Today’s dots show that the demand for bandwidth, both wireless and wireline, is accelerating.
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100 Titles Available on 4K Blu-ray Discs – But Who Cares?
Amazon and its international sites now have more that 100 different titles in 4k from several major providers. All are playable without regional formatting blocks like those that consumers encounter on HD Blu-ray format and DVDs. Owners of 4K TVs and 4K Blu-ray players (about $245 at Amazon) can watch shows in the very best 4K (it’s not compressed) even if they have slow or no broadband. The question is how many residences have a 4K TV and a 4K Blu-ray player – and slow or no broadband. The first 4K Blu-ray players were launched in March of 2016. They do have the advantage of upscaling non-4K resolutions to near 4K – but then so do most 4K TVs. Besides, who cares about Blu-ray discs anymore now that the world has shown its preference for broadband-delivered content? Lots of titles in 4K and 4K with HDR are available on the monthly subscription services Amazon and Netflix plus a number of pay-to-view services such as Vudu and Fandango – but oddly not on Apple’s iTunes. Remember when Apple used to be the leader in high-quality video and audio?
Broadcom Buys Brocade for $5.9b
The chip making industry continues to consolidate. Broadcom, whose chips enable much of the digital media industry’s technology, has entered into an agreement to buy network gear maker Brocade Communications Systems for $5.5 billion. Brocade, which recently acquired Wi-Fi deployer Ruckus Wireless, will add to Broadcom’s fiber products and its data storage businesses. Singapore-based Broadcom was Avago Technologies before it acquired US-based Broadcom and renamed itself Broadcom. Broadcom makes connectivity chips. Brocade makes networking hardware, software and storage products. Broadcom said it intends to integrate Brocade’s fiber channel storage networking products that are used in data centers and sell the company’s IP networking business.
Facebook Rakes in $7b in Ad Revenue in Q3
– Who Lost the $7b? The TV Industry?
Who lost $7 billion in ad revenue in Q3 – the $7 billion that Facebook took in during the quarter? Most of it probably came from TV channels. Ads on mobile devices accounted for about 84% ($5.7 billion) of Facebook’s $7.01 billion ad revenue in Q3, up from about 78% a year ago, Facebook said this week, and its third-quarter revenue increased 56% from $4.5 billion in Q3 2015. Facebook had almost 1.8 billion active users at the end up Q3, up 16% from a year ago. For the first time, more than one billion users accessed Facebook only on their mobile devices. It’s a staggering thought: More than one billion people never visited Facebook in Q3 on any device other than a mobile device. Mobile ads account for nearly half of all the online ads purchased in the first half of 2016 and are the fastest growing advertising category, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
‘TV’ Viewers Watch 4 More Hours a Week on Mobile Devices
“TV” viewers (people watching videos on all devices) are watching 1.5 hours more a week than they did 2012. That is driven by an increase of 4 hours of viewing on mobile devices. Viewing on fixed devices – TV sets – has decreased by 2.5 hours a week. All this comes from an Ericsson ConsumerLab survey – Ericsson, of course, sells mobile network equipment and services. The report says that 40% of consumers worldwide are very interested in a mobile data plan that includes unlimited video streaming capabilities – 46% among Millennials who are all heavy users of mobile devices. The report makes a distinction between watching TV shows and movies on both linear TV and OTT and watching content from other sources. It said movies, TV series and other TV programs now account for 74% of viewing time. The report also differentiates between Couch Traditionalists and Screen Shifters and says that although they may spend the same amount of times watching “TV,” they watch on very different devices – stationary TV sets for Couch Traditionalists versus mobile devices for Screen Shifters.
Google’s 1st Half Ad Revenue Increased 22% & Facebook’s Increased 67%
The trend away from advertising on TV and toward advertising on the Net is mainly benefiting Facebook and Google, according to that Digital Content Next, a trade association of digital publishers and content companies. It studied numbers from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an association of digital advertisers, together with ad numbers from Google and Facebook and concluded that Google and Facebook accounted for all of the growth in online advertising in the first half of this year. Google, whose ad revenue increased 22% in the first half of 2016, accounted for 60% of the ad market’s year-over-year growth and Facebook, which grew 67% in the same period, accounted for 43% of the growth. Their total of 103%, which if accurate means that the rest lost market share. That’ll scare other Web companies that depend on ad revenue – but the most frightened must be the TV industry.
Arris Gets New President of Its Network and Cloud Operations
Arris, which has become the dominant force in set-top boxes, has made Dan Whalen its network and cloud president where he’ll be responsible for the development and delivery of the Arris’ broadband and video network infrastructure technologies and cloud-based software solutions. Whalen will report to Arris CEO Bruce McClelland, who said, “Dan played an instrumental role in scaling Arris’ global services business into a key enabler of complex customer deployments around the world. His proven track record of success, breadth of customer leadership, and strategic insights provide an excellent foundation for helping our network and cloud business achieve the next era of growth.”
AT&T Doesn’t Want Its New Direct Now to Cannibalize Its Lucrative DirecTV
AT&T’s DirecTV Now entry into the broadband-delivered pay TV service will accelerate a race to the bottom for the pay TV industry. DirecTV Now becomes available November 4 with more than 100 channels for $35 a month. Let’s face it. DirecTV Now is a true, full-blown pay TV service with lots of attractive channels that are listed here.
AT&T can’t very well keep its new DirecTV Now streaming service a secret from current DirecTV subscribers but has said it will not target any marketing at them. That would cost it dearly if existing subscribers who pay $100 or more a month started switching to new DirecTV Now. AT&T has reportedly told DirecTV technicians not to tell existing subscribers by saying, “Please note that DirecTV Now is a completely separate offering from traditional DirecTV and U-Verse and should only be mentioned to customers when those services cannot be installed. If the customer is able to receive broadcast TV service, technicians should not proactively mention DirecTV Now as it is redundant with the DirecTV and U-Verse Apps, which still offer streaming capabilities to subscribers of the DirecTV and U-Verse TV services respectively.”
A couple of other points:
– DirecTV Now is aimed at millennials who reside outside of AT&T’s wireline footprint and the 20 million homes that do not have a pay TV subscription.
– AT&T will recommend that DirecTV Now subscribers have at least 12 Mbps down. Many existing subscribers to AT&T’s copperwire broadband don’t have 12 Mbps down.
– AT&T has said that DirecTV Now streams will not count against its mobile subscribers’ data caps (zero rated), but has not said whether that is also for wireline subscribers.
– AT&T has no installations and equipment costs because DirecTV Now is an app on smart TV and mobile devices — no STB and no wires.
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