On Top of TV take a closer look a innovation and disruptive phenomena in the TV industry. Linear is the king, but Over The Top distribution and Transmedia storytelling is here and will have a promising future.
As the new year unfolds, it is clear that the OTT TV market is booming, and that 2013 will bring further technological innovations. Now that the industry has reached critical mass, it is creating golden opportunities for ...
On Thursday, we suggested a few apps you might want to try out during the Super Bowl to see what kind of enhanced and stimulating experiences the market has dream-up for such an event. How did they stack up?
Netflix's decision to release the first season of "House of Cards" in one swoop -- and to do the same with other upcoming originals -- has generated plenty of hype for the series and the service. But the question remains whether "House of Cards" chatter will last long after it starts streaming. And if new customers sign up specifically to see "House of Cards," how long will they stay?
"Releasing all episodes at once is a risk for Netflix," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. "There's always the risk that once subscribers watch what they want they will unsubscribe. Week-by-week viewing drives conversation. The more people that talk about a program, the more people may be compelled to sign up for the service. Netflix loses the water-cooler talk completely. They lose the word-of-mouth aspect, which they were so quick to claim helped subscriber growth this quarter."
Hulu, a Netflix rival, has so far opted to parcel out its original series on the traditional week-to-week basis, citing yet another consideration: production schedules.
iPlayer had a standout year, thanks in part to new features like the ability to download programmes for offline viewing.
BBC iPlayer continues to hit record-breaking numbers with 2.32 billion TV and radio programme requests and 36.5 billion minutes of BBC programmes enjoyed across all platforms in 2012.
While the London Olympics boosted figures - notably for the Opening Ceremony which topped iPlayer viewing in 2012 with 3.3 million requests (followed by "Top Gear" with 2.8 million and drama "Sherlock" with 2.5 million), the most notable trend in 2012 was the huge growth in requests from smartphones and tablets.
iPlayer enjoyed a 177 percent increase year-on-year in smartphone and tablet traffic, making up more than a quarter of all iPlayer requests. Desktop and notebook computers now account for less than half of the total requests.
The rise in mobile traffic was no doubt aided by the capability to download progammes to iOS devices, a feature that went live in September. Downloaded programmes now make up six percent of TV viewing on mobiles and tablets.
A fun fact, if you watch it from my home country, Norway, the iPlayer perfom best in December. This is the month when traditional tv back home has a down due to the holidays. And even more suprising, that New Year's Day this year, is the best performing iPlayer day ever.
People are streaming online video more than ever before but only 17% of pay TV subscribers have watched cable programming online using so-called “TV Everywhere” services, according to a new study.
The study, from research firm GfK Media, is the latest bad news for big media companies’ TV Everywhere initiative, which is aimed at reinforcing the value of traditional cable subscriptions. But since its launch four years ago, the effort has been plagued by delays in launch as a result of difficult rights negotiations between various entertainment companies and pay TV operators – cable, satellite and phone companies.
TV Everywhere requires pay TV subscribers to sign in with their pay TV providers’ credentials to access TV programming online. The services let people watch on-demand programs, and in some cases live TV channels, on personal computers as well as mobile devices like iPads and smartphones inside the home. In a few cases the content is available outside the home.
One major obstacle, the 1000-person study showed, is the requirement for people to sign in with their cable account details to prove that they are paying video subscribers. Seventy percent of pay TV subscribers who have ever watched programming online said they would be deterred from watching Internet TV content if it required them to sign in with their cable account credentials.
TV Everywhere began as a joint push from Time Warner Inc. and Comcats Corp. as the industry’s response to the threat of cord cutting posed by the rising tide of cheap online video alternatives. The availability of content varies with channel and pay TV provider. As a result of a deal struck between Comcast Corp. and Walt Disney Co. last year, for instance, Comcast customers can watch ESPN live outside the home on tablets or mobile phones over the Internet. But other deals have been far more limited in scope.
One of the main issues that has been separating entertainment companies and pay TV providers is the question of which will deal directly with consumers, traditionally the province of providers. While providers like Comcast have made a big push to make content available online through their own website or apps – in Comcast’s case, Xfinity — channels like ESPN, Time Warner’s HBO and CNN have their own individual apps and websites with TV programming content. Those give consumers a direct relationship with channels they haven’t traditionally had.
Zombieland is being developed as an original series by Amazon.com, according to Broadcast Now.
Originally rumoured to be heading to FOX, the series will apparently eschew the traditional broadcast model altogether by streaming on Amazon's instant video service. io9.com recently obtained some casting sheets from the show, which called for the return of the movie's four major characters - Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock - plus two newcomers, Fred and Ainsely.
Kristian Bruarøy's insight:
Amazon follow in the footsteps of Netflix and Hulu, by producing it's own originals. 1st of February Netflix will launch their +100M dollar project "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey.
If the rumours are true, it will be interessting to see if Amazon will launch all episodes in one pile, or air them on a weekly schedule.
2013 is the year social TV takes off Fortune FORTUNE -- Are you ready for the 2013 social TV wars? Twitter, Nielsen and a host of companies lined up their armies in 2012. They are poised to go at it this year.
Will 2013 be the year of social TV, when this growing sector hits the mainstream? Was 2012? There has certainly be a lot of industry activity from consolidations, acquisitions and new product launches.
Even over just the last months, GetGlue’s been acquired by Viggle, Zeebox reached US shores and already’s seeing significant number of downloads, networks like CBS have rolled out new companion experiences, Dish launched its app and there are lots of others seeking to become the breakthrough app and ‘go to’ destination.
There’s clearly a lot of dollars chasing the growing second screen audience. Numerous studies have shown that TV viewers are engaged on their devices, be they laptops, tablets or smartphones. Which of all the apps now in the marketplace will become the social TV ‘killer app’ is still to be determined – and in fact that app (or likely apps) may not even exist yet.
"Dish has upgraded its kangaroo-themed DVR with a faster 1,305MHz Broadcom processor, added Wi-Fi, integrated Slingbox, and served up a new feature called Hopper Transfers that allows you to transfer recorded programming to your iPad for offline viewing."
Users of the Sky Sports app on the iPad can from today access the same analysis tools during football matches as used by Gary Neville and Ed Chamberlain on Ford Monday Night Football. For the first time, viewers watching live coverage of Premier League games can get additional real-time information on matches, teams, tactics and players on the app.
The aim, the company says, is to take today’s fast-growing but chaotic landscape of TV “companion” apps – such as ones delivering athlete stats to people watching the Olympics, or crime-fighting details to CSI junkies—and make it easier to create and see such additional content.
The Akamai proof of concept—shown for the first time to MIT Technology Review last week—consists of a few parts. The first is a piece of software that would reside on whatever device you use, whether it’s a television set fed by a cable or satellite service, a set-top box delivering content over the Internet, or even a DVR playing a recorded show. A one-time authentication process links your tablet or smartphone to the device.
Real-time information on what show you’re watching—even as you change the channel—gets sent to Akamai’s servers. Relevant secondary information then gets streamed directly back to your smartphone or tablet in near real-time.
A new chapter in online video is about to begin. YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs, and advertiser dollars away from traditional TV, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.
YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. As of now it appears that the first paid channels will cost somewhere between $1 and $5 a month, two of these people said. In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
Boasting an unexpected quarterly profit, Netflix signaled interest Wednesday in finding new financing for more original programming.
Despite analyst expectations of a fourth-quarter loss, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming service generated $8 million in net income, reaching $945 million in revenues. That sent shares zooming 25% in after-hours trading.
In a letter to investors, Netflix indicated it is looking to raise more money through debt financing to fund original programming, in addition to refinancing $200 million in outstanding notes.
"This is about the opportunity provided by the debt market to get really low cost, long-term capital," said CFO David Wells in a conference call with analysts. "(It's) for us to preserve the flexibility, if we see massive success with originals, to expand that program and develop more down the road." On Feb. 1, Netflix will launch "House of Cards," the first of at least four original series to hit the streaming service.
The investor letter also indicated there's already enough in Netflix coffers to afford more programming. But it also warned that those costs, which already began weighing on free cash flow in Q4, are likely to get more onerous before improving in the second quarter. Original programming expenses differ from those of licensing because they typically require more frequent upfront payments.
Research from Twonky, the connected home experts, shows that over half of the UK (51 per cent) prefer to watch catch-up services on a TV, rather than a smartphone or tablet.
Only 19 per cent of people surveyed say that convenience is more important than screen size.
The last 12 months has seen a plethora of software and apps released for consuming video content on-the-go, such as Sky Go, Netflix, and 4oD. Whilst TV streaming apps are proving popular, with 41 per cent of people having downloaded at least one, film streaming apps are still lagging behind with only 13 per cent.
Gracenote and video stream management company mDialog are teaming up to create Internet-style targeted advertising solutions for traditional broadcast television.
Implementing targeted advertising requires knowledge of exactly what the TV viewer is watching in real time, and Gracenote uses advanced video fingerprinting technology to do this, identifying TV programmes and detecting any available opportunities for real-time ad insertion. mDialog's Smart Stream Platform can then insert the real-time, targeted ads into cable or satellite programming. Once an ad has run, the normal cable or satellite programming will resume. The entire process promises to be seamless to the viewer, without disrupting their experience.
Netflix Open Connect, the single-purpose video content delivery network launched last year, is now delivering the majority of Netflix international traffic and is growing at a rapid pace in the U.S. market.
In early 2012, Netflix began enabling Internet service providers (ISPs) to receive, at no cost to them, Netflix video directly at the interconnection point of the ISP's choice. By connecting directly through Open Connect, ISPs can more effectively manage their networks and more efficiently deliver Internet services to consumers, including the more than 1 billion hours of Netflix TV shows and movies consumers watch every month.
Netflix Open Connect is now widely deployed around the world, serving the vast majority of Netflix video in Europe, Canada and Latin America, and a growing proportion in the United States, where Netflix has more than 25 million streaming members.
"Leading-edge ISPs around the world such as Cablevision, Virgin Media, British Telecom, Telmex, Telus, TDC, GVT, among many others, are already participating in Open Connect to provide the highest-possible quality Netflix service to consumers," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "Our goal is to have all of our members served by Open Connect as soon as possible."
A new feature available through Open Connect partners is Netflix Super HD, the highest quality video format offered by Netflix. In the United States, Netflix for the first time also is offering a small number of titles streaming in 3-D through Open Connect partners. Depending on demand, the company will consider adding 3-D titles and expanding availability to international markets.
"These new Super HD and 3-D formats are more challenging to deliver than our other video streams, which is why we will deliver them through Open Connect," said Ken Florance, VP of content delivery at Netflix.
Amazon today announced it will create 100 new IT jobs at its Digital Media Development Centre in London.
The new recruits will work in design and development for interactive TV specialists Pushbutton and film rental service LoveFilm, both Amazon subsidiaries.
The eight floor Centre near Barbican station, which opened in September, creates interactive digital services for televisions, game consoles, smartphones and PCs, as well as features and APIs that improve the overall “digital media experience” of Amazon’s worldwide websites. It also houses the development teams for projects such as Pushbutton and LoveFilm.
The Centre is located in the Tech City area around Shoreditch, where the government hopes to establish a hive of IT activity, recently announcing a £50 million investment to transform the Old Street roundabout.
Samsung's new TVs will have a replaceable box on the back that will allow the TV owner to upgrade a set's software and hardware at a price far below that of a new set. The box is called the Evolution Kit.
Samsung said it is taking a new approach to selling televisions. Americans, on average, buy a new one every 6.7 years. From Samsung’s point of view, that is too long. It wants you to upgrade your TV every year.
Its new televisions, unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, have a replaceable box on the back that will allow an upgrade of the TV’s picture and hardware at a price far below that of a new set. The box is called the Evolution Kit.
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