Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Houston's CenterPoint Energy & GE partner to produce Smart Grid System

Houston's CenterPoint Energy and GE team up to produce the Advanced Metering System (AMS) enabling consumers to track and manage electric usage and costs. Utilizing GE Digital Energy's MDS Mercury 3650 radios, AMS will translate electric utility meter info from homes/businesses to the CenterPoint's data center.

With this real time technology, consumers will be able access energy usage/prices and remotely control appliances via the Internet. For March, CenterPoint began installing 145,000+ of these smart meters. By the end of 2009, CenterPoint hopes to update all existing equipment with these new smart meters.

In addition, retail electric providers can offer new consumers products and services after the AMS installation.

For more information, please read K.C. Jones's article "GE Wireless Radios Power Houston Smart Grid Systems" posted to InformationWeek.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

2.5 Million U.S. and Canadian Households ready to buy an Internet-connected TV

Personalized and Web-based content driving consumer demand --

Parks Associates reports that approximately 2.5 million broadband households in the U.S. and Canada are ready to purchase an Internet-connected TV if priced at a $100 premium over regular TVs. This figure translates into $250 million in additional revenues for the consumer electronics industry.

Parks Associates’ latest consumer study, Digital Media Evolution, gauges market demand for Internet-connected devices and the applications consumers want to use in conjunction with this new capability. The study covers digital cameras, TVs, digital photo frames, and Blu-ray players and finds TVs have the strongest market potential.

The top application consumers want through a connected TV is access to video-on-demand content. At the same time, roughly one-third of broadband households in the U.S. and Canada want on-screen widgets, and 27% want to access content stored on their home computers.

Access to additional content is the key demand driver. Most people can get popular video titles through their pay-TV providers, but if they want to watch niche or personal content on their TV, they have to burn or buy DVDs. With a connected TV, they suddenly have lots more options.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Netflix with a Facebook application

From Reuters: Netflix Inc is the latest media company to integrate with social networking website Facebook, whose huge community of young, tech-savvy users could help drive growth of the online DVD rental service's subscriber base.

Starting on Tuesday, Netflix users can use Facebook Connect -- software that links individual Facebook pages to third-party Web sites -- to share their ratings of Netflix rentals with their Facebook friends, the companies said in a statement.

Labels: , ,

Two interesting gaming announcements from this past week

Here were a couple of interesting gaming announcements made this week at GDC:

  • Zeebo game console announced: A startup backed by Qualcomm announced the launch of a $199 game console for developing markets. The Zeebo will download games over 3G networks. This could be an opportunity for mobile operators to get into the hardware game and make money on services.
  • OnLive launched: The OnLive Game Service and OnLive MicroConsole™ were announced at the Game Developers Conference. It is addressing high-performance games without the console, so it’s more of a virtual gaming experience. I wonder if it might be a white-labeled solution for service providers.

Labels: , , ,

TiVo gets Blockbuster content

Seems like everyone is courting TiVo. Between Netflix, Amazon, and now Blockbuster, there's more content on demand available on a broadband-connected TiVo box. Blockbuster will also hawk TiVos in some stores.

Labels: , , , ,

CTAM Study: cable subscriptions are safe for now

CTAM just did a study and found that - despite the economic conditions - most people won't cut their cable cord anytime soon. We had posted similar findings in December.

Labels: , ,

HomePlug, ITU9960, and HomeGrid

Despite work both in the IEEE and the ITU, there is still rancor around the powerline networking space, as Rick Merritt in EE Times writes. HomePlug supporters have indicated that one major problem with the 9960 spec is that it is not currently backward-compatible with HomePlug products already deployed (27 million nodes already). We will have representatives from both HomePlug and at our CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit on Tuesday, so I imagine that we'll have an interesting conversation.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Verizon getting into home controls?

According to CNET, Verizon Communications is exploring ways to use its Fios broadband service to give consumers ways to remotely control their thermostat and view their energy usage.

Company engineers are now designing applications, including energy management, to work with the routers that come with its Fios service.

The first application Verizon expects to roll out will be videoconferencing by the end of the year, according to company spokesman Jim Smith, who said home security and energy management are also being considered.

Labels: , ,

Thoughts in the IPTV World Forum

While I'm sitting at Heathrow waiting to catch our flight to Nice for the CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit on Tuesday, I have some time to share some thoughts on the IPTV World Forum, which we attended this past week.

I was struck in my conversations with the resounding theme that many operators have really stuck to a "walk-before-you-can-run" approach when it comes to IPTV services, and that mentality also seemed to apply in the presentations that I heard. I shared a lunch table with a vendor and a fellow analyst one day, and they mentioned that some of the prevelant themes from the past (like FMC and IMS) were not quite as evident in this year's conference. Instead, I heard more about how interactive services can be better promoted and how home networking is helping the operators not only reduce costs (by reducing the need for new wiring installations between the modem and the set-top box) but also differentiate with services such as multi-room DVR. Franz Kurath, the Executive Director for Broadband Content at AT&T, spoke about their Total Home DVR feature, which is now available free of charge to all subscribers.

So, what are the "running" features for IPTV? I am really intrigued by the variety of solutions out there for generating recommendations (companies like Neptuny, CID with myLOBster, ThinkAnalytics, and Miniweb Interactive). Paul Berriman, the Chief Technology Officer for PCCW, gave out a statistic that points to the need for better optimization of interactive services and advertising revenues. He said that only 10% of PCCW's revenues are coming from video (although they keep a healthy ARPU in broadband), and only 10% of video revenues are generated by interactive services and advertising. I'll be interested to see some ROI analysis that comes from the recommendation companies.

Two other major sitings at the show were widgets and social networking (combined in many cases). It's clear that Facebook is coming to the TV screen sooner rather than later, and there were companies showing how things like recommendations and ratings could be applied to television services.

And, then there's the connected home aspect. I heard from vendors that DLNA is at least being asked about by the operators, if not yet fully requested in set-top boxes. It's evident that the underlying connectivity features of DLNA will be important for operators and their CPE vendors to consider as they seek to provide subscribers with interesting digital media access and sharing capabilities.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 27, 2009

E-Book Reader, The Paperback of a New Generation

“I have never been much of a reader, but I would like to read more,” is a comment heard ever more frequently at happy hours, professional events and even, as for me, at the office. In my case, as in many others, the conversation centered on the advent of e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader Digital Book which, ironically, are using technology to bring this desire to reconnect with the tradition of the written word within the grasp of today’s overscheduled and high access media entertained young professional. “I want to read more,” my coworker explained, “but I just don’t have the time.” In his case the technology under discussion was the Kindle2, which allows for both text-to-speech and page display e-reader functionality – thus giving readers the ability to “listen” on the drive to work to the book they began e-reading while in line at the grocery store.
The technology is impressive and the idea that it may bring literacy for entertainment back into vogue is an exciting concept. But one has to wonder what effect it will have on the publishing industry. Like the paperback novel before it, the e-reader may come to influence what types of materials are commercially published. Prior to the US introduction of the mass market paperback by Robert de Graaf in 1939, the hardcover book was a library or bookstore commodity whose readership did not always include “commuter class” workers; however, fueled by their easy availability at newsstands and the corner drug store, the public’s ravenous appetite for these convenient “pocket books” caused the publishing industry to take a genuine interest in the paperback’s market potential.
The first paperback offerings, just as those for the Sony Digital Book and the Kindle, were previously published works by established authors. Over time, however, owing to the comparative low cost of production, as well as to the often non-traditional tastes of the paperback reading public, some publishers began producing original works and slow selling “sensational” titles in paperback formats designed specifically to appeal to their new readership. Mike Hammer, Mickey Spillane’s hardboiled cult idol, first found fame within the pages of the 1950’s dime store novel.
So now, once more, we are faced with a new innovation that may bring with it a new readership whose tastes differ from that of their pre-e-reader forebears and the question must be asked – what changes will they make even as they embrace the long standing bastion of the written word, and, in the end, who will have the profounder effect on whom?

Labels: ,

The e-Book Market Is Garnering Rising Interest stays mum about sales of its e-book reader the Kindle. Private sources pegged 2008 unit sales between 300K and 500K. More rosy is the forecast. An equity research analyst projected early this year that Kindle and its content can bring $1.2 billion in 2012.

Whether such forecast is accurate is anyone’s guess. But there is no doubt that electronic books and literatures are an under-monetized asset. This week I learned, in quite a surprise, that Shanda Literature, a subsidiary of China’s largest online game company Shanda Interactive, earned almost 100 million Yuan (equivalent to $14 million) in revenue in 2008. Shanda Literature operates three online Chinese literature communities where users contribute original stories and novels and share with one another. Visitors and community readers can opt to pay to read premium content, and Shanda Literature provides the distribution and payment platform and earn commission from each microtransaction. $14 million might be too small by American standards, but given the fact that Shanda just formerly established the subsidiary eight months ago (the portals were first set up in 2004), and the fact that the $14 million was based on micropayment, I would call Shanda Literature’s accomplishment “impressive.”

Let’s turn back to’s business model with Kindle. Earlier this month, Amazon made available an e-book reader software for Apple’s iPhone. It indicates that Amazon realizes that the Kindle is just half the digital literature market. The more lucrative part longer term might be the content and distribution business. Making e-book reader software available to more devices and platforms is just like Apple made its iTunes software to Windows-based PCs back in 2003. The goal is to expand the application’s reach so as to maximize the potential user base. Amazon will not be content with just distributing books in its physical form. It is reasonable to assume that its ambition is to become a digital publisher and play a commanding role in how e-books/literatures will be published and distributed. It may even distribute user generated content as the e-publishing platform tears down the all the barriers between an unrecognized yet talented writer and the traditional book publishing ecosystem. Since we could vote Kelly Clarkson as our “American Idol,” why we can’t let users vote their “Stephen King” or “Dan Brown” through an e-publishing system?

Perhaps recognizing e-book/e-literature market’s potential, two more collaborations were forged over the last two weeks. Last week, Sony partnered with Google to make the latter’s digital book content available on Sony’s e-book reader devices. Then Barnes & Noble yesterday announced that it will make its own e-book reader software available to RIM’s Blackberrys. Earlier this month, Barnes & Nobles also acquired an e-book seller These deals revealed an intensified interest in the e-book business. As consumers get more accustomed to reading books on a digital device, the book publishing industry could be the next victim of the digital age.

Labels: , , , ,

Electronic Medical Record Remains the Focal Point of Health IT Reform

Ever since the Obama administration unveiled its healthcare reform initiatives and associated budget plans, electronic medical record has received a substantial amount of attention. This week, a survey result showing that only 9% of the nation’s hospitals have electronic medical records caused quite a stir among pundits, medical professionals and policy makers. Two major sponsors of the study are the federal government and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the survey is based on a sample of nearly 3,000 hospitals. Given the size of the sample and the reputation of the two sponsors, the results can be considered highly creditable.

Interesting enough, the survey results showed that physicians and hospitals well recognize the benefits of a computerized patient record system, so the low adoption rate must reflect hesitations due to other reasons. One obvious one is cost. Initial capital outlay on an electronic medical record system is quite daunting for budget-slim hospitals these days, but ongoing maintenance and support expense is another cost item that is sometimes overlooked. More importantly, the study maybe for the first time showed hospitals and physicians’ concern that many of the benefits of the EMR system may not accrue to the hospital that makes the investment. “If hospitals become more efficient, they could potentially even lose money in terms of lower reimbursement [from] insurance companies. This makes the business case for HIT far more difficult,” the study inferred.

The last point highlights a “chronic” barrier for healthcare reform efforts. Our healthcare system is so complex and intertwined that a costly reform initiative is less likely to succeed if it touches only one interest group at a time. No one party in our healthcare system is willing to shoulder the entire investment if it knows half the benefits will go to other parties on the sideline. EMR is one prime example, so is the home health monitoring technology and wellness initiatives like Medical Home. I have long argued that government should play a more actively role in involving different parties and provide incentives as well as checks and balances to ensure the reform is on the right track all the time. Obama’s EMR incentive program is a first step. But instead of just Medicare giving incentives to hospitals and physicians, why not calling on private insurers to join the initiative? Of course, private insurers don’t have to spend as much as or provide the same form of incentive as the government will. The way they participate can be more creative—for instance, incentives can be tax deductible. My message is that any healthcare reform needs to align well all parties’ gives and takes in order to succeed. EMR adoption is no exception.

By the way, I think fixing our healthcare system is as difficult as fixing our current financial system. Listen to what Treasury Secretary Geithner said earlier this week about his plan—calling on private investors to join hands with the government to buy toxic assets. Is this a model or something that healthcare policy makers should consider?

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cable Show Lunch -- Engaging the Consumer: Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolution of TV

Going to the Cable Show?

Join research firm Parks Associates at a lunch presentation, Engaging the Consumer: Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolution of TV, on Thursday, April 2 at 12:45.
Sponsored by Macrovision and Hosted by Parks Associates

Moderated by: Jayant Dasari, Research Analyst, Parks Associates

Speakers include:
Bob Benya, Senior VP, Video Product Strategy, Time Warner Cable
Jeff Bonin, Vice President & GM, Alticast
Richard Bullwinkle, Chief Evangelist, Macrovision
David Grubb, VP Business Development, Motorola
Steve Necessary, VP Video Strategy, Cox Communications


This special lunch session, sponsored by Macrovision, discusses the challenges for operators as they develop and deploy innovative services and business models. In addition, the participants will address the impact of open standards such as tru2way, both in the short term on operators’ ability to develop interactive applications and their long-term influence on the evolution of the TV viewing experience.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 23, 2009

CBS Increases Mobile Value-Proposition - Will They Score or Draw a Foul?

NCAA March Madness is underway, and while I’m not a sports fan, I am interested in digital media strategies of traditional media companies particularly from an ad-focused research perspective. And it looks like CBS is making a play for mobile.

In partnership with Apple, CBS has created an iPhone application featuring mobile video streams of NCAA March Madness basketball games. While AT&T and Verizon mobile customers have access to the March Madness games via a $15 per month mobile TV subscription, this sports app is affordable and includes interactive features and capabilities (however, one must have a WI-FI connection to receive video). For example, the app provides game statistics as a transparent overlay of the video.

CBS’ mobile value-proposition is two-folded:
  • Consumers get on-the-go access to March Madness basketball updates and games (albeit at a price - $4.99 per mobile application).
  • Advertisers/brands receive free cross-platform ad exposure within the app.

CBS is providing free ad space, as a bonus offering, within the application to current NCAA March Madness advertisers on broadcast TV. One can safely bet CBS will charge advertisers for the space in the future especially if the app is a hit among iPhone owners.

Taking advantage of dual-revenue stream models is an increasingly popular business strategy for mobile content publishers/providers. First, get consumers to pay for the content (or charge distribution fees) and then supplement the content with advertising. The arrangement has already been accepted by consumers when considering cable TV, so why not employ the same strategy on the mobile channel?

To date, CBS has been committed to the enhancement and monetization of consumer experiences across digital media platforms. CBS’ NCAA iPhone application is just another example of these efforts as the network provides access to March Madness on broadcast TV, online, and now, mobile. Kurt Scherf posted a blog regarding the recent CBS online video offering, NCAA March Madness On Demand.

When considering CBS’ current mobile media strategy and its true value-proposition, the following questions must be answered.

  • How many mobile consumers paid for this application? How many engaged and used the application?
  • Is current ad exposure via the mobile app significant enough to justify future media spend by advertisers? (I assume this application appeals to a relatively small group of avid college basketball fans.)
  • Moving forward, will advertisers insist mobile ads be offered as a value-added offering to complement their existing broadcast NCAA March Madness buys - especially now that they’ve received the app-ads for free?
Even if the app is downloaded by only a few thousand mobile users, I’d say, “CBS scored with their NCAA March Madness app!” Why? Because the network is hustling after the consumer while making key digital media plays – ones that will hopefully increase CBS' out-of-home audience ratings and brand affinity for advertisers.

Note: To date, the App Store has received 900 reviews of the application. The application has a 3 (of 5) star rating.

UPDATE: Per MediaPost on 3/24/09, the CBS NCAA iPhone app is the second-most-popular paid program in Apple's App Store. In addition, in the first four days of coverage, NCAA March Madness via CBS' on-demand digital service attracted 5.6 million unique visitors, a 60% increase year to year.

Labels: , , ,

Parks Associates supports IPTV World Forum

Parks Associates is supporting the IPTV World Forum held from March 25-27 in Olympia, London.

The IPTV World Forum was developed as a direct response to the rapid growth in the marketplace, bringing together operators, technology partners and content providers to explore and define the IPTV evolution.

For more information, visit .

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One-third of U.S. broadband households interested in connected set-top

Parks Associates special session at Cable Show presents best strategies for service providers --
Connected set-top boxes are growing in popularity, with 33% of all U.S. broadband households interested in this platform, according to Parks Associates. The international research firm notes this news is good for service providers, which have this device at the core of their current service strategies.
Parks Associates is hosting a special lunch session, Engaging the Consumer: Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolution of Television, sponsored by Macrovision, on Thursday, April 2, at the Cable Show in Washington, DC.

Session Speakers:
> Bob Benya, SVP, Video Product Strategy, Time Warner Cable
> Jeff Bonin, VP & GM, Alticast
> Richard Bullwinkle, Chief Evangelist, Macrovision
> David Grubb, VP Consumer Strategies, Motorola
> Steve Necessary, VP Video Strategy, Cox Communications

Panelists will address challenges in building ARPU and best strategies in developing innovative television services that will interest consumers and lower churn.

“The cable providers have a unique challenge – continuing to innovate at the pace that consumers are adopting new forms of entertainment technologies that may not currently be available through their provider,” said Richard Bullwinkle, chief evangelist for Macrovision. “Many of the new technologies out in the market now have generated great interest, but for these emerging technologies to be a viable solution for the end consumer, they need to be deployed to the mass market – cable can provide this.”

“Up to 7% of broadband households are willing to pay $3-$6 more per month for a connected STB,” said Jayant Dasari, analyst with Parks Associates and session moderator. “They want to stream music, view photos, and watch Web video through their television, and carriers can capture that consumer interest by leveraging the set-top to deploy these services.”

For more information on the session, and to request an invitation, go to

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Parks Associates supports The 6th Annual World Health Care Congress

Parks Associates is supporting The 6th Annual World Health Care Congress held from April 14-16, 2009 in Washington, DC .

The 6th Annual World Health Care Congress is the most prestigious meeting of chief and senior executives from all sectors of health care. The 2009 conference will convene over 2,000 CEOs, senior executives and government officials from the nation's largest employers, hospitals, health systems, health plans, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and leading government agencies.
For information, click here. View Event Brochure (PDF)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Over 100 million households worldwide to have telco IPTV services by 2013

Microsoft keynote to address Customer Service and IPTV at CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit--

Parks Associates welcomed Roger Pitton, Program Director, TV, Video & Music Business, Microsoft Corporation, as the Keynote speaker for CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit, taking place March 31, in Nice, France. It has a full agenda featuring consumer data and expert analysis on advanced video solutions, digital media solutions, and connected consumer electronics.

The worldwide market for telco IPTV services will exceed 100 million households by 2013, a CAGR of approximately 38%, according to international research firm Parks Associates. Mr. Pitton’s keynote “IPTV and the keys to keeping customers” will address the best business strategies to gain and retain customers in the highly competitive European market for these services.

Mr. Pitton has several years of firsthand experience in marketing and selling IPTV services. In his keynote, he will specify the keys to differentiation, including unique content, an unmatched user experience, and the convergence of technology and content, required for sustaining success.
CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit Sessions:
>> European Consumer Trends
>> Broadband and Value-added Services
>> Video Services
>> Digital Media Content & Delivery
>> Connected CE
>> Digital Home Tech Support

Event sponsors include Affinegy, Enure Networks, and HomeGrid Forum. Global Sponsors include ActiveVideo Networks, Affinegy, Cloakware, DSC, HD-PLC Alliance, Icron, Macrovision, MoCA, ProVision Communications, Radialpoint, Telcordia, and Zilog.

For more information, visit

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Parks Associates hosts special lunch session at The Cable Show, April 2

Parks Associates is supporting the Cable Show '09 from April 1-3, 2009 in Washington D.C.

Parks Associates Research Analyst, Jayant Dasari will be moderating a special lunch session Engaging the Consumer: Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolution of Television on April 2nd from 12:45 PM - 2:00 PM.

This special lunch session, sponsored by Macrovision, discusses the challenges for operators as they develop and deploy innovative services and business models. In addition, the participants will address the impact of open standards such as tru2way, both in the short term on operators’ ability to develop interactive applications and their long-term influence on the evolution of the TV viewing experience.

Confirmed speakers include:

>> Bob Benya, Senior VP, Video Product Strategy, Time Warner Cable
>> Richard Bullwinkle, Chief Evangelist, Macrovision
>> David Grubb, VP Business Development, Motorola
>> Jeff Bonin, Vice President & GM, Alticast
>> Steve Necessary, VP Video Strategy, Cox Communications

For more information about this special lunch session, click here.
Request invitation by clicking here.

The Cable Show '09 is the built-for-business event that brings together leaders spanning the wide-ranging telecommunications, digital media and television sectors. Whether you've got a cool WiMAX app, a smart idea for a VOD channel or a better way to manage IP bandwidth, the people you'll do business with are at The Cable Show. Join over 12,000 cable professionals on April 1-3, 2009 in Washington, DC for unparalleled opportunities.

Visit for more information.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parks Associates reports social networking users to exceed 95 million by 2013

Expanding population creates new opportunities for advertising and connected TV --

Social networking is moving to the television, driven by a young audience interested in video features such as multiplayer games, chat, and content discovery. This trend will help increase U.S. ad spending in social media to almost $3 billion by 2013, according to Parks Associates.

The international research firm, in its report Social Media & User-Generated Content, finds over one-fourth of broadband users ages 18-24 are interested in social media features on the TV. Key applications include multiplayer gaming, in-program chat, and “most watched” lists. At the same time, 23% of U.S. broadband households want to view content from sites like YouTube and Flickr on their TVs.

For younger consumers in particular, their appetite for social experiences don’t end on the computer screen but are enhanced via their access on TVs and mobile phones. This expansion of social media has implications for service providers, advertisers, and CE manufacturers as well as the networking sites.

Parks Associates forecasts 95 million social networking users by 2013. This diverse population will have a variety of different needs and wants. For example, threats like the Koobface worm, which targets Facebook users, underscore the need for integrated customer support solutions that can address social networking security issues. Service providers could combine these offerings with their network support services to sell a complete protection package.

Free newsletters are available from Parks Associates. Subscribe now to get the latest insights from Parks Associates’ analysts.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 09, 2009

CBS, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and Online Advertising

If The Wall Street Journal starts running "Peanuts," it wouldn't shock me. After all, the paper has added a sports section, which is a pretty interesting read.

Today's paper discusses the 11-year, $6 billion deal that CBS made with the NCAA to air the men's basketball tournament, noting that CBS was smart enough to get the rights to air content on new media platforms such as mobile phones and the Internet (in addition to distribution deals wtih DirecTV and CBS College Sports, a cable network run by the company.

The buzz for those of us stuck at the office next Thursday and Friday will of course be CBS' March Madness on Demand, where video from every game will be streamed. CBS says that it expects advertisising revenues for its online video to grow to $30 million, up from $23 million last year. To put this in perspective, advertisers spent $643.2 million on the men's tournament on CBS in 2008, up 23.8% from $519.6 million in 2007.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Time Warner Tests "TV Everywhere" Plan

Cable network giant, Time Warner has a plan to distribute pay TV programming via web sites like Hulu, Yahoo TV, and YouTube. Whether through a mobile device or a computer, viewers will just have to prove they already subscribe to pay TV (cable, satellite or telco's TV offerings).

The "TV Everywhere" plan enables a cable subscriber (or person from that household) to have online access to the programming included in their current cable TV bundle. Full details are still being worked out although the goal is to prevent households from cancelling their cable TV subscriptions. The number of people per account is undetermined. There might also be a web-only option for non-cable TV subscribers.

Regardless of service provider (DirectTV, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, etc.), one would be able to watch content from networks like HBO or TNT. We will also have to wait to see if other cable networks adopt this plan too. However, Viacom and NBCU are moving forward with free cable distribution online because it helps boost awareness and ratings for their shows. Although, Time Warner argues that the trend of consumers ditching pay TV for free online content is an important and increasing issue.

To read more about this topic, please read the Advertising Age's article "TV Everywhere -- As Long As You Pay for It."

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Parks Associates supports Mobile Entertainment Live!

Parks Associates is supporting Mobile Entertainment Live! on March 31st at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Mobile Entertainment Live! is the nexus of three industries on a collision course to dramatically change the future of the media market—the wireless industry, the entertainment industry and the advertising industry.

Guided by Billboard’s editorial team, this one-day conference - the official mobile entertainment event of CTIA - will bring together the leading thinkers in each field to discover how all three can work together to create the content that people want to see, at the right price, and in the right way!
For more information, click here.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Over 33% of U.S. broadband households show strong interest in Web-enhanced features for connected TVs and set-tops

Service providers and manufacturers benefit from interest in widgets, VoD libraries --

Video-on-demand (VoD) libraries and widgets will be the first generation of video services driving adoption of connected television experiences in the U.S., according to international research firm Parks Associates. Consumer electronics manufacturers and service providers will benefit from higher margins and ARPU generation in providing these Web-like experiences via the television.

Parks Associates, in its new white paper From Boob Tube to YouTube: Consumers and TV, reports strong interest among U.S. broadband households for VoD libraries and TV widgets, which are Web-like displays that show customized news, weather, sports, or traffic information. In particular, 33% are interested in widgets, and almost 50% are interested in premium Web content, including TV shows and movies, through a connected set-top box.

Broadband households are growing accustomed to viewing video off the Internet. Demand for Web and user-generated content will increase, and those desires will influence their CE purchases and service provider choices. Widgets and VoD libraries will be the first in a long line of advanced video services people will want in their living rooms. Consumers respond favorably to enhanced interactive features and are willing to pay – either on the price of a television or as an additional subscription cost – for certain features. For manufacturers and service providers, creative, well-organized interactive services will be key to creating new value out of the television.

Parks Associates will present connected TV research at CONNECTIONS™ Europe in Nice, France, on March 31 and the Cable Show on April 1.

For more information, and to download From Boob Tube to YouTube: Consumers and TV, visit .

Labels: , , , , , ,