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.
- IPTV Bogeymen: 2 Down, 1 Still Looms
- OTT Not Yet Impacting Global IPTV
- Is OTT Video Peaking?
- Can Netflix Keep Flying?
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:
- The Rise of Cable Apps
- Monetizing Multi-Screen Mania
- Dish Paves Way for Streaming-Only Option
- What's Holding Back the SuperCDNs?
- Is Roku a 'Virtual MSO'?
- Roku Scores First OTT Cable Deal
- CES: Cisco Unveils Master Plan for Video
- ActiveVideo, Funai Enter the TV Cloud
- LR Lists Top Cable Counterstrikes of 2010
- Over the Top in Toledo
- Telstra Does OTT IPTV With Widevine
- TiVo, Roku Hook Up Hulu Plus
- Is Google TV Right for Service Providers?
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.
- Comcast-NBCU Rules to Frustrate OTT Players
- Move Over Net Neutrality – Hulu's Here!
- FCC Votes to Approve Net Neutrality Rules
- Verizon Fights Net Neutrality Order
- New Bill Gives Net Neutrality Some Teeth
- Solutions to 10 Service Provider Pain Points
- Strong Growth Expected for NFC Smartphones
- House Shoots Down Net Neutrality Rules
- FCC Continues Dance With Incumbents
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.
- TelcoTV 2010: Apple's Cord-Cutting Fanboys
- iPad 2: Cable Friend or Foe?
- CTIA 2011: AT&T & T-Mobile: Net Neutrality Concerns
- Reports from the End Users: Net Neutrality & Mobile
- Reliance Fleshes Out Its LTE TDD Plans
- Breaking Bad on RAN Congestion
- Mobile Data Packaging: A Policy-Driven Revolution?
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