15 May, 2015

News Views

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

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Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Another week, another proposed media-mega-merger, this time Verizon and AOL. Again, it will be subject to regulatory approval, but most reports are treating it as a done deal, even if it isn’t exactly receiving universal endorsement (cue the torrent of snarky jokes on Twitter). But the deal’s prime justification — the logic of merging mobile and content — certainly seems to be on-trend, as the kids say these days, even if the US$4.4 billion price tag might seem a tad extravagant. And even if it seems like there’ve been a lot of deals lately, according to PwC, media M&A activity has actually been pretty slow this year.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Nothing like hearing one of the biggest pirates in the planet call things “unfair”, as Kim Dotcom complained in an interview with Bloomberg this week. Wonder what the FBI would have to say about that? Meantime, a group of independent studios has set up what they’re calling the Internet Security Task Force, saying the Six Strikes rule (the voluntary Copyright Alert System set up in 2013) simply doesn’t go far enough in the fight against Internet piracy. And they might have a point, since the latest episode of Game of Thrones has broken its own record for illegal downloads.

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

It’s rumoured that Spotify intends to launch a video streaming service. The news is due to be announced on May 20th in New York but sources at the FT are already all over it. Unlike past rumours that a video entrée for Spotify would be designed to take on HBO and Netflix, it’s thoughtthe service will be more music related and in theory will be going head to head with Youtube and also Apple – set to relaunch its Beats music service on June 20th.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

In the US, the upfronts have pretty much run their course, resulting a pretty clear picture of what the new network programme offerings will be. Plenty of scorecard articles out there, lots of “X things we learnedlisticles, a few burning questions, and the predictable industry thought pieces. Oh, and teaserstrailersfirst-looksmore trailers, and more teasers (far too many of which were geo-blocked… seriously, why?). And just when it felt like the signal-to-noise ratio was getting a bit too much to handle, Miley Cyrus smoked a joint onstage.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Last week was a big week for Netflix on the speaking circuit. Reed Hastings predicts the future of TV over the next 20 years in Berlin. I took particular notice of his quotes, “What happens in Hollywood is that if you want to sell a show you plant a rumor that Netflix is going to do it” and “We will come to see that linear TV declines every year for the next 20 years, and that internet TV rises every year for the next 20 years.”  At the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York, Ted Sarandos talks global licensing, sports market and China. If your interest is the movie model, sit-coms, sports, kids’ programming, China, he touches them all.
Desmond Chung

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

In India, it’s very difficult to please people — if 80 per cent of the constituents give you a pat on the back, then consider yourself blessed. And, BARC India, the new entrant in audience measurement, is realising it early in infancy. While some have dismissed two sets of data released by BARC so far as nothing new or more insightful than previous TAM figures, new technology employed by BARC does seem sophisticated and can go a long way in holding a mirror to consumption patterns, etc. On news consumption behaviour, for example, BARC’s BMW software gives interesting data analysis in times of calamities and celebrations. And such data can put to good use by news channels in India, which are coming under severe criticism for being “shrill”, “ratings-driven” and, as MIB Minister Arun Jaitley recently described, becoming a participant rather than being an informant.
Desmond Chung

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

The French audience measurement company Mediametrie has announced it will launch the GRP Video service in June in partnership with Integral Ad Science (IAS). Mediametrie has been consulting with industry players since 2012 on the creation of a common definition for the viewing duration and the portion of advertisements viewable for video ads on TV and fixed or mobile web devices. This brings the Ad industry one step closer to convergence viewing data and regardlesswhether you think this is comparing apples with oranges, if they like what they see then the currency will likely be adopted by media agencies globally and soon be coming to a market near you.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

More OTT services are launching in the US. CBS chief Leslie Moonves has said that Showtime streaming service coming in ‘Not Too Distant Future’. “Other than a little bit of consternation (from MVPDs), I don’t see how anybody cannot view this as a positive for HBO and a positive for Showtime,” Moonves said. Then YipTV takes aim at U.S. Hispanic market with 50-channel OTT service. For a price tag of $14.99 per month this 50-channel over-the-top streaming service aims to be a go-to provider for Hispanic and ultimately other multilingual groups.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

With the CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum coming up on 01 June, perhaps its understandable that we’ve been waxing astronomical lately, especially when we heard that NASA’s probe of the planet Mercury has crashed into the planet, which was actually exactly what it was supposed to do.  Still, it was all a bit poignant, and a reminder that