The number of pay TV subscribers increased over the fourth quarter, but the year-over-year growth was the slowest ever for the industry. Even worse, the percentage of households paying for TV actually declined over that period, due to a constrained economy and competition from online sources.
The secret to making cord cutting mass market is for over-the-top video to become a little more like pay TV, but without the high price. With these week's news, it looks like we may be inching closer to that reality.
We are well into the first quarter of 2011 -- and TV networks still can't decide whether or not to be in the digital distribution business. But they know what they don't want -- new kinds of digital services looking to change the game again.
"The NDS Service Delivery Platform (SDP) provides an open API that acts as an interface between apps on devices, a service provider’s TV platform and social networks or other internet content. The use of a standard web interface enables a potentially limitless number of applications to aid the TV viewing experience that can be shared between operators."
"Features include search functionality; operator-customizable discovery and recommendations; dynamic recommendations; social network connections via Facebook, Twitter and email integration; remote connections to set-tops in the home to schedule DVR recordings, channel tune or start a VOD session; and cross-device access to a subscriber user profile."
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Young Britons have taken to a new television and social media trend which could have far-reaching consequences for the worlds of broadcasting and advertising, according to a new
Facebook is a top ten video destination site, due to the sharing of videos between friends. But can the social network leverage its global audience for video rentals? Warner Bros. will be the first studio to find out, renting The Dark Knight for $3 on Facebook.
"...while the Beeb is required to operate as a public broadcaster in its home country, its international division has free rein to operate on a purely commercial basis - and plans to do so with the iPlayer."
HBO gave its TV Everywhere offering a big boost today, announcing that the service now has more than 1,400 video titles available, including entire series runs of popular scripted programming like The Sopranos. It also added Cox Communications as its latest HBO Go distribution partner.
According to an ESPN analysis of Nielsen's national people meter household sample, only 0.18% cut the multivideo network cord between fourth quarter 2010 and this year's first quarter, below the rate from the prior quarter.
This is just one indication of the growing popularity of social TV, from second screens to check-ins. At the session, Sladden declared that linear TV is far from dead, but is making a resurgence. “Every tweet is a perfect little marketing message for your show,” she said. “Twitter and television have a unique relationship.
CableLabs plans to open an office in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime in 2011, as the cable consortium seeks to take advantage of the area's deep pool of technology companies and engineers... "Cable companies are rapidly moving to deliver video services across new Internet devices. Comcast and Time Warner Cable, for example, both have projects underway to provide programming to Samsung's broadband-connected TV without the need for an additional set-top."
While the availability of sports will open up a whole new potential audience for the device, the more important addition is Apple TV's ability to now stream live video, which could enable it to strike deals with content providers to stream linear TV channels.
Buried today in the iOS 4.3 release is an unmentioned, but very interesting update for the Apple TV: access to both MLB.tv and NBA League Pass. Yes, the live sports are coming to the Apple TV!
That's great news for Apple TV owners, but such functionality has actually been available for some time on the rival boxes by Roku. Still, the ramifications of this are potentially huge because the lack of sports content has been the one point used over and over again in arguments against these new wave of Internet-powered set-top boxes killing cable. Between this, Roku, and Xbox Live getting ESPN content, we're definitely getting closer to a full-on cable revolt.
TV Everywhere services are finally taking off, and some cable networks -- like HBO -- are fully invested in pursuing that strategy to increase revenues. But is TV Everywhere by itself a safe bet, when Netflix and others offering the possibility of additional revenues to cable networks?
"The product itself is a social and interactive TV software solution designed to work primarily on an Internet-connected “second screen,” such as a PC or mobile device, TVplus CEO and Co-Founder Ajay Shah tells BTR. It uses audio recognition to identify TV content, either live or recorded, as on a DVR."
The barrier to media unbundling is figuring out how to make money if you do unbundle. The first step towards real “unbundling” is to put the viewer at the center of audience building -- not channels, shows, or their massive and massively inefficient audience-seeking promotional campaigns.
CBS announced today that it has acquired online video search service Clicker.com, and will replace outgoing CBS Interactive head Neil Ashe with Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone. Clicker will integrate nicely with CBS and TV.com, providing easy-to-use search functionality and personalized recommendations.