The newsonomics of breakthrough digital TV, from Aereo to Dyle and MundoFox ...
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. 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. 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. 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... 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. 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. 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. TV’s revenues are holding up far better than newspaper companies’, and TV is better positioned to survive the great digital disruption. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Sure, even with all the Rokus, Boxees, and Apple TVs, it seems like TV isn’t yet an out-of-the-box experience. Broadcasters just use part of their digital signal to, uh, broadcast to us on our phones
. 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. in addition, they can deliver these signals to a TV via Apple TV or Roku. In 2Q, CNN showed its worst numbers in 20 years, down 35 percent year-over-year. 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. 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. 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. Just a week ago, Metro PCS started selling a Samsung Galaxy S phone
with a TV receiver chip in 12 markets. That’s icing on the cake for NBC, which, under Comcast ownership, has rocketed forward in digital strategy. whatever is on TV at that moment is also on your phone
or tablet. Much of broadcasters’ revenues are made on non-news programming, as much as one-half to two-thirds for most local broadcasters. Further, it whetted prime-time viewing appetites, boosting ratings and earning NBC more ad revenue than it had projected. 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. That’s just the first push of Mobile Content Ventures, a collection of Pearl, NBC, Fox, and others. 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. (Yes, The Singularity [ "The newsonomics of Google ad singularity" ] marches on. ) Google Fiber TV combines DVR and third-party (Netflix-plus) search. 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. ” ) 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. Consider the spate of recent innovation, as we quickly assess the newsonomics going forward:. CNN moves to break out of its identity funk, figuring out what that powerful global brand means in this fast-changing digital news world. On TV, CNN has been beaten up badly both both Fox News and MSNBC. 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. And Fox’s new MundoFox, Spanish-language TV network, taking on Telemundo and Impremedia. This new battle of brands, in and around “TV,” is now joined. The new network, at birth, offers a strong digital component, working at launch with advertisers along those lines. How it brings together a single — and global — digital/TV identity is at the core of its continuing journalistic importance and financial performance. 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. They give us indications of what the news business, video and text, will look like in the coming years. A former president of ABC, with 10 years of experience at Time Warner, she heads a growing news operation. 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. NBC, bashed up and down Twitter, nonetheless proved out a new business model with its multi-platform approach to Olympics coverage. First it was startup Second Screen , matching tablet ads to real-time TV viewing. Its promise: “synchronization of local news, weather, sports, and entertainment programming along with social polls. Many broadcasters can count no more than 5 percent of their total revenues coming from digital. 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. 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. Its DVR holds 500 hours of storage of shows in 1080p and the ability to record eight TV shows simultaneously. While learning from TV experience here is useful, given lots of differences, the learnings must be smartly applied. The more: interactive search for TV that combs your DVR and third-party services such as Netflix. 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. Its live streaming has ratified the development of cable- and satellite-authenticated, all-access digital delivery. Some of the iconic legacy companies we’ve long known will be absorbed in the woodwork as new brands supplant them. 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. The local broadcasters fighting for their place in this digital ring. “CNN needs new thinking,” he said in a farewell note. The company recently announced it is putting another $200 million into YouTube Channels, building on its initial $150 million investment. TV ≠ newspapers. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO, Showtime, and other known-to-consumer brands in another. Note how much you see the names News Corp. TV has continued to have great audience. Today, TV is no longer a box. NBC is growing out of its digital adolescence. Social TV pulls up a chair. After recently signing a 20-year deal with Fox Sports for $1. They can then watch those TV stations on up to five devices. On the web, it’a a top-three news player. Yes, TV remains a gorilla. Yet, these multiple digital strategies may still push a tipping point. While segregating its text assets (and liabilities), News Corp.
Toll-free data: The technical details, the business model and the skeptics
Jacobstein is pushing a new Qualcomm platform, Yagatta, which the company hopes carriers will use to deliver more efficient OTT services such as messaging, video and voice over IP. In the meantime, he said, because developers are unlikely to make... And since content providers are trying to monetize their content over mobile, he said he could envision a model where content providers are willing to pay to bring customers to their content. The most commonly discussed form of toll-free data would allow users to access a certain kind of content or content from a certain provider without dipping into their monthly bucket of data. "It becomes a problem when there are exceptions to the data cap, when certain content can be accessed by the data user that does not count toward the data cap and other content does. Then, once the type of content is determined, the policy
and charging rules would kick into place to have that data not count toward a customer's data bucket, or to apply a certain level of quality of service to the data. T-Mobile USA said in a statement that in the future it "will continue to explore new pricing models, including exploring options whereas the cost of data used would be paid for by content providers, advertisers and/or T-Mobile. Carriers would still need to real time meter how much data for a specific application is being used "so you could do a revenue share and show the application provider that there was a subscriber using the service," said Ann Hatchell, director of... The latest twist: Verizon Wireless ( NYSE:VZ ) launched its shared data plans in late June and AT&T Mobility ( NYSE:T ) will soon launch its own shared data plans. Bubley noted that applications on different types of devices--different smartphones as well as tablets--use different amounts of data, which would be a concern for both application providers and carriers looking
to monitor how a toll-free service... AT&T has been the most vocal proponent of the concept, with its CEO Randall Stephenson saying in early June that customers are beginning to understand tiered data pricing and how such pricing may cause them to avoid data-heavy types of... For content providers, she said the benefit is driving more customers to the service and differentiating it from other OTT content, either through preferential pricing or quality of service. He also said from a business perspective, such plans could push content providers and OTT players to game the system by encouraging users to use theirs apps over Wi-Fi if the price the carrier charged them was too high, thus negating the benefit... Sprint Nextel ( NYSE:S ) CEO Dan Hesse said it was difficult to say if Sprint would support
such plans, noting that the carrier still has unlimited smartphone data plans and is focused on keeping things simple for customers. "The content guys are asking for it. ". While making clear that Verizon has not decided to launch toll-free plans, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said in May that LTE allows such plans to be offered. Similarly, many carriers are urging more customers to use Wi-Fi networks, which also complicates how much a content provider and carrier will be able to monetize on-network usage. The most critical element of the equation is the Policy Control and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) in the network, which carries all of the business and policy rules that are set by the carrier and applied to data on the network. For all these reasons and more, right now, as AT&T's Stephenson noted, toll-free data plans may be something content providers are asking for, but the carriers are not yet ready to deliver. Analysts and representatives from network and policy control vendors broadly agree that the network components exist to make toll-free data plans a reality. For example, if a commercial deal is struck between a carrier and Netflix,but does not include Hulu, and that deal gives Netflix a guaranteed quality of service or even excludes Netflix from counting toward a customer's data bucket, it might... What AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint say about toll-free data. However, Hatchell said the most likely way toll-free plans will be launched will first be through carrier-branded applications or content hubs, such as music portals. Wireless carriers have so far expressed varying degrees of enthusiasm for toll-free plans, all the while remaining deliberately vague about how such plans would be put in place. Another is clearly explaining to users how they will be able to access one type of content for free but not another type of content. Ultimately, such plans, if they ever make it to market in a widespread way, will have to provide mutual benefit to carriers and content providers. There are several flavors of toll-free data plans, Amdocs' Hatchell noted, none of which has yet been openly embraced by U. S. carriers. One might allow customers or certain tiers of customers to access data services unmetered for a period of time during the day, or for a certain day of the week. "It's about how you vary policy based on the end application or service that's being used," said Richard McConnell, CTO of cloud and network services vendor Aepona. Wireless data is still evolving from unlimited plans to usage-based plans. com that, on launch, was available to the subscribers of 50 different international mobile carriers for free. One challenge is finding content providers willing to test out the toll-free data waters. Additionally, there are concerns that toll-free data plans might be too complicated from a technical and commercial perspective to launch. Another hiccup for toll-free data plans is whether they would violate net neutrality rules. "I don't actually think the idea we're going to zero-rate your data for x, y or z applications or service is nearly as interesting to a North American customer who isn't as price sensitive," he said. "This is a new area of interest from all operators around the world," noted Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Internet Technology Group at Cisco. Despite the optimistic signals from carriers, there are still plenty of hurdles to making toll-free plans a reality, both from a technical and commercial standpoint, according to skeptics. However, the most well-known example of toll-free data is one that is not often trumpeted as such: the Amazon Kindle. There is already some basic precedent for toll-free data plans. Century: enter the "toll-free" data plan. While there have been some examples of toll-free data business models, it is still not a widespread practice. We are getting those phone
calls," he said. In May, AT&T Mobility's Ralph de la Vega explained how AT&T is already playing in the toll-free data space via the Kindle. "It's another meaningful way to provide value for your customers without actually charging them for it," Hatchell said, noting the benefit to carriers. Additionally, Facebook in 2010 introduced a mobile site called 0. Essentially, the viability of such plans boils down to policy controls at the data channel level of the network. The policy control aspects of monitoring for a specific app or service, he said, could be feasible only "if there is an extremely tight relationship between the app developer and operator. Indeed, many agree that the commercial challenges for toll-free plans are more significant than the technical ones. "I think you'd be stunned if we weren't getting those phone
calls. "A wireless data cap in itself does not violate network neutrality," said Mitchell Lazarus, a telecommunications lawyer at the Washington law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth. And more importantly, will carriers embrace it. At this point the carriers appear to be in a wait-and-see mode. Is toll-free data technically feasible. Another option is the one most commonly bandied about, which is that a specific application would be "zero-rated," or not count, toward a data allotment. In exchange, the content provider--most likely an over-the-top (OTT) player--would pay the carrier directly. For carriers and content providers alike, the challenge from a business perspective will be to strike an agreement that both parties get value from. "I'm not saying that Sprint wouldn't participate and wouldn't work with content providers in some mutually beneficial way," he said.