In my latest feature I take a look at the costs involved in cutting the cord. Even though I stuck to average broadband prices and the most popular streaming services and equipment in estimating these numbers, the breakdown confirmed a couple of big problems with living the cord-cutting dream.
February 14 wasn't just a day for couples to frantically scramble for restaurant reservations--this year it marked the tenth anniversary of YouTube's domain registration. Its first video, "Me At the Zoo"--which featured a pithy description of elephants', er--well anyway, that was uploaded on April 23, 2005.
Last week, I took a closer look at the burgeoning Hispanic online video market and asked whether programmers and advertisers were really reaching this segment. The Hispanic demographic in the United States is overwhelmingly young and has increasing discretionary income--and therefore is a prime target for any company looking to expand its bottom line.
This week, we take a look at one of the fastest-growing audience segments in online video, Hispanic viewers. This segment is becoming a powerhouse in the U.S. population, with overall spending power of $1.5 trillion--up from $1 trillion in 2010, according to numerous sources. And they're some of the most enthusiastic consumers of over-the-top video.
A recent survey by Parks Associates found that 17 percent of U.S. broadband households are likely to subscribe to HBO's over-the-top video service, once it launches this spring. That's an encouraging number, but not exactly an overwhelming pledge to try OTT services. Could Dish Network's new OTT offering, Sling TV, sway those cord-maybes?
Finally, our long national nightmare may be over: Scripted, original TV series are a hot property in Hollywood again, displacing the decade-long popularity of reality shows like Jersey Shore and the seemingly bottomless pool of Real Housewives. It's largely thanks to the challenge laid at their feet by Netflix and Amazon with original content drives that stole away millions of viewers in the past couple years. But can traditional TV handle the cost of original series?
I rarely buy electronics for family members. Older relatives aren't always enchanted by the latest smartphone or tablet, and younger folks either already have it--they trend as early adopters--or have specific technology preferences. But this year, I'm comfortable buying at least one consumer device for some of my immediate family: a streaming stick.
With traditionally linear TV companies now at the point where they must invest significantly more in IP video delivery, and no clear monetization strategy yet gelling, investors want to know if TV is still a good bet. It is--if broadcasters and networks can wrap their heads around OTT delivery.
Seems like everyone and their mother is trying to launch a content service over the top these days. But so far, the ever-growing number of available streaming services has brought in real profit to only a few--even Netflix is struggling to maintain decent margins--while frustrating consumers searching for the content they want to watch. Could alliances between online video providers--rather than industry consolidation--help resolve these problems?
Search and recommendation is the most important and pressing issue for content providers and supporting players in the next year. If they want to make money, it has to get solved. But how will search and recommendation evolve? And will customers stick around as providers try to figure it out?