AT&T delivered another vMVPD service this week, available to wireless subscribers for free. The World Cup broke streaming records. Apple signed deals with Oprah and Sesame Workshop for original content. Instagram launches IGTV where everyone can become famous.
Chapter 1: AT&T wireless vMVPD Watch TV (1:00)
AT&T announced the availability of its new Watch TV skinny bundle. The service has 31 TV networks including AMC, A&E, HGTV, and the newly acquired Time Warner channels, but includes no sports channels. Some AT&T wireless plans will include Watch TV for free. The company says anyone will be able to get Watch TV for $15 a month, though it didn’t provide any firm date for when that would happen.
Chapter 2: World Cup streaming is breaking records (7:30)
According to Conviva, the World Cup is already breaking streaming records, even though it still hasn’t started the knockout round. The company says it saw concurrent streamers double over the 2014 tournament. The peak game so far between Argentina and Iceland (which ended in a 1-1 draw) saw a peak concurrent audience of 7.7 million. The peak game in 2014 drew 3.2 million and in 2010 1.5 million. Conviva says that all matches have exceeded the peak seen in previous World Cups.
There is also no question where British hearts lie. England’s opening win over Tunisia attracted 18.3 million viewers on television, equivalent to a 69% share. The royal wedding on May 19th attracted a peak audience of 18 million. BBC iPlayer also streamed the match. It too broke live streaming records, with 3 million stream requests.
Chapter 3: Apple and Oprah and Sesame Workshop (14:30)
This week Apple revealed it is working with Oprah on some projects and with Sesame Workshop on two as-yet-unnamed children’s shows. What is not clear is how the company plans to release and monetize the content. The content could be part of a broader strategy which sees Apple taking on Amazon Channels and becoming an SVOD store. Apple could use the original content as an incentive to enter the digital store, in the same as Amazon uses original content to get people into Prime Video app.
Chapter 4: Instagram launches IGTV (19:20)
Facebook’s Instagram announced it had reached 1 billion users this week. The company also launched Instagram Television or IGTV. The video service is optimized for mobile and supports video in both vertical and horizontal formats. IGTV will be available as a standalone app on iOS and Android. The app will behave like TV: when it opens video immediately start playing. Anyone can launch a channel on IGTV and deliver videos of up to 1 hour in length.
There will be no advertising to start, and Instagram will not be paying for content. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Systrom envisions IGTV as an app for the people, where anyone can become famous not just people who already have a large audience.