Is the Tablet Device the Future for Online TV and Media Streaming?


Singapore -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/03/2014 -- Marching Ahead to a Gadget Filled Future
It was only a matter of time before something came along to take the place of unwieldy laptops, despite the fact these machines gave us a freedom we had not previously enjoyed. Notebook PCs provided something with enough screen size and computing power to take care of business, but tablets then combined smart new tech to make at least meet basic computing power truly portable (something smart phones hadn’t been able to address successfully). According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (iab), 24% of all tablet owners are now watching less traditional TV due to tablet-based viewing and the opportunity to access mobile entertainment.

What is particularly exciting about the way the tablet and mobile entertainment industry is affecting our lives is that more and more people are getting access to information and entertainment they previously were unable to access. Living a comfortable life in the developed world we can barely understand the importance this access means to people and countries that were previously omitted from the conversation.

Perhaps this levelling of the playing field in terms of access is why the tablet and mobile share of video streaming grew 19% last year. Or maybe it’s the breadth of entertainment emerging which gives the users something tangible to watch in the comfort of their portable workplace.

Live TV streaming services like have capitalized on this advancement by tapping into this rapidly growing trend. These services are truly exploring the potential of free online streaming of digital TV. Ooyala estimated that 25% of video streaming through the tablet was long format and upwards of 60 minutes, and 50% of table and mobile video streaming was for longer than 10 minutes.

Further taking into account that an estimated 48% of US households have at least one tablet device in their homes these numbers become even more significant. Over a third (34%) of 18+ American adults will be tablet owners, which is double the figure assessed just one year ago. It is widely accepted the ages 18 to 49 are the sweet spot for entertainment content targeting for all big media outlets.

A glaring example in the favoritism toward this demographic is illustrated by NBC’s cancelling of “Harry’s Law”, a program that was ratings gold and was achieving 7.5 to 9 million viewers for every episode. The show was cancelled because the primary demographic watching the show was over 55 and NBC wanted to create space for a program which appealed to the 18 – 49 age demographic.

It is claimed by many industry analysts that media moguls are failing to realize is that the way to capture the attention of the younger demographic is by giving them access to the content they want, in the format they want, on the devices they want. As a result, what is emerging is a “cord-cutting” trend among users across the developed world. People are opting out of expensive cable packages or at the very least cutting down on their pay TV bundles.

According to, in Canada the largest percentage (22%) of people cutting the cable cord is between 34 and 47 years of age. This exodus is second only, to the age bracket of 25 to 33 years, where 18% of this segment let go of their cable packages. Another noteworthy observation is that most Canadian 25 year olds might not ever have a cable cord to cut in the first place.

We are, intentionally or not, shifting our entertainment focus to tablets and smartphones, with the International spending on tablets set to increase this year by a resounding 32%, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). This body has also made the bold forecast that tablet shipments will overtake both laptop and desktop shipments combined by 2015.

This indicates there will be even more users flocking to online TV and media streaming solutions. But is the entertainment industry catching on to this trend fast enough? There is a definite lack of any resounding evidence that they are succeeding in this arena. They are however trying to appeal to this tablet and mobile centric audience by increasing social interaction in their programming and offering some of their scheduled content for streaming online.

Is it enough? Most experts seem to suggest it’s not. Most of the media content offered online is made available at a price, yet it remains free broadcast for traditional TV viewers. In addition much of this programming is interrupted by advertisements and commercials run at the same frequency as traditional broadcast TV. With options like Netflix, Hulu go, BBC iPlayer,,, Amazon Prime and many other services users are simply having trouble buying in to a substandard online solution which basically discriminates against them due to how they choose to consume content.

So Where is it All Headed?

To think that tablets will become the ultimate media and entertainment solution in the long term, or even in the foreseeable future, is likely imprudent. TV, DVRs, Transistor Radios, even the Large Hadron Collider are all being replaced to make way for something that takes humankind further. A new product or upgrade that gives us more features, more flexibility than before and, let’s face it, gadget envy, will always drive the technology industry to keep pushing the envelope.

Soon our tablets will be replaced with something that is possibly only imagined in sci-fi novels right now. What this means for the entertainment industry is that it needs to keep moving ahead with the times. Instead of playing catch-up and trying to force and old model into a new world, decision-makers need to read into likely trends before they start happening. The ability to be in tune with consumer demands and desires sets apart the start-up and entrepreneurial sector of the digital industry from the traditional constraints accepted by the old entertainment world. Nurturing new media organizations like Maker Media, Vice TV and startups like is a step forward to bridging the gap between the industry and the likely expectations of online consumers in the tablet-driven world and beyond. Instead of being preoccupied with slapping lawsuits on the forward thinking segment of the industry, and leveraging ridiculous copyright laws and injunctions that hinder progress, these sort of companies continually push boundaries to find new and better ways of getting entertainment into the hands of willing audiences. emerged in 2013 with an innovative solution to free internet TV streaming for PC users. With a large number of channels streaming free TV online there now exists the opportunity for users to watch online television on multiple devices, regardless of their location and the time of day. The streaming technology is said to be cutting edge and automatically detects user’s system and bandwidth to adjust the content that is being served, to ensure a seamless viewing experience.

One only needs to remember the last Super Bowl to assess consumer loyalty and behavior. When there were large rolling blackouts, people did not choose to wait it out till their usual medium was back online. Instead, almost everyone switched on their laptops, desktops, tablets and smart phones to stay tuned in. Surely this type of event and response gives the entertainment industry a really clear idea of what is to come. Services like OutFox TV benefitted significantly from the new exposure, despite not getting paid the big Super Bowl advertisement bucks.

Nuvyyo’s Tablo (personal digital recorder) is another forward thinking startup from Ottawa, Canada. They offer consumers a device that acts much like a DVR and records free broadcast signals that can be streamed to a number of devices, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and even the traditional TV set. You can watch live streams or record content for later viewing with this handy device. More interestingly, multiple people can view multiple streams of data at the same time through different devices (tablets, laptops etc.) so the whole household gets the entertainment they want. It is heartening that something as simple as trying to solve the fighting over the clicker can spawn such an impressive piece of technology.

Unlike the huge number of emerging users, American broadcasters are not happy about the startup as it can access ‘free’ US broadcast waves when used close to the US border. Industry experts would most likely argue that instead of fighting this user-driven change, these broadcasters can and should help drive the change people need. It would not be logical to think viewership will decrease if broadcasters start offering content live online for multiscreen viewing!

NBC’s much hyped offering of the Winter Olympics through their dedicated Olympic streaming channel online gained a lot of traction. They are however making some pretty obvious mistakes:

1.It’s really difficult for the average user to find the proper stream for the coverage. For such a big event it should be hassle free viewing or it beats the purpose of streaming the coverage instead of watching it on the traditional TV set.

2.It’s not free to watch the content online, when it is available for free on the TV. So basically, online viewers are paying a penalty for watching online.

3.NBC is tape delaying not only the broadcast on traditional TV but also for the “live streaming”. All to add highlights and packaging for our benefit? It doesn’t make much sense for something that is labeled ‘live’. Especially with online viewers, where the chances of getting spoilers for who won various medals are greater.

4.The coverage is not accessible if you are not in the US. So, if you are a US citizen and want to see your country’s coverage of the Olympics you are pretty much out of luck with this service, or as it might seem, lack thereof.

Has NBC learned nothing from the London Summer Olympics from just a couple of years ago? It must have been hard for executives to forget that #NBCFail was a trending twitter topic throughout the games?

Most experts agree that these rookie mistakes NBC is making would have been forgivable, if NBC were a rookie! Sure people are still tuning in to watch the games, because they have few other options. But as startups like Aereo,, FilmOn, and Tablo mature, network TV and the entertainment model in general will get the shake-up other industries have experienced. This change can’t be bad for most people, as we increase our chances to watch our favorite shows and games whenever we want, wherever we want and on whatever device we want. That’s called progress.

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Outfox TV Productions Ltd
50 Raffles Place #15-05/06
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