The average US consumer now subscribes to three paid streaming video services, according to Deloitte’s latest Digital Media Trends Survey. For the first time, the research found that more viewers have a subscription video service than a pay TV subscription, while 43% of respondents said they subscribe to both streaming services and traditional TV.
Viacom President James Currell has outlined the company's focus on building scale in ad-supported streaming, claiming that the global SVOD sector is becoming too “crowded” and “capital intensive”. Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention Currell said that while there is still scope for Viacom to make more selective plays in the premium market, these will likely be in line with the emergence of more specialist streaming services.
BBC Chairman David Clementi used his speech at this week's Oxford Media Convention to raise questions about whether regulation devised in the linear era is fit for today's digital world. Urging regulators not to disadvantage public service broadcasters against global competitors like Netflix and YouTube, he stressed the urgency of the BBC's plans to revamp the iPlayer, complaining Ofcom has slowed the BBC down at a time when speed is of the essence.
Sky and Comcast are already seeing clear benefits from their combination, according to Sky boss Jeremy Darroch. Speaking at Media and Telecoms 2019 and Beyond this week, Darroch said that Comcast's voice interface is coming to Sky Q and that NBCUniversal's 2020 AVOD service will be powered by Now TV's technology. He also spoke out about the 'dark side' of social media and called for more regulation of the tech giants.
Viacom has agreed to buy Pluto TV, the free, ad-supported streaming television service with 12 million active monthly users. It gives Viacom a bigger presence on connected platforms and a new DTC outlet for some of its content. The Pluto TV subsidiary will help Viacom grow its advanced advertising business and creates a new opportunity to monetise library titles. Pay TV partnerships are unaffected, as Viacom continues its strategy to work with operators and seek incremental business via digital.
CMAF is gaining a lot of attention for its ability to reduce the latency in live video streaming. Limelight Networks has conducted successful tests in its CDN showing the technology can reduce delays to as little as two-seconds. But there are media companies who need to break the sub-second latency barrier, partly to make streaming the true equal of broadcast TV, in terms of the user experience, and partly to open up new interactive and monetisation opportunities. There is a new standards-based streaming technology that makes this possible.
Freeview Plus, Australia’s free-to-air, hybrid broadcast broadband platform, won the ‘Best service’ award at the 2018 Connies after its UI upgrade led to viewers spending an average of 5% longer on the platform per visit. With one week left to enter this year’s awards, Videonet spoke to Liz Ross, CEO at Freeview Australia, to hear about progress and her priorities for the service.
Videonet gathered three leading analysts to identify the stories that mattered at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The biggest was the upcoming integration of iTunes Movies and TV and AirPlay on Samsung smart TVs, giving Apple users a much wider choice of screens if they want to watch streaming content. The second was the way Amazon, a VOD disruptor, has embraced DVR so viewers can watch and record terrestrial broadcast TV.
We asked our judges for the international categories at this year’s Connies Awards what will happen in TV and media this year, and here are their predictions. They also revealed some trends and emerging technologies that excite them. And one judge tells entrants precisely what he wants to see in his Dropbox folder when the deadline for submissions closes on February 8.
Inside Secure, which offers set-top box and multiscreen content protection solutions but also a portfolio spanning anti ad-blocking, mobile payment protection and IoT security, has agreed to acquire Verimatrix. The combined company will be a leader in software-based revenue security, with sophisticated analytics capabilities and wide opportunities for cross-selling. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2019.