Sky Italy is one of the first broadcast industry customers to make use of innovative Video Delivery Network technology that is designed to improve streaming video QoE and take pressure off origin servers. Milan-based MainStreaming can rewrite routing tables so video can use a different connection between a cache and end-user if there are local network issues. The vendor also intelligently directs users to caches where the content they want is already available.
The roll-out of 4K is nowhere near ubiquitous, but 8K is seen as the obvious next format progression. Right now, it is a non-starter on all fronts: screen price, content availability, consumer buy-in, production costs and bandwidth requirements. The newly formed 8K Association says the same concerns were voiced for UHD six years ago, and they were overcome. Meanwhile, the DVB will shortly reveal the results of its study mission on formats beyond UHD-1 4K, and the early noises are positive.
Leading media companies are rethinking how they manage their content pipeline, which is the context for the recent announcements that Netflix is moving into Shepperton Studios and Sky is creating a new Europe-wide development and production capability. As one analyst explains, competition for content is at unprecedented levels, driving stakeholders to be involved earlier in the process. Netflix can start making up for content losses when companies like Disney repatriate content. Sky has an easier ROI calculation as group distribution assets expand.
An IHS Markit report shows that 40% of Pay TV customers in the UK first look somewhere other than their Pay TV provider for content – although they may well find their start-point via the operator STB. Onboarded broadcaster and OTT apps are one important destination. The report also highlights that, perhaps for unique local reasons, one-in-five German Pay TV homes use their service less than once a week – yet keep paying. And in the U.S., social media video viewing has overtaken long-form online viewing.
The DVB will use IBC 2019 to unveil its DVB-I efforts, promising a standardised release by year-end. This suite of specifications is designed to improve scale and costs for OTT and, among other things, it tackles content discovery in a hybrid IP/broadcast world where a broadband-delivered service may not be linked to a broadcast channel. The DVB thinks the standardised DVB-I model can benefit Pay TV just as much as free-to-air broadcasters.
Videoscape Europe, the strategy event for D2C, SVOD, AVOD and vPayTV, returns next month and hosts three analyst presentations that will shed light on what happens next in the premium digital video market. IHS takes a look under the hood of the Apple TV+, Disney+ and forthcoming WarnerMedia D2C services. Ampere Analysis considers what happens when consumers who are less price-sensitive start adopting streaming services, and Ovum outlines the future of ad-supported video online, especially as more viewing goes OTT.
Disney has unveiled its forthcoming Disney+ service, confirming pricing, launch date and rollout plans. The streaming service is due to go live in the US in November and will be available globally in the following two years. It will be home to some 7,500 TV episodes and 500 films, including more than 25 original series and 10 original films in its first year.
There is a “clear negative relationship” between Netflix uptake and pay TV growth, according to Ampere Analysis. Presenting at the Connected TV World Summit last week, Ampere Research Director Richard Broughton explored shifting viewing patterns, the age breakdown of OTT viewing and the commissioning power of today's online video giants.
The BBC’s commercial arm and Discovery have agreed to split their UKTV joint venture, a move that will see BBC Studios pay £173m to Discovery to acquire the UKTV brand and the bulk of its channels. The companies said that breaking up their 50-50 ownership of UKTV complements the strategic focus and commercial business of both organisations.
Discovery is due to launch a new natural history streaming service by 2020 after striking a major content partnership with BBC Studios. Discovery will be the exclusive global SVOD partner for BBC landmark natural history programmes globally outside the UK, Ireland and China for 10 years. Shows like Planet Earth and Blue Planet will be a core part of the service.