Twenty-five years ago last Friday, Depeche Mode inadvertently almost started a riot. The band had finally become “big” in the U.S., but had not realized just how big. As a result, when they agreed to a CD signing session at a local record store – the Wherehouse record store – they had no idea that 15,000 people would turn up. Whoops. The message went out on the radio: “for all of you with radios listening to this, pass the message that Depeche Mode will only be here for three more hours.”
My TV screen continued to pass on the DVR’s same little message it had been telling me for the past two hours: “Almost there, just a few more minutes.” Sure. I had optimistically believed that for the first 30 minutes, thinking that perhaps the DVR’s definition of a minute was a little longer than mine. But at this point I was beginning to read between the lines… my DVR box was fried.
Consumer TV viewing habits continue to shift towards an always-on, streaming-centric solution and the networks are quickly jumping in with a multitude of viewing apps. So is it business as usual for the networks as they attempt to satisfy the mobile-hungry consumer’s appetite? Perhaps not, because the latest apps are being developed for connected TVs, rather than a previous focus on mobile, thanks to major device launches such as Amazon’s Fire TV, Chromecast, and the Xbox One. And more to the point, it’s the networks themselves that are jumping into the game.
Back in the olden days of over-the-top TV (all of four or five years ago), the concept of TV Everywhere (TVE) was led by the pay-TV operators. The goal was to embrace the Web, and the new-fangled “over-the-top” world of Netflix and others, but in a cautious and manageable way.
For nearly a year, the tech industry has been abuzz with rumors and speculation that Amazon would enter the rapidly growing media streaming device market; challenging category incumbents Apple, Google, and Roku who accounted for 88 percent of category revenue during the 12 months ending February. Wednesday, Amazon did just that, announcing their Amazon Fire TV to much fanfare.
I recently participated in a panel debate at the NPD DisplaySearch US FPD conference on the future of the smartphone and tablet, considering which, if either was more likely to drive greater market disruption moving forward. My inclination was to back the sure thing: the smartphone has already disrupted so many surrounding technologies and I see no reason why it will slow down any time soon.
Less than two years after making a bold foray into the smartphone manufacturing business, Google has announced that it is selling Motorola to Lenovo. The deal, announced yesterday, sells Motorola for $2.9 billion, compared to Google’s initial purchase price of $12.5 billion.
For you wrestling fans out there, keep tuning into the Syfy channel for SmackDown and USA Network for Monday Night Raw; and be prepared for the all new over-the-top (OTT) WWE streaming network, coming to a connected device near you on February 24. Gone are the days of gathering enough friends together to fit the bill for the big pay-per-view (PPV) event. Wrestling fans will be able to access monthly PPV events, a lineup of original shows and historical programming from WWE's library, all for $9.99 a month. For those who have experienced the ritual of a WWE event, this is a changing of the guard. It’s a transition from the tradition of ordering PPV events through a cable provider to the ability to stream them on a connected TV.
Network broadcasts, cable TV, DVR, on-demand, mobile apps, or apps on your TV? Who needs so many ways to watch TV? Me. Looking at recent viewing behaviors in our home many of these served a purpose, but there is a clear migration towards apps on the TV.
Most conversations over the past few days have begun with, “Did you watch ‘Breaking Bad’ Sunday?” Between DVR, Netflix, and HBOGO, it’s been quite a while since I’ve viewed a show during its broadcast. This time I did, kind of, only a mere 15 minutes after its broadcast so that commercials could be skipped.