Home » consumer devices » Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox

Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox

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Core information:

This is my finding as an update to the one of a year ago in “Microsoft entertainment as an affordable premium offering to be built on the basis of the Xbox console and Xbox LIVE services [Feb 13, 2013] OR create interactive content as a premium offering together with partners using Kinect technology as a starter OR moving Microsoft Xbox 360 to ‘entertainment console’ OR leaving the good quality commodities to others and going for a premium brand with Xbox as well”.

One cannot understand the Microsoft solution without first looking at:

  1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
  2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
  3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
  4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
  5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

Then the Microsoft solution could be presented as follows:

6.   Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7.   Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8.   Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Before all that, however, we should also understand a key trend that the Installed Base of Internet-Connected Video Devices to Exceed Global Population in 2017 [iSuppli press release, Oct 8, 2013] which is also showing the immense difficulty for the Microsoft effort:

More than 8 billion Internet-connected video devices will be installed worldwide in 2017, exceeding the population of the planet, according to research from  the Broadband Technology Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

The installed base of video-enabled devices that are connected to the Internet—a category that includes diverse product such as tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, smartphones, connected set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and PCs—will expand to 8.2 billion units in 2017. This will represent a nearly 90 percent increase from 4.3 billion in 2013, as presented in the attached figure.

With the world’s population amounting to 7.4 billion people in 2017, this means that there will be 1.1 Internet-connected video devices installed for each global citizen.

image

“On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017—a major milestone for the electronics market,” said Merrick Kingston, senior analyst, Broadband Technology, at IHS. “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”
Asia-Pacific gets connected
The number of connected devices in the mature North American and Western European regions will grow at a relatively modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent from 2013 to 2017.
In contrast, Asia-Pacific will expand at 20 percent during the same period. Driven largely by Chinese demand, Asia-Pacific will add 1.9 billion connected devices to the global installed base between 2013 and 2017.
On the other end of the regional spectrum, sub-Saharan Africa will contribute 145 million net additions to the total installed base during the next four years.

Challenges and opportunities

In order to cash in on this massive growth in Internet-connected devices, media companies across the operator, broadcast, consumer electronics manufacturing and over-the-top (OTT) businesses have embraced Internet protocol (IP) video distribution. Big names making a foray into IP video include HBO, Microsoft, DirecTV and Netflix.

However, all of these companies face a major challenge: how to wrap consumers into their ecosystems, given the proliferation of platforms, high switching costs and strong incentives for consumers to stay with their existing services.

Back in 2005, PCs comprised 93 percent of all connected devices. By the end of 2017, the base of connected devices will diversify dramatically, with PCs comprising only 23 percent of the connected installed base. Other devices will account for the rest of the market, including smart TVs at 5 percent, consoles  at 2 percent, and smartphones and tablets collectively representing 67 percent.
“Addressing the full breadth of the device landscape, and recuperating the development cost of doing so, will pose a major challenge for a number of media firms,” Kingston added.

1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)

Let’s start with a list of cable and satellite video providers in the U.S.:

image
The chart is from Would a DirecTV-DISH Merger Still Make a New Pay-TV Media Monopoly?
[24/7 Wall St., Oct 10, 2013]. Note that Newco is the DirectTV-DISH merged company
just imagined by the article
. The actual Top 5 companies represented 75.4% of the U.S.
cable and satellite video subscribers: 35.6% satellite (newco) and 39.8% cable.
Relative to that Verizon FIOS video IPTV had 4.7M subscribers and
AT&T U-verse [IP]TV 4.5M by the end of Q4’12 (see below).

See also (in order to understand the challenges cable operators are facing everywhere):
TWC rebuffs Charter’s latest takeover bid [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 14, 2014] with “The saga to create the nation’s second largest cable operation is moving into a new phase … With so many sharks circling TWC, IHS believes that it will be a matter of not if but when TWC accepts a bid.”
Time Warner Cable prepares for its business future [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 8, 2013] with “TWC and other cable operators are in the unenviable position of seeing their primary product, pay TV video, declining. Coupled with encroachment from IPTV, and potential upstart OTT technologies, cable operators are pushing to grow other business lines. … Staying ahead of the technological curve is a problem for all pay TV operators, and cable more than IPTV, with Satellite experiencing the worst of it.
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.

Cable takes the fight to OTT [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 28, 2013]

After years of subscriber losses, Comcast announced on October 25, 2013, the first widespread test of a cable network lite bundle, the combination high-speed data (HSD) and broadcast basic video and premium channel. The trial is slated to run a minimum of one year, the operator plans to have stepped increases in the starter $49.99 per month price at 6 months ($60-$70) and again at one year ($70+).
This is not the first such offering however. In August of 2013 Time Warner Cable (TWC) initiated a similar promotion targeted at transitioning college students back toward video products, including HBO and HSD. TWC partnered with nine colleges in this limited trial, again the term is likely to run for a year or less. TWC is charging $79.99 per month for one year, but did not list a non-promotional price.
In the following analysis IHS makes two assumptions: 1) That cord-cutting and cord-never households will likely buy HSD from pay TV providers, and that it will skew toward higher speed tiers. 2) The price for bundled 25-30Mbit is ~$55 and unbundled ~$60.
Our take
The fact that the business of pay TV is  changing is no longer in doubt, but the business has insulated itself well and is preparing to weather the storm. Comcast and TWC are not the first to experiment with new offerings, Cox recently concluded its flareWatch trial, the first pay TV OTT trial. The difference between the Cox effort and Comcast and TWC is that the two latter companies have price efficiencies working  on their side.
That’s not to say that IHS believes that the Cox trial was ended because of price, more likely Cox received valuable customer feedback and experience. The Comcast and TWC deals are predicated on completely different foundations. Both offerings provide significant perceived value, and combined monetary value to subscribers.
Both deals compare to a HSD and Netflix and/or Hulu+ plan. The Netflix/Hulu+ plan will likely cost $68 to $76 depending upon HSD tier and number of OTT subscriptions, compared with Comcast’s year one monthly average of $60 and TWC’s $70. Another significant point of difference is the depth of offering.
Both pay TV providers share four common features, 25-30Mbit HSD, local broadcast channels, HBO, HBO GOComcast also includes StreamPix (Library title Subscription VOD). IHS believes that both Comcast and TWC are at a minimum matching Netflix on a like-for-like price content offering when considering HSD and HBO versus HSD and Netflix/Hulu+. The addition of broadcast local channels as well as SVOD in the case of Comcast, signal that cable is not going to give up the fight.

2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)

Then, according to Worldwide pay-TV Subscribers to Exceed 1.1 Billion in 2019 with Increasing IPTV Market Share [ABI Research, Jan 22, 2014]

imageWorldwide pay-TV market reached 903.3 million subscribers in 2013, generating $249.8 billion in service revenue. IPTV operators enjoyed significant growth (18.5% YoY) in 2013 to 92 million subscribers with a total of $37.2 billion in service revenue.
“Increasing FTTH [Fiber To The Home] subscriber base and bundled subscriber base of telcos are boosting the IPTV market. ABI Research forecasts that the IPTV subscriber base will grow to 161 million subscribers in 2019 accounting for 15% of overall pay-TV market,” comments Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
The global terrestrial TV market reached 9.5 million subscribers at the end of 2013. A declining pay DTT subscriber base in Italy and Spain had an impact on the overall Western European DTT market which dropped around 5% in 2013. Unlike Western Europe, the DTT market in Africa grew a remarkable 45% to 2.1 million subscribers in 2013. “As African countries start to switch over to digital, digital terrestrial TV has become an affordable alternative to satellite TV service in the region. ABI Research forecasts that Africa will have over 4.8 million DTT subscribers in 2019,” adds Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
DirecTV maintains its largest market share in terms of pay-TV service revenue. The company had around 20.2 million subscribers in the US with an ARPU above $102 by the end of 3Q-2013. Globally, the pay-TV market is expected to grow to 1.1 billion subscribers with $320.3 billion in service revenue in 2019.

3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)

Or a broader view representing all other segments of the TV market as well:
Global TV market revenue to grow at a steady pace: up 23% by 2018
[DigiWorld by IDATE blog, Jan 30, 2014] by Florence Le Borgne
Head of the TV & Digital content Practice, IDATE.

At a time when video has become pervasive across all of our screens, most national TV markets are losing steam: shrinking viewership and pressure on advertising markets, especially in Europe. Although pay-TV seems to be holding its own, the fast-growing popularity of OTT offerings is shaking up the traditional pay-TV model, while the demise of physical media is virtually a foregone conclusion.
If the decline of physical media now seems inevitable, television still has a chance to reinvent itself in a way that takes into account changes in viewer behaviour and competition from new online vendors.
Accessing TV
According to IDATE, the number of TV households worldwide will reach 1.675 billion in 2018 (+9.6% in 5 years), with the number of digital TV households worldwide being 1.542 billion in 2018, which translates into 92% of TV households
  • Cable will the remain the chief access channel (592.3 million households in 2018) but will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV which will account for 32.9% and 10.9% of TV households, respectively, at the end of 2018.
  • Despite the development of hybrid TV solutions, terrestrial TV should continue its decline on the first TV set and drop down to number three spot by 2018, with roughly 21% share of the global market.
  • The development of hybrid solutions that combine live programming on broadcast networks (terrestrial and DTH) and OTT video services over the open Web is a key variable in the future development of the various TV access modes, and may well shake up current trends.
TV: top money-maker
Breakdown of audiovisual market revenue in 2013

image 

TV revenue
According to IDATE, the global TV industry’s revenue will come to €374.8 billion in 2013 and €459.2 billion in 2018.
  • Pay-TV revenue will grow by 21.3% between 2013 and 2018, or by an average 3.9% annually, to reach €220.2 billion in 2018.
  • Ad revenue will enjoy even stronger growth of 27.3% between 2013 and 2018, to reach €201.1 billion in 2018.
  • Public financing/licensing fees will continue to increase significantly (+7.7% in 5 years) to reach nearly €38 billion in 2018.
Video revenue
According to IDATE, physical media sales will total €16.3 billion in 2018, when video on demand (VoD) revenue will reach €35.4 billion in 2018, which is 90% more than in 2013.
  • This means that the global market will have shrunk to more than a quarter of what it was in 2013 (-27.2%).
  • Blu-ray will be the most common format and help temper plummeting physical media sales.
  • OTT video will continue to be the biggest earner, generating 51% of total revenue.
  • VoD will still be the dominant model on managed networks. It will generate €6.9 billion in 2018 versus €2.3 billion for subscription video on demand (S-VoD).
American OTT video providers’ footprint in Europe as of 31 December 2013
image
Source: IDATE, December 2013
American OTT vendors already have a solid foothold in Europe
Netflix is already present in seven European countries: Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The service had 1.6 million subscribers in the UK and Ireland at the end of 2013.
  • LoveFilm was reporting 1.9 million subscribers in the UK and Germany at the end of 2013.
  • At the end of 2013, iTunes’ VoD rental service was available in close to 110 countries, and permanent downloads in 14 countries, chiefly in North America and Europe.
More information on TV and new video services market report & database

UK Video Rental Market Plunges in 2013 as Half of Country’s Blockbuster Stores Close [IHS iSuppli press release, April 23, 2013]

The market for Blu-ray (BD) and DVD rental in the United Kingdom is expected to plunge by 22 percent in 2013, as half the country’s Blockbuster video stores shut down in a restructuring initiated by the company’s new management.
The U.K. market for physical-video rental will drop to £202 million in 2013, down £57 million, or 22 percent from £259 million in 2012, according to a newly updated forecast from IHS (NYSE: IHS) . While the market is generally on the decline, 2013 will bring the sharpest predicted annual decrease for the 11-year period from 2007 through 2017.

image

By the end of 2013, only 264 Blockbuster stores will be open in the country, down 50 percent from 530 in 2012. Blockbuster is the largest video rental chain in the country.
“The year 2013 is set to become a watershed for the U.K. video rental market as a result of the wholesale closure of Blockbuster UK stores,” said Tony Gunnarsson, senior video analyst at IHS. “The massive downturn in the store-based video rental market represents a significant loss to the video market and will result in a major decline and radical transformation of the U.K. video market overall. From 2013 on, the U.K. physical-video rental business increasingly will be dominated by online rent-by-mail subscription services.”
Both DVD and BD transactions are due to decrease across the store-based sector this year. DVD rentals will fall by a steep 53.2 percent to 15.4 million. BD is set to drop by an even larger 61.3 percent to 2.8 million respectively.
Blockbuster gets busted up
After filing for administration in January 2013, Blockbuster’s administrators Deloitte announced two separate rounds of store closures, including some 224 sites. In February 2013, supermarket chain Morrisons purchased 49 of these former Blockbuster stores in its drive to increase its store presence in southeast England.
Out of the remaining Blockbuster stores, Gordon Brothers acquired a total of 264 locations, including a number of Blockbuster outlets earmarked for closure that will now remain open.
Pay-TV killed the video store
In 2012, rental stores were responsible for 41.3 percent of the video rental market based on consumer spending. In the latest forecast for 2013, however, the store-based sector is now projected to generate just 24.7 percent of the overall market. This tilts the market toward the online sector, which will see its share of market increase massively from 58.7 percent in 2012 to 75.3 percent this year.
At the same time, the lost rental business won’t result in customers that used to rent at Blockbusters automatically signing up to become rent-by-mail customers with online providers, IHS believes. Rather, those customers are more likely to turn to a host of other video platforms, primarily pay-TV services.
Video rental market winds down
In the longer view, the U.K. rental market will return to a normal trend of decline after 2013, with spending on renting physical video shrinking at an annual rate of under 5 percent until 2017. By then, the retreat in spending is expected to be slightly more negative at 7 percent.

4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular

As far as the U.S. is concerned AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video are the leading IPTV services by far*, having 5.5 million and 5.3 million subscribers respectively, which is 11.7% of the above 92 million subscribers number by ABI Research:

image* The next service provider, CenturyLink “Ended the quarter with 149,000 CenturyLink® PrismTM TV subscribers, an increase of approximately 17,000 subscribers in third quarter 2013” according to its Q3 203 report [Nov 6, 2013]. CenturyLink only entered five U.S. markets after acquiring Embarq (2009) and Qwest (2010). In fact no other U.S. providers are in the Top 20 globally according to SNL Kagan Reports World’S 20 Largest IPTV Operators Served 83% of Global IPTV Households at End-2012 [June 6, 2013]. More:
– China’s leading telcos– China Telecom and China Unicom– serve an estimated 30% of the global IPTV subscriber base.
– Asian telcos accounted for 49.2% of the top 20’s IPTV subscribers in 2012, reflecting the region’s large market size and limited telco competition.
– France — the second-largest IPTV market by subscribers after China — is home to four operators ranked among the global top 20. [
Note that among Top 5 are Iliad and France Telecom. Iliad’s Freebox TV offering proposes a broad selection of TV channels (over 450, of which more than 200 are included in the basic package), as well as numerous audiovisual services, such as catch-up TV (with 45 channels available on Freebox Replay), and a wide video-on-demand offering. It was actually the largest IPTV deployment in the world with 2.4 million IPTV-enabled customers as of end 2007 (see here).]
– Nine operators out of 20 are located in Western Europe and seven in Asia
.

U-verse® Drives Wireline Consumer Growth and Broadband Gains

  • Wireline consumer revenue growth of 2.9 percent versus the year-earlier period
  • Total U-verse revenues, including business, up 27.9 percent year over year, now a $13 billion annualized revenue stream
  • 10.7 million total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) in service:
    • 630,000 high speed Internet subscriber net adds; record annual net adds of 2.7 million
    • 194,000 U-verse TV subscribers added, lowest churn in product history
  • Continued U-verse broadband gains in the business customer segment, up 78,000, nearly doubling year-ago net adds
  • Strategic business services growth accelerates with revenues up 17.4 percent year over year, now more than 25 percent of wireline business revenues

Record-Low U-verse TV Churn. Total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) reached 10.7 million in the fourth quarter. U-verse TV had the lowest-ever churn in its history. U-verse TV added 194,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter with an increase of 924,000 for the full year to reach 5.5 million in service. AT&T has more pay TV subscribers than any other telecommunications company.

U-verse TV penetration of customer locations continues to grow and was at 21 percent at the end of the fourth quarter.

image

Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

In FiOS video we added 92,000 new subscribers in the quarter. Total FiOS videos customers reached 5.3 million, representing 35% penetration.

As far as the OnCue acquisition [from Intel, i.e. the Intel Media operation], look, the focus here is really to accelerate the availability of the next-generation IP video service which we will integrate into the FiOS video service. And really what we are trying to do is differentiate this even more so with fiber to the home versus others with the TV offerings and reducing the deployment costs. And this really accelerates us from if we were trying to build IP TV versus buying the IP TV technology.

From an FiOS customer perspective, we expect the benefits that they will have more elegant search and discovery activity and cost stream ease of use. But also keep in mind, with the acquisition of Verizon Wireless and becoming 100% ownership of that we also plan to take that platform and integrate it more deeply with our Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. So that really was the strategy behind this.

As far as would we enable this platform to take us over the top, obviously we have our video digital media services that we have been working on for 2.5 years. We’ve just made two acquisitions related to that platform. So, look, we are positioning ourselves strategically to be in a position to competitively compete around the whole mobile first world and video, so I think that is where we are.

image

Pay-TV Operators Can Stave Off OTT Threat with Multiscreen and CDN Investments [iSuppli press release, April 17, 2013]

Despite the dire competitive threat posed by over-the-top (OTT) services, pay-TV operators can thrive by investing in additional service offerings that should include multiscreen services to more than make up for the erosion in their customer base, according to the IHS Screen Digest TV Intelligence Service from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

Speaking here today at the IHS PEVE Entertainment 2013 Conference, Guy Bisson, research director for television at IHS, noted that although European cable operators have lost 1.4 million households, they have gained 17.8 more revenue-generating units (RGUs), during the five-year period from 2007 through 2012.

While cable operators in Europe and other regions are expected to lose more households in the coming years, RGUs will continue to increase, driving revenue growth for the industry. The below figure presents the IHS history and forecast of cable households and RGUs for the 27 countries of the European Union.

5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

OTT and IPTV Integration Increasingly Popular [Pyramid Points, Nov 27, 2012]

How do you plan to spend your evening most times when you order a pizza? You’re very likely to watch a video.
In the UK, Domino’s Pizza Group saw the value of over-the-top (OTT) online video to boost customer loyalty, and back in October launched the Domino’s Pizza Box Office video streaming offer. Customers order a pizza and get a download code to stream a movie at home. This is just another example of how OTT is revolutionizing the way video content is delivered to consumers: Today almost anyone can become a content provider.
Exhibit: Evolving video delivery environment and video platforms
image
Source: Pyramid Research

Many operators see the proliferation of OTT as a threat to their established IPTV business models. They fear that OTT will subvert their role in the pay-TV value chain and cannibalize revenue. We’ve found, however, that the opposite is just as likely to be true. In our new report, “OTT Growth Sparks Innovation Multiscreen Video Business Models,” we argue that OTT is serving as an innovation stimulus for the pay-TV market, pushing telcos to enhance their IPTV services with more screens. We also find that an increasing number of operators, alongside their managed IPTV services, are directly entering into non-managed OTT environments. This means that more operators are using the open Internet to offer video services to potentially any consumer with a broadband connectivity, being their existing customers or not.

OTT in emerging markets: Challenges and opportunities
Operators are warming up to the idea of launching their own OTT services, especially in emerging markets. While IPTV remains a premium service, which requires subscribers to purchase more expensive bundles, OTT is more flexible and only requires a good broadband connection. This means that in the more price-sensitive markets, where there is still strong demand for online video, OTT is becoming an attractive option for users. Besides, OTT services are typically delivered over a wide range of screens and at different price points, including smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, making them more accessible to different consumer profiles.
In Colombia, for example, ETB has announced that it will shortly launch an OTT service to complement its upcoming IPTV deployment. In Mexico, the OTT service provided by fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) operator Totalplay, dubbed Totalmovie, has rapidly become the main competitor to Netflix. It offers video content in Mexico alongside the operators’ IPTV platform and across Latin America by using third-party operator infrastructure. As of October, it had 1.9m registered users and 5m unique monthly visitors.
We expect to see more Latin American operators launching OTT services. The second largest regional group, Telefonica, is considering positioning OTT commercial offers in several countries. The decision between managed (IPTV) or unmanaged video delivery (OTT) ultimately depends on each country’s infrastructure, competitive environment and operator position. Telefonica has, however, confirmed that there are already ongoing OTT initiatives outside Spain.
In Turkey, TTNET, the ISP of fixed-line incumbent Turk Telekom, has already been quite successful in combining its IPTV and OTT offerings. TTNET wants to add value to the bundles, which in turns helps increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. This is crucial in preventing the decline of Turk Telekom’s fixed-line base. While IPTV is positioned as a premium service, OTT is priced very competitively. As of August this year, TTNET had over 1.2m OTT and 150,000 IPTV subscriptions.
OTT can provide significant benefits to operators. In the case of TTNET, positioning OTT alongside IPTV is encouraging consumers to break through their broadband allowances, thus creating the need to migrate to higher-value packages. In the case of Totalplay in Mexico, OTT is contributing to the monetization of the operator’s superfast fiber-based network. For both operators, using third-party infrastructure breaks the link between content delivery and network management.

The outlook is positive

In the near future, we expect to see significant revenue-generating opportunities associated with VoD, catch-up TV, and targeted advertising, especially when telcos can integrate their OTT and IPTV offerings with interactive and social media functions.

Using the open Internet for content delivery, however, has its downsides. The main shortcoming with OTT is that the operator is not in control of quality of service (QoS). Especially in emerging markets, quality of service and network speeds vary wildly from country to country, making it challenging to ensure the same quality of experience (QoE) that can be guaranteed through a managed IPTV network. Another challenge for operators is securing in-demand content for OTT platforms. Without doubt content is king, but content is also costly. Unless they are backed by multimedia and broadcasting groups, operators tend to be the weak link in the content production and delivery value chain. But that is a challenge with IPTV too.

All in all, if telcos are serious about developing a pay-TV offering that can resonate with the demand for multiple viewing platforms at different price levels, they need to seriously consider the opportunity of complementing IPTV platforms with OTT.

— Daniele Tricarico, Analyst

More information from Pyramid Research:
Is the Arab World Ready for OTT Video? [Sept 13, 2013]
CDNs Offer New OTT Revenue Hope [Feb 20, 2013]
Chinese Regulator Opens Up to MVNOs [mobile virtual network operators] [March 15, 2013]

Finally here is a list of Top 10 Online Streaming Video Services [tom’sGUIDE, Jan 1, 2014] in the U.S. in order to understand the state-of-the-art of OTT video services:

Digital video options

Streaming video has just about displaced the DVD on the list of home entertainment options, and it may supersede cable and broadcast TV in the near future. Every modern computer has access to streaming video services, as do most game consoles and mobile devices, and even a growing proportion of televisions. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet or expand your streaming horizons, check out 10 of the best services for watching movies, TV, music videos, Web shows and more.

image

Netflix

Netflix is the most popular video streaming service out there, and with good reason. The service is available on just about every platform, including computers, game consoles, set-top boxes and mobile devices, and it hosts movies and TV shows to accommodate every taste. From hit films like “The Avengers” to every “Star Trek” TV series to original programming like “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix’s variety of content is unparalleled. You can even share an account among five different users to keep recommendations and viewing habits separate. Netflix costs $8 per month.

Inserts of mine:
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.
Netflix passes 38m paying ‘streaming’ subscribers [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 22, 2013] with:

Netflix’s total number of paid streaming subscribers increased by 2.4m over the quarter, to reach 29.9m subscribers in the United States and 8.1m subscribers internationally. The international streaming service saw a larger than expected increase of free trialists to 1.1m driven by Latin America and the September launch of the service in the Netherlands.
The third quarter of 2013 is a significant milestone for Netflix, as the quarter in which the Netflix US streaming subscriber count pulled even with the US subscriber count of pay TV giant HBO. The company ended the quarter just shy of 30 million streaming subscribers with estimates for HBO at roughly the same level.
The comparison with HBO is the most appropriate for companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu‘s subscription service, rather than with the pay TV operators. Netflix, as well as Hulu Plus and Amazon, are acting as premium channels in investing in acquired and original content and following in HBO’s early-1990s footsteps. Despite the investment Netflix has made in its own original programming, the company has reported that a greater percentage of overall viewing on the platform is of previous-season TV episodes and catalogue movies. Netflix indicates that it plans to double its investment in original content in 2014, although this will still represent less than 10per cent of global content expenditure.
Netflix’s international business remained a loss-making venture as the company struggles to gain profitability without scale and without a legacy high margin physical business. Whereas in the US the company initially bundled its streaming proposition with disc rentals add value to the physical subscription Netflix has not had a preexisting business from which to launch a digital subscription internationally. At present, the international ventures are subsidized by domestic market return and with ongoing market expansions planned by Netflix; IHS does not expect this to change in the mid-term.

End od my inserts for Netflix

Hulu Plus

If you want to catch TV shows almost as soon as they air, Hulu Plus may be right for you. This streaming service hosts a plethora of TV shows and movies. Whether you want to watch “Leverage,” “Family Guy” or “Spongebob Squarepants,” Hulu generally posts new episodes within days of their airing on TV. Hulu Plus costs $8 per month (with some shows available only on computers for free), and provides past seasons of shows along with Hulu’s original programs. It is available on computers, game consoles, streaming boxes and mobiles.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime Instant Video is a streaming service that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription. In addition to offering free shipping on Amazon orders and free Kindle books to borrow, Amazon Prime allows subscribers to access approximately 40,000 movies and TV shows. In addition to unlimited streaming offerings, users can rent and buy other TV shows and movies a la carte. This makes Amazon Instant Video a good choice for watching newer movies before they touch down on unlimited streaming services like Netflix. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year.

See also: Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]

M-Go

If you’re not interested in paying a monthly fee for your streaming video content, M-Go might be up your alley. M-Go, which is the default streaming service on Roku boxes and also available on computers and mobile devices, allows you to rent and buy TV shows and movies. Prices range from $2 for individual TV episodes to $20 for HD movie purchases. M-Go excels in offering both HD and SD versions of content, making it an attractive choice if you want a one-off rental.

Blip

Watching big-budget movies and TV is all well and good, but for curated, original Web shows from charismatic creators, nothing fits the bill like Blip. Think of Blip as a more curated, creator-friendly version of YouTube. Individuals create and upload original series, ranging from comedy to reviews to funny pet videos, and Blip ensures that the content has professional production values and that new entries are added regularly. All content on Blip is free, and you can access it via your computer, mobile device or Xbox 360.

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Vevo

MTV hasn’t played music videos since the ’90s, but the medium is not dead just yet. Vevo hosts the latest music videos from artists ranging from Katy Perry to Old Crow Medicine Show, but audiophiles would be wise to stick around for its scads of original content. Users can access biographies, retrospectives, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews about their favorite musicians, and curated playlists for both individual artists and entire genres. Vevo is free, and available on computers, mobile devices, Rokus, Apple TVs and Xbox 360s.

MLB.TV

If you’re a baseball fan, you’re in luck: Major League Baseball‘s streaming service is one of the best in professional sports. MLB.TV allows viewers to watch most games during the regular MLB season. (Postseason games are available through the Postseason.TV service at additional cost.) Fans can watch both home and away games from anywhere in the world. Stat junkies can examine each pitch as it happens and compare their fantasy teams in real time. MLB.TV costs $130 per year and is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes, Xbox 360s and PS3s.

Crackle

If you crave pop cinema, Crackle could be the best thing to happen to your TV since afternoon basic cable. The Crackle service offers a rotating selection of a few hundred movies and TV shows, including “Ghostbusters,” “The Cable Guy” and “The Shield.” Crackle also creates and hosts original content, ranging from espionage thriller serials to “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” starring Jerry Seinfeld. Crackle is free (though you’ll have to watch some commercials) and available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and game consoles.

Twitch

Watching other people play video games is, surprisingly, almost as much fun as playing yourself — sometimes more so, if you have a good host. Twitch is a platform for gamers to livestream their play sessions. You can find streams of everything from “League of Legends” to “Minecraft.” Whether you want to see tutorials, speed runs or popular Web personalities’ reviews, Twitch has you covered. The service is free, both to watch and to stream your own sessions. Twitch is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and PS4s.

YouTube

The biggest video streaming service online is just about unbeatable when it comes to variety of content. YouTube is the go-to site to upload short videos: cats, clips from your favorite TV programs, cats, original Web shows, cats, movie trailers, cats and more. The service will be one of the first to support content for the higher-resolution 4K TVs. If you’re looking to watch short-form videos, this is the place to start. YouTube is free and available on just about every device with a screen and an Internet connection.

Discovery to take majority control of Eurosport [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 22, 2014]

Discovery Communications has agreed to take a controlling interest in Eurosport International, the pan-European sports channel, from its partner TF1 Group [of France]. … Discovery, which primarily operates a portfolio of factual channels in Europe, has branched out in recent years with the acquisitions of SBS Nordic in Scandinavia and Italy’s Switchover Media. It now has the option to acquire 100% of Eurosport International and could also increase its interest in Eurosport France, though TF1 expects to retain its 80% interest until at least 1 January 2015.
The US group‘s move to take control of Eurosport is, as the company noted yesterday, taking place a year sooner than originally planned. While sports is clearly a new playing field for Discovery, the male-skewing profile of Eurosport is a good fit with its factual channel brands, offering possibilities for combining advertising and network sales. To date, co-operation has focused on markets where Eurosport is not present, notably the US and China. In the US, Discovery has been showcasing Eurosport rally and superbike programming on its Velocity channel.
A further move into the US appears unlikely given the presence of ESPN and powerful rivals like Fox Sports, NBC Sports and CBS. Fox Sports in particular has recently made strong moves into the international market place. Outside the US, Eurosport successfully occupies a niche where it is not competing with premium pay operators like BSkyB, Canal Plus and Sky Italia for high cost events like league football, but instead focuses on lower profile events where rights are often shared with local free-to-air broadcasters.
The main uncertainty over Eurosport’s change of ownership surrounds its content supply from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which provides hundreds of hours of events like cycling, grand slam tennis, winter sports and athletics. TF1 is an EBU member, but with Discovery holding the reins, this arrangement will almost certainly have to be renegotiated, with possible implications for Eurosport’s cost base. Even now, there appears to be room for improvement: Discovery’s operating margin for its international operations was 44% in 2012, compared to a slender 14% for Eurosport International.

Sky sees future in OTT as upsell becomes focus [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, July 26, 2013]

Sky [more precisely BSkyB] added more Now TV customers in the quarter to end June 2013 than new satellite customers and is increasingly pushing OTT access and connected devices as the core of its future growth strategy. In calendar second quarter (Sky’s fiscal Q4), the pay TV provider added 34,000 new TV customers to reach 10.442m and said the ‘bulk’ of TV growth came from OTT service Now TV. Organic growth for broadband stood at 119,000 (25 per cent more than BT added in the same quarter) with a further 400,000 added through the acquisition of O2’s UK broadband operations to reach 4.9m. Telephony grew 140,000 organically with 153,000 coming from O2 to reach 4.5m. The number of HD subscribers grew 117,000 to reach 4.789m or 46 per cent of the TV base, with 2.7m HD boxes connected to broadband. Annualised ARPU hit £577 up £29 in the year.
Sky said that its future strategy would focus on becoming the centre of the connected home across a range of content windows that would increasingly include DVD window for paid on-demand and movie retail as well as the traditional subscription window. The move comes on the back of impressive figures for on-demand and OTT content subscription with a three fold increase in Sky Store (on-demand) revenue and 166,000 customers paying £5 a month for the Sky Go Extra service that allows content download to mobile devices. Sky said that, on average, Sky homes have seven connected devices and that content access inside and outside the home was increasingly important to its offer. The operator said it had concluded four new studio deals with a wider range of rights to service this market and would prioritise getting its customer base connected. The new Sky HD box now comes with built in Wi-Fi and a new low-cost wireless connector is being made available. Sky also released a new Now TV box priced at £9.99 when a Now TV subscription is taken, the device also enables Smart TV functionality and is targeted at the 13m Freeview [a free-to-air digital terrestrial television service in UK, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV,Channel 4, BSkyB and transmitter operator Arqiva] homes who don’t currently subscribe to Sky services.
Our take
The latest move is interesting in that is represents a significant vote of confidence in both the incremental revenue that can be derived from OTT services and the potential to tap an entirely new customer base in the form of ‘dip-in’ Now TV users. While this goes hand in hand with an increased investment in original content and channels as well as sports rights to support the core service, it is clear that Sky sees the most upside in incremental revenue driven by OTT rather than strong additional growth in traditional satellite pay TV customers. With broadband and telephony being an increasingly important area of revenue growth, the connected device/OTT space becomes the next area for up-sell, meaning that the so-called ‘multi-product strategy’ becomes central. While none of the services require a tie-in to Sky’s own broadband, it is this very area that BT has chosen to attack with its bold move into sport. The free access to BT’s suite of new sports channels with a BT broadband 12 month contract means that not only could there be a subset of Sky TV customers who will migrate to BT broadband, but a further segment of existing BT customers who will not be available to Sky for triple-play up-sell. To date there has been no evidence that’s BT’s strategy is paying off (net TV additions for BT were roughly flat in the quarter to end June 2013). But BT says it believes this will change when the channels launch.
Sky’s strategy, then, is to fall back on its traditional strengths centred on content, but to do this in a way that embraces new forms of distribution and leverages the power of its existing customer relationships. Headroom for growth remains strong: despite triple-play penetration reaching 35 per cent among the Sky customer base, two-thirds of Sky customers have yet to take a broadband offer. With Sky out-performing the market in broadband net adds, this area is likely to ensure continued strong revenue and ARPU growth. But two areas of risk remain. If the majority of TV growth comes from Now TV, Sky will have to deal with an increasingly large segment of TV customers who are not tied into a contract and who are relatively low value in terms of ARPU. As this segment scales, clearly this could lead to large and seasonal fluctuations in churn and ARPU. The second area of risk is related: cannibalisation. While this is a risk that Sky is well aware of and keeping close tabs on, the renewed connected home push risks accelerating the transition to a more transient customer base.

UK TV viewing is about connection, says Ofcom report [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Aug 1, 2013]

The home entertainment experience is becoming increasingly connected with multi-tasking central to the enjoyment of TV content, according to the latest Communications Market Report from UK regulator Ofcom. According to the findings, there has been a huge increase in the devices that people take to the living room. On average, each UK household owns three different types on Internet-enabled device. The biggest growth over the last year in take-up of services and devices has been on the number of tablets and smart-phones. Thanks to the device mix, 22 per cent of people in the living room watching screens other than the main TV most of the time.
The main TV set remains important. Ninety-one per cent of UK population tune into the main TV set weekly up from 88 per cent in 2002, with viewers on average watching four hours a day in 2012 compared to 3.6 hours in 2006. Although the report finds that people gather around the TV in the living room, there has been a decline in the number of children with TVs in their bedroom; 52 per cent of UK children now have a TV set in their bedrooms which represents a 17 per cent decline over the last six years, mainly related to the increase number of tablets and Internet connected devices.
Average media household spend has increased in the last year to £113.51 a month after many years of decline. The biggest increase has been on mobile services (£46.73 a month) and fixed internet (£11.91 a month) and the biggest decrease has been on fixed voice (down £22.48 versus one year ago to £21.61 in 2012). TV spend has been stable over the last five years at between £28-£29 a month.
Our take

Ofcom figures reflect what IHS Screen Digest has long noted: live linear TV is not dead.

According to Ofcom, time-shifted viewing represents just 10 per cent of the total and hasn’t changed much over the last years despite the huge increase in DVR ownership. According to BARB figures DVR has grown from 18 per cent in 2007 to 55 per cent in 2010 and 67 per cent in 2012. Despite this, growth in time-shifted viewing has been only moderate up from six per cent four years ago. 
More than half of UK adults are regular media multi taskers, they ‘stack’ or ‘mesh’while watching TV weekly, with tablet owners more likely to multi-task than average. Almost one in four UK adults made direct communication with friends and family about the programs as they watching (media meshing) and half of UK adults conduct other activities while they are watching TV on a weekly basis (media staking).
The increase in tablet owners has also changed consumer viewing behaviour with VOD requests coming from tablets increasing from three per cent in 2011 to 12 per cent in 2012. More than 56 per cent of tablet owners used them to watch TV and 57 per cent of those watched linear TV on the tablet.

Ofcom also found that, when it comes to the much-hyped area of social TV, it is news, reality shows and sport events that are engaging viewers through social media, but the knock-on effect is that consumers want to watch these shows live in order to engage socially, providing another boost for linear TV.

TV Everywhere Spreads Among US Television and Cable Networks; NBCUniversal Leads [IHS iSuppli press release, Oct 18, 2013]

NBCUniversal leads the US TV Everywhere (TVE) effort in providing access to TV content on second screens like smartphones and tablets, while EPIX and HBO share the distinction of supporting TVE on more second-screen devices than any other premium or basic cable network, according to a new report from the TV Intelligence Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

From Wikipedia: TV Everywhere (also sometimes known as authenticated streaming)[1] refers to a model wherein television providers and broadcasters, particularly cable channels, allow their subscribers to access their respective content on digital platforms, including video on demand and live streaming of the channels themselves. TV Everywhere systems utilize user accounts provided by the television provider—which are used to verify whether the user is a subscriber to a particular channel, thus allowing or denying access to the content. The U.S. provider Time Warner Cable first introduced the concept in 2009; in 2010, many television providers and broadcasters began to roll out TV Everywhere services for their subscribers, including major networks such as ESPN, HBO,NBC (particularly for its Olympics coverage).
NBCUniversal provides TVE in 15 of its 18 channels, or 83 percent of the studio’s total stable of cable and broadcast networks to pay-TV subscribers willing to authenticate on second-screen devices. Meanwhile, EPIX and HBO have been at the forefront of the TVE experience, with both very willing to embrace new technologies and offering significant amounts of content on their apps and portals.
EPIX first kicked off the TVE phenomena in October 2009, formed by partners Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate after their failed renewal with Showtime HBO followed suit in February 2010 with the launch of its web portal and how has a vast TVE library online, even though it does not yet offer live linear streaming.

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HBO, along with Cinemax and BTN2Go, are the only three networks to have TV Everywhere authentication agreements with all major US pay TV operators.
For its part, Showtime is the only premium network offering live linear streaming through TV Everywhere. The company is also allowing for authentication outside of the home, a feature likely to expand to other basic and premium cable networks as TVE continues to evolve.
The last premium channel group to the party is Liberty’s STARZ. STARZ and Encore launched TV Everywhere services in October of 2012, but are still missing authentication deals with both Comcast and DISH Network.
One entity so far remains the lone hold-out among the major channel groups not providing any TV Everywhere content—Discovery Communications. But that will change as Discovery is expected to finally jump into the fray in the near to midterm time frame. It will likely become critical to offer similar services, IHS believes, as TVE access becomes more central to the future of US pay TV video.
Solving the cord-cutting problem before it gathers steam
All major pay-TV operators to date have implemented some form of the TVE service, although sometimes in very limited form, via either live linear streaming or video on demand (VoD). But while the streaming of live linear network feeds is largely relegated to in-home use, video on demand (VoD) is a significant out-of-home TVE product.
VoD streaming channels, at 73 including cable, premium and broadcast, far outnumber the channels offering live streaming, at 31, as shown in the attached figure. NBCUniversal, the TVE leader, has 15 VoD channels and five live streaming channels, followed by Time Warner with nine VoD channels and three live streaming channels.
“TV Everywhere has been developed as a collective strategy by both pay-TV operators and TV content owners to enhance the traditional linear TV proposition, so that secondary screens like tablets and smartphones can be used to view TV content in addition to the primary screen,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for U.S. cable networks at IHS. “And in spite of the differences in strategy, all TVE products have one thing in common: They allow for current pay-TV video subscribers to authenticate and consume on secondary screens a significant amount of content that they purchase as part of their normal pay-TV video subscriptions.”
TVE is one approach that pay-TV operators and network owners are using to stem the tide of cord-cutting among cable subscribers before the number of defections become significant. In many cases, cable subscribers are finding themselves increasingly tempted to end their subscriptions—either because of high costs or because of other alternatives now available, such as over-the-top (OTT) alternatives like Netflix. In the second quarter of 2013 alone IHS estimates that the pay-TV business shed 352,000 subscribers, mostly to seasonality, but some elements of cord-cutting are likely to have been present as well. To be sure, the combined price of $28 (Netflix, Hulu Plus and Aereo) may be more appealing to consumers than the $80+ average revenue per user that IHS estimates pay-TV video customers will pony up for service in 2013.
Through TVE, both pay-TV operators and network owners hope to add new functionality and interactivity to the television viewing experience. And by partnering with pay-TV operators, content owners like the broadcast networks hope they can continue to solidify their hold on the distribution of premium television content.
Device compatibility extending beyond iOS and Android
TV Everywhere is also evolving beyond Apple iOS and Android, the two platforms on which TVE apps first appeared. Now, TVE apps from networks are becoming available and are being deployed across a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs; video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox; Amazon’s Kindle Fire; Blu-ray players; and digital media products such as Roku and Apple TV.
Adoption of TVE initiatives by the major channels is a reaction to the changing landscape of TV viewers in the country, Brannon noted. And as it continues to grow in awareness and popularity, TV Everywhere will remain a central focus for pay-TV operators.

6. Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox

From Worldwide launch of Xbox One sparks global celebration for a new generation in games and entertainment [Microsoft press release, Nov 21, 2013]

Xbox One’s innovative architecture means you no longer have to choose between your games and entertainment. Get multiplayer alerts while you watch TV, and keep watching TV while you play. Snap your NFL fantasy football stats next to the game. Jump instantly from a game to TV, movies, fitness, music, sports, the Internet and Skype video chat with the sound of your voice. With Xbox One, you never have to stop playing to talk to a friend, surf the Web or watch live TV. You also have access to a new generation of TV experiences, and starting in the U.S. and coming to many markets soon, OneGuide will allow you to access your favorite shows, channels, apps or games with the Bing natural language voice search.

Xbox One Live TV, Xbox Fitness with Yusuf Mehdi [scarlettgarden YouTube channel, Oct 27, 2013]

Here’s an Xbox Wire interview with Yusuf Mehdi regarding live TV on the Xbox with instant switching and Xbox experiences tailored to the gamer profile

From Xbox One: Your Top Questions Answered [May, 2013]

Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US). The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available.

The TWC Case:

This deal, which will bring more live channels than any other experience on Xbox 360, will offer Time Warner Cable [TWC] subscribers with an Xbox Live Gold membership the ability to watch their favorite shows from right from their Xbox 360 — including favorites like AMC, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV and more. And unlike any other platform, you’ll be able to control your entertainment using your voice via Kinect for Xbox 360.
I’m excited to announce, alongside our good friends at Time Warner Cable, that the TWC TV app has launched on Xbox 360 today, delivering up to 300 of the most popular TV channels to Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also TWC subscribers.
At Xbox, our vision has always been to provide all the entertainment people want in one place, putting the best in TV, movies, music and sports right next to your favorite games. Like Xbox 360, Xbox One will be the best place in your house for gaming, apps and TV and we can’t wait to show you more on that soon. Today, we’re thrilled to expand our growing entertainment app portfolio of more than 130 voice-controlled apps on Xbox 360 with the addition of TWC TV. TWC customers, thank you for your support and welcome to the Xbox family.
When we launched the TWC TV app on Xbox 360 in August, we promised we were hard at work with our partners at Time Warner Cable to bring you Video On Demand and just in time for the holidays, we’re delivering. Starting today, Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also Time Warner Cable subscribers can now get On Demand content right on their Xbox 360 in addition to the nearly 300 channels of live TV that the TWC TV on Xbox 360 app already offers. And don’t forget that with Kinect for Xbox 360, the app lets you control your favorite shows using voice and gestures so you can kick back, remote-free.
The update also includes an exclusive “share” feature that allows you to send messages to other Xbox Live members that are TWC TV customers while channel surfing. With the TWC TV app, you’ll have access to more than 5,000 On Demand choices and in-app messaging. Look for the update today or download the app now!

With an unexperienced person: Hands-on video: The Xbox One as a media device [gigaom YouTube channel, Nov 19, 2013]

The Xbox One promises to combine state-of-the-art video gaming with live TV and streaming apps. Check out or hands-on video for a closer look at the device’s entertainment offerings.

First Wave of TV & Entertainment Apps Coming to Xbox One Unveiled [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

Offering more entertainment options has always been important to Xbox fans. For years, we’ve been working with leading entertainment brands and TV providers to offer our customers a wide variety of live and on-demand entertainment. Today we unveiled the complete Xbox One experience – showcasing how Xbox One delivers the best games and multiplayer features, along with your favorite movies, music, sports and live TV experiences – all in one place.

“We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer. “Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”

In addition to delivering live TV in every market where Xbox One will be sold, we are also bringing premium, voice and gesture controlled TV and entertainment apps specifically designed for your living room. These apps have been built from the ground up uniquely for Xbox One and are designed to harness the power of the all-in-one platform.  For example, Xbox One is empowering partners to bring media achievements and exclusive Snap experiences, as well as many other things to entertainment apps, offering everybody the opportunity to achieve badges or rewards for the media they consume in addition to gaming.

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Something truly unique we’re doing with Xbox One is bringing together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen. Xbox One is also the only games and entertainment system that enables HDMI pass through. You can create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide – the Xbox One electronic program guide – so you can quickly and easily choose what you want to watch, whether it’s a TV channel like CBS, NBC or ESPN, or something inside an app like Xbox Video, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One. You can even add your personal photos and videos from the SkyDrive app to your OneGuide Favorites.

Additionally, a Bing search for TV, movies, games, or music scans across all apps to find exactly what you’re looking for, instead of having to hunt through each app individually. For the first time, you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

Today, we’re announcing the very first wave of some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment rolling out on Xbox One in the 13 launch markets between Nov. 22 at launch and spring 2014:

Australia

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Network Ten’s tenplay
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • TED
  • Twitch

Austria

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Brazil

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Muu
  • Netflix
  • Saraiva Player
  • Sky Online
  • SporTV
  • TED
  • Telecine
  • Twitch
  • Vivo Play

Canada

  • CinemaNow
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Rogers Anyplace TV
  • Sportsnet
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch

France

  • 6Play
  • Canal+/CanalSat
  • France 2,3,4,5
  • La TV d’Orange
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • MyTF1
  • MYTF1VOD
  • SFR TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Germany

  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Watchever
  • Zattoo

Ireland

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Italy

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Premium Play
  • TED
  • Twitch

Mexico

  • Clarovideo
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Televisa
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • TV Azteca
  • Twitch
  • Veo

New Zealand

  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Quickflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Spain

  • Eurosport
  • Gol Televisión
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • RTVE
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv
  • Zattoo

United Kingdom

  • 4oD
  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • blinkbox
  • Crackle
  • Demand 5
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv

United States

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • The CW
  • ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FXNOW
  • HBO GO (coming soon)
  • Hulu Plus
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Target Ticket
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch
  • Univision Deportes
  • Verizon FiOS TV
  • VUDU

The list above* is just the first wave of third-party apps that are coming to Xbox One over the course of the next few months.  We will continue to announce more apps coming to the platform and both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 entertainment app portfolios will continue to grow weekly.
*Xbox LIVE Gold membership required

In addition to the entertainment apps coming from partners, in every market Xbox One will also feature:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Skype
  • SkyDrive
  • Upload

With games, multiplayer gaming, live TV and the best entertainment apps, Xbox One is the most complete entertainment system.

Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

With highly experienced users: Xbox One All-in-One Demo with Yusuf Mehdi and Marc Whitten [xbox YouTube channel, Nov 8, 2013]

Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi walk through a comprehensive demo of Xbox One, including instant switching, biometric sign-in, Live TV, Skype, game DVR, OneGuide and more.

From Xbox One: The Complete All-in-One Games and Entertainment System [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

As we head toward Nov. 22, we’re showcasing the all-in-one capabilities of Xbox One. This is the real Xbox One in action. Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Yusuf Mehdi, and Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten show the best of Xbox One in this new video. And, you can see 10 of our favorite new features below.
#1 – Unleashing the Power of Your Voice
A simple voice command turns on your Xbox One, your TV, your set-top box and your AV system because Kinect for Xbox One is an Infra-Red blaster. And when you say “Xbox On,” your game is always ready to resume from wherever you left off. You can start playing your favorite game, find your favorite show, change channels, turn up the TV volume and more – with the sound of your voice, powered by Bing voice recognition technology.  Just say “Xbox, go to ESPN” and your TV will change directly to the ESPN channel. Or, “Xbox, go to Hulu Plus,” “Xbox, Volume Up,” “Xbox, Mute,” “Xbox, go to Music” – it’s simple. Kinect “talks to” your TV, set-top box and AV receiver, making it easier than ever to navigate entertainment in your living room.
#2 – Biometric Sign In
#3 – Instant Resume and Instant Switching
We’ve talked about instant switching before, but now you can see it for yourself in action. The video showcases how quickly you can jump from one experience to another and right back where you left off. You can literally jump from a game to live TV, music, movies, sports, Web sites and back again in seconds, just by using your voice.
#4 – Watch Live TV via Xbox One
Xbox One lets you watch live TV from your HDMI-compatible cable or satellite box, making it easy to switch from games to live TV – all with the sound of your voice, and without having to switch TV inputs. No more multiple remotes, missed multiplayer matches while you’re watching TV, or frustrating delays. Just connect your set top box to your Xbox One and you can watch live TV through your Xbox One.
#5 – Get a Multiplayer Invite, while you are Watching a movie or live TV
#6 – Game DVR and Upload Studio Let You Record and Share Your Greatest Moments
#7 – Do Two Things at Once
You can also choose to snap two experiences together – so you can play a game while you watch TV or listen to Xbox Music. Or, watch the big NFL game while you manage your fantasy football team. For gamers, snapping Machinima opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Just by saying “Xbox, Snap Machinima,” the Machinima app will be snapped next to “Dead Rising 3” or your favorite game, and walk-throughs, game reviews, help videos and more will appear.
#8 – Skype on the Big Screen, With Groups and Free Long Distance
Skype is amazing on Xbox One, offering the only big screen experience with Group Video Chat with up to four people. Kinect is the only camera in the world that will follow the caller and pan and zoom automatically as if you had your own camera man. You can talk with your friends while surfing the Web or checking the latest stats of a sports team. And have full 1080p video calls for one-to-one chats on your TV. 1
1 For 1080p video call, both users must have compatible HD displays, web cams, messaging clients, and broadband internet.

#9 – OneGuide Delivers Personalized Guide to TV, Apps and More

Xbox One has its own TV listings guide that can be navigated with your voice. Say “Xbox, what’s on Discovery Channel?” and boom, there you have the list of shows.  Call out your favorite TV show by name and start watching it instantly.  And, Xbox One is the only system that brings together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen.  Create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide, so you can easily choose what you want to watch – whether it’s on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One app. For the first time you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

#10 – Xbox SmartGlass Enhances Gaming in New Way

Microsoft Is Changing the Game for Sports Fans [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Sept 3, 2013]

Whether it’s in the living room or on the playing field, Microsoft and products like Xbox, Surface, and Windows 8 are impacting the way we experience our favorite sports.
In May, Microsoft announced a multi-year, landmark partnership with the NFL. For the Xbox community, this means exclusive interactive NFL experiences for fans at home, found only on Xbox One starting this November. Today, we’re excited to share more details about this partnership and the game changing NFL experiences for Xbox One and Surface. We are also pleased to introduce NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone which are available for download today.
Also making headlines today is the confirmation and details around the all-new ESPN application for Xbox One. Leveraging the unique platform capabilities of Xbox One, sports fans will now have control of the live programming, highlights, stats and more across ESPN like never before. 
The NFL on Xbox One and Surface 
Tailored for you, the NFL on Xbox One will deliver the best of the NFL, in a way that will completely reimagine the way you experience football from the comfort of your home.  Only Xbox One can bring interactivity to live games, stats, scores, highlights and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team all together on the best screen in the house – your TV. Xbox One will personalize your NFL experience, for your team, with the best content the NFL has to offer including NFL.com, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone.  Whether you’re watching the game or not, Xbox One makes it easy to keep tabs on the league with Snap mode. You can watch live TV, play games, or watch movies, while simultaneously tracking your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, or checking in for the latest scores and stats. 
While you’re watching at home, Surface technology is in the stadium, on the sidelines to help protect your favorite players.  Teams and trainers will implement use of the X2 concussion testing application this season to quickly diagnose potential player concussions immediately after leaving the playing field with the help of Surface tablets, helping quickly determine if they can get back in the game or call it a day.
ESPN on Xbox One We are also excited to announce ESPN on Xbox One, which builds on our innovations with ESPN on Xbox 360, and provides you with the best of ESPN networks and web content personalized just for you.  Featuring deeper sports content personalization, ESPN on Xbox One gives you immediate access to the teams and sports you care about most.  With WatchESPN, ESPN.com, and ESPN3 video content, you get the best highlights, live events and on-demand sports in full screen mode.  Additionally, you will receive personalized scores and stats in Snap mode from the most popular sports.
NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 
Beginning today, NFL.com Fantasy Football is now available on Xbox 360, offering a whole new way to track your team and leagues on the best screen in your house – your TV. This destination is tailored just for you and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, and is easy to jump into and simple to use. The Xbox 360 app brings you an endless playlist of Fantasy Football highlights, Fantasy analysis, stats, scores and standings about your NFL.com Fantasy Football team and leagues, making sure you don’t miss a thing. Consumers can head to NFL.com today to sign up for a league and get in the game before kick off on September 5th.
And, with the new NFL.com Fantasy Football apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, you can keep tabs on your team and leagues on your tablet, PC, and mobile device as well.
Download NFL.com Fantasy Football for Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone today, and stay tuned for game changing experiences on Xbox One this November.

7. Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios

Best Advice: Nancy Tellem [Fortune Magazine YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2013]

Nancy Tellem is the entertainment and digital media president of Microsoft.

Faces to Watch in 2014: Digital media | Nancy Tellem, Mike Hopkins, Issa Rae [Los Angeles Times, Dec 27, 2013]

A big year is coming up for game designers Ryan and Amy Green and Ruben Farrus, plus Microsoft’s Nancy Tellem, Hulu’s Mike Hopkins and Web writer-actress Issa Rae.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Nancy Tellem | Microsoft’s president of entertainment and digital media

The veteran CBS television executive had her work cut out when she joined Microsoft Corp. in 2012 to launch a Santa Monica studio to create original content.

Long fascinated with changes in consumer behavior, Tellem is now playing an important role in determining what appeals to younger consumers accustomed to getting their entertainment on multiple screens. She is trying to build on the momentum that Microsoft has achieved by encouraging millions of consumers to consider the Xbox more than just a video game console. Xbox users spend more than half of their time online listening to music and streaming movies, TV shows and exploring other entertainment options. Microsoft wants to build a trove of exclusive content to differentiate its game system from the rival Sony PlayStation.

Microsoft’s slate of new shows designed to appeal to the digitally connected generation is expected to launch in the first half of 2014. Microsoft also brought Tellem on board to make inroads with Hollywood’s creative community. One of the first projects she announced was a live-action TV series, produced by Steven Spielberg, based on the “Halo” game franchise for Xbox Live, a feature that enables gamers to play against online opponents.

Tellem was trained as a lawyer and worked her way up the ranks in business affairs at Lorimar, Warner Bros. and then CBS. At the broadcast network, Tellem was a key executive in the development of new shows, including the hit reality show “Survivor.” She was one of the TV industry’s first female entertainment presidents.

— Meg James

Mike Hopkins | Hulu chief executive

Issa Rae | Actress-writer-director
… 

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a “Game of Thrones”  [The Wrap YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2013]

TheWrap’s keynote speaker at its fourth annual Power Women Breakfast (Oct 30, 2013) says Microsoft’s new studio has the ambition and the means to create landmark programming

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a ‘Game of Thrones’ (Video) [TheWrap, Oct 30, 2013]

Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s new president of entertainment and digital media, said on Wednesday she has the means and the ambition to make a “Game of Thrones”-like series for the new studio backed by the technology giant.

“I have the ambition” to make a show as grand as “Game of Thrones,” said the former president of CBS entertainment at TheWrap‘s Power Women Breakfast at the Montage in Beverly Hills.

That, to me, was greatest testament to how wonderful television can be and how engrossed people are and committed – and it was a social experience,” she said.

And, she said smiling, Microsoft’s budget was “enough for me to do my job, let’s just say.”

Not being bound by the constraints of a 22-episode season or even show length and with the technology to engage the viewer through the Xbox platform allows Tellem and her team to “focus on the content itself” and then way viewers canshare that experience.”

Tellem said she expects that Microsoft will begin rolling out its new shows — which will range from sports programs to scripted series — as soon as the spring. She says they have not decided whether to release the episodes over time or put them all out at once, like Netflix.

Asked about binge viewing, Tellem said she was not sure if Microsoft would release all its content at once, observing that interactivity was more the distinctive purview of Microsoft.

Xbox One Reveal: Halo TV and NFL [xbox YouTube channel, May 23, 2013]

Nancy Tellem’s Xbox Entertainment Studios announcements of Halo TV with 343 Industries and Steven Spielberg and NFL from Xbox One Reveal Press Briefing.

From Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system [press release, May 21, 2013]

Blockbuster titles, Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, and exclusive agreements with the NFL transform games, TV and entertainment for the 21st century living room.

“Halo” television series. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

RTS Cambridge Convention 2013: Xbox One – From Gaming to Content [Royal Television Society, Sept 12, 2013]

Created for gaming, the Xbox One is the latest challenger to old-fashioned telly, but, said Microsoft entertainment and digital media president Nancy Tellem, it is not the final nail in the TV industry’s coffin.

“It’s an augmentation,” she argued. “Right now, [TV] is in a renaissance period — what Xbox offers is a different TV experience.” 

Since joining Microsoft from CBS a year ago, Tellem has been spearheading the software giant’s move into TV, delivered via its Xbox One gaming console.

Interactivity among its current 76 million connected console users would be the key to Xbox One’s success. “It isn’t just delivering content. It really offers an immersive experience,” she said.

The session was chaired by Matt Frei from Channel 4 News, who said that he enjoyed being a “passive” consumer of TV. To laughter from the audience, Tellem replied: “Xbox addresses the next generation.”  

Tellem identified sport, live events and scripted entertainment as genres particularly suited to Xbox One. Mentioning Game of Thrones as the type of complex drama suited to the console, she claimed: “You can give a much richer understanding of the characters and their history.”

Tellem is in discussions with studios and talent about commissions, which she hopes to announce in a few weeks. Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that a TV show based on the Halo game, with the involvement of Steven Spielberg, was in the pipeline.

She also countered a suggestion from the audience that Xbox One’s programming would be geared at 18-year-old boys. Tellum said that her ambition was to reach out beyond traditional gamers, adding that 40% of its platform users were female, with most of the audience between 18 and 40. 

My mission it to transform it into an entertainment service,” she said, which would include music, film and sport as well as games. “It’s a simple offering that can access all your entertainment needs.”

Before joining Microsoft, Tellem had worked at the US network CBS for a decade and a half, latterly as senior adviser to chief executive Leslie Moonves.

Xbox Entertainment Studios to Debut Documentary Series Exclusively on Xbox in 2014 [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 19, 2013]

First Documentary Explores the Fabled Atari Mystery

Today, Xbox Entertainment Studios announced an original documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014. Xbox will produce the series with two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man and Man on Wire) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s 30 Days and PBS’s American High) through their new multi-platform media company, Lightbox

“Our collaboration with Xbox offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a unique series of films around the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the digital age,” said Simon Chinn. “Our goal is to produce a series of compelling and entertaining docs which will deploy all the narrative techniques of Simon’s and my previous work. It’s particularly exciting to be partnering with filmmakers like Zak Penn who come to this process from other filmmaking disciplines and who will bring their own distinctive creative vision to this,” added Jonathan Chinn.

“Jonathan and Simon Chinn are the perfect team to spearhead this series for Xbox. They are consummate story tellers and they plan to match their creative sensibility with the best talent in the industry,” commented Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem. “These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day.”

The first film in the groundbreaking series investigates the events surrounding the great video game burial of 1983. The Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the video game “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the middle of the night in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Fuel Entertainment, an innovator in cross-platform content development, secured the exclusive rights to excavate the Atari landfill and approached Xbox. Lightbox will document the dig, which is planned for early next year.

Filmmaker and avid gamer Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers, Incident at Loch Ness) will direct. This episode will not only document the excavation, it will also place the urban legend of the burial in the context of the precipitous rise and fall of Atari itself.

“When Simon and Jonathan Chinn approached me about this story, I knew it would be something important and fascinating,” said Penn. “I wasn’t expecting to be handed the opportunity to uncover one of the most controversial mysteries of gaming lore.”

Shooting begins in January. The series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014 and will be available globally in all markets where Xbox Live is supported.

8. Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Xbox Music + Video apps for Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone Central YouTube channel, Dec 18, 2013]

On December 18th, Microsoft released two new apps for Windows Phone 8: Xbox Music and Xbox Video. We give a tour of both apps and show off some of their features on a Lumia 1520. More info: http://www.wpcentral.com/xbox-music-and-video-app-tour

Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8 Walkthrough [Pocketnow YouTube channel, Dec 19, 2013]

Microsoft finally released the Xbox Video application for Windows Phone 8. We go hands-on with the new application in this walkthrough video, and discover all its features and missing functionality. See more at Pocketnow: http://pocketnow.com/2013/12/19/xbox-video-for-windows-phone

New Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps Available for Windows Phone 8 Customers [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 18, 2013]

It’s a big day for Windows Phone 8 customers. New apps for Xbox Video and Xbox Music are becoming available today in the Windows Phone store.

Xbox Video Comes to Windows Phone

Today, Xbox Video launches on Windows Phone 8, so now you can truly take your movies and TV shows with you wherever you go. Stream from the cloud or download your favorite movie or TV episodes to your phone to watch them offline. You can rent or buy the newest hit movies or search for classics from the massive catalog with the only app that lets you download movies and TV episodes right to your Windows Phone 8. You’ll even get Rotten Tomatoes ratings and Metacritic scores right on your phone.

Xbox Video on Windows Phone 8 also delivers countless TV shows. With a Season Pass, brand new episodes are automatically added to your collection so you don’t miss a beat from your favorite new shows. Or catch up with every episode from past seasons and relive the glory days of your favorite shows from years past.

With Xbox Video, your collection follows you from screen to screen in the cloud. For example, you can buy and start a movie or TV show from XboxVideo.com or Xbox Video on a Windows 8.1 tablet, and continue watching on your Xbox One, Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 8. And with Xbox SmartGlass, you get a richer viewing experience that isn’t found anywhere else. Xbox SmartGlass integrated with Xbox Video for Xbox One and Xbox 360 offers second-screen experiences with bonus content and exclusive extras, serves as a remote control, and gives you new ways to interact with whatever you’re watching.

Xbox Video is a free download in the Windows Phone Store today, and don’t forget to check out our new Web store at XboxVideo.com

A Peek at the New Xbox Music for Windows Phone

Also releasing today is a new Xbox Music preview app. This early-access app gives Xbox Music Pass users a look into the new music experience on Windows Phone 8.¹ Stream millions of songs from your phone or download the ones you want for offline listening. Create playlists that sync across your devices. Play songs from your personal music collection alongside your Xbox Music Pass content. It’s the best way to experience all the music you love on your Windows Phone.

The Xbox Music Preview is available in all 22 markets where Xbox Music is available today and can be found in the Windows Phone Store. The full release will roll out in 2014. Xbox Music is available today on Windows Phone, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8/8.1, online at Music.Xbox.com and iOS and Android devices.

¹ Xbox Music Pass required to use the app. Compatible devices and internet required. Data charges apply. See Xbox.com/music.

Xbox Music For Android Review [Mikey Capoccia YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013]

In todays video I will be reviewing the Xbox Music application for Android

Microsoft launches Xbox Music across iOS and Android, adds free streaming on the Web [press release, Sept 8, 2013]

Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it.

Nearing its one-year anniversary, Microsoft Corp.’s all-in-one music service, Xbox Music, continues making strides to deliver all the music people want, wherever they want it played. Today, Microsoft announced its plans to bring Xbox Music to iOS and Android devices, as well as free streaming on Xbox Music via the Web.[1]

Accessing music across all the different devices people interact with has become complicated. People today use PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and TVs to access different music services that don’t connect with one another. Xbox Music is designed to solve this common problem by combining the best of all music offerings with free streaming on the Web and on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, Internet radio, subscription (called Xbox Music Pass), and download-to-own options.[2] With today’s news, access to Xbox Music grows to include iOS and Android devices, as well as a free Web-based interface on computers.

“Xbox Music now, more than ever, powers music experiences between Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, and now iOS, Android and the Web,” said Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music. “We’re also excited to connect artists with their fans on the most anticipated consumer product of the year when Xbox One launches Nov. 22.”

Expanding the Xbox Music family of devices

Starting today, your Xbox Music Pass brings the catalog of music to iOS and Android devices. Get unlimited access to the songs and artists you want at any time with playback across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox console for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Add a song to your collection on your Xbox, and you’ll also have that song on your iOS, Android or Windows 8 device on the go or at the office. Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.

With the addition of free streaming on the Web, enjoy on-demand access to 30 million songs globally for free on the Xbox Music Web player at http://music.xbox.com or through the Xbox Music app on all Windows 8 tablets and PCs. Discovering and enjoying free music is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting “play.” Songs are instantly available to stream at no cost and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.[1]

Continued innovation

Xbox Music will continue to grow and evolve over the coming months. Microsoft will add Radio to the free Web player, a quick and dynamic way to personalize your collection, discover new favorites, and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favorite artists. With unlimited skips and a view of the full recommended music stream, Radio puts you in control of your Internet radio experience.[1]

Xbox Music will grow on Windows 8 when it adds the anticipated new Web Playlist tool this fall. The tool scans all the artists and music available on a given Web page and creates a custom playlist of all that music. Think about the Web page of your favorite radio station, or an upcoming music festival, and all the bands and songs included on that Web page. Web Playlist identifies all that music and creates an instant, custom playlist inside Xbox Music with the simple touch of a button. Web Playlist along with Windows 8.1 will be released Oct. 17.

In the coming months, additional updates for iOS and Android platforms will become available, including an offline mode that lets you save your music to your device for playback without an Internet or data connection.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of movies, TV, music and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Live, the world’s premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

[1] Free streaming available only on the Web and devices running Windows 8 or later. Limited hours of free streaming after six months; unlimited with paid subscription. Coming later this fall: artist-based Radio on Android, iOS and the Web.
[2] Xbox Music Pass is streaming only on Xbox consoles, Android, iOS and the Web. Applicable taxes extra. On Xbox consoles, Xbox Music requires an Xbox Music Pass and an Xbox Live Gold membership (both sold separately). Download music on up to four devices. Some Xbox Music content may not be available via Xbox Music Pass, and may vary over time and by region. Coming later this fall: Xbox music download-to-own on Android and iOS, and playlists and song sync on Windows Phone 8. See http://www.xbox.com/music.
For details, please visit http://news.xbox.com.
For assets, please visit http://news.xbox.com/media.

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