Commentary

Over The Top: Big, Diverse Disruptive Force

Have you ever been to a political rally, or maybe better said, an anti-rally, in which thousands of people are protesting but not about just one cause?  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear was one like that, in which a quarter-million people railed against the corporate establishment/Fox News and Tea Party nutballs/birthers, etc. all in one powerful, funny demonstration.

I was thinking about that  this morning. Protests like that have “only” a percentage of environmentalists, only a percentage of feminists, or civil rights and gay activists and anti-war activists who by themselves might not seem so significant at a similar rally. 

But put them all together and you’ve got a portrait of disruptive influencers.  

I hate to ratchet down social protest for important change into a comparison of changing media forces, but, well, it’s my job.

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Today, Gigaom’s Janko Roettgers is reporting that Roku is pressuring some of its 1,800 online content providers into signing deals that will give Roku a cut of profit from advertising, or some other revenue source.

He writes that many of the publishers he’s heard from aren’t  complaining about the idea of revenue sharing as much as they are how suddenly and bluntly Roku went that route. “Publishers also told me that they have had some very similar negotiations with other device makers who are looking to cash in on the growth in online video as well,” Roettgers reports. “ ‘I don’t blame them,’ said one of these publishers.”

With 10 million users in this country alone, Roku has some a nice share of the over the top market, which still seems to be hard to count because a lot of consumers have OTT capability through their smart TVs, but either don’t know it or don’t care to know about it, which is not quite the same thing. 

Like those protesters, all of the devices add up into one great big disruption of the once relatively placid/flaccid content-viewing universe.  

But also, Parks Associates also reports this week that 46% of all broadband households also have a game console connected to the Internet and 28% use it as their primary connected device. And of those--and I do recognize the steps are going down with every qualitifier but still-- about 75% of them use their gaming console to access non-gaming stuff. 

Parks also says 55% of all broadband consumers subscribe to an OTT video service, so the movement away from conventional content delivery has become significant enough that those OTT users represent a kind of consumer protest that is getting fast attention on Main Street.

pj@mediapost.com
2 comments about "Over The Top: Big, Diverse Disruptive Force".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, September 26, 2014 at 12:55 p.m.

    Technology is moving so far ahead of the TV broadcasters that the statement can be made Netflix will soon be outdated. With Plex.tv anyone can set up their own "Netflix" experience" without the need for a broadband connection.

  2. Claudio Marcus from Visible World, September 26, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.

    It is important to note that what matters most is not the number of OTT users, it is the total amount of time spent viewing OTT content, relative to their total TV/video viewing time. I use my connected device to stream music for many hours a day, and even though I watch video from Netflix and YouTube, the vast majority of my TV/video viewing time remains from TV or VOD.

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