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Executive Interview: Vevo Discusses Their FAST Offering, Monetization, Engagement and User Experience

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a second podcast, called “Executive Interviews“. Each month I’ll interview executives to get their thoughts on opportunities and challenges they are seeing in the streaming media space. For the first episode, Kevin McGurn, President of Sales and Distribution for Vevo joined me for a discussion around Vevo’s FAST strategy. (Listen here)

Kevin discusses the success Vevo is seeing with regards to their content programming and how it changes per region; their monetization strategy with advertising; how they are getting such high engagement numbers; the importance of multi-platform distribution; and why the largest volume of their viewership happens on the large screen.

If your company has an executive they would like to be considered for the interviews series, please reach out to me.

Episode 48: The Key Takeaways From Netflix’s Earnings; Reviewing HBO Max’s First Sports Event; Content Deals by Viacom18 and NBCUniversal

Podcast Episode 48 is live! This week I highlight all the key numbers you need to know from Netflix’s earnings including subscriber numbers, free-cash-flow, paid sharing and projected numbers around AVOD revenue. I also give my review of HBO Max’s first live sporting event on the platform with the US women’s national team soccer match against New Zealand. Finally, I run through all the new sports licensing deals with NBCUniversal, (U.S. Soccer Federation), Viacom18 (Women’s Indian Premier League) and the rumors Apple will bid on the Premier League domestic television rights that come up for renewal in 2025.
 Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies and services mentioned: Netflix, HBO Max, Nielsen, JW Player, InPlayer, DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, NBCUniversal, Peacock TV, Viacom18, Apple, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Alphabet, Microsoft.

Episode 47: Super Bowl Won’t Stream in Native 4K; DAZN Discloses Sub Numbers; How Many FAST Channels Are Too Many?

Podcast Episode 47 is live! This week we highlight the price increases from fuboTV, DirecTV Stream and HBO Max’s ad-free plan, with many live linear plans now being more expensive than cable TV. We also discuss news from FOX Sports who said their NFL Playoffs/Super Bowl broadcast schedule will not be broadcast or streamed in native 4K, but rather will be captured and produced in 1080p HDR and upscaled to 4K. We breakdown the new subscriber numbers from DAZN and their announcement that it now has 15 million premium paying subscribers and highlight their financial numbers reported by the media. Finally, we debate how many FAST channels are considered too many with Samsung announcing their Samsung TV Plus service now has over 1,800 channels globally and more than 200 in the US alone. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies and services mentioned: Netflix, HBO Max, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, DAZN, Curiosity Stream, Samsung TV Plus, NBC Sports, Sunday Night Football, FOX Sports, BSD Crown, Amazon, Twitch, DirecTV.

Updated List Of CDN Vendors and History of All CDNs To Date

Over the past 18-months, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the CDN vendor landscape. Below is an updated list of vendors I am tracking in the market that offer commercial CDN services to deliver video for content owners as well as vendors that offer CDN platforms for deployment inside telecom networks or DIY CDN buildouts. (list is at: www.cdnlist.com) At the bottom of the post is the history of all the CDN vendors tied to video delivery, nearly 100 of them, dating back to 1994, along with what happened to the companies. For nearly 20 years I have been offering free help to any CDN customer who has questions on their CDN deployment including vendor selection, latest pricing, creating an RFP, CDN technologies etc. so feel free to reach out to me at dan@danrayburn.com if I can help.

With this vendor list comes a LOT of caveats which are important to note. The term “CDN” means many things to people and is an umbrella term that covers the delivery of a lot of different types of content. Not all commercial CDNs specialize in delivering the same type of content for small objects, large objects, streaming etc. and many CDNs offer a lot of other services in the cloud security, edge and application realm. Just because all the vendors are on this list together does NOT mean they can be compared apples-to-apples! Customers have to drill down into specific requirements around their performance needs, capacity, regions of delivery, SLA etc. and then use those metrics to compare which CDN vendors truly have a similar offering. Some CDNs target SMBs (small, medium businesses) where pricing could be as low as $100 a month and still other CDNs won’t even quote a customer under $5,000. There is no one-size-fits all and the differences between CDNs can vary widely, especially when it comes to capacity in specific geographic regions outside North America. PoPs on a map does not equal capacity or guarantee performance.

For my list, I am including CDN vendors who deliver video as part of their core services but not resellers, like a hosting provider that white-labels a CDN provider. I’m also not including “most” telcos and carriers that have their own CDN, what we call DIY, since the majority of them don’t resell it as a service and instead, use it to deliver content within their own network. There are more than 100 telcos, ISPs and carriers around the world that have a combination of their own CDN or a hybrid model that mixes in commercial CDNs, so there are simply too many of them to list.

I am not listing vendors by size of network, number of customers etc. but rather in alphabetical order. That said, if you strip out the vendors in China, the top 5 commercial CDNs globally, in order of revenue tied to CDN (note I didn’t say “video” revenue) would be 1. Akamai, 2. Amazon, 3. Edgio, 4. Lumen and 5. Fastly.

Every time I make this list, I get companies that say they are missing. If you think you should be listed, contact me at dan@danrayburn.com and I will review your company. But please note, if you have a website with no info, no details on the executives, no customers mentioned, dead links, have pricing at $10 a month and call yourself an “enterprise” solution, you won’t be added. I also don’t accept payment to add a company to the list.

Companies Offering Video CDN Delivery Services or Platforms

History Of CDN Vendors and What Happened to Them
In addition to the current CDN vendors in the market, I think it’s important to remember how the CDN industry got to where it is today. Many CDNs raised tons of money but didn’t have a business model; some only focused on selling at the lowest price and many had technology that simply didn’t work. The CDN market has been through a lot of hard times over the past 25 years and here’s a running list of what happened to all the vendors.

Open to corrections if you see any errors.

Episode 46: Industry Layoffs; Latest ARPU Data; Fragmented Video Advertising Metrics

Podcast Episode 46 is live! This week we highlight some of the layoffs across the industry (Vimeo, Amazon, Kaltura, Amdocs, JWP) and why getting to positive cash flow for vendors is and should be the number one goal in 2023. We also detail the latest ARPU numbers from OTT services and some TV news from CES, with Roku announcing the first-ever smart TV designed and built by Roku and a still unnamed partner. Finally, we discuss the extremely fragmented landscape for video advertising metrics, the news of Nielsen ONE and how every major media company has struck deals with measurement firms like VideoAmp, EDO, Comscore, and iSpot to replace or supplement Nielsen. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies and services mentioned: Vimeo, Kaltura, JPW, Amazon, Netflix, Disney, Nielsen, Videoamp, Amdocs, Transmit Live, Warner Bros. Discovery, Roku, Samsung, Google TV, EDO, Comscore, iSpot.

BSD Crown, Formerly Emblaze, Is Suing Amazon and Twitch Over HTTP Live Streaming Patent

BSD Crown, the Israeli company, formerly known as Emblaze LTD., is suing Amazon and Twitch over a patent pertaining to HTTP based live video delivery. Emblaze sued Apple asking for $511 million in damages pertaining to HLS and lost their trial in 2014 with the jury ruling that Apple did not infringe on the patent. In 2010, Microsoft was also sued by Emblaze pertaining to “Smooth Streaming” and in 2015, Emblaze dropped the suit against Microsoft. In the case against Amazon, BSD claims that Amazon knew about their ‘473 patent by at least 2015 or sooner through Amazon’s own patent filings. While that is true, simply knowing about the patent doesn’t mean Amazon infringed on it.

In the suit, BSD Crown claims that their patent, “powered the first real time video broadcast over the internet using HTTP—the White House 1998 Easter Egg Roll”, which we all know to be false. There were other real time live broadcasts over the Internet that took place before 1998 that used HTTP. It also claims that “today, the technology described in the ’473 Patent powers the majority of live broadcasts.” That is also false.

Those that were in the streaming industry in the last 90’s might remember Emblaze Video and Emblaze Audio, which were the product names under Geo Interactive Media Group, which later changed their company name to Emblaze Systems Ltd., then to Emblaze Ltd and in 2014, renamed it again to B.S.D Crown Ltd.

In addition to the Video and Audio products the company also had a line of development tools called Emblaze Creator, Emblaze Hotspot, Emblaze Webcharge and Emblaze email. At the time, the company billed themselves as the world’s first Internet-specific multimedia authoring tool.

Geo Interactive Media Group Ltd was formed back in 1994 by a group of technicians from the high technology unit of the Israeli army and first previewed the Emblaze software back in February 1996. In 2014, Emblaze lawyers said they were not “patent trolls”, referencing annual revenues running to hundreds of millions of dollars in 2008. However, the company brought in just $1.9 million in revenue in 2013.

I’ve worked on a lot of cases over the years pertaining to streaming patents tied to Real, Microsoft, Burst Networks, Nokia, Move Networks and others. BSD Crown’s claim is quite the stretch.

CES TV News Round-Up From LG, Samsung, TCL, Roku, Google and Sony

Here’s a round-up of CES TV news from LG, Samsung, TCL, Roku, Google and Sony with pricing, if announced. The big trend at the show was larger screen sizes (93″-97”), QD-OLED, mini-LED and microLED tech. Not much was highlighted in the way of TV OS or content services.

  • LG: Announced upgraded Z3 (77” to 88”), G3 (55” to 97”) and C3 (42” to 83”) OLED evo series with higher brightness and color accuracy as well as amazing clarity and detail thanks to the new α9 AI Processor Gen6. G3 models get LG’s Brightness Booster Max technology and an upgrade leaving no visible gap when wall mounted. Their webOS will get a redesigned user interface to provide more options to customize the launcher based on different profiles. LG has done away with the A series and now considers the B3 series its entry-level OLED offering. LG press release.
  • TCL: Announced updated S-Series and the all-new Q Series. Q6 (50” to 75”), Q7 (55” to 85”), QM8 (65” to 98”). The new TCL 98-inch Class XL Collection Smart TV will be TCL’s first QD-OLED, retailing for $8,500. QD-OLED TV is a new type of display technology that merges quantum dots with an OLED panel for an ultra-thin screen that can produce all of blacks of OLED, along with better brightness and more accurate colors. TCL press release.
  • Samsung: Announced larger QD-OLED models, up to 77”. Neo QLED TVs will see at least two major new models in this category. The QN95C has been redesigned to house all of its connections inside the chassis of the TV itself, instead of within a backpack breakout box that the TV used. All of the 2023 Neo QLED models will benefit from the company’s new Auto HDR Remastering AI tech, which can analyze and apply HDR effects to SDR material in real-time, on a scene-by-scene basis. Samsung TV Plus, the free, ad-supported TV and on-demand service on Samsung’s smart TVs, now has over 1,800 channels globally. Samsung press release.
  • Roku: Announced the first-ever smart TV (Roku Select and Plus Series) designed and built by Roku (with a manufacturing partner they aren’t naming). Will be available in the U.S. in 11 models, ranging from 24” to 75”, beginning spring 2023. Retail prices ranging from $119 to $999 for HD and 4K models. Roku blog post.
  • Google: Android TV OS – the underlying platform for both the Google TV and Android TV experiences – now has 150M monthly active devices. Total isn’t just for Google TV devices or for Android TV devices, but all of them combined. Google blog post.
  • Sony: Decided to delay its TV-related news until later in 2023, no new models were announced or displayed at CES.

Call For Speakers Opens For NAB Show Streaming Summit

I am excited to announce that the call for speakers and sponsorships have opened for the NAB Show Streaming Summit, taking place April 17-18 in Las Vegas. Work on the conference program has started so if you are interested in speaking, moderating or being involved in some way, now is the time to reach out to me. Last year we had nearly 600 attendees, 75 speakers and 31 sponsors. Spots will go fast! I expect the show to bigger this year and the call for speakers page lists all the topics we do and don’t cover.

If you have questions about a speaking topic, idea you want to run by me first or need more details on the show, just call me (917-523-4562) anytime. Registration is also open for the Streaming Summit.

The Latest List Of Streaming Services ARPU (Average Revenue Per User)

For streaming services, ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), will become one of the most important metrics to watch in 2023. To date, ARPU numbers have been pretty easy to track but with more services like Netflix and Disney adding in AVOD plans and most FAST services not sharing any ARPU metrics of any kind, it will be harder to measure just how much money streaming services are averaging per month, per user. Based on all publicly available data from earnings, interviews and SEC filings, here’s a breakdown on ARPU for streaming services at the end of calendar Q3 2022, or in some cases, the last time ARPU was given out.

  • Disney+: Global ARPU, $3.91, Subscription plus advertising (Q3 2022)
  • Disney+: Domestic ARPU, $6.10, Subscription plus advertising (Q3 2022)
  • Disney+: International ARPU, $5.83, Excluding Disney+ Hotstar, Subscription plus advertising, (Q3 2022)
  • Disney+ Hotstar: ARPU, $0.58, Subscription plus advertising, (Q3 2022)
  • ESPN+: ARPU, $4.84, Subscription plus advertising, (Q3 2022)
  • Eros Now: India ARPU, Premium subscriber “in the range of $1.20 to $1.30”, Subscription (Q4 2022)
  • fuboTV: North American ARPU, $64.15, Subscription, ARPU $7.37, Advertising (Q3 2022)
  • fuboTV: Rest Of World ARPU, $5.30, Subscription, ARPU, $0.16, Advertising (Q3 2022)
  • Hulu: SVOD Only ARPU, $12.23, Subscription plus advertising, (Q3 2022)
  • Hulu: Live TV+ SVOD ARPU, $86.77, Subscription plus advertising, (Q3 2022)
  • iQiyi: China ARPU, $2.00, (Q4 2022)
  • LionsgatePlay: India ARPU, $0.50, Advertising (Dec 2022)
  • Netflix: Domestic ARPU, $15.74, Subscription only, (Q3 2022)
  • Netflix: EMEA ARPU, $11.18, Subscription only, (Q3 2022)
  • Netflix: LATAM ARPU, $8.54, Subscription only, (Q3 2022)
  • Netflix: APAC ARPU, $8.79, Subscription only, (Q3 2022)
  • Paramount+ Domestic ARPU: “Around $9”, Subscription plus advertising (Q1 2022)
  • Peacock TV: Domestic ARPU, “around $10”, Subscription plus advertising (Q4 2022)
  • Pluto TV: Global ARPU, $1.64, Domestic ARPU, $2.54, advertising (Q4 2021)
  • Roku: Global ARPU, $44.25 trailing 12 months, Advertising (Q3 2022)
  • Starz: Domestic ARPU, “around $6”, Subscription (Q2 2022)
  • Vizio: Global ARPU, $27.69, trailing 12 months, Advertising (Q3 2022)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery: Global D2C ARPU, $7.52, Subscription plus advertising, HBO Max and Discovery+, does not include Cinemax, (Q3 2022)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery: Domestic D2C ARPU, $10.66, Subscription plus advertising, HBO Max and Discovery+, does not include Cinemax, (Q3 2022)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery: International D2C ARPU, $3.68, Subscription plus advertising, HBO Max and Discovery+, does not include Cinemax, (Q3 2022)

No ARPU data released for: AMC+, Acorn TV, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, CuriosityStream, DAZN, Epix, Freevee, MotorTrend TV, NFL+, Sling TV, Tubi, YouTube TV and many others.

Episode 45: Ramp, Qumu and The Switch Acquired; NFL Sunday Ticket Tech Specs; 2023 Market Drivers and Restraints

Podcast Episode 45 is live! This week we highlight some of the tech details released around the NFL Sunday Ticket package coming to YouTube TV, which won’t allow consumers to purchase the package per team or per game. We also discuss YouTube confirming that 4K video quality was not required as part of their deal with the NFL and what we think that impact could be. Also covered are the acquisitions of eCDN Ramp by Vbrick, The Switch by Tata Communications and Qumu by Enghouse Systems. We close out the podcast with our thoughts on how companies will grow in 2023, what the market drivers and restraints will be and how companies can and will grow in the New Year. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: YouTube TV, Netflix, NFL Sunday Ticket, Amazon Prime, Comcast, Disney, Apple, ESPN+, JioCinema, Video, Qumu, Ramp, Vbrick, The Switch, API. video.

Episode 44: Netflix’s AVOD Model Not Struggling; HBO Max Original Content Licensed to FAST Services; fuboTV Suffers Cyber Attack

Podcast Episode 44 is live! This week I highlight some of the recent news around Netflix’s AVOD business and the media’s ridiculous suggestion that Netflix is struggling after only six weeks. I also discuss why Warner Bros. Discovery has recently decided to license certain HBO and HBO Max original programming to third party FAST services, as a smart way to save money on residuals while making money on syndication. Also detailed are a news items from Peacock TV, fuboTV, Edgio, and Vimeo. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Netflix, Peacock TV, HBO Max, fuboTV, Edgio, Vimeo, Warner Bros. Discovery, JetBlue.

Enterprise Video Platform Qumu To Be Acquired for $18M by Enghouse Systems

Enterprise video platform Qumu, which spent over $150 million in the history of the company, is being acquired in cash for $0.90 per share, or approximately $18 million, by Ontario based Enghouse Systems. This marks the end for Qumu, formerly called Media Publisher, which struggled with every aspect of their business. Qumu had a long record of significant operating losses, even during favorable demand environments and at the end of Q3 2022, had only $6 million in cash and cash equivalents. The company reported negative $18 million in operating income in 2021 and in the past five years, averaged no revenue growth.

Qumu cycled through many executives at the CEO, CTO, CFO and CRO positions all of whom poorly executed on the business. Time and again the company hired management individuals with no prior experience in the video market, no insight into the competition and no real go-to-market plan for the company. Qumu was dependent on a small number of customers for the majority of their revenue and lacked a platform that could scale across a larger number of customers. I interacted with management multiple times and was always amazed at how they didn’t understand the needs of customers and was tone-deaf to current market conditions. The company announced their plans to merge with Synacor in 2021, which made no sense at the time, only to call off the deal four months later. In October 2021, Qumu’s management faced a big push back from some investors who detailed in a letter to Qumu’s board just how badly the business was doing and asked Qumu to seek a strategic sale process to benefit all shareholders.

On January 29, 2021, Qumu sold 3,708,750 shares at $6.75 per share in a secondary offering for net proceeds approximating $23.1 million and the next month, Qumu’s share price rose above $10 a share. 36-days later, on March 4, 2021, Qumu publicly released its 2020 financial results and 2021 guidance and reiterated its FY 2021 prior strong guidance. But then, only 60-days later, Qumu preannounced its second quarter results and strikingly changed its outlook and withdrew prior 2021 guidance. Qumu’s stock quickly fell to under $2 per share and shareholders demanded Qumu engage an investment bank for the sale of Qumu.

Qumu’s press release about their Q2 2021 financials shows just how tone-deaf management was to the market, talking to their “strategic roadmap” and their progress in undergoing a “significant business transformation”, all the while highlighting how little insight they had into their business. The company called out several challenges they were facing including business ramping “more slowly than expected”, the sales force not being “aligned”, underestimating a “quicker ramp in sales” and their ability to “effectively communicate” the value of their platform. The company highlighted these as “temporary growing pains”, even though the financial numbers told a very negative story. Over the past 18-months, multiple PE firms looked at Qumu’s business but quickly decided the numbers simply didn’t make sense for an acquisition.

In the press release announcing the deal, Qumu’s chairman of the board believes the transaction with Enghouse Systems “will deliver excellent value to our shareholders”, which is pretty laughable. Two years ago, Qumu’s stock price was over $10 a share and 12-months ago it hovered around $2 a share. Exiting at a price of $0.90 per share isn’t what anyone would consider to be “excellent value”. Enghouse Systems says the deal for Qumu is expected to close in February of next year.

Episode 43: Netflix Says Sports Isn’t Profitable; Paramount Warns of Declining Ad Revenue; Caesars Sportsbook App Streams a Low Latency NFL Game

Podcast Episode 43 is live! This week we breakdown the launch of AVOD on Disney+; the news by Paramount’s CEO of declining advertising revenue in this quarter; Netflix’s comment that licensing sports content isn’t profitable; NBCU’s announcement that Peacock has more than 18 million paid subscribers; how Netflix’s open source deal with GPAC gives them a competitive advantage for video packaging; and we detail Caesars streaming an NFL game via live low latency in the Caesars Sportsbook app. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Disney, Netflix, Peacock TV, Apple, Paramount, Microsoft, Caesars, Activision Blizzard, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, FTC.

Episode 42: Breaking Down The World Cup TV and Streaming Viewership Numbers

Podcast Episode 42 is live! This week we breakdown many of the World Cup TV and streaming viewership numbers from around the world, with most outlets not breaking out streaming only data. We also discuss the latest comments from Disney and Netflix’s CEOs around their ad supported models. Also covered, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Diamond Sports Q3 earnings (Net loss of $1.2B); Yahoo’s 30-year deal with Taboola; NFL TV viewership numbers and the latest conflicting numbers around churn. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Disney, Netflix, Apple, MLB, Sinclair, Diamond Sports, Ballys Sports+, Yahoo, Taboola, Paramount, Antenna, Warner Bros Discovery, World Cup, BBC, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, NFL.

FIFA World Cup TV and Streaming Viewership Numbers

Here’s a list of some TV and streaming viewerships numbers I’ve seen reported from the around the world for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Note that almost every number given out combines TV and streaming and does not break out streaming only viewers or define what a “viewer” is:

  • BBC: England versus Wales saw a peak audience of 18.7M across the UK public service broadcaster’s platforms including linear television, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.
  • Germany: versus Japan match drew 9.2M viewers for German public service broadcaster ARD, according to audience measurement specialist AGF, a decline of 64% from 2018.
  • Japan: versus Costa Rica match had 36.3M viewers and was 74% higher than the average domestic group stage audience during the 2018 event.
  • Portugal: versus Uruguay had 5.35 million viewers, (users who watched at least one minute of coverage) the highest TV audience in Portugal for a FIFA World Cup match ever.
  • Korea: versus Uruguay had 11.1M viewers, a 97% increase in audience compared to group stage matches at Brazil 2014; and 18% higher Russia 2018.
  • Spain: versus Germany had an audience of 11.9M across coverage on La1 and GOL MUNDIAL, exceeding the audience of any group stage game for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
  • Mexico: versus Argentina delivered a national audience of 20.9M viewers. The combined share across three channels broadcasting the game was 67.9%.
  • France: versus Denmark on TF1 averaged an audience of 11.6M viewers and peaked in the closing minutes of the match as 14.5M.
  • Netherlands: versus Ecuador, 76.6% of all people watching TV in the Netherlands saw the game. This was the highest TV audience in the country in 2022 and greater than any match during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
  • India: JioCinema says the World Cup final between Argentina and France attracted 11 million concurrent users on JioCinema with the average viewing time of 30-minutes per match. What’s unique about the 11 million number given out is the reference to “concurrent” streams, since others have only reported numbers using the “users” or “viewers” metric, which is not concurrent.
  • USA: Fox Sports, Brazil-Serbia scored 6.1M viewers across FOX and FOX Sports streaming services. It peaked at 13.4M viewers making it the most-watched non-U.S World Cup Group Stage telecast on record for English language TV.
  • USA: Fox Sports, the opening match of Ecuador’s versus Qatar had 3.2M viewers across FS1 and FOX Sports streaming services.
  • USA: Fox Sports, the Portugal versus Uruguay match peaked at 4.5M viewers and the peak for Brazil versus Switzerland was 3.6M.
  • USA: FOX Sports viewing numbers for the World Cup final was 16.7 million viewers, both TV and streaming combined.
  • USA: NBC Sports, Spanish-language coverage of Qatar versus Ecuador averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 4M viewers across Telemundo, Peacock and Telemundo digital platforms. The Average Minute Audience (AMA) was 832,000.
  • USA: Telemundo’s exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.58 million viewers across Telemundo, Universo, Peacock and Telemundo streaming platforms. The Argentina v. France Final on Sun., Dec. 18, was the most-watched match of the tournament in Spanish with a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 9.0 million viewers.
  • USA: NBC Sports, Through the first six days, the 2022 FIFA World Cup averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 2.4M viewers for 20 games, up 14% vs. the 2018 tournament (2.1M).

I will add to the list as more numbers come out.

Podcast Episode 41: Bob Iger Comes Back As CEO of Disney, Why It Matters; Apple Details MLS Pricing and Video Quality

Podcast Episode 41 is live! This week we discuss Bob Iger coming back to Disney as the CEO and the impact it could have around Disney’s DTC business involving bundling, pricing, sports licensing and improving Disney’s balance sheet. We also highlight the new details Apple released around their MLS streaming service, MLS Season Pass, which will offer 1080p/60 video, launching in February for $15 a month or $100 for the year. Also included in the discussion is a list of all the Black Friday streaming deals and the negative impact that has on ARPU for streaming services. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Disney, Netflix, WarnerBros. Discovery, Disney+, Apple TV+, MLS, MLB, Hulu, Peacock TV, Paramount+, Discovery+, Roku, DISH, Amagi.

Netflix’s Open Source Deal with GPAC Gives Them a Competitive Advantage for Video Packaging

Motion Spell, the exclusive commercial licensor of GPAC, announced the conclusion of an 18-month transition phase working with Netflix for the integration of GPAC Open Source Software into Netflix’s worldwide content operations. This gives Netflix a lot of flexibility and being able to adopt new technologies, especially with them having recently started publishing AOM’s AV1 packages. From a competitive landscape standpoint, it also gives Netflix an advantage allowing them to move faster than their competitors.

Whether Netflix wants to do interactivity (e.g. Bandersnatch), live streaming or experiment with new codecs (xHE-AAC), the GPAC based solutions enable it. Speed is key and it seems that Netflix is moving faster than their competitors. But it’s not only Netflix. Facebook also recently mentioned how they leveraged GPAC’s MP4Box to alleviate Instagram’s video compute times by 94%. This choice prevented a shortage within 12 months in the capacity to provide video uploads for everyone.

Internally, GPAC came out as the best packager as a result of Netflix’s internal evaluations and while Netflix doesn’t communicate openly about the cost effectiveness on their business, there is value is the cost efficiency. “Open-source software is free. There are licensing costs, of course, but also distribution costs. Being smart and using an efficient packager should not be underestimated. The real question for any streaming service is, how much does a bad packager cost them? GPAC is free, efficient and flexible. GPAC is efficient because the GPAC source code has been scrutinized by thousands of eyes. For most companies, in an area where almost nobody is profitable, cost is important,” says Romain Bouqueau, CEO, Motion Spell.

Choosing GPAC also allows Netflix to play their part as a leader. For example, Netflix gives weight to some MPEG standardization contributions supported by the GPAC team and Netflix has also paved the way around accessibility in OTT. GPAC is quickly becoming an infrastructure for content packaging. GPAC’s model towards business is to rely on the combination of offering commercial licenses and professional services (Motion Spell’s GPAC Licensing).

GPAC makes all of this possible because the project has its roots in multimedia in the widest sense – not only TV-like experiences. It is a true open-source project with a community made of enthusiasts, researchers, and commercial users.

Podcast Episode 40: Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney CEO’s Discuss Churn, Pricing, Bundling and Focus on Profitability, Not Sub Count

Podcast Episode 40 is live! This week we discuss the recent comments from Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO around profitability, retention, windowing, bundling and pricing of HBO Max and Discovery+. Profitability, not purely sub count is how they benchmark for success. We also discuss his comments on how collapsing all windows, starving linear and theatrical and spending money with abandon, while making a fraction in return on the service of growing sub numbers, has ultimately proven to be deeply flawed. On the topic of churn, we point out what the industry is getting wrong with their assumptions and highlight the recent comments from Disney’s CEO, who said that price increases don’t meaningfully increase churn or cancellations. We also recap Q3 earnings from Disney, Vizio, Akamai, Edgio, Kaltura. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Disney, Netflix, WarnerBros. Discovery, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock TV, Vizio, LG, Akamai, Amagi, Edgio, Kaltura, FTX.

Podcast Episode 39: Q3 Earnings Recap from Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Roku, Fubo, WarnerBros. Discovery, FOX, Vimeo, Brightcove and Fastly

Podcast Episode 39 is live! This week we breakdown all the key numbers you need to know from Q3 2022 earnings from OTT companies and streaming vendors including Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Roku, Fubo, WarnerBros. Discovery, FOX, Vimeo, Brightcove, Fastly, Cloudflare, Altice, DISH, Lionsgate and AMC Networks. Learn the latest D2C subscriber numbers, ARPU per user and how much money OTT platforms are still losing (Disney lost $1.47B, Paramount lost $343M). Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Roku, Fubo, WarnerBros. Discovery, FOX, Vimeo, Brightcove, Fastly, Cloudflare, Altice, DISH, Lionsgate, AMC Networks, Charter, Xumo, Tubi, NPR+.

Podcast Episode 38: Why Micro-Wagering Within Sports Streaming Services Is a Fantasy; Updated Sports Viewing Numbers

Podcast Episode 38 is live! This week we breakdown Fubo’s decision to close and exit the Sportsbook market along with DAZN’s comments that betting within streaming services isn’t a reality in the next few years. We also highlight some new sports viewership numbers from NBC Sports and NFL; cover some recent pay TV losses by pay TV providers; detail Apple’s new Apple TV boxes and discuss the NBA’s new app that has 12-seconds of latency. Finally, while almost no video vendors are profitable, let alone seeing a positive return on their stock price over the past 12-18 months, we detail the numbers that make Harmonic the exception. Thanks to this week’s podcast sponsor, Agora.

Companies, and services mentioned: Netflix, NBC Sports, Apple TV, Harmonic, Vimeo, NBA, NFL+, MLB, Amazon Prime Video, Verizon, DAZN, Fubo, Disney.