Analyst Insights
Upfronts&newfronts 5-21-2015

Newfronts and Upfronts Have One Thing In Common-Data

If there was one common theme from this month’s Upfront and Newfront presentations, it is that the other guys have no idea what they’re doing. That was particularly true when it came to advertising, the raison d’etre of both events. The MCNs and other online video providers who make up the Newfronts kept hammering home […]

aol-verizon

Build Your House on the Rock

Verizon’s announced acquisition of AOL continues to generate conversation, including a great piece from my colleague, Alan Wolk. Neither of these companies is a leading player in the legacy pay-TV business. Verizon remains fundamentally a mobile operator, having long said it never intended to take FiOS nationwide. AOL, for its part, has survived the decline […]

aol-verizon

Staying Ahead In A Time Of Flux

As the media struggles to interpret the significance of the Verizon/AOL deal (Is it about tech? Ad revenue? Content?), one thing is clear: the way the viewer thinks about video content has changed forever. Today we can enjoy both short-form and long-form content, and we watch them the same way we eat our meals. Sometimes […]

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Gene Splicing

Hybrids are powerful (and I’m not talking about the Toyota Prius). Since Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, an entirely new industry –- biotechnology –- has been built around the use of recombinant DNA to add traits from one living species to another. The results are biological organisms that didn’t exist […]

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Why Customer Experience Trumps Skinny Bundles Every Time

Comcast was the undisputed star of this year’s Cable Show, newly redubbed INTX (Internet and Television Expo). The cable giant introduced a range of innovations including voice controls for its X1 set-top box remote, a home control system that works with Nest, a new live streaming app, and plans to hire an additional 5,500 US-based […]

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The Tip of the Iceberg

Today’s mainstream technology and business press runs on a 24-hour news cycle, though Twitter is closer to 24 minutes. Significant news events are swarmed with a massive number of online posts the instant they happen. The quality of this coverage is limited less by the limitations of 144 characters than by the reality that human […]

tv-watcher

Was Blind But Now I See

Kids ask a lot of questions. Some are easy to answer (“Yes, you have to eat your vegetables.”), others not so much — especially those regarding the way the world used to work. Wireline telephones (without answering machines or caller ID), paper maps, and classified ads in the local newspaper were all commonplace during my […]

ORIGINAL-SERIES

The Right Stuff: Is Original Content Still A Smart Move?

An extremely positive earnings call from Netflix last week reignited the industry’s love affair with original content. The company’s success is widely believed to be the result of its content strategy; one that features buzz-worthy shows like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. (Since Netflix doesn’t release ratings numbers, we can only […]

verizon-espn

The Elephant In the Room

Lots of talk last week about Verizon’s latest moves regarding FiOS TV. Verizon announced a new bundling approach that would reduce the base FiOS TV package to just 35 channels (including local broadcast networks and CNN but excluding TNT, ESPN, and the regional sports networks). Basic subscribers could then choose two of seven genre-specific ‘channel […]

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Beats and Baseball

While attending this week’s NAB conference in Las Vegas, I was struck by how hard this venerable show is trying to reinvent itself for the TV-as-an-app age. Panels and sessions on OTT video were abundant, with a large section of the North Hall taken over by a ‘connected media’ pavilion and a piece of the […]

vod

It’s The Infrastructure, Stupid

Sling TV, the new OTT TV service from Dish, crashed during a critical NCAA Final Four men’s basketball championship game. And again, a few days later, during the season premier of Mad Men. That’s not (as many would argue) a sure sign that OTT is “not ready for prime time,” but rather an indication that […]

sling-tv-logo

Great Expectations

As always, lots of news in OTT land last week. First, Sling TV acknowledged that several new additions to its channel lineup (including A&E, Lifetime, and LMN) do not include the full slate of shows. Instead of some episodes of Criminal Minds, for example, viewers see a “Content Unavailable” indicator in the program guide. Second, […]

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