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VODKASTER: take a movie shot

September 28, 2009 2 comments

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Who haven’t dream of finding that famous scene in that specific film?

Who haven’t repeated hundred times with friends the dialog of those two actors from that great movie?

Today, your dream came true… at least for French film lovers (to start). Vodkaster, the video collaborative platform has launched its beta service this morning. Users can watch thousands of film extracts, can help indexing them (tag, actors names, category/type of scene), commenting them, linking different scenes together, and sharing their findings with other members of the growing Vodkaster community.

Users have as well the possibility to upload extracts of films from YouTube, limited to 3 minutes length.

Users can create their own playlist from the thousands of film extracts available on Vodkaster and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

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At this stage, it is difficult to evaluate the future success of Vodkaster, which seems to be related to the number of fans that will freely register to the platform and collaboratively help uploading and indexing movie excerpts. The challenge will then be to monetize this audience and catalog of film excerpts. Probably licensing them to VoD platforms as additional teasers selected by film lovers … will see.

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VoD market size, forecast…

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

As some of you already know, I take some pleasure animating the GLITNER group on LinkedIn. Recently, André Lange from the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) has posted the following question:

Does the cable consumer spend more for VoD than the IPTV subscriber?

One of Screen Digest assumption in assessing the VoD markets in Europe is that a cable subscriber will spend more in VoD than an IPTV subscriber. Does anyone have any evidence on such thesis?

It is true that when researching the net looking for some evidence of such thesis or looking for some available market studies, it is disappointing to find out that often, the info, articles and/or reports found have conflicting forecasts and statements. In order to keep track of the most updated (and relevant) info, I have listed here below some my key findings of the last few months:

–       Global annual revenue from rental transactions of full-length movies and TV shows on pay-TV and online platforms generated $2.2bn in 2008. This is forecast to grow to $3.7bn by 2012 (source: Adam Media Research a division of Screen Digest).

–       VoD will generate $330 million a year (in the UK) in ‘direct revenue’ by 2013 (source: PaidContent:UK quoting Claire Enders speaking at the Westminster eForum on September 15th).

–       The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013. Internet video alone will account for over 60 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2013 (source: CISCO – Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology 2008-2013).

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–       Digital media revenue will jump about 270% between 2009 and 2013 to $3.28 billion (according to a Futuresource Consulting research).

–       The total home entertainment market in the US (all platforms – DVD/BD, TV-based VoD, online video and mobile video) is projected to generate over $25 billion in revenues in 2009. “Paid-for VoD revenues are expected to witness steady growth moving forward, as the closure of VoD windows increases the appeal of premium on-demand content. However, looking ahead, packaged media will remain a significant revenue generator for the home entertainment industry, accounting for close to 70% of total revenues by 2013,” said Carl Hibbert, business consultant, Futuresource Consulting (source: one to one).

–       Global revenue for digital formats will grow to $2 billion in 2013, from about $500 million this year. US revenue in the first half of the year was about $140 million, with a significant growth in EST – electronic sell-through (source: Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel cited in an article of videobusiness.com).

–       Over-the-top video (delivery of internet video to the TV) will grow nearly six-fold in the newt five years, from a meager $1 billion in 2009 to $5.7 billion in 2014 (source: TDG – Broadband-Enabled TV: Rise of the OTT Provider).

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–       On December 2008, the EAO has counted 691 on-demand audiovisual services in Europe: 142 in the UK, 108 in France, 92 in Italy and 55 in Germany.

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–       Eight percent of all consumers in Britain, France, Germany and the United States admit to downloading video illegally from the Internet (source: Reuters UK according to a survey).  I have done the math (based on Universal McCann Wave 4 Social Media Tracker): there are 158 million active Internet users in those 4 countries, from which 12.6 million (8%) are therefore downloading video illegally…

–       VoD server revenue tripling by 2013, date at which telco service providers are expected to derive about $56 billion worldwide revenue from IPTV services offered, not including mobile IPTV services  (source: Infonetics Research).

–       While overall streaming video is more popular than downloading video, users still in the US lean towards downloading when it comes to long-form video content in particular (source: an IPSOS study summarized on Reelseo.com)

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–       Total videos viewed per month went up from 7.2 billion in Jan ’07 to 21.4 billion in July ’09. The number of online videos watched per viewer per month went up from 59 in Jan ’07 to 135 in July ’09. The number of minutes of video watched per average viewer went up from 151 minutes (2 hours 31 minutes) in Jan ’07 to 500 (8 hours 20 minutes) in July ’09 (source: comScore as reported on the VideoNuze web site).

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–       HD online revenue will reach $2.25 billion by 2012 (source: AKAMAI presentation at the Content Delivery Summit in NY May ’09).

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As you can see, the VoD business, which barely registered as a revenue stream 3 years ago, has almost overnight changed the content distribution business. I strongly believe that VoD has a great promising future.

Dotan – Since I saw you

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Dotan … since I saw you…can’t download you!!!

I’m always amazed (and surprised) about HOW complicated it can be to download sometime legal music on the net… a quick experience I like sharing with you.

My wife and I were in the Netherlands (Holland) during the summer break. We came across a new upcoming artist (discovered on MTV): DOTAN. ishot-0909141We liked his music, rythm and song. We took down the artist’s name, so when back home in Paris (France) we could go (like we usually do) to iTunes store and download this new song into our library.

Surprisingly, we couldn’t!! Dotan’s song was (an still is) only available on the Netherlands iTunes store (not the French one).  My wife (being Dutch), tried to get an iTunes account in the Netherlands (giving her parents Dutch address)… that doesn’t worked either: the credit card details were France based!

Frustrated… YES!

Dotan is from the net generation, using social media to share his content. He has his own web site (and blog), his Facebook, MySpace and Hyves page, and his music video clip is available on YouTube.

So you can stream it as many times you want on your PC, your iPOD, iPhone etc… but you cannot own it!

For the last 5 years, I’ve been in the entertainment industry, working weekly with producers, rights-holders, authors, software vendors (such as Apple and Microsoft), has dealt with DRM issues, content identification, fingerprinting, watermarking and all these filtering technologies used by YouTube, Dailymotion and others… and had great difficulty to explain (simply) to my wife – a consumer – why it was SO DIFFICULT for her to get that song from a European artist, discovered in a European country, where goods are supposedly to circulate freely…!

As you may or not know, currently, most online retailers (including Apple) limit sales of digital media to either the countries in which they are based, or where the buyer is based, due to complex copyright rules and fees across Europe.  In fact, each E.U. country has its own collecting society, which has the exclusive right to collect royalties for the use of music of songwriters in that country. A percentage of the royalties is passed back to the artist who has contracted the society to look after its copyright.

The good news is that, apparently, music rights holders are nearing agreement on a pan-European music license, which would enable music to be bought online across the European Union, as stated last May by the European Commission (here). The commissioner Kroes notes Apple‘s statements that if iTunes is readily able to license rights on a multi-territorial basis from publishers and collecting societies, it would consider making its content available to all European consumers, including those in EU countries where iTunes is currently not available.

Let us hope that this multi-territorial music licensing issue is dealt with rapidly, so that consumers are (still) encouraged to ‘legally’ download and for Dotan to get his music out of the Dutch boundaries!

New HD TV with internet connection: next killer app?

September 2, 2009 1 comment

A new wave of HD TVs — some already in stores — let the viewer connect the Internet directly to the TV set. Beyond serving as normal TVs, these sets are built to stream a host of Internet sites, including YouTube and Picasa, as well as video-on-demand services.

LG 47LH50 LCD HDTV

LG 47LH50 LCD HDTV

What analysts are saying?

Analyst Carl Howe of the Yankee Group says the transition to the connected living room is “very early now,” but he sees tremendous growth. There will be 3 million connected Blu-ray players from LG and Samsung in U.S. homes by the end of the year, he says, growing to 8 million next year.

Web-connected TVs are a bigger market. There will be 6 million in place by the end of the year, growing to 11.7 million in 2010, and 50 million by 2013, Yankee projects.

The sets aren’t built for full-fledged Web browsing. “I think the direction we are heading is the transformation of the TV into ‘Internet lite,’ ” says Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst for Parks Associates.

Big changes aren’t likely to happen immediately, but Mike McGuire, research VP and media analyst for Gartner, says this is bound to cause “serious disruption” in the way people consume TV.

“It won’t (happen) in the short term, but as companies see the opportunities and the experience becomes seamless, all of a sudden you might see more than a few consumers thinking to themselves, ‘Why am I paying so much for cable? Why am I paying so much for video on demand?’ ”

What media experts & CEOs are saying?

Sonic Solutions’ CEO Dave Habiger sees his company’s big future as providing software for electronic delivery of movies to digital devices and selling and renting the movies online via its Roxio CinemaNow service. As his company prepared for a transition from DVD to Blu-ray, it ended up concluding that the business as we know it of renting and selling DVDs — think Netflix, Blockbuster, the corner video store — is poised for an exit. Habiger believes the time has finally come for movies to be delivered via the Internet to a slew of devices including TVs.

“These Web enabled TV sets are going to significantly increase the rate of video streaming,” David Poltrack, chief research officer and president of CBS Vision,  says. “I think you’ll see people experimenting with this by the end of the year. And, barring a bad experience, you’ll see content in this form by 2010. Five years from now, I think it will be a significant contributor of revenue to both content providers and distributors.”

 

LG introduced two models in May, rival Samsung has two, and many more are expected by the end of the year, along with TVs that can receive preloaded Internet channels, such as CinemaNow — or Blockbuster’s online channel, which is run by CinemaNow.

One thing is certain: these TVs are coming and fast.

Web-enabled TVs on the market:

LG 47LH50 LCD HDTV (47-inch)

LG 50PS80 plasma TV (50-inch)

Panasonic TC-P54Z1 (54-inch)

Panasonic TC-P54V10 (54-inch)

Panasonic TC-P50V10 (50-inch)

Panasonic TC-P54G10 (54-inch)

Panasonic TC-P50G10 (50″)

Panasonic TC-P46G10 (46″)

Panasonic TC-P42G10 (42″)

 

Coming soon:

Vizio SV422XVT (47″ – Oct.)

Vizio SV422XVT (42″ – Nov.)

Vizio VF552XVT (55″ – Dec.)

 

Sources for this post are from Variety and USAToday.

Categories: TV, VoD Tags:

Distribution = delivery & monetization

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

The long tail is often used to describe UGC sites such as YouTube. While this may be correct statistically, it is often used out of context. UGC demonstrates the statistical characteristics of a long tail distribution as plotted on a graph, but it doesn’t demonstrate any business or economic traits that are typical of long tail distribution as it applies to commerce. The word “distribution” in entertainment lingo connotes two things: physical delivery and monetization. UGC lacks inherent monetization opportunity. If a piece of content can’t be sold in some capacity on its own, the long tail theory of distribution will never work because profitability will always be zero or less. Read this article here.

Categories: VoD Tags:

How GLITNER will enable European film companies to access the VoD online market?

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

In Europe companies are not vertically integrated, therefore need to pool their resources and catalogues in order to become valuable commercial partners for broadcasters, telcos, ISPs, cable companies, content aggregators, VoD platforms all hungry and seeking content. If it requires an army of lawyers to negotiate on a company-by-company and a territory-by-territory basis, they will not bother.

Film companies can have the choice to move towards some kind of collective licensing model, which is new to the film business because film companies (in contrast with music) have always dealt on an individual licensing basis.
So far it is only in relation to the exploitation of cable retransmission rights through AGICOA (the Association of International Collective Management of Audiovisual Works – based in Geneva) that film producers have so far been acting on a collective basis.

We thinh that European producers have to create a legitimate market because without it the VoD market will be taken over by pirates. What has protected the film industry so far is simply the fact that it takes much more time to download a film than to download a song, but this has now changed with the massive adoption of broadband access.

In addition, producers have an interest in developing the market because of their interest in having as many competitors as possible in the market place, avoiding a situation whereby the market is controlled by one or two dominant players. Thus, the more they make content available on a non-exclusive basis, the more players the market will have and the more competitive it is going to be.

Ultimately the financial success of VoD depends on the ability of rights holders to facilitate the acquisition of licences through one stop shops.

This is what GLITNER is aimed to be: an online B2B one-stop-shop e-market place (watch the short video), where rights holders declare their VoD rights, gain access to distribution professionals/aggregators, VoD platforms, create, upload & manage all elements related to their content (trailers, metadata, press kits), search & test ranking of their titles (helped by SEO), run & manage push emails, news release campaigns and many other value added services tailored for the VoD distribution.

GLITNER  is supported by MEDIA and will be soon be launching its blog and beta service.

Stay tuned…

Categories: VoD Tags:

The top 250 best movies of all time Map

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Check this out on VodKaster blog. VodKaster is an interesting French project, launching in beta in just few weeks from now (September).

Vodkaster is an innovant platform of cinema online, totally dedicated to film scenes. Vodkaster has developped a collaborative approach offering all cinema lovers to participate to the indexation, tagging and annotation of films’ scnenes and extracts of their interest. Those short created extracts will then be used in different applications such as quiz, playlits, etc…

More updated on this blog once the beta site is launched.

Meanwhile check out VodKaster on Twitter and Facebook.

Categories: VoD