Over-the-top video in 2012: trends and technologies to watch

In the past few years over-the-top (OTT) TV has advanced from being an acronym for tech geeks to the new video frontier. But while anecdotal evidence may make it seem like OTT is a booming trend, it takes both technical skill and access to state-of-the-art broadband connections — and the willingness to shell out money for both bandwidth and content subscriptions — to fully integrate OTT into a household, much less consider trying to use it to cord cut. What’s next for OTT TV? This report takes a look at the market trends, technologies and leading companies most likely to influence the evolution — and wider adoption — of OTT.


The living room reinvented: trends, technologies and companies to watch

The adoption of tablets, social media and new interfaces and the changing nature of the TV itself mean the digital living room will continue on its path of rapid change, thanks to new ways of creating, viewing, bundling, distributing and selling content. The goal of this report is to help readers understand the different technologies driving this shift. We asked four Pro analysts to identify key trends reshaping their market and to name key players and technologies that will ultimately be counted among the winners.

Despite Q1 profit, Blockbuster keeps on shrinking

The once dying Blockbuster brand generated a profit of nearly $14 million in the first quarter for its new corporate parent, Dish Network, flourishing as a combination streaming/physical movie rental service. Still, Dish plans to close 100 more brick-and-mortar Blockbuster stores in Q2.

Netflix kills Qwikster, backtracks on DVD spinoff

Netflix came under a lot of heat when it announced plans to separating its DVD service and re-brand it Qwikster. But after nearly unanimous disapproval, the company has decided to shelve those plans, and will keep DVD-by-mail a part of the Netflix brand and website.

Dish’s Blockbuster Movie Pass is no Netflix killer

Dish Network unveiled its new streaming and DVD service, Blockbuster Movie Pass, Friday. But those who thought it would be positioned as a Netflix killer will be sorely disappointed: Despite earlier speculation, at launch, Movie Pass will be strictly to the satellite operator’s pay TV service.

Dish prepping Blockbuster-branded Netflix competitor

Dish Network could soon take on Netflix in the subscription streaming space, with a new service offered through Blockbuster. The service is expected to roll out next month, as Dish seeks to take advantage of Netflix’s recent price hike and steal angry customers away.

Big Bytes: Retail vs. the Web [Infographic]

Nicolas Rapp, who just started as the director of infographics for Fortune magazine has put together this awesome chart that highlights the efficiency of the online distribution model. Amazon and Netflix are two of the most visible examples of companies that are ascendant.

Netflix subscribers still angry, still unlikely to quit

Netflix subscribers are still unhappy with the company’s price change, which increases the cost of unlimited streaming and one DVD out by 60 percent. The good news is that the number who will unsubscribe altogether is likely overstated due to the emotional response to the change.

Blockbuster courts Netflix users, asks them to pay more

Blockbuster is trying to take advantage of outrage over Netflix’s recent price increase with a new campaign aimed at courting its users. But once their 30-day trial is over, new Blockbuster subscribers will be paying $2 more a month than if they had stayed with Netflix.

Zediva: We’re just like DVD rentals from Netflix

Zediva launched a service to stream DVDs to users’ web browsers. That raised the ire of Hollywood studios, which sued it for copyright infringement. Now Zediva has filed its response, claiming that it is no different than other DVD rental services from Netflix or Blockbuster.

Mobile Video On Android? Maybe Not, If You’re Rooted

Google has blocked its Movies feature for rooted Android devices, and now Blockbuster’s application is following suit. While this content protection makes business sense to content creators, it’s sure to put Google on a collision course with Android device owners who want to customize their devices.

Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand Finds Its Way Onto TiVo DVRs

TiVo is adding more cable content to its DVRs, announcing a deal to bring Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand library to its menu of options. With 22.8 million subscribers, Comcast provides a huge user base for TiVo to target with a more-integrated DVR offering.

The Future for Dish: It’s Not Just Satellite

With adaptive streaming technology in its set-top boxes, access to digital rights and the Blockbuster brand, as well as some spectrum that could be used for wireless broadband services, Dish could be well-positioned to roll out new, IP-delivered video services.

Dish Network’s Blockbuster Buy Is Mostly About Digital

Dish Network could keep as few as 600 retail Blockbuster locations open, a strategy that highlights the importance of the video store’s digital rights. Those rights, along with some spectrum it got in the acquisition of DBSD, could help Dish expand its streaming video services.

So Why Did Dish Really Buy Blockbuster?

Dish Network won an auction for embattled DVD rental firm Blockbuster, ending long-running bankruptcy proceedings that have led to store closings and layoffs. But Dish has some major challenges ahead in its plan to make the acquisition pay off in the long run.

Can Anyone Save Blockbuster?

Dish Network and Carl Icahn have joined the bidding for Blockbuster in advance of a bankruptcy court auction next week. But after years of failing to adapt, will a new investor or management team be able to turn around the beleaguered DVD rental firm?

Vid-Biz: DirecTV, YouTube-Bollywood, Blockbuster

Today on the Net: DirecTV hopes to see some movement on retransmission reform, but doesn’t expect anything in the next year. Also: YouTube is betting on Bollywood video and cricket in India and Hollywood studios are fighting to get unpaid fees from Blockbuster.

Bankrupt Blockbuster Puts Itself Up For Sale

Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI), which filed for bankruptcy in September, is now putting itself up for sale. The video rental chain says in a statem…


A 2011 Connected Consumer Forecast

More exciting than examining the previous quarter is looking forward into the next 12 months and using the trends of 2010 to predict the realities that will surface in 2011. Throughout this past December, GigaOM Pro’s curators did just that, making trend predictions, pointing out companies to watch and even telling us what not to expect. Connected Consumer curator Michael Wolf’s thoughts, analyses and predictions are compiled here in a single report. Companies mentioned in this report include Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Apple and Boxee. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.

2010 in Review: Elegy for the Video Store

2010 was a major turning point in home entertainment, especially when it comes to the decline of physical rental outlets like Blockbuster. As even smaller chains start to go under, though, it’s worth remembering what we’ll lose once the last video store shutters.


Report: The Connected TV Marketplace

The rapid growth of Internet-enabled HDTVs and other living room devices is laying a new technological foundation, one that will enable digital video and other media content to exist alongside the current technologies of cable and satellite TV service.

Vid-Biz: Netflix, Blockbuster, 3-D TV

Today on the Net: Netflix confirms that it is now available on 200 different consumer electronics devices with 60 million units sold in 2010, Blockbuster is looking for a new CEO after Jim Keyes ran it into the ground and 3-D TV sales disappoint.

Will All Brick & Mortar Media Sink Like Blockbuster?

Today’s news that Blockbuster is filing for bankruptcy should surprise no one, but are Blockbuster’s troubles a sign that all large brick and mortar retailers of content –- be it music, movies and yes, even books –- are eventually doomed?

How Online Video Killed Blockbuster

Blockbuster’s Chapter 11 filing marks the end of an era, in which it dominated the home entertainment space with thousands of local stores throughout the U.S. But bankruptcy was a long time coming, as the convenience of online video ultimately trumped Blockbuster’s DVD selection.

Can the New Blockbuster Compete With Netflix, Redbox?

Blockbuster is on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and is negotiating a restructuring with creditors that will see it cutting brick-and-mortar locations and wiping its debt slate clean. But will a leaner Blockbuster be able to compete with Netflix or Redbox?

Blockbuster Preparing for Bankruptcy in Mid-September

Blockbuster is telling Hollywood studios that it is preparing for a mid-September bankruptcy through which it would attempt to recapitalize and shed some lagging assets. The bankruptcy filing comes as the video rental firm attempts to stay alive despite holding nearly $1 billion in debt.

Vid-Biz: Blockbuster, Kyte, Warner Bros.

Today on the Internet: Blockbuster’s head of digital strategy talks smack about Netflix and Apple, Kyte makes a move for mobile with new Blackberry features and NBC U’s iVillage seeks out women to contribute blogs and vidoes to the site’s new UGC section.

Vid-Biz: Blockbuster, Adobe-iPad, Apple TV

Today on the Net: analyst say bankruptcy might be imminent for Blockbuster, Adobe’s CEO says he doesn’t need Apple or the iPad to survive and Gene Munster says rumors of a $99 iTV could mean Apple could soon introduce out a connected TV.

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Fears Grow

Despite its advantage over rivals Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Redbox in offering new releases for rent, Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) continued to st…

Can Gamers Save Blockbuster’s DVD-by-Mail Service?

Blockbuster is adding 3,000 video games for Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 and Wii game systems to its DVD-by-mail offering, hoping to attract gamers to sign up for the subscription service. By doing so, subscribers can rent TV, movie and game discs through a single service

Vid-Biz: FacePlant, Hulu Ad Sales, Blockbuster TV Ad

Today on the Net: a new iPhone app lets users see if friends are on WiFi before trying FaceTime video chat, estimated ad sales at Hulu for June are $19 million and Blockbuster has a new TV ad touting its new release advantage over Netflix.

Blockbuster To Be Delisted from NYSE

More bad news for Blockbuster: The DVD rental firm announced yesterday that it will lose its place on the New York Stock Exchange next Wednesday, after it failed to get enough shareholder votes on a proposal designed to help it comply with NYSE requirements.


TV Apps: Evolution from Novelty to Mainstream

TV apps — interactive, web-like applications meant to “enhance” the TV viewing experience by supplementing programming content with additional material and activities — are evolving quickly from a novelty feature on some Internet-enabled HDTVs and a few cable systems to a standard capability. Their rise is driven by rapid growth in the number of Internet-connected devices in consumers’ living rooms, growing consumer familiarity with mobile apps and strategic competitive forces that influence video service providers. In this report, we look at the market dynamics, key players, and provide forecasts for the market, including network-connected televisions, embedded app marketplaces, app downloads, paid TV apps, and revenue from the sale of paid apps to consumers, which will grow from $10 million in 2010 to $1.9 billion by 2015.

Blockbuster Swings To Loss As Sales Plunge

While Blockbuster could benefit from the closure of rival video rental chain Movie Gallery, it got no relief in Q1, as the company swung to…

Sony And Fox Give Blockbuster A Break

The big studios are coming to Blockbuster’s aid. Two weeks after Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX) said it would provide Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) with…

Icahn Checks Out Of Blockbuster

Activist investor Carl Icahn has sold 75 percent of his holdings in Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) — at a time when the rental chain probably need…

Vid-Biz: YouTube, Hulu, ITV

The Numbers Behind the World’s Fastest-growing Web Site: YouTube’s Finances Revealed; Viacom releases YouTube’s finances from before the Google acquisition. (MediaMemo) Hulu’s…

Vid-Biz: FCC, Avatar, Comcast

FCC Talks Up “Gateway” Set-Top Device; the commission continues to push for a “gateway” set-top device or add-on that would combine linear…

Vid-Biz: Vidly, A&E, DOJ Gets Money, Changes Name to Vidly; video add-on for Twitter avoids competitor confusion with the name change and gets a $500,000…

Quarterly Wrap-up

Second Quarter 2009 in Review: Consumer

Online video continues to find its way onto more and more devices. An increasing number of products are coming to market with an Internet connection built in. Connected-device sales (including TVs, set-top box, gaming consoles, etc.) are projected to approach 57 million units in 2009. This is an indication of the continuing march of online video into the living room, a concept that just a few short years ago was no more than a distant concept.

In conjunction with growth in connected devices, premium online video content provider Hulu expanded its ownership circle by one, as Hulu and Disney entered into a much-rumored partnership. Disney will be the third equity partner for Hulu, joining NBC Universal, News Corp. and Providence Equity Partners. Content from ABC, ABC Family, the Disney Channel and others will now be available on Hulu.

With premium content becoming increasing popular online, cable operators —sensing a threat — stepped up their game in second quarter to capitalize on the online video market. While most cable providers’ online video efforts have historically focused on availability, they are now shifting to authentication; specifially, the emphasis is beginning to shift from how to get premium content online to how the user will pay for it. Comcast and Time Warner are leading this charge in pursuing authentication programs called On-Demand Online and TV Everywhere, respectively.

Time Warner has indicated that trials of TV Everywhere could roll out in the second half of 2009, while Comcast announced in late June that it will begin national technical trials of its “OnDemand Online” authentication system in July. The two cable networks participating in the trial are Time Warner’s TNT and TBS. Comcast subscribers will be able to access shows on, and, soon after, and

Despite the continuing difficult economic environment, the second quarter has been fairly positive for online video. There have been a host of funding initiatives, with the highest raise being awarded to Sugar, the online media network for women, which received $16 million in Series C funding from existing investor Sequoia Capital. Some — particularly Blockbuster which indicated that it might not be able to meet the lender conditions needed to complete financing deals — have had disappointing results that call into question their long-term viability. But, despite some casualties, the market appears to be embracing this new frontier in entertainment and the remainder of 2009 promises to offer further advancements in the availability, delivery and legal context of online video.


Macrovision Becomes Rovi, Launches Liquid

With a new product and new name, Rovi is perhaps one of the best-positioned companies to provide software, metadata and guide support to the various hardware and service providers looking to navigate the world of multiscreen video entertainment. The challenge will be trying to provide solutions across all these different customer types and provide them the necessary technology solutions to battle fully integrated consumer-facing brands like Microsoft and Apple.


Who Wins When Movies Are Available Everywhere?

We are approaching a time when you can rent almost any movie through your TV with the push of a button, and companies like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Blockbuster and your cable operator are all diving in. But what happens when proximity, variety and convenience are moot? If movies basically become commodities, with every film available through every service, where and how will consumers choose to spend their money?

Cash Crunch Scuttles Blockbuster Revamp

*Blockbuster* may not be teetering on bankruptcy, but the movie retailer is so cash-strapped that it can’t afford to move forward with its p…

Blockbuster To Test Mail-Order Game Rentals

Watch out GameFly: Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) wants in on the mail-order video-game rental biz now. The company is adding games to its Total Ac…

Vid-Biz: DTV, Movielink, Obama

Rockefeller Proposes 3-Month DTV Delay; Democratic senator of West Virginia has introduced legislation that proposes pushing the transition date back to June…

Vid-Biz: Blockbuster, 5min, WGA

Blockbuster Partners with Microsoft; two companies plan to use the “Live Mesh” software platform to distribute movies to mobile devices. (Dallas Morning…

Vid-Biz: Discovery, GE, Canoe

Discovery Creates Nine YouTube Channels; Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and others to get immediate launches, users encouraged to submit videos to Mythbusters.…

Blockbuster Abandons Its Circuit City Quest

In this year of non-deals and terminated deals, this is not a surprise, considering how foolish the bid was in the first place: Blockbuster…

Circuit City: Haven’t We Seen This Before?

Throughout its conference call explaining the deal, Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) CEO Jim Keyes touted the opportunity for Circuit City to sell me…

Blockbuster vs. AppleTV

I use Blockbuster Online, and I love it. Apple TV and downloadable rentals that I can transfer to my iPod sounds even…

How Blockbuster Blew Up: The Transcript

We and others reported on Blockbuster’s (NYSE: BBI) rather disastrous Q3 earnings last week, and the complete implosion on its online DVD re…