OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Roku has launched an analytics tool called Activation Insights, a piece of software for tracking a brand’s linear TV campaign performance and flagging the potential missed OTT audience opportunity. Part of the Roku Ad Insights suite, Roku says the software helps marketers analyze AVoD campaigns and it can also provide the optimal budget to spend on the Roku platform.

WarnerMedia is making its esports debut this summer with a Mortal Kombat tournament series broadcast on Twitch by the AT&T company, in partnership with Turner Broadcasting’s ELeague. Highlights will appear later on TBS following the initial live stream.

Vivendi is facing complications selling off Universal Music Group, according to a Bloomberg report, stating that “some private equity investors balk at the high price and slow pace of the deal.” However, the French mass media conglomerate could be close to securing a minority investment in UMG from Tencent. Estimates value UMG as high as $50 billion.

IPTV will be neck and neck with cable in Western Europe by 2024, with IPTV services going live in 39 million homes compared to cable’s presence in 40 million households, according to Digital TV Research, an increase of 5.5 million from 2018. Telcos are the driving force behind the growth, projected to control 56% of the region’s pay TV subscribers in five years’ time.


Qualcomm has lost an antitrust lawsuit against the FTC, finding the chip maker guilty of abusing its position to charge higher licensing fees in the smartphone silicon sector. The FTC brought the charges in January 2017 and Qualcomm says it plans to appeal the decision.

Video streaming services have grown in consumer satisfaction by 1.3%, scoring 76 out of 100 in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), while pay TV remained flat at 62 (joint last with ISPs), despite hefty subscriber losses at US cable and satellite operators. In fact, the bleed of disgruntled customers generally causes an increased ASCI score, with Dish Network scoring 67 and DirecTV 66, while Altice USA’s Optimum cable service scored just 61 and Comcast Xfinity scored a woeful 57. Netflix increased 1% to a score of 79, moving ahead of Sony’s Vue with 78 and Amazon Twitch with 77.

Verizon Media Studios (formerly Oath), housing the remnants of AOL and Yahoo, has upgraded to IP infrastructure using equipment from German IP broadcast vendor Lawo. Verizon Media has deployed three audio production consoles and a Nova37 Hybrid IP/MADI Plug&Play Audio router for it studio facilities, serving all brands including Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Huffpost, Yahoo News, Engadget, Tech Crunch and Makers.

Comcast Technology Solutions (CTS) has upgraded its ad technology suite by automating the processes of matching creative workflows with media buy plans. Once an advertiser’s media buy is ingested, matched with the proper assets and sent out across various distribution routes, the system provides customers with cross-channel reporting. Video ad distribution company Peach is a partner in the project, making the service available internationally.

CableLabs and Edgewater Wireless Systems have launched Dual Channel WiFi in public open source, designed to alleviate buffering and lag by enabling one or more downlink-only data channels with a standard bi-directional channel. Developed for various APs and client platforms, including set tops and TVs, Dual Channel WiFi can be implemented wherever traditional single-channel WiFi struggles with contention. Support for gaming platforms and iPads will come soon.

UK mobile operator EE will launch the region’s first 5G service next week in major cities. Handsets from Samsung, OnePlus, LG and Oppo are available for pre-order, and the BT subsidiary will offer access to the new BT Sport app with HDR support exclusively for 5G contracts.

China has overtaken the US in the global smart speaker market with a 51% share, with festive promotions driving 10.6 million shipments in Q1 2019. The US recorded 5 million shipments in the quarter, sliding from a 44% share to 24%, according to data from Canalys.

Subscribing to ten or more streaming services will be a common occurrence in the future, rising from an average of three per consumer today, according to CBS Interactive President and COO Marc DeBevoise, speaking to Ad Age. He expects CBS to reach 25 million DTC subs by 2022 across CBS All Access and Showtime, growing from 8 million today.

Hulu with Live TV is now available on Vizio TV sets thanks to a SmartCast 3.0 smart TV operating system update, with enhanced voice functionality and a redesigned UI.

Sony and Microsoft stunned the gaming community last week by joining hands in the development of cloud gaming technology, apparently to the shock and dismay of the Sony PlayStation team, who Bloomberg said had to be reassured that the next PlayStation console would not be affected.

The Broadband Forum has released a new code release for reducing time-to-market for interoperable, standards-based smart home systems, called Open Broadband–USP Agent (OB-USP) Implementation. OB-USP Agent is designed to provide vendors with a code base for either integrating into their devices or used as a reference implementation.

Dutch ISPs Delta and Caiway, both owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT, have selected UK IP video technology vendor Amino to power TV services on a shared platform. AminoTV will provide IPTV over multicast and OTT over fiber to support multiscreen services including linear broadcast, network DVR and time-shift. Delta and Caiway were merged into Delta Fiber Netherlands last year but continue to operate as separate brands.


Vodafone Deutschland has tapped German start-up GiaX to increase the speed and efficiency of its Giga broadband service, deploying the GiaX HelEOS technology which reuses the existing coax network as a 10G Ethernet distribution network for DAA, then providing a virtual node split for pushing the DAA remote device deeper into the network, meaning less fiber and reduced costs.

Broadband usage reached a new record average monthly consumption of 273.5 GB in Q1 2019, rising by 27% from Q1 2018, according to the OpenVault Broadband Industry report. It also found that internet-only subscribers consumed 395.7 GB, a massive 120 GB more than the average subscriber and almost double that of households with bundled video and internet.

Hold the press – Swedish multiscreen vendor Net Insight has won a deployment. Production services company NEP Switzerland is rolling out a Nimbra-based network for transporting professional live media over the internet. The system will be used for event activities to locations where fiber or satellite uplinks are either not available or cost prohibitive – coming into effect at the end of July.

Synamedia, the NDS spin off, has partnered with revenue and subscriber management firm Evergent to help joint customers rapidly launch new direct-to-consumer video services, while reducing time to market and growing the business over time with targeted promotions and bundles.

Japanese VR start-up Tyffon has landed a $7.8 million Series A funding round, planning to put the cash towards a new VR center in Santa Monica. The Disney-backed venture focuses on free-roam VR with horror and fantasy themes.