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Hisense to bring TV games to smart TVs

By Robert Briel

24i Media have partnered with Hisense to bring the TV games portal to Hisense’s next generation of smart TV models equipped with a VIDAA system preinstalled as of March 2019.

The TV games portal, powered by 24i Media, is a cross-platform collection of in-house developed games optimized for TV remote controls. The service has over one million games played worldwide daily. With the partnership with Hisense, TV Games will strengthen its footprint in the APAC region and South Africa.

Games on Smart TVs is on the rise and the fragmentation that poses a challenge also presents an opportunity, in the form of more sophisticated ad targeting and video advertising. 24i Media is a partner in big screen video monetization and is working closely with several SSP and DSP partners to define the ad sector.

“TV games and advertisement on smart TVs is a new and exciting road full opportunities as well as unknown grounds. We are thrilled to join forces with Hisense,” said Petr Mazanec, Head of the TV games product at 24i Media.

German video entertainment market reaches €9bn in 2018

By JΓΆrn Krieger

The German video market stepped up its dynamic transition in 2018, driven by subscription spending.

Consequently, it is the 5th largest in the world with an estimated annual spend of around €9 billion in 2018, up 6% on 2017, according to the latest Video Insights country report from Futuresource Consulting. With a robust pay-TV market, rapid progression of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services and a growing acceptance of transactional digital video services, annual consumer spend is on course to exceed €10 billion by 2022.

SVOD is the key element of the German video market, which has shown impressive, continued growth. There are now over 10 million households subscribing to one or more services, which means that a quarter of German households are actively engaging with SVOD. “Amazon Prime Video remains the market leader, but Netflix continues to make strong gains, with 50% growth of subscriptions in 2018,” said Tristan Veale, market analyst at Futuresource. “The two services are mostly complementary and there is room for both to thrive.”

“Moving forward, we expect multiple subscriptions per household to drive the market and, outside of these two streaming giants, there is a growing number of specialist services available directly, or via aggregators such as Amazon Channels,” added Veale. “We also expect major direct-to-consumer launches such as Disney+ in the longer term, along with broadcaster led initiatives in the near term, which will help maintain strong subscription growth. In 2019, the German SVOD market will have doubled in two years and is forecast to exceed €1 billion in 2020.”

“Consumer spending on pay-TV accounts for two thirds of the video entertainment market and growing, even though many European markets are seeing stagnation or even declines,” said Veale. “However, in Germany there is increased dynamism in the market, with an increased number of providers offering low cost, ‘pay-TV lite’ services as a viable alternative to the entrenched free-to-air/basic cable plans and premium subscriptions from Sky which are currently available.”

Five years ago, packaged media accounted for 90% of spend on home entertainment video in Germany (box office and pay-TV subscription excluded). By the end of 2018 Futuresource expects it to have dipped below 50%, though Germany remains the shining light in Europe for blu-ray discs.

“Some, but not all, of this deficit is being replaced by growth of digital purchasing or rental,” said Veale. “By 2021, we expect consumers to spend more on renting or purchasing digital movies and TV shows than they will on DVDs and blu-rays. However, transactional home video sell-through and rental is a declining market segment overall; spend is expected to fall by an average of 9% per year between 2018 and 2022.”

Smart TV is the springboard to premium digital video for many in Germany, and Futuresource expects German household penetration to have reached 82% at the end of 2018.

“As a result of all this action, the German market is in good health, and we’re seeing more obvious changes in consumer behaviour here than in many other countries,” said Veale. “It’s an exciting time for many players in the German video entertainment market, as opportunities continue to present themselves.”

Russian church head says smartphones could bring the Antichrist

MOSCOW (AP) — The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says the data-gathering capacity of devices such as smartphones risks bringing humanity closer to the arrival of the Antichrist.

American Companies Need Chinese Consumers

By WEIJIAN SHAN

Apple’s declining sales reveal how important the health of China’s consumer market is to the world’s economy.

Foxxum secures deal with Turkey’s Profilo

By Robert Briel

Turkish Profilo branded TVs and devices under OEM license, will be exclusively available with a Foxxum SmartTV App Store.

The deal defines a five year exclusive partnership between Promarket and Foxxum. Foxxum will continuously develop new portal features and new content for the Promarket TV brand while Promarket maintains its own branding and design for the brand.

The Foxxum App Store features customisable interfaces, local content including all major Turkish content partners, recommended content based categories and a wide selection of international applications. The focus for Profilo’s TV sets lies on local Turkish premium VOD services including applications such as Blu TV and Puhu TV. Thanks to this new alliance Profilo will have a continuously updated content portfolio while Foxxum keeps strengthening its presence in Turkey. All devices will be exclusively sold in Profilo stores in Turkey.

Devrim Üner, General Manager at Promarket comments the exclusive deal: “We are happy to collaborate with Foxxum to take the next important step in Smart TV with Profilo. Foxxum’s technology and services are a valuable complement to our trusted devices.”

Ronny Lutzi, CEO at Foxxum says: “We are very proud to be working exclusively with Profilo in Turkey. This collaboration not only brings strategic value to Promarket but also strengthens Foxxum’s footprint in the region. Combining our technology and Profilo’s high-quality products means that together we can provide customers, partners and viewers with a delightful watching experience.”

Samsung smart TVs to launch iTunes and support AirPlay 2

By Robert Briel

In a surprise move, Samsung has announced it will offer iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support on 2019 Samsung Smart TV models beginning this spring.

Support on 2018 Samsung Smart TVs will be made available via firmware update. In an industry first, a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will debut only on Samsung smart TVs in more than 100 countries. AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung Smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide.

With the new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung customers can access their existing iTunes library and browse the iTunes Store to buy or rent including a selection of 4K HDR movies. iTunes Movies and TV Shows will work seamlessly with Samsung’s Smart TV Services, such as Universal Guide, the New Bixby and Search, to create a consistent experience across Samsung’s platform.

With AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will be able to play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung smart TVs, including QLED 4K and 8K TVs, The Frame and Serif lifestyle TVs, as well as other Samsung UHD and HD models.

“We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, EVP, Service Business of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics.

“Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone.”

“We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home,” said Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services at Apple.

Broadband TV Views. With the new Samsung deal Apple seems to be shifting its TV plans away from its Apple TV ecosystem onto TV sets from the market leader in quite a few markets. The announcement comes at a time when Netflix, Spotify and Epic Games have decided to drop taking new subscriptions via Apple. It is the first time Apple’s TV service can be viewed on third party devices, probably in anticipation of a full re-launch of the service which will include Apple Originals.

In November 2018, the Apple Music streaming service was made available on Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, the first time the company made its content available on third-party devices.

Czech Digi introduces Samsung TV app

By Chris Dziadul

The Czech Republic’s Digi TV has launched a new application for Samsung smart TVs.

Commenting on the development, Iveta Slapalova, director of Digi TV customer services, said: “We believe this new service will benefit our customers and appreciate it. We know from our surveys that customers would like to be able to control their TV with just one driver without the need to use the set-top box. The new application for Samsung TVs makes this possible, with application features almost identical to the set-top box. We believe that we will also be offering similar news to other TV brand owners in the near future”.

Alongside the launch, Digi TV is also offering its service free of charge for 30 days to Samsung TV owners who are not its customers.

Digi TV is the brand name for a DTH and IPTV platform operated by Digi CZ.

It has been present in the Czech market since 2006 and owned by the Czech investment company Lama Energy Group since April 2015.

Czech Digi introduces Samsung TV app

By Chris Dziadul

The Czech Republic’s Digi TV has launched a new application for Samsung smart TVs.

Commenting on the development, Iveta Slapalova, director of Digi TV customer services, said: “We believe this new service will benefit our customers and appreciate it. We know from our surveys that customers would like to be able to control their TV with just one driver without the need to use the set-top box. The new application for Samsung TVs makes this possible, with application features almost identical to the set-top box. We believe that we will also be offering similar news to other TV brand owners in the near future”.

Alongside the launch, Digi TV is also offering its service free of charge for 30 days to Samsung TV owners who are not its customers.

Digi TV is the brand name for a DTH and IPTV platform operated by Digi CZ.

It has been present in the Czech market since 2006 and owned by the Czech investment company Lama Energy Group since April 2015.

The Shift: Apple’s Biggest Problem? My Mom

By KEVIN ROOSE

The most consequential hit to the bottom line may be from people, including longtime fans, who are holding on to their phones longer.

The Shift: Apple’s Biggest Problem? My Mom

By KEVIN ROOSE

The most consequential hit to the bottom line may be from people, including longtime fans, who are holding on to their phones longer.

In Price and Value, Chinese Phone Makers Outpace Apple in Much of the World

By RAYMOND ZHONG

The tech giant’s recent warning about disappointing iPhone sales in China obscured the fact that it is also losing out to Chinese brands in places like France, Germany, India and Southeast Asia.

In Price and Value, Chinese Phone Makers Outpace Apple in Much of the World

By RAYMOND ZHONG

The tech giant’s recent warning about disappointing iPhone sales in China obscured the fact that it is also losing out to Chinese brands in places like France, Germany, India and Southeast Asia.

Was Apple’s Warning a Surprise? Not to Its Suppliers

By STEPHEN GROCER

Qorvo, Cirrus Logic, Lumentum and AMS had all slashed their revenue forecasts for the most recent quarter late last year.

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