Geo-Blocking Attacked on All Sides

It is a given, that when a market is nascent, any kind of obstacle can be a serious barrier to wider adoption of the product or service.

Take OTT and VoD for example. Many people, for an insignificant monthly sum, subscribe to a live sports service. Last month, one of our VisiTechians was vacationing in Tenerife and decided to watch some UK Premier League Soccer. Except, he couldn’t. He was blocked due to his location.

This got our curiosity going, so we did some research on geo-blocking. One thing we learned was that almost a quarter (23%) of Internet users in Germany wanted to watch videos on the net, which turned out to be inaccessible due to geo-blocking. In Germany alone there are around 25 million Internet users, or nearly one in two, that watch video on the Internet.

Two thirds (66%) of the geo-blocked internet users wanted to watch movies, almost half of them (47%) music videos. An additional 10% tried to access entertainment programmes, 8% sports and 7% a series.

Don’t think this is a big deal? Well, actually, it is. With more than 500 million people in Europe, that is a BIG market being geo-blocked! Content owners are being deprived of satisfied users and, more importantly, substantial revenues.

There are a lot of issues in play here – mostly political and financial. It’s all about making content pay its way in each of the EU member states. And then there are the copyright laws….

Some would say that geo-blocking is a minefield built on quicksand. Others would say that the growing OTT/VOD market is being artificially and unnecessarily held back.

What would you say? Have you ever been geo-blocked? Let us know your thoughts.

Flagship LATAM Media Show ABTA Back in Sao Paulo 29 June

ABTA, the leading event for Latin America’s pay-TV, broadband and media markets, is now in its 24th year and will once again focus on innovation in video services, new technologies, on-demand content distribution platforms such as IPTV and OTT as well as distribution of linear, non-linear and high-definition content.

This year the show is expecting more than 100 exhibitors and some 5,000 visitors from around the globe to converge on the Transamérica Expo Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The exhibition will be supported by a full three-day conference program featuring panel debates and keynote addresses from industry leaders.

Our top conference picks include:

  • Pay TV in a year of Olympics and challenges
  • User experience and digital services
  • Embracing the reality of on-demand content

Are you attending ABTA 2016? Share with us your thoughts on the key topics for this year’s event.

The Countdown to ANGA COM 2015 Begins

With ANGA COM a little less than a month away, the 2015 show is already on par to be bigger and better. Currently, more than 440 exhibitors from 35 countries have rented floor space at the show, which already exceeds last year’s numbers.

The 2015 congress will feature a total of 24 expert panels with more than 130 speakers and moderators and will cover key topics including TV everywhere, video-on-demand, multiscreen, cloud TV, all over IP, broadband upgrades, FTTH, DOCSIS 3.1, Ultra HD, DVB-T2, connected home, RDK, Wi-Fi, CCAP, net neutrality, media policy, digitalization and competition law.

In addition, a newly designed lounge area located in the central foyer will provide attendees with meeting areas, snacks, refreshments and free Wi-Fi.

ANGA COM will take place on the Cologne Fairgrounds from June 9-11. Will we see you at this year’s show? Let us know in the comments below.

Internet + Television + Expo = INTX

Since NCTA’s move from The Cable Show to INTX, many have been left wondering, what exactly will this year’s show encompass?

As the IoT has taken off recently, there have been more opportunities to integrate apps into the overall cable video experience. As a result, NCTA has shifted the focus of the show to encompass the growing digital landscape throughout the industry as opposed to just cable. This year’s event will bring the two even closer together to cover the latest happenings in OTT, wireless integration and overall operations.

Here are a few things to expect at this year’s show:

  • The show floor, now called INTX marketplace will feature about 300 exhibitors. The area has been “reimagined,” and will feature “boulevards, plazas and circles” at various “intersections.”
  • In addition to keynote discussions among top industry executives, the annual Spring Technical Forum will dive deeper into tech than it has in previous years. The lineup consists of 43 technical papers that will be presented at eight different sessions.
  • NCTA will also sponsor a 24-hour hackathon, INTXHAK, which will challenge developers to create apps from scratch using the latest APIs, tools, data and content from a huge list of today’s leading tech, media and entertainment companies.

Will you be attending this year’s show? Let us know in the comments below.

Spring Showers Bring out NAB Followers

Spring has officially begun, meaning NAB is just around the corner. With less than four weeks to go until thousands of broadcast professionals flock to Las Vegas, the VisiTech PR team is reading stories and talking to media and analysts about what we can expect at this year’s show. Based on what we’ve heard and seen, there will once again be something for everyone. Here’s just a snapshot of things to get excited about at NAB 2015:

Check out VisiTech PR’s Selected Buzz on the NAB Show for more stories on what’s hot at NAB this year.

The Continued Rise of the Streaming Media Device

Survey your friends and colleagues about their media viewing habits and you will likely find that they rely on video on demand and streaming media services for entertainment. To support this notion, Parks Associates recently announced that 26% of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media device and 34% own smart TVs.

As more streaming media service providers are adding 4K or free and premium services, we can expect to see the rate of adoption grow. The NPD Group expects 40% of U.S. homes to have a streaming media player by 2017.

That got us thinking – which streaming media devices were most popular in our homes in 2014? Here’s what we found:

How do you watch TV and movies? Let us know in our comments below or on Twitter.

CES 2015: What’s in Your Top Five?

All good things come to an end. That includes CES 2015. For those who attended, we wish you a weekend of putting your feet up and kicking back. For those of you who didn’t make it to Las Vegas this year, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the show’s many big product launches and announcements.

This is just five of hundreds of unique items to come out of this year’s show. What are some of the top new gadgets and news you would add to this list?

CES 2015: ’Sling’-ing in the New Year with OTT

It’s that time of year again. No, we don’t mean those first few weeks of the year when most of us full-heartedly follow through with our New Year’s resolutions. Anyone involved with consumer technology in any shape or form knows exactly what we’re talking about. Yes, that’s right, it’s the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

CES is famous for the launch of the latest in devices from smartphones to tablets, but it’s OTT video that is making headlines this year.

While OTT has been trending for years, it’s not losing any popularity points any time soon. According to a recent OTT Market Forecast by Strategy Analytics, the OTT market will be worth $27 billion by 2019. With projections like that, it’s only natural for everyone from vendors to content providers to operators to continue jumping on the OTT wagon. A prime example is Dish, who yesterday launched Sling TV. Aimed at cord cutters and those who never used pay-TV in the first place, the new service is unique, offering access to channels like ESPN, Disney, the Food Network and CNN for just $20 a month.

What do you think the future holds for OTT? How do you think services like Sling TV will affect the industry in 2015 and beyond?