Netflix Launches Two New Interactive Digital Shows for Kids

Netflix is embarking on an experiment in interactive online storytelling with children’s programs “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” (available now) and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” (debuting July 14). With thousands of possible story paths, the shows allow viewers to choose his or own adventure. Whereas books and videogames have offered this kind of storytelling for years, it’s been difficult — and, from the point of view of the studio or TV network, not financially viable — to do so for video. Continue reading Netflix Launches Two New Interactive Digital Shows for Kids

NAB 2017: Parks Associates Study Finds That TV Is Still King

Parks Associates debuted a report looking at trends in OTT, focusing on 2010 through 2016. Senior research analyst Glenn Hower stated that TV remains the top viewing platform by hours of video watched in U.S. households. “Yes, people do watch video on lots of devices,” said Hower. “But it hasn’t cannibalized TV.” Among those devices, viewing on computers has leveled out, whereas mobile phones and tablets have seen modest increases, but low overall viewership, which means people are watching a lot of short form content.” Continue reading NAB 2017: Parks Associates Study Finds That TV Is Still King

Sharing HBO GO or Netflix Passwords Is Now a Federal Crime

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has ruled that using another person’s password to access online services such as HBO GO and Netflix is now considered in violation of federal computer laws. “But don’t panic,” suggests Variety. “It’s not likely that subscription VOD providers will suddenly have the feds descend on people swapping their login credentials.” While a 2015 study from Parks Associates projected that SVOD services could lose up to $500 million in revenue from password sharing, several services have downplayed the impact. During CES, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even noted that many violators often become paying customers. Continue reading Sharing HBO GO or Netflix Passwords Is Now a Federal Crime

CES: Conference Tracks Explore Breadth, Depth of Innovation

In addition to its 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space and product showcases, CES offers nearly 300 conference sessions covering the gamut of consumer technology. Its 36 different conference tracks explore industry sectors from Automotive to Wireless. These conference sessions leverage the presence of more than 48,000 senior-level executives and government officials, many of whom participate on panels or present as subject matter experts. ETC will cover the most relevant sessions from Las Vegas, January 5-9. Continue reading CES: Conference Tracks Explore Breadth, Depth of Innovation

Digital Hollywood: Evolution of Internet TV and Mobile Video

Internet TV has become increasingly mainstream, fulfilling the promise of video anytime, anywhere. A Digital Hollywood panel, moderated by Siemens executive Steve Wong, took a look at video across platforms to determine where the players currently stand in the evolution. Quoting a Parks Associates study, Wong revealed that North America leads the globe with OTT, whose revenue is largely based on subscriptions rather than transactions. Internet advertising is also due to overtake TV advertising by 2017, said the study. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Evolution of Internet TV and Mobile Video

Today’s Subscription VOD Players Deal with Password Sharing

Netflix, HBO and other Internet video-subscription providers will lose about $500 million worldwide in 2015 due to nonpaying customers who piggyback off the login info of paying friends and family. However, because these companies want to make it easy for consumers to use their services, especially as the number of new subscribers continues to grow, they have yet to crack down on password sharing. Netflix and HBO execs are reportedly not concerned about the issue, as studies have shown many unauthorized users eventually become paying customers. Continue reading Today’s Subscription VOD Players Deal with Password Sharing

PlayReady: Microsoft and Chipmakers Plan to Reduce Piracy

In an effort to reduce movie piracy, Microsoft is working alongside chip manufacturers such as Qualcommn, AMD, Nvidia and Intel to develop a technology for the PC that monitors and protects select HD content from being illegally copied. The technology, which Microsoft is calling PlayReady 3.0, will be available for PC owners running on Windows 10. Microsoft wants to ensure that PlayReady 3.0 can serve as a reliable and safe way for movie viewers to stream high-quality, 4K content on their PCs.  Continue reading PlayReady: Microsoft and Chipmakers Plan to Reduce Piracy

Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

HBO is expected to offer its Web-only subscription service this spring. According to Parks Associates, the move could have an impact on the pay TV business since 17 percent of homes with high-speed Internet indicate plans to subscribe to the OTT service. And while 88 million U.S. households currently have broadband, that percentage potentially represents nearly 15 million subscribers. Following a strong media reaction, Parks followed up by clarifying that the data is a measure of sentiment and placing numbers on potential cord cutters may be premature. Continue reading Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

2015 CES: Wearables to Take Many Forms at the Sands Expo

Wearables made a surprisingly robust showing at the 2014 International CES. At the next Consumer Electronics Show in January, a Wearables Marketplace (Sands, Level 2) will gather companies providing products from “high-tech fashion and smart jewelry to wearables that track your mood, activity and even your pets, as well as the newest augmented reality devices.” Other wearable providers will be found in the Smart Watches, Health & Wellness and Sports Tech Marketplaces, all located in the Sands Expo. Continue reading 2015 CES: Wearables to Take Many Forms at the Sands Expo

Chromecast Numbers Surpass Apple TV, Roku Holds the Lead

A recent survey shows that Google’s Chromecast media dongle is now more popular among U.S. households than the Apple TV set-top box. The small Chromecast device simply plugs into a TV’s HDMI slot to play streaming media content from the Internet. At just $35, Chromecast continues to gain momentum with consumers looking for an affordable means of playing video on their TVs from services such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Despite Chromecast’s new position in the rankings, it remains second to Roku. Continue reading Chromecast Numbers Surpass Apple TV, Roku Holds the Lead

Game Consoles Most Popular Video Streaming Device in U.S.

Game consoles now beat out smart TVs and streaming media boxes as the device most frequently used for video streaming, according to a Parks Associates report on Americans’ streaming habits. In the survey of 10,000 households, 44 percent of respondents use a game console as their “primary connected” device for video streaming. Only 20 percent of respondents use smart TVs for streaming and only 12 percent watch video through a streaming media box. Continue reading Game Consoles Most Popular Video Streaming Device in U.S.

Best Buy Plans to Offer Smart Home Hub via New Peq Service

According to videos recently posted to YouTube, Best Buy will offer a smart home hub through a $9.99-per-month service called Peq, which is provided by the newly launched SmartHome Ventures. Ted Schremp, CEO of SmartHome Ventures, suggests that Peq makes setting up and operating home automation and security very simple. Best Buy will become the fourth major retailer to join the home automation space following Lowe’s Iris, Staples Connect and Home Depot’s deal with Wink-Quirky. Continue reading Best Buy Plans to Offer Smart Home Hub via New Peq Service

Report Predicts Continued Growth of Streaming Media Players

Parks Associates predicts that more than 25 percent of U.S. households will have a streaming media player by 2015. Worldwide sales for streaming media players are expected to reach nearly 50 million by 2017. According to “The Evolving Market For Streaming Media Devices” report, Roku accounted for 46 percent of streaming players purchased in the U.S. last year, and Apple accounted for 26 percent. While Roku leads the U.S. market, Apple holds the worldwide lead. Continue reading Report Predicts Continued Growth of Streaming Media Players