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Sunday, March 1, 2015

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #262 - Candid Discussion of Net Neutrality's Risks

    I'm pleased to present the 262nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Today we candidly discuss the potential impact of the FCC's new net neutrality regulations.

    Over the past 20 years we've all benefited from a continuous improvement in wired and mobile broadband connectivity (albeit not perfectly consistent by geography or provider), fostered mainly by a "light touch" regulatory environment that spurred private sector ISPs to invest tens of billions of dollars in network upgrades. Content and services have flourished across both wired and mobile networks.

    Although I strongly believe we should continue to have an open Internet, and have no issue with rules that would have ensured that, I explain why using the 80 year-old Title II model to classify broadband as a utility was incorrect. Mainly I believe it will drive lots of litigation and create lots of regulatory uncertainty for broadband ISPs, which translates into disincentives to invest and further upgrade their networks. As a result, ongoing innovations in content and services, which rest on the foundation of broadband improvements, will inevitably be impacted.

    Further, I'm always wary of the risk of "unintended consequences" that accompany any new regulations. As such, preemptive regulation - such as yesterday's - where no fundamental problem even yet exists, makes me even more anxious. In short, my attitude is "don't fix what ain't broke."

    I fully recognize that I hold a minority opinion on this because I've discussed the topic with many people in the industry already. Colin disagrees with me, for example, because he believes the disincentive to invest argument is overblown. Unfortunately, I think the whole net neutrality debate has become so confused and politicized that any real purpose of potential government intervention has long since been lost.

    Listen in to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 12 seconds)

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  • New Noggin OTT Service Will Be Next Test of Consumers' Willingness-to-Buy

    Yesterday Viacom announced Noggin, a new $5.99/month ad-free, mobile-centric OTT service for preschoolers that will launch on March 5th. Viacom said that Noggin's content will be solely library-based, making it distinct from what's already available on-air on Nick Jr. Noggin will include programs such as "Blue's Clues," "Little Bear" and "Ni Hao, Kari-lan," plus others. In addition to the OTT offering, Viacom said it's talking to pay-TV operators about Noggin being a premium offer for authenticated subscribers.

    Noggin is the latest response by TV networks to the dramatic market changes currently playing out. As I recently described, disruption has been particularly acute in the kids' space, where kids' cable TV networks' ratings are plunging as OTT services have avidly built out their kids offerings. Just since writing that piece 2 weeks ago, YouTube has launched a kids-focused app, Netflix has added 5 new kids series and Amazon has renewed 4 others, all amping up the pressure on kids TV networks even further.

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  • Perspective What's this? It's Time to Measure the Real Value of Online Video

    With the ongoing dialogue surrounding measurement, brands are eager to embrace any metric that can help evaluate video content in today’s digital world.  

    However, most marketers are still using the number of video views as a key performance indicator to assess video initiatives – a method of measurement that is severely flawed.  Video views in a vacuum – or alone – are not only misleading but also potentially damaging when it conceals poorly performing content and drives wrong investment decisions.

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  • FreeWheel: TV Everywhere Viewing Up Over 4x Compared To A Year Ago

    More evidence of TV Everywhere's momentum today, as FreeWheel's Q4 2014 Video Monetization Report found that 56% of long-form and live ads were viewed via authentication. That's more than 4x greater than the 13% authentication rate for long-form content in Q4 '13. Total long-form viewing was up 43% in Q4 '14 vs. the prior year.

    The new data follows Comcast's news last week that 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers use TV Everywhere monthly. (Note Comcast owns FreeWheel).

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  • Turner Launches Latin America OTT Service With Kaltura and IBM

    Turner Broadcasting System Latin America has launched a new OTT service in Latin America and Brazil, powered by Kaltura's OTT TV platform and IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.

    The service is being offered in Spanish and Portuguese and is available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It includes both live TV channels and VOD options. Notably, it is being offered through Turner's pay-TV partners, so it does not appear to be disruptive to the existing ecosystem, but rather a TV Everywhere extension.

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  • YouTube Kids App Launches, Further Pressuring Kids Cable TV Networks

    YouTube has officially announced its new free YouTube Kids app, a dedicated space for kids and families to watch age appropriate content, available on Android and iOS. The app puts even more pressure on kids-oriented cable TV networks, whose audiences were already being decimated by OTT options like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

    YouTube Kids creates a safe, accessible, organized space for young kids. The content is organized into four categories, Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Content is licensed from Dreamworks TV, Hit Entertainment, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club and National Geographic Kids. Popular shows included are "Fraggle Rock," "Reading Rainbow," "Sesame Street," "Talking Tom and Friends" and "Thomas the Tank Engine."

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #261 - TV Everywhere Advances, Linear TV Comes Online

    I'm pleased to present the 261st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we return to the topic of TV Everywhere, which we've discussed on previous episodes. While TV Everywhere's challenges are well-understood, this week Comcast released encouraging adoption data, which we dig into.

    Comcast also announced it now offers over 70 linear networks via TVE, in addition to on-demand choices. Related, NBC said this week that it will offer authenticated access to its linear feed via its app, but only in its O&O markets. Colin notes that's a very different approach than CBS is using for linear, which is only available via its All-Access service that costs $5.99/month.

    Aside from improved content for TVE, Colin and I also observe that monetization is also improving, with technology providers BlackArrow and This Technology, as examples, recently sharing product updates on dynamic ad insertion (here and here).

    Listen in to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 5 seconds)

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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
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  • Tremor Video's DSP Chosen As Preferred Partner by Varick Media Management

    Varick Media Management, which specializes in programmatic ad buying, has chosen Tremor Video's demand side platform, powered by VideoHub, as its preferred partner for premium programmatic campaigns. Neeraj Kochhar, Managing Director of Buy-side Platforms at Tremor Video, told me that it's the first big agency that's been announced as a VideoHub DSP customer, though others are using the platform as well.

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