Binge viewing, a new addiction

Have you ever been stuck to a TV show, watching 4 episodes in a raw? From Game of thrones to Breaking bad more and more people cannot stop at the end of an episode. They watch it from their smartphone, computer, tablet, console, or smartTV

This new addiction is called Binge viewing or Binge watching. It spreads as fire with new SvoD (Subscription VoD) services such as Netflix (US), Watchever (Germany) or CanalPlayInfinity (France).

watcheverThe trend is accentuated by SvoD services releasing a whole season of a show at the same time. You’ve got 12 episodes at your finger tips.

This kind of abnormal behaviour is posing some serious issues to SVoD providers : their infrastructure need to cope with such huge demand, and they need to pay the content owner out of their 9€ p. month flat subscription fee. On the other hand operators face the same problem : they need to pay the bandwidth used for OTT (Over The Top) services from a flat broadband monthly fee.

The introduction of UltraHD will pose more questions as the traffic will grow three to four fold for the same content. The first mass production UHD TV sets will ship this year and there is no content offer on the market except piracy and VoD / SvoD services.

Binge viewing is posing serious threats to Svod providers and operators at the same time. Maybe it is time for message to warn for this addiction. Can you imagine before the 2nd episode of your favorite show a message such as “Binge viewing causes eye disease” or “Binge viewing is creating some real business model issues to your providers”?

 

Microsoft changing value chain

I think part of Microsoft DNA is running after Apple in the consumer arena. After copying the window User Interface of the Mac computers 25 years ago, they are currently copying its value chain. I mean Apple integrated value chain. If you think of Microsoft as a software company, you are wrong. It is now a service and device company.

Microsoft value chain

Microsoft value chain

As Apple did they want to control every step of their value chain from content and services to devices.

They have services like skype, skydrive. They aggregate content and provide platforms both software and hardware. And since it is a device maker with Xbox, Surface PCs and tablets, and Mobiles with the recent Nokia acquisition.

What they still miss is some retail presence like apple stores. The danger here for Microsoft is to upset its long standing partnership with PC manufacturers. But can they fight back at Microsoft move in their backyard? The answer seems no. Linux isn’t an alternative in the mass market, neither is Chrome OS from Google or Android. Microsoft has been upset at their tablet attempts with Android. Now PC makers have a few years before Microsoft gets the lead in the PC consumer market. Some are trying to reinvent themselves like Dell who wants to focus on the business segment.

The missing part for Microsoft is Distribution and Retail. Will Microsoft open some flagship store or some corner within existing stores like Darty, Fnac, Saturn, Currys, or PC world ? I bet they will.

Vertical integration seems to be the unstoppable business model, every IT giant is running after including Google and Amazon. Until someone finds a smart and disruptive new business model.

When advertising for mobiles gets nasty

After a few years of armisitice camera are back at the heart of the fight in mobile devices. Since 2009, mobile makers have focused on processing power, 4G and both size and resolution of screens. Now the battle gets nasty with comparative advertising on the camera quality.

Nokia Comparative ad

Nokia Comparative ad

According to this ad, Lumia 925 gets some pretty good imaging compared to iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4.

It is even trickier because of the very restrictive laws in Europe on comparative advertising. Nokia seems to get some advance on its device imaging capabilities. Let’s see if they can get some market share out of it. After all, camera is the second most used feature on a mobile after the phone.

The dawn of the Camcorder

Camcorder as a category of product is no exception. It will be swallowed very soon by mobile phone, if it isn’t already done. The better proof is this ad coming from Panasonic:

Mobiles do moments / We do memories

panasonic ad

What a better confession that their days are numbered ? Little big events belong on a big screen but if they are captured by a 41Mpixel camera from a mobile (let’s say the impressive Lumia 1020), who cares ?

It shouldn’t be long before we see mobiles featuring UltraHD cameras (4k x 2k resolution). The same resolution as the one of the best high end TV sets… So long camcorders!

What makes a great mobile experience

Discussing with some Content Service Providers, some told me that the traffic coming from their apps was now at roughly the same level as their website. And these CSP were just in the biggest in France. So the Internet market in transforming itself into an Internet App market. I don’t think HTML5 will change much the trend. It will help developers in app portability.

I’ve found this interesting chart on visual.ly on how to make a great mobile experience. Nothing rocket science, but a good to-do list for beginners.