In our latest feature, I take a look at an OTT market segment that tends to get pushed aside by shinier business models like SVOD: broadcasters adding online strategies to their to-do lists. At the risk of throwing too many clich
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 predicted, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) introduced a newly redesigned Chromecast at its press event, with a sleeker form factor that it says will be easier to plug into TVs with crowded ports. It also has improved Wi-Fi capability, supporting the latest standards, and features an updated content discovery capability on the Chromecast app. Furthermore, the new device supports Sling TV. Google also debuted Chromecast Audio, a device that plugs into existing speakers so users can stream music, podcasts and other audio-only files from their Android or iOS device to anywhere in the home. The TV-compatible Chromecast will retail for the same price as the earlier version, at $35, while the audio device also retails for $35.
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.
The rights just keep on comin': Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced that it has landed exclusive streaming rights to hit series Mr. Robot , while Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) — despite increased focus on original content — nabbed global streaming rights to three more hit series, locking in Colony , Zoo , and Jane the Virgin . Amazon landing Mr.
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
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.