Published June 15th, 2014
The world of TV is an exciting and fast moving place, with new technologies and platforms appearing every month. Here is the latest overview of the most relevant new developments.
A few weeks ago Microsoft announced major changes to the Xbox One: it dropped Kinect as a mandatory part of the Xbox One package and dropped the requirement for a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to use media apps on the Xbox One and Xbox 360. The change of heart was widely regarded as a response to disappointing sales numbers compared to Sony’s PlayStation 4.
Sony has been showing stronger sales of its PlayStation 4 and announced it will be expanding the sales area of its related PlayStation TV set-top box to the USA and Europe. Definitely also have a look at Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.
LG has been on a strong run with its 2014 webOS TV sets, selling 1 million of them already. LG has been working on another very interesting initiative as well, launching the open source Connect SDK, which is intended to make it easier to add support for playback on TV to mobile apps. Samsung has also been busy building new software for TV, specifically its new Tizen TV sets and SDK.
Apple and Google have been relatively quiet since our last update. There was no real Apple TV news at its developer conference WWDC, although its sales numbers are still impressive. Google’s Chromecast has been steadily growing its international availability and support in mobile apps.
Amazon has also been busy improving its Fire TV set-top box slowly but surely, by expanding its embedded voice search to other apps and adding an HBO Go app and HBO content to its Amazon Prime subscription service.
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Parks Associates research has found that OTT video services have transitioned back into the home's living room, with a majority (52%) of U.S. broadband households now watching online video on a TV that is connected to the internet.
Its report, 360 View: Digital Media and Connected Consumers, also found that watching TV or films at home is the most popular leisure activity among US broadband households, with 55% selecting this among their top two favourite leisure activities.
"While the total number of hours consuming videos has declined, consumers are watching more internet video on the largest screen available," said Billy Nayden, research analyst, Parks Associates. "The number of hours consumers report watching video on a TV increased for the first time since 2014, with connected devices enabling internet video services on TV and shifting consumers away from PC and mobile viewing. As OTT competition becomes a battle for the living room, the challenge for device makers and content producers is finding the correct product mix to maximise both profit and utility."
The report also found that subscriptions are the dominant business model for OTT services. As more services emerge, many stakeholders fear an impending subscription overload in US households.
"As consumers' taste for OTT experimentation wanes, they will start to resist the push to add another monthly subscription to their households," Nayden said. "Many providers are starting to lead with freemium and ad-based models, in anticipation of this pushback."
Parks Associates also found that 19% of consumers subscribe to either Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video and another OTT service, compared to 13% in 2017; and overall, consumers watched 25.7 hours of video per week in 2018, down from 29.5 hours per week in 2016.
Source: Rapid TV News & Parks Associate
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