What a week! While the vacation-filled summer months of July and August are often referred to as "slow news" time periods, this week was far from low-key given major developments in the technology and digital media realms. Major industry players including Apple, Google, Netflix and more have all been generating buzz. So, what's all of the chatter about?
Apple Proposes Ad-skipping for Long-awaited Apple TV?
We have been anxiously awaiting a new Apple TV/service for some time; finally, this week, there seems to be some genuine momentum. Specifically, reports indicate that Apple will offer a certain level of its service ad free. While consumers would have the option to skip ads, Apple would still compensate media companies for lost advertising. But, are skippable ads the right solution or just a quick fix and a way to get Apple TV to market more quickly? Is this scenario more broadly indicative of a failure to address digital monetization? Perhaps we have endured for too long a legacy model that hasn't scaled or adapted to align with consumer behavior.
Google Gets Serious about Online TV Service
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has held conversations with media companies and is eager to begin licensing content for its own streaming TV service. Google of course has a long tenure in the online video space via YouTube, and has already dipped into pay TV waters--with to-be-determined success--with its subscription service featuring material from its pay channel partners. This would be a much bigger initiative, and represents the company's desire to evolve into a premium TV business. With existing players Netflix and Amazon, and planned entrants Intel and Sony, Google is joining a crowded streaming field. Who has an edge in the long-term?
House of Cards is Award-worthy
Netflix garnered 14 Emmy nominations yesterday for three separate series--a development that analysts are positioning as a watershed moment for the industry. Netflix's Emmy prospects reflects major changes in the way that television is produced, consumed, monetized and lauded. As the Washington Post reports, for the first time, it doesn’t matter how television content is being distributed; instead, it's judged solely on quality-of-work.
Yahoo Emphasizes Video
This week, Yahoo held its second-quarter earnings call, which was also streamed live online. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer referenced the company's online video strategy and the fact that online video will continue to be a priority and an investment area. Mayer cited its original content initiatives and its licensing and content partnership deals as an ongoing, major focus (i.e. Yahoo's acquisition of the S.N.L. archive), but she also hyped Yahoo as a platform for user-generated video content (a la YouTube). It will be interesting to see Yahoo’s online video efforts evolve over the next several months.
What's your take on all of this news? We'd love to hear your perspective in the comments section.