Apps streaming TV channel may come under regulatory ambit

OTT

After introducing new tariff rules for television channel earlier this year, the Telecom Regulatory authority of India (Trai) has now shifted its focus to OTT apps that stream TV channels to bring them under the ambit of regulatory framework.

Carriage of TV programming by apps such as Hotstar, Airtel TV, Sony Liv is currently unregulated. This puts registered broadcasters in a disadvantageous position who are allowed to give content to cable operators and satellite players only under a licensing framework.

When apps show the same channels without paying the carriage charges and licencing fees, it creates disparity, a Trai official was quoted as saying in an ET report.

The broadcasters operate under a licence which is valid for 10 years. Under the cable TV (regulation) Act, the licensee has to comply with the programming and advertising code and must adhere to guidelines set by I&B ministry. Whereas apps come under IT Act, but do not have to seek licence.

Trai is expected to issue a consultation paper on the matter by July-August.

Adding to the complication are broadcasters such as Star India, Sony, Zee and Times Network which have their own streaming apps. For them, OTT platforms are only another medium for viewers to watch TV channels. They view any additional licensing framework an unnecessary hassle.

Broadcasters such as Star India have opposed the move saying that Trai does not have the authority to regulate apps under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 as the entire internet ecosystem is regulated by the Information Technology Act, 2000.

However, DTH companies and cable operators’ associations content that a non-level playing field has been created with the same show playing on TV and an app at the same time. They have demanded OTT players be also regulated under the principle of ‘same-service, same-rules’.

With the rising popularity of  OTT apps, Trai is wary of being caught off-guard if a legal redressal is sought for the level playing field in the space.

It is of relevance here that Supreme Court has issued a notice to Centre to regulate the content featured on OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. The petition was filed by an NGO alleging that the online media streaming platforms show “uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar” content.

[“source=entrackr”]

Spotify to launch music streaming service in India to stay ahead of Apple

Spotify to launch music streaming service in India to stay ahead of Apple

The world’s largest music streaming service, Spotify, is looking to bring its service to India, one of the fastest-growing internet markets in the world, as it looks to boost growth and stay ahead of rival Apple.Announcing Spotify’s plans to list on public markets on April 3, CEO Daniel Ek said the Stockholm-based company was planning an entry into some of the largest markets in the world. Spotify is taking a rather unusual path to go public and will directly sell shares to the public.”We are working on launching in some of the biggest markets in the world, including India, Russia, and Africa, which have a very rich musical culture,” Ek said during his presentation. He said that post IPO, the company would continue to focus on growth rather than turning on the profit machine.While no further details were divulged on when Spotify could launch its service here or its pricing in the country, the company did disclose in its IPO filing last week that it has leased office space in Mumbai. The company has also made ex-Googler Akshat Harbola as its Head of Market Operations in India.Plans to enter India and other fast-growing markets comes as industry analysts say Apple’s rate of signing up new paid subscribers is far outstripping that of Spotify’s. In the US, the largest music streaming market in the world, Apple Music could beat Spotify in the next few quarters to become the leading player there.Despite its service not being available in India, there already are several thousand users in the country who use Spotify via VPNs. Spotify said that the awareness of its brand among users in India is already high, alluding to the fact that the company would be able to achieve organic growth in India.However, India’s market for music streaming is witnessing a marked shift now.

While Times Group-owned Gaana, which recently received $115 million in funding led by Tencent, currently leads the India market in terms of a sheer number of users, competition in the space is becoming cutthroat.In India, Apple charges the lowest subscription fee for its Apple Music service anywhere in the world. While a person in the US pays $9.99 every month to access Apple Music, in India the monthly charge is just Rs 120 or under $2. However, the company has failed to make a big dent in India largely due to its lack of regional content.Amazon, the latest entrant into India’s music streaming space is offering customers access to its Prime Music as part of its Rs 999 yearly Prime loyalty programme. The company has already scored millions of users via its video streaming service and free expedited delivery service, but has also tied up with several large regional music producers to bring their content on its platform.Spotify will need to drop its prices from $9.99 per month to something more affordable in India if it wants to grow its base of paid users in the country. It will be seen if the company can maintain the same pricing here but still convert a free user to a paid one in under 12 months as it claimed was its average during its financial presentation yesterday.

[“Source-business-standard”]

Finally, Mobile Live Video Streaming Comes to YouTube

Look out Facebook, Periscope, et al ... Google has entered the mobile live video arena with the release of the YouTube live streaming app.

Six years after YouTube featured live-streaming for desktops in 2011, the company finally decided to bring the app to mobile.

YouTubers around the world have been waiting for this feature since the company announced it in June of 2016. It is here, but with a caveat. You need more than 10,000 followers to use the feature. This is a smart move on the part of YouTube, because it can continue to test the platform with power users and work out all the kinks. By the time the rest of us get it, which will be soon according to the company blog, it should be perfect.

YouTube is late compared to Facebook Live and Twitter with Periscope, but the sheer number of users it has and the way it is monetized probably led the company to take its time and get it right.

YouTube Live Streaming App

The streaming feature is built directly into the YouTube mobile app, having the same features as regular YouTube videos. The platform protects you from unauthorized use, and the streams can be found through recommendations, playlist or search.

To start streaming, you have to first confirm your channel has been verified. Also your account must not have been restricted for live stream in the past 90 days. You then enable streaming from the Creator Studio tools, go to Live Streaming, write a title, take a picture for the thumbnail, and start streaming.

Look out Facebook, Periscope, et al ... Google has entered the mobile live video arena with the release of the YouTube live streaming app.

Streaming starts immediately, and YouTube will automatically start and stop the stream for you at the right time. Events gives you more control with preview, start and stop features.

When it finally becomes available for everyone else, small businesses can augment their YouTube channel by engaging live with their audiences. Chefs, artists, DIYers, IT experts and many small operators can give lessons, interact and provide added value services for their customers. The only downside is that have to wait for the full roundup.

Images: YouTube

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Now Supports Video Streaming to Chromecast and Apple TV

Facebook Now Supports Video Streaming to Chromecast and Apple TV

HIGHLIGHTS

  • You can now stream videos to you TV from Facebook
  • Streaming available from iOS and web as of now
  • You can also see reactions to Facebook Live video while streaming

There must have been times when you wished that you could stream videos from Facebook to your television with as much ease as you are able to do with YouTube app on your smartphone. Now, you will be able to do just that as the social networking website has announced that its videos can now be streamed through devices such as Google Chromecast and Apple TV. The feature is rolling out on iOS devices and desktop shortly, and Android devices will get the support soon.

“You can already stream Facebook videos to Apple TV (and other AirPlay-enabled devices) or Chromecast (and other Google Cast-enabled devices) from an iOS device or your web browser, and soon you’ll be able to cast from Android devices to Chromecast as well,” Facebook said in a post on Thursday.

In order to stream a video from Facebook, you have to merely press the TV icon in the top right corner and select the device to which you want to stream the video. After the streaming starts, you can go back to the news feed and browse through other posts while the video continues to play on the screen.

“If you’re streaming a Facebook Live video to your TV, you can see real-time reactions and comments on the screen, and you can join in the conversation yourself by reacting or commenting,” the company said in its post.Considering the recent announcements by social networking giants, it is evident the companies are focusing heavily on videos. Last month, Twitter announced a new app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Microsoft’s Xbox One that will allow users to get content from Twitter’s media partners.

Tags: Facebook Video Streaming, Apps, Google, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Apple, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]