Amazon introduced its streaming box April 2, dubbed Fire TV, a direct competitor to Apple TV and Roku.
The box, which will retail for $99, will feature Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more, as well as voice controls and an optional gaming controller.
More coverage in this week’s Zimedium Podcast.
5 Tech Predictions for 2014
Welcome to the third-annual 5 Tech Predictions, where I analyze trends from the previous year (compiled on http://twitter.com/ericzimmett) and predict what will take shape within the next year. Centered around social media, streaming TV and technology.
5. Amazon Prime becomes No. 2 streaming service behind Netflix
Amazon, already a force in the UK with LoveFilm, will make some noise with Amazon Prime and look to challenge Netflix.
YouTube’s king for shortform video, Netflix for longform TV and Movies. But Amazon stakes claim at No. 2 in 2014 behind Netflix.
4. Original Programming Unloads
Netflix credits original programming for its big gain in 2013. Netflix, Amazon, and other players unload on original programming in 2014.
Original programming puts Netflix on a similar level as HBO. In fact, Netflix is becoming more and more like the HBO of the cable-cutting generation. We’re already seeing original programming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and more. Watch for it to continue in a big way in 2014.
3. Online Recommendation Engines
From Netflix to Foursquare, recommendations will reign in 2014.
Netflix has built its dashboard on recommendations; Foursquare is changing its focus to a recommendation search engine; Redbox is sending movie recommendations via email; and dozens of others will follow.
We’re submitting mounds of data online through clicks, purchases, and check-ins. All of that data finally pays off in 2014 by providing excellent recommendations. Watch for all of our online services to start recommending content, including advertising.
2. Mobile surpasses desktop
YouTube mobile use is currently at 40%, up from 25% the previous year. Social network use is already at more than 50 percent mobile. In 2014, the rest of the web will catch up.
Nearly 200 million Facebook users are mobile only, and mobile accounts for 30 percent of Facebook’s revenue. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat are built for mobile. From browsing to socializing, streaming and shopping, mobile is where it’s at in 2014 as it overtakes desktop usage.
1. HBO introduces standalone streaming service
Netflix has now surpassed HBO with the most subscribers, at 40 million, though HBO’s revenue is still above the streaming leader.
The peer pressure finally gets to HBO as it releases a standalone streaming service, likely late in 2014.
Though, like cable, it’s higher priced than most want to pay. In the $25 per month range. Showtime is another contender for standalone premium cable.
Both have cable-invested backers in Time Warner (HBO) and CBS (Showtime), which will delay a standalone subscription model, but watch for either one to roll out this option in 2014.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013.
Eric’s Ad Blog 5 Tech Predictions for 2013
5. Second Screen takes off
4. Facebook loses market share
3. Mobile Payments become mainstream
2. Free city-wide Internet
1. Big Netflix Competitor
Read the full 2013 predictions report here.
Zimedia’s Streaming Best Buys (price considered):
Some early Internet TV predictions and Trends to Watch in 2013.
1. Cloud Takes Off – Movies in the cloud in 2K13
2. Direct Access is King– Skipping the middle man
example: Louis CK, selling his special online and later tickets to his show
3. Original Programming for Web TV
example: Hulu’s Booth at the End. Netflix Lillyhammer, YouTube original programming, etc
4. HBO Breaks from Cable
example: First sign was HBO offering free premieres of Newsroom, Girls and Veep…. Later, deal with Hulu in Japan…consumers are pushing for it at takemymoneyHBO.com
5. Internet TV viewing surpasses cable and satellite
example: in June, Netflix subscribers watched 1 billion hours of video…more than cable, the first time web video surpassed cable. This will become the norm in 2013.
MTV was like an underground movement led by rebels & rock stars.
The same thing is happening now with Web TV and streaming video; Though don’t expect to see a TV campaign pushing for it. At least not yet.
More than two years ago I cut cable and moved into the web TV world. What was a bit rocky at first is now a more intuitive TV experience than ever.
Technology can change a lot in two years. And not too long from today, our current Television format will seem archaic. The entire system is wrong.
Think about it: The network buys a show; it’s produced. It airs. Did you catch it? Nope? Well too bad it’s already aired. (And then networks wonder why first-run viewership is down, and then cancel the entire show.)
Web TV gives the shows a chance, gives users a chance to watch the content. Without force-feeding it down their throats. Because it’s on the user’s schedule, not the network’s.
But it’s almost crazy to think Netflix will topple the entire cable landscape. There is a more likely scenario.
Netflix and its future competitors will force cable and premium cable companies to overhaul the formula and its pricing structure.
Which will result in a Hulu-Plus-like TV experience.
I’m starting to believe the future of TV will be a mesh of live content and on-demand offerings. A show may still premier at 7pm EST, but it will be available on-demand after it’s aired.
Where will the content come from? A network? Or Netflix? Yes and yes. Netflix, or something like it, will still exist in 10 years. It’ll be the new HBO.
Comcast-like cable will be delivered via the Internet, featuring both live and on-demand programming. And the rates? Much lower. Greater value in the eye of the customer.
What sets Web, or streaming, TV apart is on-demand content. All access. Including full seasons of shows, from the first episode to the last.
What that means: more viewers for the content and the advertising. An almost unlimited shelf-life. But the ads within the content could be updated at any time.
Will this really happen? Well, Comcast began testing IPTV at MIT last year.
What it means for advertisers: proof. Like Google analytics TV.
A recent article from VentureBeat echoed my statements, also suggesting that a web-tv future would not only be more user friendly but would also make the current Nielson rating system obsolete. Allowing networks to evaluate not only viewership, but comments, likes, and other activity over a period of time.
As I’ve said all along, products, more info and purchases will be only a button-click away.
It’s a monumental time for TV. If cable is scared now, this could very well be the calm before the storm. They’ll be forced to change. Or fall into obscurity. Like a stagnant MySpace, ignorant to the startup that would become Facebook. Cable better adapt its structure and pricing soon, before subscriptions drop.
The MTV movement was iconic.
The commercials urged viewers to call their cable company and say they want their MTV.
Put to a catchy tune, it hit the airwaves. And it worked. We’re in a similar scenario with Web TV and streaming video. And the cable companies will again get calls.
Though this time the callers won’t be begging for MTV.
They’ll be calling to cancel.