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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
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    15,051

    [EN] The average American watches 20 times more video via television

    Despite Online Video's Massive Growth, Startups Like Back9 Network Still Seek Old School Pay-TV Deals

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 11:40 AM ET

    Posted by Will Richmond

    Signs of online video's growth and vibrancy are everywhere these days, but certain startup content providers still believe the surest road to success is by landing old school distribution (or "carriage") deals with large pay-TV operators. That was the message at last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger from Jamie Bosworth, Chairman and CEO of golf lifestyle focused Back9 Network.

    When asked at the hearing why Back9 Network couldn't just operate as an online video service, Bosworth said that "while online viewership is increasing, the average American still watches 20 times more video content via television and the advertising rates mirror that as well." Bosworth's issue is that because Comcast's NBC Sports group owns and distributes Golf Channel, the big cable operator has little incentive to add another golf-oriented network. Further, if the TWC merger were approved, it would stifle TV competition to a vast part of the American population.

    On the one hand Bosworth's position resonates - in whatever category Comcast owns a channel (like Golf), it is essentially "judge and jury" with regard to whether a new, potentially competitive or overlapping channel will get on the dial. At the hearing Comcast's David Cohen replied with a forceful case about how proactive the company has been in launching "independent" networks (i.e. those not affiliated with major programming groups like Viacom, Disney, etc. which have negotiating power to launch their own new networks), especially those owned by minorities and geared to these audiences.

    But listening to the back and forth, I found myself thinking how truly backward-looking the dispute is. Until not that long ago it WAS the case that startup video content providers had no choice but to try negotiating carriage deals with powerful pay-TV operators in order to be seen by viewers. With little leverage, these networks often gave up large chunks of equity and received relatively low carriage fees (if any) and Siberian outpost channel positioning (if they were lucky enough to not just be relegated to VOD-only access).

    All that has changed now with online video, which has democratized the landscape, allowing everyone from individuals (e.g. YouTube talent) to special-interest providers (e.g. Vice, VEVO, WWE, etc.) to build exciting businesses. Rather than rely on traditional pay-TV distribution, these online providers drive their own destinies with great content, clever marketing and branding, and flexible business models optimized for passionate audiences.

    To be sure, it's not easy, and certainly not as guaranteed a revenue stream as receiving a nickel or more per month to be carried by pay-TV operators into tens of millions of homes, as early cable networks achieved. But the mere fact that it is now possible has ignited a wild explosion of choice in online video.

    Every trend in the video business suggests online distribution is where the future growth will be: changing viewer behaviors, continued introductions and adoption of connected TV devices bringing the online experience into the living room, sophisticated ad technologies to help monetize every single view, and so on. Meanwhile, video margins for pay-TV operators keep shrinking, putting ever more pressure on costs, thereby further limiting the opportunity for new channels like Back9 Network to get carried. And that's before getting into the whole cord-nevering and cord-cutting debate.

    If I were advising Mr. Bosworth, I would respectfully suggest doubling down on Back9's content quality, maximizing the viewer's online/mobile experience across popular devices, refining the marketing/promotional plan to raise awareness and trial, and targeting specific golf-centric advertisers with creative packages and branding beyond what's standard on TV. When all of that's clicking - and with substantive results to show - cautiously ramp up the dialogue with big pay-TV operators, knowing that even if no carriage deals are ever concluded, Back9 has still built a viable business online anyway.
    http://www.videonuze.com/article/des...l-pay-tv-deals
    Última edição por 5ms; 16-04-2014 às 15:47.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15,051

    Review: Amazon’s Fire TV Falls Short, Voice Search Function Overhyped

    Dan Rayburn | Wednesday April 16, 2014

    It’s been two weeks since Amazon released their $99 streaming box Fire TV and after spending a good deal of time using it, I’m not impressed. Many reviewers have raved about the voice search functionality, but that only works across Amazon’s content service and Vevo. You can’t use it to find content on Netflix or Hulu Plus and the voice search results push you to Amazon to rent content, like House Of Cards, even though it’s free on Netflix. If content is available to stream free via another service, Amazon’s voice search won’t let you know that. The voice search also gets tricked up by words like Pokemon, instead returning results for “poop”. When the voice search works, it works well, but when it doesn’t, it’s useless.

    Some might suggest that I should not be surprised that Amazon’s search results push users to content on Amazon’s streaming service, considering this is a box made by Amazon, but since the voice search works across Vevo, clearly the capability exists to bring it to more third party services. I also don’t like how Amazon is marketing the box on their website with the phrase “say it. watch it” located above an image of all the content services on the box. Many consumers are going to think that Amazon is implying you can use the voice search function across all the content services listed, which you can’t.

    Another issue I have with the box is that Amazon made a point during their presentation to say how poor the search function is on a Roku, having to use their on-screen keyboard, but the non-voice search function on Amazon’s box is far worse. It’s as if no one at Amazon has actually used a Roku before. It takes far longer to use Amazon’s text based search function, having to first change the search default from voice to text. Then you have to do three steps just to get into the text search area and scroll through letters from A-Z, punching in each one manually. For ease of use, speed and simplicity, Roku’s text based search beats Amazon’s Fire TV hands down. So I find it odd for Amazon to try and tarnish Roku’s brand when in fact, Amazon’s box is the one that doesn’t do text search as well.

    Amazon also demonstrated how quickly content starts up on their box, but that only happens for Amazon’s content service and even then, not all the time. Netflix and Hulu Plus don’t start up any faster on Amazon’s box than the Roku or Apple TV. Test results for me were nearly identical in startup times for Netflix content across Amazon, Roku and Apple’s streaming boxes. Amazon spent a lot of time during the unveiling of their box to focus on how quickly content starts up, but it’s really hit or miss. Amazon is guessing at what content most people may click on next and is pre-caching some of that content, but many times when I selected even popular movies from the menu, like Skyfall, it took 5-7 second to load.

    In many instances, it feels like Amazon’s box was rushed out before it was really ready. The $40 game controller that goes with the box was available for purchase when the box was released, but it didn’t get delivered until a week after the box showed up. If you want one now, be prepared to wait a month. New orders for the game controller are now estimated to ship May 11th. Casual gaming is one of the biggest differentiators of this box compared to the other $99 streamers, but if you can’t get the game controller when you get the box, it defeats the purpose.

    When it comes to any box, content is king and right now, Amazon’s box sorely lacks content. The only content on the box, that matters, is from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, ESPN, Showtime and YouTube. Missing is HBO Go, MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, NBA League Pass, Epix, Vudu, SlingPlayer, Major League Soccer, Redbox, WWE Network – all content services that Roku’s boxes currently have. Amazon did say that MLB.TV and the WWE Network are coming to the box, but didn’t say when. No doubt Amazon’s box will get much more content over time, but right out of the gate, the box lacks major content offerings. Also, some of the content apps, like YouTube, are simply ported from Google TV and it shows. The YouTube app has shortcuts for a keyboard, something you can’t use with Amazon’s Fire TV. So some apps aren’t specifically built just for Amazon’s box and have an old and outdated user interface.

    We all know that Amazon has tremendous marketing power and the ability to sell a lot of these boxes very quickly simply due to all the eyeballs they have to their website. But Amazon is still going to have to convince consumers to buy their box when so many already have streaming capabilities on their TV, game console, Blu-ray player, Apple TV and/or other dedicated streaming media boxes. While Amazon’s box will improve over time, right now, it has no real selling point and advantage over the Roku.

    I’m not sure why the media has gotten so excited over a voice search feature that only partially works, over only one major content service. If the Amazon Fire TV box didn’t have voice search functionality, there would be nothing about the box that isn’t already being done by Roku, at a much better level. Right now the Amazon Fire TV is clunky, un-polished and missing tons of content. If all you have is a subscription to Amazon Prime, then this box might suit you just fine. But if you want to do more than just stream content from Amazon and want a box that doesn’t feel like it’s in beta, don’t pick the Amazon Fire TV, get a Roku 3 instead.
    http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014/...overhyped.html

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