HBO going OTT is no surprise to us; Hastings would agree

CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings described HBO’s OTT announcement today as “inevitable and sensible”.  As we had said before, the video industry is rapidly evolving and its future is in the hands of the consumers, who have been in the drivers’ seat for quite some time.

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http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/15/netflix-vs-hbo/

Faced with this changing landscape, the industry has to consider new business models and alternative modes of video distribution. That’s why Dish recently announced their $30/month “virtual cable” package.

At RelayTV, we think social TV is integral to this evolution. But not as a checklist “featurette” item, rather as a full enriched experience encompassing social recommendation, party watching and audience participation.  It’s what Millennials are already doing today on social networks in a disjointed sort of way – while watching videos with one app and chatting on another.

RelayTV would enable companies such as HBO or Dish to truly engage with their viewing audience who clearly now are much savvier and demanding.

 

Let’s Relay

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Pay-TV providers in Europe really losing ground to OTT

As I face that dreaded time of year in which I have to call my cable provider to try and haggle for a lower monthly bill, I realized what an arduous task this has become. Especially given my OTT options for content. It’s no wonder that pay-TV markets are losing subscribers consistently each quarter.

In fact, EU cable companies have suffered six straight years of cord-cutting (defined as a net decline in cable customer homes). IHS senior analyst Guy Bisson places the blame directly on OTT suppliers.

Consumers love their Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and YouTube services. They offer lower prices, accessibility and in some cases commercial-free programming. Because of this demand, new offerings are coming to market soon, such as:

-       Sony to offer live and on-demand content from Viacom (22 networks)

-       Rumored online HBO Go subscription (to go head-to-head with Netflix)

-       Google Android TV software to power smart TVs and set-top boxes

Jennys second blog

This means operators must fight harder than ever to keep and win back subscribers. Western Europe’s average pay-TV penetration rate is only 57% (compared to 85 percent in the U.S.). Operators must continue to find and offer move value to viewers. They must dig deep to uncover a long-term solution, not just a one-year price promotion.

 

Let’s Relay

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Recapturing Millennial Viewers

Kye Cheung, RelayTV CEO

Kye Cheung, RelayTV CEO

There’s a new age of TV consumption upon us. 

TV is social now.  Today, when we watch TV, we want to share the experience with others, and backchannel conversations are happening.  Gone are the days of couch potatoes – social TV has sparked a movement of active and engaged consumers. This is most true among Millennials. These 18-33 year olds (and younger) consume TV differently arising from a confluence of factors:

They have the option to pick and choose different programming, both broadcast and online. Online offers them more control, and “on demand” features, which they are accustomed to.

They have no qualms about switching off if they don’t like what they see or the message that operators or networks are trying to serve them.

They watch when they want to, from wherever and with whichever device. They control (or want to feel they have control about) what they consume when they’re ready.

They are not tied to any one particular social app or social network. Loyalty to services is very rare. Social networking is merely a way for them to reach out and communicate with as may of their peers in the most expedient way possible.

Millennials want “selfie-style” entertainment: Adoption of the social network or other related brands/products app depends on its ability to help the Millennial gain the widest peer acceptance as a form of self-aggrandizement.

Millennialsfind shows to watch by hearing or reading about them through their social network, from their friends.

In addition to these factors, TV operators today are competing with any form of readily accessible entertainment – games, blogs, online news – not just video.

So what is an operator to do to keep Millennials engaged in their content? 

  • Make TV an event again – something for people to share. It is not enough for Millennials to consume content, they want to participate. Not surprisingly, live content such as reality TV shows, live sports events, award shows (Grammys, Oscars), and news can ignite much discussion. If viewers are engaged with the show — live and with their friends — then they can’t skip the commercials, which is a good thing for networks and their sponsors.
  • You need to deliver the content not just onto the TV but also to other devices. Reference statistic: 60% of US and UK TV viewers use multiple devices to do something related to the content they are watching (80% in China) (Edelman study, 6/2014).
  • Make it easy and fast for Millennials to find something they want to watch. Don’t expect your viewers to hunt through EPG (the old TV guide) on the TV screen – they don’t have patience for that.
  • Allow Millennial viewers to engage with each other, while watching the TV show. Inevitably, they will be more engaged with the content that way. Reference Stat: 25% of adults 18-34 used social media while watching TV to comment on what they liked/ disliked about a storyline. (Source: Nielsen).

This is the future of TV as we know it, for consumers and operators.  The sooner operators are able to recognize and do something about it, the sooner they will be able to tap into Millennial viewers and everything that market brings with it.

Let’s Relay

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“Time to Re-Invent Advertising…Again” says DMO Jenny Wang

In 2008, I was working at Yahoo! to bring full-length TV episodes online through Hulu. I was fascinated to see how the TV landscape would change in the coming years. I pondered questions such as:

Jenny

“Would people sit in front of their computers to watch a whole TV episode?”

 “How would the presence or absence of this behavior affect advertising?”

“Will advertisers need to branch out from linear TV advertising to reach viewers?”

Fast forward just 5 years, and my questions have been answered. Viewers are watching all sorts of long form content on smartphones, tablets and computers. Those watching from a traditional TV demand more from their watching experience. The new problem how to keep second screen usage from eroding the   effectiveness of TV commercials.

The answer lies in more than just one platform, one network or one device. The key to capturing viewer’s attention will be a team effort. Content owners, platforms and advertisers will need to innovate like never before. Advertisers will need to span linear TV and all the accompanying devices used to view content in order to achieve optimal brand awareness.

Jennys Blog

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Follow Up: Chairman LC Lee on Broadcast Asia and Direction of Social TV

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I was delighted to have been invited to speak at this year’s Social TV panel discussion at Broadcast Asia held in Singapore last week. This was my first time attending Broadcast Asia and I really enjoyed the trip. Singapore is such an amazing city; so well-organized and efficient.

It was an invaluable experience for me to talk about RelayTV with industry pioneers. Together with other panelists from Telstra, Applicaster, and Twitter we represented social media, and operator solution providers. This diversity made for a great discussion on the future of social TV. Although we all expressed different perspectives, we all agreed that there is an opportunity to combine social interaction with the TV watching experience, and strategic innovation is necessary to make all the pieces work together easily.

It was particularly reassuring to have other industry leaders validate the opportunities for social TV. The common theme discussed was the role social media plays

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in our everyday lives. It has become the standard for how we communicate today, and it influences consumer and business behaviors. Leveraging the data behind it will afford us the visibility to real-time trends. But what will the future of social TV look like? How will it work? There is clearly no obvious winner nor singular pursuit. The key is to think out of the box and continue to be innovative about future business models while incorporating social media.

This is exciting to me because I believe RelayTV makes it easy and fun to share the TV watching experience! By integrating two-way interactive features on the TV, we meet the needs of the 18-33 year olds who prefer to maintain control over content consumption and social interaction. Our platform makes it possible to watch, talk, chat and share experiences together virtually on the first screen. To learn more, visit www.relaytv.com.

All in all, a brilliant experience for me. Great food, great atmosphere, and great teamwork. A special thanks to my team for their support and the new friends we made at the show. I absolutely enjoyed it and I want to come back again!

Your excited friends,

RelayTV

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RelayTV CEO Responds to Decision on Aereo

Q: Kye, what do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision on Aereo?

A: “The Supreme Court’s decision on Aereo won’t hurt innovation.  One of the biggest changes to come is in Social TV.  Operators and broadcasters understand its significance, especially in its ability to reconnect with the Millennial generation of viewers.”

Check out how with RelayTV.

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Chairman Lee Discusses Direction

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Founder and Chairman LC Lee Discusses Direction (Panel Announcement)

 LC Lee is the founder and chairman of RelayTV and has truly become a pioneer of true Social Media TV. With over 20 years of start-up experience, many in the technology space, Lee is a visionary. He has born what is now RelayTV, the future of true social media TV and the definition of Social TV 2.0.

It is for this reason that we proudly announce Lee’s participation in a widely anticipated panel discussion at the Broadcast Asia show in Singapore. The session topic will be “The Role of Social Media in the Future of TV”. Alongside executives from Twitter, Starz Network and Applicaster, Lee is sure to impress with his demonstration and dreams of what he believes the future of social media and TV to be; a dream where the two walk hand-in-hand seamlessly.

Imagine the possibilities.

This is one discussion you do not want to miss.

Broadcast Asia

Level 4, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore | Orchid Room 4311/4312

19 June 2014

9.40 AM – 10.20 AM (Including Q&A)

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Broadcast Asia 2014

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You are invited. We hope to see you there.
我們誠摯地邀請您。
Nǐ bèi yāoqǐng. Wǒmen xīwàng kàn dào nǐ zài nàlǐ.

Can you believe it? Our fifth trade show in six months and we are more excited than ever!

The winds are taking us across the world to the beautiful Singapore for the Broadcast Asia 2014 show. This will be our first time exhibiting in Asia. We are eager to introduce our solution to a new and exciting region of the world.

Will you be there?

We sure hope so! Please receive this as your official invitation to visit our booth 5G4-03 for a thrilling demo of our social solution, RelayTV. We guarantee you will not be disappointed or underwhelmed. Oh, and look out for the flying tomatoes!

See you soon.

Booth 5G4-03

Let’s Relay

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Dare to do the Impossible

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(Exhale)

That might be the first breath we’ve taken in about three months, so please forgive us for not having kept you updated. The good news is, there are so many exciting things we have to share with you.

The last five months of our lives have been spent becoming experts in everything trade shows. Pulling off four trade shows in four months with two others currently in progress has proven to be challenging and adventurous.

If you have never had the luxury of organizing one of these behemoth projects, here is what it’s like: pick a good booth spot, pay a lot for that spot, book teams flights and hotel, save money, order internet from one company, order power from another, calculate wattage and voltage of every connected device, order carpet, order furniture, pay a lot more money, save a lot more money, take four hour drive to transport equipment to save on shipping, set up booth without AC on, order on-site technicians to install one extension cord, pay $130 for that ten minute effort, get shocked from all the wiring, lose your phone, lose your keys, lose your wallet, lose your hair, and almost lose your mind.

But the show begins, and it’s time to put on a smile, give hundreds of demos, refill water, serve popcorn, vacuum popcorn, massage your feet in secret, skip lunch, forget to use the bathroom, spy on competition, walk around to collect free stuff, stand awkwardly deciding whether or not the free stuff is worth the sales pitch, skip the free stuff, remember to eat, discuss leads for the day, grab dinner, make plans to enjoy the night, get back to hotel room and knock out. Wake up and do it all over again!

Oh the sweet life of trade shows. It is true that misery loves company; our company is more united than ever!

Jokes aside, it has been a fortunate experience for our small company. It has provided opportunity to brave adversity together, to become more resourceful than we previously thought possible, and to rely on each other’s abilities and strengths as colleagues and dare I say, friends.

Apart from the experience itself, we have gained so much traction with relevant companies. We have now demonstrated to thousands of people and businesses, most of who agree that we are on the forefront of the evolution of Social TV. Of course along the way, there have been a few naysayers who can always be discouraging, but it wouldn’t be a great idea without some healthy opposition.

So, we press on, more convinced than ever that this really is a great and progressive idea. People love it, we love it and without a doubt, you will love it. Stay tuned as we do the work of following and forging partnerships.

Your exhausted friends,

RelayTV

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TV Connect

Booth 174

This year is fixing to be a break-through year. First CES and now TV Connect just about 2 months later.

We are heading across the Atlantic to visit the eclectic and beautiful Olympia, London to exhibit at the 10th year anniversary of TV Connect. We feel so privileged and honored to exhibit at such a great show. Not to mention, this will be our very first time exhibiting internationally and we can not wait! We truly believe that our product can really change the way people watch TV around the world…forever.

Wish us luck as we will be surrounded by many great companies and even a couple competitors, but we are confident the world will see just how special RelayTV truly is.

Keep up with us as we continue this adventure. Your support is much needed and very appreciated.

Let’s Relay

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