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19 December 2019

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

NBCU has settled on a $10 monthly price point for the ad-free tier of its forthcoming Peacock streaming service, alongside a $4.99 a month tier with fewer ads, according to a report from The Information.

 

Estimates out this week put Disney+ on 24 million subscribers in the US, a mass uptake which had knock on effects on rival Netflix with a spike in cancellations, according to Wall Street, which forecasts 1 million Netflix cancellations in Q4 (although the net figure will look very different).

Reach Booster is a new addressable advertising engine being offered by Dish Media to boost national TV ad campaigns by targeting households that have were initially missed or insufficiently served. An initial trial with an unnamed marketer increased total reach to 86% from 58% across both Dish Network pay TV and Sling TV streaming platforms.

 

The Kudelski Group says the transformation of its Digital TV division has completed successfully, shifting legacy revenues to new growth initiatives by integrating the Nagra and Conax businesses.

Hulu has just introduced support for 1080p at 60fps streaming on certain live channels, initially only available on Apple TV and Xbox One.

Vodafone Group has sold the Vodafone Malta operation to Monaco Telecom for €250 million ($278.3 million), pending regulatory approval.

 

Velocix, the Nokia video delivery spin off, has introduced support for HDR10, 4K UHD and Dolby Atmos content on version 6.0 of its origin server release. In addition, new geo-redundancy features have been added to its origin server software to ensure full capacity is maintained in the event of a catastrophic network failure.

Video intelligence platform Iris.TV has integrated consumer data from the Grapeshot part of the Oracle Data Cloud to launch a contextual platform for targeting digital display advertising. This enables media companies to differentiate their video inventory, increase fill-rates and raise effective CPMs.

Video streaming service Topic has selected video industry business data platform provider Jump to increase retention, personalization, engagement and marketing effectiveness. Jump provides a number of tools, including Deep Insights for tracking audience activity, plus Jump Retention for predicting churn. Topic bills itself as a “the new streaming service for a curious and engaged audience seeking smart, witty, provocative and meaningful entertainment.”

French compression vendor Ateme has squeezed another new contract into the closing days of 2019, landing Korean content provider Medialog, a subsidiary of telco LG U+. Medialog has rolled out Ateme’s Titan File transcoder for VoD assets across OTT and IPTV, supporting 4K and HDR.

Arris and Alibaba Cloud are among a host of new signatures for the SRT Alliance, the group promoting adoption of the open source Secure Reliable Transport delivery protocol, along with Internet Initiative Japan, Kiswe, and Red5 Pro – bringing the alliance membership to over 300.

The Lionsgate Play streaming service is coming to the Xstream app from Indian operator Bharti Airtel, which offers some 10,000 movies and 400 live TV channels. Airtel Xstream subscribers will get access to content from Starzplay and international premium content from Lionsgate.

Nenda, a Swedish B2B streaming service in the hospitality sector, has secured a partnership deal with Samsung to reduce the need for set tops in hotels by switching to a cloud-based TV. Samsung Smart TVs will be installed with the Nenda app within the Samsung Smart Hub, to deliver programming to every room with just an internet connection required.

Viewership data from TiVo set tops and DVRs are now included in the data pool provided by brand optimization outfit VideoAmp, adding to its existing intelligence from smart TV ACR along with cable and satellite CPE. VideoAmp says its data now covers 25 million devices across 19 million US households.

Vivendi-owned video sharing platform Dailymotion is testing an advertising format called VerticalVue, where ads are played simultaneously alongside video content in the Dailymotion player. Despite sounding extra intrusive, the idea is to boost completion rates without being overly disruptive. Thankfully, VerticalVue ads don’t play sound unless a user lingers over the ad itself.

AirTV 2, the new WiFi-enabled OTA broadcast tuner and DVR from Dish Network, has rolled out with more powerful 2×2 dual-band WiFi 5 and a narrower design that its predecessor. AirTV 2 allows users to watch antenna TV on mobile devices in and out of the home, retailing at $99.99. Dish Network has also added Amazon Prime Video to its Hopper 3 DVRs.

Liberty Global has officially scrapped the deal for its subsidiary UPC Switzerland to be sold toSunrise Communications, following fervent opposition by Sunrise shareholder Freenet.

Deutsche Telekom has bought a 25% stake in esports firm SK Gaming for an undisclosed sum, also becoming “the main technology partner” – which presumably means providing the network infrastructure.

Amazon-owned Twitch came close to a whopping lawsuit from Russian search engine giant Rambler to the tune of $2.9 billion earlier this week, but then Rambler dropped the claim against alleged illegal broadcasting of EPL soccer matches.

French operator Canal+, which has had a torrid time trying to launch its own video SVoD offering, has received a much-needed boost by securing an exclusive distribution deal with Disney+.

AT&T TV Now is visibly in trouble and MoffetNathanson reckons the service’s closure is imminent as the operator prepares the launch of HBO Max in early 2020.

T-Mobile US tried to merge with Dish Network way back in 2015 but the deal collapsed following concerns from the pay TV operator that the MNO would disintegrate, according to outgoing T-Mobile CEO John Legere. Of course, Dish Network has now entered the mobile market via the purchase of assets from Sprint, clearly the way for T-Mobile and Sprint to merge.