News Views

3 November, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending November 3rd. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Okay, it’s a bit confusing. Either the AT&T bid for Time Warner is in serious trouble because of the US Department of Justice, or the deal is perfectly fine and just going through some bumps in the road. There is definitely opposition to the deal from both sides of the political spectrum, but the biggest question mark is Makrin Delrahim, appointed head of the DoJ’s Antitrust Division just over a month ago. At this point, the deal could go either way, it seems, and in the meantime, the uncertainty is definitely making itself felt in both companies’ share prices
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Lots of reports about piracy numbers lately. Simon Murray, of Digital TV Research, came up with a projection that the value of global film and video piracy by 2020 would be something like $52 billion. Then security firm Sandvine reported that 6.5% of US households are regular users of pirate streaming TV services. You have to treat all such numbers with skepticism, and look at how they are derived. The Digital TV Research number somehow includes the value of films and TV series (really? How did they tote up those pirated Korean series, across so many Asian markets?) but not sports! And not Pay-TV channels! So despite the press headlines it’s not much of a global TV piracy number. And the Sandvine numbers are a) derived from “multiple Tier 1 access networks” in the USA, without saying what percentage of the country is really covered b) cover only a list of named piracy services, without specifying which ones they are, and c) cover only paid-subscription pirate sites. Well, my view is that all these numbers wayyy understate the problem (see Hugh Stephen’s comment a few months ago). That said, understanding the weaknesses of the data coverage is not to criticise the authors’ efforts – piracy is such a huge phenomenon that any shedding of light is useful.

 

Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

A focus this week on revenue streams with mixed views on the impact of OTT. In the UK, the BBC Director General will say in a speech that the future of British-made television is under threat due to a combination of increasing OTT competition and decreasing advertising revenues, whilst Moody’s have issued a positive outlook for cable companies suggesting that cash flow in the cable industry will rise at a rate of 6% as broadband increases are expected to outpace cord-cutting by a 2:1 margin. Whilst the BBC fear that OTT content will significantly challenge the UK television market by making internationally appealing shows, elsewhere there is evidence that OTT providers are focusing more and more on providing regional content, at least in India.

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

For those of us struggling with new marketing buzzwords check out the latest piece from Samuel Scott who has taken it upon himself to help everyone out with a few tongue in cheek explanations. Definitions for “Millennial” and “Silo” are personal favourites but the article does highlight just how much has changed and as Samuel says, “we might as well throw away our copies of Philip Kotler’s Principles of Marketing and ignore all of David Ogilvy’s advice”. Coincidentally Samuel Scott is speaking at the CASBAA Convention next week in Macau and will give us food for thought with his piece called TV Is Not Dying. Still not registered as a delegate? Tsk, Tsk! You can make a plan here

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

When I went to Taipei in March of 2014 to make a presentation to the Taipei Association of Advertising Agencies (TAAA) about the problem of advertising industry support for piracy websites, I was greeting with polite questions, but complete inaction. Now, I see that the TAAA and a local association of content industries have agreed on an MoU to operate an Infringing Website List to avoid legitimate ads propping up pirate websites. Notice that the announcement of the accord popped up in the Taiwan government’s official IP website, which also said that the Taiwan IP Office “facilitated” the accord. This is a good demonstration of the vital role that governments have to play, in pressing local industries to stop playing footsie with the pirates. We don’t know the details, nor how effective it will be, but the fact that the ad industry has been persuaded to sign up in yet another Asian market (after Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia) is a very good sign. But…..forgive me for asking….where is Singapore in all this?

 
Oh, and kudos to the folks at Star India for developing what must be great content – their channel Star Plus was reported by Sandvine to be the most-viewed channel on paid-subscription pirate boxes in the US and Canada. Right up there with Game of Thrones and Floyd Mayweather’s fights.

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Record number of stories this week in the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed with a few key ones highlighted here. Fox+ launches in Hong Kong both as a standalone app and on the Now TV Pay-TV platform. Speaking in an Advertising Week session, HBO’s Richard Plepler On OTT Strategy: “We Were More Right Than We Imagined”. Discovery Communications chief David Zaslav opened up on his quarterly conference call this week indicating he may be open to cozying up with the Facebooks and Amazons of the world. Worldscreen has a big article on Pay-TV in Asia with a handful of CASBAA programmer members quoted. Funny how OTT was only mentioned a couple times. Can the Emmy’s be a leading indicator for the Pay-TV business? Maybe a few things to learn by looking inside Hulu’s growing ad-sales research team. And to finish off, the app isation of OTT TV through the “Skip Intro” button….saves me minutes per week! You know, I’m starting to think that his OTT thing may not just be a passing trend.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And now for the weekly Kodi news: The Kodi universe continues to be torn by factionalism, with Kodi itself stressing they want their software to be used for LEGAL streaming, and the pirates at TVAddons complaining that Kodi is working with legit software developers to plant “spyware” on people’s boxes that displays warnings if they are streaming pirate programming. (The pirate add-ons come from…..you guessed it…..TVAddons.) And the tech press in the USA has finally awakened to the Kodi phenomenon, even as in Europe the tekkies are discovering the meaning of the EU court decision in the Filmspeler case: websites providing knowing access to pirate links are guilty of facilitating infringement, even if they don’t house the content themselves. Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem to have been Kodi-linked, but a guy in Bristol, UK was fined 16,000 pounds for stealing sports programming from Sky and streaming it online, through a “piracy blog”.

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

For those of you not making it to Beijing this weekend to watch the League of Legends’ World Championship at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, you can hear all about it at the CASBAA Convention. I’ll be spending some time with Riot Games’ Philip So on the main stage going through all that we need to know about eSports. For now, you can read about the battle taking place Saturday. Will it be SK Telecom T1 or Samsung Galaxy taking home the over $1 million in prize money. Catchy team names, BTW.

 

Member News

27 October, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending October 27th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

patron-astro
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

In case you still had any doubt that Apple has Netflix and Amazon in its’ sites, Apple has shown its hand with the hire of British TV executive Jay Hunt, who has held top roles at Channel 4, the BBC and Channel 5, and whose credits include British hits such as Sherlock, Luther, Humans and Gogglebox. One of the UK’s most senior TV executives, Hunt has been responsible for running Channel 4’s £630m annual budget for the past six years. Apple has earmarked $1bn over the next year to make at least ten TV shows in a push into original video production that will also challenge traditional broadcasters. It has so far only dipped its toe into original programming, striking a deal to spin the popular Carpool Karaoke segment from James Corden’s late night US TV show into a series, and there are questions about how edgy its original content will be. Apple’s expansion follows rival Netflix revealing that it intends to spend up to $8bn on making and buying TV programmes and films next year, a significant increase on its $6bn budget this year.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

For those interested in Thailand, the news this week was dominated by images of the cremation of the late King Rama IX. The scenes encompassed all the red and-gold pageantry and ceremony of Thailand’s unique culture. The main rituals of a Thai royal cremation haven’t changed since the 14th century, but 2017 is certainly a unique turning point, as this is the first time they have been broadcast – live – viewed around the world on OTT television. For the Thain nation, it was a time to forget politics, as the mourning was truly nationwide. And it was shared by friends of Thailand, everywhere in the world. In memoriam, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

The landmark case of the Teeside ISD seller concluded with his being sentenced
to an 18-month suspended jail sentence,
following his guilty plea. (This was the guy who initially pleaded not guilty, because “he was only selling the box” (albeit fully loaded with piracy software) and “it wasn’t up to him what people did with it.”) The case is being seen as a landmark, because as the judge said: “If anyone was under any illusion as to whether such devices as these, fully loaded Kodi boxes, were illegal or not, they can no longer be in any such doubt.”
Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

PR wars are raging over efforts to deal with Kodi boxes. Following press coverage of various enforcement activities the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lashed out, deriding anti-ISD enforcement efforts in the UK and claiming that “most of the software” on Kodi add-on depository TVAddons was legit. (No evidence for that statement was offered.) Computer and Communications Industry Association, an organisation representing major IT companies, also chimed in following a remark by MPAA that labelled Kodi as a “global threat,” saying that the Kodi software must not be blamed for piracy. (Okay, that’s fair; Kodi can be used for both legal and illegal purposes. But in the UK, it’s so widely used for the illegal side that everybody – pirates, media and enforcers – call ISDs “Kodi boxes.”) Anyway, the content-industry linked Creative Future coalition has now responded to the EFF nonsense, noting that this mouthpiece of “the internet must stay free” theology is “wilfully blind” when it comes to piracy. (That seems to be a common condition in Silicon Valley….)
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Facebook says it is considering doing live sports broadcasts. Gee, that’s odd….I thought there was a LOT of live sport on Facebook Live already. Oh…..I see……they mean they are going to start legitimate, authorised sports broadcasts, to go with the pirate stuff on their platform now.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

Another global survey of the world’s leading 17 Pay-TV providers, representing over 100 million active subscribers has been published which highlights the ongoing challenge of OTT vs Pay-TV. The survey suggests that one approach which seems to be working is for Pay-TV companies to partner with third-party content providers to explore and implement new revenue generations models, such as revenue share with content owners and pay-per-use mobile access to non-subscribers.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

OTT news roundup… Last week we heard about Nielsen’s push into OTT data and now we get a glimpse into the US market. “An estimated 80% of time spent viewing SVOD is to catalog programming and only 20% to originals.” Digiday has a piece on how Scripps created Genius Kitchen, a streaming video brand focused on making food videos for people in their 20s and early 30s…with a website, mobile & TV apps and distribution on Facebook and YouTube. At the The Paley Center For Media, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch said that the company is all-in on over-the-top streaming, but it plans to focus on bundled offerings like Hulu’s live OTT TV service. “I don’t think we’re all that concerned about cord-cutting”, Murdoch said. “What we want to see is a lot more competition downstream.” With Facebook Watch recently launching, National Geographic and Time Inc. discuss their video strategy. To foresee how this could work out: Publishers might have to start paying Facebook if they want anyone to see their stories. Click on over to the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed for even more OTT stories.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

If you have time, there’s an interesting short (6 min) interview with Michael White, former DirecTV CEO and PepsiCO CFO on CNBC, in which he discusses changing consumer habits in the media landscape, the increasing role of broadband and new over the top services offered by companies.
Additional News

20 October, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending October 20th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

More than 30 operators are already confirmed to attend the CASBAA Convention being staged at Studio City in Macau next month. Mainstage speakers include Henry Tan, COO, Astro; Janice Lee, Managing Director, PCCW Media Group; and Birathon Kasemsri Na Ayudhaya, Chief Content & Media Officer, True Corporation. If you haven’t yet registered please click here  for more information and delegate registration details.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Bad week for Goobook: Martin Sorrell made headlines in India, saying that Facebook and Google should stop pretending to be tech companies. They are media companies, he said and should take responsibility for the content they serve up. And three US senators made headlines there, proposing legislation that would oblige the internet giants to “follow the same standards for political advertising that broadcast television and radio stations in the America have followed for decades.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

And staying with Goobook, in the UK the government is revisiting the legal status of sites such as Google, Facebook, etc in the ongoing battle against copyright infringement and the spread of extremist material online. These organisations are currently, for legislation purposes, classed as conduits of information which means they have limited responsibility for their content. But if they were treated as publishers this would invoke more regulation. No decisions yet made but it opens an interesting debate on how best to treat them without impacting on civil liberties and freedom of speech.
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Elsewhere, it was predictably a full house at the Facebook presentation at MIPCOM this week. Content and the Facebook Watch platform were front and centre. It was all about content – and they are producing a lot of it… But somehow it still seems mixed messaging – on the one hand Facebook say Watch will remain a user-driven platform with nearly 1,000 shows on the platform with the vast majority being from publishers and with content that will be community driven. From a platform base of 2 billion people, putting on a show would mean even a small piece of that number is still interesting (even enviable) and they certainly have enough money from their war chest to commission enough shows to seed growth to find a lucrative model. The end game is still advertising revenue …So shows will keep viewers engaged as long as possible.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

Meanwhile in the Philippines, the government is hoping to improve the country’s reputation for having one of the slowest internet speeds in Asia Pacific. Legislation has been proposed by the NTC which would classify broadband internet as a “basic” service rather than a “value added” service. They are hoping that by introducing legislation they will have the ability to force telecom companies to provide increasing internet connection speeds to its citizens. This should result in the internet connection speed going up from its current 4.5 Mbps, although it may take a while to get close to South Korea’s 26.1 Mbps.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

With 24 DTT operators licensed in Thailand, after a brutal license bidding process (that was great at raising revenues for the Treasury but horrible for the industry) and the rapid shift of advertising to online platforms, the TV operators have been bleeding. They’ve had various kinds of support from the NBTC, but they weren’t getting all they wanted, so this week they asked the Prime Minister to give them some goodies. He gave them the brush-off, and said go back and talk to the NBTC. The next day, the NBTC actually gave them some goodies, in the form of lower licence rates. But no word on whether they will be allowed to exit the industry if they can’t make money, which was one of their other requests. Isn’t free-to-air regulation wonderful?
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And along that line…..there was another amusing item from Thailand: the government’s regulatory interventions (“Must Have”) mean that the next FIFA World Cup will have to be available to all TV platforms. But that reduces the TV revenue potential so much that the local Sports Authority felt it had to ask for government assistance to help the country procure the World Cup rights! If the government debases the content, it’s only fair they help pay the price, eh?
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Back to Cannes, Snapchat has revealed more about its plans to delve deeper into the world of original programming, thanks to new partnerships with NBCUniversal and Mindy Project actor Mark Duplass and his actor brother Jay, who will work on the new formats through their Donut creative studio. Snap and NBCU have previously partnered early on with its launch of the unscripted The Voice series tailored for Snapchat audiences. Now Snap and NBCUniversal have set up a JV  studio and are developing and producing original content in the form of scripted shows and other genres. Meanwhile, in a separate deal Discovery teams with snap on Olympics coverage in Europe.
Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

In a landmark case, Netflix, Amazon, and several major Hollywood studios have filed a lawsuit against American ISD retailer, TickBox TV. In their complaint filed to the federal court, the founding members of the newly-formed Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) accused TickBox of inducing copyright infringement by promoting their device as a piracy tool and showing users how they can access infringing content. Although TickBox TV doesn’t technically host any infringing content, the coalition has argued that the company deliberately facilitates copyright infringement, and markets its device as a free substitute for legitimate streaming services. The complaint also demands that TickBox TV stop the sale of its set-top boxes, and that it pay statutory damages up to US$150,000 per copyright infringement. Tickbox defended itself with statements that “it is legal to stream content….Tickbox TV is 100% legal.” This case will be precedent-setting, with respect to US law.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

I dig for the best OTT stories of the week so you don’t have to. At Mipcom, Discovery’s David Zaslav Talks Scripps, Skinny Bundles & Going Direct-To Consumer. SportsPro has an in-depth piece on sports: Live and Direct – a look across the OTT landscape. Netflix crushed the subscriber numbers again this quarter and now has 109.2 million subs worldwide…and $17 billion in content commitments. Whoa. The charts in this ZeroHedge article put a lot into perspective. And, if these commitments have you a bit worried, you will like this bear-stock porn that looks further into the cash-flow. “All of this competition is going to be great for consumers; these companies are collectively spending tens of billions of dollars to entertain us. And they’re going to lose money doing it.” But, would YOU short the stock? And to finish off, a new spectator sport for the TV superfan: ‘binge racing’. Catch even more OTT stories on the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

And in the continuing industry swell against online piracy in this region, as foreshadowed by yours truly last week, Indonesia has now launched its own infringing website list.
Jane Buckthought

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

Google, Facebook and Microsoft are among 23 major tech and media companies who have signed up to a new initiative that aims to raise standards across the digital advertising industry in the UK. Launched yesterday by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK, the trade body’s new Gold Standard initiative seeks to “address the key issues facing the industry”. Initially, these cover the need to reduce ad fraud, improve the digital advertising experience and increase brand safety, but could expand to include other issues, such as audience measurement and viewability.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

Much interest in the news this week about Netflix with separate reporting on what Netflix shows are being binged the fastest and Nielsen making more data available about how many people watch Netflix programmes, which may provide a path towards a more reliable third-party ratings system for streaming services.  Perhaps predictably, Netflix says Nielsen’s numbers aren’t even close.
Additional News

13 October, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending October 13th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Among other issues, at this year’s CASBAA Convention, Nov.6-8th. We’ll be talking about the problem of malware embedded in piracy sites. In the last week, a new angle has gotten attention: it seems that piracy websites, including the notorious Pirate Bay, are embedding javascript programs called “miners” in their pages, which hijack the user’s computing power to make it part of a botnet mining for cryptocurrency. (The user isn’t told, and any currency that is actually “unearthed” is kept by the pirate site.) Cloudflare booted at least one pirate site off its network, stating that it regards miners as malware, plain and simple. Such criticism doesn’t erase the greed of the Pirate Bay boys, though; they’re still doing it. (C’mon Cloudfare – boot PB too!)
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

The growing focus of the industry on Infringing Website Lists (IWL) in Asia gained another entry this week from Malaysia who followed the earlier examples in Vietnam and Hong Kong. Indonesia is also getting ready to publish their version, a sign of the growing concern by the industry that governments aren’t doing enough to tackle the increasing issue.
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

….And talking of copyright infringement and all things bad, some of China’s broadcasters seem hell bent on blatantly plagiarising Korean programming and content. This is nothing new but it seemed the situation was getting better after crackdowns by authorities when the Seoul-Beijing relationship was good. But when it’s on bad terms (currently because of the THAAD anti-missile dispute), the problem relapses and regulators become helpless. This means that China’s content plagiarism is not a sheer matter of business, but a willful byproduct of political dynamics between the two countries. This week Korean officials cited 29 confirmed cases of plagiarism by Chinese broadcasters using data from the Korean Communications Commission.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

OTT, Internet TV, Streaming Video, call it what you like…here are some of the interesting stories for the week. Janice Lee of PCCW had a sit-down with ScreenDaily to talk about their Asian content-focused streaming strategyTurner’s David Levy Talks New OTT Platform, Consumption Habits, Access…“the greatest time to be in the media business, but it’s also the scariest time to be in the media business”. No arguments here. The latest edition of the Ericsson ConsumerLab and Media study has identified two major tipping points for TV viewing in three years’ time with linear and VOD viewing almost equal, and half of all viewing being done on a mobile screen. Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox have all signed on to Disney’s Movies Anywhere. It’s both a cloud-based digital locker and a one stop-shop app, connecting to iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, or Vudu accounts. Slick. And if you didn’t know it already, AI is changing how you watch TV. More OTT stories at CASBAA OTT Group NewsFeed.
Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

The debate on how OTT vs Pay-TV should be regulated continues with much of the industry keen to get restrictions on Pay-TV lifted rather than OTT more heavily regulated. CASBAA is currently updating our regional comparison which will be published next year, so watch this space.
Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

In Bangladesh the High Court  is wading into the Pay-TV arena and has asked the government to explain why the courts should not take action to stop TV Commercials being shown for Bangladeshi viewers on foreign television channels. In the public interest litigation (PIL), court officials said that broadcasting advertisements for Bangladeshi viewers on foreign TV channels in the country is prohibited under the Cable TV Network Operation Act 2006. Officials also claimed that some unscrupulous local operators are airing commercials on foreign TV channels illegally which is hurting the domestic industry as well as denying the country of revenue. More to come on this as we wait for the government’s response.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

In the USA, TVB, CCTV and Dish TV won another case against an ISD reseller for the TVpad box. The guy (named Bhalla), in central Florida, lost a previous judgement in 2016 and tried to hide through bankruptcy. No way, said the court; you were willful and malicious and cannot use bankruptcy to hide. Bhalla knew that the TVpads and the infringing apps would be used by customers to gain free access to CCTV and TVB’s channels and protected programs, the court said.” The dude now needs to pay US$4.4 million for copyright infringement!  Unlike the TVPad masterminds in Shenzhen, this guy lives in the USA and may actually be forced to pay up.
Jane Buckthought

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

Research from Childwise show a noticeable shift towards personal ownership of devices owned by young children. As ever-advanced devices come to market; when the time comes to upgrade, parents appear more willing to hand down older devices to their children, considering them a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit. The findings also reflect the growing prevalence of on-demand services, with more than four out of five households now using services such as YouTube and Netflix to some extent. By age three to four, the majority of pre-schoolers are using video-on-demand services to access TV shows, with specialist YouTube channels for children now factoring in to the mix.
Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

Back in September, the Canadian Government approved a $400 million investment in Canadian content from Netflix. The announcement was met with criticism – many accused the American streaming giant for pursuing the deal as a result of valuable tax incentives, while others tied the transaction to the company’s recent hike in subscription fees. Netflix is now trying to set the record straight. According to the SVOD platform, no tax deals were part of the approval to launch their Canadian production unit. In fact, as a foreign company, Netflix is exempt from paying Canadian taxes. Compared to its Canadian competitors who face taxation and regulation, this gives Netflix a clear competitive advantage. But this issue is not unique to Canada — regulating OTT services, and bringing traditional broadcasting regulations up to date is something that countries around the world (including those in APAC) must grapple with as viewing habits continue to evolve.
Additional News

6 October, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending October 6th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Rupert Murdoch has stepped up his attack on tech companies such as Google and Facebook over their increasingly dominant market position, which is eating into the revenues of traditional publishers such as News Corp. and undermining their business model. In a message to shareholders published in News Corp’s annual report released on Wednesday, the media tycoon vowed to continue to contest the “abuse of the marketplace” by some big tech companies “wherever possible”. Without naming the companies, Murdoch said the tech giants were “using their dominance to the detriment of many”. Meanwhile, apparently in an effort to defend itself against such allegations, Google announced that it would end a controversial policy that required publishers to make available for free three articles daily, or see themselves demoted to Farbackistan on Google’s search pages.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about Kodi boxes this week. (European and North American discussion of ISDs is dominated by references to Kodi, as use of that software is much bigger in those regions than here in Asia) You may recall that the Kodi “add-on” domain TVAddons is under legal pressure in Canada and the USA. For their part, the actual developers of the Kodi software (and owners of that trademark) say they wish TVAddons would shut down because “it brings misery to everyone”. (Especially those trying to do a legitimate business, which includes Kodi) Of course, the online piracy community didn’t like that. The legal actions against TVAddons have begun to attract denunciations from Big Internet’s mouthpieces, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who say notice-and-takedown should be sufficient to deal with piracy. (And….didn’t ya know? The TV industry is waging “war on general-purpose computing”. Gag.) Interestingly, the Silicon Valley commentators pretend that the majority of the plug-ins on TVAddons were “completely legit”. Ha! We’ll see what the courts have to say about that.

 

Meanwhile, in the UK, Brian Thompson, one of the ISD sellers who became a poster-child defendant after pleading not guilty to copyright violations in January, decided to throw in the towel and to guilty to selling loaded ISDs and to advertising them as ways to get around cable/satellite charges. And in the US, reps for the video industry have been warning the government about the threat posed by illicit streaming devices, MPAA made a comprehensive submission to the US Trade Representative, and the International Intellectual Property Association went further and pointed the finger at China, as  “the main source of this problem spreading across Asia” which “should take immediate actions against key distribution points for devices that are being used illegally”.

 

Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

In Thailand the NBTC continues its work whilst also undergoing the selection process for new commissioners, as the term for the current ones expires on 6 Oct. The current focus of the NBTC, which will be taken forward by the new commissioners, is on the auction of the 1800- and 850-megahertz spectrum licences which expire on 30 Sept 2018. As yet, however, there is no word on when the new NBTC will be in place. For now, the existing Commissioners continue in office, except for Chairman Thares Punsri, who has turned 70 and has to retire.

 

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Way too many great stories in the OTT realm this week. Take a look at what Disney is doing with its new DisneyNow app that combines live TV, on demand, games and music. A fantastic story about FloSports…I see a buyout here. Hollywood Reporter has an in-depth piece on Youtube and how it plans to take on Netflix and Hulu. The always vocal Chief of FX, John Landgraf, responds to Wall Street’s “irrational exuberance” over platforms like Netflix and Apple with a prediction that the future of content will reward artists, not algorithms. Pundits posit about How Netflix, Amazon Could Really Disrupt Legacy Networks: Buy Sports Rights. And, closer to home, the ever likeable Cam Walker will be leaving iflix in mid-October. These stories and tons more at the CASBAA OTT Group NewsFeed.

 

 

Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

In the US, a study commissioned by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) has found that anti-piracy measures taken by members of the digital advertising industry have reduced ad revenue for pirate sites between 48% – 61% over the past year. The study, conducted by Ernst and Young’s Media and Entertainment Advisory, estimated that digital ad revenue linked to infringing content was about US$111 million last year, but that without industry efforts pirate site operators could have potentially earned $102-107 million more in revenue. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong an alliance of the creative industry announced launch of an Infringing Website List designed to hit piracy revenues in the SAR.

 

 

Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

In India, a recently published report by KPMG indicates the strength of the OTT market which will challenge the approaches of both content providers and enablers in order to embrace the potential. This will involve looking at revenue models to capture the shift to mainstream consumption as well as a need for the industry to develop better measurement of the digital business.

 

 

Jane Buckthought

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

India is not the only one to see an increased consumer embracing of the digital world, a recent report found that online TV episode and movie revenues for 138 countries will reach $83 billion in 2022 and whilst the US remains the clear front-runner, its market share will decline as China’s rises by 2022.

 

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

After Fake News, now in the government relations arena we have Fake Comments. Following reports a couple months ago that more than a million of the pro-net neutrality comments to the FCC were likely fakes (from addresses in France, Russia and Germany linked to the email domains Pornhub. com and Hurra. de), now there’s a study that 80% of recent comments were generated by bots, and they were anti-NN. Maybe the idea of internet-based comments needs to be discarded, with a return to pen and ink. That will certainly reduce the numbers to more manageable levels. (Full disclosure: I’m also in favour of paper ballots (only) in elections, as they can be secured and re-counted)

 

 

Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

Issues related to tilted playing fields keep arising around the world. In India, regulators complained that OTT operators were not following anti-smoking rules, according to which licensed broadcasters and cinema operators are required to insert anti-tobacco spots into programs that show smoking. In Thailand, regulators said they wanted to know more about a telco’s joint venture with Japanese social media platform Line, which sees Line-branded voice and data service exempt from data caps over the telco’s network. (But Line has no licence) And in Canada, Netflix announced it would make a big investment in Canadian content. (Ostensibly, that has no regulatory motivation, but you can be sure that one of the move’s main purposes was to head off regulations that would subject it to the same type of local content requirements levied on other operators in Canada)

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And finally, it seems Kim Dotcom is not happy this week. The US Supreme Court declined to review the government’s seizure of his assets. That makes three levels of the US courts that have ruled against him. No wonder he’s fighting extradition as hard as he can…..

 

 

Member News

29 September, 2017

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Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending September 29th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

In the UK, the Royal Television Society has held its annual conference in Cambridge, featuring a keynote presentation and conversation with 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch. (If you’ve got 47 minutes, it’s a great session, but if you just want to know about the bid for Sky it’s at about 24 minutes in.) Another great RTS session was with A+E Networks President & CEO Nancy Dubuc; again, it’s a bit of a time commitment, but again, some great insights: “When we lost ‘Law and Order’, overnight, we went from #1 or #2 to #30, and we had no choice but to reinvent.”

 

Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

The battle against piracy in Europe continues, with mixed results. In Belgium, new draft legislation is being pulled together under the Deputy Prime Minister to block access to illegal download sites, whilst in Holland, the Court of Appeal has ruled that ISPs need to block The Pirate Bay, bringing Holland in line with most other EU countries. However over in the UK, prosecutors who were waiting for a long anticipated court case against a shop owner arrested for selling fully loaded Kodi boxes have been thwarted when he suddenly changed his plea to guilty, thus denying a key opportunity for legislators to finally get a ruling on IPTV boxes under the UK Copyright Act.

 

 

Clare Bloomfield

Clare Bloomfield

Director, Policy & Research

The EU Commission is getting in on the piracy action, and has just published a new set of guidelines outlining how online service providers should tackle illegal content, including piracy. Their communication titled “Tackling Illegal Content Online” is non-binding, but the Commission doesn’t rule out future legislation if significant progress isn’t made. Whilst the proposals go above and beyond current legal requirements and place the majority of the burden on the ISP, there remain concerns about the impact on both small ISPs and freedom of speech.

 

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

The Apple TV has made its return to Amazon after being removed a couple of years ago. Amazon doesn’t normally allow the sale of media players that don’t support its own Prime Video app so with Apple TV making its way back onto Amazon, the availability of the Prime Video app on Apple TV could be imminent. Meanwhile Amazon has taken the wraps off and launched its new Fire TV with 4K and HDR capabilities. It’s a dongle-based
competitor
to Google’s Chromecast Ultra but the upgrade comes on the heels of Apple announcing its own 4K black box with and a new pricing scheme for 4K content a few weeks back so it’s pretty clear where Amazon are looking.

 

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Some key stories in the OTT world this week. ITV’s Faz Aftab, the online head of the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, had some interesting insights into online and traditional TV viewership…“82% of TV consumption was still via live TV.” And this is a market with high broadband penetration and speeds. Amazon started streaming NFL games this week and it’s all about collecting ad data. “Amazon will track sales data after each ad so that it can tell a brand exactly how many people purchased or looked up its products after seeing its ad.” Netflix’s Biggest Critic Responds With His Own Paid Service. FX Networks CEO John Landgraf creates FX+ so customers could watch all his shows on demand, stating “we shouldn’t be licensing exclusively”. These stories and heaps more at the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed.

 

 

Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

Usage of OTT streaming apps has skyrocketed in India. According to a report by App AnnieIndia’s top 5 OTT services saw 100% growth in their monthly user base in the first half of 2017, compared to a year ago. The upsurge in the number of monthly active users has been driven by improvements in internet speeds – India has seen its average internet speed increase from 3-odd Mbps to 6.5 Mbps in the last 18 months. Data has also become more affordable, as new entrants, such as Reliance Jio, have increased the competitive intensity of the Indian telecom market. Industry leaders are optimistic about the future of the OTT video content industry, as Indians’ video consumption habits become increasingly data driven and mobile oriented.

 

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

More troubles for former employees of defunct Thai pay-TV operator Cable Thai Holding Public Company (CTH). The Department of Special Investigation is launching an inquiry into CTH after the Thailand Cable TV Association accused the firm of engaging in share speculation and deceiving its shareholders. I’m no Harry Markopolos, but this seems to be a version of the old pump-and-dump…with a sell-more-shares and steal-the-proceeds twist.

 

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Ahead of the launch of the year’s biggest computer games – FIFA 2018 – research from YouGov reveals that close to four million Brits have watched eSports. The report finds that 7 per cent of British adults (approaching four million people) have watched competitive video gaming. Multi-national research shows that Britain is behind other markets when it comes to viewership. In China, 45 per cent of  adults with online access have watched eSports while the figures in in the US, and Germany stand at 12 & 11% respectively The research shows that a solid proportion of existing spectators are reasonably enthusiastic about watching eSports again and the scale of viewership, particularly in China, should see the sector boom.

 

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And for all of you Star Trek fans out there, you’ll no doubt be thrilled to hear that a new spin-off Star Trek: Discovery recently debuted on CBS’s OTT service, leading to the highest ever sign-up day to CBS All Access on record. Live long and Prosper.

 

 

22 September, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending September 22nd. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Cable operators face many challenges, but Liberty Global’s Mike Fries (and former CASBAA Convention Keynote speaker) has called out Amazon as the biggest threat to the industry. “We are standing in their way,” according to Fries, who finds it an uncomfortable thought that he does not know what Amazon’s game plan is regarding video. And forgive the plug, but talking of the CASBAA Convention, have you registered for this years event yet? Still not convinced on what Mike Fries says? See Mark’s piece below.

 

Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

Following the approval of new broadcasting regulations in Australia last week, the Australian government has now released a set of draft copyright regulations (its current copyright laws will expire next April). Included in the draft, the government has asked carriage providers and rights owners to voluntarily help develop an anti-piracy code. While Australia currently has site blocking provisions in place, in recent years, it has struggled to come up with broadly-supported anti-piracy measures for industry. This difficulty was highlighted by the failure of its “three strikes” rule in 2016. This time round, the government has included provisions that will hopefully address some of the weaknesses in the previous code, including a provision that requires that the code not impose substantial costs on carriage service providers. The new regulations are open to consultation until October 6th.

 

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And staying with former CASBAA Convention speakers, AsiaMX CEO Basil Chua says he wants to crack what he sees as the advertising industry’s root problem—a disconnect between buyers and sellers—and make it quicker and easier  to get results. Currently his programmatic services are up and running in Thailand and Malaysia with several Pay-TV and FTA channels in the mix and they have their sights on going live in Indonesia by year end.

 

 

Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

In the US, disappointing news for cable companies as a recent report from eMarketer suggests that cable customers are abandoning cable TV quicker than anticipated and spending less time in front of the TV, all of which is having a negative impact on advertising spending. 

 

 

Anjan Mitra

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

A few weeks ago Tetra Pak released their 2017 “Connected Consumer” Report with some interesting findings, including data suggesting that the average global connected consumer spends 4.4 hours per day online, more than 56% of which is spent on mobile. According to Tetra Pak, in India, consumers spend a staggering 82% of their time on their mobile phones and there has been a rise of 23% of internet users spending an average of 8 hours per day online. A new collaboration between Irdeto and TataSky – the launch of a new Android-based OTT service – is hoping to cash in on this trend.

 

 

Jane Buckthought

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

Meanwhile according to Deloitte’s 2017 “Global Mobile Consumers Survey: UK Cut”, UK smartphone viewing has increased 500% since 2012. Smartphone ownership amongst UK adults (18-75) is now at 85%, and more than half of adult smartphone owners watch at least one video on their phone per week. This number is even higher for youth (16-19) – 79% report watching at least one video per week, and 54% were found to do so daily. Increasingly, consumers are also using their smartphones for watching long-form video, and some even use their device for live TV viewing (although this number is still modest). No matter how you look at it, the smartphone is becoming undeniably important for video.

 

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

OTT News Roundup for the week: The Fox+ streaming platform launched in Taiwan partnered with telecommunications operator Chunghwa Telecom with a 6-month exclusive deal. Amazon continues in its endeavour to become the Pay-TV operator to the world by scooping up smaller TV channels with minimal distribution in order to build itself into a video destination for every imaginable niche, with a particular focus on millennial audiences. This should definitely not go un-noticed but others may think differently wondering, Can the Everything Store Still Become the Everything Streaming Service? And to finish off, an open letter from the founder and CEO of Afrostream. For anyone planning or operating an OTT service this article documents one man’s journey very nicely. I have a feeling that Tonjé Bakang will be back. Many more stories, continually updated, on the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed.

 

 

15 September, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending September 15th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

This week, we made a splash in Singapore, talking about online piracy. If you want to know more, the press release, other documents, and press clips can be found here. For a chuckle, don’t miss this sardonic take on the news. And then also read this sadder, more impassioned take on the issue, from neighboring Malaysia.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

People asked me, afterwards, if there was evidence that the kinds of enforcement we advocate really have positive effects.  Catching up with reading on the plane home, I caught a headline about a new report from the UK IPO office, documenting that the multiple campaigns underway there against online piracy have been bearing fruit. But the report also documents the extent of the challenges with respect to ISDs, observing that “At its cutting edge, IP crime is innovative,” and that “organised criminals…who distribute set-top boxes are aware of recent developments in the law…. Given recent judgments on the sale of pre-programmed set-top boxes it is now unlikely criminals would advertise the devices in a way which is clearly infringing by offering them pre-loaded or ‘fully loaded’…” A separate report described the types of things pirates do to block enforcement of the laws against them. The conclusion: society cannot rely on outdated pre-IT era laws for copyright; updated laws are necessary.

 

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

OTT News Roundup: If you didn’t make it to All That Matters conference in Singapore this week, you can get an overview of the session on OTT through, How to monetize your OTT platforms: Tips & tricks from Singapore’s Big 3 players. A decent piece on iflix and how OTT players are taking aim at DTH. Aravind from Media Partners is all over the story.  Although the headline is complete clickbait, “Cable Apocalypse:Cord Cutting Accelerates, Sends Shockwaves Through Traditional TV”, it’s worth looking at the charts to see the actual numbers. Yes, “Apocalypse” is a bit of an overstatement. An interesting look at skinny bundles and who is getting left out. To finish off, the trailer from HBO’s soon-to-be-released 9th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm…“Larry’s Back & Nothing Has Changed”. These stories and more, continually updated, on the CASBAA OTT Group Newsfeed.

 

 

Jane Buckthought

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

Global advertising expenditure is forecast to grow 4% to $558bn by the end of 2017, driven by digital display formats, in particular social media in-feed ads and online video. The distinctions between online video and traditional television are being eroded said Jonathan Barnard, “and the two work together much better than they do separately”. ”Essentially, television supplies reach, while online video offers targeting and personalisation; together they accounted for 48.5% of expenditure on brand advertising in 2016, up from 43.7% in 2010, and Zenith forecast their market share to rise to 49.3% in 2019

 

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Regulators in Hong Kong had to be pushed by a lawsuit from TVB, but they have finally acknowledged that the world of advertising is changing! The Communications Authority (CA) announced that they would review the city’s outmoded “product placement” rules for broadcast advertising. Hopefully, the review will result in a meaningful liberalization. Note that the authorities make no attempt to regulate product placement nor any other aspect of online advertising. Maybe this regulator is waking up to smell the coffee – if not the fried chicken!

 

 

Cathryn Chase

Cathryn Chase

Regulatory Assistant

Sweeping changes to Australian broadcasting regulations were approved by the Senate on Thursday afternoon. Proposed only four months ago, the changes are meant to bring broadcasting regulations up to date so that they continue to effectively regulate the industry, which has undergone massive changes over the past couple of years. In particular, the amended regulations acknowledge the increasing competition from global online content providersThe reforms include: the removal of licensing fees for free-to-air broadcasters; the relaxation of media ownership rules; increased restrictions on gambling advertising; and amendments to the anti-siphoning scheme, among others. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has also promised to investigate global media giants, such as Google and Facebook, to assess their impact on the local broadcasting industry. For a more detailed review, a full list of the reforms can be found here.

 

 

Member News
Additional News

8 September, 2017

news_views_header

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending September 8th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

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John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

In the world of digital piracy, it’s simply not possible to stop every scoundrel in every part of the world from stealing files (or streams) created by others and reselling them. The goal of fighting piracy has to be a mass-market focus: to raise the cost and hassle of obtaining pirate feeds to the point where the mass of people decide it’s really easier and more cost-effective to subscribe for legal content supply. The guys at Torrentfreak (who know something about piracy) did an interesting little study of the UK economics of “free” Premier League games, and they came to the conclusion that paying Sky, Virgin, or BT was “the only truly reliable solution.” That’s where we need to get to, in Asia.

 

Anjan Mitra

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

People are fast running out of adjectives — audacious, mind-boggling, `most expensive ball in IPL’ are few of them — to describe Star India’s US$ 2.55 billion bid to bag the consolidated global media rights for IPL cricket that may create a monopoly. However, two commentators actually observed Star’s moves may be expensive but not outrageous and if Star can find synergies between its various content delivery ops given its clout, it’s not difficult to recover investments. And, the man of the moment, Star India chief Uday Shankar justifies the winning bid was the “right” one. Though, he joked with colleagues that now he cannot take them out for coffee having gone on a spending spree. Confidence or pragmatism?

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

An Industry research piece in South Korea suggests that consumers viewing video on mobile devices are still favouring platforms such as YouTube.

According to data from mobile market tracker WiseApp, YouTube had a 73 percent share of the Korean market as of May this year in terms of the time that users have spent watching video content. Among Korean services, Afreeca TV settled at 5 percent and Naver TV had 3 percent.Pooq, which is the sole provider of live terrestrial channels, had only 2 percent. Despite SK Broadband and KT’s relative dominance of the telecom market their own services recorded 2 percent and 1 percent share respectively. The market tracker said it surveyed over 22,000 people who use Google Android based smartphones.

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Some top stories in the world of OTT this week include Disney, where CEO Robert Iger told conference-goers in New York that, “we’re going to launch big, and we’re going to launch hot.” He also confirmed that the ESPN service will arrive sooner, “sometime this spring.” This story quoting BBC Director General Tony Hall goes right to the heart of how OTT services easily cross all borders, maybe too easily for some. And this point wasn’t missed by Carlo Katigbak, President and CEO of ABS-CBN during his keynote at the recent CASBAA Philippines in View in Manila last week when he said, “…OTT providers are subject to very little or no regulation. It is time to think about whether regulations for pay TV are out-of-date and need to be revised ” And to finish off a Q&A with Globo’s CEO on How the Latin American Media Giant Is Competing With Netflix. These stories and many more, continually updated on the CASBAA TT Group Newsfeed.

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Bangladesh’s second undersea cable will finally start functioning commercially from Sunday after a one year delay. The state-run Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) could not start the commercial operations because of the failure of another state-run company, Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd to install an uninterrupted inland link from the landing point in Kuakata to Dhaka. Now the cable is up and running Bangladesh will no longer need to import bandwidth from India. Meanwhile in not unrelated news, Australia-to-Asia cable traffic has been affected as the recent typhoons have cut or damaged submarine cables, with operators saying they won’t be back at full capacity until October.

 

1 September, 2017

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Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending September 1st. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

Brought to you by:

True visions
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

We’re very sad to report a loss in the CASBAA family; Elemental founder and CEO Sam Blackman has died at the age of 41. Sam was a leading figure in the tech community in his home base of Portland, Oregon, and since bringing Elemental into the Association in 2012, he had also become well known in CASBAA circles, speaking at a number of CASBAA events. In 2015, he and his partners sold the company to Amazon, and rebranded it AWS Elemental. The company has issued this statement:

AWS Elemental has lost a passionate, visionary, and humble leader and the world has lost an inspiring human being dedicated to community. Sam’s spirit will always be at the core of what we do. Sam loved his work, but his greatest love was for his wife and children. Our thoughts are with his family and all those he touched on his journey. The Blackman family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to three organisations that work in areas Sam was most focused on addressing – hunger, the environment, and education. They are the Oregon Food Bank, the Forest Park Conservancy, and Rosemary Anderson High School.

Tributes to Sam have come in from Oregon Governor Kate Brownlocal business media, and the tech community. He is remembered fondly by many of us here at CASBAA as a sincere and genuine person, and his enthusiastic and insightful presentations were appreciated.  He will be missed.

 

Kevin Jennings

Kevin Jennings

Vice President

Some surprise news from Down Under as American broadcaster CBS has announced it has entered into a binding agreement to buy the business and assets of troubled Australian free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten. The deal, for an unspecified amount, includes Ten’s main channel, its two digital terrestrial television channels Eleven and One and the catch-up TV streaming service Tenplay. CBS will also launch CBS All Access as an SVOD service in Australia and will provide immediate financial support to ensure Ten’s continuing operations. As Ten’s largest creditor, CBS is currently a key supplier of programming to Ten and a 33 percent shareholder in Ten’s digital channel, Eleven.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

I’m always amused when a new journo, or boffin, or politician, discovers that Gee Whiz, there’s a lot of pirated content on supposedly legit Big Internet websites. Shocked, shocked…… But here’s a concrete idea to deal with that: this researcher says that narrower “safe harbor” exceptions would increase liability for piracy, and cause a greater differentiation online between legit sites (which would have a greater motivation to keep their gardens clean) and dirty dodgy downscale piracy sites.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And while we’re on the subject of safe harbors: The Australian government last week announced its much-awaited decision on what to do with recommendations by the Productivity Commission to bring in a fair use system, and extend larger safe harbors to Big Internet. Answer: they’ll consult on it some more. Well, that’s a better outcome than endorsing the PC’s cockamamie idea that “the way to deal with piracy is to make it easier.” Here’s the official statement, and a lawyerly analysis. Not surprisingly, creative industries reacted favorably.

 

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Lots of stories this week in the OTT space. The biggest VOD event of all time, the Mayweather-Mcgregor fight last weekend, resulted in serious outages that exposed limitations of streaming tech. Though, according to Irdeto, this didn’t seem to stop the 3 million people who watched illegal streams of the fight. Turner India and Amazon Prime Video have announced a strategic tie-up that will see Cartoon Network’s popular kids shows play on Amazon Prime Video. Digiday takes a look at how live video is evolving, in 4 chartsWhy Apple and Facebook Should Spend More on Video (subscription, but the chart really puts TV spending in perspective.) For those who didn’t go to the Philippines in View event in Manila this week, during the OTT panel we learned that companies are exploring numerous methods of how to crack the OTT business model code. TV[R}EV believes that Apple should Give Away Their New TV Programming For Free….ya, that’s exactly what the pay-TV industry needs, more programming being given away for free. #sarcasm. These stories and more, continually updated at the CASBAA OTT Group newsfeed.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

It’s been an eventful month for those who watch the evolution of China’s IP policy: the annual crackdown got under way. The Donald announced a Section 301 trade proceeding against Chinese failure to protect IP. At an APEC meeting, China’s commerce ministry acknowledged the IP situation in the mainland was “not perfect.” (Masters of understatement, they are!) And on Wednesday, there was a bare-bones announcement that new IP protection measures (not yet explained) are being introduced. Lots of smoke – any fire? Stay tuned……

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

And for those who delight in Kim Dotcom-watching: if he can stay out of jail, he’s working on helping creators increase online earnings through a Bitcoin-based micropayment system. Just stay tuned to see how THAT one turns out…..

 

Additional News