Consumer third quarter 2014: analysis and outlook

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Amazon goes live
  3. Ice begins to break for linear OTT
  4. Down upfront
  5. Rules of the road
  6. Paying by phone
  7. Near-term outlook
  8. Key takeaways
  9. About Paul Sweeting

1. Summary

The third quarter of 2014 was marked by a number of deals and developments that are reshaping the world of video advertising and over-the-top video. At the same time, the Federal Communications Commission is wrestling with three momentous proceedings that could rewrite the rules for online video and broadband network management.

Among the major developments:

  • Amazon acquired live gaming platform for $1 billion, marking a major move by the retailer into live streaming and setting up a future clash with Google for supremacy in online video advertising.
  • Viacom agreed to make 22 of its cable channels available to Sony as part of an over-the-top multichannel streaming service the electronics company is building for its PlayStation platform, marking a major milestone in the effort to create a virtual MVPD that competes with traditional pay-TV providers.
  • Traditional broadcasters and cable networks suffered their worst upfront selling season since the financial crisis, pointing to an accelerating shift in video ad spending toward online. Online publishers like AOL and ad-tech providers like Google are trying to capitalize on the trend by creating new tools for programmatic video ad buying.
  • The FCC is grappling with three major and overlapping proceedings, from net neutrality to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV mergers, that together will set the rules of the road for broadband and online video for the next decade.
  • Apple unveiled Apple Pay, a mobile payment service that may finally make paying with a phone (or wearable device) common.

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