Roku continues to dominate TV streaming in the US, YouTube to stream live sport in SA and other top news

Few key things that happened around the Ad Tech & Media Tech world this week


Roku continues to dominate TV streaming in the US

It’s no secret that Roku has many devotees, but how big is its lead in the TV streaming world, really? Quite large, according to Strategy Analytics — and importantly, growing. The analyst firm’s latest sales research indicates that Roku is expanding its dominance in the US, with over 41 million active media streaming devices (about 15.2 percent of the market) under its belt. That’s a 36 percent advantage over the next-closest platform, Sony’s PlayStation line. Sony and other rivals weren’t about to threaten Roku’s lead any time soon. The Xbox One, Switch, Android TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and smart TV platforms either saw largely flat sales in the estimate or were growing too modestly to catch up with Roku. To Strategy Analytics, there’s no mystery as to why Roku is succeeding: it’s largely about TV partnerships. You can buy both modest and high-end TVswith Roku interfaces built-in, so there’s a good chance you’ll have access even if you don’t care for its stand-alone devices. It’s not surprising that Roku’s fastest-growing competitors are smart TVs with media-friendly interfaces, most notably Samsung (with its Tizen platform) and LG (webOS).


YouTube to stream live sport in SA

The video-sharing website service announced on Tuesday that sports fanatics can now enjoy basketball, rugby, cricket and football events on YouTube via video on demand (VOD) and highlights packages including the recent NBA Finals, UEFA Champions League, ABSA Premiership, Serie A, La Liga, Women’s World Cup, UFC and AFCON. South Africans will also be able to view select live sporting events on YouTube in the future.  Sports consumption on YouTube in the EMEA region is growing fast. In 2018 alone, YouTube saw a 70% increase in views of sports and fitness related content – totalling more than 61 billion views. In Africa, sports content on YouTube is both broad and deep with YouTube delivering evergreen sporting highlights alongside new and emerging sports experiences like home fitness and 79% of viewers saying that YouTube has sport and fitness content they can’t find anywhere else. In June video on demand service Showmax moved into live streaming sport.


The war for streaming video has officially begun

As predicted, years of entertainment giants and tech titans preparing to take on Netflix has led to the opening salvos being discharged — or at least formally announced — in the first half of 2019. And while the battle for the future of TV advertising has been underway for a little longer, a new front has opened as TV networks are taking on digital platforms on their own turf. With fireworks on the horizon, here are the storylines that have lit up the TV-and-video industry in the first half of 2019. The past couple of years have been dominated by several massive media mergers: AT&T-Time Warner, Disney-Fox, Comcast-Sky and Discovery-Scripps. Now that those deals have closed, we’re starting to see these companies make moves to take advantage of the mergers.


MobiTV Raises $50 Million in Funding to Expand Managed TV-Streaming Service

MobiTV, a provider of internet-video delivery services, announced that it closed over $50 million in new funding from existing investors Oak Investment Partners and Ally Financial and new investor Cedar Grove Partners. The company said it will use the investment to accelerate its international footprint and continue to build out its MobiTV Connect platform, which provides a white-label hosting streaming solution for small and midsize pay-TV operators. MobiTV has raised over $200 million over the course of the its 20-year life span, per Crunchbase. That includes a $21 million round in February 2017 from Ally Bank and Oak Investment Partners. The MobiTV Connect platform has been granted hosted-streaming delivery rights for more than 350 networks from programmers including Disney and ESPN Media Networks, Showtime, Viacom, A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Crown Media Family Networks, and C-SPAN. (MobiTV’s operator customers must separately negotiate carriage deals with the programmers.) The solution doesn’t include local TV stations, but the company says it can work with operator customers to integrate local stations into a MobiTV Connect-powered offering.


The Future of Disney Stock Still Just Comes Down to Streaming

From one perspective, Disney (NYSE:DIS) looks like one of the best businesses in the market. The company’s Parks business is an obvious cash cow. Star Wars and Marvel Studios add to the company’s long-held intellectual property to create a content powerhouse. That content will only be boosted by the recent acquisition of assets from Fox Corporation (NASDAQ:FOX, NASDAQ:FOXA), which will help drive the company’s streaming service, to be launched later this year. Looked at another way, however, Disney isn’t quite as attractive. The Disney stock price soared after streaming plans were announced back in April. But for years before that — and months since — DIS has done little but move sideways. Disney’s new streaming service might drive optimism, but it’s a response to cord-cutting causing shrinking profits in the company’s key media businesses. ESPN, in particular, seems at risk in the changing content landscape. For years, that split perception of Disney kept the Disney stock price largely locked in place. But the new streaming plan has changed the story surrounding DIS stock.


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