Everybody is racing to get into the OTT game: "traditional" service providers, television networks and third-party aggregators and marketers. And here is a shameless plug: if you want to know more, come to the good doctor's "Virtual MSO" panel on June 11 at TVOT San Francisco.
Television is changing, and it will never be the same again (how many times have we heard THAT?). But this time it might be real. By the end of the year we expect to see two or three major distributors offering some form of virtual MSO subscription service: Dish Network, with their ABC/Disney/ESPN package; Verizon, powered by Intel's OnCue platform; and one other--possibly Comcast.
Consumers will watch programming on basically anything with a flat glass screen, and they'll use cable, satellite, telco, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and many more. The mind boggles.
We've been watching with interest the developments in the second-screen space. Consolidation and re-invention have generated the most headlines in 2013; growth and revenue somewhat less so. It's a tough space, and I dare say that all the second-screen providers are consulting their Ouija boards to map out the next few years.
Dontcha just love Fall? Football's cranking up, baseball is into the post-season, and the traditional new TV season has just begun. And with the new season comes innovation in the interactive television arena.
Today we have a treat--a guest commentary from Thomas Engdahl, CEO of Magic Ruby:
Does History Repeat Itself?: The Second Coming of Television Interaction.
Announcing the TVOT 2013 Cocktail Party, and the Presentation of the 10th Annual Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television
If you're attending TVOT next week, don't miss the TVOT 2013 Cocktail Party, sponsored by Rentrak (6:00PM, Tuesday June 25th in the Grand Lobby of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts).
The party will feature the presentation of the 10th Annual Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television, a celebration of the TVOT 2013 Artists, a fashion show, and more!
Most of us use Twitter for quick news, updates and the occasional guilty pleasure. And the folks in the content-creation and content-distribution worlds are finding that Twitter is an increasingly efficient way to distribute enhancements for television viewing.
Last year, Twitter announced their plans to standardize some of that activity with Twitter "cards" with a number of flavors. Here's how the Twitter Developers site describes the options:
I walked into my office this morning and saw somebody riding a bicycle through a village--apparently in Japan. Then I heard a sound to my left and turned towards it. There was a storefront--a florist--with customers, and a bird chirping. From behind me I hear water dripping and turn around to encounter a young woman dipping a drink from a bamboo spout--it reminded me of the scene from the end of "Kill Bill." And then I hear a car pull up beside me and turn towards it.
Dear iTV Doctor:
I read your columns about the necessity for second-screen providers to connect to operators' set-top boxes, and I'm a believer! Making that initial connection through the box, and then tracking the program with ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) is clearly the way to go. But I've just looked at one operator's Web site and seen the number of set-top boxes I have to connect to, and all of a sudden I'm not quite so enthusiastic. There a dozens of different boxes, and I don't have the expertise to figure them all out.
There has to be a better way.
I intended to write this wrap-up column on Second Screens and the Olympics on Monday. But the events of Saturday morning suggested to me that a preface was in order. Let me also say that, in additional to being a baseball junkie, I am a news junkie. And my college journalism mentor is never far from my shoulder.
Mitt Romney announced on Friday that he would be announcing his VP pick on Saturday morning from Norfolk, VA. All the news outlets--print, radio, television and digital--had plenty of advance notice.
We got some feed back from last week's column, particularly my comments about the future of ACR: While most agreed that set-top box (STB) sync is coming quickly, and has some distinct advantages, it appears that a combination of STB sync and ACR might actually deliver the best experience.