Posts for 'HBO GO'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #243 - AT&T Promotes OTT and Broadband With New Amazon Offer

    I'm pleased to present the 243rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Earlier this week both Colin and I were intrigued to see AT&T in the market with a new $39 per month offer putting broadband and OTT front and center, with HBO/HBO Go plus a year of Amazon Prime. Just the low tier of U-verse U-basic TV is included. Colin and I both interpreted this as an aggressive move to attract millennials/cord-nevers.

    The offer is also the latest by a pay-TV operator using OTT services as a lure. We've seen several European and smaller U.S. pay-TV operators promote Netflix as well. Colin and I discuss how operators are clearly becoming more flexible with regard to OTT services. We wrap up with a  preview of some of the new OTT pay-TV services coming to market and whether a linear TV style package makes sense and whether they too should incorporate OTT services.

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  • How Binge-Viewing Became a Cultural Phenomenon - A Brief History

    Binge-viewing is surely one of the most notable cultural phenomena of the past few years. Barely registering as a concept less than 3 years ago, many recent research reports now cite binge-viewing as having been adopted - if not regularly practiced - by a majority of TV viewers (examples here, here, here, here, here, here).

    The shift toward binge-viewing has immense implications for the TV and video industries, touching everything from the creative process to programming/distribution decisions to monetization approaches. Some companies are fully embracing binge-viewing and riding its wave, while others are taking a more cautious approach.

    Stepping back though, how exactly did binge-viewing become such a cultural phenomenon? I believe there are at least 5 key contributing factors, with the relationships among them creating a perfect storm of growth.

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  • 6 Video-Related Takeaways from D: Dive Into Media Conference

    I attended the D: Dive Into Media conference earlier this week for the first time. It is mainly a series of one-on-one interviews with senior executives from a variety of media and technology companies, plus networking. Overall it was a great conference, and it's hard to beat a couple of days in beautiful Dana Point, CA, especially when coming off a blizzard in Boston.

    My main interest was the video-related sessions, and from those I had 6 takeaways which I share below (along with selected session video clips), in no particular order:

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  • Conviva Wins 6-Year Deal For HBO GO Video Delivery Optimization

    Conviva, whose software preemptively optimizes video streams on multiple platforms, has renewed and expanded its existing deal with HBO for another 6 years. Conviva's original deal with HBO dates to May, 2011. Conviva has been supporting HBO's HBO GO TV Everywhere domestic distribution, and under the new deal it will be extended to support international distribution as well. HBO's parent, Time Warner, is also an investor in Conviva.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Report Podcast #136 -; E3 Reactions; TV is Ossified

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 136th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast (our podcast's new co-branded name, going forward).

    This week we first discuss a fascinating new web site, that invites visitors to submit how much they'd pay for a standalone HBO GO service. It's the latest in the larger dynamics around HBO going direct-to-consumer, rather than solely via pay-TV operators. In my video interview with HBO's co-president Eric Kessler 6 months ago, he explained the rationale for HBO sticking to its roots with HBO GO, which Ryan Lawler at TechCrunch enumerated this week. While Colin and I understand the reasoning, we contend that changing consumer expectations and a strong desire for viewing flexibility will inevitably pressure HBO - and others - to re-think traditional approaches. This is a topic I explored at length over a year ago.

    Then Colin offers his reactions to E3 and what the major gaming console providers announced with streaming video apps this week. Last I discuss my video interview with top Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett that I posted yesterday, in which Craig states that the TV industry is so "ossified" that re-invention can only come from outsiders.

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  • Re-posting My Video Interview With HBO Co-President Eric Kessler as "Game of Thrones" Piracy Soars

    There's lots of online buzz right now about an apparently massive amount of online piracy for HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones." To better understand HBO's online strategy with its HBO GO app, I recommend watching the interview I did with co-president Eric Kessler at last November's VideoSchmooze event, which I've re-posted below. This interview is the primary source for a lot of the back-and-forth going on about the GOT piracy issue and what's behind it.

    In the interview Eric is very clear in explaining why HBO is focused on maintaining exclusive distribution through pay-TV providers, which means the HBO GO app is only available to HBO/pay-TV subscribers. Coincidentally, this week's podcast touches on how restrictive access to popular programming helps breed piracy.  In this case HBO has rabid GOT fans, but many aren't cable subscribers as Forbes points out, and therefore can't subscribe to HBO. I explained this conundrum back in March, 2011 in "Could HBO be the Next BLOCKBUSTER."

    By limiting its distribution, HBO is adhering to a traditional model that still works reasonably well and is very rationale, yet also leaves lots of opportunity on the table and encourages illegal behavior. It's yet another one of the many dilemmas arising as analog era business models collide with digital era distribution realities.

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  • Comcast Authenticates HBO GO on Xbox As Online Delivery Shifts Industry Leverage

    Comcast announced on its blog on Friday that it will indeed authenticate HBO GO for use by subscribers with both Xbox and the Xbox Live service. When Xbox initially announced two weeks ago that it was enabling Comcast's Xfinity TV, MLB.TV and HBO GO apps, Comcast (along with Time Warner Cable and Bright House) subscribers were unable to access HBO GO, because the cable operators weren't authenticating it. For Comcast subscribers, that meant the only HBO programs they could view on their Xbox was via the Xfinity app, which offers far less content. The move set off a vocal protest by Comcast/HBO/Xbox subscribers, including a much-noticed Facebook post by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #128 - Comcast to Authenticate HBO GO on Xbox? MMOD Traffic Down

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 128th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for April 6, 2012. First up this week we discuss another angle of last week's Xbox video launch - whether Comcast will reverse itself and authenticate HBO GO for its subscribers (as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote openly on Facebook asking Comcast to do). Then we discuss the downturn in March Madness online traffic and the effect of Turner's new paywall.

    Last week when Xbox launched a number of new video apps including Comcast's Xfinity, HBO GO and, Comcast made a decision not to authenticate HBO GO for its own subscribers with Xboxes, thereby forcing them to settle for HBO content that's available within its own Xfinity app. As Colin points out, that was a continuation of Comcast's (and other pay-TV operators') policy of not authenticating the HBO GO app for its subscribers using Roku.

    A vocal group of Comcast/HBO subscribers with Xbox complained, with Hastings's post getting the most attention. This week, the NY Times reported that Comcast might reverse itself and authenticate HBO GO after all. It's confusing stuff, and Colin and I do our best to explain what might be going on behind the scenes with the balance of power between cable operators and cable networks.

    We then discuss news that daily March Madness traffic was down 10% year-over-year, likely attributable to Turner introducing a $3.99 app to view the games for which it had broadcast rights (CBS games were still available online for free). There was a paywall up until a few years ago, when the full tournament went free online, causing an explosion of traffic and ad revenue. Colin and I interpret the new data and its broader implications for TV Everywhere.

    (For everyone celebrating holidays, enjoy your weekend!)

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 48 seconds)

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  • HBO GO: 98 Million Streams to Date and Staying Exclusive

    In an interview with me at yesterday's VideoSchmooze, HBO co-president Eric Kessler said that HBO GO has delivered 98 million video streams to date. HBO GO is offered at no extra cost to existing HBO subscribers as long as their pay-TV provider and HBO have agreed to make the service available. Eric also noted that HBO intends for HBO GO to remain the sole streaming outlet for its programs as it believes this type of exclusivity is a key differentiator vs. aggregators like Netflix, Amazon and others, most of whose content is non-exclusive. Clearly this is what HBO GO users want: over 70% of viewership has been for HBO's original programs.

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  • This Holiday Season, Video Apps' Purpose is to Sell Devices

    It's no secret that consumer electronics makers have long relied on content to help sell their devices.  After all, people buy devices because of what they can do, or consume, on them, just ask Apple, whose iTunes store is the linchpin to its iOS devices' success. However, as the all-important holiday season approaches, there's new evidence that video apps specifically are being embraced by CE providers (loosely defined) to drive their devices' value propositions.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #102 - HBO GO's Opportunities - July 1, 2011

    Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 102nd edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for July 1, 2011.

    In this week's podcast, Daisy and I discuss HBO GO, the online/mobile service from HBO. As I said in my review yesterday, I'm very impressed with HBO GO, and believe it is a strong new asset for the company. The big question is what exactly will HBO do with it - maintain it as a primarily defensive value-add to subscribers, or pivot to broader online distribution partnerships and possibly even direct-to-consumer initiatives? Daisy and I contemplate the options and risks.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (11 minutes, 13 seconds)

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