Friday, September 27, 2013

Intel Media Having Trouble Starting Up

What if you built potentially the best mousetrap but couldn't find either the cheese or the locations to place it.  Well that might just be the troubles facing Intel Media, a business inside Intel building its own OTT box and platform.  According to the article, the box was built and it looked and worked great; problem was that there are no content deals to run through the platform.  So, according to Peter Kafka at All Things D, it is time to either find a strategic partner or close up shop.

I certainly hope for the former as I know a few people on the team and have the utmost respect in what they are doing.  Their challenge is the same one that Apple seems to also face, how to get real content deals with the major cable and broadcast networks.  Truth is, it may be impossible to get linear network deals with these content companies.  They are so deeply in bed with the traditional Pay TV distributors, cable, satellite, and telco, that it is not in their best interest to risk these guaranteed monthly subscriber fees.  And despite having a superior OTT box, Intel Media should recognize the challenges being faced to get such a device into the home.  TiVo has been facing similar challenges for years.  So even if Intel Media gets some content deals, getting consumers to pay Intel for their OTT box and content may be an extremely difficult task.

The article suggests partnerships with Amazon and Samsung although I fail to see immediately what benefit they would derive from such a partnership or how it would best serve Intel.  While its box may be designed for streaming, its DVR feature is most likely meant for linear channels.  For now, Intel Media faces a daunting task, neither content nor distribution and the corporate clock is ticking.  As the article suggests, with its new CEO, this business may become DOA.

VOD Matters

Missed last night's shows on CBS, don't worry, CBS will remind you that you can still watch them through video on demand.  As shows are rated based on both live and VOD viewing, it makes sense to continue to promote them and remind viewers of how easy they are to watch, or catch up, before the next new show airs the following week.  "CBS predicts that increased use of video on demand for time-shifted viewing, binge-viewing and catching up with missed episodes will be 'really transformative' for the television business,  Mr. Poltrack (chief research officer, David Poltrak of CBS) said."  Truth is, on demand has been around for a while and consumers have been using it more and more to watch their shows.  In fact, viewers used to record shows on VHS even before DVRs and even before VOD so Mr. Poltrak should also be reminding his audience to record and watch, too.

So why this news during Ad Week?  Perhaps the fact that CBS is promoting series the day they were viewed.  Certainly for shows that are important to the future of CBS for ratings and ad dollars, it makes sense to promote across the Fall Season, not only before its premiere  but after as well.  With so many premieres on so many networks, broadcast and cable, constant promotion, before and after the linear show date, makes sense for building interest and appeal and viewership, whether on linear or DVR or VOD.  Frankly, it sounds like a no brainer.