Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

August 16 2012

18:50

Are cable channels coming to Apple TV?

Wall Street Journal :: Apple Inc. is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content, according to people familiar with the matter.

A report by [exclusive subscriber content] Jessica E. Vascellaro | Shlini Ramachandran, online.wsj.com

Who? - Discussed here as well Bloomberg News (video)

Tags: Apple TV

August 15 2012

20:28

The newsonomics of breakthrough digital TV, from Aereo to Dyle and MundoFox to Google Fiber

In 1998, when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought the Los Angeles Dodgers, the storied franchise was worth $380 million. News Corp. sold the team in 2003 for $430 million. After winning the ability to negotiate a new multi-billion sports TV contract this fall, they sold earlier this year for $2 billion, blowing the lid off sports property values.

In 1994, the San Diego Padres were worth $80 million. After recently signing a 20-year deal with Fox Sports for $1.2 billion, they sold (pending league approval) for $800 million.

Meanwhile, in 2000, the Los Angeles Times was worth at least $1.5 billion when it was sold as part of Times Mirror to Tribune Company. Today, as it is newly readied for market out of the Tribune bankruptcy, it would go for something less than $250 million. The San Diego Union-Tribune, once valued near a billion dollars, sold for about $35 million in 2009 and about $110 million in 2011.

It’s a reversal of fortune: Newspaper franchises that once outvalued baseball teams by 3-1 or 5-1 or 10-1 now see the inverse of that ratio. Why?

Two letters: TV.

Those numbers tell us a lot about the continuing power of television, in worth, in value creation, and in the news business itself. If we look just at recent events in the ongoing transformation of broadcast and cable to digital, we now see multiple breakthroughs on their path to digital. They give us indications of what the news business, video and text, will look like in the coming years. While we can argue endlessly about the relative virtues and vices of print and TV news, we must acknowledge the relative ascendance of TV and think about what that means for the news business overall.

TV’s revenues are holding up far better than newspaper companies’, and TV is better positioned to survive the great digital disruption.

TV has continued to have great audience. Nearly three in four Americans tune in to local TV news at least weekly, surpassing newspaper penetration, even as Pew Research points out they mainly do it for three topics: breaking news, weather, and traffic. Further, it retains great ad strength — 42 percent of national ad spending, matching the actual number of minutes Americans spend with the medium and making it the only medium still ahead of digital spending as digital has surpassed print (newspapers + magazines this year, both in the U.S. and globally). Yes, TV remains a gorilla. While Netflix won headlines when it announced it had streamed one billion hours of TV and movies in a single month, that huge number compared to about 43 billion hours of U.S. TV consumption, according to Nielsen’s 4Q 2011 Cross-Platform report.

In a nutshell, that’s the difference between TV and video, circa 2012. Video is the next wave — incorporating TV perhaps, but still the very young kid on the block.

Today, TV is no longer a box. Sure, even with all the Rokus, Boxees, and Apple TVs, it seems like TV isn’t yet an out-of-the-box experience. But with Hulu, Netflix, and Comcast’s Xfinity, it’s emerging quickly, escaping our fixed idea of what it once was — the boob tube in the living room. If it’s not just a box anymore, it’s a platform. From that platform, we see both the disruptors and the incumbents doubling down their bets. As in most things digital, few of these launches will be huge winners — but some will drive big breakthroughs. Some of the iconic legacy companies we’ve long known will be absorbed in the woodwork as new brands supplant them. Consider the spate of recent innovation, as we quickly assess the newsonomics going forward:

  • NBC, bashed up and down Twitter, nonetheless proved out a new business model with its multi-platform approach to Olympics coverage. Whatever you think of the tape delays or the suspended reality of Bob Costas’ gaze, NBC made the economics work, surprising itself and others. Its live streaming has ratified the development of cable- and satellite-authenticated, all-access digital delivery. That reinforces cable/satellite value. Further, it whetted prime-time viewing appetites, boosting ratings and earning NBC more ad revenue than it had projected. That’s icing on the cake for NBC, which, under Comcast ownership, has rocketed forward in digital strategy. The network has made a number of moves to transform itself into a global, video-forward, digital news company, joining the Digital Dozen global news pack. Recently, it bought out Microsoft’s share of msnbc.com, a leading Internet news portal. It immediately rechristened it NBCNews.com. In short order, it appointed Patricia Fili-Krushel as the new head of NBCUniversal News Group, an entity made up of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, and the Weather Channel. A former president of ABC, with 10 years of experience at Time Warner, she heads a growing news operation. Earlier this year, NBC combined its sports properties into a unified NBC Sports Group, merging NBC’s broadcast sports unit and Comcast’s regional sports networks. NBC is growing out of its digital adolescence. (See “One year after she was hired, Vivian Schiller’s ‘wild ride’ at NBC is just beginning.”)
  • Aereo, the TV startup funded by media magnate Barry Diller, is expanding its footprint from its current New York City base, and starting to offer multiple promotional deals. Diller’s in-your-face challenge to over-the-air broadcasters (CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, CW, PBS) takes their signals and delivers that programming via the Internet. It charges consumers $12 a month, or as little as a dollar a day. They can then watch those TV stations on up to five devices; in addition, they can deliver these signals to a TV via Apple TV or Roku. Aereo also offers DVR capability, with 40 hours of storage. It’s classic disruption, with Aereo upping the pressure on the cable bundle and messing with the “retrans” fees that broadcasters get from cable companies to run their programming. Is it really legal, as a court recently found? It may be as legal as Google presenting snippets from every publisher and directory provider.
  • Local broadcasters — representing a broad swath of ownership groups organized in a newer company called Pearl — are bringing local TV to our mobile devices themselves. Just a week ago, Metro PCS started selling a Samsung Galaxy S phone with a TV receiver chip in 12 markets. That’s just the first push of Mobile Content Ventures, a collection of Pearl, NBC, Fox, and others. Expect mobile TV, marketed as Dyle, to be available for other phones and tablets, either with built-in chips or after-market accessories — although price points are an issue, with $100-plus premiums likely over the next year. So what does this innovation mean? Simply, that broadcasters are going direct to mobile consumers — no Internet needed, no data charges applying, and maybe providing more consistent video connectivity — with live programming; whatever is on TV at that moment is also on your phone or tablet. Broadcasters just use part of their digital signal to, uh, broadcast to us on our phones. It’s that antenna, and its cost, that’s the issue. Business questions abound. Given the timing of the launch, Dyle seems like an aspiring Aereo killer, and certainly broadcasters would like to see it do that, if further court action doesn’t. More deeply, though, broadcasters want to maintain their direct-to-consumer brand identity as they do a balancing act and try to keep those retrans fees from cable and satellite companies. They don’t want to be left out of the digital party.
  • Social TV pulls up a chair. First it was startup Second Screen, matching tablet ads to real-time TV viewing. Now ConnecTV, partnered with Pearl, is trying to corner the activity as it takes off. Its promise: “synchronization of local news, weather, sports, and entertainment programming along with social polls.” Ah, synchronicity, a Holy Grail of our digital aspirations. Last week, Cory Bergman (a man of at least three full-time digital lives, with MSNBC, Next Door Media, and Lost Remote) sold his Last Remote social-TV site to Mediabistro.
  • Then there’s the disruptor of everything on planet Earth, Google. The company recently announced it is putting another $200 million into YouTube Channels, building on its initial $150 million investment. The move emphasizes how quickly YouTube is growing beyond its homegrown, user-generated roots. Now partnering with dozens of prime video producers, creating more than 100 new channels, it is trying to establish itself in viewers’ lives as a go-to video aggregation source. Major video producers are still wary of Google getting between them and their customers, both ad and viewer, but many others are signed on. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Google Fiber TV (TV that’s healthier for you?) launches. It’s a rocket shot at the cable, telco, and satellite incumbents. It’s also a demonstration project: providing more, cheaper. The more: interactive search for TV that combs your DVR and third-party services such as Netflix. (Yes, The Singularity ["The newsonomics of Google ad singularity"] marches on.) Google Fiber TV combines DVR and third-party (Netflix-plus) search. Its DVR holds 500 hours of storage of shows in 1080p and the ability to record eight TV shows simultaneously. Bandwidthpalooza. Google’s goal: Toss a hand grenade among the TV-as-usual business models, and pick up some of the pieces, adding new significant revenue lines.
  • CNN moves to break out of its identity funk, figuring out what that powerful global brand means in this fast-changing digital news world. CNN President Jim Walton recently stepped down, clearly acknowledging that his 10-year run had reached an end. “CNN needs new thinking,” he said in a farewell note. On TV, CNN has been beaten up badly both both Fox News and MSNBC. In 2Q, CNN showed its worst numbers in 20 years, down 35 percent year-over-year. On the web, it’a a top-three news player. But overall, it’s become the Rodney Dangerfield of news entities, getting little respect. Its cable fees — the strength of its revenues — could be challenged by low ratings. Going forward and competing against other global news brands — many of which are transitioning their own businesses to gain far greater digital reader revenue — it is, at this moment, caught betwixt and between. How it brings together a single — and global — digital/TV identity is at the core of its continuing journalistic importance and financial performance.

That’s a short list. We could easily add HuffPo’s streaming initiative and The Wall Street Journal’s wider video embrace. Or Les Moonves’ digital moves at CBS. And Fox’s new MundoFox, Spanish-language TV network, taking on Telemundo and Impremedia. The new network, at birth, offers a strong digital component, working at launch with advertisers along those lines. Let’s note some quick takeaways here, all of which we’ll be talking about in 2013:

  • Note how much you see the names News Corp. and Fox here. While segregating its text assets (and liabilities), News Corp. is investing greatly in the video future.
  • Cable bundling’s longevity is uncertain. There’s a lot of residual power here, but we know how quickly that can fade in legacy media. Yes, the unbundling of cable and satellite has been overestimated by some, as Peter Kafka pointed out recently. Yet, these multiple digital strategies may still push a tipping point. Clearly, legacy TV media, despite their public protestations, sees that potential and is acting in multiple ways to prepare for it.
  • Though broadcasters are making major digital pushes, they start from a lowly digital position. Many broadcasters can count no more than 5 percent of their total revenues coming from digital. That compares to 15-20 percent or more for newspaper companies. While there are other sources of revenue have been more stable than those of newspapers, they need to grow digital revenues quickly to make up for inevitable erosion of older money streams.
  • TV ≠ newspapers. Much of broadcasters’ revenues are made on non-news programming, as much as one-half to two-thirds for most local broadcasters. While learning from TV experience here is useful, given lots of differences, the learnings must be smartly applied. As news consumers and advertisers move increasingly digital, though, that thick line that separate local TV from local newspapers thins by the day.

The all-access, news-anywhere, entertainment-everywhere era has created a new massive business competition. Which brands will be top of mind? Who will consumers pay? How valuable is news itself in this contest?

Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T — pipes companies — are in one corner. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO, Showtime, and other known-to-consumer brands in another. Aggregators like Netflix and Hulu over there. Media marketers like Amazon and Apple holding court. Google. The local broadcasters fighting for their place in this digital ring. This new battle of brands, in and around “TV,” is now joined.

August 01 2012

18:56

Hulu app finally lands on Apple TV

VentureBeat | Washington Post :: Apple rolled out a software update for its Apple TV set-top box Tuesday that includes a new app for Hulu.

What took so long? - A report by VentureBeat | www.washingtonpost.com

May 06 2012

04:20

Apple said to have discussed Epix movie app for Apple TV

Consumer market:

Washington Post :: Apple held talks to let subscribers of the Epix movie channel watch films on its $99 set-top box, according to an executive familiar with the matter. The sides discussed allowing Apple to stream films to existing Epix subscribers through an app that would be installed on Apple TV,

Continue to read Edmund Lee | Cliff Edwards, www.washingtonpost.com

Tags: Apple Apple TV

May 05 2012

04:52

No Apple TV set until 2014, says analyst: What's next for Apple?

ZDNet :: According to J.P. Morgan analyst, Apple will not release its anticipated television set until 2014. That leaves two years of ‘Apple awesome’ on the cards.

(J.P. Morgan analyst) Moskowitz noted that the television market is on shaky ground, it would be a risky move for the Cupertino-based giant to throw itself in the ring unless there was a major pull factor.

What can we expect to see?

HT: Rachel Stern, Cupertino Patch

Continue to read Zack Whittaker, www.zdnet.com

Tags: Apple TV

April 15 2012

19:03

Why Apple CEO Tim Cook met with valve

Cult of Mac :: Many speculated as to why Apple's CEO Tim Cook would be visiting Valve, maker of popular game series like Half-Life, Team Fortress and Portal. Valve also boasts an incredibly robust online PC gaming platform called Steam that operates similarly to Apple’s App Store. We’ve gotten word that Cook was indeed at Valve yesterday, and what’s more, Apple is planning a full-on assault to take over the living room. This assault won’t just be limited to the long-rumored Apple HDTV set, but will also include a revolutionary home console as well.

Continue to read Alex Heath, www.cultofmac.com

Tags: Apple Apple TV
10:51

Streaming TV takes you way beyond cable

HeraldNet :: In the ever-evolving world of home electronics, a new device is bridging the divide between the World Wide Web and the living room. Streaming digital video players, including brands such as Roku and Apple TV, make it fast and easy to snare Internet content and watch it on a television.

Continue to read Jackson Holtz, www.heraldnet.com

March 29 2012

06:07

Web video: A Roku vs. Apple TV vs. Google TV comparison

PCMag :: There are plenty of Web video services that would look great on your HDTV, and there are several media hubs that can put them there. If you want to access online content and your HDTV or Blu-ray player doesn't offer integrated Web services (or it doesn't have the services you want), you can take one of three routes: Apple TV, a Google TV device, or a Web-service-based set-top box à la Roku. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

[Will Greenwald:] Apple TV just got a mild refresh; how does it stack up against your other choices for putting Web and PC content on your HDTV?

Review - Continue to read Will Greenwald, www.pcmag.com

06:00

Foxconn's Sharp investment makes sense if Apple TV is coming

Read one of my last posts: Apple's CEO Tim Cook is visiting the Foxconn plants. The plants? Looks like he might have different reasons as well.

Business Week :: A big move into display manufacturing by Apple’s top supplier Foxconn could be an indication of Tim Cook’s plans to branch out into the TV business. Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group — which includes the Foxconn companies that make iPads and iPhones for Apple — and its founder Terry Gou agreed on March 27 to invest 133 billion yen ($1.6 billion) in Sharp, the Japanese company that is a major producer of thin film transistor liquid crystal displays.

Continue to read Bruce Einhorn, www.businessweek.com

Tags: Apple TV

February 08 2012

22:16

Canada: Apple ‘iTV’ prototypes at Rogers and Bell Canda Enterprises’ labs

Washington Post :: Toronto’s Globe and Mail reports that two major Canadian television makers — Rogers and Bell Canda Enterprises — have Apple interactive television prototypes in their laboratories and are talking with Apple about becoming launch partners. The report, citing unnamed “sources,” says that the iTV will be integrated with Siri — Apple’s voice assistant program — and can be controlled with hand gestures or an on-screen keyboard.

Continue to read Hayley Tsukayama, www.washingtonpost.com

Tags: Apple Apple TV

January 22 2012

06:45

For mobile TV? Apple working to adopt 802.11ac 5G Gigabit Wi-Fi this year

Apple Insider :: Apple is expected to rapidly deploy support for the new 802.11ac specification this year, adding so called "Gigabit Wi-Fi" to new AirPort base stations, Time Capsule, Apple TV, notebooks and potentially its mobile devices. The new 802.11ac standard achieves much faster wireless networking speeds than the existing in use on the latest Mac, AirPort and iOS devices.

Continue to read Daniel Eran Dilger, www.appleinsider.com

January 11 2012

14:45

Responsive design from another angle: Gizmodo goes widescreen

Gizmodo, the popular gadget site and pageview king of Gawker Media, debuted a new look last night that they’re calling HD view, and it’s big. Not big in the grand scheme of things — big in the number of pixels it takes up. Whereas most websites top out at around 1000 pixels in width, Gizmodo HD stretches like Plastic Man, with photos and videos stretching wider and wider as the browser window does too. On my 1900-pixel-wide monitor, pages like this one (photo-dominant) and this one (video-dominant) both resize all the way to blowout width. Call it the doublewide approach.

(The screenshot above is obviously less than full size; to see its full, 1920-by-1200-pixel glory, click here.)

This is the flip side of responsive design, the web-design idea that BostonGlobe.com’s recent launch brought to the attention of lots of news execs. In the case of the Globe (and in most other responsive efforts), the primary appeal is the ability to get small — to build a website that can look good both on your laptop and on your smartphone without having to build a separate mobile site. (The Globe’s website expands up to 1230 pixels, but not beyond that.) But responsive design works in the other direction too, and Gizmodo’s new look is an attempt to play with that — to give more space to the big photos and big videos that Gawker Media’s been trying to push over the past year.

At this point, HD view is very much a beta (it won’t work in all browsers, for instance, and there’s no place for comments), and seems more like a parlor trick than a feature. But why might a news organization be interested in a doublewide view? What might be the use cases for an HD view?

  • There’s still a class of user who (a) uses a desktop computer, where monitor sizes once outlandish (24-inch, 27-inch, 30-inch) are becoming more affordable and common, and (b), particularly on Windows, runs browser windows full screen. Those folks are used to seeing a bunch of whitespace to the left and right of their favorite websites, and this could fill them up and build something more immersive. With Gawker Media making bigger investments in video and art, it makes sense to play those as big as the browser will allow.
  • A theme running throughout Gawker’s controversial redesign last year was that it viewed television as both an important competitor and a production-value bar that Gawker Media felt it was approaching. “[W]e increasingly have the scale and production values of — say — cable television,” Nick Denton told us at the time: “[W]e’ll compete for audiences with cable groups such as NBC Universal.” Well, Gizmodo HD fits perfectly into a world where screens are shifting and the television might move from the-place-where-you-watch-Mad-Men to, simply, the biggest and best content-agnostic screen in the house. To be fair, previous attempts to bring the web to big-screen television haven’t borne much fruit. But with everyone expecting an new TV push from Apple in 2012 — and with companies like The Wall Street Journal moving from web video to TV sets — it makes sense for a big online brand like Gawker Media to prepare for that eventuality.
  • Advertisers are always looking for new ways to draw attention, having soured at least a bit on the efficacy of the banner ads. Gawker’s long been willing to push the boundaries with things like sponsored posts and site takeovers. Imagine the greater impact that a site takeover could have when there’s twice as much space to take over?

It’ll probably be a while before the doublewide becomes much more than a novelty, but it’s worth thinking about how a news site might look different if, instead of thinking small (that is, mobile), it thought big.

January 06 2012

20:25

Google TV getting traction?

TechZone 360° :: Google TV has many of the same goals as Apple TV, namely to provide a simpler interface, a new way to discover great web and TV content. Google TV wants to provide a more TV-like YouTube experience, while Apple TV aims to do the same for iTunes and other content. Google says it now has more than 150 apps which developers have specifically built for TV. Up to this point, Apple TV and Google TV have used an "add a box" approach.

Continue to read Gary Kim, www.techzone360.com

December 19 2011

17:41

Daily Must Reads, Dec. 19, 2011

The best stories across the web on media and technology, curated by Nathan Gibbs


1. Joshua Kopstein: Dear Congress, it's no longer OK to not know how the Internet works (Motherboard)

2. Schools explore rules to limit how teachers and students interact online (New York Times)

3. Demonstration of touchless control of smartphones and TVs (BBC News)

4. What does life after IPO look like for Zynga? (Inside Social Games)

5. Apple moves forward with TV plans (Wall Street Journal)

6. Mathew Ingram: Publishers still missing the point on e-book prices (GigaOM)



Subscribe to our daily Must Reads email newsletter and get the links in your in-box every weekday!



Subscribe to Daily Must Reads newsletter

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

08:30

Apple moves forward with TV plans

Wall Street Journal :: Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs. In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies, according to people familiar with the matter.

Continue to read Jessica E. Vascellaro | Sam Schechner, online.wsj.com

08:30

Apple moves forward with TV plans

Wall Street Journal :: Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs. In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies, according to people familiar with the matter.

Continue to read Jessica E. Vascellaro | Sam Schechner, online.wsj.com

December 01 2011

06:44

You bet Apple TV is coming, says Apple analyst Gene Munster

Business Insider :: Apple analyst Gene Munster just reiterated his belief that Apple is going to launch a TV next year. He made the comments at IGNITION: Future of Media conference recently. In fact, Gene is so sure an Apple TV is coming that he told anyone in the audience who is thinking of buying a TV to wait, because Apple's is going to be awesome, writes Henry Blodget, Business Insider.

Continue to read Henry Blodget, www.businessinsider.com

September 05 2011

08:00

Look at Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV - Future of TV is "TV in the cloud"

TechCrunch :: TV is moving to the cloud. It is inevitable, just as other kinds of media from books to music are increasingly delivered over the Internet. Netflix, Hulu, and even Apple TV are making inroads when it comes to distributing traditional TV shows and movies to Internet-connected screens. YouTube keeps grabbing more of our attention, accounting for 7 percent of total time spent on the Internet in the U.S., according to comScore.

Erick Schonfeld: "And yet the TV as well as movie industry are proving more resistant to change than any other form of media. Change will come, but it won’t happen as quickly as it is with music, news, or books."

Continue to read Erick Schonfeld, techcrunch.com

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl