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Analysis for 'Apple TV'

  • Survey: Price Sensitivity and Connected TV Devices Cloud Picture for Smart TV Adoption

    Today I'm pleased to introduce the newest VideoNuze contributor, Jose Alvear, who is a research analyst specializing in the pay-TV and online video industries. Jose has authored research reports on content delivery networks, IPTV, OTT video, cloud-based TV and social TV for leading firms in the industry. Jose is currently working on a book focusing on the disruption of the TV industry.

    Survey: Price Sensitivity and Connected TV Devices Cloud Picture for Smart TV Adoption

    by Jose Alvear

    Researcher IHS released survey results earlier this week suggesting a muted forecast for Smart TVs amid rising consumer price sensitivity and a proliferation of inexpensive connected TV devices. IHS found that 73% of U.S. consumers are not interested in buying a Smart TV in the next 12 months. IHS said that once consumers are educated about Smart TVs and learn more about their features, interest does increase. Overall awareness of Smart TVs is high, at 86%, with 30% expressing purchase intent over the next 12 months.

    But how intent translates into actual purchase is always tenuous and in this case, particularly so. That's because IHS also found that price has now vaulted to the top position as a driver for TV purchases, surpassing "screen size," which had been cited by more than 50% of respondents in 2012.

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  • VEVO Now Gets 50% of Its U.S. Video Views From Mobile, Tablet and Connected TVs

    There was an eye-opening data point in VEVO's viewership report for the first half of 2013, published this week: 50% of its U.S. video views now come from mobile, tablet and connected TV devices. In fact, in an interview on Bloomberg in late August (see below), VEVO CEO Rio Caraeff said non-desktop U.S. views are now over 500 million per month, more than half of its approximately 1 billion U.S. monthly views. He also characterized non-desktop as the fastest growing part of VEVO's business.

    The 50% non-desktop number is the highest I've seen disclosed by any online video content provider. Over the past year, when I've informally asked content providers about mobile/connected TV views, I've typically heard 25%-30%. By comparison, YouTube (note, VEVO is the largest partner) says on its site that mobile is 25% of its global watch time.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #194 - OTT's Role in CBS/TWC; Why Linear on Connected TVs; ESPN in College Football

    I'm pleased to present the 194th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. First up this week we discuss CBS CEO Leslie Moonves' remarks on CNBC essentially declaring victory in the company's retrans dispute with Time Warner Cable because it had preserved its ability to license its programs to Netflix and Amazon. Listeners will recall that 3 weeks ago on the podcast we talked about how OTT licensing was at the heart of the dispute and the consequences for TV Everywhere.

    Next we transition to questioning whether there's any real benefit for TV networks and pay-TV operators to stream linear channels to connected TVs. Colin observes that recent data from the BBC indicating very low levels of linear streaming on connected TVs appears to question the value of the Disney-Apple TV and Time Warner Cable-Xbox 360 deals. We speculate that these are mainly meant for 2nd or 3rd TVs that don't have pay-TV set-top boxes.

    Last, we chat briefly about the massive 3-part series that the NY Times ran just before Labor Day on ESPN's dominant role in college football - a long, but fascinating read. As I wrote, it's well worth the time for anyone interested in the influence of big time TV money not only on college sports but also on the broader American higher education system.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 41 seconds)

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  • Getting Beyond YouTube: VEVO Launches TV Apps, Maker Studios Acquires Blip

    One of the big trends in the online video world these days is big independent video providers seeking to expand their distribution and monetization beyond YouTube while controlling more of their own destinies. The trend is gaining further momentum as the WSJ is reporting that VEVO intends to launch its music app on Apple TVs and Samsung Smart TVs, and AllThingsD is reporting that Maker Studios is acquiring Blip.

    According to comScore's July online video rankings, VEVO was the top-ranked YouTube partner, with 47.6 million unique viewers and 581.9 million videos, while Maker Studios was ranked third, with 28.6 million unique viewers and 530.7 million videos.

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  • Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity Webinar

    Below is the replay of the complimentary video webinar I did on April 2nd with Brightcove's Executive Chairman, Jeremy Allaire, "Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity."

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  • Final Reminder: "Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity" Webinar is Tomorrow

    No April Fool's joke: this is the final reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday) I'll be doing a complimentary video webinar, "Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity," with Brightcove's Executive Chairman Jeremy Allaire at 1:30pm ET.

    The hottest rumor in the video industry is that Apple will launch a TV and/or TV-like device (beyond the current Apple TV puck). But beyond the hype and speculation, Jeremy and I both believe there's compelling strategic logic; a device that is properly conceived could well be a game-changer with wide-ranging consequences. In this webinar we'll dive into the details, and leave plenty of time for audience Q&A. We don't have any agenda or inside knowledge; we just thought it would be fun and timely to share thoughts and have a discussion on this topic.

    For anyone whose business would be impacted by an Apple television/device, it should be well worth your time.

    Complimentary registration here

    Follow the discussion and submit questions via Twitter at #SizingUpAppleTV

     
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  • Reminder: Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity Video Webinar on April 2nd

    A reminder that on Tuesday, April 2nd, Brightcove Chairman & CEO Jeremy Allaire and I are going to present a complimentary video webinar, "Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity."

    There have been infinite rumors about the idea of Apple launching its own television or "television-like" device (beyond the current Apple TV). In the webinar, Jeremy and I are going to delve into the details of why Apple might launch this type of product, what features and benefits it might actually have, how it would differentiate from competitors' products, how it might affect the ecosystem, and what challenges Apple would face trying to make it successful.

    Though we both believe an Apple TV device could be a game-changer, the webinar will be "hype-free" and focused on the logic of this product. We have no particular agenda other than to try shedding some light on this topic. For anyone in the ecosystem who would be impacted by an Apple television/device, it promises to be an engaging, worthwhile session.

    Complimentary registration here

    Follow the discussion and submit questions via Twitter at #SizingUpAppleTV

     
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  • Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity: A Complimentary Video Webinar on April 2nd

    I'm delighted to announce that Brightcove Chairman & CEO Jeremy Allaire and I are going to present a complimentary video webinar, "Sizing Up the Apple TV Opportunity," on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:30pm ET.

    The prospect of Apple launching its own television or "television-like" device (beyond the current Apple TV) has been one of the hottest rumors in the video industry. But while there has been lots of hype around it, there's been little strategic discussion of why Apple might launch this type of product, what features and benefits it might actually have, how it would differentiate from competitors' products, how it might affect the ecosystem, or what challenges Apple would face trying to make it successful. Our one-hour webinar will focus on exactly these types of questions.

    Jeremy and I have both written extensively about the prospects for an Apple television/device and (examples here, here, here) and we believe that like so many previous Apple products, if the device is properly conceived, it could well represent a game-changer with profound industry impact. That said, the webinar will be a "hype-free" zone where we'll rationally delve into the details, while also providing ample time for Q&A. There are no agendas at work; Jeremy and I merely thought it would be timely to try shedding some light on this topic. For anyone in the ecosystem who would be impacted by an Apple television/device, it promises to be an engaging, worthwhile session.

    Complimentary registration here

    Follow the discussion and submit questions via Twitter at #SizingUpAppleTV

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #163 - Why Smart TVs are Broken and Apple TV's Opportunity

    I'm pleased to present the 163rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon. Before getting into today's topic, Colin shares exciting news that he has set up a new firm, nScreenMedia. Congrats to Colin!

    This week we dive deeper into Smart TVs, focusing on the challenges they face, and what incremental improvements came out of CES (which Colin also wrote about earlier this week).

    While we both agree that fragmentation and relatively low volumes are holding back app development, Colin sees the solution as a unified "app framework," while I believe what's really required is the equivalent of an underlying common operating system for Smart TVs. This OS would not only create baseline consistency among them, but would also be interoperable with other devices like smartphones and tablets. This is crucial for viewers to seamlessly move back and forth between all their devices.

    Since I think the likelihood of something like this emerging any time soon is relatively low, I believe that the circumstances are ripe for Apple to extend its iOS to the living room by launching a full scale television (and an upgraded appliance as well). I wrote about this in detail earlier this week in "Post-CES, the Stage is Now Set for an Apple Television."

    Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 30 seconds)


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  • Post-CES, The Stage is Now Set for an Apple Television

    Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year or two, you've no doubt had your fill of stories about the elusive Apple television set - not the existing puck-like Apple TV device, but the actual full screen monitor. At the risk of adding to the topic's cacophony, today I'd like to articulate why, with CES now behind us, I believe Apple has a massive opportunity and that a television is 100% inevitable - with the only question being the specific timing of its introduction.

    Apple's television opportunity is not simply to one-up the competition's stable of Smart TVs, but to re-imagine the entire TV experience as an integral part of our lives. Simply put, Apple's task is to leverage all of the foundational pieces that already exist - high-speed broadband delivery, Wi-Fi, HDTV, its robust app store/developer network, and the massive installed base of touch screen iPads and iPhones - and then to create an unparalleled experience layer that allows users to do things heretofore unimaginable.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #161 - More on Why TV's User Experiences Matter Most

    I'm pleased to present the 161st edition of the weekly VideoNuze podcast, and first of 2013, with my partner Colin Dixon. Today we pick up on my post from yesterday, "For Tomorrow's TVs, User Experience is More Important Than Screen Size and Resolution," in which I asserted that despite TV manufacturers' new push toward "Ultra High-Definition," what consumers really seek are Smart TVs with user experiences that seamlessly integrate with their other devices and video services.

    Colin, who will be attending CES, shares more details on what he's hearing Samsung, LG and Sony will be introducing at the show. In general, we agree that as yet, nothing seems particularly ground-breaking or compelling, but we'll see if we're surprised.

    In fact, the sub-optimal user experiences of today's Smart TVs - plus other factors - leads me to believe there's a big opportunity for Apple, which we explore as well. At the risk of contributing to the hype around Apple launching a TV, I'm convinced they'll enter this market in a big way.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)




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

     
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  • No Surprise, Apple's Set-Top Box Dreams Have Gone Nowhere

    Several weeks ago, after the WSJ reported that Apple was talking to cable operators about building a set-top box, I wrote in pretty absolute terms that I could not envision this coming to reality ("Apple to Make Cable Set-Top Boxes? Not. Going. To. Happen."). Given the shifting sands of the video landscape, I'm generally reluctant to argue so one-sidedly. But, as I wrote, with so many reasons for cable operators not to foolishly outsource living room innovation to Apple, I asserted that the odds of cable operators getting in bed with Apple were next to zero.

    Well, three short weeks later, this morning Bloomberg wrote that Apple's set-top box dreams have gone essentially nowhere, buffeted by a laundry list of cable operator requirements and concerns. Among them: control over the user interface, whether the boxes should be sold direct to consumers or leased by the operator, concern by operators that a superior Apple set-top could undermine their multichannel business model, and access to content among others.

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  • Apple to Make Cable Set-Top Boxes? Not. Going. To. Happen.

    The Wall Street Journal's lead story this morning is that Apple is meeting with large U.S. cable operators about building an Apple set-top box that would deliver cable programming and other content. Typical of all rumors relating to Apple, no credible source is cited (just "people familiar with the matter") and an Apple spokesman declines to comment. My take on this? Barring cable industry executives taking complete leave of their senses, the likelihood of this actually happening is next to zero.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #135 - Verizon's Speedy Broadband, TiVo's Stream, Apple TV, Tom Brady

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 135th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for June 1, 2012. This week we cover 3 different topics: Verizon's announcement of ultra-fast new broadband service tiers (up to 300 mbps); TiVo's new "Stream" companion device which will allow 1-click video downloading to iOS devices and the fresh rumors around Apple introducing a television following CEO Tim Cook's interview at the D10 conference this week. We wrap up on a light-hearted note - the hilarious video from Funny or Die for Under Armour, "Tom Brady's Wicked Accent."

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #124 - Sizing Up Apple's TV Ambitions

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 124th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for Mar. 9, 2012. In this week's podcast we discuss Apple and its TV ambitions.

    This past Wednesday Apple announced a few minor feature updates to its $99 Apple TV device. While the device continues to improve, in my view it still does not come close to representing Apple's ultimate ambitions in the living room. I think it's inevitable that Apple will introduce some type of "television" (timing TBD) and that when it does, it will be both a design and an experience breakthrough. My caveat here is that Apple needs quality content to support the device, and what it will be able to offer is still unclear. Stirring the pot, in the past week the NY Post reported that Apple is negotiating for rights to turn channels into apps, and Steve Jobs's biographer said that he purposely left out of his book details of what Jobs thought Apple TV should be.

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  • Cloud Delivery Comes to Apple TV For Purchased TV Programs

    Apple has introduced several enhancements to Apple TV that make it easier to access purchased TV programs. With the new software updates, Apple TV users can buy programs (in addition to renting) via Apple TV directly, and those programs will then also be available for complimentary download on other iOS devices. Additionally, it's now also possible to stream previously purchased programs in iTunes from the cloud to Apple TV, obviating the need for local storage. Apple's goals here are to deliver more viewing flexibility for purchased programs, and therefore hopefully to drive more consumption.

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  • Apple TV Sold Almost 500K Units in Q2, So Maybe There's Still Hope For Google TV?

    Last week Google TV got smacked around pretty hard, as Logitech, maker of the standalone Revue device, conceded that returns were running ahead of sales (which has now been updated to reflect returns from distributors, not consumers). The company took a $34 million writedown to cover the cost of reducing Revue's price from $249 to $99. And Logitech's CEO Gerald Quindlen, a big Google TV promoter, was shown the d
    oor in the process.

    It's tempting to conclude that Google TV is toast. However, a small bit of news that got little attention last week suggests that there may still be hope for Google TV: it turns out that Apple TV sold a very respectable 480K units in Q2, which was 70% higher than a year ago, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. And with the holiday season just ahead, quarterly sales are likely to move still higher, making Apple TV a sleeper hit among connected devices.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 27th

    It's Friday and that means that once again VideoNuze is featuring 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Have a look at them now, or take them with you for weekend reading!

    Nielsen Unveils New Online Advertising Measurement
    comScore Introduces Digital GRP `Overnights` in AdEffx Campaign Essential
    Dueling initiatives from Nielsen and comScore were announced on Monday, aimed at translating online usage into comparable TV ratings information, including reach, frequency and Gross Ratings Points (GRPs). While online video ad buying is ramping up, the tools to measure viewership in a comprehensive way have been lacking. This is one of the main issues holding back content providers from participating in TV Everywhere. 

    Analyst: Cord-cutting fears overblown
    New research shared this week by BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield concludes that less than 8% of the market is actually interested in cord-cutting. The big impediment: losing access to sports and cable programming, which is unlikely to migrate to free over-the-top alternatives. Greenfield's conclusion is that cord-cutting isn't a major threat to pay-TV operators over the next 3-5 years. Notwithstanding the research, another factor I'd point to that could tip cord-cutting the other way is consumers' belt-tightening. Much as nobody wants to lose access to programming, if the price is perceived as too high, they'll make compromises.

    Why YouTube Viewers Have ADD and How to Stop It
    Abandonment rates for online video have always been a concern, and using new research, Visible Measures CMO Matt Cutler now quantifies the behavior. Expect 20% of the audience to drop out within 10 seconds of hitting play, 33% by the 30 second mark and 44% by 60 seconds in. Pretty sobering data but incredibly important in thinking about content creation and monetization.
     

    Networks Have Sharing Issues With Hulu
    Hulu's New Hoop
    On the one hand, Hulu's network partners, ABC, NBC and Fox are reportedly pulling back ad inventory that Hulu is allowed to sell, yet on the other, Hulu is reportedly out aggressively selling ads in Hulu Plus, its subscription service. Meanwhile this week Hulu also announced that Hulu Plus will be accessible on both Roku devices and TiVo Premiere, as it continues chasing Netflix in the subscription game.

    The New Apple TV Reviewed: It`s All About the Video
    Apple TV devices started shipping this week, and reviews began popping up all over the web. This mostly positive review indicates that the user experience is solid, but that content selection is still skimpy. That's no surprise given how few deals Apple has struck to date. Yet to be seen is how Apple TV performs when it can access other iOS apps.
     
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  • Intel's CEO is Bullish on Google TV, Less So on Apple TV

    Intel CEO Paul Otellini is plenty bullish on Google TV. In a short video interview with CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow, he praises Google TV's vision, saying that "we're just at the beginning of the smart TV revolution" and that "the holy grail here is a seamless proactive integration of this content." Of course, Otellini has a vested stake in Google TV's success as Intel is supplying its Atom chip to power Google TV.

    Otellini is decidedly more bullish on Google TV than he is on Apple TV, though he's cautious in noting that Apple is an Intel customer too. He says that Apple TV is "a streaming device for protected content, and there's a market for that," but quickly adds, "I think there's a bigger market for a deeper integration of the Internet into content." I think he's right on both accounts. It depends on what the user values - an open Internet experience on their TV, or a closed, but easy-to-use way of accessing a high-quality library (not to mention the price for each). There isn't one right answer, yet anyway. See "For Connected Devices, To Browse or Not to Browse - That is the Question" for a deeper discussion.




     
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  • Why Apple Still Doesn't Have a TV Strategy

    With the race to bring online video viewing to the TV now in full swing, I've continued to wonder why it is that Apple still doesn't have a TV strategy (or if they have one, why they haven't articulated it). More than 3 years since introducing Apple TV, its only TV-related product, Steve Jobs still routinely calls it a "hobby" and there has been virtually no innovation around it. Unsurprisingly, its sales have languished.

    Asked at the D8 conference last week when Apple is going to do something in the TV arena, Jobs replied that the "problem with innovation in the TV industry is the go-to-market strategy. There's a subsidized business model that gives everybody a set-top box for free or for $10/month - and that pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation because nobody's willing to buy a set-top box." As a result he said, "all you can do is add a box on" and that this brings "a table full of remotes, cluster of boxes and bunch of different UIs." Jobs asserted that the only way things will change is to "go back to square one and tear up the set-top box and redesign it from scratch."



    Of course, there is virtually no chance that cable/satellite/telco-provided set-top boxes are going away any time soon, which, given Jobs's definition of the problem, will leave Apple on the outside looking in as consumers hunger to view online video on their TVs. From my perspective there are at least 3 reasons Apple appears stymied.

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