HBO just launched an OTT service to the Nordic countries – huge move, not tied to cable, presaging what is about to come. Something like 30% of viewing is now off TV, and tends to be excerpts not the whole title. The Smart TVs finally have a sufficient built-in capabiltyy to enable direct to TV over IP without STB. Something like 200M will ship in the next 18 months, growing to 50% of all flat TV shipments by 2016. Google plans to sell off the settop box business from Motorola, preferring more open platforms and knowing that the cable providers prefer to lock-in their customers. All of these means the disruption is about to become painful to the incumbents.
We have looked at a lot of ‘social TV’ offerings. With this disruption, the place to be is shifting from the program guuide to the Network DVR, where in the TV Cloud the viewing experience all becomes Tivoed. Requires geo-fencing, DRM, start/stop across multiple devices, and perhaps most interesting, a new ad model. With the network DVR, the ads can be highly-targeted, and current (since the ads that came with the broadcast are likely less topical when the show is actually seen). This is a complex revolution that will effect a huge bucket of ad money.