Tag Archives: IPTV

The Ultimate STB!

I will be in Taiwan in a few days, and I do not plan to leave without one of these boxes. I already posted about it. The newest Asus Eee Box is a great product. Small-form that can be (VESA) mounted on the back of the TV, quiet, low power, Wifi-n for true multimedia without wires, HDMI and SPDIF output…  and it is much more affordable than a Mac Mini.

I have not found any cons yet. And what’s more, see the video clip for the Eee Stick, the killer accesory to control the Eee Box from the sofa.

Install the Boxee version for Windows XP, or simply “tune-in” into http://www.youtube.com/xl for your Online Video experience on the TV.

Who said the Telcos did not know about Media?

The Chart of the day of  The Business Insider a few days ago is self-explanatory. Bundling very high speed Internet Access with TV is winning the battle. Will they be able to sustain it against the coming Hulu’s? This can also signal that Internet access is now perceived at home as more important than TV, and that gives an edge in the buying decision in favour of Telcos.

cablevsiptvchart0907

Boxee: Hulu’s Dilemma

Boxee is getting so successful that many of its users are seriously considering to stop their Pay-TV subscriptions.

Boxee is a cool open source software for Media Centers based on Mac or Ubuntu. This software transforms a Mac Mini, Apple TV or any Linux small-form PC into a social network  set-top-box. With a great user interface, Boxee enables you to enjoy on your TV not only your media library but also online video such as YouTube and Hulu, as you interact with your buddies.

Hulu -the joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp- offers a sensational online catalog of  TV shows from their parent companies and others, that has made their user growth in 2008 stunning.

Such is the success of the Boxee-Hulu combination that Hulu’s content providers have requested Hulu to be removed from Boxee,  in an attempt to stop cannibalizing their traditional revenues from TV ads and Cable networks.

Again the traditional Innovator’s dilemma in front of a disruptive threat. Innovate first and cannibalize yourself? or wait and risk to be eaten by others with less to lose?

NBC and News Corp might worry about Online TV in the short-term, but in the long-run it will ony bring good news:

  • CPM of Online TV should be higher than traditional TV. As marketers say, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. Online TV ads can be targeted to specific viewers.  Interactive responses can be measured. That should  reduce wasted ads, and therefore advertisers will be ready to pay more for an Online TV Ad.
  • Online TV might display less ads per show than traditional TV, but ads are at least seen.  A way to avoid all the wasted ads wiped out by DVRs and Tivos.
  • Online TV can enable Content Providers to sell subscriptions for premium content and VoD directly to the user without any Cable intermediary.

If Hulu is able to build a stronghold in online TV, they will capture all the benefits of a richer online TV in the long-run.

The ones to worry about Boxee are the Cable and IPTV operators that will need to ad significant value to avoid being by-passed by over-the-top solutions such as Boxee, and dumped by their customers. There is time. Boxee is great, but still for Mac or Linux geeks, a minority.

“The question is not whether Telcos want to be a dumb or a smart pipe. They are already a dumb pipe. The question is do they want to be something else on top?”

Max Foresite – Telecom, Internet & Media Analyst

Online Movies 2019

uhd

In 2019, while Music downloads are mostly free, people is ready to pay for Movie downloads.

The Music industry has changed in the past ten years and artists make their work known by distributing it for free. Their revenues come from fans fees, live performances, merchandising, ad endorsements and downloads of live concert videos.

Movie producers maintain theaters as their main source of revenue, but they also cash on HD downloads, at a few dollars each, and TV-rights from Pay-TV broadcasters. TV movie channels have survived due to the high number of people that still find “zapping” as the way to discover what to watch this evening.

With set-top-boxes powered by 128 cores CPUs, 250 GB RAM and flash drives of  32 TB, fed by a broadband connection of 8 Gbps, the premium content is now delivered in Ultra-HD at 4320p with 20.2 audio channels and 60 frames per second. HDTV 1080p is the standard quality, except from some lower resolution user-generated-content sites at 720p.

The Immersive Game Consoles just announced promise to deliver a new genre of  immersive games, but also immersive movies and immersive communications within a 3D virtual reality environment.

TV shows continue to be ad sponsored, and also available streamed from the Net with the option to download them for only $0.99,  free from inserted and overlay ads. 

The cash cows for Pay-TV operators are live sport events, broadcasted in HD and Ultra-HD and enriched with interactive features like multiple-angles and “watch-with-friends”. 3D VR immersive live events broadcasts are not available yet, but it will come in the next ten years before 2030.

This post is a fictitious prediction of what could be written about online video and movies in ten years from now. I can not guarantee it will happen but I am ready to take bets of $1.29, $0.99 or $0.69

 

Online Video Gets the Headlines, IPTV the Revenue

An interesting analysis from Telco 2.0 compares the business of YouTube versus Hulu in 2008. The table summarizes the key data used in the analysis:

YouTube Hulu
No of videos/day 1000+ million 3-4 million
Average duration 2.75 min 27.5 min
% clips with ads 3-4% 80%
Average CPM $10 $15-20
2008 Revenues $118 m $52 m
2008 Loss $91 m $9 m

According to Telco 2.0, YouTube would be generating revenues of $118 million, versus $52 million for Hulu, while the low percentage of videos carrying ads in YouTube would make them lose $91m versus only $9m for Hulu.

Hulu business model is closer to that of broadcasters and it shows in a better margin. To make their disruptive model fly in the next years, YouTube will count on:

  • decreasing costs of infrastructure: storage, processing, bandwidth and efficient data centers
  • ability to place ads in clips from amateurs and semiprofessional creators
  • agreements with media companies to become their online video platform in return of a share of ads

Meantime more players are coming to the party, like CBS betting on tv.com to compete with Hulu (NBC Universal and News Corporation’s online video joint venture).  But, in a crowded market, also others are getting weaker, like Joost giving up their P2P model and with few options to survive only as one more flash video site. Despite Joost’s announcement, do not discount P2P TV, that is far from dead in China.

As for IPTV, according to a report from Gartner in September:

“Worldwide subscriptions to internet Protocol television (IPTV) services are on pace to reach 19.6 million subscribers in 2008, a 64.1 per cent increase from 12 million subscribers in 2007, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide IPTV revenue is projected to total $4.5 billion in 2008, a 93.5 per cent increase from 2007 revenue of $2.3 billion.”

In 2008, no doubt Online Video got the headlines, but the IPTV Telcos still got the bucks.

How Can IPTV Telcos Defend from Online TV?

Some facts about Online video:

  1. Online TV is growing. The number of people watching online video will grow from 563 million in 2007 to 941 million in 2013 according to ABI research, echoed by NewTeeVee.
  2. People watch far more hours of TV from the couch than on the PC. According to Nielsen (see table above found via GigaOm), 142 hours/month for TV versus only 2.5 hours/month for Internet video. Online TV will sure grow, but still a long way to catch the habit of watching TV from the sofa. A habit that will surely remain for long duration shows, like movies or NBA games.
  3. TV devices connected to Internet will grow from 28 million in 2007 to 300 million in 2013 according to IMS research echoed by NewTeeVee.
  4. Some lucrative consumer segments are ready to pay for quality, speed, ease-of-use and exclusive content (e.g. Apple knows very well this segment). Some reports foresee penetrations as high as 20% and even 50% in developed countries urban areas.
  5. Online TV is social. YouTube social component is part of its success. Joost has just added Facebook Connect.
  6. P2P will keep growing, and that includes also a growth of licensed content relying on P2P or P4P networks, although illegal traffic will still dominate for some time.

IPTV Telcos should defend from the threats of Online TV by embracing it:

  • Address facts 1 to 4 by providing a one-stop-shop to integrate Online TV within the IPTV Service. Provide a quick, easy-to-use way to enjoy Online TV from the couch, integrated into the IPTV Service. Why not embed iTunes, YouTube or Hulu channels?
  • People will manage to have only two to three devices connected to the TV in the living-room. IPTV Telcos should position their set-top-box to be the box to connect the TV set to Internet without hassle (including legal P2P) and in the way defend from other boxes that could make IPTV replaceable later (e.g. Apple TV, PC2TV or HTPC units).
  • Add Facebook Connect to IPTV, so that you can see who of your friends is watching the show, or browse what shows your friends are watching.

In other words, keep the boxes from “over-the-top” players away from the living-room for as long as possible. Differentiate from the ”over-the-top” players with the unique experience that IPTV can provide on exclusive live HD content, like live concerts (expect music artists to do more of these, as recording sales drop) or sport events.

Related posts:
Will Internet TV Kill IPTV?

One Year of Blogging

One year has passed since we started this blog with Steve Job’s famous commencement address.

Less than one month later a post on LinuxMCE made it to the front page of Digg, and got 25.000 visits in one day!

Since then, we have spoken about iPhone, Android, Mobile Internet, Mobile TVIPTV, Internet TV, the economy of freenetbooks, WiMAXclouds, pipes and even nanotechnology. We have also echoed from great entrepreneurs as Guy Kawasaki, Tim Ferriss or Martin Varsavsky.

It has been close to 200 posts, 250 comments, 139.000 visits and 260.000 pages.

Thank you for being there.

Note: Did I mention we also wrote about iPhone?