Published February 1st, 2016
Each year the world of TV technology starts with a bang, when the madness of CES signals the end of the holidays. CES is the main stage of the year for consumer electronics brands to make product line announcements, so it’s always full of Smart TV news. Other TV platforms such as set-top boxes and game consoles generally receive less attention.
This year the magic word for Smart TVs was High Dynamic Range or HDR. It’s a display technology which allows for higher color ranges than before, with a noticeable impact. In contrast with 4K last year, curved TVs the year before and 3D glasses even earlier, this improvement may actually matter to consumers. Hence, every Smart TV brand jumped on board, with the industry settling on Ultra HD Premium as the common branding for HDR.
Some specific bits of information which were interesting in recent weeks were LG launching a TV running Roku OS instead of its own webOS, intriguing transparent and rollable displays by several manufacturers and the appearance of 4K Blu-ray players. Sony is still doing very will with its PlayStation 4, having sold almost double the units that Microsoft has managed with its Xbox One. One of the biggest news items to come out of CES was actually Netflix’s worldwide launch, as it added 130 countries at once.
In general though, there weren’t many big changes at CES this year. Samsung is sticking to Tizen, LG is using webOS again, Sony and Philips are sticking with Android TV and Panasonic is still using Firefox OS. All of them are going through incremental improvements, but none are doing any major overhauls as we saw in the previous two years. Android TV is adding a few more lesser known brands to its stable, but notable big ones.
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Nov 14, 2017
It may be no surprise to see Netflix, Amazon and Hulu maintain their position as the top guns in the US over-the-top (OTT) market, but research from Parks Associates has revealed that bubbling under the crucial three are now a number of interesting players.
Based on subscriber numbers, the researcher found that the top ten comprised Netflix, Amazon Video (Amazon Prime), Hulu (SVOD), MLB.TV, HBO Now, Starz, YouTube Red, Showtime, CBS All Access and Sling TV. Of most note is the velocity that the skinny bundles have gained in a short space of time. In addition, the HBO Now service has made particular progress.
Source: Rapid TV News
Aug 15, 2017
According to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), binge viewing — that is, viewing more than one episode of a TV series back to back — is rapidly becoming universal, with nearly nine-in-ten ABUs binging at least occasionally. But the frequency of binge viewing skews strongly in favor of younger adults.TDG's new analysis, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot, identifies and profiles three groups of adult broadband users in terms of their binge viewing habits.
Heavy Bingers (binge daily, comprise 14 percent of ABUs),
Medium Bingers (binge monthly but not daily, comprise 51 percent of ABUs), and
Light/Non-Bingers (21 percent of ABUs that binge less than once a month, 14 percent that do not binge at all).
Importantly, TDG analysts found that the frequency of binging is strongly correlated with the viewer's age. For example, 58 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56 percent of Light/Non-Bingers are age 45 and older."The fact that 31 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34 further illustrates just how different millennial viewing habits are from those of older generations," notes Michael Greeson, President and Principal Analyst at TDG. "For more than a decade, TDG has predicted and observed a structural transformation in what it means to 'watch TV,' with viewing behavior slowly changing from an activity defined by flipping between different live shows on different networks, to one characterized by on-demand binging of individual series."As these consumers age and younger generations steeped in quantum habits follow behind them, Greeson argues that this behavior will only become more prominent, further impacting programming and distribution strategies.View TDG's latest analysis of contemporary viewing behavior, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot for an insight into the different segments of binge viewers — who they are, how they behave, and what drives their decisions and preferences.
Source: TDG Research
Jan 22, 2019
There will be more than 777 million global SVOD subscriptions by 2023, more than double from 2017 according to Ooyala’s new State of the Broadcast Industry 2019 report, which also found that the momentum only stands to increase.
The report – which draws on Ooyala’s own data and analysis as well as research conducted by other organizations – also underscores that viewers of all ages are increasingly adopting streaming services as their primary source of TV content. While Boomers and the Silent Generation (those born before World War II) remain the lifeblood of traditional broadcasters, they too are increasingly adopting over-the-top (OTT) and video on demand (VOD) platforms.
2018 was a year of significant change in the broadcast industry. There was a surge in M&A activity, an increase in the amount of time consumers spent with SVOD and AVOD content and a significant decline in pay-TV subscribers in North America as viewers changed how they watch TV… OTT jumped into the mainstream. There’s even more change in the cards for 2019.
Among US adults 50-64, OTT viewing increased 45% between 2016 and 2017; among US adults 65+, viewing was up 36%.
The report also postulated that mobile platforms will be a significant factor in OTT consumption in the future, given that estimates say video could make up as much as 90% of all 5G traffic.
“For OTT, that means faster and smoother delivery of video, no buffering, higher resolution, and a better, more engaging experience for users; for AVOD companies specifically, it will foster the collection of better, deeper data that could be used to better personalize advertising,” said the report.
The lesson for traditional broadcasters, the report noted, is to adopt the mindset of a diversified media company – as more programmers and distributors are joining, rather than fighting, the push into OTT.
“Subscription and ad-supported OTT services are steadily replacing traditional content delivery, and there’s no end to the opportunity to create connections with a global audience,” said Ooyala principal analyst Jim O'Neill. “OTT is not traditional TV. It thrives upon consumer choice, often random interaction, and the convenience of viewing when, where and on what device a consumer chooses. It thrives upon its own ability to iterate in order to respond to the changing conditions of the new TV environment.”
Meanwhile, as mobile viewing soars, it turns out that screen size still matters to the majority of consumers. A full 40% of US consumers who replaced a TV between October 2016 and October 2018 said they wanted to purchase a bigger screen, per The NPD Group. And consumers are going all-in on 4K UHD, driven largely by SVOD services, like Netflix, and the promise of 4K and UHD content from major sporting events, like the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
“Content owners have seen a massive increase in the demand for their products,” continued O'Neill. “That will continue as OTT services push out across the globe and original content maintains — and grows — its value. It’s becoming increasingly important for media companies – both big and small – to closely monitor and control the content supply chain.”
New OTT Services Aren’t Saturating the Market, they ARE the Market
Is the influx of new OTT services creating saturation in the market? Not by a long shot. While there’s likely a limit as to how many SVOD services users really are ready to pay for, that upper limit hasn’t yet been reached. And, as we see more channels become available a la carte, that limit may continue to rise, especially as younger consumers — who see streaming as the norm — grow older.