Friday, May 24, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A rather self-serving bit of research by Samsung predicts that shopping on Smart TVs is set to boom, and despite the hubris, I wouldn't disagree.
In fact, it's shocked me how little store online TV services and IPTV services have put on vCommerce as a revenue source.
Most of the projects I've been involved with have seen great returns from as selling online.
I think the problem is that telly selling has become a nasty, albeit lucrative ghetto on our EPG and this has tarnished it as a commercial medium.
But the traditional television sales channels generate over a £1 billion in sales every year, so this is not to be ignored.
Indeed, the opportunities online are much greater: the same regulatory rules don't necessarily apply, it's easier to point and click to buy than to have to call on the telephone and delivery can be personalised.
Video is likely to play a much greater part in retailing in the future and some of it may well be on Smart TVs, but it will also be as much join tablets, smart phones and PCs.
Indeed, as our high streets decline, video is set to become the new retail shop front.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
I then go to their website and see that they are using YouTube all over it, I suspect that there was no competitive tendering before they gave their video content to the tax avoiders in chief (and agreed to their terms and policies which I suspect would be very much in contravention to their stated policies, and most probably illegal).
Another reason why Europe is a very bad place to start a tech company.
The decision to make the games free to subscribers and to set the subscription fee so low is taking BSkyB on at their own game: £15 compared to £42.50 is a significant gap, and with Freeview snapping up hard up viewers, Sky is fast becoming a premium product in a not so premium market.
What Sky has achieved is astounding. They took as essentially free product and got 10m homes to pay up to £500 a year for it. And the main tool in doing this was football rights.
Now BT are taking them on at their own game, further inflating the pay packages of top footballers, but increaing choice to viewers and, hopefully reducing costs.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
This week has seen two very significant announcements for those of us involved in the world of online video.
First of all it was revealed that YouTube is to trial subscription services for its channels, ostensibly meaning that anyone can become a Netflix - provided that you can somehow stand out in the mire that is planet YouTube.
Secondly, Adobe has stepped up the ante on its Creative Cloud - although we have commented previously on this blog that Adobe often over-promise and under-deliver. In this case, though, I believe that their strategy is bang on.
But there are some gaping holes in these models. One of the major ones is in tackling rights. To date, most online models deal with cleared rights and are pretty unsophisticated. But the reality is that the vast majority of good produced content carries with it a plethora of rights, from music to artists to producers and financiers.
What YouTube and Google have done is solve some problems that much smaller companies already offered a solution for, but their Achilles' Heel remains the fact that in the cloud, assets are not such a big deal, but rights are.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
First of all Shazam decides to list in the US and now the French government has stepped in to prevent the sale of Dailymotion to Yahoo!
The major problem Europe has is that it does not have any real exit opportunities. The continent's largest tech companies are either in dire straits (Alcatel Lucent), telcos that act like utility companies or are legacy companies that have yet to get to grips with the cloud based future (SAP). the tech deal flow in Europe is tiny compared to the US and the only real exit open is either to an American tech giant or to a US market since the European secondary markets have long been discredited for lack of liquidity and profile.
So, the French have yet again shot themselves in the foot and can only be encouraging the conveyor belt of entrepreneurs who go first to London and then California.
If they want to make a difference then they should work on establishing a liquid European tech share marketplace.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Television, yes, we got a set around '72 and a colour one around a decade later. We had to put an aerial wheeey up the mountain with boxes called 'boosters' so that we could see anything but snow. And it worked 24 x 7 (unless a wild goat ate the cable).
And then came cable and satellite and digital and it seems that television is hugely fragile, and that IPTV is even worse. Why do things only sometimes work ?
Orange TV in Paris is a joke. It is a service used by millions, but barely works and goes down almost daily. Fibre is meant to deliver a 120Mbps but gives 3 or 4Mbps. The service, interface and remote is laughable compared to TV services from the past. And the stupid French pay for this because the alternatives are so bad.
In London we have Virgin Media, which seems down every time I visit. It was down for three days on a previous visit and for two evenings this week, and the Tivo system is a bad joke in terms of UI and functionality. but we put up with it because we are in a conservation area and not meant to have aerials or sat dishes...
Meanwhile here in Wales we get 2Mbps in the dead of night and 14Kbps on a Sunday night from those superstars at Sky. At least the telly works most of the time, but only for linear channels.
The Brits make the French seem sensible. We are gullible idiots...
So, the world has gone backwards. just like Mac OS and Win 8, nothing works properly. And we pay these idiotic companies a fortune...
But the very idea of a login is fast becoming the biggest issue and vulnerability of the internet. Like many organisations, at TVE we've implemented OAuth and OpenID, which means that users can use single sign one on any system supporting these protocols.
However, this has an issue. I have multiple logins for most services since I am a private person and a business owner. Indeed, I could be ten personas or more.
And trying to switch these personas on key services such as Google, who, to be fair, have done a great deal to sort out issues around this subject, is still a nightmare.
We need a new system of authentication that is at once more secure and more flexible. Using emails as usernames is the norm, and is convenient and flexible, but hugely unsecure - you have immediately given away one of the two bits of information a hacker requires.
The current delay in the shipping of the next iPhone seems to be over supply chain issues with a fingerprint detection component, and this points to the future.
A physical attribute is very difficult to replicate, but this still leaves the issue of personas: this is falling into the same category as batteries - something too difficult for technology to fix.
Friday, April 26, 2013
What is apparent, however, is that a lot of the digital expenditure isn't working, and the challenge now is to find formats that engage.