28 August, 2015

News Views

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending Aug 28st. 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

Japan is hosting the latest cage-fight in the territorial wrestling match that is the streaming video world: this week, Netflix and Softbank announced a partnership to launch the service on 02 September. That was followed by some smack-talk from Amazon, which will launch its Amazon Prime Instant Video in Japan next month as well. You’ll remember that Hulu entered the Japan market in 2011, but threw in the towel last year, and sold its local business to Nippon TV. And of course, Rakuten-owned Viki is also already in the ring, setting the scene for a SummerSlam that even Jon Stewart might want to join in.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

From wrestling to kick-boxing: There are a couple of interesting fights in Thailand. First, a spat over the future of TV audience measurement is raging. The Media Agency Association of Thailand says it wants to go ahead with a new, broader TAM system, and MAAT is supported by several of the key terrestrial broadcasters. There were unconfirmed leaks that Kantar would be chosen as the new data supplier. But at least one of the FTA companies wants to stick with Nielsen, the existing TAM operator. The government has pushed for better measurement, so to make sure the system is viable, MAAT sought government subsidies. A panel from the NBTC has made known that it would consider the request. Nielsen, in the meantime, says it’s not being fairly treated; they point out that they’ve invested heavily in enlarging the cable-and-satellite-panel to 2200 homes, and in starting multiscreen measurement. I’m confident that the behind-the-scenes lobbying on this one is intense. (BTW: Kudos to The Nation and their reporter Watchiranont T., who wrote the articles linked above. He really follows closely the issues related to the media industry!)
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Meanwhile, the NBTC itself is embroiled in a legal battle with its digital terrestrial licensees. We were all flabbergasted 18 months ago by the “staggering” sums that Thai players agreed to pay for DTT licenses. Now it seems the industry remains too competitive and they can’t make money. (More than half of Thai homes have satellite dishes and are already getting digital programming; they see no need to buy a DTT box.) So the licensees blame the NBTC for not pushing (read: subsidizing even more heavily) the DTT rollout. They’ve sued the regulator. But the officials say they’ve done everything by the book and they’re ready to defend the case in court. Sanook! This is a thrilling spectator sport…
Desmond Chung

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

It turns out to be true. India’s two television audience measurement companies, BARC and TAM are joining hands to form a separate meter management company.The joint venture company will supply raw data to the joint industry body, BARC India.What this effectively means is that BARC India will be the sole TV ratings monitoring agency. Further, meters will be deployed based on BARC’s sample design and the ratings will be computed and disseminated through BARC India’s software.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Reality TV is one thing, but what about Virtual Reality TV? Discovery Communications is betting big on the format, launching the Discovery VR platform. The site is live at discoveryvr.com, featuring nine short-form videos that can be watched in a browser, on a mobile app, or with full VR set-ups. Not to be outdone, MTV will produce a streaming VR red-carpet pre-show before the VMAs on Sunday. All this is great, but the headsets probably won’t be under the Christmas tree, although with Facebook-owned Oculus holding a developer’s conference in Hollywood next month, look for other broadcasters to jump into the space soon.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

A few months back my six-year old, Scarlett, experienced a first-world crisis as she screamed out “CARTER (son, 10)….stop stealing my wifi!!!!!”  Somewhere between my wifi repeater, router, cable modem, ISP and the rest of the internet a PewDiePie video and a Sophia the First video could not be delivered simultaneously. From Scarlett’s perspective the internet was broken and her neighbor, on the couch, was the problem. Bloomberg warned about this in 2010 when Netflix accounted for 20% of primetime internet traffic. (It’s estimated now at about 37%.) This week, Akamai announced that the Web Can’t Handle Viewing Surge of OTT and that “the Internet must shift to a different protocol for OTT video in order to carry the load.” Sling TV experienced this problem this week as it struggled under the strain of massive demand for AMC’s premiere of Fear the Walking Dead. But let’s be honest, at the end of the day, increasing demand for one’s product is a very good problem for a businessperson to have.

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

YouTube Gaming, Google’s direct competitor to the hugely successful streaming service Twitch, has debuted this week with the services first being rolled out to users in the US and the UK. Similar to Twitch, YouTube Gaming allows gamers to broadcast the titles they’re playing in real-time to YouTube users around the world. Viewers are able to participate in chat, as well as subscribe to their favorite streamers as they watch the games unfold. Surprisingly addictive for the inner geek in all of us.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

After a 2015 upfront market that has been described as both “wobbly” and “droopy”, there are signs that ad spend on TV in the US market is on the rise, but in the form of “scatter” buying, outside the guaranteed buying that takes place in the upfronts. It’s the silver-lining part of the dark-cloud trend of ad buyers relying less on the traditional upfront marketplace. But even with the scatter money coming in, the lackluster upfronts are still having a knock-on effect, and are part of the reason WPP’s Group M is reportedly preparing to downgrade its 2015 global ad spend forecast.
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

It’s worth noting that site blocking of overseas piracy websites has started in Indonesia. There were complaints at first that the ISPs weren’t uniformly following the government’s rules, but as time goes on, things seem to be getting sorted out. The first batch of sites to be blocked includes