The streaming industry is currently undergoing incredibly exciting and important changes that are affecting the way viewers consume content. As 'appointment TV' continues to fade, the fact is live events and sports are some of the only real appointments consumers are keeping. These live events are the driving force shaping the streaming industry; giving way to a new era of live interactive digital viewing and monetization of content with added benefits of increased time spent online, more user analytics and ultimately revenue growth.
FreeWheel has released its Q4 '13 video monetization report, revealing among things, that ads viewed in live streaming jumped 148% vs. Q4 '12, and now account for nearly 10% of ads viewed in online video streams served by pay-TV operators and TV networks. Related, ad views in authenticated, TV Everywhere content rose 268% vs. Q4 '12. Overall, ad views were up 30% year-over-year. Brian Dutt, who manages Advisory Services at FreeWheel and oversaw the report, shared more detail behind these and other data being released.
Here's one measure of how popular live streaming is becoming: according to Akamai, yesterday's concurrent men's quarter-final hockey games from Sochi drove 2.5 terabits per second of peak usage on its network, almost 3 times the peak usage of 873 gigabits per second that Akamai saw during the men's 100 meter final, which Usain Bolt won, during the London 2012 games. It's also 56% higher than the 1.6 Tbps peak Akamai delivered during the USA-Russia hockey game last Saturday (which NBC separately said attracted 600K online viewers via its "Live Extra" app). Update - NBC says yesterday's USA-Czech Republic game alone delivered almost 800K online viewers, a new record for "Live Extra."
The Internet has been buzzing this week with the idea that Google may bid for the NFL's Sunday Ticket package, which is with DirecTV through the 2014 season. The root of the buzz is a story in AllThingsD that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with Google's CEO Larry Page and YouTube's head of content Robert Kyncl and that one of the things they discussed was Sunday Ticket.
Did they seriously discuss Sunday Ticket or was it the last item on a list of things they were spitballing? Who knows. But let's assume for a moment that Google actually WAS interested in Sunday Ticket. Could it happen and does it make sense?
There's certainly no financial impediment for Google. DirecTV pays about $1 billion/year currently. Even if Sunday Ticket's value increased by 50% (which is less than the 60-70% increases the broadcasters and ESPN paid to renew their NFL deals in the past 2 years), it would still be small change for Google. Rather than the money, I see at least 5 big challenges Google (and the NFL) would have to surmount:
I'm pleased to present the 180th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. There was a rush of interest around live streaming this week. Among the news items: ABC,TNT and TBS announced live streaming of their linear feeds; YouTube expanded its live feature and Brightcove launched a new live module, which followed thePlatform doing the same last week.
For live streaming TV, neither Colin nor I believe it will have broad appeal, with the possible exception of sports and maybe certain breaking news/events. It's no secret that on-demand, time-shifted viewing has surged in popularity, due to DVR penetration above 50% of U.S. homes and the widespread availability of TV programs online for on-demand use. So in a way live streaming TV is trying to put the genie back in the bottle - getting on-demand viewers to go back to linear.
The fundamental inconsistency to me in this is that if you're tech-savvy enough to be drawn to live streaming on an iOS device, you're even more likely to now be a mainly on-demand viewer. And for those not tech-savvy, who still do enjoy linear viewing, well, why do you need an live streaming app when you can just watch on your TV as you always have? Even the sports use case is a bit thin as watching out-of-home for most will be very expensive given mobile data rates, and most mobile device viewing happens in the home anyway.
Nonetheless, Colin and I describe all the reasons we think other TV networks are likely to roll out live streaming in the coming months as well. Maybe we're missing something, but it strikes us that these will have more to do with PR (countering Aereo for example) and supporting TV Everywhere/retransmission consent negotiations and won't end up resonating broadly with users. More interesting I think is the CW's move to make its shows available free next day on-demand via Apple TV and other devices which seems in synch with users' expectations.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 17 seconds)
Following is a contributed post by Mio Babic, who is the founder and CEO of iStreamPlanet, the leader in live linear streaming solutions including the soon to be released Aventus live video workflow solution.
Multiscreen Live Linear - Consumer Values and Perceptions
by Mio Babic
Recently iStreamPlanet partnered with The Diffusion Group to better understand the opportunity in delivering a multiscreen live linear experience to multiple devices. As digital media innovators it’s easy for us to get excited about moving the technology forward, and while we see 24/7 live linear streaming as the next step in the OTT evolution, we wanted to verify that we are creating technology for an experience that consumers desire, and therefore profitable for our customers in the media industry.
Categories: Live Streaming
Live streaming is continuing to get a lot of mind share these days from both content providers and technology companies. The latest example in the latter category is Brightcove, which yesterday introduced in beta the Brightcove Video Cloud Live, a module to support live streaming across multiple devices.
A key part of Video Cloud Live is the recently announced Brightcove Zencoder Live Transcoding service, which provides live transcoding as a scalable API. This obviates the need for content providers to purchase and maintain their own hardware for encoding live events. This in turn reduces cost and complexity of running live events, making them far more feasible to offer to viewers. The Zencoder service also produces multiple adaptive bitrate streams so that users on various devices get the right stream for them.
Traditionally most online video has been on-demand, but recently that has begun to change with more live events delivered online all the time. The trend has been driven primarily by sports, news and music, but other categories like entertainment are also following along.
For content providers, live presents numerous new workflow complexities vs. on-demand in areas such as encoding, ad insertion, stream management, metadata, device support, etc. To address this complexity and try to streamline workflows, thePlatform is today introducing a single web-based console in its mpx platform that can handle key tasks including signal acquisition and encoding via an integration with Elemental (so encoding can be managed within the console), dynamic ad insertion and metadata creation plus archiving to VOD for replays.
LiveU, which pioneered the bonding of cellular broadband cards to enable flexible live mobile broadcasting, has gained a huge following among TV networks and stations. Now it has introduced a new, even lighter-weight backpack unit that enables any content provider - no matter how small - to affordably become a live mobile broadcaster.
At the recent NABShow, Ken Zamkow, director of sales and marketing for LiveU, brought one of the new backpacks, the LU40-2 ("LU40 squared") by the VideoNuze booth and showed it off. It weighs less than 10 pounds and is very compact, allowing up to 13 cellular channels and controllable through a smartphone interface.
At the NABShow last week I did a short video interview with Albert Lai, Brightcove's CTO for Media and Broadcast. In the interview, Albert explained Brightcove's expanded TV Everywhere integrations with Adobe Pass and Akamai's Sola Vision Identity Services.
It's well understood that if content providers are to distribute to multiple devices via TV Everywhere, security and authentication are paramount. By integrating with Adobe and Akamai, Brightcove is trying to provide its content customers with multiple authentication choices depending on their preferences, helping reduce friction in TVE rollouts.
I'm pleased to present the 175th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week Colin and I attended NABShow 2013 in Las Vegas, where we had a booth and recorded 20+ video interviews with industry executives, which we'll post over the next couple of weeks.
Through the interviews and other on-site discussion, we came away with a number of observations, which we share today. We focus specifically on the trend toward live event / live linear streaming, what's coming up with HEVC encoding and whether 4K TV will fly. All of these were omnipresent topics/questions at NABShow.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 39 seconds)
Live video events have become a big business, as brands, sports leagues, music promoters, and others have come to realize their huge audience appeal can drive engagement and monetization. But planning and executing a high-profile live streaming event isn't easy, with multiple technologies required to work together for the kind of flawless delivery that viewers expect.
Given these opportunities and challenges, former AEG Digital Media executives John Petrocelli and Josh Lennox have joined forces to launch a new firm, Bulldog Digital Media, which will facilitate clients' live video content strategies and monetization across multiple platforms. I've known John and Josh from their AEG Digital days and last week I caught up with both.
LiveU, which pioneered live video streaming over cellular connections, is on a huge roll, now serving 500+ broadcasters in 70 countries worldwide, according to COO and co-founder Avi Cohen, whom I spoke to yesterday. Given that growth, it's no surprise that the company raised another $27 million earlier this week, a noteworthy round given current market conditions.
I'm pleased to present the 155th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, who joins from London. First up this week, we discuss AOL's video success and the larger concept of video syndication. Earlier this week, AOL revealed that its video revenues jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to $100 million in 2012, largely due to syndication. Colin and I dig into why syndication is so compelling and what's ahead.
Next up, Colin shares insights he gained from a presentation at the OTTTv World Summit in London by Marina Kalkanis, Head of the BBC's Programmes OnDemand Core Services team, which is responsible for the media and metadata services supporting BBC online. Marina's team oversaw BBC's online simulcast and on demand streaming of the London Olympics.
Colin was impressed by the scale of the BBC's Olympics operation and how video was consumed online and on mobile devices. One key takeaway - BBC found online/mobile complimenting linear TV, similar to NBC's experience in the U.S.
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)
Yesterday marked another milestone in online video's continuing evolution as 8 million concurrent live streams of Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos Mission were delivered (note that's according to YouTube, but has not yet been independently verified). I was one of those live streams, gathered with my family around my Mac watching the jump unfold on YouTube in full screen mode.
I figured a lot of people were also watching, so what really hit me was the quality of the stream - no buffering, no audio/video synch issues, no pixelation, nothing. Just a seamless high-quality feed for the full hour we watched. In my experience, that would be noteworthy even if only a small audience was tuned in and it was on-demand. The fact that it was done with 8M live concurrent streams seems quite significant.
Categories: Live Streaming
At the recent NABShow, OriginDigital's CEO Darcy Lorincz stopped by the VideoNuze booth for an interview. Origin is now part of Accenture and as Darcy explains, remains very focused on powering live events over its network. Last year, it was responsible for 14,000 live sports, news and corporate events.
Darcy discusses how important moving its platform to the cloud has been in enabling it to scale up to support so many events. In addition to scale, clients have benefitted from increased reach into new international markets and more cost-effective transcoding. Darcy also describes a new concept called "Virtual Linear" whereby VOD assets assembled into a linear experience for viewers, with non-skippable ads inserted in real-time. This has helped bring video libraries to life. See video below (7 minutes, 22 seconds)
Categories: Live Streaming
Topics: Origin Digital
In another milestone for online video's evolution, independent online studio My Damn Channel is announcing today "My Damn Channel LIVE," a live daily comedy show. The show will be featured on My Damn Channel's web site and on its new YouTube channel. It will be streamed at 4pm ET starting a week from today and will be hosted by Beth Hoyt, an up and coming actor/writer/comedian.
The show is envisioned as a late-night talk show, but updated for all the elements that online offers. The format will include celebrity interviews, interaction with viewers, promotion of other My Damn Channel comedy shows and engagement with talent from other YouTube channels. Viewers will also be able to catch up on the show on demand.
Topics: My Damn Channel
Categories: Live Streaming
Categories: Live Streaming
Topics: AEG Digital Media