Comcast just released a beta of Xfinity on Roku. We discuss the implications of the move. This leads to a discussion of if video apps are the future of the OTT video experience. Finally, we look at what to expect from the online Super Bowl this Sunday.
Chapter 1: Xfinity on Roku (1:20)
This week Comcast released a version of Xfinity for Roku. Will shares his experience using the app, which he found performed well and was easy to use. He raised a few issues with the implementation. One was that Comcast plans to charge customers $7.50 a month to use the app on a second Roku within the home (the first one will be free.) He also wonders if Comcast might consider launching a skinny bundle nationwide (which the company says it will not do.)
In the podcast, I mention the free white paper Owning Input 1. In that paper, I look at operator attitudes to the set top box. Some operators see the STB as essential to the service, some don’t and are happy to appear on a Roku. This has big implications for the way operators evolve their service in the future.
Chapter 2: Are apps the future of the online video experience (10:25)
Will mentions that a feature of Roku is that you can search across multiple apps to find the content you are looking for. This leads to a discussion of whether the future of online video is through apps. Three industry insiders who appeared on a panel I moderated at DEW did think the future was apps.
However, they also thought aggregators like Roku and Amazon Channels would begin to help consumers get to their favorite shows quicker. They will do this by working with the providers like Netflix and Hulu to identify favorite shows, and surface the information when people first login to the device. There are problems making this happen, because video app providers are reluctant to reveal this information.
Chapter 3: The online Super Bowl (17:50)
This year the Super Bowl will be available to stream by everyone, whether they have a pay TV subscription or not.
Will is concerned that Super Bowl advertisers aren’t getting full value from their $5M investment in the 30 second slot. They simply don’t include any calls to action to drive engagement beyond the ad slot.
I discuss the fact that national ads will be the same in the online stream and broadcast channel. Also, Fox is working with affiliates to insert local ads into the stream for viewers in an affiliates service area.