About a month ago, Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with CCS Insight outlined the idea that Netflix may be a shiny acquisition target. While the thought seems a little far-fetched -- Netflix almost certainly has no interest in being bought -- it isn't the first time this possibility has been floated, and now other outlets have picked up the ball and are outlaying cases for acquiring Netflix.
At the risk of throwing too many clichés at you, this is the best of times and the worst of times for the broadcast industry. The potential to reach a greater audience is bigger than ever, but the cost and complexity involved in leveraging OTT technologies makes adding an OTT strategy somewhat risky.
Finding video Zen: broadcasters, pay-TV struggle to unify traditional video delivery with OTT strategy
Forget about disruption. Forget about content cannibalization. The overriding mission from this point forward for the broadcast, pay-TV and media and entertainment industry is to incorporate online video into their structure as seamlessly as possible. That was most obvious to anyone attending the keynotes and panel sessions at this week's IBC Show in Amsterdam.
One of the interesting things to do ahead of and during a broadcaster-centric tradeshow like IBC 2015 is to watch industry players try and predict which way the market will turn in the next six to 12 months. While no forecast is ever entirely accurate, the industry has increasingly found itself reacting to market happenings rather than driving them.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, I took a snapshot of some of the measurement data being released by three of the most prominent audience ratings firms in the U.S.: Nielsen, of course, Rentrak and comScore. Nielsen had just begun to follow the lead of its younger, more multiscreen-concentrated cousins and added a social media engagement metric to its ratings reports, and so for the first time the industry had a chance to compare how each firm was looking at engagement around TV series both on traditional television and online.
A few months ago I roughed out an outline of what consumers might end up saving -- or spending -- if they decided to cut the cord. The article caught some attention and got people thinking, and commenting, about whether my admittedly unscientific calculations were realistic. But it did surface one question. Are analysts, media, and the OTT industry itself asking the right questions when trying to learn how and why consumers cut or shave the cord?
As the market rolls into August and well into the third quarter, over-the-top video players and analysts are closely watching the next move that Netflix makes: officially launching in Japan. Slated to take place on Sept. 2, Netflix Japan will be the company's most significant international entry this year, and even CEO Reed Hastings expects a tough slog.
If it seems like FierceOnlineVideo has dedicated a lot of space this year to talking about content discovery, including elements like search and recommendation, well, it's because we have. Figuring out how to help audiences find exactly the content they want to watch is an ongoing quest for online video providers, and this year it has taken on paramount importance.
Hulu has been on a tear for the last few months when it comes to locking in exclusive deals for older TV content like Seinfeld, guaranteeing that it will have sought-after series for several years to come. But what happens after those deals expire? Hulu had better have some more good cards to play, because content-hungry competitors are storming in.
How do millennials find and watch video content? That's a question nagging both media and entertainment industry players and brand advertisers hoping to reach this coveted demographic. And there doesn't seem to be a true solution to content discovery yet.