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4 April 2019

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Sony’s acquisition of Indian entertainment company Zee has collapsed, prompting Comcast to be named as one potential suitor in partnership with investment firm Atairos, according to sources familiar to the matter speaking to The Economic Times.


AirTies has completed the acquisition of Technicolor’s Wireless Doctor division, involving an agreement whereby the two vendors will partner on technology integrations and sales channels to offer smart WiFi to service providers. Over the coming months, the Turkish vendor will pre-integrate the software into its Remote Manager product, meaning its intelligent WiFi tentacles will reach into an installed base of millions of gateways. AirTies will inherit approximately 30 employees from Technicolor and has placed Technicolor’s CTO of CPE Bart Vercammen as EVP and GM of AirTies’ software product line.


MediaKind has secured a contract extension at Deutsche Telekom for a new cloud TV deployment, as well as landing a new deal at Vodafone Qatar. For the German operator, MediaKind will supply its MediaFirst TV platform for video processing and CMS to quickly launch services for European affiliates while recycling legacy infrastructure. DT’s Hungarian operation Magyar Telekom will be the first recipient of the new cloud TV service, aiming to migrate the majority of subscribers over by the end of next year. Vodafone Qatar, meanwhile, will deploy MediaFirst technology to enable the launch of content over IPTV and OTT via a new service to launch later this year.


UK broadcaster ITV is launching an addressable advertising platform for VoD platform ITV Hub following an exclusive licensing agreement with US ad platform Amobee. Advertisers will therefore be able to deliver data-driven addressable ads over linear channels and ITV Hub simultaneously.


Swedish live video equipment vendor Net Insight has been chosen by TV and film services supplier Aldea Solutions to provide its Nimbra live video transport platform across 17 arenas during the Pan American Games in Peru. The 2019 games has a potential international TV audience of 400 million people.


Content spending by third-placed Chinese SVoD platform iQiyi charged past €2.8 billion ($3.14 billion) during 2018, amounting to more than the content spend of China’s top six broadcasters combined, according to Ampere Analysis. Since 2011, iQiyi’s content investments have spiked by a frightening 152%, while content investments at the top broadcasters has grown just 21% in the same timeframe.

Video platform provider Brightcove completed its acquisition of troubled OVP Ooyala this week in a $15 million deal, while announcing that certain arms of Ooyala will be cut to concentrate on the workflow side of the business.

CMS and analytics start-up Zype, which has actively taken business away from Ooyala, has launched Zype Playout – a new product for providing VidOps teams with workflows for transforming video playlists into IP-delivered linear live streams. Zype Playout also includes slate and ad timing management, plus scheduling, packaging and broadcasting linear channels for distribution.

Not a single pay TV operator, OTT service provider or telco in the US is effectively exploiting data to engage existing and prospective customers, according to a study by billing and CRM provider Paywizard. However, it does praise standalone online video platforms for most effectively deploying analytics. Paywizard admitted that while US pay TV operators are struggling to use subscriber data to drive actions such as highly targeted offers and precisely-timed communications, most operators are unable to do so.


Video playout and production company Imagine Communications has updated its xG GamePlan ad inventory optimization platform to ease the transition to impression-based ad buys, two years after launching the product. Imagine says the update gives customers the ability to blend both spot and audience-based campaigns to encourage brands towards impression-based buying which offers better value – some claiming to achieve campaign targets using 75% less inventory.

Icelandic telco Síminn has tapped Harmonic to supply its File360 software-as-a-service (SaaS) for file transcoding – switching out a legacy hardware-based transcoding farm in the process. File360 provides Síminn’s IPTV service with new encoding capabilities like HEVC as well as expanded transcoding capacity and the telco claims a rapid installation thanks to an intuitive API with useful tools plus a SaaS model means zero on-premise equipment.

Video streaming workflow developer Haivision has launched a new media routing cloud service called SRTHub (drawn from the Secure Reliable Transport protocol). SRTHub aims to enable low latency live streaming and fast file transfer – using SRT running on Microsoft Azure – by routing media from IoT-connected video encoders to production facilities. It says this streamlined field contribution reduces complexity and shortens time-to-air for breaking news and live events – thereby bringing live video contribution, production and distribution workflows to broadcasters globally through a secure and reliable approach.

Indian mass media conglomerate Eros International has selected content-aware streaming specialist MediaMelon to supply its SmartSight analytics platform for the OTT video service Eros Now. The ultimate aim is to convert as many of its 142 million registered users into paying subscribers, of which Eros Now currently has a base of 15.9 million, as well as minimizing churn. SmartSight does this by monitoring and analyzing streaming performance and content consumption on a deep individual level across devices.

Broadcast network equipment supplier Enensys is celebrating NAB 2019 early with a deal at One Media, part of Sinclair Broadcast Group, to build and roll out 10 of Sinclair’s first ATSC 3.0 operations using Enensys’ new software-based products, which will be detailed in a second announcement to come in full next week about ATSC 3.0 products for virtual environments.

Dutch live production start-up Stream My Event will debut its software-based live graphics application called Holographics at NAB next week. Holographics is designed to work in any live broadcasting environment and is based on a market observation in which existing live graphics solutions use outdated pricing models which are inflexible for modern workflows.

US broadcasting company Nexstar Media Group has selected an OTT and monetization platform from ViewLift to power the new subscription streaming service KRONon – available on desktop, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV for just $2.99 a month. ViewLift says it will handle all live streaming technology, enabling KRONon to quickly break live news and stories.

Pearl TV, an organization comprising over 220 TV networks, has selected the StreamScope XM Verifier from Triveni Digital to receive, verify and record ATSC 3.0 broadcast streams. StreamScope XM Verifier is supposed to allow stations to verify ATSC 3.0 quality assurance metrics including video, metadata, STLTP, ROUTE/MMTP, IP routes and RF – via video thumbnails.