In a recent study of the online content viewing behaviour of Indonesian consumers, it was revealed that 29% of consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.

These TV boxes, also known as Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs), allow users to access hundreds of pirated television channels and video-on-demand content. Such illicit streaming devices often come pre-loaded with pirated applications which are either free or charge low subscription fees, which then provide ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content.

The survey found that IndoXXI Lite, LiveStream TV and LK 21 Reborn are among the most popular pirate applications amongst Indonesian consumers. More alarmingly, 55% of respondents admitted to using free streaming services, with the IndoXXI Lite app (29%) in particular representing a larger user base than all local legitimate online video platforms combined (19%).

The survey, commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), and conducted by YouGov, also highlights the detrimental effects of streaming piracy on legitimate subscription video services.

Of the 29% of consumers who purchased an illicit streaming device for free streaming, two in three (66%) stated that they cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services. Specifically, 33% asserted that they cancelled their subscriptions to an Indonesian-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an ISD.

International subscription services, which include pan-Asia online offerings, were also impacted – more than one in three (31%) Indonesian users abandoned subscriptions in favour of ISD purchases.

The surge in popularity of ISDs is not unique to Indonesia. Similar YouGov consumer research has been undertaken in other South East Asian countries where high levels of ISD usage was also found: 15% of Singapore consumers, 20% of Hong Kong consumers, 25% of Malaysian consumers, 28% of Filipino consumers and 34% consumers of Taiwanese consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.

“The illicit streaming device (ISD) ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content”, said Louis Boswell, CEO of AVIA. “ISD piracy is also organised crime, pure and simple, with crime syndicates making substantial illicit revenues from the provision of illegally re-transmitted TV channels and the sale of such ISDs. Consumers who buy ISDs are not only funding crime groups, but also wasting their money when the channels stop working. ISDs do not come with a ‘service guarantee’, no matter what the seller may claim.”

The damage that content theft does to the creative industries is without dispute. However, the damage done to consumers themselves, because of the nexus between content piracy and malware, is only beginning to be recognised. In late 2018, the European Union Intellectual Property Office released a report on malware found on suspected piracy websites and concluded that such websites “commonly distribute various kinds of malware luring users into downloading and launching such files”. The research, which worked closely with the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol, concluded that “the threat landscape for malware distributed via copyright-infringing websites is more sophisticated than it might appear at first glance”.

Cancelling legitimate subscription services and paying less for access to pirated content is fraught with risks, as Neil Gane, the General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), comments, “Piracy websites and ISDs typically have a click-happy user base, and are being used more and more as clickbait to distribute malware. Unfortunately the appetite for free or cheap subscription pirated content blinkers users from the very real risks of malware infection.”

Of those consumers who own an ISD, more than two in five of respondents (44%) claim to have purchased their ISD from one of the largest Southeast Asia-based ecommerce stores. Also, one in three (31%) of ISD owners say they acquired their devices via one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.

In addition to the short-term problem of cancelled subscriptions is a longer term problem – namely, many of the cord-cutters are young. The survey found that free streaming apps are particularly favoured among 18-24 year-olds, with almost two in three (58%) cancelling legitimate subscription services as a result of owning ISDs, especially international online subscriptions (34%).

The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) is the trade association for the video industry and ecosystem in Asia Pacific. It serves to make the video industry stronger and healthier through promoting the common interests of its members. AVIA is the interlocutor for the industry with governments across the region, leads the fight against video piracy and provides insight into the video industry through reports and conferences aimed to support a vibrant video industry. AVIA evolved from Casbaa in 2018.

Ooyala wins media automation deal with Australian EnhanceTV

Ooyala has picked up a key contract with Australian-based EnhanceTV to power a video portal and provide automating media operations using its own Ooyala Flex Media platform.

Ooyola said the cloud-deployed offering – a video content supply chain service enabling content owners to automate tasks, simplify workflows and speed up the time-to-market –  was implemented by its partner, Digital Logistics.

EnhanceTV, a subsidiary of the not-for-profit organisation Screenrights, offers a subscription-based service providing Australian educators in primary and secondary schools with licensed television and film video content, including news, clips and documentaries, for use in the classroom.

Ooyala’s Content Production and Content Distribution services automate repetitive tasks, simplify complex processes – delivering content timely to end-users. The digital video playout offering within the platform features a set of powerful create and search functions allowing users to easily create and share clips.

“One of the biggest pain points faced by content owners today is how to get engaging content to market faster and at a lower cost,” said Ooyala CEO Jonathan Huberman. “They need leading-edge yet easy to use tools that can integrate with their existing systems and produce, manage and distribute content efficiently.”


Ooyala and Dutch firm ODMedia to streamline video processing, global delivery

Ooyala has forged a new strategic partnership with Netherlands-based video-on-demand (VOD) specialist ODMedia Group, which will see the latter’s video localisation and delivery technology integrated with Ooyala’s own video production, management, distribution and monetisation services.

Ooyala tipped the collaboration as a major step in helping content owners reach global audiences and markets realising new revenues faster.

“The combination of Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform and ODMedia Group’s established position as preferred delivery partner with most global platforms, including the likes of Netflix, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube, will enable broadcasters and content owners to deliver content to any platform, any time, in any format, cost effectively,” it added.

In addition, the partnership will address scale and complexity in producing different local versions of content by streamlining the processes for content companies seeking to deliver local experiences across traditional and new media platforms.

“Increasingly, content owners and distributors are targeting global audiences, but there are significant costs involved in ensuring the right format requirements are met,” said Ooyala CEO Jonathan Huberman.

“Through this new partnership, we’re able to provide a best-of-breed solution for delivering content to today’s top platforms, everywhere in the world,” he said. “This means getting content to market faster, and at a lower cost – unlocking opportunities for content owners in every region.”

ODMedia Group specialises in offering content management, encoding and extensive distribution services to enable a raft of VOD, linear TV and catch-up TV offerings. ODMedia distributes content to some 120 countries and 1,000 platforms, including IPTV/ cable operators, VOD platforms and OTT providers such as XBOX, Netflix, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

Ooyala’s Flex content platform shortlisted for IABM Broadcast & Media Award

Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform has been shortlisted for a BaM Award from IABM – the International Association for Broadcast & Media Technology Suppliers, at the upcoming IBC event in Amsterdam.

Ooyala – a Telstra-owned company based in San Jose –  said it plans to demonstrate the services which underpin its dramatic business growth since last year’s conference.

“From script to screen — no matter where in the world it’s happening, from the first day of production to the final broadcast — our customers rely on Ooyala to power their content,” said Ooyala CEO Jonathan Huberman.

Ooyala CEO Jonathan Huberman

“We cut the complexity of content creation, management, and distribution, so customers get content to market faster at lower cost.”

Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform provides a unified framework that optimises the content supply chain, which customers can customize to meet their specific needs.

The platform leverages automation and artificial intelligence to streamline video workflows and processes, connect teams and tools for greater collaboration, and enable richer metadata and analytics that power critical new insights and a single source of truth throughout the entire content supply chain, said Ooyala.

New products and features will include:
– Streamlined VOD content delivery: This includes rail curation and metadata-tagging of content with OoyalaMAM, a media asset management (MAM)-based content management system (CMS) that enables sophisticated processing, multi-platform delivery and tracking of VOD assets.

– Sports Video Workflows: Sports workflows have been reimagined with the Ooyala Flex Media Platform — from live streaming with OoyalaLIVE, live clipping of growing files with OoyalaMAM, and syndication to multiple platforms including social media, OTT, and apps. The platform enables automatic workflow rules, reducing manual steps and delivering content within seconds, and can power viewing experiences with OoyalaPLAY and content recommendations with OoyalaLIVE.

– Intelligent Archiving: The Ooyala Flex Media Platform is enabling new ways to monetize archived content. Years of archived content can be automatically indexed leveraging Microsoft Video Indexer’s AI capabilities for content recognition and speech-to-text transcription, enabling customers to automate the process of tagging their archive, managing its life cycle, and delivering content to audiences.

– Interoperable Master Format (IMF) support: Ooyala has extended its support for IMF-centric workflows across all stages of the content supply chain, including Digital Video Playout. Among other features, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform now natively supports receipt of Interoperable Master Packages (IMPs) and transcodes them into renditions required for streaming to customer devices.

– OoyalaREACH, powered by 24i: Ooyala will introduce its new end-to-end solution for AppCMS design, in partnership with 24i. Visitors will get a first-hand look at how assets and metadata managed with the Ooyala Flex Media Platform can be published to 24i’s CMS, Backstage, including front-end experiences on iOS and Roku.

– An open and integrated ecosystem: Ooyala continues to expand its partner ecosystem with integrations such as Interra Baton for Auto-QC, Telestream Vantage for transcoding, MPP Global for e-commerce needs, Microsoft cognitive services, and 24i for AppCMS experiences.

Global piracy rampant with OTT credentials offered on dark web: study

New research from Dutch digital platform security firm Irdeto shows hundreds of stolen login details for popular over-the-top services are available on the dark web for an average of just US$8.81, potentially putting consumers at risk and impacting OTT revenues.

Via dark web marketplaces, a variety of products, accounts and services can be bought, including account credentials for a range of pay TV and Video on Demand (VOD) OTT services. “This means that legitimate subscribers could have had their accounts compromised and used illegally for a small one-off fee,” said Irdeto.

Its Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report looks at pay TV credential availability on the dark web, global piracy hotspots and the market in illicit streaming devices (ISD’s). Key findings included

· Widespread availability of stolen OTT credentials – In one month (April 2018), Irdeto discovered 854 listings of OTT credentials from 69 unique sellers across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. These credentials were from 42 different OTT services including Netflix, HBO, DirecTV and Hulu.

· Live streaming piracy is a global problem – Irdeto’s web analytics partner found an average of 74 million total global visits per month (and an average of 21 million unique visits per month) to the top ten live streaming sites in Q1 2018. Most traffic came from the US (2,934,000 average monthly unique visits), the UK (1,714,000 average monthly unique visits) and Germany (1,519,000 average monthly unique visits)

· Ads for “fully-loaded” boxes continue to spring up – Pirates are using popular ecommerce sites to advertise ISD’s, which are often advertised around major sporting events. For example, Irdeto identified 180 advertisements for ISD’s offering Joshua vs. Parker on e-commerce websites, including eBay and Gumtree in just one day in the week leading up to the fight. So far in 2018, Irdeto has worked to take down almost 7,000 adverts for ISDs across 60 domains.

· India among the top five countries for P2P downloads – Irdeto tracked more than 800 million monthly downloads between January 2017 and May 2018 through its P2P Business Intelligence tracker. India is among the top five countries, with 965 million P2P downloads tracked during the monitoring period.

Not just in India, P2P piracy is still dominant for movies and TV around the world, according to Irdeto’s whitepaper study on the current piracy landscape. The research finds that the growth in web video piracy is only adding to the global piracy problem, rather than replacing P2P piracy. while the increase in bandwidth and social media has facilitated growth in content redistribution piracy, particularly around live sporting events, it is clear that other forms of piracy are not going away any time soon.

Other findings from the whitepaper included :

· P2P remains an important piracy platform while web video is adding to overall piracy.

In 2017, P2P trends in seven of the eight countries investigated are constant or increasing indicating that while web video is growing P2P piracy has not declined. Committed pirates, who prefer piracy to the wide range of legal services being offered, prefer P2P as their platform for accessing content.

o The users most likely to pirate via web video are casual pirates – i.e., they visit legal sites too.

· The P2P network plays a central role in distributing infringing content to the online piracy ecosystem.

o The high-quality video content in greatest demand on piracy sites is first released on the P2P network.

o Web video sites source a significant proportion (28%) of the high-quality content they offer from P2P sites.

‘Content king as SVOD sector grows but CX focus must keep pace in longer term’: Q&A with Ooyala’s Jim O’Neill

Telecom Times welcomed the opportunity to discuss some current over-the-top video streaming trends with Jim O’Neill, Principal Analyst at Ooyala, who also shared some of his insights into what the future may hold for this emerging high-profile industry.

O’Neill, who’s based in Michigan, was in Sydney to present a paper on the subject of OTT’s Evolution to Mainstream at the ABE 2018 content production and delivery tech event.

Ooyala, a Telstra company, specialises in providing software and services to optimise the production, distribution and monetisation of media, with offerings including the Ooyala Live platform and Ooyala IQ analytics.

While global markets are experiencing differences in how OTT is rolling out against the backdrop of shifting consumption habits, OTT is set to become a US$65 billion market globally by 2021 and is undoubtedly the future of video, according to Ooyala.

Introducing O’Neill was the firm’s APAC and Japan VP Patricio Cummins who offered some specific insights into Ooyala’s strategy in the region over the next five years.

“In the APAC region, we expect the market to keep evolving, as the demand for content continues to grow and the users for subscription video on demand (SVOD) services are expected to more than double to over 351 million by 2023,” he told Telecom Times.

Patricio Cummins
Ooyala APAC and Japan VP Patricio Cummins

“Our strategy is to focus on revolutionising the content supply chain for broadcasters, operators and content owners, so they can deliver content to market faster, get cost efficiencies, and drive more revenue,” he added.

“With recent customers like Korea Content Platform, Turner Asia Pacific, Discovery Asia Pacific and Fox Sports Australia in the APAC region, we have excellent momentum and look forward to continuing our expansion in this thriving region,” Cummins said.

On ‘competition metrics’, meanwhile, O’Neill forecast that content alone would not be the very last area of competition, but added: “It will be a major driver of competition and a determinant in who wins and who comes in second or third.”

Telecom Times    Can you elaborate on that?

O’Neill    The consumer has become so important in this – much more so than they have been in the past – that they are driving this new content acceleration. If you’re an operator, you had better have enough content, especially premium content and sports, to keep your customer engaged because they can, and will, otherwise churn aggressively.

Telecom Times    Do you expect this to apply broadly to all markets?

O’Neill   No doubt. What we’ve seen is a pretty consistent culture among millennials across the world; they really are the first global generation. They consume content the same way, adopt technology willingly and are very comfortable in, for instance, consuming content on mobile devices. It’s second nature to them. The following generation, Gen Z or Gen Edge, is all of those things and more. So, that demand for new content stretches across all markets.

Telecom Times    And, do you see it becoming more of a deciding pivot than say customer service in the long run?

O’Neill    Great question. You can have great content and survive with so-so customer service, or so-so content and great customer service and do OK as well. But here’s a recent experience that I had that I think demonstrates the need for both… and a sea change in the industry.

Watching the England-Croatia World Cup game in the U.S. on YouTube TV, the stream stopped just after halftime. I pretty immediately receive an email that told me they were working on a fix and then, when it didn’t happen until an hour later, I received a follow up apology with a link to a recording of the full game and a free week of service.

That would never have happened with a legacy provider, at least it hasn’t happened to me unless I demanded it from a customer service agent. And I think that shows the difference in how customer service/content has been done and how it could be done.

I do think content is more critical during this phase of the industry, a period of growth and subscriber grabs, but customer service will catch up. It’s too hard to replace a churned customer and too expensive.

Telecom Times    Thoughts on how 5G will impact the industry?

O’Neill    We’ve seen video consumption on mobile devices increase in recent years to the point where more than 60% of video plays in Asia Pacific region are now on mobile devices, and that’s not something that will go backwards. Mobile is too central to our lives, regardless of where you live.

5G will expand bandwidth, increase speed and – probably – mean uncapped data consumption and perhaps even lower prices.

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For operators, the biggest question will be how to monetize that new technology in a time of declining ARPU. The answer, for many operators, will be to increase the number of revenue streams they can generate by offering prioritized delivery of content, by launching their own streaming services – multiple streaming services – and by partnering with content providers to offer those services with a degree of exclusivity.

Operators hate the term dumb pipe, and they should, because their pipes can be very smart and will be used to deliver personalized content, services, and likely personalized ads as well. There is a ton of opportunity available, especially if they can automate, streamline and accelerate their delivery of original and personalized content and ads to their customers.

Telecom Times  Are you seeing any trends around multi SVOD subs ownership which suggest signing up to several services looks set to become a notable feature in ANZ going forward?

I am 100% positive that the current 43% of Australian households that subscribe to an SVOD service will quickly increase to the 70% range in the next two years. And, I’m just as sure that users will happily subscribe to more than one service to get the content they really want to get, especially if the price is appropriate.

There’s no way, for example, that someone would be willing to pay $10 a month each for multiple Netflix-type services. But they are likely to pay $10 for a Netflix-type service, $10 for a bundle of sports, and a few extra dollars for a few extra niche content services.

Especially, if those services make it easy to subscribe and unsubscribe without penalty. Churning across subscriptions will be the norm.

Telecom Times     Do you expect we’ll see any significant consolidation within the OTT, video, SVOD sector?

O’Neill   We are seeing consolidation globally on several levels, distributors buying content creators, content creators merging etc. But even as those consolidations occur, the barrier to entry into the SVOD space has been lowered so much that there will be plenty of new services launching.

For the broadband operators who desire to offer video, as opposed to simply supplying the pipe to deliver content, I’d expect many broadband operators to opt for ad-supported or subscription-supported video on demand. Transactional video is really seeing a slow down, which is one of the reasons Apple is looking to become a player in the SVOD industry in addition to offering iTunes content. It’s another way they can create more value over their networks.

Telecom Times     Looking ahead, what type of innovative capabilities do you see SVOD users demanding as part of their providers’ service?

O’Neill    There’s no doubt that delivery to mobile devices will be table stakes, just expected by all subscribers. The ability to download and watch shows offline will be the same. If you pay a premium for a service consumers want a premium service in return.

Obviously, recommendation and discovery is important, although younger users can find any content with a traditional guide. But it’s always helpful to surface content they might not have thought about.

Social-ability will be important, but I’m not sure it will be as important as some think it will be. I see it more as window dressing. In the interim, operators will offer skinny bundles – smaller collections of content – that will allow them to offer less expensive bundles of content.

But that’s an interim step as, eventually, it’s more likely that content owners will go direct to consumers with their products, offering true a la carte choice as well. That is really where the consumer wants to go and, frankly, they’ve directed this revolution this far and they will continue to drive its evolution.

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Telecom Times    What is your realistic assessment of potentially huge markets like India and China opening up for major OTT players?

O’Neill    No question India becomes a great market for companies like Amazon and Netflix; both are spending to develop local content, which is critical. Challenge for the likes of Amazon and Netflix is overcoming local taste barriers. Both India and China are very strong cultures, with large local TV and cinema industries.

Chinese and Indian audiences have a huge preference for local content, and it’ll be a challenge for US-based players to tap these larger audiences efficiently unless they invest heavily in local content.

On the flip side, that demand for local content also creates opportunity for local players with local content. Both markets are big enough to allow both local and global entities to have a slice.

Telecom Times    Can you also see some key challenges around this large-scale opportunity?

O’Neill    Of course. Both markets pose challenges. China can be a difficult place to do business because of of the regulatory environment and both markets have limits of disposable income.

An $11 service is going to have a limited market to appeal to, but those markets are so big even a little slice can be profitable.

Australian SVOD market soars as punters increasingly opt to multi-stream

The Australian Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) services market continues to show rapid growth, reaching 9.1 million subscriptions at the end of June 2018, a year-on-year jump of 54 per cent, according to new Telsyte research, with the analyst forecasting Australians will hold more than twice as many subscriptions (22 million) within the next four years.

“Consumers are becoming comfortable with multiple subscriptions and are subscribing to different providers for exclusive content and live sports,” said Telsyte MD Foad Fadaghi.

SVOD revenues in Australia grew substantially (up 90 per cent) reaching about A$700 million at the end of the 2018 financial year. Streaming entertainment – delivered to Internet connected devices such as smartphones, set top boxes, games consoles and smart TVs – is quickly becoming the mainstream way consumers view video content.

Overall, Telsyte estimates 43 per cent of Australian households subscribed to SVOD services at the end of June 2018, an increase from around 30 per cent a year ago. “This compares to around 70 per cent in the USA and 60 per cent in the UK, showing the growth opportunity within the next few years,” it added.


The market leader is Netflix with around 3.9 million subscriptions, with Stan in second place with a little over 1 million. However, new services (e.g. Amazon Prime, Foxtel Now), and a growing list of popular sports and special interests are collectively feeding Australian’s hunger for video content.

New SVOD services, including potentially those from Disney, HBO and various sporting codes, are expected to appeal to even more audiences.

The research showed that Australians are increasingly comfortable with subscription-based entertainment services with millions turning to subscriptions for SVOD, music (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music), and game console memberships  (e.g. PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold).

The adoption of SVOD services is putting pressure on traditional pay TV,  found in about one-third of Australian households (end of June 2018), a similar level to 2017. The growth of Fetch TV, which offers access to both SVOD and Pay TV content via its set top boxes, offset the decline in Foxtel subscriptions.