2013 May

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DirecTV reportedly one of three $1 billion-plus bidders for Hulu (Original)

DirecTV reportedly bidding $1 billion for Hulu

And then there were three. Bloomberg is reporting that a trio of companies are hoping to fork out over one billion dollars for the privilege of taking online video service Hulu under their wing, and DirecTV is one of them. While we're not quite sure which other companies are involved in the process, we've been told that Yahoo, Time Warner Cable and a few others have at least thrown out offers, with no confirmation on how much they were willing to spend. Although those "people with knowledge of the bid" could include a few hoping to encourage more $1b+ offers, those extra large checks increase the odds Hulu will actually sell this time. We're quietly hoping that this potential bidding war will be resolved through an arm wrestling match, though DirecTV's legal team likely wouldn't approve.

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD

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Source: Bloomberg

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As TV Falls Apart, Tumblr And Twitter Aim To Pick Up The Pieces (Original)

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For years, it’s been said that Internet use would cut into the time U.S. consumers spend watching television. Today, those premonitions are beginning to reach the tipping point. TV ratings have dropped by 50 percent over the last decade. Goldman Sachs recently called the decline “the sharpest pace on record.”

The firm found that ratings in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic – the key group targeted by advertisers – fell by 17 percent last winter compared with the winter before. ABC, NBC and Fox were most affected, with decreased ad revenues cutting into profits. (Fox had to get distributors to pay higher subscriber fees to pull a profit). But even highest-rated CBS lost 3 percent of its 18-to-49 audience this season, The New York Times reported in April.

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne had released charts at the beginning of the year showing the ratings drop, claiming declines are a function of income level.

But it’s not just that.

The writing has been on the wall for some time.

Back in 2004, for example, studies indicated that television viewing would be one of the first leisure activities to be hit by Internet use and online socializing. (Other activities supposedly affected were sleeping and real-world socializing.)

Though today, TV continues to remain the dominant medium, the emerging generation of so-called “digital natives” – the first to have been born into a world where consumer adoption of the web was already mainstream – seem to prefer other behaviors.…

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TV holds its own as global digital markets see continued growth (Original)

The global TV services market grew by 4.1% last year, according to France-based research group IDATE’s Digiworld Yearbook, published this week.

The TV service market totaled €329 billion in 2012 and outperformed the consumer electronics market, which fell 7.1% year-on-year to €260 billion.

The top 10 media companies in 2012 were all US-based, led by Comcast – now including NBC Universal – followed by DirecTV, Time Warner, Walt Disney, News Corp, Time Warner Cable, Cox Enterprises, Dish Network, Viacom and CBS.

Of the market segments measured by IDATE, only growth in telecom equipment sales outperformed TV services, growing by 7.1% to €330 billion. Telecom services remains much larger by volume however, growing by 2.7% to €1,115 billion.

Software and computer services grew by 3.7% to €775 billion, while computer hardware sales grew by 4% to €360 billion.

Europe’s digital markets together grew by only 0.1% to €869 billion, according to IDATE, and Europe was outperformed by all other global regions. Africa saw the highest growth, up 8.2% to €176 billion, followed by Latin America, up 5.2% to €272 billion, Asia Pacific, up 3.9% to €913 billion, and North America – which remained the largest single market overall – up 2.5% to €939 billion.…

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Hulu international chief departs (Original)

johannes_larcher 2Hulu’s senior vice president of international, Johannes Larcher, has reportedly stepped down from the firm.

According to Bloomberg, Larcher resigned earlier this month. The news comes as Hulu is said to considering a string of takeover bids from firms including Yahoo!, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV.

Larcher joined Hulu in 2009 and two years later oversaw the US VOD-site’s move into the Japanese market – its only foreign launch to date. Prior to this he held a number of internationally focused roles, including VP and general manager of international for Friendster and general manager of international at Overture, which was later taken over by Yahoo!.

Larcher’s reported move follows the departures this year of CEO Jason Kilar and chief technology officer Rich Tom – a decision that the pair first announced in January.

According to stateside reports, Hulu is currently mulling takeover bids from seven or more interested parties, which is said to include private equity firms KKR, Guggenheim Partners through its Guggenheim Digital arm, and Silver Lake Partners in conjunction with Hollywood talent agency WME.

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Australia debuts national cloud strategy (Original)

A major step forward from the earlier “cloud last” policy

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YouView approaching 400,000 homes (Original)

YouView claims that it is approaching 400,000 homes in the United Kingdom since the hybrid broadcast and broadband service launched in July 2012. The majority of these are YouView boxes bundled with broadband subscriptions, with relatively few retail sales. The first numbers announced by YouView also claim over two million video on demand plays a week, which is around five per household.

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More people share photos on Snapchat than Instagram (Original)

Mary Meeker’s KPCB report indicates that photo sharing is accelerating,with Snapchat eclipsing Instagram in photo-sharing uploads.…

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Ericsson to show AVP 4000 compression system (Original)

Ericsson will demo its new high performance compression platform the AVP 4000 at ANGA COM. 

Initially launched at NAB earlier this year, the AVP 4000 is designed to offer efficiency and flexibility in the delivery of TV services by addressing multiple applications, regardless of codec, resolution or network.

It is powered by Ericsson’s first professional video chip, which combines 20 years of compression algorithms development and a software programmable platform to respond to the needs of the cable market, Ericsson said.

The AVP 4000 offers the highest performance MPEG-2 SD and HD encoding and can be upgraded to support MPEG-4 SD/HD, up to 4:2:2 10-bit, and JPEG 2000.

“In a multi-screen TV world, MSOs need to respond to the changes in consumer demand by providing new and better services, faster than ever before,” said Ericsson.

“Competition has increased from both traditional TV service providers and new entrants, often utilising their high-speed data networks. The main challenge for cable operators is to differentiate their services and increase multi-screen reach within the bandwidth constraints of their existing infrastructure.”

Ericsson will also use ANGA to present its single-platform Media Delivery Network, multi-screen user interfaces for TV Anywhere experiences and will offer live demos of MPEG-DASH adaptive streaming and Ultra High Definition TV.…

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YouView approaches 400,000 homes, internet channels coming this summer (Original)

HaltonUK connected TV service YouView is now in almost 400,000 homes. YouView did not break down the figure but it is believed that the bulk of the total is accounted for by customers that have signed up for the set-top box via service providers BT and TalkTalk.

YouView has also said that a new raft of internet-delivered channels will be added to the platform soon.

“Seamless access to content is at the heart of the YouView proposition and we are delighted to announce that internet channels are set to launch this summer as well as the extension of our app strategy to the Android platform. YouView is taking catch-up TV into the mainstream,” said Richard Halton, YouView’s CEO (pictured).

YouView revealed that almost two thirds of its viewers watch video-on-demand programming every week, Kids shows Peppa Pig and Mickey Mouse Club are the most watched shows on the service.

Viewers are watching 2.2 million video streams per week and spending an average of three hours watching on-demand and catch-up programming.

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Internet video users to reach two billion by 2017 (Original)

CiscoSystemsGlobal IP traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017 with the number of internet video users to reach two billion by 2017, according to new figures by networking equipment firm Cisco.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast predicts that globally, there will be nearly two billion internet video users, excluding mobile-only, by 2017, up from one billion Internet video users in 2012, said Cisco. Some three trillion internet video minutes will be generated per month, equivalent to 6 million years of video per month or 1.2 million video minutes every second.

Cisco predicted that by 2017, 3D and HD Internet video will comprise 63% of consumer internet video traffic. It also said internet video-to-TV traffic will increase nearly 5-fold between 2012 and 2017, from 1.3 exabytes per month to 6.5 exabytes per month.

Video is also tipped to account for 58% of all business internet traffic in 2017, up from 31% in 2012.

Overall, the firm said that global IP traffic, both fixed and mobile, will reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes ― more than a trillion gigabytes per year – by 2017. On a monthly basis this is expected to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017, up from about 44 exabytes per month in 2012.…

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