News

Facebook, YouTube up the mobile live streaming ante with new features

The stars appear to be aligning for the mobile live streaming industry, as both Facebook and YouTube announced expanded capabilities for their respective apps, making live streaming more accessible and more directly competitive with Twitter-owned Periscope.

C-SPAN bypasses House blackout of Democratic sit-in using Periscope, Facebook Live

Twitter's mobile live-streaming app, Periscope, made history on two levels Wednesday, when a Democratic congressman used the app to broadcast a sit-in on the House floor, and C-SPAN relied heavily on the feed to broadcast the event, likely the first cable network ever to do so.

Netflix price hike could raise $500M in needed cash, if subscribers don't flee

As Netflix begins to phase out its grandfathered subscription prices in the U.S. – raising monthly rates for some subscribers by as much as $2, from $7.99 or $8.99 to the current price of $9.99 – the SVOD provider could see as much as $520 million per year in additional revenue, according to a Nomura Securities report.

Apple's fMP4 announcement at WWDC a 'significant step' for video encoding standards, Akamai says

Mixed among the more glamorous announcements at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference last week was one that few outside the online video industry may have paid attention to: The top software and hardware manufacturer said it will add support for fMP4 (fragmented MP4) to its HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol in iOS 10 as well as tvOS and MacOS. It's a decided move toward standardizing a key aspect of online content delivery.

Verizon's Go90 rolls out new features to attract more users

Verizon, which launched its mobile-first streaming service, Go90, just a few months ago, announced several significant changes to the app. For one, viewers won't have to register to watch go90 -- although they'll still need to do so if they want to comment or participate in other interactive elements.

Sling TV, PBS Anywhere, TV4 and other smaller, niche OTT services struggle for viewers' attention

NEW YORK -- Newer, smaller over-the-top video services have a huge hurdle to overcome as they try to reach the top of the SVOD pile: consumers who are barely aware that OTT services beyond Netflix, Hulu and Amazon even exist.

Univision taps JW Player for OTT, mobile video streaming during Copa America tournament

JW Player scored a deal with Spanish-language television network Univision to support its online and mobile streaming efforts during the Copa America Centenario, a futbol tournament being played for the first time in the U.S. throughout June. The customer win was one of several "key first quarter" deals signed by the streaming platform, along with LittleThings, an aggregator of "feel-good" content including user-submitted video.

HBO NOW outage proves OTT industry needs to look QoE problems in the teeth

In trying to corral all the industry issues raised during last week's OTT Executive Summit, I was reminded of a classic Monty Python skit featuring the Spanish Inquisition and its ever-growing list of priorities, which forces a band of inquisitors to continually halt, mid-spiel, and tack on to their bold speech. But one issue raised its head above all the rest.

OTT execs: Industry needs consistent quality of experience standards, effective monitoring tools

NEW YORK -- Standardization of online video quality -- particularly quality of experience -- is more important than ever as more OTT services enter the market, adding to the complexities of video delivery, attendees and panelists at the fourth annual OTT Executive Summit here agreed. The problem: no one can agree yet on what those standards should be.

OTT viewers would pay $2 to $15 per episode for content they want to watch

NEW YORK -- How much would an online video viewer pay for a series – or even an individual episode – that they really want to watch? According to a viewer panel at the OTT Video Executive Summit here, the price tag could be anywhere from $2 to $15 per episode.

AT&T, Chernin Group's Ellation to launch new anime, gaming and tech-focused channel

Ellation, an OTT video company whose major funding comes from Otter Media—the joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group—is launching a new multichannel video platform targeted straight at millennials.

Netflix thrilled with net neutrality decision, but pay-TV operators aren't

Reactions were decidedly mixed over the D.C. Circuit Court's decision on Tuesday to uphold the FCC's net neutrality laws. While Netflix applauded the ruling in a brief statement, other video industry organizations were not so sure.

Telletopia joins forces with Pluto TV, BitTorrent, Ventura Broadcasting to push 'TV neutrality' idea

Telletopia, a nonprofit formed to convince the FCC and broadcasters to allow it to stream linear broadcast video over the internet, has formed the TV Neutrality Alliance with eight other OTT and smaller broadcast companies. The goal is to create a level playing field in multichannel video programming -- particularly, getting the FCC back on track toward classifying OTT providers as MVPDs.

YuMe: streaming devices are 'additive,' not competing with each other

Add one more study to the evidence that most U.S. users aren't abandoning in-home streaming devices for mobile streaming: YuMe and Verto Analytics found that while the smartphone is the most prevalent household streaming device, other connected entertainment devices like streaming media players, smart TVs and game consoles play a complementary role in the home, rather than competing against other video players.

Sling TV boosts UI, adds Siri dictation along with Apple TV availability

Linear OTT streaming service Sling TV unveiled 12 new Viacom channels on Monday, bringing its total available channels (for those willing to pay for every programming bundle) to more than 365. But perhaps more importantly, the Dish Network-owned service took the stage at Apple's WWDC 2016 to announce that the app is available on the fourth-generation Apple TV -- along with Siri voice integration and an updated user interface debuting on the streaming device.

NewsON poised to thrive as local TV stations, viewers find value in streaming app

NewsON CEO Louis Gump believes the key to his company's success lies in building a great user experience within his local news streaming app, a strategy that appears to be paying off. Viewership of the NewsON app, which streams local news from hundreds of stations across the U.S., has seen double-digit monthly growth on Roku streaming devices alone in the first quarter of 2016.

Netflix releases binge-watching behavior chart

Netflix, which is notably recalcitrant to reveal its subscribers' precise viewing behaviors, watch times, or other statistics, untied the strings on its data to reveal a little bit more about binge-watching habits.

AOL's Ackerman outlines the new crossroads between digital video, television

Verizon's $4 billion buy of AOL last year was initially a bit of a surprise to the industry, but made sense in the wake of the launch of go90, its mobile-first, ad-supported video streaming service. But although the provider is supporting digital advertising efforts around go90, Dan Ackerman, vice president of programmatic TV at AOL, says that the service is just one part of its broader portfolio.

Yahoo exploring auction of 3,000 patents as Verizon tenders $3B bid for company

Even as Yahoo considers second-round offers for its core business from a shortlist of potential buyers -- including Verizon, which is offering $3 billion for at least part of the company -- the search engine and online advertising provider is considering putting up around 3,000 of its patents for sale in a separate auction.

Millennials own the most smart TVs, Baby Boomers are bigger cord-cutters: has the world gone mad?

Millennial-aged consumers may be getting more attention for their out-of-home mobile viewing habits, but the much-studied 18-34 age group apparently likes kicking back in front of the big screen as well. A new survey by Furious Corp., a business intelligence firm, found that millennials own the most smart TVs, with almost 21 percent having at least one set in their home.