Aereo today announced that the cloud DVR/live TV streaming service will be expanding past New York City to more than 19 million people living in the surrounding NYC metropolitan area. The expansion will cover 29 new counties across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Before today, only residents in New York’s five boroughs had access to the service.
Alongside the announcement of expansion, Aereo has also said that its new advertising blitz will launch this week in New York. The multimillion dollar ad campaign was first revealed earlier this month, after Aereo hired former Apple exec, Alex Moulle-Berteaux, as the company’s new CCO.
According to the NY Daily News, the multimillion dollar ad campaign will show its face on billboards, phone kiosks, buses, ferries and commuter trains in and around the greater New York area. The company even nabbed a spot on Penn Station’s massive digital advertising wall.
Onlookers will be greeted with this tagline: “Live TV. Online. No Cable Required.”
It’s a relatively easy sell in NYC, where students, artists and young adults pay a ridiculous cost of living and often forfeit cable, instead opting to either steal video content or enjoy through Netflix and Hulu. After years of living this way myself, I can assure you that there are only so many years that you can miss out on the Superbowl, Grammys and other live events before cable starts to seem tempting.
Aereo hopes to intercept consumers who are looking for something more than the standard content library, but don’t want to pay $100 for 10 channels that they’ll use and 240 channels that they will never click through.
As it stands now, Aereo offers around thirty streaming channels, including Bloomberg. The biggest gap in the service is it’s lack of ESPN, but CEO and founder Chet Kanojia has made it clear that content licensing deals are a part of Aereo’s roadmap (just as they were when the company signed on Bloomberg).
Aereo also has plans to expand beyond NYC, into 22 new markets in fact, with the help of a $38 million Series B investment led by Diller’s IAC and Highland Capital. But first, the company is focused on understanding its core market in New York before bringing the ad blitz to other parts of the East Coast.
Mobile World Congress kicks off next week, and business and technology leaders from around the world will converge in Barcelona to see what’s next in mobile tech. But one thing you won’t find amid the keynotes, networking gardens, and after parties is a frank discussion about why mobile video continues to be a huge pain for viewers and broadcasters alike.
For many, the mobile video landscape is too fragmented and frustrating. The result is that people are missing tremendous opportunities to make money.
Let’s look at the data: new research from Cisco reveals that, for the first time, video accounted for more than half of all mobile traffic in 2012. They also report that “two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017.”
So why, then, is mobile video still an unsolved problem? The short answer is Android. The longer answer is that a number of power players refuse to work together and adopt universal standards for mobile video and instead battle for digital turf, confusing the rest of us in the process.
iOS and Android made up 91 percent of the smartphones shipped in Q4, 2012, according to IDC. While Apple got an early lead in the phone wars, Android shipped more than three times as many handsets last quarter.
But the problem goes deeper than mobile operating systems.
While most modern mobile devices support basic capabilities like H.264 decoding and progressive download and playback of MP4 files, more advanced functionalities like adaptive bitrate and live streaming, which are both fundamental to an enjoyable experience, vary greatly from one handset to another.
iOS devices have supported advanced use cases, including ABR and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) since 2009. Apple has continued to push the mobile video envelope and now enables state-of-the-art features such as mid-roll ad insertion. Android, on the other hand, remains a very fragmented platform. When it comes to video, the Android ecosystem can best be described as a work in progress.
Why is that the case? Fragmentation is by and large the biggest issue. Multiple hardware companies manufacture Android phones and tablets, and no two are the same under the hood. Android has also cycled through various video delivery protocols with each new dessert-themed iteration (what are they on now? Jelly Donut?).
Initially, Android supported RTSP as a streaming protocol, but the quality varied greatly. HLS support was first introduced in Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) but had a very limited implementation.
It seems every year’s projected to be “The year of (…),” but if 2012′s any indication, ’13 will lead a new mobile movement. M-commerce Black Friday sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time last year, while 1.2 billion apps were downloaded during the 2012 Christmas week. With tablet sales projected to reach 450 million in three years, the move towards digital means even the tech savvy music world will see a mobile makeover.
Here, we suggest 30 apps for Android, iPhone and iPad to get your fingers moving.
From drum machines to bass lines, this sound sequencing app emulates three various devices. Tempo changes and pattern switches aid the multi-touch ability to control each device’s output signal. And since Audiotool Sketch is built around the same audio engine as Audiotool, full power audio’s a given. ($3.99)
Does your inner Hova need a hug? AutoRap corrects bad rapping by matching spoken syllables to any beat, using Smule’s “rappification” technology to let you create your own original raps or AutoRap from a Premium Songs Catalogue including Tupac and the Beastie Boys. Visualizations match the beat of your raps, and sharing capabilities via email, Facebook and Twitter let you share your glory with the world. (Free)
Chute is a Y Combinator-backed startup that helps publishers and brands incorporate photos and other media (sometimes submitted directly by users, sometimes aggregated from social networking sites) onto their own websites. Now it’s offering similar functionality for real-world locations, thanks to a new feature called Chute Live.
For example, according to co-founder Ranvir Gujral, the Cosmopolitan Hotel has launched a “Pop Up Wedding Chapel” along the Las Vegas Strip, and it’s encouraging people to post photos of themselves on Twitter or Instagram using the #PopUpChapel hashtag. (The photos can be of real or fake weddings, but c’mon, it’s Vegas — do it for real.) Chute then pulls in the photos and displays them on screens throughout the chapel, including a “massive” one facing the Strip.
Chute Live customers could also build their own applications to allow event attendees to submit their photos. Gujral said that in addition to the Cosmo, Chute Live is also being used by the House of Blues, the Palms Hotel, and the NBA for this weekend’s All-Star game.
It’s a busy few weeks for the startup. It recently announced a mobile reporting platform too, creating an app for NBC News reporters (for starters) to post photos from the presidential inauguration directly to the NBC site.
I spoke to Ryan Osborn who leads the digital media efforts at NBC, and he said the company’s partnership with Chute (which is broader than just covering the inauguration — in fact, NBC used Chute to project photos on Rockefeller Plaza on election night) is still in the experimentation phase: “I think we’re going to continue to learn from Chute and continue to figure out the solution.” Still, he had high praise for the Chute team, particularly their “drive to succeed” and the speed with which it can take an NBC idea and turn it into a product.
As Chute continues to roll out new functionality, the company is starting to give a broader sense of its ambitions. Back when it raised funding from Salesforce.com and others, we called Chute “Twilio for media content” and when I met with Gujral a few weeks ago, he outlined a similarly broad vision for the future.
“Wherever there’s image content being used I think we will be the conduit for it,” he said. “Wherever visual content exists, we will control it. Our large, audacious founder claim is that if you’re not Google, Facebook or Netflix, one day your media infrastructure will live on Chute.”
President Obama will be holding a townhall follow-up to his State of the Union speech on Google+ at 4:50pm ET today. We’ll be covering the speech in separate posts. Readers are invited to watch the “Hangout” live in the YouTube video below:
See the original post here: Watch President Obama’s Google+ Hangout Starting At 4:50pm ET