configuration
The joint offering utilizes a scalable and flexible NFV-ready configuration, leveraging a cloud-based architecture that can be deployed quickly and in a highly agile manner. Additional system resources can easily be added and new functionality dynamically provisioned, thanks to a fully virtualized environment.
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{Core Analysis}: MWC15 newslist

{Core Analysis}: MWC15 newslist | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |

If You have been struggling to keep up to date with all the announcements and releases at Mobile World Congress last week, here is the list of what has caught my eye from the companies I follow or I have met in the domain of video monetization and SDN / NFV.
As usual, interviews, trajectory, strategy and analysis in my upcoming report on "Mobile video monetization 2015".


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Twitter Acquires Live-Video Streaming Startup Periscope - Wall Street Journal

Twitter Acquires Live-Video Streaming Startup Periscope - Wall Street Journal | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Twitter Inc. has purchased Periscope, which had been developing a live-video streaming app, for slightly less than $100 million in a deal involving a mix of cash and stock.
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Quickplay acquires Roundbox for LTE Broadcast push

Online video specialist Quickplay has acquired New Jersey, US-based Roundbox, a mobile video optimization specialist in a move that Quickplay says will support its ability to deliver content across 4G networks using multicast – LTE Broadcast – and unicast technologies.

Roundbox technology has been deployed at service providers including KDDI and TIM. Quickplay said the integration of Roundbox’s client and server technology into the Quickplay managed video service would enable mobile network operators to roll out LTE Broadcast use cases including live event and TV streaming, push services, subscription music services, connected car services, off peak media delivery and mobile CDN services and Internet of Things-related services.

“We believe that we are on the cusp of an explosion in the growth of applications and services related to premium mobile video and smart connected devices,” said Wayne Purboo, CEO and co-founder of Quickplay.

“To create a premium customer experience and facilitate new IoT services affordably will require innovative approaches to the delivery of data over mobile networks. Quickplay and Roundbox will be at the forefront of enabling this revolution in mobility. We are thrilled to welcome the highly specialized and experienced Roundbox team to the Quickplay family.”
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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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Revolutionary compression technology promises “video at audio bitrates”

Revolutionary compression technology promises “video at audio bitrates” | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Video technology start-up V-Nova, which has been operating in stealth mode for the last five years, has unveiled a new compression technology that it claims will revolutionise video distribution by permitting the delivery of UHD quality at current HD bitrates, HD at SD bitrates, and SD video at audio bitrates.

V-Nova unveiled its Perseus compression technology at a press and analyst event in London on Monday. The company says its proprietary technology can provide compression or the order of a factor of two or three over existing MPEG technologies, including HEVC, H.264 and – for contribution applications – JPEG2000.

V-Nova’s technology has been developed and tested over the past five years within an Open Innovation consortium of over 20 companies and organisations, including Broadcom, the European Broadcasting Union, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Intel, and Sky.

“This is a new way to compress video. The benefits are clear, it shifts the entire bitrate-quality curve…and it means we can offer UHD quality at HD bitrates,” said Eric Achtmann, executive chairman of the London-based outfit.

Achtmann said the technology would enable the deployment of mass-market video services in emerging markets by enabling the distribution of video over 4G, 3G or even 2G networks, with standard definition video distributed at sub-audio bitrates. “For the one third of the world that still has insufficient bandwidth for video…[this] means that if you can receive a call you have the ability to receive video,” he said.

V-Nova claims to use standard off-the-shelf hardware and says its technology can be overlaid on MPEG, meaning that existing video distribution players can use it to provide services.

Guido Meardi, CEO and founder of V-Nova, like Achtmann a former McKinsey & Company executive, said that V-Nova had stepped outside the framework of MPEG compression to use hierarchical compression techniques and “massive parallelism”.

V-Nova has high-profile backers and the company has been working with Sky Italia on using its technology, initially for contribution applications.

Sky Italia’s head of engineering and innovation Massimo Bertolotti was on hand at the launch event to provide details of what the company has been working on. “Contribution was the perfect ecosystem where a new technology can be tested,” he said. Sky previously used JPEG2000 for contribution but is switching to Perseus, with a target date of June for completion of the transition.

V-Nova demonstrated contribution output at 300Mbps at the event, compared with 1Gbps for JPEG2000, based on a live uncompressed 12Gbps feed. It also showed the same live feed in UHD at 8Mbps compared with a 21-27Mbps HEVC feed. Another demo showed UHD Profile D recorded content at 8Mbps, compared with a HEVC feed at 21Mbps.

Actmann said that V-Nova’s patents were “clean”. V-Nova plans to license the technology and has no current plans to make it available for standardisation. The company believes that the step-change in compression it offers will be compelling to broadcasters and video service providers.

“We have seen lots of incremental change sin codecs for decades,” said Achtmann. “The fundamentals have not really changed. Where the incremental benefits are 10-20%, the business case [for change] is hard to justify. When you show a five times improvement, this is no longer an incremental change but a paradigm shift.”

V-Nova’s launch comes as the creation of a new patent pool for HEVC compression has raised the possibility that the deployment of services using the standard could be slowed down. Last week a new group, HEVC Advance, said it would begin licensing patents for HEVC/H.265, likely meaning additional costs for producers and distributors of 4K content.

The initial list of licensors is expected to include GE, Technicolor, Dolby, Philips and Mitsubishi Electric. Royalty rates and licensing terms will be made available in the second quarter. The HEVC Advance patent pool will formally launch in the third quarter of 2015.
Mr Branson's curator insight, April 2, 6:56 AM

Great news!

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Avvasi Partners with Oracle PCRF for Video Management

Avvasi Partners with Oracle PCRF for Video Management | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Avvasi, the world’s only provider of Quality of Experience (QoE) driven video analytics, management and monetization, is pleased to announce its partnership with Oracle and its industry-leading Communications Policy Controller (PCRF). The Avvasi Oracle joint solution enables service providers to deliver monetized video services.

“We anticipate delivering high quality video experiences to customers through our joint solution.”

Avvasi’s real-time Xperium™ QoE management solution, Q-SRV, will be orchestrated by Oracle’s Communications Policy Controller. The integrated solution will help service providers monetize the explosion in data usage in order to deliver the highest quality customer experience. Video is predicted to be 70% of traffic by 2017, and this comprehensive video QoE policy management solution will enable providers to ease network congestion and grow services revenues, while improving profitability and network resource utilization.

Video increased year on year by 87%1 and 2015 will be a critical inflection point in the market as multiple OTT video services prepare global launches to meet the consumer demand for premium streaming video content. Precious network capacity places constraints on the customers’ QoE, creating a greater need for intelligent video management, enabling the opportunity for the service provider to join the video service value chain.

Q-SRV has been designed for LTE and broadband networks. It enables network operators to detect poor video experience in their network, per subscriber, device, location and service, and to improve the user experience in real time, while simultaneously increasing virtual network capacity. Additionally, Q-SRV helps rationalize and create service-level agreements for video quality Xperium™ QoE, which is indispensable for video monetization.

“High demand for video continues to drive an increase in data consumption, which has made managing mobile video delivery a priority,” said John Lens, Associate Vice President of Oracle. “We anticipate delivering high quality video experiences to customers through our joint solution.”

“Avvasi is excited to introduce, for the first time, the ability to manage the OTT video experience through a PCRF, using the independently validated quality metric, Xperium™ QoE,” said Mate Prgin, President and CEO of Avvasi. “We look forward to continuing to deliver value for service providers and consumers through our partnership with Oracle.”
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{Core Analysis}: OTT as MVNO… or MNOs

{Core Analysis}: OTT as MVNO… or MNOs | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
This is an excerpt from my latest report "Video monetization 2015" .

OTT providers on their side might have some slightly different plans and views from mobile network operators. Most of them have built a business predominantly digital, based on internet-based delivery and had had to navigate the intricacies of creating an ecosystem (content creation, aggregation, distribution,…) and a business model (free, freemium, ad sponsored, hybrid, subscription, sponsored…) for the internet. 

This effort has resulted in partnerships and value chains, where content delivery is a little part of the value and when third parties like CDN can’t provide suitable or economical service levels, they are replaced by homegrown solutions, as illustrated by Netflix and Google’s caching strategy.

As a result, I believe that Google’s SVP products Sundar Pichai’s announcement at mobile world congress 2015 is likely to be a sea change. The company has decided to put rumors of becoming an MVNO to bed by integrating vertically the value chain one step further. The company will launch a MVNO service in the US, probably on Sprint and/or T-Mobile networks, blending cellular and wi-fi coverage. It starts to look increasingly like the dystopian future described here.

It is very likely that Google being who they are, will be looking at extending their services to mobile in a very different fashion than a mobile network operator. One can muse that in all likeliness, a Google subscriber (!?) with an Android device on YouTube or G+ is unlikely to pay for minutes of voice or Megabytes of data. It is likely that this first attempt to translate the very basics of mobile network economics into an ad sponsored model will have a very disruptive and durable effect on the whole value chain.

If you remember, this is not the only initiative that Google has with mobile networks. Since 2013, the company has been exploring the possibility to build and operate wireless networks in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. If you put this with the recent announcement that Telstra in Australia, Vodafone in New Zealand and Telefonica in South America have all agreed to participate in live trials of the Loon project, it is likely that Google will look at being increasingly involve in cellular networks. The project now supports LTE and balloons can stay up for about 6 months. 

Driving the nail farther in operator’s coffins, Mark Zuckergerg at the same show was advocating for Facebook’s initiative that is promoting free mobile internet access in emerging countries. The rationale here is that free internet promotes usage, which promotes engagement, which promotes new revenues. Current experiments in Millicom Paraguay or Tanzania, saw increases of data users by the tune of 30% and 10x increase in smartphone sales.

All in all, OTT providers have fundamentally different view of services and value different things than mobile network operators. The reconciliation of these views and the emergence of a new coherent business model will be painful but necessary.

More on the subject, as well as strategies from OTT and mobile network operators to monetize video in "Video monetization 2015". 
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Vasona Networks begins pilot deployment with Telefónica UK to improve mobile data experiences

Vasona Networks begins pilot deployment with Telefónica UK to improve mobile data experiences | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Vasona Networks, Inc.®, a provider of platforms for mobile network capacity, resource management and intelligence, today announces a pilot deployment with Telefónica UK. This follows trials during which the international mobile operator has achieved real-time visibility of network traffic, and active session management across individual cells when congestion occurs. The pilot covers O2’s customers in London with deployments of the Vasona SmartAIR™1000 edge application controller and SmartVISION™ analysis suite.

“Working with Vasona Networks on mobile traffic management and visibility is part of Telefónica’s commitment to great customer experiences,” says Tommy Björkberg, head of network strategy and programs for Telefónica UK. “We field tested in one of the world's most densely-populated markets to confirm the Vasona platforms’ abilities to benefit mobile data performance for our customers. This pilot deployment represents the next phase of our work together."

The Vasona SmartAIR1000 leverages dynamic rate control with feedback (DRCF) technology, detecting congestion at the cell level and taking action to minimize latency and avoid packet loss. Such improvement of RAN (radio access network) performance can improve the quality of user experiences. Additionally, analytics provided by Vasona SmartVISION present both real-time and historical traffic trends across individual cells.

“Telefónica UK is implementing a mobile traffic management solution that also provides cell-level insight to enhance network planning and to speed resolution of issues,” says Biren Sood, CEO of Vasona Networks. “Our work with Telefónica is demonstration of how Vasona Networks collaborates with mobile network operators worldwide on assuring the best consumer experiences.”

The Telefónica UK pilot currently covers O2’s 3G service and spans 700 cell sites in central London.
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8K to go commercial in 2020, says CableLabs CEO

8K to go commercial in 2020, says CableLabs CEO | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
8K is “on track to go commercial in 2020,” according to CableLabs president and CEO, Phil McKinney.

Speaking at Cable Congress in Brussels this week, McKinney said that J:COM (Jupiter Telecommunications), CableLabs’ biggest member in Japan, is on course to support 8K as part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“8K has some unique characteristics, because if you stand three feet away from a 16-inch 8K set, the resolution on that is almost as good as printed page. You’re north of 180, 200, 225 dots per inch,” said McKinney.

Speaking about the broad shift to ultra high definition, McKinney said that consumers would move from HD to 4K TV sets as part of the natural TV replacement cycle, but claimed that people are not “beating the doors down” to make the upgrade.

He said that the improved resolution afforded by 4K, coupled with deeper colours from high dynamic range, was noticeable to consumers, but said this step-up in quality was “not enough” to make them go out and replace their HD TV sets.
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Liberty Global’s Fries: US “flat wrong” on net neutrality

Liberty Global’s Fries: US “flat wrong” on net neutrality | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
Net neutrality legislation is largely unnecessary and the US’s FCC has made a mis-step in imposing Title II status on US cable operators, according to Liberty Global president and CEO Mike Fries.

Interviewed via Skype for Cable Congress attendees yesterday afternoon, Fries said “What is broken that we are trying to fix? If anyone could point that out to me I would be much more enthusiastic.”

He said the US had “flat got it wrong” and that he believed European regulators were more “thoughtful” and “balanced” in addressing the net neutrality issue.

Speaking about network operators’ policies in managing their bandwidth, Fries said that “no-one blocks anything” but that networks have to be managed in order to work efficiently.

Fries also said that Liberty Global has been pursuing a merger and acquisition strategy to bring scale to European cable with fewer hurdles than operators face in the US.

Fries pointed out in his Skype interview that cable operators including Liberty Global were investing heavily in broadband infrastructure. He said that Liberty Global companies were engaged in short range network extensions, as in the UK with Project Lightning. Fries said that Liberty could relatively easily connect buildings within 50 metres of the existing footprint, generating a financial return in the “mid-30″ per cent range.

In addition to extending existing networks, Fries said Liberty could look to consolidate smaller players in territories where it already has a presence, but indicated that acquisitions in new territories are probably not on the cards.

“There is not a whole lot left to consolidate in the markets we like but there is still consolidation to be done in themarkets we are in already,” said Fries.

Fries nevertheless said that he believe there will be more consolidation in European cable over the next two or three years.

Fries said the industry is getting more complex. Netflix drives broadband consumption and has shown by example how to create a great video experience.

Fries said that Liberty Global wants to provide ubiquitous connectivity. The company has mobile networks in nine countries and aims to get to 40% quad-play penetration, said Fries.

“Mobile is a pretty big part of our business…and the quad play is here to stay,” he said, citing the one in five cable customers in Belgium and the UK buying a mobile product from Liberty. Such customers churn less than others, he said.

Turning to the investment made by mobile giant Vodafone in cable in Germany and Spain, Fries said the move was “smart”. However, he said, “We prefer our business model [to Vodafone's], to be honest.”

Fries said Liberty Global’s recent EUR50 million investment in Formula E gave the new “ground floor” opportunity time to expand. He said he believed Formula E would be attractive to millennials.

On the evolution of the content business more generally, Fries said that non-linear digital rights will take up a greater portion of content acquisitions iin the coming years. Some channels will struggle if they don’t own their content and brands and provide distirbutors with the contnet rights they need for OTT and multiscreen, he said.
“Content owners have to get with it,” said Fries.

Fries said that traditioinally, content owners had bundled channels together and that “this strategy is running into challenges”. He said it was harder “for companies like ours to invest…in linear channels that are attracting fewer viewers”. The move to mobile consumption meant that operators needed to partner with channels that have rights to distriubte on mobile devices, he said.
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{Core Analysis}: Mobile video 2015 executive summary

{Core Analysis}: Mobile video 2015 executive summary | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
As is now traditional, I return from Mobile World Congress with a head full of ideas and views on market evolution, fueled by dozens of meetings and impromptu discussions. The 2015 mobile video monetization report, now in its fourth year, reflects the trends and my analysis of the mobile video market, its growth, opportunities and challenges.

Here is the executive summary from the report to be released this month.

2014 has been a contrasted year for deployments of video monetization platforms in mobile networks. The market in deployments and value has grown, but there has been an unease that has gripped some of its protagonists, forcing exits and pivot strategies, while players with new value proposition have emerged. This transition year is due to several factors.

On the growth front, we have seen the emergence of MVNOs and interconnect / clearing houses as a buying target, together with the natural turnover and replacement of now aging and fully amortized platforms deployed 5/6 years ago.

Additionally, the market leaders upgrade strategies have naturally also created some space for challengers and new entrants. Mature markets have seen mostly replacements and MVNO green field deployments, while emerging markets have added new units in markets that are either too early for 3G or already saturated in 4G. Volume growth has been particularly sustained in Eastern / Central Europe, North Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.

On the other hand, the emergence and growth of traffic encryption, coupled with persisting legal and regulatory threat surrounding the net neutrality debate has cooled down, delayed and in some cases shut down optimization projects as operators are trying to rethink their options. Western Europe and North America have seen a marked slowdown, while South America is just about starting to show interest.

The value of the deals has been in line with last year, after sharp erosions due to the competitive environment. The leading vendors have consolidated their approach, taken on new strategies and overall capitalizing on installed base, while many new deals have gone to new entrants and market challengers.

2014 has also been the first year of a commercial public cloud deployment, which should be followed soon by others. Network function virtualization has captivated many network operators’ imagination and science experiment budget, which has prompted the emergence of the notion of traffic classification and management as a service.

Video streaming, specifically, has shown great growth in 2014, consolidating its place as the fastest growing service in mobile networks and digital content altogether. 2014 and early 2015 have seen many acquisitions of video streaming, packaging, encoding technology company. What is new however, is that a good portion of these acquisitions were not performed by other technology companies but by OTT such as FaceBook and Twitter.

Mobile video advertising is starting to become a “thing” again, as investments, inventory and views show triple digit growth. The trend shows mobile video advertising becoming possibly the single largest revenue opportunity for mobile operators within a 5 years timeframe, but its implementation demands a change in attitude, organization, approach that is alien to most operators DNA. The transformation, akin to a heart transplant will probably leave many dead on the operating table before the graft takes on and the technique is refined, but they might not have much choice, looking at Google’ and Facebook’s announcements at Mobile World Congress 2015.

Will new technologies such as LTE Multicast, for instance, which are due to make their start in earnest this year, promising quality assured HD content, via streaming or download, be able to unlock the value chain? 

The mobile industry is embattled and find itself looking at some great threats to its business model, as the saying goes, those who will survive are not necessarily the strongest, but rather those who will adapt the fastest.
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HBO launches Netflix rival HBO Now with Apple

HBO launches Netflix rival HBO Now with Apple | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV |
HBO has unveiled HBO Now, its OTT subscription on-demand service that will allow consumers access to its premium content for a monthly rate.

The service will launch in April, marking a significant new entrant the competitive SVOD market that Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video currently dominate.

Anticipation around HBO’s OTT offer has been growing every since it was first mooted last year, as premium cable providers seek new ways to reach potential subscribers.

Recent Parks Associates research suggested as around 17% of US broadband homes would be likely to subscribe the service. Market leader Netflix has nearly 41 million US subs, according to its most recent financial filing.

HBO Now will launch through a deal with tech giant Apple on iOS devices and PCs in time for the launch of season five of fantasy ratings winner Game of Thrones. Discussions with HBO’s existing network of distributors and digital partners are on-going, the firm said.

Costing US$14.99 a month, the service will offer all of HBO’s top shows such as Girlsand True Detective, plus Hollywood movies, original HBO Films, documentaries, sports, comedy and music specials. There will be more than 2,000 titles available in total, including upcoming shows such as Westworld and The Brink.

HBO will offer a 30-day introductory free trial period to new customers that sign up via Apple in April.

“HBO NOW is the next phase of innovation at HBO,” said Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO, HBO. “With this new partnership, a natural evolution for the network, we have access to millions of Apple customers who are used to getting their favorite apps immediately. Now, they can do the same with an HBO subscription.”

“HBO NOW offers a new generation of HBO fans many of the best TV programs in the world without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services. “Now, with the same simplicity as buying an app, customers can subscribe to HBO NOW and instantly start viewing their favorite HBO programs as they air – this is huge.”

The service will sit alongside HBO Go, the on-demand service it offers its cable subscribers.
Jayomi Lokuliyana's curator insight, April 16, 6:21 AM
Fast changing digital entertainment landscape