Online video forces change on TV industry

Updated 18 August 2013
0

Online video forces change on TV industry

Having turned print media upside down, the Internet now is disrupting television, forcing broadcasters to adapt to tablets and video-on-demand to hold onto views and advertisers.
“The gap between what consumers want and the way the industry is delivering it has grown so big that the industry now has to start to make some moves,” Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail told AFP.
Viacom, Time Warner, Disney, 21st Century Fox, CBS — the second quarter results of the big US media groups confirmed that cable networks remain their cash cows.
For the first time this year, however, American adults are spending more time with the Internet than in front of television sets — about five hours a day compared to 4.5, according to a study in eMarketer this month.
The independent market research firm notes that users sometimes use the Internet and watch television at the same time — and that video represents only part of online consumption.
That doesn’t stop a group like Netflix, which offers films and original programming on demand, from growing and spawning imitators such as Amazon’s online streaming service.
The formula is favored by youngsters who relish cartoons on their tablet devices and TV binge-viewers who watch multiple episodes of their favorite shows in one sitting.
Internet giant Google has joined the party with Chromecast, a device that plugs into the HDMI input of a TV set to provide streaming video.
Apple is meanwhile consistently rumored to be developing online television services.
“There will still be some linear real time viewing of TV for the Super Bowl or breaking news events ... but entertainment-based video will move to more on-demand,” Nail said.
“If you own a TV station, you are in the same position as a newspaper. There will be other ways to watch content and you’re going to be very challenged,” he explained.
On the other hand, “if you are the content owner, you should not worry at all.”
You might have to abandon cable distribution and get a slot on Netflix, but content is in such high demand “that you will be able to make money... It really shouldn’t change your financial outlook or your survival.”
Media groups see the risks in relative terms.
Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes, whose corporation includes HBO and CNN, told financial analysts in a conference call that he regards Internet streaming as complementary to broadcasting — something that adds value to programming.
Viacom talks about adapting to changing public behavior.
“Certain kids are going to consume content on tablets, and if you want your content to have a shot at being consumed you have to have it on a tablet,” its chief operating officer Tom Dooley said.
Viacom is “aggressively” positioning itself in the tablet market with distribution partnerships like the one it forged with Amazon for such children’s shows as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer.”
It has also launched what Dooley called a “phenomenally successful” mobile app for Viacom’s Nickelodeon children’s channel.
“Streaming continues to be a terrific growth driver for us,” affirmed CBS chief Leslie Moonves, whose network has struck an exclusive deal with Amazon guaranteeing the profitability of its summer series “Under the Dome,” based on a Stephen King novel.
Viacom and CBS have seen their income stemming from program distribution rights leap 28 and 22 percent respectively, due in part to the Internet effect.
For those who own content, the multiplication of online video services can have a favorable effect by bidding up the money they can get from selling distribution rights.
In Nail’s opinion, there is “a lot more to do before (television companies) meet consumer demand and create the new business model they need to profit” from Internet-driven change.


SpaceX’s first private passenger is Japanese fashion magnate Maezawa

This artist's illustration courtesy of SpaceX obtained September 17, 2018, shows the SpaceX BFR(Big Falcon Rocket)rocket passenger spacecraft. SpaceX is to reveal on September 17, 2018 the identity of the first person it plans to transport around the Moon in an ambitious project financed entirely by its eccentric CEO Elon Musk. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2018
0

SpaceX’s first private passenger is Japanese fashion magnate Maezawa

  • SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world
  • SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets

HAWTHORNE, California: SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger as Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo.
A former drummer in a punk band, billionaire Maezawa will will take a trip around the moon aboard its forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights.
The first passenger to travel to the moon since the United States’ Apollo missions ended in 1972, Maezawa’s identity was revealed at an event Monday evening at the company’s headquarters and rocket factory in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne.
In moves typical of his publicity-seeking style, Musk, who is also the billionaire chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc, had previously teased a few tantalizing details about the trip and the passenger’s identity, but left major questions unanswered.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted a picture of a Japanese flag. He followed that up on Sunday with tweets showing new artist renderings of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that Musk promises will shuttle the passenger to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars, using the hashtag #OccupyMars.
While the BFR has not been built yet, Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.
SpaceX plans a lunar orbit mission. It was not clear how much Maezawa paid for the trip.
Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown. His company Zozo, officially called Start Today Co. Ltd, also offers a made-to-measure service using a polka dot bodysuit, the Zozosuit..
With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, the SpaceX passenger will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.
Those who have signed up to fly on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital missions include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber. A 90-minute flight costs $250,000.
Short sightseeing trips to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket are likely to cost around $200,000 to $300,000, at least to start, Reuters reported in July.
SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets. The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars’ worth of contracts, including deals with NASA and the US Department of Defense.
SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
SpaceX previously announced plans to eventually use Falcon Heavy to launch paying space tourists on a trip around the moon, but Musk said in February he was inclined to reserve that mission for the BFR.