“Picture-in-Picture”, the iPad only feature that comes with the iOS 9 update on newer iPads, is a new multitasking tool that requires minimal effort to integrate on existing video apps. This is also the first time Apple is introducing true multitasking on iOS, and it is unlocking exciting new opportunities and use cases for app developers. I’ve just started seeing some content owners take advantage of it and it looks as if it will quickly become a standard feature. For users, using PiP is seamless. It works automatically without requiring any activation
Digital measurement firm comScore is acquiring set-top box data measurement specialist Rentrak in an all-stock, share-for-share merger that could set venerable TV ratings firm Nielsen back on its heels. Nielsen has already been casting nervous glances at the two measurement firms. ComScore, which has a market valuation of $1.7 billion, and Rentrak, valued at $697 million, are much smaller than Nielsen but got a head-start in digital measurement. Now, as more and more providers are shifting their content to OTT, demand is greater than ever for accurate measurement of both online and linear broadcast audiences. Nielsen has responded by adding social media engagement and other digitally-focused measurement efforts, but the combined powers of Rentrak and comScore could unseat the ratings giant.
As Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) new go90 mobile-focused OTT service rolls out, the provider is announcing a number of partnership deals designed to boost both its content offerings and its advertising inventory. At an Advertising Week event in New York, AOL, which is leading go90's ad sales strategy, announced a year-long partnership with the world's third largest advertising group, Publicis Groupe, in a deal worth $50 million. Publicis will be the exclusive advertiser on the service for its first three months, starting in the fourth quarter of 2015
With one of the largest station groups in the U.S. consolidating its advertising efforts among affiliates and a consortium of broadcasters looking to start a streaming app service for their regional-local affiliates, the market for local TV stations appears to be ready to bust wide open. What is the market potential for local TV stations — what size audience can they reach, and what opportunities to monetize do they have? Current online streaming efforts are widespread but not necessarily organized
As Advertising Week kicks off in New York, Yahoo, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and AOL separately gave the multiday confab an OTT-centric push, announcing major updates to their advertising platforms. Yahoo said it has made BrightRoll its unified brand for programmatic advertising, while Google announced two key updates ad features on its platform. AOL announced the debut of LIVE by AOL, an end-to-end distribution platform for its media partners that provides production capabilities, encoding, delivery via Verizon Digital Media Services, and advertising integration. BrightRoll, acquired by Yahoo in late 2014, has been pegged to be the centralized platform for all of Yahoo's programmatic efforts. The unified platform combines BrightRoll's programmatic buying and selling features with mobile analytics technology from the search engine giant's Flurry acquisition and Yahoo's Web analytics services.
As Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) moves forward with its focus on more original series, a new study by Ampere Analysis predicts that the SVOD provider will up its spending to $6 billion before 2018 as it tracks toward a library offering 50 percent original content. Considering Netflix's potential to swell to more than 130 million subscribers by 2020, that original content bet could swing today's pricey licensing deals in its favor. “It's potentially a winning strategy if they get it right,” said Ampere's Richard Broughton. “They can reduce expenditure and improve margins by shifting to original content.” That will have longer term benefits including improved cash flow and reduced debt — two areas that analysts and investors have eyed nervously for several quarters so far
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.
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
For the past few days, transparent caching provider PeerApp has been monitoring apple.com activity for almost 70 of their telco and university customers across the globe. Not surprisingly, around 1pm ET on Wednesday after iOS 9 was released, combined traffic from iOS 9 downloads spiked to almost 13Gbps. Nearly 80% (over 10Gbps) of this traffic is being delivered through PeerApp’s cache, avoiding congesting of the operator and University network. Looking at individual systems, PeerApp said they are seeing speed improvements on the order to 10-20x; meaning customers served by their caches are getting the apple.com traffic 10-20x faster from cache. One University in particular is experiencing up to 100x speed improvement in downloads
Fullscreen, the massive Otter Media-owned multichannel network, announced it will launch an SVOD (subscription video on demand) service in the next few months. The MCN did not give any further details, like pricing, but its new direction further illustrates a trend by larger YouTube channel networks to springboard off of the Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned online video service and control its own future. “Just as premium cable networks raised the bar for television over the past decade, we aim to do the same with a new generation of creators, stars and personalities. And we're going to do it our way,” said George Strompolous, founder and CEO of Fullscreen, in a blog post on the MCN's website. Content for the premium service will be targeted toward audiences “who grew up online and live on their mobile devices,” Strompolous said