Beachfront Leaderboard - 2-11-16

Analysis for 'Podcasts'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #320: Comcast is Firing On All Cylinders As X1 Shines

    I'm pleased to present the 320th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    As both Colin and I wrote this week (here and here), Comcast delivered very strong video and broadband subscriber gains in Q1 '16. Despite all of the rhetoric around cord-cutting and the fact that SVOD services - which were considered a potential substitute for pay-TV - have boomed, Comcast had its best first quarter in 9 years, adding 53K video subscribers vs. a loss of 8K subscribers in Q1 ’15.

    As Colin and I discuss on the podcast, Comcast is benefitting from weakening competition, its own investments in product/content/user experience, and triple-play bundling, powered by broadband adoption. As has been the case for a couple of years now, the X1 set-top box, now in 35% of video subscribers’ homes, continues to be the linchpin in video, driving up ARPU, VOD and DVR usage, reducing churn, etc. In an era of rising viewer expectations, X1 delivers a superb, differentiated, web-like experience.

    Given all of the above, I think Comcast has a strong outlook at least through 2016 if not beyond. Colin is a little less sanguine and we discuss our differences.  

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 4 seconds)



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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #319: Amazon Eyes SVOD Distribution Dominance; NABShow Takeaways

    I'm pleased to present the 319th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Colin and I are back from NABShow where I produced the 2-day Online Video Conference, which included 52 speakers over 15 sessions. One of the highlights for me was doing a keynote interview with Michael Paull, VP of Digital Video at Amazon who oversees the company’s new Streaming Partners Program (SPP).  

    As I wrote yesterday, SPP will likely have a majority of U.S. SVOD services included this year, putting Amazon in the undisputed role as THE third-party distributor of SVOD in the U.S. Colin and I dig into why that is potentially so critical and the implications it could have for Netflix and the pay-TV industry. (Colin provides a personal example of how Amazon hooked him on a subscription to Tribeca Shortlist which he never would have found on his own).

    We then transition to specific takeaways from NABShow. Colin notes that many vendors were demonstrating how online video can be delivered with guaranteed quality and user experiences, making online video every bit as good as TV itself. For pay-TV operators specifically, the imperative to move video services online has never been higher.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 41 seconds)



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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #318: SVOD Dominated by Big Three; Sling TV’s Confusing New Fox Tier

    I'm pleased to present the 318th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week Colin and I dive into the Parks data from yesterday revealing that just 5% of US broadband homes subscribe to one or more of the 98 SVOD services other than the big three (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu). We agree that the data underscores just competitive it will be for the 98 and growing) minnow SVOD services to breakthrough.

    One of those 98 services is Sling TV, which this week announced the beta of a new $20/month multi-stream service that includes select Fox networks. While Colin believes it’s a smart move by Sling TV to further segment the market, I view it as both confusing and also counter to Sling TV’s brand proposition, at least as it’s currently offered.

    By separating the Fox networks and ESPN networks on 2 different tiers, Sling TV is in effect forcing sports fans to take both. That means $40/month for just the 2 base packages, and, as best I can tell there are 22 other networks that are duplicated in both tiers (meaning dual subscribers are in effect paying twice for them).

    It’s hard to see how this represents breakthrough value and simplification of TV. Rather it just seems like unnecessary confusion, likely driven by Disney and Fox licensing restrictions to hedge against Sling TV becoming too popular.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51 seconds)



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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #317: Live-Streaming Battle Heats Up

    I'm pleased to present the 317th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Live-streaming was in the headlines this week as the NFL announced Twitter as its partner for Thursday Night Football games and Facebook unveiled a slew of new features for Facebook Live.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I discuss details of both of these initiatives, comparing and contrasting the upside. Colin is more enthusiastic about the Twitter-NFL deal, which is still a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Conversely, I’m very bullish on Facebook Live and believe it’s a natural extension of how Facebook is already used. The live-streaming battle will heat up further when YouTube launches its own live feature soon.

    All of this means that live-streaming is poised to become a much more mainstream activity going forward.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 51 seconds)



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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)
     

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #316: Analyzing the Crowded SVOD Landscape

    I'm pleased to present the 316th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    It seems like a week doesn’t go by these days without a new SVOD service being announced or launched. For example, this week Fullscreen said it would launch its “fullscreen” SVOD service on April 26th, while comedian Kevin Hart and Lionsgate announced a new video/games service.

    In today’s podcast, Colin and I discuss these ventures, as well as Redbox’s planned SVOD service, NBCU’s Hayu (“hey you”) reality SVOD startup, Cinedigm’s CONtv, Vessel and YouTube Red, all in the context of the crowded SVOD landscape.

    We’re both convinced that ultimately viewers won’t subscribe to more than a handful of SVOD services, meaning many of these new ventures won’t ever achieve scale. To support our SVOD analysis, we use the framework I posted a year ago with 9 key criteria. I continue to believe it is a valuable tool to add rigor when comparing services.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 56 seconds)
     


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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #315: Smart TVs In Flux As TCL and Vizio Pursue Different Paths

    I'm pleased to present the 315th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we turn our attention to the ever-evolving Smart TV space, which saw new developments in this week. First, Colin explains the new line of TCL 4K Roku TVs, which he’s impressed with. Like other manufacturers, TCL has opted to partner with Roku to bring its software, user experience and thousands of apps to its smart TVs, rather than try to replicate all of this itself.

    In contrast, Vizio has chosen a completely different path with its new P-Series launched this week, partnering with Google to embed Google Cast in the TVs, essentially moving the “smarts” to mobile devices which “cast” content to the TV (even the use of the term “TV” is loose with the P-Series considering they don’t have tuners). As I explained yesterday and then further on the podcast, the Google Cast approach has numerous benefits for both developers and consumers.

    Colin and I are encouraged by what may be a consolidation of smart TV platforms, likely to include Roku, Google, Apple and Amazon, in the end. Smart TVs have been a confusing space for all for far too long, creating messy, incomplete consumer experiences and leaving these devices untethered from mainstream ecosystems.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 34 seconds)
     


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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #314: TV Everywhere Lags, Buffering Frustrates, SVOD Rolls Over DVDs

    I'm pleased to present the 314th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week, Colin and I dig into the TV Everywhere awareness/usage data from Digitalsmiths’ Q4 ’15 Video Trends report. Both of us found it pretty sobering that 60% of pay-TV subscribers are still unaware of TVE services and usage has stalled out, despite the industry’s big bet. The data indicates that only around 10% of pay-TV subscribers use TVE on a weekly basis.

    We then turn to the frustrations of buffering, which IneoQuest focused on in its “Buffer Rage” survey released this week. But despite the issues online viewers may be having with delivery quality, SVOD remains on a roll. DVDs have clearly been a victim of SVOD’s success and Colin notes that Digitalsmiths’ report found respondents’ usage of Redbox DVD kiosks dropped precipitously from 18.4% in Q1 ’15 to 13.1% in Q4 ’15. This week Redbox’s parent Outerwall said it was exploring “strategic and financial alternatives.”

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 31 seconds)




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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #313: SVOD Adoption Surges, But Cord-Cutting Remains Minimal

    I'm pleased to present the 313th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week brought 2 data points that seem at odds with one another: even as SVOD penetration has crossed 50% penetration of U.S. TV households, cord-cutting remained minimal, with the pay-TV industry losing just 385K subscribers in 2015.

    While that number is up substantially over 2014’s loss of 150K, it still represents just a .4% contraction. That seems relatively modest given Netflix alone is now in 45 million U.S. homes. Many had predicted that as SVOD grew it would be a substitute for pay-TV, but increasingly it seems like a complement.

    Colin asserts SVOD will indeed be a substitute for pay-TV for many in the years to come with cord-cutting sharply increasing. There are lots of reasons to believe this, and yet pay-TV continues to remain quite resilient. We debate how things will unfold.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 42 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #312: A Fuzzy Picture Ahead for DIRECTV Now

    I'm pleased to present the 312th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we explore the prospects for DIRECTV Now, the new OTT pay-TV service that AT&T announced this week. Though it didn’t share a lot of details, AT&T emphasized affordability and value, which led me to conclude it will be similar to Sling TV as a skinny bundle, and therefore will encounter the same challenges.

    However, it’s worth noting that John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, later said (perhaps based on the media’s reaction), “It is a rich bundle of content; it’s not a skinny bundle of content” and went on to say DIRECTV Now “is about getting that middle road” somewhere between a skinny bundle and a full pay-TV lineup. Exactly what that means is hard to say at this point.

    Colin is more sanguine about both Sling TV and also about the prospects for DIRECTV Now. Colin shares how he uses Sling TV currently and whom it might appeal to. I’m still skeptical about the skinny bundle approach (as is Stankey, who also said “We think skinny bundles have a very small application in the market over time”).   

    DIRECTV Now won’t launch until later this year, so it will be a while until we find out exactly what it is.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 15 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #311: NBCU Adopts Programmatic TV; Conflicting Connected TV Forecasts

    I'm pleased to present the 311th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss NBCU’s announcement on Wednesday that it will allow select advertisers and agencies to buy ads programmatically in its linear TV networks. It’s another important step in advertising becoming more data-infused and targeted, though as I explained, it’s not yet a full-blown programmatic offering like we’ve seen in video and display. Colin and I dig into the details.

    We then turn to new research on connected TV adoption and forecasts. Colin details findings from 3 different sources, which differ from one another. We attempt to reconcile them, although not fully successfully. Regardless, connected TVs remain one of the pivotal areas of online video, providing access to high-quality long-form content in the living room.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 57 seconds)



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

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #310: Recapping Super Bowl Streaming

    I'm pleased to present the 310th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I recap our experiences streaming the Super Bowl to the various devices we tried. As I wrote on Monday, overall I thought the streaming quality was quite strong, with latency being the primary issue. Colin’s experience was more mixed, with his good old over-the-air signal the strongest.

    No surprise, the size of the audience streaming the game set a new record with nearly 4 million unique viewers, up about 60% vs. last year. But I was a bit surprised it wasn’t even bigger given the breadth of OTT options. Unfortunately CBS didn’t provide any details on streaming by device. We discuss the factors that drove audience one way or another.

    With the Super Bowl behind us, all eyes turn to the NFL’s pending OTT deal for its Thursday Night package. There are so many potential bidders in the mix who can leverage the games to their advantage.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 10 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #309: Cable Operators Buck Cord-Cutting; FCC’s Set-Top Box Mandate

    I'm pleased to present the 309th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss Comcast’s robust Q4 ’15 earnings results. Despite all of the talk of cord-cutting, Comcast had its best year for video subscribers in 8 years, improving its loss to just 39K. In addition, both Charter and Time Warner Cable actually reported video subscriber gains for 2015.

    Once again, Comcast cited its X1 next-gen set-top box as the key driver of success. Colin and I have talked about X1’s value in the past, and it’s clearly a game-changer for the company.

    Ironically, Comcast’s success with X1 is happening even as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is calling for a new technology mandate on the pay-TV industry to give access to third-party set-tops. Colin and I discuss why we think market forces are a superior choice to government intervention.

    Last, we’ll both be watching the Super Bowl this weekend, which will be a milestone in allowing cord-cutters and cord-nevers to stream for free to connected TV devices.
     
    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 42 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #308: Week in Review - Facebook, Nielsen Data, Sundance, Netflix Censorship

    I'm pleased to present the 308th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In today’s podcast we discuss a number of different items that hit our radar this week. We start with Facebook’s growing impact in video, which was detailed on the company’s earning call earlier this week.

    We then transition recent research from Nielsen which Colin analyzed, showing the level of viewership by device.

    Next up, Colin and I were watching reports from the Sundance Film Festival noting the aggressive bidding by Amazon and Netflix, underscoring another industry segment being disrupted by SVOD. Last, we touch on the problems Netflix is already running into with its international expansion. Indonesia was the latest country to raise red flags on Netflix’s content this week.
     
    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 4 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #307: Reviewing Netflix’s Q4 ’15 Results

    I'm pleased to present the 307th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Netflix reported its Q4 ’15 results this week, beating its forecast for international subscriber growth while falling short on domestic subscribers, for the second quarter in a row. We have our differences in how we interpret the results, with Colin focusing much more on the international story, while I’m paying more attention to the domestic shortfall.

    Still, Colin and I agree that Netflix will be defined more as an international company going forward and will face a slew of new challenges addressing disparate countries around the world. How they navigate these challenges will greatly impact their future performance.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 8 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #306: Predictions for 2016

    I'm pleased to present the 306th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I share our top predictions for the video industry in 2016. We also look back at our predictions for 2015 and rate how we did (how’s that for accountability?).

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (26 minutes, 38  seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #305: Digging Into Netflix’s Global Content Plans

    I'm pleased to present the 305th edition of the VideoNuze podcast  and the first of 2016, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we dig further into Netflix’s rollout to 130 additional countries and more specifically, the implications of its “content globalization” experiment that I wrote about yesterday. We discuss the pros and cons of the company’s “produce locally, distribute globally” approach. With Netflix’s viewer data, I continue to believe the company has a big opportunity to leverage its international reach in ways we’ve never seen before. It also has a potentially powerful competitive differentiator.

    However, Colin points out a few gotchas, including that Netflix is only deploying in 20 languages, the single price of the Netflix global player means it will be very expensive in lower-wage countries and the risk that government censors in some countries may intervene given some of Netflix’s racier programming. These are all great points, and will make it even more interesting to see how the international expansion goes.

    Listen now to learn more!
     


    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 3 seconds)

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #304: Linear TV Viewing Down, Connected TVs Up, Pay-TV/SVOD Linked

    I'm pleased to present the 304th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    2015 has been another big year of change in the video industry. On this week’s podcast we dig into some recent research on changes in linear TV consumption from Nielsen and the rise of connected TV devices. We also discuss research showing the relationship between pay-TV and SVOD.

    Listen now to learn more!



    (Note, this is our 49th podcast of 2015; we’re taking a break next week and will be back on January 7th. Happy holidays to all of our listeners!)

    Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 52  seconds)

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #303: The Top 10 Online Video Stories of 2015

    I'm pleased to present the 303rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss our top 10 online video stories of 2015. A lot happened this year and it’s been tons of fun to cover and try to make sense of it. If you disagree with any of our choices, then as always, we welcome your feedback.

    We’re going to try to slip in one year-end podcast next week, but in case you’re heading out early for the holidays, Colin and I would like to thank all of our listeners for tuning into our podcast this year, and wish all of you happy holidays!

    Listen now to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (28 minutes, 57  seconds)

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #302: Amazon Could Disrupt SVOD, But First It Needs to Step Up Its Execution

    I'm pleased to present the 302nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Earlier this week I wrote bullishly about Amazon’s new “Streaming Partners Program,” (SPP), which could disrupt the SVOD industry. I emphasized the word “could” because, as with everything in life, execution is everything.

    In that post, I noted that SPP on Amazon’s web site was already implemented well, but that the iPhone app experience didn’t work. In today’s podcast, Colin shares his experiences on both Android and Fire TV, which are shockingly incomplete.

    It’s very surprising to see Amazon, which is typically an execution machine, come up so short here, and it suggests they rushed SPP to market before being 100% ready.

    Implementation issues aside, we discuss the overall merits of SPP and Colin’s view that Netflix is actually better positioned for an SPP-like role in SVOD. I still like Amazon’s SPP strategy a lot and will keep an eye on how things unfold.

    Listen now to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 33  seconds)

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #301: SHIFT Highlights; TV Antennas Make a Big Comeback

    I'm pleased to present the 301st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up on this week’s podcast, I share some of the key highlights from this past Tuesday’s SHIFT // 2015 Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is the diversity of perspectives on what programmatic means in video and TV. Most definitions focus on automation and data, but understanding which business model applies makes things fuzzier. I’ll have a lot more on SHIFT as I post the session videos in the coming weeks.

    Next we discuss Digitalsmiths’ new Q3 2015 Video Trends Report which was released this week. Colin zeroes in on a couple of noteworthy data points: the soaring adoption of over-the-air antennas plus how these complement SVOD subscriptions and the wide variation of SVOD subscription rates by pay-TV operator. Colin has much more detail in his analysis of the report here.

    Listen now to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51  seconds)

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

     
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