The video industry has begun to move — haltingly but nonetheless — toward greater integration of linear and OTT services. How that integration happens, however, and on whose platform, and through whose UI, are no small questions.
Unless Congress and/or the FCC does something to change the rules of the retransmission game, pay-TV providers will need to do something to re-balance their negotiating leverage with the networks.
ESPN is reportedly in negotiations with Verizon to exempt its content from the carrier’s data caps. Such a deal would set a precedence for a very different mobile internet than the one we know today.
Vodafone Ventures is leading an $8.3 million investment in Jibe Mobile, which is working on a platform to help developers integrate Joyn. Joyn, which is backed by GSMA, enables rich communications such as IM, voice and video calling and file transfers.
Everyone may be focused on the forthcoming T-Mobile iPhone, but T-Mo revealed a strategy Thursday that will have far greater implications for the mobile industry. By eliminating subsidies it’s changing the way phones and services are sold and altering the consumer’s relationship to the carrier.
WhatsApp, the huge mobile messaging app, has hit 100 million downloads on Google Play. The company is still not releasing overall mobile install numbers from its other five platforms. But the milestone shows why carriers are signing deals with it.
Viber, the hot VoIP and messaging app, has just hit 90 million users, adding 20 million of them in the last two months. Now, it’s adding group messaging and an HD Voice engine, which should just encourage users to send more messages and make more calls.
KakaoTalk, a messaging and VoIP app, has been growing at a breakneck pace with 38 million registered accounts in Korea, its home market. In response, the leading carriers have worked to make life difficult for KakaoTalk and similar apps, blocking and throttling service for these apps.
Google seems to have taken to heart Apple’s emphasis on design. The Nexus Q is a smooth black orb that looks like a small bowling ball with cables coming off it. Positioned carefully to hide the cables it could almost be a piece of pop art — alluring, enigmatic, asking to be touched. Yet Google may have missed the more important lesson of Apple’s success.
Disney’s new iOS apps let youthful Comcast Xfinity subscribers watch live feeds and a limited video-on-demand selection of their favorite shows on iPads and iPhones. Missing is the catalog depth found on Netflix. Is Disney trying to carve space for its licensing partner, a cable-industry rival?