Boo! 👻 Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 85 of Rerun by Axonista!
This week's Top Pick is a must-read presentation by REDEF on the future of video.
We also take a look at the ATT&T-Time Warner deal, the Bundle 2.0, the LiveFronts, Twitch.tv cooking up a storm and Microsoft's surprise VR announcements.
Let's straight get to it!
Presentation: REDEF on the future of video
REDEF's presentation on the future of video is important for anyone operating in this industry. Chock full of visuals, it shows how the constraints that defined the traditional video ecosystem have slipped away, democratising the production and distribution of video content. It looks at the evolution of new content formats over time, and the growing importance of high quality user experience in tandem with quality of content. One to read, and then read again.
Future of TV
The millennial angle to the AT&T-Time Warner deal
A giant telecoms conglomerate buys a giant media conglomerate, what does that mean to the generation who watch most of their content digitally and on mobile?
Well, a lot.
While Verizon is taking the approach of building its media empire one property at a time through acquisition (AOL, Yahoo!) and organic growth (go90), arch-rival AT&T could be in a position to take a huge leap forward by acquiring the entire Time Warner portfolio in one fell swoop, allowing it to bundle cable-favourites like HBO and CNN as well as Turner’s sports rights and the blockbuster catalog of Warner Bros. into its broadband and wireless packages.
The path to success for a merger of this size is of course fraught with potential pitfalls on a business level, but there’s no doubting that packaging up all of this premium entertainment, news and sports into a simple, easy product could be a strong draw for millennials.
All that’s required is the small job of nailing the user experience.
Meet the Bundle 2.0
YouTube. Hulu. AT&T. In the coming months we expect to see live OTT packages by all three, to join the likes of DirecTV Now, Sling TV, Playstation Vue and Stream. The 'great unbundling' of cable is morphing into the 'great bundling' of OTT.
As Variety's Oriana Schwindt points out in this thorough roundup of the current state of play, uptake is still anemic compared with traditional cable and satellite services and there's a long way to go before the live OTT landscape becomes established enough to really start competing.
At Rerun, our bets are on these OTT services as being most likely to deliver true leaps forward in innovation in both content and overall user experience, so we're fascinated to see how this plays out over the next few years.
Live at the Live Fronts
The inaugural LiveFronts event, presented by BRaVe Ventures and Roker Media. took place in New York this week, and Team Rerun had a front row seat.
Live video streaming is the topic du jour and representatives from Twitch, Snapchat, Live Nation, Viacom and NBC discussed monetisation, measurement, emerging platforms, and audience growth strategies.
Of course, the entire event was streamed live on Facebook. But, if you missed it, Alan Wolk breaks down the highlights in this two part report.
The theme is how live video is changing the media, how it’s becoming its own medium, separate and distinct from pre-recorded TV.
Twitch live cooking show with ‘Food Network star’ Justin Warner
Twitch CRO Jonathan Simpson-Bint was one of the guest speakers at the LiveFronts event this week. He spoke about Twitch's plans to enter new verticals to broaden its audience, a prime example being this new cook-along show, in partnership with Roker Media.
For each “ChefShock” episode, viewers will be able to purchase ingredients in advance, by either looking at the “ChefShock” meal schedule or choosing one of the show’s home-delivery partners, and then cook along with Warner.
The inspiration for an interactive cooking show came from the popularity of a Julia Child show marathon on Twitch earlier this year, where even hardcore gamers took a break from gameplay to stream their own cooking efforts. Bon Appetit!
Seven big questions about Microsoft’s new VR headsets
On Wednesday Microsoft unexpectedly announced a line of VR headsets, manufactured by partners like HP and Dell. Starting at $299 with positional tracking built-in (a big deal, no-one else has this) it caught the industry by surprise, especially given that Oculus and Microsoft at one point seemed to have a tight relationship.
In addition to The Verge's seven questions, we have one of our own: "What software will actually work with these headsets?" The headsets may look nice, but VR content partners were noticeably absent from Microsoft's presentation. Bill Gates wrote 20 years ago that "content is king", and if Microsoft doesn't have VR software to match other platforms like Oculus and PSVR then all that fancy hardware won't matter.
That said it's great news for VR, and, if they play their cards right Microsoft could really democratise mid to high-end VR in the same way Google democratised the low-end of the market.
- Twitter is discontinuing Vine in the coming months
- Netflix proposes $800M debt offering to raise funds for content and more
- Verizon buys video startup Vessel for its tech, kills the service
- You can buy everything you see on Lifetime & Wayfair’s new TV series
- Donna Speciale reveals Turner's strategy for the new age of TV
- PlayStation Vue launches on Android TV
Netflix Halloween Doorbell
Here at Rerun we're busy planning our Halloween Netflix viewing. But there are few things more annoying than that doorbell ringing right in the middle of an intense scene. Netflix understands this, and that's why they've created a DIY guide to creating your own Netflix-themed doorbell. The kids get their candy, and you get to binge in peace...
...or terrified silence if you spring for something like The Babadook 😱