With price-conscious customers increasingly choosing OTT boxes over conventional pay TV services, the existing networks are being forced to change their strategies as they see their market shares decline. The rise of Google's Chromecast and Apple TV, which are two of the most popular OTT solutions, will mean that total OTT sales will exceed shipments of IPTV set top boxes - including Sky's satellite services - at some point during 2015, a report from IHS Technology has found.
There has been volumes written about the impact of the internet on the television industry. The internet has profoundly changed the way we consume television. It has enabled interactive services, catch up TV, on demand services and over the top (OTT) businesses such as Hulu and Netflix, all of which would have been inconceivable ten years ago.
YouTube and similar site have enabled users to have an unrestricted choice of content to watch, from home videos and viral funnies to older TV programmes and music videos. Capturing and cataloguing televisions past and present has never been easier. Managing content right has never been harder – all because of the internet.
Mobile devices are supplanting television as the first screen on which customers view video because young people’s viewing habits are changing more rapidly than broadcasters can keep up with.
France Télévisions’ director of future media, Eric Scherer, told the MIPFormats conference in Cannes that the rapid change in the broadcasting landscape presented huge challenges to traditional TV broadcasters.
“The TV industry will have to work on a mobile-first strategy. Not a digital-first strategy, but a mobile-first strategy, because mobile is now the first screen, and it’s taking time away from the TV,” he told delegates.
It is received wisdom that any technological change in media results in disruption, even extinction, for traditional service providers at the expense of the modern upstart. But outside the newspaper industry, where the disruption caused by digital has proved calamitous for hundreds of publishers across the western world, the truth is much more prosaic.
Video was supposed to have killed the radio star but the arrival of DAB and a raft of new commercial broadcasters means more people listen to the wireless today than ever before. And YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video all supposedly spelled doom for television only for most of us to still be watching in excess of four hours TV a day.
HBO's long-anticipated 'cord-cutting' subscription option is here, but it seems the firm is still too scared of breaking ties with the American cable giants to make it the much-anticipated game-changer for how viewers access TV networks.
The official announcement of HBO Now came, of all places, at an Apple launch event. This is not the existing HBO Go service that lets existing HBO cable TV subscribers access programming through a multitude of set-top boxes and mobile devices. Instead HBO Now is a completely standalone proposition by which customers pay $14.99 a month for online access, with no other commitments.
Vodafone’s announcement that it is to launch a cloud-based TV service later in 2015 is evidence that growth in the UK’s nascent quadplay market is beginning to gather steam.
BT’s agreement to buy EE; Virgin Media’s bundling of TV, internet, mobile and fixed line services last year; and Three’s scramble to acquire O2 from Telefónica mean that five of the six big networks will probably emerge as the dominant players offering quadplay services later this year.
This is potentially great news for consumers in Britain, where less than one in 10 households currently purchases all four services from one operator. Churn rates are low among quadplay customers with only about five per cent switching operator each year compared with 10 per cent who buy three services from one operator.
The hospitality industry is no stranger to IPTV technology. It was one of the first to adopt this method of delivering entertainment services to customers in-room and on-resort but technology advances since help to accommodate the changing way in which people consume video, film and TV.
A new generation of TV watchers now demand to view their favourite content anytime anywhere, whether in their lounge at home or out and about on their smartphone and tablet – and this multiscreen experience extends to when people are staying in a hotel resort.
There’s a huge amount of discussion on, and investment in, quad play services across the globe. It's an issue close to our hearts at Perception TV, and one we’ve covered extensively on these pages – most recently exploring BT’s interest in an EE acquisition in It’s increasingly a quad play world.
Across Western Europe, quad play is expected to be a very big deal indeed. Pyramid Research expects an impressive 60% of households in some Western European countries will have access to quad play services by 2019. In France, SFR-Numericable has just launched a new offering under its Virgin Mobile brand, while JazzTel is waving the quad play banner in Spain.
Showtime President, David Nevins, preferred not to be drawn on the US network’s mobile OTT plans during his executive session at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in January this year. Instead, he chose to talk about how Showtime is preparing for the future by focusing on programming, says a recent article on Forbes.
In contrast, NBC’s Valari Staab couldn’t have been more effusive when launching the network’s new Live TV streaming service. “Whether you’re sitting at home watching The Blacklist on your iPad, tuning into the latest weather forecast on your train ride to work or taking your lunch break in front of your computer…our NBC audiences will appreciate having the full lineup of NBC programming available,” she said.