xOD Capsule - August 29, 2007

Tue, 08/28/2007 - 8:00pm
Traci Patterson
   August 29, 2007

All we are saying is give peace a chance
A new IBM online survey, which measures digital media and entertainment habits, suggests that personal Internet time rivals TV time, according to IBM. Other recent studies suggest the opposite, and I agree with them.

Among consumer respondents of the IBM survey, 19 percent reported spending six hours or more per day on personal Internet usage. Only 9 percent of respondents reported the same levels of TV usage.

And 66 percent reported viewing between one to four hours of TV per day, versus 60 percent who reported the same levels of personal Internet usage, giving the two mediums near-equal footing as entertainment sources.

Media Entertainment
Image courtesy of IBM

"Consumers are demonstrating their desire for both wired and wireless access to content: an average of 81 percent of consumers surveyed globally indicated they've watched or want to watch PC video, and an average of 42 percent indicated they've watched or want to watch mobile video," said Bill Battino, Communications Sector managing partner for IBM Global Business Services. "Given the rising power of individuals and communities, media and entertainment industry players will have to become much better at providing permission-based advertising and related consumer-driven ratings services."

Saul Berman, IBM Media & Entertainment Strategy and Change practice leader, said: "The Internet is becoming consumers' primary entertainment source. The TV is increasingly taking a back seat to the cell phone and the personal computer among consumers age 18 to 34."

But a six-month study recently commissioned by CTAM, that used Nielsen info, found that traditional TV ratings are minimally, if at all, affected by broadband video viewing.

The research indicated that online video usage supplements traditional TV viewing overall. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed indicated that watching video over broadband Internet increased their TV viewing time, as opposed to 13 percent who indicated that it decreased their traditional TV viewing.

There are parts of the IBM survey that are pleasant for cable ops, such as the 33 percent of respondents in the U.S. that reported watching more TV content than before the DVR came out. I can personally attest to this.

And although Internet viewing time may rival TV viewing time, it doesn't mean that people aren't utilizing both mediums at the same time, or that people are watching video online during that time. They may be using Photoshop, checking their horoscope or shopping for a used car.

Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform, said at The Cable Show that there is a lean-forward, interactive and on-demand viewing experience, but that there is also a quality leanback experience, and that the two can peacefully coexist. TV is not going away, especially if it changes with the times—and so far it is. I just wish that all TV content was currently available on-demand . . . .

The full IBM survey results are available for free download here. The survey's respondents included more than 2,400 HH in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan and Australia.

 —Traci Patterson, Web/News Editor - CED, Editor - xOD Capsule

TWC uses TandbergTV's platform for small-market VOD deployment
In order to provide VOD services to its small market subscribers, Time Warner Cable is utilizing Tandberg Television's OpenStream digital services platform.

OpenStream digital services platform
TandbergTV's OpenStream digital services platform

With TandbergTV's system, TWC can manage the VOD services from its headquarters in Denver and deliver content nationwide via satellite distribution. TWC will also utilize TandbergTV's Xport Producer to provide local on-demand content tailored to each location.

Four markets—Clarksburg, W.Va.; Dothan, Ala.; Fort Benning, Ga.; and Terre Haute, Ind.—are now live, and the company plans to expand services to 10 additional cities by the end of the year, for a total of 14 deployments in 11 states.

Cox picks BigBand for first SDV deployment
Cox Communications has joined the switched digital party by rolling out the technology with BigBand Networks in its northern Virginia system.

D5 Universal eQAM
Arris' D5 Universal eQAM

Cox is now the third feather in BigBand's SDV hat after previous deployments with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. Comcast has been slower with the uptake of SDV, but it's conducting trials in Denver and New Jersey, and last month the MSO picked Arris' eQAM offering to deliver SDV, VOD and other services over a shared infrastructure.

Cox will start looking at sharing resources between SDV and VOD via eQAMs next year, according to James Kelso, Cox's VP of video engineering. "On the data front, it's unclear how big a benefit that will be over time, but there's always a benefit to knocking down walls between services."

Study: DVRs in one of every five U.S. households
According to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), DVRs are now in more than one of every five households in the U.S., which is up from one of every 13 households two years ago.

"Fueled by a continued push from cable and DBS providers offering combination HD/DVR set-top boxes, LRG forecasts that the number of U.S. households with DVRs will grow to over 60 million by the end of 2011," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "The growth of DVRs does not mean that the era of live TV viewing has ended—LRG estimates that 95 percent of all TV viewing in the U.S. is still of live TV."

According to the research, while 84 percent of DVR owners rate the ability to skip commercials as very important, just 8 percent of DVR owners say it is the greatest benefit of having a DVR, which must be music to the ears of advertisers and ad agencies. The study also found that 53 percent of DVR owners also own an HDTV set, and that the mean household income of DVR owners is 33 percent above the U.S. average.


Verizon launches interactive guide in Calif.
Verizon has introduced FiOS TV's interactive media guide to its California customers. Earlier this week, Verizon launched the guide to its subscribers in Maryland and Virginia.

interactive media guide
Verizon's interactive media guide - VOD poster view

The free guide—available to FiOS TV subscribers in parts of Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island—allows users to navigate through TV listings, VOD catalogues and DVR libraries, as well as personal music and photos. Future versions of the guide will add Internet radio, videos, podcasts and games to the FiOS TV multimedia platform, the company said.

Games are most popular online app
According to a new study from Parks Associates, playing games remains the most popular category of online apps, with video downloads and social networking trailing.

The report shows that 34 percent of U.S. adult Internet users play online games on a weekly basis, while 29 percent watch online videos and 19 percent visit social networking sites.

Videogame consoles to drive DMA market
Home videogame consoles will play a large role in driving the market for digital media adapters (DMAs), according to a new report from ABI Research.

ABI predicted that by 2012, the DMA market will include 184 million deployed devices, with 85 percent of those embedded within video game consoles.

UGC will be key issues series at Cable Days 2007
The Cable Center and the University of Colorado's Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program will host the Key Issues Series: "The Future of User-Generated Content" on Oct. 10 at The Cable Center, as part of Cable Days 2007.

• TV advertisers adopt systems to play cross-platform ads, according to MediaPost.

• YouTube debuts online video advertising strategy, reported by Reuters.

• 'Hey! Nielsen,' why are you going viral? Researcher develops social network to measure TV, Internet, music and celebrities, according to MediaPost.


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