27 February, 2015

News Views

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending Feb 27th. 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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Celestial Tiger
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

We’ve spoken before about the trend of ad spend shifting from TV to digital; now a survey of agencies in the UK claims half of media buyers think online ads are as effective or more effective than TV ads.  But when you consider that the source of this insight is a company that provides “solutions for the whole video advertising ecosystem”, the results of their survey don’t really come as much of a surprise.

Meanwhile, surveys notwithstanding, over at the biggest online video advertising platform in the multiverse, YouTube content head Robert Kyncl says the company will launch a subscription music video service shortly, “…because some viewers don’t want to sit through ads.”  The beta version of the service launched last November, by invitation only, and Kyncl says a broad release should happen in a few months. Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal has a lengthy report on YouTubewhich highlights the challenges the service faces on its path to profitability — wait, did we just say that?

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

If you’re trying to understand the US debate on “net neutrality,” amidst all the online smoke and noise about “free and open internet,” this article makes the real policy issue clear in an interesting way. From the consumer perspective, the FCC’s decision to closely regulate commercial provision of internet services comes down to this: most US consumers have only one choice for an ISP who can deliver content at 25Mps or faster. People have lots of competitive options for basic internet service, but internet service at that high speed is a monopoly. (I wonder how Asian markets would stack up, against that competition benchmark?)
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

I was recently reminded by a well known, and relatively handsome, veteran in the pay-TV business of a conversation we had maybe 18 months ago. In it he was stressing how the pay-TV platforms will need to take TV everywhere very seriously if they want to stay relevant. Well, it looks like those who have are seeing ad revenues increasing dramatically. On this same topic, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav threw down the TV Everywhere gauntlet to pay-TV platforms.

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

Amazon Prime Instant Video is currently the most-used video-on-demand (VOD) service in Germany with a market share of 33.2%. iTunes (Apple) and maxdome (ProSiebenSat.1) follow with 11.3% each. More than one-third of all German internet users currently use VOD services, according to the survey. In September 2014, the share amounted to just 20%.
Desmond Chung

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

 

Owners of sports properties were looking forward to being freed from sharing all events — the rights for which were bought for huge amounts — with pubcaster Doordarshan whose free signals are downloaded by many cable ops in India and its signals also available in neighbouring countries as satellite footprints cover a larger geographical area. Though private broadcasters were initially jubilant when the Delhi High Court restrained DD from sharing Star Sports’ feeds of ongoing cricket World Cup with cable ops, the Supreme Court struck down the order and, thus, keeping alive the debate on free lunch vs. paid lunch.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Traditionally, Korean pay-TV was dominated by the cable industry but excessively strict rules had limited cable companies’ market share. Well, fast-forward to today and the government has opened the market to competition, first from a DTH operator, and then from IPTV/Telco TV. Korea Telecom (KT – the ex-monopoly telco operator) bought the DTH operator and has been leveraging hybrid satellite/IPTV offerings to grow its market share. Now, the National Assembly has voted to cap KT by aggregating its DTH and Telco market shares, and limiting the total to 30%. KT doesn’t like that – they think a 50% market share would be fine.

Michael Steel

Regulatory Assistant

The storm over film censorship in India continues unabated. It seems the politically-appointed head of the Censor Board didn’t bother to clear with his fellow Board members his latest moves (to declare 28 words and phrases verboten) and, if media reports are to be believed, the Board chief also got an ‘advisory’ from the MIB to not over-step the organisation’s brief.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

As far as US cable giant Comcast is concerned, the deal’s still on for Time Warner Cable. Analysts aren’t so sure, and the skeptics are lining up to rubbish the deal. Meanwhile, Comcast’s latest earnings report also highlighted a trend: it will soon have more broadband customers in the US than cable customers.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

In the last News Views, I wrote about the Megaupload conspirator who seems to be cooperating with US authorities. The guy (an Estonian programmer) has indeed pled guilty and was sentenced to a relatively mild one-year sentence. Now, the way things work is that if he continues to sing like a birdie the authorities will further reduce the sentence. He’s already admitted that the Mega conspiracy obtained at least $175 million in proceeds by defrauding copyright owners. Do we hear the sounds of gnashing teeth, in New Zealand? Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing (from NZ to the USA) is now scheduled for June.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

Technology spinoffs can be a thing of beauty. But, ten years ago, who would have thought that a sports league (MLB Advanced Media spinning off?) would be very successfully playing in this space.  Well, not me but I’ve been known to make a few bad investment calls.  And still in this space: 1. it looks like two CASBAA members have joined up, Movideo to manage TV5MONDE’s OTT services in Asia Pacific and, 2. “MTV is to give mobile network operators on-demand access to its extensive international content library and its global music expertise through the launch of international OTT apps, MTV Play and MTV Trax.”  And now for the counterpoint, from a platform’s perspective, DirecTV is not sold on OTT.

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

In a timely announcement before next week’s CASBAA OTT Summit in Singapore,  TVNZ has relaunched its on-demand video service, dubbed ‘TVNZ OnDemand’, powered by the Brightcove. The upgraded features include new exclusive programming, as well as enhanced support for viewing across desktops, iOS and Android apps and Samsung Smart TV devices.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Fascinating report from CASBAA member and content protection company Irdeto, showing that the illegal downloads of Oscar-nominated movies globally increased 385% after the nominees were announced in mid-January. You can download a copy of the detailed report here, or just check out the key takeaways here.
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