Over the past few weeks, everyone in digital media circles has been talking about the HEVC/H.265 video coding standard including who’s adopting it, how much it will cost to license and what the launch of the Open Media Alliance might mean. The spotlight on video has burned so bright that next-gen audio has not been covered at all.
It looks like patent licensing administrator HEVC Advance has finally realized that the fees they are charging content owners to license patents from their pool are too high. In a press release announcing that integrated circuit designer MediaTek has agreed to join HEVC Advance, they also mention that they have, “received significant market feedback, particularly on content fees, and will adjust fees to support widespread use of HEVC”. They haven’t yet said how the fee structure will change, but mention that HEVC Advance is actively soliciting input from market participants and considering adjustments to arrive at a royalty structure that enables continued and rapid adoption of HEVC. [see: New Patent Pool Wants 0.5% Of Every Content Owner/Distributor’s Gross Revenue For Higher Quality Video ] It’s a bit of a confusing message as they say they will “consider” adjusting fees, but then later say they “will adjust” them. Either way, it sounds like the companies that make up HEVC Advance are coming to their senses and realizing the rates they are charging are not ones that content owners are willing to pay
Disney-owned ESPN, which charges the highest per-subscriber fees for retransmission rights to pay-TV providers and linear OTT service Sling TV, may lay off 200 to 300 of its employees as it looks to slash $100 million from its budget next year. The network has reportedly struggled to maintain its margins as the number of pay-TV subscribers continue to drop off and the cost of sports programming spirals upward. FierceCable 's Daniel Frankel has in-depth coverage on ESPN's troubles here.
In the wake of Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) announcement that its next version of Fire TV will be 4K-capable, rumors have kicked up that Roku will announce its own 4K device in the very near future. Roku 3 hardware configuration, submitted to the FCC in September.
Tribolet with Michael Tribolet, Chairman, Co-Founder CEO, YipTV Since launching its SVOD service on May 7 with 50 international linear channels, YipTV, a Fierce 15 winner, has been on a growth trajectory content-wise, boosting its available streamed channels to 73 with 25 more pending. The company tweaked its business model in July to attract more subscribers, offering 17 of its channels for free with no strings attached — no credit card required, just an email address and phone number.
Fixed-line content distributors such as Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and new mobile-first distributors like Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) go90 service all have the potential to be hugely popular OTT services, but only if they can figure out how to turn a profit on the data traffic around that service, a new report from Macquarie Research reveals. And even though Verizon is taking a bold step into a new business model with go90, and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) has an early-to-market product with Sling TV, both are at risk as new OTT competitors enter the market. In a 96-page industry report available to its subscribers, “Global OTT: 2020 Vision,” Macquarie detailed the current state of the media and entertainment industry and served up several caveats on profiting in this rapidly changing segment. “Ultimately, we believe both fixed and mobile distributors are potential beneficiaries of OTT but only if they improve their ability to monetize incremental data traffic to offset higher spectrum and networks costs,” the research firm said. Content distributors have to be agile and rapidly adapt to a newer, software-defined network (SDN) architecture to deliver new multiscreen services, Macquarie added
To date, HEVC has been a term that’s primarily used by those in the content, broadcast and video ecosystem industries. Very few consumers know what HEVC is outside of those who are tech nerds or video quality fanatics. But that may change over time as Amazon is now promoting the value of HEVC to consumers and the impact it has on video quality.
Verizon Still Scamming Customers: Tries To “Upsell” Me To 75Mbps, To Get Better Quality Netflix/iPhone Streaming
This afternoon I called FiOS tech support to ask them to stop sending me emails about the pope’s schedule of when he is on TV and what channel to watch. Verizon provides no unsubscribe link and offers customers no way to opt out, so you have to call them to make the emails stop. I was transferred from tech support to sales who said they would remove me, but also told me that I should consider upgrading my 50Mbps service to 75Mbps a month as I was told that Verizon considers me a “heavy user” of their services.
Server-side ad insertion has normally been about tackling the problems of ad blocking and device fragmentation. But we are now seeing platform shifts that change the sweet spot of ad stitching towards live and catch up TV. Client side ad SDKs have grown in sophistication, the platforms they run have become more capable and the transition to native apps brings tools for platform normalization. This enables publishers to deliver VOD client side ads very effectively. Even with these improvements, client SDKs don’t deliver a live broadcast experience for live or catch up TV
Rumor mill: Netflix reportedly talking to Disney about licensing ‘Star Wars’ films for Latin America
Could Latin America be getting the chance to stream the older Star Wars films on Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)? According to a report by The Wall Street Journal , the SVOD provider is negotiating streaming rights for five of the six films with the Walt Disney Co. The publication cited unnamed sources in the report. A spokesperson for Netflix told FierceOnlineVideo that the company doesn't comment about negotiations.