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21 April 2022

OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Five years ago this week…

Nokia appeared reborn, with the company pinning a core part of its future business strategy on emerging VR technologies in the run-up to NAB 2017. Nokia announced that launch of the OZO Reality suite – a set of technologies for supporting the delivery, creation and end UX of VR content, including the $40,000 OZO camera, the OZO+ camera streaming and audio system and the OZO Player SDK. However, much like Oculus, OZO crumbled in the years following, with the brand yet to make a striking comeback into the consumer sector.

HBO Max has added 12.8 million subscribers year to date, hitting a global audience of 76.8 million, according to AT&T’s latest filing. Of these, 48.6 million are domestic US subs, up 4.4 million YoY.

The CDN Alliance has revealed its eight founding members – Axello, Benocs, Ceeblue, CompiraLabs, DataHop, Nanocosmos, NPAW, and 3Q. The non-profit group will launch activities in the coming months focused on these industry members, which it says will be made public.

Everyone needs a Fast Track scheme and now ATSC 3.0 has one, thanks to smart TV chipset maker MediaTek’s Reference Platform. The NextGen TV FastTrack program hopes to increase adoption of the hybrid broadcast-broadband standard by making it faster and cheaper for electronics manufacturers to introduce compatible technologies to TV sets.

In other NextGen TV news, OTA TV provider Evoca TV has announced successful transmission of content using the cross-polarization functionality of ATSC 3.0, otherwise known as Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). The method uses both horizontally-polarized and vertically-polarized transmission and reception, with the potential to double the amount of data that broadcasters can send, raising the promise of 8K video delivered OTA in the future.

Verizon has opened up its new video streaming aggregation community called +play, where users can search, purchase and manage subscriptions in one place. HBO Max is on board, along with big hitters discovery+, Disney+, Netflix, and more.

Broadcast and production codec provider MainConcept will demo advancements in 8K-optimized cloud encoding at NAB Show 2022, via a remote AWS instance delivered live to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Rakuten TV, the Barcelona-based streaming service available across Europe, is branching out from its core smart TV market with launches on web and mobile coming soon. Rakuten TV’s FAST channels will expand coverage from 12 countries to 42 countries, averaging 100 channels per territory.

Viaccess-Orca has integrated its TV and security services with Google Cloud Anthos, a fully-managed Kubernetes-based platform for managing data and applications in hybrid cloud environments. VO’s parent company Orange is working with Google Cloud on scaling deployments based on microservices architectures.

QoE video firm Conviva has made its analytics platform available on Google Cloud Marketplace, enabling procurement and consolidated billing through a single channel.

Zixi’s Software Defined Video Platform is making use of SSIMWave’s live quality assurance tool for perceptual quality, allowing clients to measure and trace the viewer experience of Zixi delivery with an accurate objective quality metric that replicates the human visual system.

End-to-end video vendor Setplex will showcase enhancements to its OTT video platform at NAB 2022, including a new recommendation engine, CRM tools, and monetization via TVoD and PPV functionality.

LiveU, a remote production specialist, has teed up a new cloud-based automated workflow system in time for NAB 2022. New features include automatic recording and story metadata tagging, while accelerating time-to-air and conversion of assets into digital media.

Roku has released a feature called clean room, designed as a place where advertisers and agencies can plan and measure advertising campaigns using their own encrypted first-party data, without cookies. Roku says this is the only clean room to use audience data and linear TV data from direct consumer relationships on Roku.

Audience measurement firm VideoAmp has acquired Elsy, described as a media investment optimization provider. VideoAmp says the integration of Elsy technology will significantly reduce the amount of manual work required to manage and execute cross-platform media campaigns.

YouTube has renewed its deal with Major League Baseball to stream 15 regular season games, beginning in May. While these games will be free to access, for now, the rest of the MLB season is fragmented across three subscription-based services – Apple TV+, Prime Video and Peacock.


Imagine Communications has launched its cloud-based Imagine Aviator content monetization platform, which allows broadcasters, MVPDs and streaming platforms to create, manage and monetize channels. Aviator offers features such as scheduling, rights management, channel origination, live events, ad sales, ad placement, ad service and campaign management.

Crackle Plus has teased plans to introduce some kind of loyalty program on its AVoD platform. The initiative will launch later this year. Possible outcomes include in-app discounts and rewards from partner companies in return for increased watch time.

Innovid-owned TVSquared has been integrated into Amobee’s CTV ad platform to improve the latter’s targeting and attribution capabilities. Amobee’s Australian customers will now be able to use the TVSquared platform to generate insights on ad frequency, incremental reach and campaign performance.

TP-Link has launched its first WiFi 6E-enabled mesh router system in the Deco XE75, which can cover up to 5,500 square feet with just two units.

Job listings from Amazon suggest it is developing a “new-to-world smart-home product” that uses XR and AR technologies. It should be noted that Amazon essentially stumbled into Alexa via its abortive smartphone project, when its skunkworks decided to slap the assistant into a Pringles can.

The international version of the Huya esports and gaming streaming service, Nimo TV, is shutting down, leaving a lot of tournaments and leagues to find new homes. This is still part of the fallout of the Chinese authorities turning the screw on parent company Tencent, as well as the streaming of foreign games.