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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

The Netherlands may play home to the first trial run of Disney+ prior to a US roll out, as we approach Disney’s hotly anticipated plans for the OTT video service set to be revealed on April 11. According to news outlet The Information, Disney is weighing up the option of partnering with cable operators and online platforms to gain a wider reach. In separate news, analysts at JP Morgan reckon Disney+ could be on course to pick up 160 million subscribers globally in the long-term – 45 million in the US and 115 million overseas.

 

Troubled OTT video technology vendor Ooyala, in the process of being bought by rival Brightcove for $15 million, has actually won a deployment deal – powering content management, syndication and distribution for Malaysian media company Media Prima Berhad. The former Telstra-owned company claims Media Prima has reduced its online processing time by 80% using the Ooyala Flex Media Platform. Media Prima runs the OTT video service tonton and also distributes content on social media.

 

Liberty Global’s Dutch operation Ziggo is finally switching out its legacy set top with the Mediabox Next device, running the Horizon 4 platform, after more than six years. We believe the replacement set top is manufactured either by Samsung or Technicolor. Based on the open source RDK platform, Mediabox Next features voice functionality, a cloud PVR, faster speeds, and the same UI as seen on the Horizon 4 smartphone app.

Ninth-placed US cable operator Atlantic Broadband has added Amazon Alexa voice control functionality to its TiVo video platform, allowing subscribers to control the TV using any Amazon Alexa device.

Shortly after completing the acquisition of rival security outfit Verimatrix, Inside Secure followed up with its full year 2018 results showing revenue up 8% to $42.1 million with a healthy EBITDA rise of 15.6% to $6.6 million. The merged entity targets 2021 revenue of $150 million and an EBITDA margin of 25%, building on combined adjusted revenue of $124.2 million for 2018 and EBITDA of $22.2 million. Inside Secure incurred a revenue decline of 19% from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018, coming in at $10.5 million. The Licenses division jumped 41% to $2.7 million, while Royalties declined 33% to $6.5 million in the fourth quarter.

Bing Ads, part of the internet search engine company, has developed 3D ad formats designed specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S10. Performance marketing agency Performics is powering the new designs, which will display exclusively when searching for the new handset on Bing for desktop, which nobody uses.

Amazon Alexa devices are now compatible with Roku, enabling control of Roku streaming functions through Alexa voice commands and therefore increases the flexibility appeal of Roku devices.

Comcast has acquired cybersecurity firm BluVector for an undisclosed fee. BlueVector claims to use AI and machine learning to detect, analyze and contain a range of cyber threats including file-less malware, zero-day malware and ransomware.

Viacom has completed its $340 million purchase of free OTT video platform Pluto TV. The mass media giant has on numerous occasions pegged the acquisition as playing a crucial role in expanding its OTT presence in direct-to-consumer OTT, in conjunction with serving as a partner vehicle for mobile and OTT distributors to serve broadband and video subscribers. Pluto TV claims 12 million monthly active users.

Online content platform MVNMT TV has selected the OTT Flow product from OTT technology vendors Brightcove and Accedo to launch new apps across Apple TV, Amazon Fire, iOS, Android and Chromecast. MVNMT TV aims to reach an additional 115 million households using OTT Flow, unlocking new revenue streams in the process.

WiFi silicon specialist Quantenna Communications says it has achieved a milestone 2 Gbps total throughput using multiple laptops with Intel Wireless-AC 9260 2x2ac MIMO modems, hooked up to a Quantenna-based 8×8 MIMO AP – as well as modern WiFi features including MU-MIMO.

South East Asian OTT service Eros Now has arrived on the streaming service netgem.tv from French software developer Netgem. It will see Eros Now expand to Ireland, Australia, Switzerland and Gibraltar, as well as France, becoming the first Asian OTT platform available on netgem.tv. Eros Now says it holds 128 million registered users and recently struck a deal with Virgin Media in the UK.

The Open Markets Initiative had an amicus brief (someone who is not party to a case) cited in court last week relating to the decision by the D.C. Circuit to allow the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T. The brief focused on the dangers of vertical consolidation on open competition between service providers and entertainment companies. “While the District Court wrote its decision in a relatively ‘appeal-proof’ way, the D.C. Circuit’s citation of the Open Markets brief indicated the DoJ had better chances of victory on appeal had it pursued a different legal strategy,” said Open Markets Legal Director Sandeep Vaheesan.

OTT and IPTV software developer Anevia has launched a fully integrated on-demand TV service for the hospitality market, in partnership with Infinitum Media, a provider of TV channel licenses and IP streams. Anevia supplied its Flamingo head-end to the project, meaning hotels can receive linear channels over satellite, cable, DTT and via IP – broadcast either through the existing coax or ethernet network. Infinitum Media boasts a portfolio of 350 channels globally, covering a broad mix of genres and ethnic channels including Arabic, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Latin American, Ethiopian, Polish, Vietnamese and more.

The average price of 1GB of mobile data in the US costs $12.37, well above the global average of $8.53, according to an analysis of 6,313 mobile data plans across 230 countries carried out by Cable.co.uk. India is the cheapest country by some distance for 1GB of mobile data at just $0.26 on average, while Zimbabwe tops the list with an extortionate average price of $75.20 per GB.

IP video transport technology supplier LTN Global has acquired content creation and remote production firm Niles Media Group for an undisclosed fee. LTN says it will invest in a large-scale digital and linear video processing services facility in Kansas City.

Media technology services company MX1, the birth child of SES Platform Services and RR Media, has been tapped by the NTT IndyCar Series to provide distribution services and operational support, alongside IMS Productions which will handle transmission of races to international rights holders across 80 countries.

Internet users in China hit 829 million in the second half of 2018, rising by 27 million from the previous six months, bringing internet penetration up by 1.9 percentage points to 59.6%, according to the State of the Chinese Internet Report from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). A staggering stat shows that 98.6% of China’s total internet users do so using mobile devices, rising 0.3% from H1 to H2 2018. Short form online video accounted for the majority of internet usage in the country over this timeframe with 648 million unique viewers.

The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) has begun offering Harmonic’s CableOS virtualized cable access product to its group members – comprising 750 tier 2 and 3 cable operators. The organization says the initiative will open the door to smaller operators for the migration of broadband services to new DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit internet, using the software-based CableOS product to leapfrog older CMTS platforms.

Sales of cable broadband access equipment will rise from $1.5 billion in 2019 to $2 billion in 2023, driven by Remote PHY, MAC-PHY and CCAP platforms, according to a report from Dell-Oro Group.

Satellite fleet operator SES recently filed its full year 2018 revenues, showing a small 1.7% rise at constant currency, boosted by a 15.8% growth in networks revenue to offset a 4% fall in video revenues. That hasn’t stopped analysts at investment bank Berenberg berating SES though, voicing concerns about its shrinking video business – placing a ‘hold’ on SES stock.

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