Archive | January 2014

TiVo buys search/reco company Digitalsmiths

DVR maker TiVo has purchased one of the leading content discovery technology providers, Digitalsmiths, for $135M.
The move to buy the cloud-based reco company goes to show how highly personalized discovery and recommendation is being valued as a differentiation factor for content providers.

The EPG and reco service can be implemented across multiple devices and has seen considerable growth.

Read more here.

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Let’s face it: social TV is dead

No more stickers, please. Social TV has hit a wall and this article explains why.

Gigaom

Okay, video startups, it’s time to get real: That social TV thing you’ve been trying for the last couple years? It’s not working.

The evidence is all around us: A few days ago, Yahoo (s YUHOO) announced that it was shutting down Intonow, the social TV service it had acquired three years ago. The announcement came on the heels of i.TV discontinuing the GetGlue service and brand which it acquired late last year in favor of its new tvtag app.

And just today, social TV company Viggle bought Dijit, better known for its NextGuide app. Dijit of course had acquired social TV pioneer Miso a year ago, just around the time when Viggle tried — and failed — to buy GetGlue.

Dizzy yet? I haven’t even mentioned Matcha, Tunerfish, Screentribe, Twelevision, Otherscreen, BeeTV, Numote or Philo yet — all startups that tried and failed to revolutionize TV…

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Amazon Set Top Box Rumors

Amazon_AFPAmazon keeps on shooting down rumors related to an Amazon Set Top Box, which would take on game consoles like PS4/Xbox One and streaming boxes like Apple TV or Roku. It will allow cloud gaming and download, video and music streaming and download.

We are looking at a development where game consoles and streaming boxes become one box with the likes of Sony and Microsoft looking into streaming live TV through PS4/Xbox One, to go along with all the VoD services available on the latest generations of consoles.
Facing walled gardens on other gaming systems, it would make sense from a business perspective for Amazon to create a new vehicle besides the Kindle to sell their products and services, like Amazon Instant Video. Rumors suggest a price of around 300$ for the box.

Read a german article from Spiegel or check out Engadget’s Amazon stories here.

GetGlue Is Now tvtag

GlueIcon-300x300Social TV App GetGlue was bought by i.TV who have relaunched the second screen app as “tvtag”, an app that focuses less on recommendation, because “most of us already know what we want to watch”, according to i.TV CEO Brad Pelo. This perspective comes as a surprise to me, as the whole industry seems to be looking for more recommendation and personalization features to inspire more video or TV consumption by their customers.
tvtag will set aside some other features that GetGlue had, like automatic content recognition and automatic check-in via cable boxes.tvtag has a curated approach to social TV, which means that basically an editorial team will watch TV all day and all of the night. The curators will tag certain segments of the TV program (goal shots, key quotes etc.) as “TV moments” around which the social interaction takes place.

Follow this link to the article or watch this video.

Last.fm Embeds Youtube Videos

Online radio service Last.fm, which belongs to CBS, has come under pressure from the likes of Pandora, Rdio or Spotify. As a means to ease the burden of licensing costs, Last.fm is starting to embed Youtube videos for many songs, which ensures that Google, owner of Youtube, will pay the licensing fees. This experiment is still in Beta, so Last.fm can evaluate user feedback.

Read more here at Venturebeat.

Amazon Looking At Pay-TV?

amazon lovefilmRecently, Amazon added a flat rate Video-on-Demand service for its Prime customers, called Amazon Instant Video, next to its classical online video store Lovefilm.
Now it has been leaked by content providers that Amazon has asked for the rights to stream their content in an online live TV setup. Amazon wants to bring you online Pay TV channels! Amazon was quick to deny the rumors, but it seems like Pay TV is the next media business that is attracting tech companies, like Google and Sony, who are allegedly also looking into offering Pay TV channels. The latest example is US carrier Verizon which has bought Intel’s OTT TV product OnCue and plans to sell its TV service as an OTT product on other carriers’ connections.
The TV business is at a turning point, ever since streaming has made the broadcasting side of the business cheaper. You no longer need access to cable or satellite distribution, just an internet connection. This shift has put more power in the hands of the few big media content providers like Disney, News Corp or Viacom, because now more players are looking to buy content in order to stream it online.

Read more here.

Netflix Coming To Set Top Boxes

BildsVoD giants Netflix are entering new territories, geographically and technologically, by making the service available on Set Top Boxes by TiVo in Sweden. This move adds another class of devices through which the subscription-based service can enter your household and grab a part of your media consumption budget.

Read more here.