It’s NBA All-Star weekend and for the first time, the league is offering free access to live-streamed interviews of players to TV networks, social media and other publishers in over 180 countries around the world. Half the interviews will occur today at 11:05am PT with the other half at 11:50am PT. The NBA views these interviews as a way of generating visibility for players in their home countries and bringing fans closer to the action.
I’m pleased to present the 406th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week, Colin and I share our experiences live-streaming the Super Bowl. Both of us were on the road and were extremely impressed. Except for latency of up to a minute or so, neither of us experienced any buffering or pixelation. In short, it was nearly a TV-like experience and really demonstrates how far live-streaming at scale has come.
We then shift gears to discuss strong growth at HBO Now, which just reported hitting the 5 million subscriber mark at end of 2017. HBO Now is benefiting from not being a “buy-through” on top of expensive pay-TV services. By going direct-to-subscriber, HBO Now has made its product much more accessible. We suspect that Amazon Channels and AT&T (which strongly promoted HBO Now in 2017), were pivotal to growth.
(Apologies, our audio quality isn’t that good this week).
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Brands are poised to ramp up their use of live-streaming video in 2018, according to the 2018 Live Video Streaming Benchmark Report, released by Brandlive and IBM Cloud Video. 84% of respondents said that live-streaming video is either important, very important or a top priority in their 2018 marketing mix, comparing favorably with the 86% of who said the same about pre-recorded video.
Categories: Live Streaming
If you’ve ever streamed a live sports event and simultaneously tuned into it on TV, you’ve immediately noticed the latency in the live stream. I’ve tried this a number of times and found the latency can be as much as 45-60 seconds.
For example, last week I streamed the Thursday night football game to my iPad using Amazon, while also watching on TV, and the latency was around 10-12 seconds, which was actually quite good. This may be part of a larger trend that bodes well for live streaming especially as more sporting events move online and to mobile.
To get more perspective on the issue, I recently spoke with Alexander Leschinsky, Co-Founder and Managing Director, G&L Geißendörfer & Leschinsky GmbH, which provides systems integration and managed services for public broadcasters in Germany. Alexander has deployed numerous live streaming events since 2000 and has worked extensively on the latency issue in sports streaming.
Adobe Primetime and The Diffusion Group have released new research, finding among other things, that the NFL is the most popular sport to live stream on digital devices. The research surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, revealing viewership trends for live sports viewers or “LSVs” - adult broadband users that watch televised live sports on any screen including PCs, TVs, smartphones or tablets.
The survey found that 37% of LSVs watch live sports on non-TV devices, with PCs used the most (cited by 27%), followed by smartphones (17%) and tablets (14%). Across all 3 of these devices, the NFL is the most popular of all sports. On PCs NFL is watched by 66% of LSVs, followed by Summer Olympics (59%) and NBA basketball (59%). On smartphones, NFL is watched by 70% of LSVs, then NBA (59%) and college basketball (52%). On tablets NFL is at 67%, followed by NBA (62%) and major league baseball (61%).
I’m pleased to present the 374th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we start by digging into Cisco’s Visual Networking Index forecast which both Colin and I covered this week (here and here). As usual, Cisco believes that video will dominate all Internet traffic, but now also sees live as poised to account for 13% of overall video. We explore this and other facets of the forecast.
We then turn our attention to how developers of video apps must have more of a “merchandising mindset” to dynamically customize experiences based on viewers’ preferences and business objectives Colin recently published a white paper on the topic and we discuss some of the highlights as well as the challenges of creating and updating apps across numerous platforms.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 32 seconds)
Cisco has released the latest version of its Visual Networking Index, forecasting among other things, that live video will increase 15x over the next 5 years to reach 13% of all global Internet video traffic by 2021. Cisco is forecasting video will account for 82% of global Internet traffic, in line with prior forecasts and far surpassing any other application type.
Cisco attributed the growth in live to “streaming of TV apps and personal live streaming on social networks.” Facebook Live has continued to grow in popularity, as has streaming live sports and events by various TV networks and rights-holders. As an example, the Ariana Grande benefit concert on Sunday drew more than 76 million views on Facebook Live.
Categories: Live Streaming
Online video platform Brightcove has announced Brightcove Live, a live streaming solution that includes server-side ad insertion, cloud DVR, content encryption, on-the-fly clipping and VOD asset creation. Brightcove Live can be deployed as a standalone service and also as part of Brightcove’s broader Video Cloud platform, which means it taps into all of Video Cloud’s technology tools and partnerships.
Brands, publishers and celebrities are all experimenting with Facebook Live, to see how live-streaming can help them connect with their target audiences. One interesting example that hit my radar is Lowe’s home improvement stores, which, this past Saturday night, used Facebook Live to broadcast a 45-minute show featuring HGTV’s “Property Brothers” to reveal a sample of Black Friday sale items.
In the video, Drew and Jonathan Scott open a series of boxes which often contain gentle pranks (e.g. a marching band, confetti, puppies, etc.) as well as actual products that will be on Black Friday sales (e.g. wine chiller, combination tool kit, Roomba vacuum cleaner, etc.). For much of the video, the brothers are ad-libbing, casually jibing each other and keeping the show moving along.
I'm pleased to present the 347th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
On this week’s podcast we discuss Facebook’s video ambitions. Colin was in London at the OTT TV World Summit where he saw a fascinating presentation by Matthew Corbin, who’s in global product marketing for Facebook. Colin shares highlights of what he learned, including how Facebook thinks of itself as the “world’s discovery agent.” Matthew said Facebook thinks of itself “not as a broadcast network, but as a network of broadcasters,” which feels like an apt description. Combined with Facebook’s targeting capabilities, this translates to lots of potential.
On Facebook’s Q3 ’16 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also highlighted how he wants video to be at the center of all of Facebook’s apps and services. It’s becoming clearer that the primary way Facebook is going to be able to continue its torrid revenue growth is by shifting over more TV ad spending, hence the push toward video.
After discussing Facebook, we shift gears and spend 5 minutes reviewing the excellent Comcast-Netflix integration which I wrote about earlier this week.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 26 seconds)
Aiming for simplicity, popular online video platform provider JW Player has introduced JW Live, a cloud-based, live streaming service for content providers. JW Live is meant to be an out of the box service that is integrated with the JW player and platform, enabling content providers to easily power up live streams for their audiences.
JW Live is the latest effort to popularize live streaming, a category receiving a lot of attention these days, primarily because Facebook is aggressively pursuing it with Facebook Live. JW Live is another example of how technology providers are positioning themselves to assist content providers in powering their own businesses, as opposed to becoming solely reliant on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and others which offer large audiences, but risk undermining control over revenue generation and loyalty.
Topics: JW Player
At last, Election Day is here. Tonight tens of millions of Americans will be avidly following the returns. But rather than everyone huddling around their TVs to their favorite TV network to get the updates, tonight there will be an abundance of live streaming from a variety of traditional and digital news outlets, capitalizing on capabilities available from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. As a result, how Americans keep track of who’s winning will be more varied than ever.
I'm pleased to present the 344th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week was busier than usual in the video industry and on today’s podcast, Colin and I discuss a number of news items that hit our radar. First we talk about the new Google-CBS deal for the upcoming Unplugged skinny bundle. Next up is VUDU’s Movies on Us, new free, ad-supported VOD service which we both think has potential. We then dig into Facebook’s new feature for advance scheduling and promoting live broadcasts. Finally we review LeEco’s new content and TVs (Colin attended the company’s big launch event this week.)
Clearly there was a lot happening this week as major players in the video industry continue jockeying for position. One news item that broke after we recorded is the rumor about AT&T acquiring Time Warner. That type of deal would be straight out of the Comcast-NBCU playbook and could trigger even more distribution-content tie-ups.
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Facebook released an important feature yesterday, enabling certain content creators to schedule and promote Facebook Live broadcasts in advance. While a lot of the hype around live-streaming has been about capturing breaking news - with streams spontaneously discovered - as I explained a few months ago on our weekly podcast, the bigger application for live-streaming is for broadcasts scheduled in advance and promoted to content creators’ fans.
The first of the three presidential debates is coming up on Monday night, and in addition to the spotlight being on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it looks like a big focus will be on live-streaming. That’s because Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - each of which is pushing hard into live-streaming - will stream the debates, in partnership with a variety of major media companies.
YouTube will be streaming in partnership with PBS, Fox News, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Telemundo as part of its #voteIRL initiative. Facebook has once again partnered with ABC News (as it did for the conventions) to stream the debates, which it will enhance with viewers’ comments and conversations in Facebook Live. Finally, as part of its previously-announced partnership, Twitter will be streaming Bloomberg TV’s coverage of the debates.
Text-to-video creation platform Wibbitz has released new research this morning indicating enthusiasm for live video as a news source. Wibbitz surveyed 1,000+ 18-65 year-olds in the U.S. about how they’re responding to live video, chatbots, wearables and virtual reality as a way to get the news, and therefore where publishers may want to invest.
Live video was the only one of the 4 technologies that engenders more positive than negative feelings as a means for getting the news (though not by much, just 30% to 25%). Wearables was the least well-suited for news, with 57% having a negative feeling, vs. 16% positive. 66% of respondents thought live video was the most useful for keeping up with the news, 4x that of wearables, which was second. 52% also thought live video is the most entertaining option for keeping up with the news, compared with 35% for VR.
Categories: Live Streaming
Earlier this week AdAge reported that Facebook confirmed it is running tests of mid-roll ads in live streams by certain publishing partners. The ads can appear 5 minutes into the live stream and can run for a max of 15 seconds. The ads are drawn from promoted video campaigns already running on Facebook, but advertisers are able to opt out if they’d like.
The test is clearly just a toe in the water for Facebook in inserting ads in live streams, which to date have run ad-free. But, to the extent that the initiative develops further, and possibly evolves to allow pre-roll ads, it would signal an important step forward in Facebook monetizing its live streams and becoming an even bigger player in online video advertising.
Akamai’s network investments are paying off as the company keeps delivering ever-greater levels of concurrent live sports streams. The latest example occurred with last weekend's Euro 2016 Portugal-France championship match where Akamai delivered a peak of 7.3 Tbps during overtime. That level beat the 2014 Argentina-Netherlands World Cup final which achieved a 7.0 Tbps peak.
Akamai said that over 3.3 million concurrent streams were delivered at peak across 35 rights-holders globally. Akamai’s VP, Product Management Corey Halverson told me in a briefing that a number of network investments in quality and reliability have been instrumental in supporting the record streaming activity.
I'm pleased to present the 328th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
It’s been a milestone week for live-streaming, starting with news that Facebook is spending $50 million with media partners to create content for Facebook Live. Then there was C-SPAN live-streaming the Democrats’ gun protest sit-in via Facebook Live and Periscope after C-SPAN’s cameras were shut down.
Meanwhile, adding more momentum to live-streaming this week, Tumblr announced that it would support live-streaming via YouNow, Kanvas, Upclose and YouTube. And then just yesterday, YouTube announced that it will soon introduce mobile live-streaming within the YouTube app - arguably a catch-up move given Periscope, Meerkat and others already enabling this for a while - but significant given YouTube’s massive scale. Last but not least, game 7 of the NBA finals garnered WatchESPN its largest audience ever for an NBA game, with nearly 1.8 million viewers.
In today’s podcast we discuss Facebook’s live-streaming moves and the industry’s broader opportunity. I continue to be very bullish on live-streaming’s potential and believe we’ll see a lot of interesting applications of it going forward.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 31 seconds)
Yesterday morning, just after I posted “5 Reasons Why Facebook Spending $50 Million on Live-Streaming Content is So Smart,” C-SPAN’s cameras in the U.S. House of Representatives were turned off by House Speaker Paul Ryan as Democrats began a sit-in to protest gun control legislation not being brought to a vote. But then, an extraordinary thing happened: various Democratic Representatives began live-streaming the protest via Facebook Live and Periscope, with C-SPAN picking up the feeds.