January 23, 2014
A number of companies are making moves toward launching Internet TV services that would be available on any mobile device and allow for easier navigation and recording in the cloud, among other features. Sony claims to be close to testing a cloud-based TV service, while Verizon has purchased an Internet TV service developed by Intel. Meanwhile, Amazon is said to be working on a set-top box for delivering streaming video, and Apple is approaching content companies to pitch its own solution.
According to Quartz, Internet TV is not out of the question for 2014. News of Verizon and Amazon’s progress toward a new service was released this week, and Amazon in particular is also making an attempt to launch its own pay TV service.
Amazon “has the advantage of already running Amazon Prime Instant Video, which competes with Netflix,” notes the article. “Amazon is also famously willing to operate new businesses at a loss, which could be useful when striking expensive programming deals.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has approached entertainment companies about licensing their television channels for “a possible new online pay TV service, in what would be a significant expansion of the company’s online video efforts.” The service would offer live TV channels in addition to the on-demand content already available through Prime.
Meanwhile, Verizon’s purchase of Intel’s Internet TV startup OnCue cost the company less than $200 million, according to Bloomberg. The article reports that Verizon said the purchase will expedite the arrival of new FiOS features and that the telco would offer it as an Internet-based service. GigaOM says the effort by Verizon is a move to compete with its former ally, Comcast.
“Broadcasters are playing hardball, trying to get more money for each and every channel,” GigaOM says. “Cord cutters may not have grown to become a major threat just yet, but further depress the bottom line in an industry that has little room for growth to begin with.” By moving to offer Internet TV services, companies like Verizon and Amazon hope to appeal to customers who have opted out of cable due to cost and inconvenience.