Posts for 'International'

  • Inside the Stream Podcast: In India, Two Initiatives Preview Streaming’s Future

    This week we go on a “field trip” to India, where a battle between multibillionaires - at the intersection of streaming, marquee sports, mobile, commerce and FASTs - provides a glimpse of the future.

    First up, we discuss news that Viacom18 Media Pvt. a joint venture between Paramount Global and multibillionaire Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd., the most valuable company in India - which in 2021 won the rights, for $2.7 billion, to stream the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket games - and intends to do so for free to consumers.

    Viacom18 Media actually poached the IPL streaming rights from Disney, which had them previously and used the games to drive Disney+ Hotstar subscriptions. Disney's direct-to-consumer strategy remains murky as Colin and I discussed 2 weeks ago.

    The move underscores trends that Colin and I have discussed extensively around marquee sports moving from broadcast/cable to streaming (most recently in January, with fuboTV's CEO David Gandler) and the accelerating pace of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST).

    Next, we discuss “miniTV,” a set of freely available video content that is placed front and center within Amazon India’s shopping app. While miniTV, which launched in May, 2021 got off to a modest start, apparently in 2022, its first full year of operations, it has picked up momentum. This is due to the popularity of certain original programming that Amazon has invested in.

    Amazon’s strategy of purposely giving away premium video for free parallels what it has done with Prime Video, investing heavily in originals like “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” without seeking to directly monetize them. Rather, Amazon uses its massive commerce business to subsidize the cost of content creation, because it has been able to demonstrate to itself that video drives higher levels of Prime acquisition/retention, and Prime members buy more stuff from Amazon, of course.

    Jeff Bezos articulated this “flywheel” in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference in 2016, putting as fine a point on it as one can imagine, by famously saying “When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes” (start at the 36:56 mark for the segment). Amazon’s approach to subsidizing video is virtually inimitable, except perhaps by Apple and Google, and should justifiably strike terror in the heart of every media company CEO.

    In India, with miniTV, we are seeing Amazon run the same playbook, except absent a Prime membership requirement, and with a more specific focus on mobile consumption, primarily by younger viewers. If media company CEOs around the world were not already on high alert from Prime Video, miniTV should put them on an immediate DEFCON 1 footing.

    (As a side note, I believe that another flywheel, in CTV advertising, is also developing, as I wrote back in June, 2021. Speakers at next week’s VideoNuze CTV Advertising PREVIEW: 2023 will emphatically drive this home. Note, complimentary sign up is available.)

    Last but not least, and at the risk of stating the obvious: Bezos’s net worth currently stands at approximately $120 billion, while Ambani’s is around $84 billion. In short, both of them bring essentially unlimited resources to the streaming game, free to subsidize anything they believe is in their companies’ long-term interests. The stakes in streaming have never been as high and only the deepest-pocketed need apply.

    The two initiatives in India are a preview of streaming’s future. As I said, DEFCON 1.

    Pack your bags for the trip to India, and listen to the podcast to learn more (27 minutes, 20 seconds)

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Evaluating WBD’s New “Warner Pass” Streaming Bundle in France

    In this week’s podcast, Colin and I discuss Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan to launch a new streaming bundle in France dubbed “Warner Pass,” exclusively on Amazon Prime Channels, which Variety reported. Warner Pass will include all HBO content, plus 12 WBD channels including CNN, Discovery Channel, Eurosport and others.

    The move caught our attention because WBD has been quite vocal about its intention to launch a combined HBO Max / discovery+ service (expected to be simply called “Max”), which the Variety report noted it still plans to introduce in France in 2024.

    Colin and I think Warner Pass could offer clues about how WBD will price the combined service eventually (especially in Europe). Yet it raises a concern that having two different streaming brands in France with similar content is clumsy and could cause consumer confusion (not to mention spending required to support two streaming brands).

    Further, as we discussed in December, Warner Pass is yet another step in reversing the company’s strategy on third-party distribution. Prior WarnerMedia management decided to pull HBO from Amazon Prime Channels and others in September, 2021. As I wrote back then, in a direct-to-consumer world, not owning the subscriber, nor seeing their detailed viewing data, are real drawbacks.

    Listen to the podcast to learn more (31 minutes, 56 seconds)

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Will SkyShowtime Shake Up the European TV Market?

    (Reminder - if you are a listener of The VideoNuze Report podcast, please update your feed per below to the new Inside the Stream feeds which have been available for a couple of months....we don't want to lose you as a listener as we complete this transition!)

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Earlier this week ViacomCBS and Comcast announced a partnership to launch “SkyShowtime,” a new SVOD service launching in 2022 in over 20 European territories with over 90 million homes. On today’s podcast Colin and I discuss why the companies chose to partner, especially since they have incumbent services in Peacock and Paramount+, rather than go it alone.

    As Colin explains, the key here is content - both quality and quantity. The minimum size and selection of content required to be competitive in SVOD, especially in Europe, just keeps getting bigger. Colin brings his insights about the European market to our discussion. Importantly, he discusses the critical role that the big local broadcasters play as well as the “30% rule” for locally-produced content.

    Another topic we explore is how this partnership signals a further evolution for Comcast from a primarily U.S.-focused company to one where a full global presence may be in the cards longer-term. Another intriguing question Colin raises is why, given the relatively unknown “Showtime” brand in Europe, it was incorporated into the service’s name.

    Listen to the podcast (26 minutes, 5 seconds)

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  • Report: Disney Curtailed Hulu’s International Expansion on Valuation Concerns

    Bloomberg reported Friday that Disney has curtailed Hulu’s international expansion because Disney does not want to significantly increase Hulu’s valuation which would trigger a higher eventual payout to minority owner Comcast. Hulu’s valuation in early 2024 will set the payout Disney owes Comcast for its one-third share in Hulu under a deal struck in May, 2019. Comcast’s Hulu stake is worth at least $5.8 billion under the deal.

    Bloomberg said that Hulu’s late 2019 proposal to Disney to expand internationally was initially supported, but then in August 2020 Disney switched gears and decided to embrace Star as the international brand for its non-U.S. entertainment service. Disney acquired Star, the India media company, as part of its $71 billion Fox deal. Bloomberg also cited Disney’s concerns about extending Hulu’s losses, Covid’s negative impact on Disney’s various businesses, and its commitment of resources to Disney+’s international expansion as other reasons it decided not to support Hulu’s international expansion.

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  • Join Us for OTT in Europe Webinar Next Tuesday

    Join my partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia and me next Tuesday, July 14th for a webinar, OTT in Europe: Solving the Unique Challenges of 2020. Our panelists include Edward Bos, Liberty Global’s Director of Product Development for Multiplatform, Mobile and TV Apps, Sander Saar, Red Bull Media House’s Consultant for Product Strategy and Growth and Josh Pressnell, Penthera’s CTO.

    OTT providers in Europe face many issues including those brought on by Covid-19, increased competition, content rights for digital/mobile distribution, shifting viewer behaviors, evolving business models and more. Our panelists are all innovating to meet viewer demands and compete aggressively. We’ll be diving into all of these topics in the webinar, which will include new European OTT research presented by Penthera.

    The webinar is on Tuesday, July 14th at 9am Eastern U.S. Time / 2pm British Summer Time. Registration is free.

  • VideoNuze Podcast #456: AT&T’s Busy Week; BritBox Goes to U.K.; YouTube’s Latest Ad Revolt

    I’m pleased to present the 456th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast we cover 3 different topics. First, AT&T had a busy week - its deal for Time Warner was finally cleared after the DOJ’s appeal was rejected, both HBO CEO Richard Plepler and Turner president David Levy resigned, and a Variety report has Disney interested in buying AT&T’s 10% stake in Hulu. Colin and I discuss all of these and their implications.

    Next, Colin weighs in on the new collaboration between the BBC and ITV to launch a version of BritBox in the U.K. and why it matters. Finally, another week, another YouTube content malefactor(s), leading to an advertiser pullback. We discuss how YouTube is playing whack-a-mole but that at the end of the day advertisers need YouTube and are unlikely to leave altogether.
    Listen in to learn more!

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  • Younger Viewers in UK Now Spend More Time With OTT Content Than Broadcast

    More evidence of the shifting viewership behavior of younger audiences: UK regulator Ofcom’s first annual Media Nations report found that 16-34 year-olds there now watch an average of 2 hours, 37 minutes per day of OTT content vs. 2 hours, 11 minutes of broadcast content across all devices.  

    The younger group’s OTT consumption is almost double the overall population’s of 1 hour, 28 minutes. Across all age groups, 71% of viewing time is still with broadcast content. However, broadcast TV viewership on TVs dropped by 9 minutes, or 4.2% in 2017 to an average of 3 hours, 22 minutes per day. Since 2012, broadcast viewership has decreased by 38 minutes per day or 15.7%.

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  • Discovery’s $2 Billion Global Golf Deal Highlights OTT’s Potential

    Discovery has signed a 12-year, $2 billion deal with the PGA Tour for global multi-platform live rights in 220 markets outside the U.S. for all PGA Tour properties. The deal provides access to 150 tournaments per year (2,000 live hours) including high-profile events such as The PLAYERS Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup (though I believe it excludes other marquee events such as the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup which are outside the PGA Tour’s purview).

    While Discovery will broadcast the tournaments on its various international cable and broadcast TV networks, the big potential upside in the deal is the new dedicated PGA Tour-branded OTT streaming service Discovery plans to build. The unnamed service, which will launch next year, will be another high-profile test of OTT’s ability to deliver direct-to-consumer benefits to super-fans as well as create incremental revenues.

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  • Comcast Adds Sling TV International Content to X1

    Comcast is continuing to add programming choices to its X1 set-top boxes, this morning announcing that the Sling TV international app will be made available. Sling TV international offers live and on-demand streaming of over 395 different networks, spanning 21 different languages. Pricing starts at $10 per month and new users can sign up on X1.

    The addition of Sling TV international follows Comcast adding Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and NPR One to X1 over the past 6 months. Because X1 has a broadband connection and can run apps, it’s critical to Comcast’s strategy of bridging online content with traditional TV content. Late last year Comcast also announced deals with AMC and FX to offer subscription, ad-free services from both networks, exclusively for X1 subscribers.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #413: Spielberg’s Backward-Looking View On Netflix’s Cannes Film Festival Ban

    I’m pleased to present the 413th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I wade into the debate over Netflix’s films being banned from consideration at the Cannes Film Festival. We were both struck by Steven Spielberg’s support of the ban, as it seems to us backward-looking and dependent on an outdated definition of what constitutes a “film.” That said, we both understand the deep cultural and economic motivations behind banning Netflix. This week’s BBC report that younger viewers are now consuming more Netflix than BBC content reinforces the global vs. local battle that’s unfolding.

    We contrast to this backward-looking approach, by highlighting how Hulu has embraced a viewer-first model, which appears to really be paying off for the service. There are lessons local broadcasters around the world could gain from observing Hulu’s model, starting with giving viewers as much choice as possible.

    Listen in to learn more!

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  • Interview with Gal Turjeman, CEO of Artimedia, Which Just Sparked an Antitrust Investigation of Google in Israel

    Coincidentally, while I was in Israel a couple of weeks ago for the Video Trends conference, the country’s Antitrust Authority opened an investigation into Google and its dominance of the Internet advertising market as a restraint of trade.

    The investigation was prompted by a complaint from Artimedia, a global company that entered the Israeli online video advertising market 3 years ago. Artimedia is backed by Singaporean investors, mainly by Mr. Ching Chiat Kwong, chairman and CEO of Oxley Holdings, which is publicly traded in Singapore Exchange market (SGX:5UX). I interviewed Artimedia’s CEO Gal Turjeman to learn more about the investigation. Following is an edited transcript.

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  • Latency in Live Sports Streaming is Improving

    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.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #373: BBC-Twitter, More On Facebook’s Video Plans

    I’m pleased to present the 373rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week, Colin shares his thoughts on the BBC’s new partnership with Twitter to stream coverage of the upcoming U.K. election. We agree this seems strategic for both companies and picks up on Twitter’s work in the U.S. election. As Colin points it, Twitter gives BBC access to critical younger audiences. For Twitter, the BBC deal also follows its recently announced partnership with Bloomberg.

    Then we turn our attention back to Facebook video, which we discussed on last week’s podcast. News that A&E, MTV and WGN are all cutting back on scripted originals in the face of SVOD companies’ mounting investments got us wondering exactly what Facebook will get for its $250K per episode (which Mike Shields at BI also raised). Given the middling success AOL, YouTube and others have had with originals, the question of how Facebook will differentiate is intriguing.

    Listen in to learn more!
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  • "Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner Explains How SVOD’s International Distribution Changes TV’s Economics

    “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner explained how Netflix’s and Amazon’s international distribution capabilities are changing the TV industry’s economics as well as mitigating domestic viewership fragmentation, in an interview he did with Videology’s Chairman and CEO Scott Ferber at the company’s “Full Frontal 2017” event on March 8th.

    It’s no secret that both Netflix and Amazon are aggressively promoting their SVOD services in approximately 200 different countries around the world. But Weiner explained how having their own international distribution footprint distinguishes them from other networks, enabling them to pursue projects with the intention of globally distributing the programs without the necessity of having partners.

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  • Amazon Rolls Out Prime Video to 200+ Countries

    Amazon has officially made Prime Video available in over 200 countries and territories around the world, a move that has been expected. Prime Video will be included for Amazon Prime members in Belgium, Canada, France, India, Italy and Spain. Elsewhere, Prime Video is being offered for a special rate of either $2.99 or 2.99 Euros per month for the first 6 months, after which it will revert to the standard rate of $5.99 or 5.99 Euros per month.

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  • Demise of Canada’s shomi Underscores Difficulty of Competing With Netflix’s Brand

    Yesterday, Canadian streaming service shomi (pronounced “Show Me”) announced that it was closing down as of November 30th. The news came just two years after its launch by two of Canada’s largest pay-TV operators, Shaw Communications and Rogers Communications. shomi’s future was in jeopardy ever since Shaw essentially exited the content business by selling all of its TV networks to Corus Entertainment for C$2.65 billion in April in order to focus on its pay-TV and broadband businesses. Shaw subsequently took a C$51 million write down for shomi. Rogers will now take a C$100-C$140 million hit.

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  • Next-Gen Video Service Sky Q Gets Boost from AirTies Mesh Technology

    Sky Q, which is Sky’s next-generation video service launching in 2016, will incorporate AirTies mesh technology to facilitate whole home pay-TV service on multiple devices. With AirTies mesh technology in Sky Q’s set-top boxes, routers and accessory devices, each is turned into a hot spot, so that linear, OTT and recorded video can be accessed on screens even in harder-to-reach locations in the home.

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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!

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #300: Disney Launches SVOD Service in UK; Amazon Video Takes Flight With JetBlue

    I'm pleased to present the 300th edition (wow!) of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss Disney’s newly launched “DisneyLife” SVOD service in the U.K. In his post on the launch, Colin noted that Disney CEO Bob Iger said DisneyLife lets the company “reach consumers directly and not through middlemen.” That’s a huge departure from the traditional pay-TV model, and more aligned with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s vision of “TV as an app.” Colin sees broad implications of DisneyLife, though I think expanding it to other geographies, given rights issues, will be difficult in the short-term.

    We then dig into some good news for JetBlue fliers - unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming will now be available on 150 JetBlue airplanes per an announcement from the companies this week. If it works well, this would be a winning deal for everyone involved - Amazon, JetBlue and passengers. We explain why and what could follow.

    Listen now to learn more and happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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  • thePlatform to Manage Video for STARZ PLAY Arabia

    thePlatform’s mpx system has been chosen by Parsifal Entertainment Group for backend video management and publishing for STARZ PLAY Arabia, a new SVOD service in Middle East and North Africa markets. Parsifal is a Swedish media company that STARZ tapped a year ago to assist with its international rollout.

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