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By Ken Pyle, email@example.com, Managing Editor, Viodi View
Spring is always a special time of year. The blossoming flowers point to nature’s rebirth and provide an inkling of the lazy days of summer to come. I have always enjoyed travel to the Midwest during this time of year, as the weather is at its best. Travel in the Midwest often means long distances down the country roads that connect independent telcos together. This week, however, I probably will not get out of the St. Paul/Minneapolis metro area, but I am looking forward to seeing independent telco friends at the Local Content Workshop tomorrow (5/4) which will be held at ADC’s facility in Eden Prairie, MN.
Minnesota is always a popular place for local content. In fact, I am looking forward to being able to personally give away the Content Pavilion Awards to a couple of the winning independent telcos at tomorrow’s workshop. They will be a great resource, as we share ideas as to how local content can become part of an integrated marketing strategy that helps an independent telcos strengthen their community.
I am very excited about is the addition of Nick Hippe of Adobe as a guest speaker at this event. We are going to be exploring the concept of how independent telcos can become a local version of a youtube. The concept is to let customers self-publish. Larger cable and telcos are starting to implement this sort of feature and this is a great way to complement a video strategy.
With all of the activity at TelecomNEXT, I failed to pick up U.S. Telecom’s new magazine, Communications Crossroads. Fortunately, it is online and you can read a fine article by Craig Webb on the challenges of content acquisition. I especially am fond of the article because he references comments from a conversation we had regarding local content. It is a well-rounded article on content, from interactive to linear broadcast programming to my favorite topic, local.
The mantra that I heard from my programming buddies when I was at DemandVideo some seven years ago was, “give us good reporting.” It has been well known that on-demand content would flow and business models would change, as soon as reporting was accurate, timely and auditable. Finally, after all of these years, it looks like reporting is getting to where it needs to be to make on-demand successful.
Companies, such as TVN and ViewNow, have recognized this and built reporting into their business process. Rentrak, the pioneer that changed the home rental business model, has made several announcements of late that allow networks to extract reporting information that provide the potential to tailor on-demand programming and advertising to audiences and, even, the individual. It is amazing the information they are able to monitor, including trick play information, such as number of rewinds, number of pauses and changes in volume, and the data they can infer from this information.
here to view my interview with Allan McLennan, President,
Of course, bypassing the existing cable infrastructure is becoming more and more popular these days. With improved compression schemes, the promise of broadcast over the Internet seems to be getting closer to reality. In fact, the intersection of broadcast and IPTV is occurring, as evidenced by the announcement from KylinTV and LA 18, a broadcast station in Los Angeles. LA 18 programming is now carried by KylinTV via its television over Internet system.
KylinTV got some other press last week, as Sony Classics Pictures filed suit against them claiming that KylinTV carried Sony Classics Pictures programming without license. What drew my attention to this company and what gives it long-term credibility, however, is that it is backed by cable industry pioneer and Cablevision founder, Charles Dolan, as well as Computer Associate founder, Charles Wang. For $15 per month and no upfront fee, customers receive a set-top box and access to multiple channels and niche Asian programming that they probably won’t find from their cable provider.
I had a chance to interview Chris Wagner, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing of NeuLion, the company behind the technology that is powering the KylinTV service. That interview will be posted by the next issue…..
There is something real with this concept of a lower bit rate IPTV service that uses the public Internet. There have been a number of announcements of this sort of thing lately. Applying this sort of technology to a controlled, closed environment would provide even better results. One company, that hinted at this possibility a few months ago when I saw them at the NTCA convention, was Infinite Video Corporation.
Infinite Video and their partner, Even Technologies, just announced that their end-to-end IPTV solution is being deployed at Silver Star Communications, a Wyoming Independent Telephone Company. They are promising 750 kb/s for standard definition and 3 Mb/s for high definition. This will be a deployment that we will need to keep close tabs on, as it could disrupt the current IPTV landscape.
Alan Weissberger had a chance to listen to Dr. Stanley Chia, Senior Director of Vodafone’s US R&D Group at the April 20th IEEE East Bay ComSoc meeting. Dr. Chia examined how 3G might co-exist with all of the rapidly developing technologies related to broadband mobile networks, such as VoIP, WiFi and WiMAX. Click here to read this informative look at wireless from the world’s largest revenue producing wireless carrier.
In about two months from now, I am going to moderate a panel that asks the question, “Is the Bundle Enough?” Fortunately, I have a panel of experts - Mitch Clarke of UPC Broadband, Thomas “Duffy” Leone of Cox Communications – Orange County, Benny Salaets of Telenet and Phil Erli of Ringgold Telephone -who will make me look good. A number of recent studies have come out regarding the bundle.
Leitchman Research Group came out with a report in the last week, suggesting that 43% of the 1,600 consumers they surveyed indicated they have bundled services. The definition of bundle is pretty loose, as, according to Bruce Leitchman of Leitchman Research Group, “it’s 2 or more services from the same company – they don’t necessarily have to be in a bundle (but they usually are). At the same time, Infonetics Research suggests, in their study that surveyed 12 major operators, their motivation for bundling is purely to improve Average Revenue Per User. Stay tuned – or better yet, join me in Athens in June.
We’ll reach the conclusion in future issues of Viodi View so keep in tune. We also hope to learn more about the cartoonist Mike Simon in future issues. He’s moving about the country as he’s about to join MSNBC in Seattle. We wish him good luck in the venture and on the move. Click here to view the latest installment.
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Content Pavilion Awards