2020 – When The World Went Nuts


When 2020 dawned, there seemed to be hope – a new decade. Then BAM! We were hit in the face with a baseball bat! COVID-19 spreading out of China. Then the world went into a panic. What did we do? We listened to the people in charge, the experts, and those who are supposed to be ‘leaders.’ How did that work out? This moment in history will be studied at the universities of the future, and people will read incredulous stories of human incompetence, disdain, ignorance, selfishness, greed, and gullibility.

What transpired from the onset highlighted an incredible lack of leadership, intelligence, performance, and foresight. As the virus took hold, it started to do its worst … the old, the frail, and the already sick were hit the hardest. Illness and death ensued; then, medical facilities in certain locations were overrun. Unlike the disaster movies, hospitals were not prepared. The medical support for such a respiratory attack was not available; then, world panic set in.

Covid-19 showed that faced with the ‘potential threat of death,’ many humans manifested an ugly side. People raided supermarkets to stockpile goods. Weak supermarket managers did not control them. People took advantage of others. Violent men beat their children and their wives in confinement. As this all played a new money making opportunity was seized upon:  the mask, sanitizer, wipe businesses looked to make a fast buck.  Everyone looked for  branding opportunities on facial wear.

The world went nuts … it was very ugly.

Leaders and I use the term loosely, decided to just shut things down, well, some things down. Leaders stopped people from earning a living except in Sweden, and look at the reaction to that by the so-called experts on Social Media platforms. Companies under duress (or not) started to release staff then realized they could make a buck or two furloughing people with aid from governments … but ugly humans took advantage of that, and even large corporations took the money they did not need. Bad people faked their situation and stole  much-needed government money. 

As we continue meander through this lopsided pandemic with no resolution, their are wealthy people on Social Media platforms posting holiday snaps from the Bahamas and other far-away destinations where they had fun in the sun … fun while others could not keep their local businesses going or pay their rent or mortgage. 

Many months later, we are still unsure what the final outcome will be as more shutdowns, and ludicrous rules for some and not others are imposed.

The privileged will survive as rest of us are subjected to even more ineptitude. 

Clearly, the human race fell apart in 2020.  

TV Fragmentation Reigns


Some years ago, it was plainly evident to anyone who has any common sense that the world of media and entertainment content would fragment. In the transition from broadcast to online, the opportunity seemed clear to content owners that a global reach for their content was as simple as putting it all online and direct-to-the-consumer. However, the business, at the time, just wasn’t ready for this and quite frankly still isn’t prepared to allow that to happen ‘carte-blanche.”

I wrote on this topic in 2009 and an update in 2012. It is now 2020, and content rights, geo-blocking, and market dynamics all inhibit the passage of content from broadcast to over the Internet worldwide. Like websites, there is a myriad of Apps all purporting to offer the same content, but in reality they do not. Still, the truth is that national, regional, and content licensing remains an industry sticking point – there is not going to be a central repository of content that we can dip in and out of.

Sports are the most affected in recent years and coming up against the complexity of the industry. Pay-TV has been able to keep sports as one of the mainstays of its premium tier offers and, in some instances, they offer less popular sports (lower tiers), often at odd times of the day i.e. not prime time. This causes a dilemma for these sports as they sign-up to broadcast deals (often behind pay-walls), limiting their rights to show the games on other platforms such as OTT in particular. Happy to be considered good enough for broadcast TV, but then caught in the mouth of the lion.

The industry adage of ‘What I Want – When I Want – Where I Want’ still cannot be satisfied. Content owners have fragmented or gone vertical, leaving the consumer foraging for certain content across all manner of locations. The costs are mounting up and the consumer is becoming disheartened.

On a recent weekend, I wanted to watch Wales against Scotland and saw that it was not on my NBC Sports Gold app. I quickly went hunting and could not find the match on any platform that I was subscribed to. How frustrating! Very, very disappointing! Even the pirate sites that I found were asking for money (naturally) so its not an option.

At home I have a Cox subscription (it wasn’t being shown on any channel) … I also have a NBC Sports Gold rugby pass but it didn’t show it, Netflix – don’t do sport – Hulu – don’t do sport – HBO Max – don’t do sport … then there is DAZN purported to be the Netflix of sports – don’t do International rugby in the USA – Rugby Pass – geo-blocked … #WTF what’s the point? I am feeling hard done by and frustrated. I am tempted towards piracy – it is cheap and is available. Doesn’t the industry understand that they have an issue?

I’ll keep up my hopes of getting – What I Want -When I Want – Where I Want, but I don’t think that will be for quite some time, if ever!

Same Market – Same Challenges – Different Location


Moving continents is quite a task. Taking care of the family takes a lot of time – So much time that the months in fact the years seem to be flying by. One very interesting challenge is the management of the ‘electronic world’ that we live in … changes of email providers, TV providers, subscriptions to websites and blogs, passwords, phones – and the dreaded ‘Two Step Verification’ that relies on you still having the emails and phone etc. In the ‘melee’ that is moving some things slipped through the cracks. If an Email is provided by a ‘Service Provider’ and that service is not available in another country then you lose access. All of the things associated with that email are lost.

  • BTW – iTunes cannot be moved from one country to another without a massive amount of effort – Downloads (EST) are Geo-locked due to rights … No I didn’t use Ultraviolet and that is shutting down anyway.

If you have multiple websites, blogs and so on and so forth then its complex. I found that I need a ‘digital-life’ manager.

I lost the password to ‘TVangelist’ and as I was busy I didn’t chase up … The two step verification caught me out as I relinquished the European Phone – I took a little accidental involuntary hiatus in 2019. But I am back after a lot of haggling and deep memory management.

Time has passed and so much has happened in ‘TV la la land’ – there is so much to discuss and a look back on whether some of the musings were correct or just plain blah blah!

Will talk to the ether soon.

TV Middleware – The long and winding road.


cogs

The digital TV middleware/OS market has been in full and continued development since the early 1990s. For the last 28 years, the TV receiver software (digital) has remained a fundamental building block or foundation stone of Advanced Television Services. Middleware/OS continues to evoke strong opinion and is a much-maligned. Despite this, it remains firmly ensconced in the digital TV business, forming part of the DNA that is interactive digital television, whether we like it or not.

BTW: There is very little that has not already been tried in the TV domain and not a lot of ‘new’ inventions when it comes to the world of TV.

e.g. Voice made its debut back in the early 2000s. We laughed at it back then; now it is a must-have technology in a very packed content world. Gesture control came and went and now, according to many TV experts, it’s going to be micro-gesture going forward. There was face recognition capability, widgets, and Social Media on TV and good old 3D! Well, let’s not go there …

Along the digital TV software journey, there is one constant = the infamous middleware/OS, and we have seen many solutions come and go, with the resurrection of some technology blocks that were once tried, disliked and considered not fit for purpose. These solutions have a new lease on life now that the STB/CPE products have much faster chipsets and huge memory capability. Not to mention that the transmission medium, which has developed at an equally impressive rate allowing for the offsetting of services in a client-server arrangement. Flash, HTML, JavaScript, and Java are examples of once used, refused only to see a re-introduction into the TV landscape. Back in the 90s, a company called Liberate (part of Oracle) (Liberate Technologies: Taking Strange to New Levels, 2009) had championed an early web-like solution, only to see very expensive, clunky, slow, STBs that led to extremely dissatisfied customers. Flash for the STB/CPE came and went. We had Java as part of Open Standard initiatives right across the TV landscape but back then it didn’t manage to make enough headway to stick. Java is once again back under the umbrella of Android, with their 4th or 5th time out of the middleware/OS starting blocks. The finish line is a long way off before there can be a single winner declared. This is truly a long and winding road.

Here is a long and incomplete list:

  • powerTV
  • OpenTV Core
  • MediaHighway
  • MicrosoftTV
  • Liberate
  • NDS core
  • MHEG
  • DAVIC (MHEG + Java)
  • MHP
  • OCAP
  • ACAP
  • MHP-GEM
  • ARIB B23
  • JavaTV
  • EBIF
  • GINGA-J
  • ON-RAMP to OCAP
  • Various flavours of Linux Distee
  1. OpenTV 5
  2. Frog by Wyplay
  3. Espial
  4. Alticast
  • Boxee TV
  • Horizon TV
  • InView
  • Oregan
  • WebOS
  • Tizen
  • iOS
  • Tivo
  • FireTV
  • Roku Brightscript
  • Google TV
  • Android AOSP
  • RDK
  • Android TV
  • ATSC3.0

So what else do we have in store for the STB/CPE as we blend Broadcast & Internet and look to create new and exciting services for a future generation? Who knows where the digital TV middleware/OS industry will finally settle.

I just cancelled HULU


I just cancelled Hulu because the interface annoyed me and the content that appeared in my ‘TV Feed’ was not doing it for me. The Handmaiden’s tale was all that was of interest. However, this title is not worth 45 dollars a month.

We are being subjected to the BEST TV CONTENT we have ever had and the WORST TV Experience we have ever had.

Now I am having to Content Stack, Search and be on top of all the different content that is all over the place and that has become very tedious. The cognitive burden that the TV industry has put on me the consumer is really a sad indictment of the belief that we all actually know what we want to watch. We may do but we also need to know where to find it as it is generally spread on different services that require a subscription and a device. As far as silos are concerned – algorithms deciding on my content line-up has highlighted that my ‘TV Feed’ became very boring. Same-Same but really just the same.

TV is actually pushing people away. That is an odd way of doing business.

 

 

 

New Book Now Available


Social Media Psychobabble – Stop Feeding the Beast is now available to order.

It can be bought through www.socialmediapsychobabble.com, which takes you to Amazon UK, Germany and USA.

 

 

I Went Off Line By Accident


I went offline by accident.  Lost 2 months (And nobody noticed – Not even me LOL!) (Busy getting settled in to my new abode).

My Website Domain Name was not renewed as I did not receive the renewal notice – I moved countries and therefore lost a ‘country-tied’ email. (.ch) – A lesson learnt. Stay generic and it will not happen (Unless you plan to stay in a country forever.) Luckily I was able to renew … my 85 days redemption period had not passed.

Video Wars – Amazon in YouTube Blackout


Needless to say there are spats in the Broadcast world when there are negotiations for carriage fees. We have channel blackouts regularly announced, which often get resolved when both parties come to an agreement.

As the world of Internet based TV solutions trundles ever onwards a spat has happened between two of the giants. There will be an agreement eventually but it is funny to see that they are just recreating what happens in the land of Broadcast.

Amazon in Youtube Blackout

 

PLEASE STOP PREDICTING THE DEMISE OF TRADITIONAL TV – IT’S BORING!


tvoldHere we go again! … Old TV versus New TV … Because you can open a TV channel on the Internet you can make money and therefore traditional TV is dead!  Since the AWS announcement certain ‘TV Experts’ have declared it so.  There are so few people in the world that can predict the future (i.e. ZERO) but there are people who can look at the past and the present and then extrapolate ideas of how things MIGHT work out: Seldom are any of them right.

By the way, notwithstanding the progress of video content over the Internet (OTT) there is an abundance of closures:

Fullscreen, Afrostream, Sportflix, Go90, Vessel, SeeSo, Redbox Instant, Xbox Entertainment Studios, Samsung Video & Media Hub, Stickam, Flickr Video, Metacafe, Justin.tv, Veoh, Blip.tv, vidiLife

Can you make money in OTT Shelly Palmer? – You make it sound so easy … (Why not try starting a video business and see how it goes).  It’s OK here is someone who has done it: This is a real OTT story Afrostream Closes – This is an amazing insight into the $$$$$$$ that are needed to survive and it openly describes the full impact of what it takes.

If  a 2% Churn rate is an issue for a Pay-TV provider why is the following statistic not an issue to the on-line video businesses?

“OTT Churn Rates Pass 50%”

We do not know how this industry will pan out. Fragmentation, Churn, Net Neutrality, Content Investment and the Pay-TV businesses not just rolling over and dying is some, but not all of the things to be considered when predicting the future of TV … And touting Statistics does not make you an expert…

‘LinkedIn Layabouts’


LinkedIn a place where people believe that they are successful if they post pictures of themselves in wittily worded T-Shirts that garner toe-curling, boot-licking sychophantic responses from their admirers.  Go back to Facebook Pleeeeeze!

LinkedIn is also awash with people offering their ‘expert advice’ on things that are nonsensical, idiotic, meaningless and/or ‘bleeding obvious.’

LinkedIn is now becoming the singular place for B2B marketing where people publish beautiful success stories … and this is simply because it does not cost anything to do so.

Where is all of this heading? Who the hell knows! It is not really working for me. There is almost no ROI!

Here is a gem from a TV pundit whose post that went something like this:

“56% of people talk to other people about brands while watching OTT TV”

OH YEAH! AND?

I suppose that this random and rather bizarre title and topic is such an important statistic that ALL brands (who are reading this kind of headline) will now seek out to advertise on OTT TV?

Another free advert from a Social Media Marketer looking for customers by launching this:

” All of our social media management packages are less than $200 per month. Very affordable for start-ups and small businesses!”

WOOHOO! LETS ALL RUSH TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS.

In a nutshell … I am NOTconfused by the purpose of LinkedIn since its inception but a lot of people are! … But so are they on Facebook and other Social Media tools.

Rant over …

Bon Nuit!