Anyone who doesn't see 2014 as a year of large-scale changes to the way online video is marketed, packaged and perceived hasn't been paying attention. Cable operators and short-form content providers alike are preparing to take a bite out of the space occupied by Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
Roku, the maker of an online video streaming set-top box and HDMI dongle, debuted a $50 version of its Streaking Stick that will begin shipping in mid-April. The device, which connects to the TV via an HDMI port, will compete with Google's $35 Chromecast stick in delivering streaming content to TVs and other devices.
The QPlay is a Wi-Fi-connected box that streams playlists from a variety of online video sources, which can then be shared with friends or the public.
The recent peering agreement between Netflix and Comcast is expected to prompt other deals between content companies and broadband network operators.
Netflix and Comcast have reached what could be seen as a landmark interconnection deal that will give the streaming video provider what it says is a "more direct connection" to Comcast's broadband network. Interestingly, not long after Comcast made its announcement, AT&T and Verizon said they are negotiating similar deals with the streaming video company.
Verizon Communications and AT&T may be the next major telecommunications and broadband providers to strike interconnection agreements with Netflix similar to the one the streaming video service recently inked with Comcast. The deal with Comcast has sparked worries that net neutrality may be undermined as a result because Netflix will pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast's customers.
BARCELONA, Spain--Wireless operators for years have been worrying about over-the-top service providers. Indeed, OTT services are the main reason that wireless carriers in the United States and elsewhere launched unlimited calling and texting pricing plans--they were a way to remove the leverage that services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger had over users. Why shift your communications to WhatsApp when your wireless carrier already offers unlimited calling and text messaging?
If Comcast is successful in completing its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, it will become the gatekeeper to broadband customers and TV viewers in almost every major U.S. market. But as the merger heads to the review stage, what will online video players have to say about conditions for the deal?
Netflix revealed that while subscribers that use Verizon FiOS and other broadband services will see sluggish service, they can still access content, albeit at a lower quality or with some "startup delays" during peak hours, reports FierceOnlineVideo citing a Wall Street Journa l story. According to the report, some FiOS subscribers reported that Netflix streams have become "unwatchable." Read more
If the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal ultimately goes through, the market for broadband and cable service won't change much. But it will change in important ways. Comcast, for one, will soon be the gatekeeper to broadband customers and TV viewers in nearly every major market.