The Online Reporter

Research, Trends and Insight into the Digital Media, Consumer Electronics & Broadband Industries

Deutsche Telekom Wants to Super Charge Vectoring to 250 Mbps

First it was Vectoring; now it’s Super Vectoring.

Deutsche Telekom (DT) says new “super-vectoring” technology can be used to increase the speed of its VDSL2 vectoring lines up to as much as 250 Mbps. That’s a substantial increase over the 80-100 Mbps that vectoring proponents had initially touted.

DT is of course facing three challenges: a) keeping happy its subscribers that increasingly use OTT services, b) keeping government regulators off its back and c) fighting off cablecos and their 100 Mbps DOCSIS networks and their coming gigabit speeds. For example, Vodafone-owned Kabel Deutschland has said it’ll offer 200 Mbps to about 3 million German residences by this coming September. Tele Columbus is said to be readying a 400-Mbps deployment.

 

telekom-headquarter-to-the-daily

Deutsche Telekom: facing three challenges

 

Concerning DT deploying the faster G.fast and its potential 400 Mbps, what we have heard is that DT’s physical network leaves too long of a distance between its current fiber nodes and the residence, meaning G.fast would not be able to provide the hoped for 400 Mbps at those distances and the costs of moving the fiber nodes closer to the residence is substantial.

Consumers, regulators and competition have caused DT to increase its planned vectoring footprint to about 80% of Germany’s population by 2018, up from its originally planned 65% by 2016.

DT is an example of the questions we asked a few weeks ago. How can telcos continue to invest heavily in broadband at a time when they are experiencing declining broadband revenues? Are their increased investments in broadband only serving to slow the rate of revenue decline? Have they waited too long to …

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 917

 

HEADLINES

YouTube’s New App Gives Kids One More Tool to Draw Eyeballs away from TV

The Wisdom of Comcast: Broadband & Content

PuppyBowl Drew 3m Streams

Sony to Spin-Out Other Operations

 

UHD

Wild America’ Series Goes 4K

Videocon Selects Cisco 4K Encoders for Its 4K Satellite TV Service

DirecTV’s Mike White Talks about Its 4K Future

Vizio to Take Prices for UHD Sets Down in 2015, Way Down

Advertising Industry Eyes 4K’s Coming

 

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

NBC’s In-Market Live Streaming Experiment Is Looking Promising

MTV Evolves with a Pair of New Mobile-First Apps

The Day of Exact Analytics Is Here

YouTube Is the World Surf League’s Global Provider

Analyst Predicts AMC Will Join Internet TV Club

Hulu’s New CSI Deal Raises Questions about CBS’ OTT Strategy

DirecTV’s White Doesn’t Think the A La Carte Model Will Work for Everyone

Discovery’s Zaslav Touts OTT Products in European Markets

Vodafone Will Offer Some Internet TV with Its Smartphones in Australia

MPAA’s WhereToWatch.com Finds Many Movie & TV Shows That Are Online

Nickelodeon’s Internet TV Service Looks to Youngest Viewers on Mobile Devices

Netflix Adds 5 More Original Kids Shows to Its Coffers

Starz Gears Up for OTT Launch in Emerging Markets’

DreamWorks Animation: AwesomenessTV Performing Well

Broadband-Only Subs Now Have Many Low-Cost Video Options

 

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

Conde Nast Taps YouTube, Buzzfeed to Grow Online Video Network

Another Streamer Gets into Digital News

DIY Video Streaming Service

 

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

BROADBAND BEAT

Cox Beats AT&T to the Fiber Push

Deutsche Telekom Wants to Super Charge Vectoring to 250 Mbps

 

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

FilmTrack Tracks Films

The Ray Super Remote Marries Smartphone and TV

 

HOME NETWORKING

Neighboring Wi-Fi Networks Can Cause Wi-Fi Speeds to Drop Significantly

 

NET-TOP BOXES

Channel Master Launches Two New DVRs for Local TV Stations

Frontier to Offer TiVo’s OTA DVR

 

WIRELESS BROADBAND

Artemis’ pCell Wireless Technology Goes on Test in San Francisco

Wall Street Journal Finds the Best Smartphone Not Sold in America

The No-Contract Wireless Fever Spreads

Orange Extends Its 30GB LTE Network in Spain

5G Tests at 1 Tbps

T-Mobile Asks FCC for Special Consideration

 

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

100m UHD Sets to Be Shipped in 2018

Kids 2 to 11 Watch Almost 112 Hours of TV a Month

The Pool of Non-Pay TV Subs Is Growing

TV Everywhere Usage Continues Skyrocketing

 

DIGI GRAMS

Demand Is Shifting to 4K

Kids Are Opening the Door to Tomorrow

Cioffi on Providing Wi-Fi with All-Fiber Gigabit Speeds

Data Big Plus for OTT

Dish: Sling TV Isn’t Disruptive, Sony Is!

TV Ecosystem Has Become Screen-Agnostic

House of Cards’ Wardrobe Available on LookLive

Broadcast Re-releases 7 Vinyl LPs

 

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AT&T Is Following Google Fiber

If AT&T were really interested in its subscribers, it would build its all-fiber GigaPower networks in locations where Google doesn’t already offer all-fiber service. AT&T picked Kansas City even though Google Fiber was already available. AT&T announced it would build an all-fiber network in Austin, Texas the same day and only a few hours after Google Fiber did. AT&T’s strategy is clearly to compete in all-fiber where Google Fiber is or will soon be or might be available.

Google originally said that its objective was to build all-fiber networks in a few cities to show traditional broadband services that it could be done and motivate them to do the same elsewhere. Well, that strategy is working, at least with AT&T but not so far with Verizon or CenturyLink, two old-line telcos from the Bell era.

 

GigaPower

AT&T: Building the all-fiber network

 

AT&T announced this week that it will offer its all-fiber network to residences and businesses in Google Fiber footprint — parts of Kansas City, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe and Overland Park. Later on it will add nearby Independence and Shawnee. AT&T said it has already connected its fiber cables to the outside of many homes and is ready to sign up subscribers.

There are many other similar sized markets that AT&T could have offered the services, markets where Google Fiber is not available. Maybe some more regulation is needed for the all-fiber market.

AT&T’s all-fiber prices are clearly aimed at Google Fiber. It’ll offer 1 Gbps service for $70 a month and a bundle of broadband and basic pay TV is $120 a month. Both rates exactly match Google Fiber. The only thing where AT&T one-ups Google Fiber is that it offers free HBO for three years. AT&T prices are fixed for three years but it only requires a one-year contract. Telephone service, which Google Fiber does not offer because of regulatory concerns, is optionally available from AT&T for $30 a month.

Want privacy when you’re browsing? That’ll cost an extra $29 a month. AT&T said GigaPower subscribers can pay an additional $29 a month to prevent their Web browsing from being tracked. It said it can only offer the $70 rate when it can collect data that help it tailor ads and offers that address subscribers’ interests.

In Baton Rouge, where there is no Google Fiber, AT&T offers these tiers:
Speed in Mbps Monthly
6 $34.95
18 $44.95
18 $49.95 including basic pay TV, one year of Amazon Prime and HBO GO
A one year contract is required for each tier.
These rates are for one particular sub-division.

Interestingly, the FCC no longer considers 18 Mbps as being broadband— and rightly so in this era of 4K video streams, the Internet-of-Things, multiple mobile devices watching online entertainment and such. See: https://www.att.com/shop/u-verse/offers.html

There are a few differences between AT&T’s all fiber service and Google Fiber:
Service AT&T Google Fiber
1 TB of Cloud Storage no yes
Phone $30/m no
Number of shows recorded simultaneously 8 5
Length of contract 1 2

Time Warner Cable, which Comcast hopes to buy shortly, competes against both Google Fiber and AT&T. Although it has increased the speeds it offers, as have most cablecos even where Google Fiber does not operate, it has not yet started offer 1Gbps service.

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has said the company will not announce any additional markets where it’ll deploy GigaPower because of possible government actions on Net Neutrality.

There are advantages to having three competitors in the market rather the traditional two — but there is a downside. Both AT&T, with GigaPower …

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Barbie Gets Connected

Will there be anything that’s not connected to the Net?

Barbie will, according Mattel, which has made millions of the dolls.

 

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Barbie: Well connected

 

An Internet-connected Hello Barbie version will be able to have two-way conversations, play games as well as tell stories and jokes.

ToyTalk developed its speech-recognition software. Mattel said it is the number one asked for function.

Hello Barbie requires Wi-Fi and has a battery usage of about an hour.

New Video Platform Vessel Makes YouTube Nervous

 – Vessel has YouTube sweating according to numerous reports.

By Kendra Chamberlain

Vessel is the newest online video platform on the block, from Hulu’s founder and former CEO, Jason Kilar.

The service is an online video platform, much like YouTube; it’s a place where both conventional and unconventional content creators post videos, develop channels and reach audiences in the online video space; and much like YouTube, content creators are able to monetize their videos through advertising.

 

Vessel_ProductShot_VideoCombo

Vessel: Attractive opportunities

 

One of the big differences between the two is that Vessel is paying its content creators 70% of the ad revenue generated by their videos, which explains why some of YouTube’s creators have migrated over to the new platform – and that’s the threat, according to the Wall Street Journal, that has YouTube signing its top content creators to multi-year contract deals to stay on the platform.

For content creators, the opportunity is very attractive. Kilar said recently that content owners can make up to 20 times the ad revenue they see on YouTube and other ad-supported video platforms. However, that revenue potential comes with a price: the content creators have to give Vessel a 72-hour window of exclusivity. That means these content creators will post their new videos to Vessel three days before they post the videos to any other video platform, including YouTube or Vimeo.

For the viewer, the value is less clear. Vessel is comprised of two tiers: a free, ad-supported tier, and a $2.99 per month subscription tier. The subscription gives viewers the opportunity to see new videos posted first – but “first” here means only three days before those same videos will appear on both YouTube and Vessel for free. The question is: Are there any viewers that want to pay to watch a video they can see for free a few days later?

Kilar says yes. “There are passionate fans that love great content and that early access is something that’s very important to them,” he said in an interview with Re/Code this week.

There are plenty of doubters out there, but to be fair this is uncharted territory. YouTube’s own subscription service hasn’t been very successful, or if it has, no one seems to want to talk about it. Part of that is due to the fact that YouTube is synonymous with free, so paying a monthly subscription fee – even if only $1.99 – seems unfair.

While Vessel doesn’t have the same associations as YouTube, the three-day window is so short that it seems unlikely that viewers will shell out monthly fees to Vessel in order to watch short videos that they can see for free in just a few days.

Ultimately, the success of the subscription service will be driven on the quality of content being uploaded to the site. The typical bedroom confessional style vlog that populates YouTube, and that has turned many a YouTube personality into a full-fledged celebrity, won’t cut it. The subscription service will need compelling, premium series that draw viewers in and will bring them back to the site week after week. We’re not talking about “Breaking Bad” here, but something more scripted than the average PewDiePie vlog.

Vessel is still working on signing up content partners. So far, it has a selection of bigger media brands that have moved into video, some pay TV companies that have clipped down programming into promotional, 2-minute tastes, and of course YouTube personalities.

Much of the buzz around Vessel has swirled around the idea of YouTubers and their respective audiences moving to the new platform. The elephant in the room is that YouTubers haven’t fared particularly well off YouTube, at least not by the metrics YouTube has helped create and define in the world of online video. For its audience, YouTube itself has become a habit, akin to turning on the TV, or putting on the radio. Viewers do it when they are looking for something specific and when they are bored, and thanks to YouTube’s recommendations and playlist features, “YouTubing” is now both a lean forward and lean back entertainment experience.

 

Vessel_ProductShot_iPadCategories

Paraphrasing Danny Kaye: Is Vessel the brew that is true?

 

Thanks to Google’s integration, and its sheer popularity, YouTube is sticky, while Vessel, at present, is slick. So if a YouTube channel posts its newest videos on Vessel, there’s no guarantee that audiences will go to Vessel to watch the videos – especially if the content will be available on YouTube just a few days later.

At least one YouTube channel feels that shifting new content to Vessel will actually hurt subscriber numbers. Steve Oh, COO of The Young Turks, told SF Chronicler that moving to Vessel would be a “crazy” move for the online video network, and that the channel would lose too many viewers. The Young Turks, instead, has expanded to Facebook with a new digital series that is exclusive to that platform.

See: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Exclusive-YouTube-pays-video-creator-more-than-6081827.php

Vessel has a few strikes against it. First, it’s a subscription model in a world of free; second, subscribers and non-subscribers alike will see adverts. Kilar has described the model as “modest advertising,” and I would agree that, in my experience the ads weren’t terribly obtrusive. Still, it may rub some consumers the wrong way.

Third, the content, at present, isn’t anything to write home about. Here’s a short list of some of the content available on the site as of press time:

Media Companies:
Time
Financial Times
Outside Television
National Geographic
Nerdist
PBS Digital Studios
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
A&E Networks

YouTubers:
Shane Dawson
Connor Franta
Good Mythical Morning
EpicMealTime
Vevo
Tastemade
Marcus Butler
Ingrid Nilsen

Vessel has also signed up a handful of high-profile exclusivity deals, including a deal with Above Average for the new season of the Web series “Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride.” The new season will appear on Vessel exclusively for the first 72 hours, with new episodes appearing every two weeks.

Vessel also this week signed a music deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), which will bow some artists’ videos on Vessel exclusively before becoming available on the ad-supported site.

“Vessel represents the latest business model innovation for premium short-form content,” said Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive officer of UMG, of the deal. UMG didn’t say which artists would participate.

Music videos could quickly become an important genre for Vessel. It’s easy to see viewers sign up for the $2.99 per month fee if it meant being able to watch new music videos from favorite artists a full three days before those videos became available on YouTube.

It will be a challenge for Vessel to sign up record labels. YouTube, remember, is trying to launch its own music-video subscription service, called YouTube Music Key, and won’t likely let those important video releases slip passed its platform easily. YouTube has the benefit of its large pocketbook, with which Vessel cannot compete.

 

Some Other First-time User Thoughts

Here are some of our other thoughts about the Vessel video service, after exploring it last week.
-Per usual, the big brands don’t quite get online video. The New York Times only offers two Web series (at present), which makes its channel boring. Same with National Geographic.
-Some big brands totally get it, though: Time and PBS are notable in this regard, especially PBS, with its wonderful “Blank on Blank” Web series.
-We bet the typical vlog-style videos won’t perform nearly as well as the scripted skit-style videos that content makers create for YouTube on this platform.
Not a single music video played for me, while most of the other videos played without pauses or buffering. Luckily for me but not Vessel, we could always find the music on YouTube and watch the video there.
-Not all the content is “short-form,” and we think there’s room for more long-form content on the site, especially behind the paywall.
-Vessel’s recommendations are hardly interesting. YouTube is a self-promoting machine, thanks to its algorithms. Vessel only seems to recommend videos from the same channel, which we found limiting.

-No playlist feature, which can be quite nice when watching a string of videos from a particular series or genre, and would likely be a surefire way to increase viewing session lengths.
-Viewers – ourselves included – will forget to go to Vessel if there’s no reason to in the first place. So Vessel will need to work out some social media campaigns. For example, …

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Sony Sees the Lights

- And It’s Not TVs, Audio or Mobile Phones
– It’s Movies/TV Shows, Music, Gaming Consoles & Image Sensors

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said that he is reconfiguring the company by spinning out less profitable businesses and focusing on the more profitable ones, according to statements he made last week.

Sony’s video (mainly TVs) and sound operations (speakers) will be put into a separate structure in October as will other unspecified business, probably mobile phones. A complete sale of the TV or mobile phones would be considered on its merit, Hirai said.

SRS-X3_Black_cw-1200

Sony speakers: one area now to be separate business unit

 

The company will focus on image sensors and other technologies that mobile phone makers like Apple use in their products; gaming consoles (PlayStation) and the online network; movies, TV shows and OTT content (Sony Pictures) and music (Sony Music) because they “are the areas that will drive sales and profit growth,” Hirai said.

“Separating our business units will make cooperating with other companies, restructuring, acquisitions and attributing responsibility much easier,” Hirai said.

Despite the recent furor caused by hackers (which has had no real impact on the business), sales at Sony Pictures are expected to increase to between $10 billion and $11 billion in Sony’s fiscal 2017. Revenue at Sony Music, with the likes of One Direction, Kelly Clarkson and Bob Dylan in its catalog, is expected to be between $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion in the same period.

 

Bob_Dylan_-_Azkena_Rock_Festival_2010_2

“His Royal Bob-ness”: Driving Growth

 

Sony’s financial results are picking up. Earlier this month, Sony forecast an operating profit instead of a loss for its fiscal year that ends March 31. It’ll still lose money for the entire year but less that it had previously forecast.

Hirai said Sony wants to grow its PlayStation network by adding more users (a low-cost PlayStation-like streaming adapter would help) and focus on Internet opportunities such as streaming music. Sony has been a leader at producing original content for OTT services.

 

Sony’s TV Conundrum

It’s unlikely that any potential buyer of Sony’s TV and sound businesses would insist on using the Sony brand to sell TVs, at least for some period of time, so that brand will be a valuable asset in any acquisition. The question then is who might buy Sony’s TV business — certainly not any of the West’s other big four — Samsung, LG or Vizio, The brand would have an enormous value to any of the up and coming Chinese set makers but they certainly don’t need Sony’s TV manufacturing operations, at least in the longer term.

Sony TV’s best bet night be a consortium of several Japanese set makers such as Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba, which might add their TV operations to a joint venture rather than separately facing the two South Korean giants and the hungry Chinese setmakers.

A few facts that’ll impact what Sony does with its TV operations:
– 4K is causing massive changes in the set-making industry.
– TV sets are lasting longer and longer so the time-between-replacement has lengthened, which reduces sales.
– The era of watching “TV” and other video entertainment on tablets and smartphones means less use of TV sets, especially by the young.
– Chinese setmakers are slowly and carefully getting ready for expanding in Western markets.
– Samsung and LG are far ahead of rivals in a) technology and b) owning their own facilities for developing technology and making important components.

What Sony has in its TV operation is some advanced technology, bloated manufacturing, a dynamite brand name in every part of the world and distribution. What it does not have is the ability to make large quantities of UHD TVs that it can sell at prices that compete in the mass market. Samsung has already captured the early lead in prices for UHD sets and LG and Vizio are keeping pace, leaving Sony behind. Sony’s strategy has been to make fewer high-quality UHD TV sets that sell for higher prices. Samsung, LG and, in the States, Vizio want to provide both high quality and mass market pricing. Samsung, for example, shaved a few dollars off its manufacturing costs by leaving 3D off of some of its UHD sets.

Companies that make only a few high-quality sets have not done well, except for Sharp but its market is now under attack. Sony knows that situation well.

What is certain is that the glory days of the Sony Walkman music player and Sony Trinitron TV have gone with the wind. Sony-made…

 

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 917

 

TOR917 front page

 

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Here’s The Holy Grail of Internet TV

Hello Apple, Google, Roku & Amazon: 4K Is Here

The Two-Year Mobile Phone Contract Is Fading

Sony Sees the Lights

Xiaomi Is Coming to the States

UHD 4K

LG’s 50-inch UHD Set Is Now Down to $698

Standard for 4K Version of Blu-ray Is Almost Complete

No 4K for 2016 Rio Olympics

Three Companies That Are Getting Ready for Internet TV

A La Carte Models Now Showing More Leg

Media Companies Caught by Surprise with Streaming Wave

A Closer Look at the Video Platform that Makes YouTube Nervous

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

The Rise of the MCNs (multi-channel networks)

It’s Engagement, Stupid!

YouTube Could Become the Global TV Provider

The Burgeoning Off-YouTube World

BROADBAND BEAT

AT&T Is Following Google Fiber

Liberty Global Plans 10m Hotspots This Year

Cox Enters into Telehealth Venture with Cleveland Clinic

HOME NETWORKING

Ethertronics’ RF Wi-Fi Beam Steering Could Kill Wireline Home Networking

WIRELESS BROADBAND

T-Mobile’s Un-carrier’ Strategy Produces $101m Quarterly Profit

 

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Netflix to Spend $5b on Content in 2016

Comcast Says 30% of Subs Now Using Its TV Everywhere App

DIGIGRAMS

Telemedicine Applications Popping up All Over

Iliad Turns French Cellular Market Upside Down

Sling TV Could Be a Perfect Complement to Netflix’

Barbie Gets Connected

TV Everywhere Might Improve Hotel TV

Apple Loses a TV Fan

More Money to Be Made Online’

Former Cord-Cutter Goes Back to Pay TV

 

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Here’s The Holy Grail of Internet TV

-Getting Rid of Islands of Content

Content distributors have begun taking steps down the path that leads to what some have dubbed the Holy Grail of home entertainment — linear TV services integrated with Internet TV services.

“A set-top box that would actually fuse OTT and traditional cable or satellite together – If I had a Holy Grail, it would be able to fuse all the Netflixes, Hulus and all that stuff together with traditional networks, so that I, as a consumer, don’t have to go out of this and into this,” said Dan Sweeney, VP at The Allant Group. “That’s one of the big barriers we still have in this space, to bring these two together.”

Sweeney spoke on a panel discussion at CES on “hybrid TV,” which refers to video services that combine OTT and traditional TV.

 

Suomenlinna_aerial

“Islands of content”: bridging the divide

 

Ty Roberts, chief strategy officer and co-founder of metadata firm Gracenote, agreed. “You’ve got islands of content. I want one world of content, not islands,” he said, and added that metadata will help index content across sources. “What’s happening on the Internet is coming together with what’s happening in the broadcast world. The search services, both inside broadcast and outside, [will be] linked together. The future is really about tagging. It’s about how you associate your content with something else that people are watching – so that online recommendation systems, or searching systems, will pull your content.”

“Personalization is going to get a lot richer,” he said.

Sling Media is one of the first companies to put an OTT service on a pay TV STB in the US, in this case, Dish Network’s satellite TV boxes. “On our set-top box, we just added Netflix,” said Michael Hawkey, SVP and general manager at Sling Media. He added that consumers can search for content across the two content sources. “Now you have an OTT service with satellite — but that’s just one OTT service,” he said. “It’s a step. We haven’t made that final leap.”

The final leap might look something like what smart TV app maker Net2TV is hoping for: “In a perfect world, our cooking shows would be right next to Home and Garden, and The Food Network; our sports shows would be right next to ESPN, our news shows would be right next to CNN,” said Jim Monroe, co-founder and SVP of programming at the company. “That’s the holy grail for us, when that barrier between linear and non-linear goes away…

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Piksel Shares Lessons on the Internet TV Services

-Skinny OTT Bundles Won’t Threaten Pay TV Biz
-User Experience and Design Are Key Elements to Success

Piksel provides an end-to-end online video solution for media companies looking to launch Internet video services. With DirecTV, Dish Networks, Verizon and others launching OTT products this year, it’s a service that is in high demand as media companies and content rights holders are focused on launching OTT products. Piksel’s clients include AT&T, Samsung, satco Sky, Liberty Global, UK’s Channel 4 and Channel 5, Sky Deutschland and Mediaset.

 

OSN unveils Guinness World Record Attempt

Middle East’s OSN: not stumped by OTT service

 

Piksel believes OTT products such as Dish Networks’ Sling TV service, can be additive to a traditional pay TV business. One of Piksel’s clients, leading pay TV network in the Middle East and Africa OSN, has seen great success in launching an OTT service.

“They launched a pared-down [pay TV] package and they did not lose any subscribers, and they did not see a noticeable drop in the subscriber growth,” said Jody Stark, global head of commercial sales at Piksel. “They did, however, see a noticeable increase in picking up these packages.”

Stark spoke on a panel at CES earlier this year. “I think that is the way to the future, and will grow the overall size of the pie,” he said. “To see the Dishes and Verizons doing it, I think it’s fantastic.”

Stark said traditional pay TV networks and providers will need to update their services in order to more effectively compete for subscribers who are now able to build their own entertainment “bundles” via Internet TV services.

“We’re going to see cable TV companies, satellite TV companies and others getting really specific and working really hard for your dollar,” Stark said. He added that these companies will focus on improving the user experience of their respective services. “They have to, and they’re going to focus a lot on design, and how that user experience and user inference works.”

“The absolute key to this is the consumer experience, that’s how it’s going to change,” Stark said.

Traditional media companies are “spending significant R&D dollars” developing interfaces and experiences that are hyper-personalized and that enable viewers to move seamless from screen to screen.

Pay TV companies aren’t the only ones interested in launching Internet TV services. Stark said Piksel is seeing more digital native media companies, like the ones that have made successful businesses on YouTube looking to launch OTT services.

“A lot of our business over the last twelve months has been these multi-channel networks (MCNs) from YouTube coming in and saying, ‘Look, it’s a great fantastic service, we love it, but they are taking forty percent of our money,’” he said. These MCNs are now large enough, both in terms of eyeballs and revenue, to think about expanding off YouTube and launching their own respective Internet TV channels.

“The take we have on it is, come to a platform like ours and develop your own service, and maintain your relationship with YouTube because it’s the world’s best marketing platform,” Stark said.

MCNs have large audiences among Millennials and, importantly, cord nevers — the viewers that …

 

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Dish Experiments with Short Form Video in Pay TV Services

Dish is the first pay TV provider to take short-form video seriously, but it won’t be the last.

Dish Networks announced earlier this year that it will begin offering the Vevo app on its Dish Hopper set-top box DVRs. Vevo is an online video network that specializes in music-related short form video, and which rose to popularity on YouTube.

 

vivek-khemka

Dish’s Vivek Sharma: Vevo deal meets demand for online content

 

“As customers watch more online content, we are making the Hopper an even more versatile hub by enabling customers to find thousands of music videos available for streaming from Vevo without the need to switch inputs,” said Vivek Khemka, SVP of product management at Dish, at the time of the announcement.

The addition is part of Dish’s wider strategy to lead on the cutting edge of entertainment services, and for Dish that includes Internet delivery, short-form video and multi-screen networks.

“We’re constantly trying to enhance your TV experience with IP connected experiences, and with an eye towards what we might be doing on the second screen,” said Jason Henderson, senior product manager of iTV at Dish.

Dish is also incorporating short-form video into its Sling TV offering, the $20 per month Internet TV service that has just launched across the US. Part of Dish’s streaming agreement with Disney includes offering some Maker Studios content in the service. Maker Studios is the YouTube MCN that Disney acquired in 2014.

“Short-form is very important to us, and we know that people want to see it,” said Henderson, who was speaking on a panel at CES earlier this year. “We’re coming up with experiences that reflect that.”

Henderson said Dish is just beginning to experiment in adding short-form video to linear TV services. “We’re going to find out, do people want to watch short-form content on their set-top box? And if so, I can imagine a whole line of other short-form experiences following that,” he said. “How are we going to get that content to you in a way that isn’t frustrating? How do we integrate it into the overall UI? There are all these questions. We can’t ignore it.”

Another key component of the next generation video service is personalization. “We are working extremely hard in personalization,” Henderson said. He pointed to a feature on the Hopper that turns linear content into on-demand content for the viewer. “It’s got to be around how you want to consume the video,” he said.

During the panel, the discussion at one point turned to TV sets recognizing who is watching, which boils down to another way for a service provider to deliver personalized entertainment to viewers. Henderson said consumers are still hesitant to embrace a TV set that can recognize the viewer when he or she walks into the living room, “partly because they have yet to see the value proposition of it, partly it’s because they’re afraid of HAL 9000,” he ..

 

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