Optical/IP Networks

Going Gaga Over OTT

Light Reading is launching an OTT Video Briefing Center, a little space where we'll round up all the news and information that we cover relating to the fast-growing realm of over-the-top Internet video.

As you might expect, there has been a lot of news lately around OTT video, and there are many different aspects to this phenomenon. So let's start with a short history lesson.

OTT video began to take hold in the middle of the previous decade, with user-generated content such as YouTube taking off first. Here's a blast from the past -- some 2006 coverage of OTT's early days:

Now, YouTube is now part of Google, every major TV network is sharing much of its content online and major sports leagues make money selling their games as well. So the OTT story is now evolving in a few directions.

Foremost in the minds of pay-TV providers such as cable companies and telcos is the impact of OTT on their ability to continue selling their own video offerings. A spate of cord-cutting that began in earnest in 2008 has raised concerns, but of late, those are being largely dismissed.

Broadband service providers are still aware, however, that consumers are learning to love watching video in places other than the family room, and many have developed OTT and/or multi-screen strategies to capitalize on that interest. Here's a sampling of our coverage of those efforts:

Those same service providers are worried that OTT video, particularly streaming movies from companies such as Netflix, will soak up vast amounts of bandwidth without generating any new income. That has lead to discussions of metered bandwidth and new pricing schemes, which have in turn generated opposition from those who believe any restrictions on bandwidth consumption unfairly punish consumers and threaten innovation. The FCC attempted to address this debate with its net-neutrality ruling in December, but its compromise failed to please either side, and is now being challenged in court. Here's a look at how we covered these issues.

And finally, the rise of smartphones is making OTT video a mobile opportunity/challenge/headache, depending on your perspective. Because of the limited bandwidth availability of wireless spectrum, it is more likely that service providers will need to use pricing and policy to be more creative in what they offer.

Keep checking back, as we'll have much more about OTT Video to report in the days to come.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:05:48 PM
re: Going Gaga Over OTT

For a recent but not surprising take on the current battle for hearts and minds, see this recent comment article about the power of cinema/moviehouse



Sign In