The seamy side of Internet advertising continues to come in for a lot of attention. Google announced that its Chrome browser would block ads that were not approved by an industry “Better Advertising” coalition. Meanwhile, other ad industry participants grumbled that was a competitive ploy; they want to challenge the Goobook “duopoly,” but this analysis points out that none of the potential challengers even cracks the 3% market share level. That leaves advertisers wondering how well they are really served by the current set-up, and scrambling to avoid having their brands featured alongside fake news, extremist videos, hate speech etc.
Hot on the heels of Chinese authorities firing warning salvos in the direction of unlicenced online streamers last week, Thai officials have warned that Over-the-top (OTT) platform providers must register their services within a 30-day deadline otherwise will have no right to do business in Thailand. 35 digital terrestrial television channels and OTT operators met with the regulator this week. Interestingly, Line and Microsoft appear to have submitted to the NBTC’s jurisdiction. But three major OTT platform providers — YouTube, Facebook and Netflix — were no-shows and have now been warned that they will face action if they do not comply with the directive. It is shaping up to be a serious confrontation – Internet lobbying groups have warned that controls on OTT platform providers would “disadvantage Thai consumers and content creators.” The government upped the ante, at the end of the week, by moving to challenge Thai advertising on the three platforms. The chief regulator said he was confident the three would register before the deadline.
Alongside its requirement for Youtube itself to register as an OTT service provider, the NBTC has now asked OTT content providers, including the 44 most popular “Youtubers” in Thailand to register as OTT “services” as well. This follows a Tuesday meeting between the influential Youtubers and the NBTC, where the former were given until July 27th to complete the necessary registration processes – just like traditional channel providers. If the Youtubers fail to do so, they will no longer be permitted to feature their content on the popular video sharing platform in Thailand.
Meanwhile, YouTube remains the market’s leading provider of online video, and according to a report from Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson, Facebook, Twitter and other online video players are unlikely to break YouTube’s dominance anytime soon. The report also says YouTube, Facebook and other providers of internet streaming video have a long way to go before they can overtake the traditional TV advertising market.
This week there were a few interesting stories about how sports programming is adapting to the OTT world. In the U.S., NBC has moved 130 Premier League matches to new subscription service for $50 per month. “There are a lot of cord-cutters and cord-nevers out there,” said NBC Sports president of programming Jon Miller. “It’s a chance to put product out there for those people who love the Premier League but don’t necessarily have cable subscriptions.” Also stateside, Fox Sports reached a deal with Facebook to stream free matches from the UEFA Champions League during the 2017-18 season to domestic users. In the UK, Sky is scrapping its numbered sports channels and replacing them with themed offerings focused on specific sports. Analysts believe that this repackaging exercise is a response to consumers expectations that pay-TV should be cheaper. And lastly, one can take a glimpse into ESPN’s Innovation Lab to see how ESPN is preparing for the future of video in a non-linear world.
Global media giant WPP is among the latest victims of a massive cyber attack, with the organisation telling staff worldwide to turn computers off and not use wifi until further notice. Other companies affected by the variant of ransomware Peyta called “ExPetr” include Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft, Danish shipping firm Maersk, and US pharma giant Merck. In a note to staff, Global CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said “…WPP and its companies are still very much open for business,” countering reports of “…board games, offline meetings, PowerPoints, or the pub.”
Chinese sporting bodies are calling for stronger legislation to protect sports broadcast rights, as online piracy continues to affect the country’s growing sports entertainment industry. With the value of media rights for major sports events skyrocketing, piracy – including illicit livestreaming – has emerged as a serious issue. In an effort to curb unauthorized distribution, the Chinese Football Association allegedly recently barred fans from carrying high-end cameras and recording devices into top-tier league games. According to a recent seminar in Beijing hosted by the National Copyright Administration of China (where Yew Kuin Cheah from Fox spoke on behalf of CASBAA) there is lack of clear legal protection for sports broadcasts with one official saying the copyright law system in China doesn’t recognize sports broadcasting as ‘works’ subject to its protection because of the relatively low originality of the content. A review of the Copyright Law is currently underway by the country’s top legislature.
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- India: TRAI talks net neutrality, floor pricing with US Federal Communications Commission
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