ESPN Sets April 12 as Launch Date for New Streaming Service

ESPN+ is slated to launch on April 12th. ESPN’s new streaming service will cost $4.99 per month and will include “streaming access to live sports, original content, and on-demand programming delivered [via] a redesigned and personalized ESPN app, as well as ESPN.com,” reports TechCrunch. In August of last year, Disney made key announcements regarding plans for streaming video services: a Disney-branded platform slated for 2019, an ESPN-branded service for early 2018, and a majority stake in streaming tech company BAMTech, founded by MLB Advanced Media.

Continue reading ESPN Sets April 12 as Launch Date for New Streaming Service

Number of OTT-Only Households in the U.S. Continues to Rise

According to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau, the number of households in the United States that are now using only OTT streaming services to watch movies and TV shows has reached 14.1 million, a figure that has almost tripled over five years. However, that number makes up just 11 percent of all U.S. TV households. The report also found that over-the-top services are often used in tandem with pay TV subscriptions; 70 percent of those with OTT services also pay for cable, satellite or telcos.

Continue reading Number of OTT-Only Households in the U.S. Continues to Rise

ATSC, CTA, NAB Chiefs Gather to Celebrate ATSC 3.0 Rollout

In the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center at CES 2018, ATSC president Mark Richer, NAB president Sen. Gordon Smith and CTA president/chief executive Gary Shapiro gathered to clink glasses of champagne to celebrate the official rollout of the new ATSC 3.0 television standard. In the audience were ATSC board members and several people who contributed to the standard. “Today’s milestone wouldn’t be possible without the work of hundreds of people,” declared Richer. “It’s been an intensive five year effort by all these people.” Continue reading ATSC, CTA, NAB Chiefs Gather to Celebrate ATSC 3.0 Rollout

Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

At CES, Dish debuted AirTV, a 4K set-top box that features Sling TV, Netflix and Android TV for streaming apps and OTA channels, with the Sling TV guide as an organizer for all of the content. The accompanying remote control, which connects to the box via Bluetooth and offers voice controls, provides dedicated buttons for the streaming libraries. The set-top box is “about the size of an Apple TV or Roku box,” with ports for power, Ethernet, HDMI and USB. AirTV is priced at $100 or $130 for the antenna-compatible version. Continue reading Dish’s AirTV Box Fuses Streaming, OTA Channels with EPG

EU Proposes Regulations for Online Communication Services

The European Union’s executive arm is poised to propose that online communication services such as Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s WhatsApp be regulated similarly to telecoms, a move that telecom executives have long advocated as creating a level playing field. Telecoms would actually prefer that the EU repeal regulations on user privacy among other specifics but, in lieu of that, are content to see their industry-specific regulations extended to online communication services, most of which are currently free. Continue reading EU Proposes Regulations for Online Communication Services

EU Rules to Create Parity Between Internet Apps and Carriers

Deutsche Telekom and Spain’s Telefónica have long lobbied the European Union to either repeal some of the onerous regulations governing carriers or to extend them to Internet-based text-message and voice-call services, including Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s WhatsApp. Now, carriers might get their wish as the EU’s executive body is on the verge of suggesting more rules for Skype, WhatsApp and their ilk: tighter privacy and security, and an easier way for consumers to move information when switching services. Continue reading EU Rules to Create Parity Between Internet Apps and Carriers

NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke did not anticipate the big impact of time-shifting and over-the-top services such as Netflix and Hulu on the cable business, he said during CES 2016. Instead, he believed cable entertainment ratings would be stronger than they are today. At the same time, he doesn’t consider Netflix to be just an enemy but, rather, a friend and frenemy as well. More puzzling to him is how advertisers discount television in favor of digital outlets, which, he notes, do not have the reach or emotional impact of TV. Continue reading NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

Netflix has become one of the world’s top grossing apps after the streaming company introduced an in-app subscription option. Netflix placed ninth in App Annie’s Top Grossing Apps chart for November 2015. This marks the first time that Netflix has made the list, joining the ranks of other streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, HBO Now and Hulu. Netflix’s reluctance to sell subscriptions through its app in the past may have been due to Apple’s steep cut of in-app purchase revenue. Continue reading Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

Internet Service Providers Compete for OTT Video Dominance

Competition in the OTT video market has heated up over this last year, and will likely build over the coming year, say some experts. Currently in online video, the top five online video destinations account for 85 percent of the market share. High-trafficked video destinations include YouTube and Facebook and TV brands such as ESPN, CNN and Fox Sports. But the mid-to-long tail sites have almost no video — which is worth significantly more than display advertising — making it an opportunity that’s been waiting to happen. Continue reading Internet Service Providers Compete for OTT Video Dominance

Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

New details about Verizon’s mobile video service were revealed after the company accidentally turned on a pre-launch staging website — briefly, but long enough for details to be revealed. Named Go90, the mobile service will offer select live music, exclusive events and sports as well as some full TV episodes, music videos and other short-form content. The landing page revealed new content partners and reaffirmed that, at least initially, the service will be delivered free of charge. The landing page has since been taken down. Continue reading Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

TBO: Alibaba Announces Plans for Subscription Video Service

Liu Chunning, president of Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment arm, announced that the Chinese e-commerce giant is planning to launch a new subscription video service in two months called Tmall Box Office (TBO). “We aim to become [the equivalent of] HBO and Netflix in the U.S.,” he said during the Shanghai International Film Festival. The service will stream local movies and TV shows, imported content and original programming produced by Alibaba. The service will be available on Alibaba’s smart TVs and OTT box. Continue reading TBO: Alibaba Announces Plans for Subscription Video Service

Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

During CES, Dish announced its $20 per month, OTT subscription service that provides access to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and YouTube videos from Maker Studios. Sling TV could finally help position the enormously popular YouTube content at the same advertising value as television. Advertisers would be able to reach the younger demographic that increasingly watches less television, while multi-channel networks like Maker Studios may grow in value. Continue reading Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

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

Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Rovi, a company that powers video guides and recommendation systems, has announced the acquisition of Fanhattan, a startup specializing in video discovery through its Fan TV products. The acquisition is expected to bolster Rovi’s portfolio of cloud-based TV guides. Fanhattan could benefit from Rovi’s sales force, which may be able to distribute the Fan TV streaming set-top box to Charter and Dish customers. Fan TV integrates video from different sources into a single user-friendly interface. Continue reading Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

Amazon Studios entered the original programming business with the intent of developing quality content on par with that of premium networks such as HBO. Programming of HBO caliber however, is not possible without the necessary financial commitment to help producers. “There was never any need to go back to them (to ask for more money)… You don’t worry they’ll say, ‘Let’s do it for less,’” says creator Garry Trudeau of his experience with the studio on its debut hit, “Alpha House.” Continue reading Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

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