Verizon FiOS Customers Get Flexibility

Read original story on: The Verge

Verizon FiOS is devising ways to make its cable programming more attractive to viewers who now have alternative streaming television options like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and HBO Now. Starting Sunday, customers can avoid cable package offerings and pay for a more customized set of channels. The new “Custom TV” packages will start with a $65 bundle that pairs with Internet service and 35 TV channels. The TV half alone can be purchased for $55 each month with the option to purchase $10 add-ons for additional channels. There’s high anticipation to see how cable networks begin to adapt to the growing OTT trend that we’ve been intently following.

What the Living Room Revolution Means to Brands

Download the whitepaper “OTT: What The Living Room Revolution Means to Brands”

Television has been the core medium for the advertising industry for decades. While other media such as web and mobile-based content have eaten into its share of audience attention, it still offers brands the widest reach. Moreover, the audience’s desire to relax on the couch with their families and be entertained by a big HD screen is a unique desirable experience that newer mediums can’t replace.

What is beginning to change, however, is the underlying structure of Television. The idea that TV shows are arranged in linear numbered channels is no longer a technical requirement. A generation is rising that is less receptive to the concepts of expensive bundles, traditional interruptive ad breaks, and being locked into accessing certain content on some screens but not others.

In an on-demand, de-bundled, cord-cut world, the big question is “What now for marketers?”

In this paper we attempt to lay out the current landscape, the promising technologies that are budding, and the exciting future possibilities that lie ahead.

Download the whitepaper “OTT: What The Living Room Revolution Means to Brands”

Aereo Looking To Reverse Supreme Court Decision

After the Supreme Court decision to rule Aereo’s streaming service illegal and essentially shutting it out of business, the company is still, quite admirably, not giving up on its business. Earlier last week, CEO Chet Kanojia sent a letter to its customers urging them to notify Congress that they want the decision reversed, empathizing the important freedom of having access to a cloud-based antenna. Although such reversion seems highly unlikely in the short run, the trend of content consumption moving towards the OTT services providers will only keep gaining traction. In the long term, the broadcast industry can expect more Aereo-like services cropping up, as the cable customers and cord-cutters are always out looking for better, cheaper options.

Aereo Ruled Illegal By Supreme Court

According to a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling this morning, Aereo – the company that allows subscribers to stream TV stations over the Internet – violates copyright law and must stop functioning as such. It’s a reversal of lower courts’ decisions, which had mostly sided with Aereo because of their business model, which culls its signals from a network of tiny antennas distributed to subscribers. It’s unclear what Aereo’s next move is now, but what’s for sure is that they still believe in their product and believe that the present cable model will be undercut in the near future. It just might not be Aereo doing that undercutting anymore. 

BBC iPlayer Records Best Ever Month

BBC’s iPlayer is a leader in cord cutting content service; it’s an Internet-based TV and radio service that serves its content to those in the UK. The iPlayer just recorded its best ever month, reaching new highs for both requests and plays. Over the month, requests for TV and radio content rose to 320 million, breaking the old high of 315 million recorded in January. It’s an 18% year over year increase on content requests, signaling the burgeoning desire to stream content over the Internet rather than over cable. This is corroborated by looking at TV request data more specifically, which to rose to 248 million requests over the month, topping January’s record of 242 million requests. The top performing show? Top Gear, followed by The Voice. The data continue to point to the fact that people want specific content on their own schedules, over the Internet. 

TV’s False Dawn

TV’s long demise has let off a bit in recent months. Though many looped into the web believe it’s only a matter of time before traditional TV becomes a thing of the past, the medium is still clinging on to life. Primetime TV ratings were up by 4% during the first three months of 2014, which is it’s best performance since 2007; it’s the first time TV has grown at all in a year. It might be a false positive, though: analysts attribute the positive blip to a confluence of big-name events all happening at the same time. In this case, the Olympics, the Oscars, the NFL playoffs and the NCAA tournament all happened in the first quarter of 2014, in addition to the notoriously cold and long winter. The real question is if television can keep the trend going – it’s been trending downwards, and if the data are to be believed, this is just a brief blip on television’s long way out. 

H&M’s Shoppable TV Spot

H&M will be running a Super Bowl spot promoting some lovely briefs donned by David Beckham. Even more interesting than David Beckham’s Bodywear, is the T-Commerce integration which will allow viewers receive more information in addition to purchasing items directly from their Samsung Smart TV. If QVC is any indication, the marriage of content and commerce could be very lucrative for brands and advertisers.

Piixls Jetpack PC Is Gaming Set-Top Box

Piixl has debuted a PC called the Jetpack that runs on Steam OS, and fits flat behind a flat-screen TV to act as a SteamOS gaming machine. The machine utilizes an open hardware platform that allows the user to customize their experience. Starting at $1,000, it represents an attractive, Steam-based gaming and media-viewing option in the living room for those already baked into the system, and for those who want a set top box that doesn’t disrupt the space. 

BSkyB Brings Sky Go To Android Tablets

Sky Go, BSkyB’s live and on-demand TV platform, is now available to Android tablet users. In a move that caters to mobile users across the board, the app unifies the mobile user base, as the app has already been available on smartphones and all iOS systems for some time. The app is available for free to those with an existing Sky subscription. It’s yet another indication, if you needed any, that networks are increasingly catering to the cord-cutting, lean-back users who want their content on whichever device pleases them, when they want it. 

Disney Releases Shows Before TV Air Date

In a move aimed at children, the Disney Channel is promoting its new phone and tablet apps by giving away 9 episodes of “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West” online, several months before the show airs on TV. It’s an acceptance of the fact that children specifically live in a world where they’re used to on-demand entertainment service, and expect this sort of delivery from shows. It’s a new paradigm that favors Amazon, Netflix, and other digital services, that cable providers and networks are going to have to contend with, perhaps sooner than later. The next generation of children simply don’t understand – or want to live within – the limits of live television anymore.