Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Trevor Parsons, Marty Puranik, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, Wireless, .NET, Linux, Web 2.0, Video

SOA & WOA: Article

Why Did AT&T Enter the OTT Market and Streaming Video Business?

The opportunity to attract customers with an over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming and TV offering is significant

When the U.S. Appeals Court struck down the Open Internet Order's rules that prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from site-blocking and providing preferential service, the debate surrounding the true definition of an open and unfettered Internet reached fever pitch. Most of the large access providers in the U.S. are subsidiaries of traditional telecom carriers and cable companies. These companies fought hard for this ruling, so it is reasonable to expect that they already had their strategies in place and plans drawn up for the investments that will be needed to rebuild the Internet, or at least a part of it, according to their vision. It is about time too. Of all the technology companies that existed before the Internet, the telecom carriers and the cable companies were best-placed to take the lead in building the future. Yet in so many areas, the technical and service innovation came from new companies and organizations we had never heard of before - not from those traditional players. Phone and cable companies have never been leaders in the World Wide Web, cloud computing, social media, Voice over IP and many other areas. But now, they have changed the playing field (at least in the U.S.) to suit the game they want to play, and so, liberated from the fetters of the unfettered Internet, we have a right to expect new innovative services. With the gates opened to competitive differentiation, we're seeing interesting things, such as AT&T's $500 million joint venture with the Chernin Group to acquire, invest in and launch video-on-demand channels and streaming video services to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

With more customers moving away from broadcast, cable or satellite TV, the opportunity to attract customers with an over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming and TV offering is significant, as is the opportunity for the right player(s) to deliver these services across multiple platforms (e.g., mobile) and distribution channels, thereby increasing revenue streams. OTT streaming services provide new players with the opportunity to deliver video content and new entertainment experiences to consumers outside traditional linear TV paths, such as cable, satellite or terrestrial. Since OTT services provide programming over the Internet and can come across the same wires as your cable TV service, the barriers to entry are greatly diminished.

It is no secret that AT&T has not been a fan of Netflix and the two are publicly quarreling over how much money the video service should pay for a direct connection to the AT&T network. It is worth noting that since the creation of the Internet, Web companies have negotiated peering and interconnection agreements where websites connect to intermediaries, which carry the traffic to ISPs, which deliver the content service to customers. Most people were not even aware of these interconnection relationships until February when Netflix agreed to pay Comcast to connect directly to its network. Though the Netflix CEO suggests that Comcast had strong-armed him into paying an "arbitrary tax," the deal ensures that Comcast customers have improved video quality for Netflix service.

Verizon has also asked Netflix to pay for a direct connection to its network, even as Verizon users (and AT&T customers, for that matter) complain of poor Netflix performance. Netflix has tried to avoid making payments, despite giving in to Comcast, and instead asked the FCC to issue net neutrality rules that "prevent ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube or Skype." Its request was rejected by the FCC when it indicated that it has no plans to expand its net neutrality rules to ensure that services like Netflix can connect to Internet providers' networks for free. In his response to Netflix, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asserted that the government has an important role to play in overseeing how networks connect to each other, but peering and interconnection arrangements are not a net neutrality issue under review by the Open Internet proceeding.

This is a highly charged argument for both sides. Carriers always have options when faced with growth exceeding capacity: either charge higher fees to reduce traffic or let congestion run rampant for all travelers. Unfortunately both these options have a negative customer satisfaction result and are lose-lose situations for the carrier. If the service quality for a streaming video is less than desirable, customers will get grumpy and blame their ISP for a "slow" connection. Netflix argues that "Some big [ISPs] are extracting a toll because they can-they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay." Netflix is clearly upset, but video streaming has turned into a mass-market service and is a capacity hog. If Netflix and other OTT players want to use an increasingly scarce resource to carry its service at the quality levels the service dictates, who pays? There are limits that will be hit and someone will have to pay to expand the network due to growth in streaming, the growth of mobile and the coming tsunami of the Internet of Things.

Although the AT&T/Chernin deal marks the first time a big U.S. ISP has decided to go over the top with a TV service, Verizon also has plans for a streaming TV service through its acquisition of Intel Media, and has created a video streaming service by partnering with Redbox. On the broadcast side, Dish Network has also brokered a deal with Disney to stream Disney-owned channels such as ESPN and ABC over the Internet to customers' smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and other devices.

As more consumers increasingly view content on their smartphones, tablets, game consoles and connected TVs, the ability of a provider to reach across multiple platforms will unlock new monetization opportunities for a multiplatform experience.

AT&T's partnership with Chernin Group will bring a video-on-demand service to market, and presumably provide more content outside traditional broadcast options. If the content is rich enough, Comcast or Verizon FiOS TV subscribers can select the offering and put a wrench in the business of content companies.

There is an opportunity to go to market with original content that drives new customer experiences across mobile devices, social platforms and new technologies, thereby disrupting existing business models. There is a lot at stake for AT&T and it must ensure that its content is worth viewing to stand out in a crowded field of OTT providers. It would appear to be off to a good start with its Chernin partnership. The Chernin Group provides its media smarts and its majority stake in Crunchyroll, an anime streaming company, while AT&T delivers the potential for extensive distribution and access to its customer base and wireless networks.

Clearly, different and varied business models will need to be supported and monetized, whether they are advertising models similar to Google's YouTube, subscription fees like Netflix, or both advertising and subscription models like Hulu. As new partnerships and business models are envisioned, these will also have to be quickly launched and monetized at a pace not seen by carriers for traditional services.

Interested in learning more about these industry developments? Tweet us your questions!

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda is responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution, product marketing, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of OSS software, now part of Extreme Networks (Nasdaq:EXTR). At Avici Systems (Nasdaq:AVCI), Esmeralda was Vice President of Marketing for the networking pioneer from startup through its successful IPO. Early in her career, she was a Director at IDC, where she led the network consulting practice and worked with startup and leading software and hardware companies, and Wall Street clients on product and market strategies. Esmeralda holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Marketing and International Business from Northeastern University.

You can view her other blogs at www.metratech.com/blog.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
As organizations shift toward IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection &E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships, will discuss how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault Simpana software, the only si...
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
HP and Aruba Networks on Monday announced a definitive agreement for HP to acquire Aruba, a provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, for $24.67 per share in cash. The equity value of the transaction is approximately $3.0 billion, and net of cash and debt approximately $2.7 billion. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal. "Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world and are looking for solutions that help them transition legacy investments to the new style of IT," said Meg Whitman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HP...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...