News

Comcast's new spinoff looks like a play for a piece of the OTT space

I'm writing this in the middle of an interesting and busy morning for the cable industry. As number-three MSO Charter Communications announced it was scooping up Bright House in a $10.4 billion transaction, Comcast announced it was spinning off Michael Angelakis, its chief financial officer, into a new investment venture. Could Comcast be looking to dominate the online video space?

Charting OTT's audience: stats from Rentrak, comScore, Nielsen

What are online audiences watching this year? How are they engaging with their content across platforms? In this quarterly update we'll present some raw stats released by online audience measurement firms including comScore, Rentrak and Nielsen.

Netflix's master plan is global content licensing

Determining top SVOD provider Netflix's next move is sometimes difficult. Unless CEO Reed Hastings or content guru Ted Sarandos specifically makes a statement on their intentions, the way it strategizes content acquisition or creation isn't always clear. However, Hastings' recent comments on combating online video piracy made it clear that Netflix has a goal to get worldwide licensing rights to all of the content on Netflix, in every country.

Meerkat, Periscope leap to forefront of attention in live-streaming's growth

Live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope are helping drive an incremental shift in audiences' attention toward user-generated live-streaming, something Twitch jump-started and that social media may push forward.

3Play Media aims to lower online video captioning barriers as accessibility advocates step up their game

As regulations around captioning of online content take hold--including, as of January 2016, video clips--online video providers increasingly are looking for solutions that make the captioning process easier and more affordable.

PlayStation Vue, Sony's OTT gold chip, may be a dud

Dead on arrival: That's the prognosis of online video industry analyst Joel Espelien of The Diffusion Group, who declared Sony's new OTT service, PlayStation Vue, a "well-intentioned" product that does a poor job of targeting its key demographic, male millennials.

Consumer frustration drives online video piracy

Despite the efforts of organizations like the MPAA and RIAA over the past decade and a half--many of which were outright public relations disasters--online piracy continues and according to some statistics is on the rise. What is driving consumers' attraction to illegal online video content?

Online video piracy: Ways the industry could address the growing problem

Online video piracy, once thought on the wane thanks to inexpensive SVOD services like Hulu and Netflix, is showing that it's still a resilient foe, according to recent findings. To combat illegal downloads and streaming, industry players may need to toss out old solutions and adopt tactics that seem, on the surface, a little crazy.

Vessel launches to the public with 135 channels of subscriber-exclusive content

The online video world will find out whether Jason Kilar's latest venture, Vessel, is ready for prime time. The SVOD service, after a few months in beta, has launched to the general public, offering monthly subscriptions for $2.99.

NFL plans to stream Jaguars-Bills game over the top this fall

Call it a one-yard gain for the OTT team: The NFL has earmarked one of its Week 7 games, the Jacksonville Jaguars-Buffalo Bills game being played in London, England, to be streaming-only. The event won't be available via broadcast TV, nor will it be shown on DirecTV's Sunday Ticket service.

Yahoo, AOL debut new series as original content race enters next stage

As March Madness gripped the nation this week, Yahoo Screen debuted Sin City Saints, a half-hour, basketball-themed original comedy series. Likewise, its competitor AOL Originals debuted its first long-form original series, making the first four episodes of Connected available exclusively to Roku users via the AOL On app.

Netflix's Aussie strategy: Let 'em VPN, at least up until launch

SVOD provider Netflix, which launches in Australia on March 24, has taken a page out of HBO's marketing playbook. The company is reportedly "looking the other way" regarding VPN masking, which allows Aussies to access the U.S. region of its streaming service, in order to build hype around its upcoming local product, Mashable says.

Analyst questions reports of 'special treatment' deals between ISPs and streaming video providers

The Wall Street Journal created a mild furor with an article suggesting that Internet service providers like Comcast may be working out deals with high-volume online video providers like HBO to give their data "special treatment," such as dedicated fast lanes. However, at least one media outlet is questioning the accuracy of the story.

Ooyala's Videoplaza joins forces with TubeMogul for premium programmatic advertising

Ooyala-owned video advertising provider Videoplaza is teaming up with TubeMogul, which creates enterprise software for video ads, on what it calls a "premium programmatic marketplace" designed to attract large brands and content providers.

Predicting 2015's biggest pay-TV carriage fights

The licensing and retransmission battles between programmers and pay-TV operators have taken on near-legendary status over the past few years, as costs for content continue to rise. From Dish Network's bitter words with Turner Networks to Viacom's tete-a-tete with Suddenlink Communications that saw all its channels pulled off the MSO, carriage negotiations have become nail-biting shows worthy of bringing popcorn along to watch.

SVOD drives connected device ownership, usage in U.S. homes, Nielsen says

Households that have at least one SVOD (subscription video on demand) service, like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu, are above-average across the board when it comes to ownership of streaming-capable devices, PCs, tablets, and HD or smart TVs, according to Nielsen's latest audience report.

Imagine rolls out cloud-based DVR, dynamic ad insertion

Multiscreen solutions provider Imagine Communications, a historically broadcast-focused provider, is taking a more holistic view of the IP video ecosystem, launching two components on its new CloudXtream platform: cloud DVR capability, and dynamic ad insertion. The services could be a value-add for emerging linear OTT providers like Sling TV, Sony, and Apple TV's rumored linear service, the company says.

OTT update: HBO's partnership play; Apple's linear aspirations

More details are beginning to emerge on HBO's new standalone online video service, HBO Now. The latest: Its deal to launch exclusively on Apple TV is apparently part of a strategy to be available to subscribers through partners, rather than directly.

YouTube going on the defensive as competition moves in: report

Google's golden goose, YouTube, is increasingly on the defensive, both from SVOD players like Hulu and Netflix, and from social media OTT plays like those of Facebook and Twitter. And that protective mentality is costing the online video giant both creative talent and market share, a Variety story says.

Report: 25.2% of users have downloaded TV Everywhere app

While consumers are increasingly using tablets and smartphones to access video content, they're still not taking full advantage of their pay TV service provider's TV Everywhere offering, a pair of reports issued this week indicated.