Archive for the 'IPTV' Category

Global TV-Series Release Strategy Has To Change

January 21, 2009

TV stations in Germany have to notice that audience ratings of “blockbuster” TV Series like Lost are constantly not as high as years before, the German newspaper Süddeutsche reports.

A reason for this could be seen in the huge delay of release dates in the German market compared to the US releases. Often series were brought months later to the German market like in the example Lost, where the latest season started 12 months later.

Of course this incentives the fans to get their shows somewhere online, which obviously lowers the demand and “hype” about a free TV release months later. “The dark market” for streaming online services is getting better and better and many episodes have  even German subtitles just a few days after the U.S. release. A study of the research company tfactory shows that more than 50% between 15 and 25 years old are watching TV series online now. So also the awareness for illegal alternatives is rising.

I´m surprised that this discussion didn´t start earlier. Obviously the usage of mostly illegal web TV streaming websites are rising to a critical mass.

The strategy of production companies and TV stations is probably to wait how the series perform in the US key market before selling it to the global market in order to minimize their risks. But in my opinion, like in the movie industry, the global release has to be simultaneously in the future. The TV companies must react and have to change there release windowing strategy for the global market. Synchronizing issues can´t be an excuse.

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State of the Mediasphere – Monaco Media Forum

December 10, 2008

Three weeks ago at the Monaco Media Forum Jeffrey Cole (USC Annenberg School for Communication, Director of the Center for the Digital Future) had an worth watching talk at about the state of the mediasphere. He summarized quite well the status quo of the media industry in the digital age and gave a small insight in his research, where he tries to figure out why there is only a small willingness to pay for digital content.
The average American household spent 260 Dollars per month on communication services that didn´t exist a generation ago. He thinks people are not willing to pay more on top of this and sees that as an argument for advertising as the future business model, which enables “feels like free” content. But that´s not the only reason why he sees the future in advertising, but also cause of the high potential of personalized online advertising, that will be more effective than advertising was ever before.

Another worth watching video of the Monaco Media Forum is the panel “The Revolution Will Be Streamed” with Henrique de Castro (Google), Nancy Cruickshank (VideoJug), Dina Kaplan (Blip.tv), Mike Volpi (Joos) and Dan Scheinman (Cisco Media Solution) moderated by Jack Myers. A very interesting discussion about the status quo in the web video industry and the potenial of the online video market especially in the area of advertising.

Intel Brings Internet To Television

September 19, 2008

The next step on the mission – “the third screen goes internet”…
A few weeks ago Intel announced in cooperation with Yahoo! a new kind of interactive television. They call it “widget channel” or “cinematic Internet”.  This “connected television” attemps to combine the Internet’s world of user choice, community, and personalization with the familiar television experience. Customized TV widgets try to seamlessly integrate TV and interface experience. No complexity, no keyboard or mouse. Just lean back and stay connected. It´s based on an open platform and Intel & Yahoo say they embrace an open media standard.

Well actually there has always been some guys somewhere, who talked about  “interactive television”, but not one of these models has achieved what it should have achieved. So we should be careful…

But what I could read and see on the net (here, here and here) looks promising.

Watch the video by JD Lascia below.
Eric B. Kim, senior vice president at Intel Corp., is demos the new Widget Channel. He thinks their new application has the potential to merge television and the Internet in a way users will love. They try to combine the  most important television values – ease of use, reliability, high fidelity (professional quality), entertainment – with the internet values – personalization, community, relevance, openness.

Would love to test it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It doesn`t look or sound so bad…but it still feels a bit “stuck in the middle”. It feels like TV with an additional digital interface…

I don´t know… but what this new generation of mobile phones has made possible (starting with the iPhone) that I’m able to use (or feel as though I´m using) the same userinterface, on my PC screen than on my mobile screen, is very very valueable.
People don´t like all these browser versions on TV screen… but shouldn`t be there a way that I can surf a website on my television screen and I would have the “feeling” that it is the same as the version on my PC or mobile phone?  To evoke the feeling that I had been there before and simply use the interface  without a mouse, just with a remote?

Three screens but just one user interface …. would be great…

Joost Goes Browser

September 18, 2008

Today Joost released a browser version of it`s p2p service (just a plug-in download is needed). Next month, according to CEO Mike Volpi to TechChrunch, Joost will offer a version of the service that doesn’t require any download at all.

In addition to the browser version, they created a video based social network complete with Facebook-style activity streams that show your friends what content you are watching and gives you the chance of commenting or “shouting” about the program (Watch the Demo Video of TechCrunch below.).

TV is and always has been a “social experience” and so I think there is big potential in these features. Imagine watching a soccer game with all your mates… even when you are in a hotel on the other side of the world…

So Joost goes a little bit in the direction of what Last.Fm does for music….  integrating “social” components… there is only a good recommendation system missing … maybe coming soon … and of course, the biggest problem of all,  the “big blockbuster” content is missing. Last.Fm made it cause they lived in the “grey” area of copyright usage… Joost is in the green area… and there is no chance to compete… it’s too expensive to finance great video content with full copyrights … we will see…

But anyway, I think this model is a very interesting perspective for the television industry…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

People Love Their DVR

September 15, 2008

Just found this survey via DMW of 1,000 DVR owners in the U.S., U.K., Italy and Australia conducted by NDS.

The survey shows how many people like non linear content usage. More than 70% of DVR owners say they cannot live without it. Owners ranked the DVR as the second-most essential household technology item, behind the mobile phone.

I don´t know how good the quality of the study is, but anyway… Non-linear content usage will be the biggest driver for people to change to web TV as soon as technology is ready. HD or quality is not as important than this chance to finally personalize your TV watching.

It´s sad that non-linear content usage is still not mainstream. People sitting in front of TV and complaining about the programme… they don´t have to…

Videosurf – Video Search Engine

September 10, 2008

Google is after this for quite a time. Now there is this start up Videosurf and did it first. Just saw this presentation on TechChrunch50 as live stream. It sounds awesome… searching videos without meta tags… it recognizes images, people, things…. If this really works… wow.  The site is not up yet…

You can see the presentation here.

This new technology can be a big thing in all this “copyright” discussion… finding illegal content… but also it will help to get more people to use more and more video content on the IP protocoll …
If this works… great service.

Roland Berger Web TV Study

September 6, 2008

(Click to enlarge)

This study was released a few weeks ago and is really worth reading. It is published by Roland Berger Consulting and is titeled “WebTV insights and perspectives – A web 2.0 phenomenon is coining new TV usage patterns

Very useful for all of you who need some inspiration for questions like… What is behind the current WebTV drive? Who is watching WebTV and how can the audience be monetized? Is it a temporary phenomenon or will WebTV establish itself as a real alternative to “traditional” TV and IPTV?

In short, some key findings of the study:

– WebTV is a mainstream online application and plays a key role in web entertainment.
– The WebTV audience is commercially very attractive if you are able to target a niche market.
– While UGC is still far from drowning, premium content offerings are on the rise.
– The majority of WebTV offers will probably remain free in the future.
– Web TV will quickly move to mobile devices.
– Through new devices WebTV is becoming an integral part of the living room entertainment sphere.
– WebTV will benefit from differentiating factors like interactivity, on-demand accessibility, as well as extensive communication and personalization features.
– WebTV is likely to converge with IPTV in the long run.
– Operators and traditional media companies must react now in order to keep WebTV companies from establishing their brands in the minds of the consumers.

For me, one  important insight of the study is that users, and particularly teens, use WebTV servicesas a form of social interaction. As a consequence, more and more large online communities grow around the basic content services. So the context (like social interaction, or editorial information) of TV content or Web TV services will get a very important “intangible” feature to differentiate from competitors.

Accenture Content Study – IPTV

July 17, 2008

Just read the new Accenture global content study 2008 ” The Challenge of Change: Perspectives of the Future for Content Providers“.

Well, there is nothing surprisingly new… but here are the key findings:

  • About 63 percent of companies are pursuing a multi-platform distribution strategy.
  • More than one-third of companies expect to see significant revenues from social media and user-generated content within three years.
  • About 84 percent of companies expect mobile rich media to become mass market, representing the largest growth opportunity for media and entertainment firms.
  • About 52 percent of those interviewed see digital advertising eclipsing traditional advertising within five years.

More interesting is an older Accenture article about IPTV – “Infinite possibilities” Television? (2006) – I found accidentally at their website. It has some worthwhile reading thoughts about the potential and possibilities of IPTV.

Broadband –> IPTV –> Sharing –> Watching TV 2.0

April 30, 2008

All digital business models are driven by the basis technology: Connection – Broadband.

Wired has a feature right know about “broadband 2.0” – Whatever that means…. it`s faster! And it’s coming soon.
For the TV-industry this fast developement is a crucial thing… We are all talking about IPTV for quite a while… (here I mean the “set top box” IPTV ….) and we compare it with the “old TV” and “web TV” (internet streaming, diverse formats e.g. YouTube, Hulu, Joost …) … we talk about the advantages of IPTV and opportunities and we are wondering why it`s not as fast growing as e.g. in France…

But if we see the developement in the broadband and software area (media player and formats – have a look at the new Adobe Media Player, the quality is amazing) you can ask, if there is any chance for IPTV growth in the longterm future ? Won`t the user switch directly to “Web TV” ?
Why should a user go in the “walled garden” IPTV? Just cause of a convient “hardware tool” that connects my TV Screen with the data highway?
Let`s have a look at the advantages of IPTV so far: There a lot of advantages to the “old tv model” – time sovereignty, interacitvity, content on demand, personification, recommendation systems et cetera…

… but there are just two advantages compared to Web TV: quality of resolution and “100% legal”.
When we see the broadband developement … “HD” soon won’t be a problem for “web TV”…
The legal thing… well maybe it’s no “real” advantage… I fully agree with Gerd Leonhard in his post here: When we talk about sharing today: That is just the tip of the iceberg! Soon we will be able to share video content in HD faster and in more ways than ever before… there always will be this “free” content out there… no matter if it`s legal or not..

So, “Web TV” is much more flexible than IPTV…. the user has the opportunity to choose between different business models… pay per view, subscription, ad supported, illegal free… can switch between content providers…

Of course… there are some months to go …. to see this happen… but the question is if this short amount of time is worth to invest seriously in IPTV? Or is it better to focus on the next level…. invest in building a content provider brand for web tv? Starting a business model in the “grey copyright area” to fix the rights afterwards? A business modell that has it`s strenghts in the service quality, the brand, “the context” … cause the content will come anyway? As always… just a thought.

Next Level User Generated Content

March 22, 2008

onair.jpg

Now the last exclusive “TV” thing is falling…  the live broadcasting, the LIVE show.

With tools like Flixwagon… you can turn your blog live.

Make your own Live show from your amateur soccer team game or a broadcast from the important last lecture before a test for your roommates or live impressions from the party of the night… you name it…

Flixwagon embed your live show on your blog from your mobile phone in a few steps… The quality is low at the moment, but let`s talk again in a few months…

If you produce this with “high end” tools, that could be a great chance for local journalism….
But what about piracy? Live broadcast from the soccer match? No, not from the stadium, instead just filmed from the paid content tv screen…