Netflix finally caves in to download demands

Consumer power has finally bought Netflix to its knees… well not quite. Netflix will now offer downloadable content much like competitors such as BBC iPlayer in the UK and Amazon’s Prime video service.

Still seen as leading the SVOD service the company has given in to what its audience wants. With recent research from Ovum claiming that Netflix’s current business model is “unsustainable” and “spending on content is out of control,” is this a reminder that in today’s competitive media landscape the audience is still king and will always get what they want… eventually?

Even though today we’re practically connected everywhere we go (Netflix’s previous argument against downloading), is watching content offline of major importance to your on-demand viewing experience?

Share your opinion with us.

Pursuit of Live Sports Streaming Rights Gathering Pace?

News that Amazon is in talks for live game rights with leagues including NBA, MLB, NFL and MLS for its Prime video service is another sign that traditional pay-TV’s most prized possession is coming under serious threat.

Interestingly, it’s not just premium sport that Amazon is hunting. The e-commerce giant is said to also be targeting tier-2 sports, such as Surfing and Lacrosse, maybe as a primer for the bigger live sports events, or to get a foot into into niche markets where you wouldn’t necessarily get the viewers or subscribers over traditional broadcast TV.

Twitter’s own ambitions for live sports with Thursday night NFL received mixed reactions on its debut – some saying the delay in the live Twitter feed was spoiling their enjoyment of the game, while others hailed it a roaring success, with messages of “pretty freaking awesome” and “The future is here” echoing through the social media expanse. With sports being the last bastion of pay-TV operator content, the pursuit of live sports streaming rights by the likes of Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, is one to surely keep an eye on.

Just how far pay-TV companies will go to resist this onslaught or adapt to the changing media environment remains to be seen. Watch this space!

Are you planning on live streaming your favorite sport on Twitter on another online platform? Share your thoughts with us.

Halloween Brings Out the Ghoulish Side of Tech

With Halloween just around the corner, now is a great time to check out all the hi-tech gadgets to lighten up the trick or treating evening.

Here are some of the must-haves tech gadgets for a ghoulish Halloween:

Let us know what your spooky tricks are.

AT&T and Warner Plan to Disrupt Traditional Model with On-Line Video Bundles

AT&T is set to purchase Time Warner for around $85 Billion, a move that would create a media and communications company that would include TBS, CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. film and TV Studios.

Analysts and industry observers see the move being initiated by the need to replace flagging wireless revenues and to compete with Netflix or YouTube as potential ‘points of entry’ for media consumers.

The deal still has to pass under the regulatory microscope, given the advantage this would give AT&T.

The speed of the deal has surprised many, driven by trends in the AT&T’s revenues. In the latest three-month period, AT&T lost 268,000 wireless subscribers, as well as 3,000 video subscribers.

What are your thoughts on the deal?

Digital Content Market in Greece Continues to Surge

 

With an impressive mobile phone penetration of 154 percent, while only 11 percent of the population has access to a credit card, the Greek carrier billing market is expected to soar in the upcoming years.

To track how digital content owners can explore this market, DIMOCO, a leading payment institute for carrier billing, has recently released its market report detailing the leading mobile companies in the country, as well as the key categories that will drive the digital content consumption:

  • ePublishing will be the largest digital content producer in Grece by 2020.
  • eGames is expected to generate 96.3 million euros in 2020

You can find more information about the Greek market report here.

 

 

Light Field Technology Delivers on Immersive Experiences but Needs Standards

Light field technology enables remarkable capabilities. Specifically, this includes allowing changes to be made in postproduction that would normally have required a complete re-shoot. Additionally, light field could open the door to enhanced, 360-degree virtual reality. The result is exciting new and immersive viewer experiences, along with considerable cost savings for professionals.

So, what’s holding us back from reaping the benefits? With so many vendors developing cameras, content and viewing devices, the need for industry standards is paramount. A roadmap for these standards was recently developed by JPEG and MPEG. This includes:

  • Interoperability of Tools
  • Coding
  • Point Cloud Compression

Learn more here.

VR Awareness Low as Big Hitters Set to Enter the Market

According to a new survey and report, the majority of US citizens are unable to explain virtual reality. Yet, they’re willing to spend up to $300 on a VR headset. The report outlines half cannot actually name a single brand behind the technology.

Awareness of virtual reality could receive a big boost soon following the announcements from two big hitters.

Sky TV is set to release a range of content compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has released its software development kit (SDK) for HoloLens, which it claims to be the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling users to interact with high?definition holograms in their own world.

How many VR vendors can you name today?

Security Tips to Keep Your Data Protected

Recent news that half a billion Yahoo users had their accounts hacked by a cyber break attack two years ago not only caused a furore over the apparent lack of transparency but also brought out a number of questions on how to keep emails and online data safe.

The fact that this happened some time ago means that the cyber criminals have had some time to process and use the data which included usernames, protected passwords, dates of birth, associated email addresses and more – but thankfully no credit card information.

If you feel it is time to refresh your email and online identity information, we’ve put together security tips to follow:

  • Create a complex password – industry best practices recommend to use secure and complex passwords. This includes a password with at least eight characters and a combination of lowercases and capital letters, as well as special characters
  • Let technology help you – most security experts recommend to use different passwords for online services. So if memorizing lengthy and multiple passwords is challenging, use a password manager services that can not only keeps track of all the information, it can also update periodically those passwords for an extra layer of security.
  • Expand your security options – while online hacks are very concerning, most internet users are more vulnerable to everyday malwares or viruses. Updating your computer’s antivirus protection can reduce the risk of losing your personal information.

Do you have another security tip you recommend? Share it with us!

How Innovation Will Shape the North American Pay-TV Market

The North American pay-TV industry is the largest and most mature markets in the world. Service providers in the region are leading the way in introducing next-generation features, including 4K (offered by 25 percent), content recommendations (35 percent), and voice control (10 percent).

In this advanced and competitive market, pay-TV providers need to continue innovating to maintain the relevance and adapt to intensifying competition. NAGRA, in partnership with MTM, released a market report entitled “The Pay-TV Innovation Landscape in North America” to map the innovations and strategies that will drive the next phase of growth in the industry.

Among some of the key findings are:

  • App-based OTT pay-TV services and Smart Home solutions were stated as the top-two opportunities to drive growth over the next five years.
  • Providers also taking steps to expand their content offerings, including through adding standalone OTT service
  • Service providers are interested in further monetizing their services through advanced advertising and data services

To learn more about the key findings in the report, visit here.

Cable-Tec Expo 2016 Connects with Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to the 2016 Cable-Tec Expo, taking place September 26-29. The organizers promise energizing days full of learning, exchanging knowledge, and exploring technology exhibits, network with new and familiar industry colleagues at the multitude of breakfast, evening, and live cable challenge events Cable-Tec Expo has to offer.

The numbers stack up; 400 technology exhibitors representing more than 60 countries will attract a lot of footfall at the show.

Visitors can expect technical workshops aligned with the most critical issues on the horizon for the industry with the hot topics for the show being:

  • Delivering Gigabit: Addressing both Fiber and Hybrid Fiber Co-Axial networks.
  • Video Services: The big issue examined here is the impact of IP
  • SDN/NFV: A wide array of workshops on a key industry topic for today

Cable-Tec Expo 2016 is not all hard work. There are the annual International Cable-Tec Games – considered the Olympics of the industry.

Why not let us know what you consider to be the key industry trends this year.