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should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Streaming Video'

Tuesday, October 28

YouTube Increasingly Mobile

By Brad

In an interview at an event thrown by tech site Re/code, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki dropped some info on just how big the site has become:

One nugget that Wojcicki shared was that 50 percent of YouTube views are now coming from mobile devices. She also said that the site is growing 50 percent each year in terms of watch time (although she conceded that YouTube watch time still doesn’t come close to the average amount of time consumers watch TV each day).

All told, it’s estimated YouTube generates something like $5 billion a year in ad revenue. Given the company’s growth, that number is sure to go up.

Monday, September 08

Title II and Internet Video

By Brad

Late last week, Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics (he’s also one of our Broadband Ambassadors) penned a column for Forbes breaking down the negative effects Title II regulations could have on the growing industry of web video. An excerpt:

Broadband and mobile networks and the core Internet have all grown up outside of Title II. The lack of interference from Washington is a big factor in their success (and why the heavily regulated Title II telephone network is withering away).

A Title II reclassification of broadband would throw broadband into a regulatory world it’s never seen; undermine the economics and existing technical and business arrangements of the entire ecosystem; and ignite a decade’s worth of strident litigation. Not only would Title II disrupt today’s broadband, video, and Web markets, it would also prevent this highly dynamic system from finding its way toward the new technologies, better products, lower prices, and unseen content innovations of the future.

Check out Swanson’s full piece over at Forbes.

Tuesday, July 08

Game On!

By Brad

How big is online gaming? As Andrew Webster of The Verge reports, pretty darn big:

Starting today the best Dota 2 players in the world will be competing for an insane prize pool of more than $10 million. And whether you’re a fan or just someone looking to learn what e-sports are all about, there are plenty of ways to watch — and it’s completely free. The event is being streamed at Dota2.com, and it all starts with the first day of playoffs today. There’s a standard live broadcast complete with commentary and analysis, but also a new “spoiler-free DVR” stream that lets you catch the matches at your own pace, in case you aren’t able to check it out in real-time.

$10 million for playing video games. And your parents told you gaming was a waste of time.

Job Listing of the Day

By Brad

Enjoy movies and television shows? Currently looking for a job? A new position from Netflix might just be what you’re looking for. Via Sara Gates at the Huffington Post:

The streaming media site is looking for a qualified candidate in the United Kingdom or Ireland to help with its recommendation system by watching movies and TV shows. The Netflix “tagger” chooses from a pool of more than 1,000 descriptive tags to accurately describe the flick from the plot to the overall mood.

Unfortunately, Netflix hasn’t announced plans to hire similar watchers here in America — yet.

Wednesday, June 11

Percentage of the Day

By Brad

84%, which is how much Internet traffic Cisco expects to be video in four years. As Marina Lopes of Reuters reports:

Video consumption of the World Cup alone will generate nearly as much Internet traffic as occurred in all of Australia in 2013, according to a new Cisco Systems Inc report that shows growth in Internet traffic is fueled by video.

The report, which says video is expected to grow to 84 percent of Internet traffic in the United States by 2018 from 78 percent currently, raises questions about whether Internet service providers should prioritize traffic, which has become a controversial issue.

“In the future at some point every month is going to look like the world cup month because the consumption just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Robert Pepper, Cisco’s vice president of global technology policy.

Often forgotten in the great net neutrality debate is the fact that bandwidth-intensive video is the future of the Internet. And that presents some very real engineering challenges.

Wednesday, August 14

The Age of Cord-Cutting

By Brad

The phenomenon of people “cutting the cord” is about more than people choosing wireless and Internet-based technology instead of traditional phone service. Cable is also feeling the effect, with services like Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon Prime plucking consumers away. Case in point: Gerry Smith of The Huffington Post, who writes about his experience with a new service called Aereo aimed at providing consumers with a new way to watch broadcast television:

For me, Aereo has been a welcome addition to the patchwork of services my wife and I use to watch our favorite shows and live sports.

We are two of the “cable cutters” you hear about—youngish residents of big cities who don’t have cable. We don’t want to pay an expensive monthly bill and don’t want to be tempted to watch hours of mindless television.

For $8 a month, we’ve been able to watch live golf tournaments and basketball games and record up to 20 hours of programs when we’re not home. To watch must-see shows we can’t get on Aereo, like “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and old episodes of “Friday Night Lights,” we use iTunes and Netflix.

Smith notes that while Aereo is facing a flurry of lawsuits from content providers, the service still plans to expand to 22 cities over the next year. Stay tuned…

Monday, August 05

Where TV is Going

By Brad

At the Wall Street Journal, Shalini Ramachandran and Martin Peers report on recent remarks from the Chief Executive of one of America’s largest cable providers on the future of television:

Predicting that transmission of TV will move to the Internet eventually, Cablevision Systems Corp. Chief Executive James Dolan says “there could come a day” when his company stops offering television service, making broadband its primary offering.

His comments may be the first public acknowledgment by a cable CEO of the possibility of such a shift, long speculated about by analysts. It comes amid growing tensions between cable operators and channel owners over rising programming costs, highlighted Friday night when Time Warner Cable Inc. dropped CBS from its channel lineup in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles.

If cable operators drop TV service, charging only for broadband, channel owners would have to sell directly to the public or through Web outlets.

Given the increasing popularity of services like Netflix and Hulu — not to mention big guns like Amazon getting in on the streaming game — it’s pretty obvious where things are going. The only question is how business models will shake out.

Wednesday, July 17

Rumor of the Day

By Brad

Via Christopher S. Stewart and Shalini Ramachandran of the Wall Street Journal, a tech giant may be looking to jump into the TV provider game:

Google Inc.is joining several other technology companies in the race to launch an online version of pay television.

Google has recently approached media companies about licensing their content for an Internet TV service that would stream traditional TV programming, people familiar with the matter say.

If the Web giant goes ahead with the idea, it would join several other companies planning to offer services that deliver cable TV-style packages of channels over broadband connections.

Monday, June 03

On the Auction Block

By Brad

Video streaming service Hulu has reportedly been up for sale for a while now, and according to Noah Kravitz of Read Write Web, the company has a number of suitors:

At least seven suitors are said to be vying for Hulu, which went back on the auction block after previous attempts at a sale and initial public offering both failed. A deal would hinge as much on terms as sheer dollar value, as the length of Hulu’s content licenses - and what control the site’s trio of owners have over content available to subscribers - will be part of any negotiations. Hulu’s days of exclusive rights to popular television content could be drawing to a close as networks see the financial benefit in licensing online rights to multiple players including Amazon, Netflix and YouTube/Google.

The current price for Hulu is rumored to be north of $1 billion, with players Yahoo! and DirectTV reportedly in the lead.

Friday, May 17

Keeping Up With the Bingers

By Brad

As people are increasingly wanting to consume their entertainment at any time and in any way, content creators are experimenting with ways to deliver it. At paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen writes about an unexpected issue one content provider is facing since taking their product online:

The original idea behind soap operas was that daily episodes would keep viewers hooked and advertisers happy. But few people have time to devote to mid-day TV any more, and as TV viewing shifts online, the model is changing.

It’s been just two and a half weeks weeks since popular soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children were reborn as online-only shows — but production company Prospect Park has already decided to cut back on the number of new episodes released online each week. The change in schedule, the company claims, is due to the fact that viewers are “binge-watching” instead of watching one episode a day, and this makes it too hard for them to keep up.

Monday, May 06

Rumor of the Day

By Brad

According to Steven Musil of CNet, YouTube may be getting into the paid subscription game:

YouTube reportedly could launch its paid subscription service for some of its specialist video channels as early as this week.

The a la carte service, which could involve as many as 50 video channels, would allow single channel subscriptions for as little as $1.99 a month, people familiar with the plan tell The Financial Times. YouTube confirmed to CNET in February that it was developing such a service but did not indicate when it would be ready for subscribers.

A paid content platform could give the Google-owned video site another revenue stream while allowing channel operators to finance different content production, such as TV shows and movies, a source said.

The future of TV is online.

Friday, May 03

Tackling Piracy

By Brad

Speaking of streaming video, Stuff sat down with Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, to talk about the current state of video on demand. During the conversation, Sarandos talks about combatting online piracy:

[W]hen we launch in a territory the Bittorrent traffic drops as the Netflix traffic grows. So I think people do want a great experience and they want access – people are mostly honest. The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally but by giving good options. One of the side effects of growth of content is an expectation to have access to it. You can’t use the internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.

Number of the Day

By Brad

6 billion — yes, billion — which is the number of hours of video YouTube users watch each and every month. From the YouTube blog:

We recently announced that YouTube hit an incredible milestone of 1 billion unique monthly visitors, connecting 15 percent of the planet to the videos they love. And those global fan communities are watching more than 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube; almost an hour a month for every person on Earth and 50 percent more this year than last.

Tuesday, April 30

The Growing Stream

By Brad

Via Janko Roettgers of paidContent, streaming service Hulu hit some big numbers during the first quarter of this year:

Hulu now has more than four million paying users subscribing to its Hulu Plus service, and the number of subscribers has doubled since last year. The service also streamed more than one billion videos in the first quarter of 2013, which is another record for Hulu.

This is on the heels of last week’s announcement from Netflix that it had hit more subscribers than HBO.

Wednesday, April 24

The Streaming Game

By Brad

Speaking of streaming video, Brad Stone at Bloomberg has the scoop on another big tech player making a big play to get in on the action:

Amazon is making e-readers and tablets and will likely soon introduce a smartphone. As it works to build all types of connected devices, that leaves a natural next step: a television set-top box. The e-commerce giant is planning to introduce a device this fall dedicated to streaming video over the Internet and into its customers’ living rooms, according to three people familiar with the project who aren’t authorized to discuss it.

Amazon’s entry will be just another example of how streaming is the future of TV. All the more reason for more investment in the infrastructure to handle the coming flood of data.

Milestone of the Day

By Brad

Streaming giant Netflix announced it had hit an important number the other day. As Andrew Wallenstein of Variety reports:

Netflix reported 29.17 million domestic subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, surpassing HBO for the first time.

Netflix, which ended 2012 with 27.15 million domestic subs, added just over 2 million subs, according to first quarter results issued Monday.

HBO ended 2012 with 28.7 million subscribers, according to data from SNL Kagan.

With HBO’s popular Game of Thrones series the most pirated show of all time, seems like a stand-alone streaming service like Netflix provides is a matter of when, not if.

Friday, April 12

The Big Stream

By Brad

Streaming video is already big and it’s getting bigger. Case in point: The Huffington Post highlights new numbers from BTIG Research:

BTIG Research’s Richard Greenfield crunched the numbers using facts from previous statements from Hastings and came to the conclusion that subscribers are spending more than 87 minutes a day on Netflix streaming. “Netflix is now likely the most watched cable network, essentially in-line with the Disney Channel,” Greenfield said.

According to BTIG, Hasting’s 4 billion number is a global comment, but the majority of streaming subscribers are in the US. Greenfield guessed there were 28 million Netflix Instant stream users in the first quarter of 2014.

According to Netflix, customers have streamed over 4 billion hours worth of content so far. Which just goes to show that consumer habits are shifting dramatically. All the more reason to get the transition to all-IP networks underway.

Thursday, April 11

Video on the Go

By Brad

Via Sue Marek of Fierce Wireless comes a staggering number from Verizon:

Video accounts for 50 percent of Verizon Wireless’  network traffic today and by 2017 the carrier estimates video will make up two-thirds of all traffic over the network. Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters conference here yesterday, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company’s investment in its LTE network is what is making the delivery of that video possible. “With 3G you have video clips but there is buffering. With 4G you can stream video,” he said.

50% of wireless traffic and counting. Wow.

Wednesday, January 30

The TV Game

By Brad

A big shift in TV consumption may be afoot, as Jason Del Rey of Ad Age reports a heavy hitter in the online video space may be launching a pay service:

YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs, and advertiser dollars away from traditional TV, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.

On a related note, Nancy Hass of GQ sat down with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and learned about the company’s new foray into original content. Choice quote:

“The goal,” [Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos] says, “is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”

Thursday, January 17

Netflix Looking for ISPs to Foot Bill for Fast Lanes

By IIA

In a post for Multichannel News, titled “In Netflix’s Version of Net Neutrality, It’s Entitled to Non-Neutral Treatment,” Todd Spangler breaks down Netflix’s new push for Internet providers to carry their high volume of traffic:

To Netflix, its Open Connect content delivery network program is an all-around win: By caching frequently accessed (and high bit rate) video in ISPs’ data centers, Netflix saves money on CDN costs; ISPs can cut upstream bandwidth utilization; and end users get a better streaming experience.

Netflix argues that this just makes the Internet better for everyone, and doesn’t cost ISPs a dime since Netflix is footing the bill to install the CDN caches anywhere the providers want.

But some ISPs are chafing at Netflix’s offer. Time Warner Cable has gone on record to complain that it’s unfair for Netflix to hold back “super HD” and 3D content unless a broadband provider plays ball and opens its doors for Netflix’s servers.

Spangler argues Netflix’s actions are anti-competitive, since the company is essentially demanding ISPs cut them a special deal. It also restricts content from certain consumers. As Fred Campbell of the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project (or CLIP), writes:

With its “Open Connect” model, Netflix is withholding content from the customers of ISPs that decline to accede to its demands. Though the details of its demands are unknown, it appears Netflix is requiring that ISPs “peer” with them or pay for the installation of Netflix equipment inside their networks as well as the ongoing costs of operating that equipment.

Like Spangler, Campbell also sees this as a move to reduce competition in the market, especially given Netflix’s increased clout through a recent deal it cut with major content providers:

Netflix recently announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that makes it the “exclusive American subscription TV service for first run live-action and animated features from the Walt Disney Studios.” In addition to Disney-branded content (e.g., The Lion King), the deal includes content produced by Pixar (e.g., Brave), Lucasfilm (e.g., Star Wars), and Marvel (e.g., The Avengers). Netflix also announced a multi-year deal with Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. that includes the Cartoon Network and exclusive distribution rights to TNT’s television series Dallas. As an analyst recently told Ars Technica, “These movies, if you’ve got young kids—you’ve got to have Netflix.”

Barring some sort of advanced technological breakthrough — say, content beamed directly into our heads — streaming video is the future of entertainment. That makes this latest maneuver by Netflix worth paying attention to. As Campbell points out:

Unfortunately, most consumers won’t realize that Netflix is trying to impose its costs on all Internet consumers to gain an anticompetitive price advantage against its over-the-top competitors.

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