Light Reading

Mobile Video's Time Is Now

Kaps Korner
Kaps Korner
Kaps Korner
1/12/2012
50%
50%

10:30 AM -- LAS VEGAS -- 2012 International CES -- Write it down, bookmark it, do whatever you need to draw a line in the virtual sand: 2012 will be the year that mobile video emerges as a major force moving producers, service providers and the world's biggest business brands delivering viewable content.

Anywhere you looked at CES this year there was proof that mobile video was not just the next big thing, but the big thing that was happening now. From cellular providers angling to get consumers using high-speed data on as many devices as possible to back-end gear suppliers looking to ease the distribution channels, to content providers looking for Web-based outlets, mobile video was a main topic of interest. And the good news is, it should mean a bigger economic pie with pieces for everyone, up and down the entire mobile-video food chain.

To be sure, there are still headaches and barriers to consumption that must be eliminated -- like ESPN's weird gymnastics of cable-service authentication necessary to watch games on mobile devices. And there are still some exclusive rights, like Verizon's exclusive NFL contract for mobile, that inhibit widespread adoption by tying mobile consumption to a single provider or platform. But that's normal for early-days adoption. When cable started out, it offered mostly reruns and the big question was whether it would attract advertisers. Now look at cable. All growed up and has eaten broadcast's breakfast, lunch and dinner. Web video will follow a similar path, perhaps more complementary than destructive. But it's not a future idea. It's here. Now.

For cellular carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless, mobile video is the answer when the question is "why do I need a 4G link in my phone or tablet?" At AT&T's developer summit here on Monday there was the usual announcement of an assortment of new smartphones -- but what really stood out were some video-dedicated devices, like gaming-centric platforms from Sony and the Samsung Note, a phone/tablet hybrid whose 5-inch fat-boy screen is clearly not there just to make text messages look better. (See AT&T Promises Superfast 'Blended 4G'.)

Intel's Inside Track
You couldn't miss the message about mobile video at Intel CEO Paul Otellini's keynote speech Tuesday afternoon. Otellini harped frequently on video capabilities of the company's "reference designs" for phones, tablets and the new lean ultrabook laptops, with one of the latter's cool features being an origami-like folding trick that lets you turn the thin PC into a tablet perfectly angled for video viewing -- "even if the guy in front of you puts his seat back," Otellini said.

Light Reading regulars of course know all about the gymnastics necessary on the back end to make that video stream available to all kinds of devices, and Cisco was here talking about the latest tweaks to its Videoscape system, designed to make life easier for the service provider. But perhaps what was most telling was the talk and attitude being shown by the entities who control the content -- mainly the big media companies -- who now seem to be falling over themselves trying to find ways to get over-the-top video over the market-acceptance hump. (See Cisco's Videoscape Stresses Cloud Control.)

"If Web video was touted in 2010 and came to fruition in 2011, in 2012 it's now part of the plan," said Scot McLernon, chief revenue officer for YuMe, which provides ad-serving tools for mobile video outlets. According to McLernon and other participants on a mobile-video panel Tuesday, it's no longer a question of if or when advertising will come to mobile video. Now it's simply a question of how much.

"If you name an area [of business] or name a major advertiser, they're probably already doing something with us or with Hulu or with others," McLernon said. "They just have to decide how much it makes sense for them to spend."

The big sticking point in the past -- whether or not entities like major motion picture houses were willing to put their top content out online -- is also quickly becoming moot, as working models like Hulu, YuMe and others sign up customers with real money to spend. The extra income also makes worries like security and concerns about piracy recede in importance, as (like Apple did with iTunes) enough people pay for content to keep the creators happy.

"The more money I bring to the table, the less worries I hear about from Paramount about security," said Emil Rensing, chief digital officer at Epix, the "next-generation multiplatform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand, and online service" whose EpixHD service brings top-end movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM to the Internet and mobile devices. "When they start worrying about those things I say, 'did you see the check I brought in? I think we're good, guys.'"

And it's not just the big companies who are making a few more bucks off their blockbuster movies so you can watch it on an iPad in the tub. Web-only players, both small and large, are finding paying audiences for their work, either through syndicators like YuMe or just tapping their own audiences, like the recently famous $5 video that netted comedian Louis CK a profit in the six figures.

"There's an incredible amount of opportunity [for content creators] at all kinds of price points," said David Gale, executive vice president at MTV's MTVX division. "The Louis CK thing rang a big bell. It shows that creative people can continue to push the envelope."

"I don't know what content creators need to get paid, but we're writing some pretty substantial checks," said YuMe's McLernon, who said the company has more than 600 providers who use its service. "That's a lot more outlets for consumers to find that content," he said.

— Paul Kapustka, who knows content when he sees it, is editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report. Special to Light Reading.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
kelliott14
50%
50%
kelliott14,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:45:37 PM
re: Mobile Video's Time Is Now


Great insight Paul and completely agree. According to media analysts Nielsen, 30 million people watched video on their mobile phones in 2011. As numbers like this only grow, how will service providers cope with the increase in demand & the strain this places on their networks? Video viewership is largely responsible for congestion. When I'm watching mobile video, I expect a certain level of quality. How important will it be for providers to understand their networks & allow for a better user experience? Thanks.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:45:27 PM
re: Mobile Video's Time Is Now


@kelliott14, I think it's safe to say that video transport is the no. 1 concern of every mobile provider out there right now. Verizon is doing a bunch of gymnastics after finding out in 2011 that different devices behave differently on the client side, so they are busy "optimizing" video for each handset... a messy problem that you are bound to hear more about.


My guess is that you will start to see some of this become an asset -- as in higher prices for better guaranteed delivery of video. It's going to cause some net neutrality headaches but basically there is no way around this, as people ask for more video the networks are going to get overloaded so price differentiation is the only way out.


I would say that all the big carriers basically "get it" about the need to optimize for video. Now will they actually perform under stress? That's something for LR Mobile to keep a close eye on.

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:45:27 PM
re: Mobile Video's Time Is Now


@kelliott14, I think it's safe to say that video transport is the no. 1 concern of every mobile provider out there right now. Verizon is doing a bunch of gymnastics after finding out in 2011 that different devices behave differently on the client side, so they are busy "optimizing" video for each handset... a messy problem that you are bound to hear more about.


My guess is that you will start to see some of this become an asset -- as in higher prices for better guaranteed delivery of video. It's going to cause some net neutrality headaches but basically there is no way around this, as people ask for more video the networks are going to get overloaded so price differentiation is the only way out.


I would say that all the big carriers basically "get it" about the need to optimize for video. Now will they actually perform under stress? That's something for LR Mobile to keep a close eye on.

More Blogs from Kaps Korner
7:00 AM What prevents more companies from building seamless networks made of stitched-together hot spots?
6:00 AM With nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi, industry folks and academics are looking to unlicensed spectrum to expand broadband's reach and cut down on its costs
12:30 PM Here's what you need to know if you have a mobile device or a connected laptop
11:15 AM Gig.U says it has received replies to its RFI from major vendors and service providers. Are university-led gigabit networks sounding less far-fetched?
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Stephen Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
Apple's New iPhones Have 20 LTE Bands, VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/9/2014
T-Mobile Accuses Huawei of Espionage
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/9/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed