Another Online Streaming Platform Launches: Vessel

Officially launched on March 24, 2015.

According to founder, Jason Kilar, “the video-content service won’t ever add TV shows or movies, a la Netflix or Hulu.”

Jason Kilar is an American businessperson and a member of the board of directors for DreamWorks Animation. He was previously an Amazon executive and the CEO of Hulu, a joint venture of ABC, NBC Universal, and NewsCorp.

Here is an excerpt from a Fast Company article from July 29, 2015:

Kilar’s company, Vessel, is a subscription online video platform. For $2.99 a month, viewers can watch videos from Internet celebrities such as Ingrid Nilsen, Epic Meal Time, and Shane Dawson before they appear on YouTube. In exchange for their videos, which air 72 hours before they appear on other platforms like Vimeo or YouTube, Vessel is offering creators better revenue share than YouTube and a cut of the subscription fees. Fans, meanwhile, get a more streamlined and intimate interaction experience with creators than they do in the anarchic world of YouTube comments.

Netflix Is the #3 Broadcaster in the U.S., Will Be #1 in 2016

While Netflix has been the biggest name is SVOD since its online debut, its momentum will soon make it the country’s biggest broadcaster.

The subscription video-on-demand service Netflix is now the third biggest broadcaster in the U.S. That’s according to data released today by online video advertising company Alphonso. With Netflix’s current growth rate and its momentum, it will be the biggest broadcaster in the U.S. by next year, says an Alphonso blog post. In the past year, Netflix viewing time grew by 87 percent.

The post has other bad news for traditional broadcasters: The audience for linear TV is down 15 percent year-over-year, which Alphonso calls the biggest decline ever in a single year for broadcast and pay TV.

In 2014, Netflix counted 15 percent of all viewing hours, and that grew to 28 percent in 2015. In the same period, live broadcast and pay TV viewing shrank from 52 percent to 44 percent of all viewing hours

When viewers watch live TV, Alphonso notes, they’re often highly engaged and using a mobile device or laptop to share the experience. The company measured high mobile device activity for viewers watching college basketball, the Super Bowl, and golf tournaments in Q1 2015.

While Netflix has achieved its popularity in part by not showing ads, Alphonso believes that should change, and that Netflix should offer a free ad-supported tierAlphonso’s numbers comes from its database of over 20 billion data points on TV viewing and mobile app use.

Source: Streamingmedia.com

CRTC News Release on the Changing State of Television and Advertising

While we have removed some text from this article it is still fairly long but there is a lot of relevant information that people may find interesting.

May 21, 2015 (Toronto, ON)
Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting

Thank you for your warm welcome. I thought you might all be depressed these days, following the finale of the Mad Men series. As this Forum makes clear, we’re entering a new ad man – and woman – era; one every bit as exciting as the earlier advertising age.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on advertising, of course. But I know – from the CRTC’s recent consultations … public hearings … and eventual decisions surrounding our Let’s Talk TV policy review – that a world of opportunity is opening up for your sector. I’ve come today to highlight how the Commission’s roadmap for the future creates new avenues for advertising. Before I do, I’ll provide a broad overview of what we set out to do with Let’s Talk TV … the conclusions we came to … and some of their implications for the future of TV advertising in this country.

Let’s Talk TV

It’s no secret to anyone here that the TV world is undergoing a profound shift; a shift being led by viewers, who are now in the driver’s seat. And one which demands that content creators and distributors, as well as television advertisers follow their lead to remain relevant.

Canadians’ viewing habits have evolved rapidly in recent years. They are migrating away from the traditional TV set and watching the content they want, where, when and how they want, using the latest technologies. The volume of content and viewing options available has never been greater. Consider that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, of every day, of every month. That’s on top of the 1,300 hours of traditional television Canadians can access every waking hour of the day.

This abundance of content, coupled with new tools to access it, has empowered the viewer. It has fundamentally changed the roles played by mainstream broadcast media – including advertisers. As the CRTC’s Chairman likes to say, while content remains king, the viewer is emperor. And no amount of regulation can stop that.
So, with Let’s Talk TV, we set out to hear what Canadians have to say about the future of TV – what they need, what they want and what role new technologies will play in providing it. The CRTC also wanted to ensure that the new framework fosters choice and innovation … encourages the creation of compelling programming made by Canadians … and empowers Canadians to make informed choices. We needed public input to develop a forward-looking framework that ensures Canada’s television system not only adapts to, but capitalizes on, the rapid rate of change.

We listened to more than 13,000 Canadians who participated in various phases of Let’s Talk TV and received presentations from industry experts from across the broadcasting spectrum. Based on what we heard, the Commission concluded that we need to update our toolbox and challenge conventional thinking to respond to changing times. Old solutions no longer suffice. Protectionism is an anachronism in an age of abundance and a world of choice.

So, the CRTC is tearing down barriers to innovation that have hampered broadcasters and producers, and throwing open the door to new ideas.
We want to cultivate the necessary conditions for the creation and promotion of compelling high-quality content that audiences at home and abroad will choose to watch. And as a result, you can pitch sponsors’ products to these audiences.

The sand is moving beneath our feet and it would be irresponsible to ignore it. American broadcasters, too, have no choice but to change. Who would have guessed the Cable television Advertising Bureau would become the Video Advertising Bureau and now include the networks?

Key changes

I will highlight a few of our recent decisions, focusing primarily on content related issues since they are the most relevant to you.

We’ve decided that Canadian video-on-demand services will be able to offer exclusive content as long as they are available to all Canadians over the Internet without needing a cable or satellite television subscription.

Many stakeholders felt disadvantaged in the face of foreign online video services. Well, here you have it – a level playing field. Producers need to create innovative and appealing programming in order to stand-out in a sea of content. So we’re reducing our reliance on quotas for the amount of Canadian programs that local television stations and specialty channels must broadcast. Quotas simply won’t work in the future.

Instead, we are focusing on prime time. We’ve also struck down rules under which specialty channels could only broadcast certain types of programs. And Canadians will be able to choose the television channels they want – either on a stand-alone basis or through small, reasonably-priced packages. This paves the way for programming innovation, as broadcasters will need to be creative to distinguish their brands and appeal to viewers. We are not dictating business models; our objective is to foster a more open and competitive television market, and an environment that nurtures innovation in the programs Canadians watch.

Another significant change, we now expect all broadcasters to financially invest in programs made by Canadians. We will require a greater number of local stations and specialty channels to reinvest a portion of their revenues into the creation of made-in Canada content.
This shift away from outdated protectionist policies to expenditure requirements underlines that we want creators and distributors to choose quality over quantity.

Audiences around the world have access to the best content. If we’re going to be playing on the world stage, our content has to be of the same calibre. Otherwise, we risk being left behind in the digital world and becoming known as creators of second and third-tier content that no one wants to pay for or watch.
If you have a top-notch product that can take on the world and attract big audiences – the world is now your oyster. So, think big.

Let’s be world conquerors, not the conquered; the victors, not the vanquished.

Golden Age of Targeted Advertising

We may agree to disagree about a few of these things, but I’m sure there’s no disagreement that the potential for advertisers in this new age of television – whenever, wherever and however it is watched – is extraordinary. As you’ve undoubtedly heard this week, there may never be a better time to be in the ad business. There are all kinds of new approaches to advertising that are dramatically reshaping your sector – for the better.

Addressable ads

The ability to deliver addressable TV advertising is revolutionizing the advertising industry.
Addressable ads have far greater precision than traditional approaches. Because of their focus on particular consumer profiles, they can be directly targeted. And they provide immediate feedback from these audiences. This means marketers can both target and interact more effectively – tailoring and coordinating messages across TV, online, smartphones and tablets. The Television Bureau of Canada says that major media generated net advertising revenue of $12.3 billion in 2013. So, there’s clearly a lot of money – and opportunity – at stake.

Set-top boxes
Just as the era of Mad Men is passé, so, too, are audience measurement tools from the golden age of television.

We no longer live in a four-channel world where you get up to change the channel. As you know only too well, today’s 500-channel universe has led to audience fragmentation. And that poses major problems for advertisers like you and the sponsors whose products you promote. Traditional measurement systems are unable to capture these fragmented viewers. Knowing who’s watching what is critically important because measurement equals monetization. And we’re leaving money on the table when we don’t know precise market shares.

Proper measurement not only increases content creators’ pool, but also contributes to the advertising community’s bottom line. The fragmentation of audiences and multiplication of platforms and windows need not be feared.

Discoverability Summit

Something else coming along later this year is a Discoverability Summit, to be hosted by the CRTC. The Commission appreciates that making great programs and measuring their viewership is only half the battle. Great content means little if viewers cannot find it. For Canadian-made content to succeed, it must be widely available…visible on multiple platforms…and easily found.

The Discoverability Summit, to be held in the fall, will generate new thinking about tools and methods to connect viewers with content.
Algorithms – such as those used by online retailers to recommend goods to consumers – are among the tools used to connect viewers with the content they’re seeking. In the same way that big data is now being mined to target sales of laundry detergent, the likes of Netflix, Crave and Shomi are also finding innovative ways to capitalize on viewers’ shifting tastes.

Conclusion

All of the measures I’ve outlined today set the stage for an exciting new era in Canadian broadcasting that enables Canada’s creators – and, by extension, advertisers – to excel in a fast-evolving environment. Let’s Talk TV confirmed that Canada’s television system is healthy. We have the necessary financial resources in the system to create and promote great programs. We have the talent to bring these programs to life. We have viewers who are hungry for new and interesting content.

I think we need to have an outward vision. We need to leverage the infrastructure we have in Canada to seduce the world with our vision, our stories, our creative genius. Given the advertising industry’s proven track record of being bold and innovative, I have no doubt you will identify and seize new opportunities in this brave new world of television.

I am equally confident that you will continue be successful as TV advertising of the future unfolds.

Thank you.

Netflix Surpasses 62 Million Global Streaming Subscribers in Q1

Streaming giant hits on revenue, comes in low on earnings per share estimates.

Netflix released its first quarter 2015 financials on Wednesday afternoon just after the U.S. stock markets closed, reporting earnings per share of $0.38 on net income of $23.7 million and $1.57 billion in revenue.

Wall Street had forecast earnings per share of $0.69 on $1.57 billion in revenue, according to numbers compiled by Yahoo Finance. Zacks saw EPS coming in at a penny lower. As such, the media company made its revenue mark, but fell quite shy on shareholder earnings.

In other negative sales-minus-expenses news, profit was down from 2014’s comparable three-month period.

But subscriptions were up, with the streaming giant adding 4.9 million subscribers in the most-recent 90-day period — a record for the company. The U.S. was responsible for 2.3 million of those new members. The total subscriber number rose to 62.27 million; 59.62 million are paid subscribers.

Netflix credited Season 3 of “House of Cards,” as well as new series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Bloodline,” for its most-recent leap.

During the quarter in question, the company also announced the following coming original films: “PeeWee’s Big Holiday,” from Judd Apatow and Paul Reubens; “Jadotville,” from Irish director Richie Smyth and starring Jamie Dornan; and “Beasts of No Nation” from director Cary Fukunaga and starring Idris Elba. “Beasts” will premiere on Netflix later this year.

On its newfound competition, Netflix execs Reed Hastings and David Wells stated:

“In the U.S., HBO began offering its $15 per month “HBO Now” service last week. As we have said in the past, Netflix and HBO are not substitutes for one another given differing content. We think both will continue to be successful in the marketplace, as illustrated by the fact that HBO has continued to grow globally and domestically as we have rapidly grown over the past five years.”

“We view ‘Internet MVPD’ offerings like the rumored Apple offering, Sony’s Playstation Vue and Dish’s Sling TV as more competitive to the current pay TV bundle than to Netflix, which is lower cost, has exclusive and original content, and is not focused on live television.”

During Wednesday’s U.S. trading day, Netflix fell fairly substantially, dropping $3.25 per share, or 0.68 percent. That said, immediately following the announcement, the stock (NFLX) skyrocketed in after-hours markets to $535.57 per share at the time of this writing, up $60.34 or 12.64 percent.

Netflix bosses said they are working on a stock split to make its high price “more accessible.”

The company renewed hit series “Orange Is the New Black” for a fourth season this morning.

For 2014’s comparable quarter, Netflix added four million total subscribers. Revenue was $1.27 billion; net income was $53.1 million; diluted EPS was $0.86.

Last year, Netflix added 13 million subscribers and saw revenue, income and EPS rise. The consumer total reached 57.4 million at the end of Q4 2014, an increase of 4.33 million during the year’s final three months.

Netflix’s investor call is set for 6 p.m. ET, at which point this post will be updated with any pertinent information.

Source: Thewrap.com

NAB 2015 Keynote: Google Sends Greetings From ‘Valleywood’

Our entertainment now comes from “Valleywood,” which, as Rany Ng, Google’s director of product management for video advertising, explained in her NAB keynote address, is the merger of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Valleywood means change: change in how people view content (including new options such as binge watching) and change in how advertisers reach those viewers.

“It’s created this massive explosion of content,” Ng said. “We’ve entered in this golden age of viewers.”

The entertainment industry has shifted from one of scarcity to one of abundance, Ng said.  Multiscreen viewing has grown by over 500 percent in recent years, she noted, and viewers now watch three more hours of online TV per month than they did only last year.

Rany Ng

Advertisers are also trying to deal with the shift to abundance. While 20 years ago they could work with the 4 major networks and know they were reaching their customers, today they have many more choices.

In this new landscape, there are three things programmers and distributors need to think about, Ng said:

Capturing the moments that matter: Brands can’t afford to be on every screen all the time, so they need to be selective and offer relevant messages to viewers.
Discovering new moments: Online TV metrics and ratings have “become this massive logic puzzle,” so advertisers need forecasting that helps them reach a desired audience.
Monetizing those moments: Google is seeing success with its programmatic marketplace for premium buyers and sellers, Partner Select.

Google acquired video advertising company mDialog in June 2014, and Ng announced that Google has now connected mDialog’s inventory with the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This will help content owners sell programmatic ads on their inventory across multiple screens.

Google is expanding the tools available in DoubleClick for Publishers, Ng announced, to help publishers forecast their available inventory with greater accuracy. DoubleClick for Publishers now shows the impact from patterns in commercial breaks, and will soon let publishers use seasonality in forecasting upfront cycles, and also create models based on offline data.

Shortly before it acquired mDialog, Google created Partner Select, a programmatic marketplace for premium content and brands. Ng offered some stats on its success, noting that it now includes over 30 broadcast and premium content publishers and over 20 brand advertisers. Partner Select ads have a 74 percent completion rate, she said.

Ng concluded the keynote by urging attendees to think about letting advertising create moments, and explore new models of advertising.

Source: Streamingmedia.com

Learn the Wrong and Right Ways to Pick Video Management Systems

Why buyers should never fall in love with a video management solution at a trade show, and other tips from Real Story Group.

Video industry conferences are great places to learn about video management technology, but don’t fall in love. That was the advice of Jarrod Gingras, senior analyst and managing director for Real Story Group, speaking at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Huntington Beach, California. While he offered attendees tips on the right ways to pick a video management system, he first looked at the wrong way companies go about it.

Source: http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Learn-the-Wrong-and-Right-Ways-to-Pick-Video-Management-Systems-102256.aspx

Geocast

The delivery of information to a group of destinations in a network identified by their geographical locations. It is a specialized form of multicast addressing used by some routing protocols for mobile ad hoc networks.

A geographic destination address is expressed in three ways: point, circle (with center point and radius), and polygon (a list of points, e.g., P(1), P(2), …, P(n–1), P(n), P(1)). A geographic router (Geo Router) calculates its service area (geographic area it serves) as the union of the geographic areas covered by the networks attached to it. This service area is approximated by a single closed polygon. Geo Routers exchange service area polygons to build routing tables. The routers are organized in a hierarchy.

Geographic addressing and routing has many potential applications in geographic messaging, geographic advertising, delivery of geographically restricted services, and presence discovery of a service or mobile network participant in a limited geographic area.

Source: Wikipedia, Geocast