Paul Sweeting

HBO Now Coming to Google Play and Chromecast 

HBO Now, the premium cable programmer’s standalone streaming service, will be available this summer in the Google Play store for a range of Android devices including Chromecast.

The service — previously available only through Apple TV and Cablevision Systems — will be coming to Google devices in the near future, said Google senior VP Sundar Pichai, who made the announcement at the Google I/O developers conference Thursday in San Francisco. In addition, he said the company will bring HBO Now and HBO Go to the Android TV connected-television platform.

Source: HBO Now Coming to Google Play and Chromecast | Variety

AT&T, DirecTV push back against restrictions on proposed merger

AT&T and DirecTV are pushing back against conditions other companies want to impose on their proposed merger.

“Opponents continue to propose a laundry list of additional conditions that are unrelated to this transaction, unnecessary to address any transaction-specific harm, or both,” the companies said in a filing posted by the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday.

Source: AT&T, DirecTV push back against restrictions on proposed merger | TheHill

Periscope, media companies talking about anti-piracy tech 

Live streaming-video app Periscope and media companies are discussing how to address piracy on the new service, but Periscope says technological fixes many programmers want are difficult to do in real time.

Periscope, which was bought by Twitter earlier this year, faced scrutiny after several high-profile television events, including the HBO prize fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” April premiere, were illegally broadcast through the app, which sends a video stream from a phone directly to the Internet.

Source: Periscope, media companies talking about anti-piracy tech | Reuters

Silicon Valley Races to Make TV the Next Frontier for Apps

After many misfires, Silicon Valley is once again betting it can transform television—this time by letting TVs run apps as diverse as those on smartphones. Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are urging software developers to show the kind of creativity on the big screen that they have on smartphones. The effort revolves around new set-top boxes and TV sets, which the technology companies are positioning as platforms for all manner of interactive experiences in addition to conventional television programming.

Source: Silicon Valley Races to Make TV the Next Frontier for Apps – WSJ

Mary Meeker delivers 2015 digital trends report 

One of the most-watched digital reports of the year is out—Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends—and it shows just how much room mobile advertising has to grow. Meeker runs digital investments for top Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and every year she releases a comprehensive breakdown of the entire Web landscape.

Source: Mary Meeker delivers 2015 digital trends report | Adweek

Cisco VNI Report Shows Set-Top Shift 

According to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), media streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast will make up 7% of global Internet set-tops by 2019, nearly tripling their count of 64.4 million total media adapters last year to 181.2 million adapters five years later. More impressively, traffic from these media adapters will reach 32% of global Internet set-top traffic by 2019. That’s a jump from .68 exabytes per month in 2014 to 3.43 exabytes per month as the decade reaches its final year.

Source: Cisco VNI Report Shows Set-Top Shift | Light Reading

Buckle up, IP traffic, driven by video, set to triple by 2019

Operators have begun to talk about 1-gig Internet services as table stakes, which is a good thing because IP traffic – much of it video – is set to triple to more than 2 zettabytes by 2019.

IP video traffic also is expected to triple by 2019, according to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI), increasing to 79% of all IP traffic from 66% in 2014 and, in the process, creating scalability and bandwidth challenges for service providers.

Source: Buckle up, IP traffic, driven by video, set to triple by 2019

Here’s what Charter customers can look forward to next.

Rutledge also hinted in an interview with CNBC that Charter might someday offer its own Netflix-like streaming video app. And, in what will likely be even shorter time frame, Charter plans to roll out a new customer interface that lists streaming video content right alongside programming from the cable lineup, blending so-called over-the-top video that relies on an Internet connection with more traditional TV offerings.

“All of that product can be integrated into our new user interface that will allow customers to seamlessly move between over-the-top and cable on every device that they own,” Rutledge told CNBC.

Source: Charter says it’s buying Time Warner Cable. Here’s what customers can look forward to next. – The Washington Post

Broadband at the Center of Charter-Time Warner Cable Deal 

Executives said the acquisitions would create a stronger national player that would offer faster services meant for watching online video and playing games, as well as new out-of-home wireless Internet options. They even raised the possibility of introducing a national streaming television service that would not require a traditional cable subscription.

Source: Broadband at the Center of Charter-Time Warner Cable Deal – NYTimes.com

HBO NOW Survey Hints Network May Consider Reduced Pricing 

At $15 per month, is HBO NOW too expensive when competing against lower-cost services like Netflix and Amazon Prime? That’s what the network wants to know, and it’s currently asking customers who have recently completed their trial of the new, over-the-top streaming service if they would be interested in subscribing at lower price points. The company even specifically suggests a few new pricing tiers to consider, including a three-month subscription for $29.99, six months for $59.99, or a year for $99.99.

Source: HBO NOW Survey Hints Network May Consider Reduced Pricing | TechCrunch

Snapchat Will Let Users Watch Videos Without Using Their Thumbs 

Snapchat befuddles lots of new users, and Evan Spiegel says that’s not the worst thing in the world. “There’s a bit of a learning curve,” he told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the Code Conference. “That’s what makes it fun.”

But the Snapchat CEO says his messaging service is likely to make at least one tweak that will make it easier to use: It will probably stop requiring users to hold their thumb on the screen while they watch a video.

Source: Snapchat Will Let Users Watch Videos Without Using Their Thumbs | Re/code

Netflix projected to top 100 million subscribers by 2020: report 

Netflix is on track to garner 103.5 million global subscribers by 2020 — a five-fold growth in five years — with revenues approaching $7 billion in the U.S. and $10 billion internationally, according to a new report by New York-based financial-analysis firm Cowen and Company.

Source: Netflix projected to top 100 million subscribers by 2020: report » StreamDaily

TiVO Planning ‘Legal Version of Aereo’ 

TiVo is cooking up a new, legal version of Aereo after recently acquiring the bankrupt company’s brand and assets on the cheap at auction. TiVo spent $1 million for customer rolls and patents back in November, and now says they plan to announced a better, legal version of the service. Details are scarce, but TiVO CEO Tom Rogers suggests that the company is building something they hope will appeal to cable operators:

Source: TiVO Planning ‘Legal Version of Aereo’ | DSLReports, ISP Information

Half of Media Executives Want an Acquisition Within a Year: Survey 

Media and entertainment executives are so bullish on their industry that half are itching to make an acquisition during the next 12 months, according to a new report from EY (formerly Ernst & Young). The research firm surveyed 70 M&E execs on a range of issues, including mergers. In 2013, only 23 percent of the executives said they’d pursue an acquisition within 12 months; in 2014, the figure had climbed to 40 percent. Now it’s 50 percent, and among those, 89 percent are looking at foreign companies.

Source: Half of Media Executives Want an Acquisition Within a Year: Survey – Hollywood Reporter