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Yesterday β€” February 15th 2019Your RSS feeds

New R. Kelly Sex Video Turned Over to Authorities, Lawyer Says

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

Michael Avenatti said he gave law enforcement officials in Chicago a tape showing the singer with a 14-year-old girl. Kelly’s lawyer denied any illegal conduct.

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Discovery Benelux launches premium streaming VOD service Dplay

By Robert Briel

Discovery Benelux is launching a new premium streaming video OTT service Dplay, offering on-demand and live streaming from Discovery, TLC and Investigation Discovery, among others.

Consumers can catch up programmes on demand for up to seven days and some programmes can also be viewed ahead as a preview. Discovery, TLC and Investigation Discovery are available als live streams. In addition to the app for mobile and tablet (iOS and Android), Dplay is also available as a desktop version and can also be streamed to television via Airplay or Chromecast. Consumers who register for the OTT service can try Dplay for a two-week free trial. A monthly subscription costs €3.99.

“With Dplay, we give the viewer access to an extensive and high-quality offer with our very best factual entertainment and non-fiction programming. These include programs such as Salvage Hunters, Wheeler Dealers, My 600-lb Life, Say Yes To The Dress, Evil Lives Here and Lake Erie Murder,” said Alco De Jong, VP Country Manager Discovery Benelux.

“We are also going to offer some premieres of programmes exclusively on Dplay before it can be seen on television. Think of Gold Rush White Water (April) and Dr. Pimple Popper (February)”.

Kasia Kieli, President & Managing Director of Discovery EMEA: “The Netherlands is an important market for us. We have recently chosen this region for our operational Pay TV headquarters in Europe, we are celebrating 30 years of Discovery in Europe this year and are delighted to continue to invest in this market with Dplay. It is part of our strategy to offer our content to as many of our program lovers as possible, whenever and wherever they want.”

Apart from the subscription model, there is also a taster version available free of charge. Advertising supported, the AVOD version requires viewers ton register with their personal details for access,

Dplay is gradually rolling out in Europe and is now available in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Spain.

Discovery Benelux launches premium streaming VOD service Dplay

By Robert Briel

Discovery Benelux is launching a new premium streaming video OTT service Dplay, offering on-demand and live streaming from Discovery, TLC and Investigation Discovery, among others.

Consumers can catch up programmes on demand for up to seven days and some programmes can also be viewed ahead as a preview. Discovery, TLC and Investigation Discovery are available als live streams. In addition to the app for mobile and tablet (iOS and Android), Dplay is also available as a desktop version and can also be streamed to television via Airplay or Chromecast. Consumers who register for the OTT service can try Dplay for a two-week free trial. A monthly subscription costs €3.99.

“With Dplay, we give the viewer access to an extensive and high-quality offer with our very best factual entertainment and non-fiction programming. These include programs such as Salvage Hunters, Wheeler Dealers, My 600-lb Life, Say Yes To The Dress, Evil Lives Here and Lake Erie Murder,” said Alco De Jong, VP Country Manager Discovery Benelux.

“We are also going to offer some premieres of programmes exclusively on Dplay before it can be seen on television. Think of Gold Rush White Water (April) and Dr. Pimple Popper (February)”.

Kasia Kieli, President & Managing Director of Discovery EMEA: “The Netherlands is an important market for us. We have recently chosen this region for our operational Pay TV headquarters in Europe, we are celebrating 30 years of Discovery in Europe this year and are delighted to continue to invest in this market with Dplay. It is part of our strategy to offer our content to as many of our program lovers as possible, whenever and wherever they want.”

Apart from the subscription model, there is also a taster version available free of charge. Advertising supported, the AVOD version requires viewers ton register with their personal details for access,

Dplay is gradually rolling out in Europe and is now available in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Spain.

Hulu and YouTube TV lead live streaming in the US

By Robert Briel

Hulu and YouTube TV are the most popular live TV streaming services inn the US, according to a survey from UBS.

Among the 2,000 respondents to the survey, which was conducted in November 2018, 201 said they had Hulu with Live TV and 183 said they had YouTube TV, Directv Now was in third place followed by Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Philo, and fuboTV in that order.

The survey also found that interest in cord-cutting was on the rise: 20% of respondents said they’d cancel traditional TV in the next 12 months. That’s well ahead of the 11% who said the same thing in late 2017. That reverses an earlier dynamic where customers kept both as they tested new platforms.

“59 percent of the respondents had dual subscription[s], down from 69 percent in last year’s survey,” according to UBS analyst John Hodulik.

“Along with the recent price increases and pull back in promotional activity, we expect this trend to accelerate declines in total TV subscriptions.”

MGM’s Epix launches streaming service Epix Now

By Robert Briel

MGM-owned Epix has launched a streaming OTT companion to its premium channel EPIX Now in the US.

The new streaming service is available to subscribers to cable and digital platforms, but also as an OTT service for $5.99 a month for access to a library of classic and blockbuster films, live TV, and a growing catalogue of originals. For now, the app is only available on Apple TV, iOS, and Android, with Roku and Amazon Fire TV to be added later.

Epix is rolling out a slate of new original series, including a story show about Batman’s butler called Pennyworth; the Forest Whitaker-starring Godfather of Harlem; the biblical noir featuring Sir Ben Kingsley, Perpetual Grace, Ltd.; the Iggy Pop docu-series Punk; and a docu-series on famous filmmakers titled Elvis Goes There, featuring longtime critic Elvis Mitchell.

These new originals come in addition to returning seasons of Epix’s shows, such as Get Shorty, Berlin Station, and Deep State.

“Launching Epix Now and providing consumers nationwide with access to our premium original programming and blockbuster movies is an exciting moment for our company and solidifies our commitment to bring high-level storytelling to as many people as possible,” said Epix President Michael Wright.

“We look forward to welcoming new audiences to our network.”

Epix is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The channel’s programming consists of recent and older theatrically released motion pictures, original series, documentaries, and music and comedy specials.

MGM’s Epix launches streaming service Epix Now

By Robert Briel

MGM-owned Epix has launched a streaming OTT companion to its premium channel EPIX Now in the US.

The new streaming service is available to subscribers to cable and digital platforms, but also as an OTT service for $5.99 a month for access to a library of classic and blockbuster films, live TV, and a growing catalogue of originals. For now, the app is only available on Apple TV, iOS, and Android, with Roku and Amazon Fire TV to be added later.

Epix is rolling out a slate of new original series, including a story show about Batman’s butler called Pennyworth; the Forest Whitaker-starring Godfather of Harlem; the biblical noir featuring Sir Ben Kingsley, Perpetual Grace, Ltd.; the Iggy Pop docu-series Punk; and a docu-series on famous filmmakers titled Elvis Goes There, featuring longtime critic Elvis Mitchell.

These new originals come in addition to returning seasons of Epix’s shows, such as Get Shorty, Berlin Station, and Deep State.

“Launching Epix Now and providing consumers nationwide with access to our premium original programming and blockbuster movies is an exciting moment for our company and solidifies our commitment to bring high-level storytelling to as many people as possible,” said Epix President Michael Wright.

“We look forward to welcoming new audiences to our network.”

Epix is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The channel’s programming consists of recent and older theatrically released motion pictures, original series, documentaries, and music and comedy specials.

They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To

By GREG MILNER

If the Eagles or Marvin Gaye fan in your life is complaining about this year’s Grammy songs, this might be why.

Spotify. It’s Not Just for Music Anymore.

By BEN SISARIO and MICHAEL J. de la MERCED

With its acquisition of two podcasting companies, the streaming service broadens its ambitions to include everything audio.

German Sky pay-TV pirates receive suspended sentences

By JΓΆrn Krieger

In a court case regarding the illegal streaming of pay-TV channels from Sky Deutschland over the internet, three of the four defendants have been sentenced to between eight months and two years in prison for computer fraud.

The 4th youth chamber of the regional court in Lüneburg suspended the sentences in its decision on February 5, 2019, according to a report by German news agency dpa. One of the accused young men between the ages of 22 and 26 received a warning.

They largely admitted the accusations. According to the state prosecutor, they operated an illegal streaming service between October 2011 and February 2016 on web portal iStreams.to, which they had set up themselves, offering Sky Deutschland’s channels at lower rates than a regular subscription. Around 7,400 internet users signed up for the service, booking a total of more than 20,000 streaming packages, according to the prosecution.

As part of a perpetrator-victim settlement, the young men agreed with Sky Deutschland on compensation payments totalling €150,000. The pay-TV broadcaster had estimated the damage caused by lost subscription income at more than €3.1 million before the trial began.

According to the state prosecutor, the defendants are said to have collected around €250,000 with their illegal streaming operation, but the court chamber assumed a lower amount in the end.

The judges’ decision to issue suspended sentences was mainly based on the age and the confessions of the defendants. The youngest was 15 when the offences began. However, the presiding judge Axel Knaack made a clear statement in the declaration of the verdict: “This has nothing to do with kid’s pranks any more. This is a very serious crime.”

German Sky pay-TV pirates receive suspended sentences

By JΓΆrn Krieger

In a court case regarding the illegal streaming of pay-TV channels from Sky Deutschland over the internet, three of the four defendants have been sentenced to between eight months and two years in prison for computer fraud.

The 4th youth chamber of the regional court in Lüneburg suspended the sentences in its decision on February 5, 2019, according to a report by German news agency dpa. One of the accused young men between the ages of 22 and 26 received a warning.

They largely admitted the accusations. According to the state prosecutor, they operated an illegal streaming service between October 2011 and February 2016 on web portal iStreams.to, which they had set up themselves, offering Sky Deutschland’s channels at lower rates than a regular subscription. Around 7,400 internet users signed up for the service, booking a total of more than 20,000 streaming packages, according to the prosecution.

As part of a perpetrator-victim settlement, the young men agreed with Sky Deutschland on compensation payments totalling €150,000. The pay-TV broadcaster had estimated the damage caused by lost subscription income at more than €3.1 million before the trial began.

According to the state prosecutor, the defendants are said to have collected around €250,000 with their illegal streaming operation, but the court chamber assumed a lower amount in the end.

The judges’ decision to issue suspended sentences was mainly based on the age and the confessions of the defendants. The youngest was 15 when the offences began. However, the presiding judge Axel Knaack made a clear statement in the declaration of the verdict: “This has nothing to do with kid’s pranks any more. This is a very serious crime.”

Times Insider: Making Science Vivid With Video

By JAMES GORMAN

More scientists are using video footage in the course of their research on everything from battling hummingbirds to the physics of popcorn. In our ScienceTake series, we bring that footage to Times readers.

Zattoo adds TNT Film, TNT Serie, TNT Comedy

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Zattoo is expanding its pay-TV package Zattoo Plus with TNT Film, TNT Serie and TNT Comedy in Germany.

The channels are now available as live-streams in HD quality.

With the additions, Zattoo Plus comprises a total of 21 TV channels, 14 of them in HD quality. The bouquet can be subscribed to for €9.90 per month on top of a Zattoo Premium or Zattoo Ultimate subscription.

“The demand for high-quality TV content is growing and viewers are increasingly willing to pay for content that suits their interests. This shows how video-on-demand services like Netflix and music streaming services like Spotify have influenced the willingness to pay for digital content,” said Jörg Meyer, Chief Officer Content and Consumer at Zattoo.

“The three TNT channels are further enhancing our Zattoo Plus package, making Zattoo also an alternative to traditional TV distribution platforms in the pay-TV area,” added Meyer.

Zattoo adds TNT Film, TNT Serie, TNT Comedy

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Zattoo is expanding its pay-TV package Zattoo Plus with TNT Film, TNT Serie and TNT Comedy in Germany.

The channels are now available as live-streams in HD quality.

With the additions, Zattoo Plus comprises a total of 21 TV channels, 14 of them in HD quality. The bouquet can be subscribed to for €9.90 per month on top of a Zattoo Premium or Zattoo Ultimate subscription.

“The demand for high-quality TV content is growing and viewers are increasingly willing to pay for content that suits their interests. This shows how video-on-demand services like Netflix and music streaming services like Spotify have influenced the willingness to pay for digital content,” said Jörg Meyer, Chief Officer Content and Consumer at Zattoo.

“The three TNT channels are further enhancing our Zattoo Plus package, making Zattoo also an alternative to traditional TV distribution platforms in the pay-TV area,” added Meyer.

From Apple TV to Roku: 5 streaming TV devices compared

By Kim Komando

This year could be the year of the streaming service. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have comfortably held the top three spots for streaming services, but this year they're going to see some serious brands looking to take a bite out of the streaming pie. IMDb, AT&T, Disney, Apple, and Warner have all announced or hinted at plans to launch streaming services in 2019.

A Deadly River of Mud: Video of Brazil Dam Collapse Emerges

By PALKO KARASZ

Footage released a week after the tragedy showed how the dam released 2.5 billion gallons of brown sludge that buried people, cars and buildings in seconds.

Locast, a Free App Streaming Network TV, Would Love to Get Sued

By EDMUND LEE

Want to watch the Super Bowl and other network TV for free? A start-up called Locast will let you, and (so far) the big broadcasters aren’t trying to stop it.

Live content drives surge in streaming video viewership

By Broadband TV News Correspondent


Conviva reports striking trends amidst 165% Q4 growth in streaming TV viewership: live content driving durges such aAs 217% US news spike due to midterm elections.

Conviva, the real-time measurement and intelligence platform for streaming TV, has released its 2018 Annual State of the Streaming TV Industry report. The report sheds new light on market dynamics and challenges in context of skyrocketing consumption, growing consumer impatience, spikes in global live viewership, and shifting device preference.

Across Conviva’s customer base, 2018 saw 89% growth in overall viewing hours for the year, including 165% growth in Q4. With this growth, Conviva observed the convergence of heightened viewer expectations and waning patience. A global 7% year-over-year increase in the rate of abandonment translated to 14.6% of viewers leaving before their video started.

The effect was amplified when viewers faced delays in situations where they expected the experience of traditional TV viewing, such as on connected TVs, watching live content, and via content aggregators (vMVPDs such as Hulu, Sling, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now). As the number of viewing hours increases in this progressively more complex landscape, this is a trend that will be critical to watch and address.

Live content, up 65% in viewing hours, drove significant growth in global streaming. While not growing on the scale of video on demand, up 111% in the same time period, live content accounted for the largest global surges in viewership throughout 2018. Fear of missing out propelled viewers to increasingly turn to streaming for anywhere, anytime updates on news, hot topics, and sports which moved the needle at a global scale.

Double-digit spikes in worldwide streaming consumption were recorded during coverage of political events including the US midterm election, the World Cup, NFL Football, March Madness, and the Masters Golf Tournament. Despite increasing appetite and overall improvements in quality, expectations grew faster than progress. In 2018, 16.7% of viewers exited before the video started for live content, up significantly from 11.2% in 2017. With live events, the stakes are critically high while peak traffic makes it more difficult than ever to deliver a high-quality streaming experience.

“Live events have a way of connecting us on both a local and a global scale. The ability to watch and be a part of exciting news, sports, and other developments as they’re happening is attracting viewers in droves,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas.

“The real-time demands of streaming mean that providers who remain vigilant and have visibility into every aspect of the viewer experience will win the loyalty of their viewers.”

Shifting Device Preferences: 2018 saw connected TV viewing hours balloon 121%. Connected TVs represented 56% of all streaming viewing hours for the year, emerging as the device of choice for the majority of viewers. The increasing popularity of vMVPDs, growing 74% faster in Q4 than publisher applications in the U.S., heavily contributed to the rise of connected TVs. 77% of all U.S. vMVPD viewing hours were via a connected TV in 2018. Despite the popularity and major quality improvements for connected TVs and vMVPDs, increasing viewer abandonment rate due to streaming delays was also evident here, at8.5% for U.S. vMVPDs up from 5.4% in 2017 and 6.6% for connected TVs up from 4.7%.

“As streaming becomes a bigger part of their everyday lives, viewers continue to migrate toward devices and services that offer those best-in-class experiences,” saidDemas. “With more options emerging, their expectations are higher than ever.”

Among connected TV devices, Roku continued to lead the way in viewing hours, commanding 41% share of the growing overall viewership. The biggest gain year-over-year was achieved by Amazon Fire TV, which jumped to second place with 18% share, a 240% increase from their 7th place position the previous year. With heightened quality expectations in 2018, notable achievements included PlayStation with the least buffering and Apple TV with the best picture quality in addition to the shortest time for the video to start.

Data for Conviva’s Annual State of the Streaming TV Industry report is collected using the company’s proprietary sensor technology, which is embedded directly within 3 billion video applications streaming on devices globally. Conviva currently measures 1 trillion data events per day for top streaming TV providers worldwide, across 180 countries and five continents. In this report, the year-over-year data was normalized for a consistent set of Conviva customers in both 2017 and 2018.

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