Monday, April 18, 2011

OTT Broadcasting: The Next "Once-In-A-Lifetime" Opportunity? - Via Satellite

As disruptive technologies make their way into out living rooms, the consumer must become savvy enough to distinguish these offerings. The article I paste  below is from Via Satellite and throws light on the OTT (Over the top) Television viewing trend that is is going to change the TV distribution and viewing paradigm for consumers .

Over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting is seen by many as one of the next big trends in broadcasting and could enable broadcasters and operators to be much more flexible in delivering video services to customers. OTT providers such as Hulu in the United States and YouView in the United Kingdom already are growing names, as they aim to shake up the video landscape.

OTT services include any video running over an unmanaged broadband network, which also may be defined as video-on-demand and catch-up TV services offered by satellite broadcasters.

The broadcast landscape is seeing fundamental changes right now, whether HD or 3-D, of people wanting content on a myriad of different devices. OTT television could be one of the biggest changes of all and is potentially a huge market. “Our new report projects that global growth of OTT video services exceeded $1 billion in 2010 and will grow to $20 billion in 2014. Some of the case studies presented actually show how these services enhance the IPTV operator’s broadband revenue with relatively no or low investment for smaller operators and with various levels of capital expenditure for larger operators. Most of the results were based on updates of the early OTT trials determining how operators assessed the pros, cons and the ROI results,” says Jose Alvear, senior IPTV analyst, Multimedia Research Group.

Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IMS Research says 2011 could be a breakout year for OTT broadcasting. “The OTT video market is clearly growing and expanding, and 2011 will see a fair amount of expansion for the sector. CES in January showed a tremendous push by [consumer equipment] manufacturers, service providers and content owners towards OTT video delivery in some form or another,” he says. “With so many connected devices (TV, Blu-ray disc players, game consoles, tablets, and more) being launched and promoted this year and so many stakeholders promoting the concept and services, it is going to be a very big year for driving mainstream consumer acceptance of the whole OTT video concept, though we should remain aware that as a mainstream concept, OTT’s regional growth potential is predicated by broadband penetration and average speeds. 2011 will be a tremendous year for the collective OTT video market.”

Satellite Industry Impact

If the OTT television sector meets these growth predictions, satellite sector officials see a tremendous opportunity for this area. Tristan Leteurtre, CEO of Anevia, an IPTV and video-on-demand solutions vendor, says, “OTT is a big opportunity for satellite operators looking to extend their services without having to rely on complex partnerships with ISPs and telecom operators. For example, satellite operators can extend their bouquets to people who live in urban apartment complexes that do not allow individual satellite dishes. Satellite operators can also allow their satellite service subscribers the option to view programs while away from home on their PC or mobile phone. OTT television can also enable them to offer [video-on-demand] and catch-up services in addition to their live TV or kiosk offerings. With the right business model in place, OTT television should be more of an opportunity than a threat to the satellite industry.”

Alveer describes OTT television as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for satellite players. “About two years ago, many service providers (IPTV, cable and satellite) were scared of OTT, however, things have changed. At its core, OTT means getting TV over the Internet, so the popularity of OTT video shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. This is consumer-driven behavior trickling upwards to content owners and service providers that need to react quickly to acquire and keep new customers. OTT video services are increasingly becoming a key differentiator for consumers.”

In terms of what satellite players need to do to make the most of the opportunity, Sam Rosen, senior analyst, ABI Research, says, “First, consider how to alter content agreements to ensure the rights to provide subscribers with their content anywhere and anytime possible. Second, determine what relationships are required to ensure quality of service for your consumers using your OTT services. Finally, look toward to the social interaction around programming online as a way to promote your premium content in a natural way which will have more authenticity and pull than your internal marketing efforts. Delivering new channels of programming on OTT with a high threshold for quality and making your overall service offering more interactive should help to reduce churn and increase ARPU.”

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The European Contagion - spreads as expected.

The Portuguese bailout could rise as high as $129 billion according to latest reports. Prime Minister Jose Socrates announced yesterday that Portugal would request EU funding but it appears that many details of the package have already been worked out. - My take - Ultimately it is going to be more than the figure of $ 129 billion mentioned. All the cockroaches are not detected yet!

Spain's economy minister Elena Salgado has ruled out a Spanish bailout. The country passed its first 'contagion test' after it raised €4.1bn in bond sales Thursday. - My take - "One swallow does not a summer make" - Contagion test or not, Spain is headed to a bailout.