The video broadcasting wars are heating up. Where we used to only have Google’s Hangouts, now we have services tied to Twitter for real time live streaming video and chat. Let’s take a quick look at Periscope, currently only available for iOS
Four years ago, on an entirely different blog, I lobbied Skype for a professional grade audio/video service. That day might be arriving soon…
Unveiled two days ago, Skype took the wraps off of their new broadcast-grade service dubbed “Skype TX”. Built on their acquisition of Cat and Mouse technology, they’ve developed a hardware and software combo which should deliver high quality video calling globally. Adding to a suite of tools already available to help producers integrate video content into their programs, Skype TX should be available later this year.
Me from four years ago would be very excited. Full PR below with more details on the service. Continue reading “Professional Broadcast Streaming Video Coming From Skype TX”
It’s Saturday! Which means we spend the morning wrapping up all the week’s tech news. Catch opinions from the editors of Boored At Work, Mobile Burn, BWOne, and yours truly as we chat out this week’s headlines.
On the docket:
- Nexus 5 is ALIVE
- We ask for more Android 4.4
- Lenovo’s Yoga bends and twists our opinions
- What’s up with the PS4 and MP3’s
- And The Verge wins our USELESS award of the week
Sit back and relax. We’ve got tech to talk!
Currently available in only seven states, Aereo streams TV over the internet for $8 a month. Unlike Hulu or Netflix which have to enter into costly negotiations and pay huge licensing fees for content, Aereo streams basic HD TV, much like you can get on an Over the Air Antenna. The company is able to skirt that expense by pulling a little old school trickery. For every customer who signs up, Aereo operates a separate HD antenna just for them. You’re essentially paying for mobility and cloud storage, the ability to watch TV on any gadget you want, anywhere you have data.
Unsurprisingly, TV networks aren’t thrilled with this business model, and you can imagine the courtroom battles taking place over who owns what, and how content can be distributed. The most recent salvo is a copyright dispute, and leading up to the trial broadcasters filed an injunction to pull the plug on Aereo.
This morning Boston Judge Nathaniel Gorton refused to grant the injunction, saying in his ruling that Aereo better resembled a DVR, and that Aereo did not resemble other services which illegally rebroadcast content. When elaborating on claims that this service was financially harming broadcasters, Judge Gorton acknowledged that Aereo could pose a long term threat to traditional distribution, but that it didn’t appear to be causing any such harm currently.
Aereo is free to continue operating leading up to the trial, and then there will be another fight to help define the boundaries of digital media and distribution. It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives to their current relationships with carriers and broadcasters.
Read the full court transcript after the jump.
We can all agree that Nielsen’s model of ranking television is woefully dated. This antiquated notion of sampling individual families and asking them to log what they watch and when they watch it. All of this fantastic technology, you’d think by now there would be a way for users to opt-in to a piece of software which can be run as an app on a DVR or TIVO. Alas, we still don’t have that, but Nielsen is trying to take some steps to track the popularity of content moving forward.
Their preferred platform to watch? Twitter.
Now I’m not saying this is a bad idea. Twitter has shown a terrific aptitude for being culturally relevant down to the instant news might hit the internet. Those momentary and temporary interactions are great for surveying a general sense of a trend, but the biggest issue in social media metrics is tracking actual engagement. Often when using Twitter as benchmark we can only confidently talk about “potential impressions”. I have a couple thousand followers on Twitter, so when I tweet, there’s the POTENTIAL for a couple thousand people to encounter my message. There is, however, no concrete way to determine how many of my followers stopped to actually read my tweet.
Which is why Nielsen’s announcement is so perplexing to me. My DVR knows what I watch and when I watch it, even when I’m watching live TV. It knows how long I watched a show, exactly when I turned it off, if I returned to finish a show, and whether I wanted to keep it stored on my drive. It also is able to serve me recommendations based on what I’ve watched in the past. If we’re looking for relevance, for actual metrics on TV viewing, this to me would be a more appropriate first line to partner up with.
Neilsen’s notion that they can derive viewership based on authored tweets, and extrapolate that out to people who aren’t tweeting but still watching TV seems even less accurate than their current method of tracking viewership.
I get it. Twitter is hip right now. But the other issue is one of institution. Neilsen still looks like it’s operating with the notion that once a system is constructed that operating within that structure will provide meaningful results. The way communication is generated online evolves on a daily basis, and each individual network has it’s own etiquette which also adapts to changing trends. Whats vogue today might not be tomorrow, and viewership probably changes by platform. Meaning, you’ll be likely to see some subtle yet unique trends in viewership moving from Twitter to Facebook to Google Plus to Reddit, etc.
Combining that data with location becomes vital, not only the physical presence of where a person was when watching, but whether it came from terrestrial “air”, cable, or some web portal like Hulu or Netflix. Decisions are made every day on renewing or cancelling shows based on data generated by services like Nielsen, but I’m not sure their new strategy here is really going to make them more relevant…
In light of their upcoming IPO though, this is fantastic news for Twitter.
Read Nielsen’s full statement after the jump. Continue reading “Nielsen, Twitter, and making sense of changing metrics”