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Mobile Video, OTT and payTV
OTT Video - Video everywhere - Multi-screen TV - Mobile video
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{Core Analysis}: MSOs, wireless carriers should partner to move eyeballs to mobile devices

{Core Analysis}: MSOs, wireless carriers should partner to move eyeballs to mobile devices | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

LAS VEGAS—Cable operators looking to expand the reach of their content should consider partnering with wireless carriers to get their content onto mobile screens, according to an analyst that covers the pay-TV and over-the-top content space.

During a presentation on OTT content at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters conference here, Patrick Lopez, CEO of Core Analysis, said if pay-TV providers want to monetize content, they need to work with mobile operators because advertisers are willing to spend money on mobile advertising. "If pay-TV providers want to monetize content, eyeballs are moving to mobile screens," Lopez said. "MSOs should speak to mobile operators to figure out how to get content on mobile devices in a way that operators can support it. There's a low barrier to entry."

Interestingly, Lopez also hinted that he has heard that one pay-TV provider is considering offering an operator-branded stick, similar to Google's Chromecast or Roku, that would allow a consumer to watch, for example, Comcast Xfinity programming using a Verizon FiOS broadband connection. "There could be destruction of the current model," he said.Lopez also said that while he believes OTT content is complementary to pay-TV, he thinks an MSO/mobile network operator partnership is a more natural fit than an MSO partnering with an OTT player or a mobile operator partnering with an OTT provider.

Lopez also noted that while OTT revenues are still extremely small compared to pay-TV revenues --2013 revenues from over-the-top content was $9.4 billion compared to pay-TV revenues which were $192 billion—OTT players have managed to capture significant market share by delivering content directly to the consumer. "The ecosystem for consuming video across a variety of devices and in different environments is conspiring for an OTT explosion," he said.

Despite Lopez's observations that OTT players may not be a natural fit for pay-TV providers, an AT&T executive recently hinted that the company could use its 10.4 million standalone U-verse broadband customers to negotiate better content deals or explore the OTT model.  During a Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference last month AT&T's (NYSE: T) CFO John Stephens said: "The advantage for us is that opportunity for over the top for the broadband connections we have may be so attractive it allows us to shift gears or take risks with regard to our traditional subscription model on our 5.4 million customers."

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Vantrix Open Sources Free HEVC Encoder

Vantrix Open Sources Free HEVC Encoder | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

- Vantrix, a global provider of high performance media delivery solutions to service and content providers, today announced the creation of an open source version of the H.265 encoder, calling it the F265 project. The project aims to accelerate the industry-wide development and adoption of H.265, also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

 

H.265 is the successor to the industry standard H.264 codec used for video compression. The new specification, ratified in 2013, provides for double the data compression ratio of H.264 while ensuring the same level of visual quality. It is expected to be a major driver in the adoption of 4k Ultra High Definition and beyond by reducing the amount of transmission bandwidth required versus current standards.

 

Vantrix's F265 encoder will be licensed under the OSI BSD terms, enabling access to source code, free redistribution, and derived works. The intent is to encourage both researchers and commercial entities to contribute to the refinement and evolution of the code to accelerate the implementation of both software and hardware systems.

The project will initially target high quality offline encoding, but will not be limited to this scope. It is designed from the ground up to maximize quality and performance in offline and real time scenarios using recent hardware technology and interfaces such as the Intel® AVX2 instruction set.

 

"Similar to our own implementation of an H.264 encoder in the past, we've been developing an HEVC encoder since the final drafts of the specification in 2013," noted Jean Mayrand, Vantrix CTO and co-founder. "We now have a working baseline version and are seeing impressive compression results. We also know there is plenty of opportunity for improving real-time performance and expanding the feature set, and therefore believe everyone will benefit from a collaborative effort to accelerate development. The F265 effort attempts to make this collaboration as easy as possible."

The F265 project site is in the process of being finalized and those interested in being notified of its availability can sign up at www.vantrix.com/f265.

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Shameless self promotion: new endorsement for {Core Analysis}

Shameless self promotion: new endorsement for {Core Analysis} | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

 

"Patrick is one of the most insightful people I have met. Its unusual to find someone with such a breadth and depth of so many technologies. When I initially had the idea to found the Mobile Video Alliance Patrick was the first person I ran the idea past. Without his council and attendance at the initial meetings we would have taken a lot longer to get anything off the ground. I would recommend Patrick to any company looking for a consultant on Mobile and OTT video."Matt Stagg Senior Manager of Network Strategy at EE - Matt was with EE when working with Patrick at {Core Analysis} in 2013 and 2014




"When evaluating the acquisition of Skyfire, we engaged Patrick as part of our due diligence process. He demonstrated phenomenal strategic and technical insight, combined with strong commercial understanding of the complex OTT video market. His knowledge and analysis provided invaluable input to our decision making process." Halvor Helgo Vice President, Corporate Development at Opera Software

hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2013





“Patrick is an astute, engaging and articulate individual who has provided my company with valued data, opinion and reports on market status and dynamics in the area of OTT video. Patrick's insights have helped my company recently in developing group strategy and deployment options for video optimization and policy management. For those seeking insight in this field, I am sure Patrick is worth meeting.” June 8, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
Desmond O'Connor Vice President of Data Design at Deutsche Telekom group
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2012 and hired Patrick more than once





"Are you a decision-maker struggling with video traffic explosion on mobile networks ? Do you want to have the guidance of an expert who will not only explain the technology but also provide the road map and vision for the state of the industry, competition and business landscape. Well, Patrick is your guy. He is an excellent analyst who lays out the facts as they are. I vouch for the value he brings to his clients."
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
Serhad Doken, Senior Director, Partner Development at InterDigital Communications

"Patrick is a high-profile consultant in the video delivery industry. We hired him to help us with our specific needs, and he catered a workshop toward those needs. We find his published research very thorough and valuable, and we have high confidence in his ability to help us with strategy optimization according to our specific situation."
Bill Crean Director, Product Management at InterDigital Communications

hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2013



"We hired Patrick at Allot when I was in charge of the video business, following Oversi and Ortiva Wireless' acquisitions. Patrick provided us with outstanding data and analysis on the trends and vendors in the mobile video market. 
I would recommend Patrick to any company looking at understanding better the market threats and opportunities surrounding OTT video."
Gilad Peleg, VP Video Product Lines, Allot Communications
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2013




“We hired Patrick and Core Analysis to look at emerging market conditions while also educating our product, engineering and operations teams. He was very well prepared with meaningful information and a very professional approach to presenting the material. The follow-up was timely and overall comfort with him is very high. We will be utilizing Core Analysis in the future for other projects.” December 9, 2012Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, ExpertJack Waters, CEO, XipLink 

hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2012, 2013, 2014 and hired Patrick more than once


“We retained Patrick to conduct a workshop to present his view of the mobile video optimization market. 
I was impressed by both depth and breadth of Patrick's analysis, going into obscure details of video optimization technologies, while also offering a broader view of the segment and market dynamics. 
I would warmly recommend Patrick to any party seeking to get a quick and thorough insight into the video optimization market.” April 16, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
Alan Arolovitch CTO at PeerApp
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2012, 2013 and hired Patrick more than once

“For anyone looking to get up to speed on the technology dynamics in mobile networks in general and specifically the impact of video traffic on operators, Patrick is a great source. He knows the industry well (both operators as well as suppliers) and can provide insightful information to both beginners and industry veterans. I've enjoyed working with him."
Shahar Bar, SVP Corporate Development, Harmonic
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2011, 2013 and hired Patrick more than once“Patrick was retained for two consecutive mandates at Bluestreak. Firstly, to carry out a review of the company’s growth strategy, and make recommendations to the Management Team and to the Board; secondly, to assist with the repositioning of the company in the multi-screen video market. Patrick’s contribution was significant, and his work had a positive impact on the Company. By leveraging his experience and broad contact network, especially in the mobile market, Patrick provided a thorough and straightforward assessment of the market, analyzed the business potential of the Company’s product plans, and proposed practical and executable recommendations to the Management Team. During his second mandate, Patrick acted as an in-house Product Marketing expert, and worked with the Company’s PR agency and partners to reposition the company’s product and services in the multi-screen video market, in preparation for the IBC show. I would recommend him highly to vendors and their Boards seeking an independent expert review of their business strategy or needing assistance in repositioning their products and services.” Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative
Dominique Jodoin President & CEO, Bluestreak technology
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2011, and hired Patrick more than once“The Skyfire Executive Team retained Patrick to lead a workshop and present findings on the Video Optimization market, the nature of telco needs in the space, and approaches to valuing the ROI of deployments at wireless operators. Patrick is an expert in the field and led an engaging and thoughtful workshop, while drawing the line with high integrity between general industry dynamics and any confidential information he could not share. We would recommend him highly for analysts in the telco infrastructure space, investors, wireless operators looking to run a more insightful RFP, and vendors seeking better ways to model the value they create. Patrick is articulate, clear, and smart, and filling an important consulting need in the space.” Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Good ValueJeff Glueck President & CEO, Skyfire Labshired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2011, and hired Patrick more than once 

“Patrick is a very knowledgeable business professional and very easy to work with. He has a sold understanding of the market, and provides valuable analysis.”
Mate Prgin, Founder, President & CEO, Avvasi Incorporated
hired Patrick as a Business Consultant in 2011, and hired Patrick more than once
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Netflix CEO: “Cost sharing makes no sense” »

Netflix CEO: “Cost sharing makes no sense” » | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

The co-founder and CEO of video service Netflix, Reed Hastings, has said that sharing costs with internet services providers “makes no sense” for the firm.

Hastings took to the Netflix blog in a bid to support net neutrality in the US,  criticising the nation’s larger ISPs for charging “potentially escalating fees” to over the top (OTT) service providers to ensure quality of service on access networks. He noted that ISPs often cite the burden that OTT service providers place on their networks, but argued that it is not rational for OTTs to supplement ISPs’ costs.

“ISPs sometimes point to data showing that Netflix members account for about 30 per cent of peak residential internet traffic, so the ISPs want us to share in their costs,” said Hastings. “But they don’t also offer for Netflix or similar services to share in the ISPs revenue, so cost-sharing makes no sense. When an ISP sells a consumer a 10Mbps or 50Mbps internet package, the consumer should get that rate, no matter where the data is coming from.”

Hasting also criticised large ISPs for “extracting a toll because they can”, as they control internet access for millions of consumers. He also accused them of “sacrificing the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay.”

“Though they have the scale and power to do this, they should realize it is in their long term interest to back strong net neutrality,” he added.

Hastings also stated that in the short term, Netflix will, in cases and reluctantly, pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality of service for its customers. However, he warned that the company will continue to fight for net neutrality.

In January, Netflix warned that it “would vigorously protest and encourage [its] members to demand the open internet”, should a threat to net neutrality surface. The threat came in the wake of US operator Verizon’s successful challenge to the FCC’s open Internet Order.

 
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Netflix boss calls for net neutrality to be strengthened

Netflix boss calls for net neutrality to be strengthened | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings has called for net neutrality to be “defended and strengthened” in order to protect an open, competitive internet.

In an official blog post, Hastings said that internet service providers must provide “sufficient access to their network without charge,” claiming that failure to do so would create a poor consumer experience and harm smaller internet service companies.

“Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent, Akamai or Level 3, to deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential subscribers,” said Hastings.

He claimed that while some major ISPs in the US already practise strong net neutrality, others have constrained Netflix’s performance through a “lack of sufficient interconnectivity.”

“Once Netflix agrees to pay the ISP interconnection fees, however, sufficient capacity is made available and high quality service for consumers is restored. If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future,” said Hastings.

He added that “roughly the same arbitrary tax is demanded from the intermediaries such as Cogent and Level 3, who supply millions of websites with connectivity.”

The comments follow Netflix’s recent deal with Comcast that saw the OTT service pay for direct access to Comcast’s network in order to deliver a better quality service to the ISP’s subscribers.

“Without strong net neutrality, big ISPs can demand potentially escalating fees for the interconnection required to deliver high quality service. The big ISPs can make these demands – driving up costs and prices for everyone else – because of their market position,” said Hastings.

“Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience.”

Patrick Lopez's insight:

Powerful ISPs? I haven't heard that sentence in a long time. Poor Netflix

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{Core Analysis}: Olympics video headache: you can start panicking now

{Core Analysis}: Olympics video headache: you can start panicking now | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

If you have been in the industry as long as I am, you probably smile fondly every couple of years when vendors are pitching network armageddon because of a specific (usually sporting) event.

"How will you handle the spike and growth from <insert your favourite theme here>":

Fifa World Cup FinalsSuperbowlNew year's eve Champions League finalsStanley cup's final (this is hockey for those of you unfortunate souls not freezing in Canada)New show on Netflix...In some cases, you might have reacted with an indulgent smile, recognizing the ploy from the vendor to sell more capacity and secure their vacation bonus to the Bahamas on the network upgrade forced on you. Well... I am getting report of multiple mobile network failures during the olympics as video viewers resorted to their tiny screens to cheer for their favourite team / athletes while at work / in transit / feigning interest in boring conversation with visiting in-laws. This might be anecdotal, but evidence shows that the variance between average and busy hour in mobile video is higher than in voice, messaging and data services.  There is a certain amount of predictability to it (it is likely that football fans will try and catch video snippets of their teams if they are not in front of their TV when the game is playing after all), but the fact that this is video has a multiplier effect on the demand. Because of the voracious character of some of the devices, video players and content providers attitude towards quality, networks get oversubscribed much faster and longer than with other services.Will network operators start to consider video as a separate service and manage it actively rather than suffer its unpredictable consequences?  This and more in my new report "mobile video monetization and optimization 2014".
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{Core Analysis}: YouTube Sliced Bread: mobile indigestion?

{Core Analysis}: YouTube Sliced Bread: mobile indigestion? | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
Since 2012, YouTube has been trying to reduce dramatically the time it takes for a video to start from the moment you press play.  Flash Networks (Mobixell at the time) was among the first to detect a new proprietary implementation called sliced bread. The matter might seem trivial, but internal research from Google show that most users find a waiting time exceeding 200ms unacceptable for short videos. YouTube has been developing a proprietary protocol, based on HTTP adaptive streaming DASH to decrease latency and start time for its videos. YouTube Sliced Bread essentially compares the DASH ABR manifest with the speed and bandwidth that is available at the moment you press play and selects dynamically the closest encoding rate. Adjacent streams segments are being prepped in real time so that any change in bit rate directs a change in encoding bit rate stream dynamically. The sliced bread analogy comes in when you think as pressing play as if ordering a pre sliced loaf of bread. Only instead of getting all slices of the same size, your video player looks at the size of the connection over time and serves you slice by slice, HD 1080, 720, 360… based on what the network can support.

YouTube claims that Sliced Bread has reduced video re buffering by 40% on fixed networks. Additionally, until recently, YouTube used to download the viewing page, the CSS script and the video player for every video you click on. The company is now implementing logic to allow the player to remain from video to video, so that it does not have to be downloaded all over again. 

Furthermore, YouTube will soon start pre-loading related video content, so that if you click on a suggested video, it is already there. These “tricks” might work well in a fixed environment, where start time is paramount and video traffic volume is not relevant, but in a wireless network that is congested; these types of features would have a negative impact on the network capacity and ultimately the user experience. I have before warned about content providers' tendency to design services and technology for fixed line first.

The protocol is starting to make its appearance in mobile networks and while not yet dominating the YouTube experience, it is a perfect example of why a video service designed for the internet, to be viewed on a fixed network can have catastrophic consequences on a mobile network if not correctly adapted. This is one of the many subjects I analyse in my report "Mobile video monetization and optimization 2014".

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{Core Analysis}: PayTV vs. OTT part VII: 6 OTT Strategies

{Core Analysis}: PayTV vs. OTT part VII: 6 OTT Strategies | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
PayTV vs. OTT part VII: 6 OTT Strategies Pay TV vs. OTT:Part I: The business models
Part II: Managed devices and services vs. OTT
Part III: CE vendors and companion screens
Part IV: Clash of the titansPart V: Appointment vs. on-demandPart VII: 5 MSO strategies More developments will be presented at Monetizing OTT services - London - March 24/26
enter the discount code OTT_CORE here for a 20% discount
The internet is a perfect medium for content distribution. Storage, access, distribution is inexpensive, allowing the smallest content owners and producers to offer their wares with a small starting investment. For OTT vendors, this is both an opportunity and a threat. The long tail of the content usually find its audience through social media. Specialty content is at home on  the internet, thanks to the advances made in term of search and recommendation engine. The short tail content is pushed by advertising, rather than social interaction. The type of budget necessary to launch a new content can be staggering, as illustrated in the advertisement campaigns preceding new movies and video games. Content is king in OTT and there are a few strategies put in place by the different players in this segment to secure customers and revenue. 1.     Pay-per-view, rental, on-demand Apple’s iTunes and Amazon on demand are perfect examples of OTT services. Without subscription, any consumer with a credit card can rent and stream content to almost any screen in minutes. Revenues are generated from the transaction. They are collected by the OTT player, which then apportion it to the studio / content owner and so on. It is the literal translation of the pay TV model on the internet. Here again, the control resides in the distribution. Apple and Amazon have been successful because they have an existing customer base that they had been able to convert. This captive audience is the equivalent of the MSO’s set top box.Brands with a smaller footprint in term of device penetration have struggled to emulate this strategy. Sony’s “Video Unlimited”, available on its PlayStation and selected devices, has struggled to reach its audience, for instance. 2.    Subscription VOD Inaugurated by Netflix, it has become the reference for OTT video. A monthly subscription allows consumers to watch as many shows as they want. Success in this model relies in both the depth and the range of the catalogue. Netflix had to have headline content to attract new users and enough of a long tail to keep them there. Most SVOD strategies are monthly subscription without commitment, so they traditionally experience high churn. 3.    Free to air YouTube is the most successful OTT player with a free-to-air strategy. Acquired by Google in 2006, the web phenomenon attracts over one billion unique users each month [2]. Monetization of this strategy has been slow. Advertising is currently the main contributor, using Google ad platform, but YouTube has recently launched premium channels, allowing any channel with over 100,000 followers to go premium for as little at .99c per month. It is not yet apparent whether that strategy will be successful.Adult content is the second largest OTT player in this category, monetizing premium content through subscription. A small percentage of their viewership base subscribes to premium and generates close to 4.9 billion dollars revenue globally. 4.    Securing content If content is king, content rights are the crown’s jewel. Securing content that will attract and retain consumers is the principal occupation of OTT players. Studios and content producers now have new avenues for the distribution of their content, but as traditional Pay TV weakens in viewership, it still dwarfs OTT revenues. The most popular content can spur a viewership addiction synonymous with subscription and advertising revenue. It has become necessary for the likes of Netflix to secure access to content. In 2012, Netflix lost rights of diffusion of Starz, Encore and Sony catalogues over broken negotiations. Clearly, having your core value (content) submitted to third party control and threatened on a regular basis by the whims of negotiation is not a very good strategy for long term success. Increasingly, OTT players and channels have started acquiring and producing content exclusively in order to guarantee access, control and ultimately monetization of popular content.HBO has, for instance, developed the series “Game of Throne”, which became an overnight critical and popular success, drawing fans to the network and becoming one of the most pirated series of 2012 [4].Netflix has secured later a deal with Disney, valued at close to $300 million per year for Disney. This deal sees Netflix get exclusive access to Disney’s movies after their theatrical release. In 2013, Netflix doubles down and sign a follow on deal for exclusive Disney content “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”.5.    Favoring binge watching Consumers buying habit have changed durably, we have seen, but their viewing habits are also undergoing transformation. With the availability of whole back catalogue seasons of a series, binge watching has become a solid trend. Many viewers, when watching a streaming TV show are increasingly watching more than one show per seating. Detecting the trend early, Netflix strategy for the release of “House of cards” has been to release the full season at once, as opposed to a fixed schedule, favored by traditional TV. Netflix has since released a survey with Harris interactive showing that 61% of Netflix series viewers are binge watchers. 6.     Costs reduction In the same vein as Verizon, Netflix has undertaken to control its delivery network. Unlike Verizon, it is not an acquisition but organic development that sees Netflix launch its own CDN called Open Connect in 2012. Recognizing that delivering massive amounts of video over the internet can be costly and unreliable at scale, major OTT players look at controlling the end to end user experience and leverage economy of scale from a dedicated network infrastructure. Common CDNs are perfect for general purpose internet content but their business model and quality start to be stretched to their limit when it comes to massive video delivery.
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Comcast Bites Netflix Again By Snagging Its Big Show

Comcast Bites Netflix Again By Snagging Its Big Show | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

House of Cards may have made Netflix’s name as a source of must-see original content, but millions of Comcast customers aren’t going to need Netflix to watch the show anymore.

In a deal with Sony, Comcast will now sell its subscribers access to the first season of the political drama through its own Xfinity Store, Variety reports. In Hollywood terms, the arrangement might not be anything remarkable — just a new way of syndicating reruns. But cutting Netflix out of the picture for its signature show sends a clear signal that the entertainment and cable industries aren’t about to let some Northern California tech company change television without exacting a price.

Thanks to the company’s aggressive marketing, House of Cards is known as a Netflix show just as much as The Sopranos was an HBO show. But even the $100 million it reportedly spent didn’t buy Netflix all the rights to Frank Underwood’s Machiavellian rise. Apparently, that money gave Netflix only the exclusive right to stream two seasons online, and it didn’t even cover the total production costs of the first 26 episodes. The rest of the costs fell on Media Rights Capital, the independent studio that actually made House of Card, and it is free to sell other rights.

To make its money back, the studio has a deal with Sony to handle distribution of House of Cardsinternationally and for “home video,” a term that in the Netflix streaming-video era seems meaningless. In practice, it means Sony gets to sell House of Cards DVDs and other ways for couch surfers to pay a la carte for the show, such as on Amazon Instant Video. That appears to be the kind of agreement Comcast struck with Sony, which also lets the cable provider offer access to Sony movies such asAmerican Hustle ahead of other video-on-demand services.

For Comcast, the movies seem like the meat of the deal, while the House of Cards arrangement is more about sending a message to Netflix and the general public. The rise of Netflix and other streaming services have encouraged the rise of “cord-cutting,” which threatens the cable business, and Comcast isn’t taking this laying down. Recently, Comcast exercised its own leverage by getting Netflix to pay for more direct access to Comcast’s network, and now, the cable giant to making another move with itsHouse of Cards deal, showing that it can cannibalize Netflix’s business right back.

Not that a swarm of Comcast customers are about to go out and spend money to watch House of Cardssomewhere other than Netflix — or at least they shouldn’t. It’s not clear how much Comcast plans to charge. But on Amazon, for instance, high-definition episodes are $2.99 a piece, or nearly $39 for the whole season. That’s almost as much as five months of Netflix, which also includes season two, as well as Orange Is the New Black, another Netflix hit coming to Comcast soon. But just by making House of Cards an option, Comcast is eating into the brand identity Netflix is trying to establish for itself as the only place to watch “its” shows.

Original programming has become crucial to Netflix’s business model. By getting House of Cards, Comcast sends a subtle signal to Netflix non-subscribers that maybe they don’t need to spend that extra eight dollars after all. They might not actually pay Comcast to watch House of Cards either, but just knowing they could get the show there might be enough. On the other hand, if anyone does watch the first season of House of Cards on cable, Netflix still has a powerful advantage: the siren song of season two.

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{Core Analysis}: Mobile video monetization and MWC14 wrap up

{Core Analysis}: Mobile video monetization and MWC14 wrap up | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

This year's Mobile World Congress proved itself extremely busy, with many vendors graduating from slides to demos and customer announcements in the mobile video field.

As usual, my "Mobile Video monetization and optimization 2014" report, now in its 3rd edition, will be released at the end of March. It features the dominant market (net neutrality, privacy, sponsored data, service prioritization...) and corresponding technology trends (analytics, big data, NFV, encryption, TCP, web and video optimization, DASH, LTE broadcast, H.265, VP9, SPDY. HTTP 2.0, 4K...) as well as in depth analysis of vendors strategy in this market.


Haven't had a chance to look through all the mobile video related announcements at mobile world congress?

Here is a list of releases issued by some of the companies followed in this blog.

As it is now customary, Allot releases its "mobile trends report" in time for the show. It features a few interesting findings such as the facts that laptop dongle users seem to be more tolerant of stalls than smartphone users, continuing to watch videos after repeated stalls where smartphones tend to stop. Additionally, it shows that in the case of the network studied, the network was inefficiently allocating bandwidth, unable to recognize larger devices, video encoding and hungry video containers to alleviate video stalls...

Avvasi was one of the busiest companies in mobile video, with no less than 4 announcements, including 2 named customers: Video minutes solution launch, Wind Canada customer announcement, Virgin France customer announcement and GSMA award shortlist. The 2 named customers are both for the product launched last year to manage mobile video. Complete analysis of the solution in my report.

Citrix-ByteMobile released its latest Mobile Analytics report at the show as well. Findings include the fact that video constitutes now 32% of social networks traffic and statistics showing that while mobile advertising in 2013 doubled its audience from 2014, only one in twenty subscriber is likely to see today a mobile video ad. In other news, the company launched a new offering in the analytics space with ByteMobile Insight, fruit of a partnership with Zettics. Big data analytics seemed to be a recurring theme with many vendors this year, with virtualization a close second.

Busy with Mobixell Network's acquisition, Flash Networks nonetheless made a noticeable change in its communication and positioning with the launch of its "game changer" campaign and the celebration of Layer8, its successful carrier OTT monetization tool now deployed commercially in several networks.

Openwave Mobility launched a new engagement tool, for customer self care and operator notifications as well as the new release of its media optimization solution.

Opera-Skyfire were not overly present on the PR front, beyond anannouncement related to poor video quality in Russia's 3G networks. They will certainly be able to announce new customer wins shortly.

Vantrix made the news with two releases. A follow up to their standing partnership with Kontron on NFV and big data analytics, backed by the customary product new release announcement.

All these companies, together with Affirmed Networks, Connectem, Divi Networks, Ericsson, Huawei, Mahindra Conviva, NSN, Saguna Networks, Vasona Networks... and many others in the "Mobile video monetization and optimization 2014" report.

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Kontron joins OpenStack, takes open source cloud to telcos

Kontron joins OpenStack, takes open source cloud to telcos | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Embedded computing developer Kontron has joined the OpenStack foundation as a sponsor and is working to integrate its cloud-based application infrastructure with the open source cloud provisioning and orchestration platform. Kontron said the move is a “significant milestone” in its long-term strategy in the software defined infrastructure space, an area telcos, cloud service providers and vendors are paying more attention to as of late.

“Our goal is to make sure cloud providers, along with mobile and cable operators, can maximize the high density design of the Symkloud platform to easily scale their workloads as required,” said Benoit Robert, strategy director at Kontron.

“Creating multiple on-demand instances with OpenStack is truly seamless,” he added.

Kontron, which produces content delivery and web application infrastructure, said the company has already collaborated extensively with other independent software vendors to enable their bare-metal applications to work on top of OpenStack including content delivery applications, multiscreen subscriber services (primarily for telcos) and a range of M2M applications.

“We are pleased to see Kontron helping telcos and cloud service providers leverage OpenStack to meet their unique business and technical requirements,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation.

“OpenStack ecosystem members like Kontron are key to expanding the global footprint of OpenStack clouds,” he added.

OpenStack has already gained plenty of fame in the hosting-cum-cloud space but as telcos look to assess the next generation of infrastructure that will power their (predominately IP-based) networks, software defined networking and software defined infrastructure, both areas OpenStack delivers and indeed drives technical standards, are key areas of interest.

With carriers like Deutsche Telekom (an OpenStack backer) singing the praises of open source software, it’s only natural telco vendors like Kontron and Ericsson have been keen to get in front of the trend and deliver carrier-grade OpenStack distributions and integration.

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Flash Networks Layer8: Fastest Growing OTT Carrier Monetization Platform

Flash Networks Layer8: Fastest Growing OTT Carrier Monetization Platform | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Flash Networks, the global leader of mobile Internet optimization and monetization, announced today that its clientless Layer8 subscriber monetization and engagement platform has achieved substantial growth with the largest installed base in Asia-Pacific and Europe, reaching over 10 million subscribers during its first six months of commercial deployment, and growing rapidly every day. In addition, Layer8 achieved record high conversions for location-based advertising campaigns, with a click-through rate of 28%, where 42% of those who clicked also converted. This response rate, which is significantly higher than the average geo-aware campaign click-through rate of 1%, shows how effective Layer8 can be at engaging subscribers when offers are related to their specific interests and are synchronized to appear at the most relevant time and place.

Layer8 will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from February 24 February 27 at Deutsche Telekom's booth in Hall 3, Stand K30 and at Flash Networks' booth in Hall 5, Stand D60. The demonstration will showcase how mobile operators can partner with over-the-top (OTT) players to gain significant revenues using Layer8. It will also show how Layer8 can enable subscribers to access personal account and billing information, top-up balances, and cross sell.

"We are thrilled with the speed at which our Layer8 monetization platform has taken off," said Ken Ruck, Vice President of Monetization at Flash Networks. "Clearly there's a demand for operators looking to strengthen their position in the OTT value chain, and the high conversion rates and continuous engagement with the subscriber can mean significant revenue to the carrier."

Flash Networks' Layer8 includes an entire ecosystem for mobile content, enabling operators to become super publishers with an opportunity to promote higher targeted consumer products and services to their subscribers. An additional visual layer to the user's browser, Layer8 enables operators to reach out and market promotions directly to their subscribers in an appealing and non-intrusive way. Operators can offer personal account information as well as upsell opportunities such as data top-ups and package updates, including promotions for third parties. Flash Networks markets Layer8 through a revenue-share model and handles all the management of ad inventory, placement, and revenue models.


Read more at http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwgeeks/article/Flash-Networks-Layer8-Fastest-Growing-OTT-Carrier-Monetization-Platform-20140219#Bu25MXHxQviorXWU.99

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Informa: Netflix facing rights competition as rivals step up

Informa: Netflix facing rights competition as rivals step up | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Netflix will find it harder to secure premium content this year with increasing competition from incumbent pay TV operators and new OTT service operators, according to analysts.

TV and digital media specialists at DTVE publisher Informa Telecoms & Media are forecasting that 2014 will be the year that ‘the content rights pendulum will swing away from Netflix’.

“After convincing much of Hollywood to buy into its disruptive business model in 2013, Netflix will find it harder to secure the best content this year, as traditional TV operators and OTT new-entrants redouble their efforts to gain rights to key properties,” Informa noted.

Producers and distributors will encourage this activity, the media intelligence house added. “More competition means more revenues, so they have little interest in seeing Netflix become the all-conquering force some have predicted it will. If the OTT firm doesn’t play its cards right, it could end up looking less like the future of TV and more like just another TV network, albeit one that operates over the internet.”

Informa went on to predict that traditional broadcasters will increasingly look to live stream video this year with the 2014 World Cup a key event and opportunity to launch connected device-friendly video.

It noted: “Most of the [World Cup] rights are held by traditional broadcasters, so this will be their chance to strengthen their multiscreen proposition amid competition from OTT-only competitors.”

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Vantrix & Kontron Co-Develop Openstack Based 4k Ultra-HD Multiscreen Video Solution

Vantrix & Kontron Co-Develop Openstack Based 4k Ultra-HD Multiscreen Video Solution | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Vantrix, a global provider of media delivery solutions to service and content providers, partners Kontron, a global leader of telecom, network and cloud infrastructure platform solutions, releasing two new high performance transcoding products – Vantrix’s Multiscreen Live Transcoder and VoD (Video-on-Demand) Transcoder. The transcoding solution that operates on a open source cloud computing software, Openstack with 4k UHD and Adaptive Bitrate delivery ABR) capabilities enables service providers and high volume content providers to provide support for multiple device screen formats ranging from connected TVs to computers to mobile handsets. 

Vantrix performance testing yielded up to 180 live 1080p HD video streams or up to 10x real-time VoD HD offline transcoding per file. In addition, it can also deliver up to 18 4k@60p live streams and is HEVC-ready, said Vantrix. It added that a single appliance can run concurrent applications – such as Live and VoD transcoding, DRM encryption, and streaming – with selectable resource assignments for different uses. 

“The processing density of these appliances is impressive”, states Don Vendetti, Vantrix’s SVP of Marketing and Product Management. “The Kontron SYMKLOUD with Intel® processors enables us to demonstrate a significant volume of live streams or simultaneous transcoding operations to support ABR, 4K and even HEVC, all in a compact 2RU package.  Additionally, it allows us to reduce the typical cost of live and VoD transcoding by 25% or more.”

- Don Vendetti, SVP of MArketing and Product Management, Vantrix    

Kontron’s Sven Freudenfeld, Business Development Telecom-Cloud, adds “The density increase provided by our SYMKLOUD appliance is a perfect match for the Vantrix transcoding application and provides a major reduction in needed footprint, CAPEX and OPEX for service providers.  In addition, the power requirements are slashed to just 6 watts per HD channel.  The Vantrix virtual appliance also supports high scalability for large mobile broadcast events, such as live sports.”

- Sven Freudenfeld, Business Development TelecomCloud, Kontron    

“Vantrix used the Intel® Media Software Development Kit to quickly build and optimize for Intel®Iris™ Pro graphics hardware, which is part of the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors.”, said Bill Rollender, marketing director, Intel Communications Infrastructure Division.   “High density, low power transcoding is ever more critical for content providers to address the explosion of devices in the market.  Ease of management of these transcoding resources will be a key requirement for these providers.”

- Bill Rollender, Marketing Director, Intella

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{Core Analysis}: Video monetization and optimization market shares 2014

{Core Analysis}: Video monetization and optimization market shares 2014 | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
For those of you, loyal clients who have followed this report, now in its third edition, there will be no surprise as to why monetization is making its appearance in the title and figures so prominently in the analysis and opinions voiced there. Mobile video optimization was a solution brought forward by web optimization, browsing gateway and mobile video vendors that was positioned as a means to drastically reduce the volume of video transiting through a mobile network. With a combination of lossless (caching, pacing…) techniques aimed first at reducing the inherent waste of delivering videos created for the internet and laptops in a mobile network, the solution evolved towards aggressively reducing video volume through lossy (transcoding, transrating) techniques.

 

Vendors in this space have evolved their offering from a broad, binary application of the technology, essentially proxying and optimizing all video traffic all the time to a more granular, targeted implementation that performs optimization to portion of the traffic, at specific points in time in specific locations, driven by policy engines or relying on network congestion detection, either on explicit indication from the RAN or interpolation relying on the state of the TCP traffic. Most vendors are also now launching customer engagement tools, sophisticated analytics or new video charging capabilities to enable early monetization plays. 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.

Market sharesFlash Networks
Flash Network’s market share is 40% . It is the market share leader and has grown faster than the market since the last update, through organic growth and acquisition of Mobixell Networks.Citrix
Citrix’ market share is 30%. The company has grown faster than the market  since the last update.Openwave Mobility
Openwave Mobility's market share is 8%. The company has grown faster than the market since the last update.Venturi Wireless
Venturi Wireless markets is 8%. The company has lost market shares since the last update.Others
Allot, Avvasi, NSN, Opera, Vantrix (in alphabetical order) share the remaining 14%.The market share calculations are based on a proprietary {Core Analysis} database, collecting data such as vendors, resellers, value of the deployment in term of total cost of ownership for the operator, operator name, country and region. 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.

The market share is valid at the time of publishing but change on a weekly basis, as new deals are awarded.

The market share in term of revenue is not published here but is available as part of my workshop on the video optimization market. The rankings in term of revenue per vendor are quite different from the installed market share, as different price strategies and different geographic markets are considered.
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Allot Communications Wins New Video Optimization Contract from Asian Tier-1 Mobile Operator

Allot Communications Wins New Video Optimization Contract from Asian Tier-1 Mobile Operator | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

 

Allot Communications Ltd . ALLT -2.68% , a leading supplier of service optimization and revenue generation solutions for fixed and mobile broadband operators, today announced it has received a new contract from an Asian Tier one mobile operator for its Video Optimization solution and Allot Service Gateway, to be deployed across the operator's national network of 15 million subscribers. This is a first time order for Allot with this leading carrier.

The Allot VideoClass video optimization solution and Allot Service Gateway provide the performance capabilities that will allow the operator to accommodate its recent surge in network data traffic and OTT video traffic in particular.

"Mobile subscribers will judge the quality of an operator's network based on their video experiences. The end user does not discriminate between the content provider and the operator, and at the end of the day it is the operator they will blame for a poor quality of experience," said Andrei Elefant, VP Product Marketing and Management for Allot. "Operators are still looking for ways to optimize video and manage OTT content such as YouTube and Facebook traffic. Allot's video analytics solution can find the root causes that affect an operator's video delivery capabilities and pinpoint which traffic should be optimized and in what way. Our video optimization technology then ensures an excellent viewing experience by preventing stalls and buffering delays. With an integrated solution such as ours, operators will enjoy better network efficiency, and end users will experience the uninterrupted video delivery they desire."

Allot's VideoClass is an application-aware video optimization system that is fully integrated with the Allot Service Gateway. It allows mobile operators to dramatically improve the quality and efficiency of video delivery by optimizing for real-time network conditions and for each mobile connection. This unique dual optimization capability enables the highest quality of experience for video consumers while minimizing the bandwidth required by the video stream. For more information, please visithttp://www.allot.com/mobile_video_optimization.html .

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Apple reportedly in talks with Comcast for streaming service

Apple reportedly in talks with Comcast for streaming service | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Apple is in talks with Comcast to enter into a deal to allow Apple to launch a streaming TV service over Comcast’s cable network, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said that Comcast and Apple were discussing privileged access for traffic to reach Apple TV boxes over the Comcast network. Apple hopes to deliver live and on-demand programming and cloud-based DVR services to Comcast subscribers, according to the Journal.

According to the report, discussions between the pair are at an early stage.

Apple was previously in talks with Time Warner Cable, which is subject to a takeover by Comcast, over joint TV activities.

Reports of the discussions between Apple and Comcast follows the deal struck last month between Comcast and Netflix giving the latter direct access to Comcast’s network rather than having to deliver its content via third-party content delivery networks.

 

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Ericsson Virtualized Encoding unifies TV Anywhere video processing

Ericsson Virtualized Encoding unifies TV Anywhere video processing | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Launches industry's first software solution for intelligent utilization of multiple encoding resources, regardless of the platform 

Enables TV service providers to address the growing consumer demand for high quality TV Anywhere experiences across all devices 

Ensures best-in-class video processing performance and picture quality, while allowing most agile use of platforms and technology improvements  

In Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) vision of the Networked Society there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, 15 billion of which will be video enabled. The proliferation of these devices, combined with consumer willingness to pay for high quality, premium content, is resulting in a new age of TV Anywhere. Today's TV service providers must deal with an ever-growing level of infrastructure complexity to deliver high quality video anywhere, anytime and to any device, faster than their existing and new competitors.

As they strive to address consumer demand for TV Anywhere, TV service providers have had to make choices between balancing investment, architecture and video compression performance with their multi-screen video processing deployments. This has been especially true as service providers look to address both linear and live TV services and the rapid growth of on-demand services.

In response to this, Ericsson is launching Ericsson Virtualized Encoding, the industry's first unified software solution designed to remove the complexity of TV Anywhere video processing. The new solution is completely task and service-oriented, intelligently allocating resources and simplifying the process of selecting the right encoding method and platform based on the operator's priorities for deployment speed, video quality and output. It eliminates complexity, enables more efficient resource utilization and bandwidth management and bridges the gap between broadcast and IT infrastructures, allowing deployment of enhanced TV services much more quickly.

Michelle Abrahams, Senior Analyst at research firm SNL Kagan MRG says: "Ericsson's new virtualized encoding solution provides an answer for customers who increasingly need to prepare content in more formats for more screens than ever before. It will allow them to choose their encoding infrastructure based on factors important to them such as performance, density, and time to market."

Dr. Giles Wilson, Head of TV Compression, Ericsson says: "In today's TV Anywhere world there is no 'one-size fits all' solution to video processing and a variety of compression platforms are being used to balance investment, architecture and performance. With the launch of Ericsson Virtualized Encoding we are unifying all these processing platforms under one intelligent software abstraction layer to ensure best-in-class performance, simplification of processes, reduced operational burden and far greater agility in deploying services. Our customers are especially welcoming our approach in removing the burden of deploying HEVC compression, and the inevitable platform upgrades as performance demands increase rapidly."

Ericsson Virtualized Encoding is part of Ericsson's Video Processing range. It supports all input-types (compressed off-air or mezzanine and uncompressed), all output-types (traditional linear broadcast on cable, IPTV, DTH satellite and DTT, Multiscreen ABR delivery over IP) and all codecs (MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC). It can be implemented on processing platforms containing a combination of dedicated programmable hardware such as Ericsson's video processing chip, in customer premises and software or GPU-based servers on premise, or potentially deployed in the cloud.

Ericsson's solution builds on its video compression leadership which spans more than two decades. Ericsson is harnessing its engineering resources to bring a new approach to a complex question. Ericsson Virtualized Encoding is a further step in giving our customers the tools they need to deliver successful TV Anywhere services.

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VimpelCom CEO embraces OTT players to drive data growth

VimpelCom CEO embraces OTT players to drive data growth | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Jo Lunder, CEO of VimpelCom, believes operators must work with so-called Over-The-Top (OTT) players if they are to maximise returns from booming mobile data growth.

“First, it drives traffic and we will be able to monetise that traffic growth,” Lunder told Mobile World Live in a recent video interview. ”Second, this is what the customer wants. If it drives customer satisfaction, we’re ready to work with these types of companies.”

The VimpelCom boss is certainly an enthusiastic partner of internet-based firms. “There are so many good applications and so much innovation going on in the mobile ecosystem that we’ve partnered with more than 40 global OTT players, including Google, Facebook and WhatsApp,” he explained.

Lunder argued that monetisation of traditional data growth “probably represents the biggest single opportunity for the industry”. The CEO added that mobile traffic volumes would “explode” over the next seven to eight years, which is “a massive opportunity if we get our pricing models right on speed and quality of service.”

Although Lunder said it was important to try and protect the “old” businesses of voice and messaging, a new strategic direction was necessary. “The whole industry is changing and you have to adapt to the new reality and the new business models,” he said.

VimpelCom has christened its strategy as “smart connectivity”.

Strategy execution, however, will not be uniform. Lunder said there will be “different models in different markets”, and that there would be competition – as well as partnership – with OTT players. Amsterdam-headquartered VimpelCom has operations across Russia, Italy, Africa, Asia, Ukraine and the CIS and is the world’s seventh-largest mobile carrier.

Beyond operators’ core access product, Lunder said mobile operators had four “strong pockets of growth” of their own: mobile financial services; combining big data and location-based data to provide customers with more targeted retail offers; M2M and embedded SIMs; and the provision of more privacy and security for customers “provided they are willing to allow mobile operators to become guardians of their own data”.

Watch the whole video here.

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Mobile network operators move noisily to OTT service market - VietNamNet Bridge

Mobile network operators move noisily to OTT service market - VietNamNet Bridge | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

VietNamNet Bridge – MobiFone has announced it will develop OTT apps itself, while the military telecom group Viettel reportedly considers buying South Korean Kakao Talk.



A Ministry of Information and Communication’s (MIC) report showed that one of its key tasks in March is considering licensing MobiFone to provide OTT services (free messaging, voice chatting on Internet). However, further details have not been revealed.

If MIC gives the go-ahead to MobiFone, it would become the first mobile network operator in Vietnam that develops OTT apps of its own, according to VnExpress.

Prior to that, the representative of MobiFone once revealed its intention of joining the OTT app market. However, he mentioned the possibility of cooperating with existing OTT firms instead of developing OTT app itself.

Viettel and VinaPhone, the other two of the three biggest mobile network operators in Vietnam, still keep silent about their business plans. However, analysts believe that both the mobile network operators, which sees the turnover and profits down day by day, might have started developing OTT apps already .

Local newspapers in January 2014 quoted a Viettel’s senior executive as saying that the military telecom group has thought of buying OTT firms in order to impulse the creativeness and renovation of the group.

“If we do this (buying OTT firms – reporter), we will put the firms outside Viettel telecom as independent units, which would be a hard pressure on ourselves, because we have to get ready to compete with many other OTT apps,” the senior executive said.

Analysts commented that it would be a wise move for mobile network operators to cooperate with OTT firms. This would allow them to save the investment costs, development sources, while they can enjoy the advantages from the existing service platform.

There were rumors of Viettel’s plan to buy Viber, which was believed to be the most popular OTT app in Vietnam with 8 million users, as a part of the group’s strategy on joining the OTT app market.

However, Viettel has denied the deal. “Viettel never thinks of buying Viber,” said a senior executive of Viettel.

Viettel’s CEO Nguyen Manh Hung, when answering the local press’ questions, emphasized many times that Viettel is willing to cooperate with OTT app firms for mutual benefits. His words may be interpreted that besides the definitive purchase deals, the cooperation with existing OTT firms would be on priority.

Joining hands for the development is the way many telecom groups want to follow. The groups have even thought of launching the 3G service packages specifically designed for OTT. The cooperation would help mobile network operators save big sums of money they would have to spend if they buy OTT firms.

VTC News has quoted its sources as saying that Viettel is negotiating to buy Kakao Talk, also a popular OTT app in Vietnam. The affair, in the eyes of analysts, is very likely to succeed, because Kakao Talk once cooperated with a Vietnamese digital content service provider in the past.

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{Core Analysis}: PayTV vs. OTT VI: 5 MSO strategies

{Core Analysis}: PayTV vs. OTT VI: 5 MSO strategies | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it
If you haven't read the other posts in this series, you can find them here for context.

Pay TV vs. OTT:
Part I: The business models
Part II: Managed devices and services vs. OTT
Part III: CE vendors and companion screens
Part IV: Clash of the titans
Part V: Appointment vs. on-demand

More developments will be presented at Monetizing OTT services - London - March 24/26enter the discount code OTT_CORE here for a 20% discount

 

There are a few strategies that have been enacted by MSOs to counter the erosion of their margin and viewership brought forward by OTT. 1.     Vertical integration As control of the value chain shifts from distribution to content, it is only natural that some MSOs start to look upstream and concentrate channels, studio and production with distribution in order to regain a dominant position in the value circle. As an example, Comcast owns NBC Universal, which owns the MLB network (in a joint venture with MLB) and the Philadelphia Flyers. In one company you find premium content, production, channel and distribution.This strategy allows to control the content, with either exclusive or preferential rights for distribution, which enables a captive audience and in return higher advertising revenues, as long as the content remains popular. 2.    Multiscreen This strategy allows MSOs to offer a portion of the live and on-demand TV programming available to mobile devices (smartphones, Tablets, Phablets…) and hybrid devices (hybrid set top boxes, video game consoles, PCs,  smart TVs…). In this context, while the medium of delivery is still the internet, it is not a true OTT play. To access the content, the user must authenticate herself as a MSO subscriber. This strategy enables MSOs to “spill out” of the traditional TV screen and to offer programming on a growing medium that is favored by younger generations. Verizon’s FiOS is, for instance available on cable, internet, on ipad, on LG, Samsung TVs and on Xbox and Playstations. This strategy is one of retention, where, recognizing that consumers want to watch in a more flexible manner, it is made available on a variety of new devices, included in the regular subscription. This is about keeping people loyal to the MSO programming, countering pure OTT by offering an OTT-like experience. The strategy has not proven to increase revenue, as it is usually included in the regular subscription. It is used to reduce churn and increase loyalty. 3.    Social TV As Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media become part of our daily life, new usage patterns have emerged. Social TV is such a trend, where content success relies on recommendations, likes and sponsoring.Popular content can, in days become viral and amass millions of views. Psy, a South Korean rapper became an overnight internet celebrity, with over a billion views in six months on its YouTube channel with the release of “Gangnam style”. The virality effect is hard to predict or influence, but live TV, particularly sports and game shows are well suited for audience social interaction. By creating interactivity, content becomes simultaneously more popular and more “sticky”, as consumers watch more and longer shows when there is an emotional connection. MSOs have started to try and integrate apps for social networks in their managed devices in order to reinforce this engagement with users. The lack of standards across platforms has hindered this integration to date and Social TV remains more an experiment than a service at this stage. The strategy relies on the assumption that engagement drives viewership, which drives revenue. 4.    Going OTT If you can’t beat them, join them. There are a couple of sub strategies here. The first one is to create a web site to serve content exclusively over the internet. For instance, Hulu plus, the joint venture between Comcast (NBC Universal), Disney and News corp. (Fox) allows its customers to watch ad-sponsored current and back catalogue TV show for a monthly subscription.A second strategy is to package a channel as an internet content provider. For instance, it was announced in October 2013 that Comcast is launching a new plan for cord-cutters and cord-nevers, offering Xfinity Streampix, HBO and HBO Go together with broadband for $39.99. A US Comcast customer will be able to watch HBO over the web on their broadband subscription without having to be a cable customer. The FCC (US regulators) mandates that premium channels have to be bundled with basic broadcast, so that's in it as well, but this is a clear tipping point moment. For the first time HBO is going head to head with Netflix, going pure OTT. The implications are profound and it is a floodgate moment. On one hand, Netflix has now more subscribers than HBO, which prompts Comcast to start the self cannibalization. If you are losing subscribers, you might as well lose them to yourself and a friendly content provider rather than a competitor.Verizon’s Redbox instant is another example of a Netflix me-too strategy relying on monthly subscription. 5.    Cost reduction 

The last strategy implemented lately has been about creating the infrastructure necessary to deliver a massive amount of video, securely with high quality. While MSOs have traditionally relied on third party infrastructure, Verizon has recently innovated with the acquisition of EdgeCast in January 2014. By purchasing the CDN, the MSO will be able to reduce its delivery costs, while controlling user experience and offering wholesale service to other MSOs and OTT alike.

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AT&T to develop in car video streaming service

AT&T to develop in car video streaming service | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

US operator AT&T plans to develop an in-vehicle video service as part of its connected car offering, following on from the opening of a connected car centre in Atlanta, the AT&T Drive Studio in January.

AT&T Drive is a modular connected car platform that aims to package connectivity, billing, data analytics and infotainment to car makers and developers. The carrier has teamed up with multi-play services vendor QuickPlay Media to launch a live linear TV and video on demand streaming services to car makers collaborating with the operator in the AT&T Drive Studio.

According to QuickPlay, its solution includes a configurable, customisable client application, support for adaptive streaming, content protection with DRM solutions, dynamic advertising, banner ad support, multi-language support and featured content.

It added it will enable AT&T to provide in-car infotainment by allowing it to stream hundreds of live linear TV channels and hours of premium video on demand content.

”In-vehicle video services are going play a crucial part in making the next generation of connected cars,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, emerging devices at AT&T Mobility.

 

“Due to this collaboration, automotive manufacturers around the world will be able to provide consumers with cutting edge multiscreen entertainment.”

Connected car initiatives appear to be gaining momentum in 2014. Earlier this week, iPhone maker Apple announced the upcoming launch of Apple CarPlay, which will be available on select new cars in 2014. The firm claims it will be a smarter and safer way for consumers to use their iPhone in the car.

Last month, it came to light that the United States could soon make M2M connectivity in new vehicles mandatory, following research undertaken by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And at Mobile World Congress last month, automaker Ford rolled out an updated version of its Focus model, showcasing advanced drive assist and mobile connectivity features, while M2M specialist Jasper Wireless unveiled a cloud-based platform targeting the automotive OEM sector, helping car companies implement and enhance the connected car experience.

And in the first week of the year, leading tech firms teamed up with automotive manufacturers to create an industry alliance aimed at bringing the Android platform to connected cars. Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia joined Google to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA).

Patrick Lopez's insight:

I spoke about it last year. This is where the video streaming industry should focus its energy going forward.

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Nitin Narang's curator insight, March 11, 9:39 AM

Fourth screen is still nascent and lot to cover

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European consumers experiencing problems with internet video

European consumers experiencing problems with internet video | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Two in five European internet users say they are being prevented by their service providers from watching videos, while significant numbers are experiencing problems listening to music or using other applications, according to an EU Eurobarometer survey of 28,000 EU citizens.

According to the survey, 41% of users experience problems watching a video on a mobile device and 37% experience problems on their fixed internet connection at home due to speed limitations or blocking of content by service providers.

Twenty-three per cent said they experience problems listening to music on a mobile device, while the same proportion also experience problems uploading content on Facebook, blogs or forums through their mobile device.

Nineteen per cent recorded problems playing online games on their desktop.

The survey showed there is widespread ignorance among consumers about the speed of service offered by ISPs, with 60% saying they do not know their internet speed. Of those that do know their speed, 26% say the actual speed delivered does not match the terms of their contract. Forty per cent of all respondents have experienced aninternet connection breakdown.

“When you buy an internet subscription you should get access to all content, and you should get it at the speed you have paid for. That is what the open internet should be, and all Europeans should have access to it,” said EC vice-president Neelie Kroes.

“My goal is to protect consumers by guaranteeing an open internet across Europe and by giving them new rights and transparency regarding their internet connection. My goal is also to protect innovation, so that anyone can innovate on the open internet and alongside the internet without harming it. This would ultimately promote more competition and choice for the benefit of consumers.”

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Allot Launches New Mobile Trends Report: Factors Influencing Video Experience on Mobile Networks

Allot Launches New Mobile Trends Report: Factors Influencing Video Experience on Mobile Networks | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

 

Allot Communications Ltd . ALLT -0.51% , a leading supplier of service optimization and revenue generation solutions for fixed and mobile broadband operators, today announced the availability of itsFebruary 2014 Allot MobileTrends Report, "Measuring the Mobile Video Experience ," which explores the factors that impact video delivery quality over mobile data networks. The report examines how download bandwidth, duration, resolution, mobile operating system (iOS, Android) and video container (3GP, MP4) affect stalling, as well as how they interact to influence the overall video viewing experience.

Mobile subscribers tend to evaluate the overall quality of their mobile network based on their video viewing experience, and industry studies have concluded that video stalling has significant impact on user engagement and quality of experience. As demand for video content grows, video delivery quality continues to be an important challenge for operators. The report illustrates how video analytics can be used to address these challenges.

The statistical information presented in the report includes a randomly selected sample of 300,000 representative video detail records (VDRs) from hundreds of millions of unmanaged mobile video transactions during a given week. The source data was extracted anonymously from a mobile service provider in a developed country during December 2013.

Mobile Video Delivery - Key Findings:

Actual bandwidth allocation by the network has no correlation to the video stream requirements.

Laptops with dongles experience more video stalls than smartphones, however laptop users will continue to watch the video for longer durations, regardless of stalls.

The video delivery container directly affects the mobile viewing experience.

Insufficient allocated bandwidth for the video session will result in video stalls.

Videos watched for longer durations are likely to have more stalls.

"Since customers tend to judge the quality of their mobile network based on the quality of their video viewing experience, it is crucial for mobile operators to be able to accurately measure the experience and better understand the factors that affect it," said Andrei Elefant, VP Marketing and Product Management at Allot Communications. "This report clearly demonstrates that video analytics together with video management and optimization tools can help mobile operators improve the video experience, thus making them more competitive."

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WIND Mobile Improves the Video Experience with Avvasi Q-SRV

WIND Mobile Improves the Video Experience with Avvasi Q-SRV | Mobile Video, OTT and payTV | Scoop.it

Avvasi Inc., the world's only vendor of QoE-driven video management and monetization solutions, is pleased to announce that WIND Mobile has selected and deployed Avvasi's Q-SRV on the Xperium 40 platform.

Avvasi Q-SRV was selected by WIND Mobile in 2013 to consistently improve video Quality of Experience (QoE) while saving capacity necessary to improve the customer experience during peak traffic periods. Avvasi Q-SRV on the Xperium 40 platform provides a scalable, high-performance solution to support the explosive growth in mobile video traffic.

WIND Mobile had deployed Avvasi Q-VUE in 2011 to better understand its video traffic patterns and measure their subscribers' video QoE. Q-VUE provides WIND Mobile with unparalleled demographics and analytics, demonstrating the need for a comprehensive video service gateway solution to manage the video QoE in real time.

WIND Mobile's Ante Rupcic, V.P. Core Networks, commented, "Avvasi Q-VUE and Q-SRV represent the best solutions in the market to simultaneously measure and manage mobile video QoE in real time. Thanks to Avvasi, we are able to offer our customers an enhanced video experience on our network, while also reducing costs."

"WIND Mobile is an innovative service provider that identified long ago that the key to profitability in next generation mobile networks is video," commented Mate Prgin, President and CEO of Avvasi. "Measuring and managing video QoE in real time is crucial to OTT video monetization. Avvasi is the only company that can provide a real-time, scalable and accurate representation of a subscriber's true video experience while managing and improving overall QoE and reducing video delivery costs."

  
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