The Dan Rayburn Podcast

Episode 62: YouTube TV's Challenges With Sunday NFL Ticket; Interactive Sports Stats; Netflix's Advertising Plans; and The ISP/Content Debate in Europe

June 28, 2023 Dan Rayburn
The Dan Rayburn Podcast
Episode 62: YouTube TV's Challenges With Sunday NFL Ticket; Interactive Sports Stats; Netflix's Advertising Plans; and The ISP/Content Debate in Europe
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week we peel back the layers of NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV dissecting the potential implications and benefits for the streaming media industry. We discuss the criticality of promptly addressing technical glitches before mainstream media taints the image of streaming technology. Learn how YouTube TV's new 'multiview' feature could amp up the NFL Sunday Ticket experience, or just add another layer of complexity.

We also scrutinize Netflix's future advertising plans and their proposed creation of a new ad format similar to a half-hour commercial drawn out over days. Also covered is the rollout of YES Network's single-screen interactive stats on connected devices in partnership with Ease Live. Tune in as we delve into the fiery debate taking place in Europe with ISPs suggesting that content providers including Netflix, Apple, and Google should pay ISPs to carry their video traffic. 

I also call out Sandvine for continuing to publish garbage data on the topic, stating opinions as facts, using high-level marketing terms with no definitions, and using the debate to push the need for companies to pay them to use their platform - a severe conflict of interest.

Podcast produced by Security Halt Media

Speaker 1:

Welcome to this week's edition of the Dan Rayburn podcast, the show that curates the streaming media industry news that matters most, unvarnished, unscripted and providing you with the factual data you need to know, without any of the hype, the pulse of the streaming media industry.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the Dan Rayburn podcast. I'm Dan Rayburn, i'm all with my co-host, mark Donigan. Mark, hello, you ready to rant on a couple of things?

Speaker 3:

Oh, yes, yes, I will Dan, yes.

Speaker 2:

So there's a couple of things you're going to have to call out here. For sure some nonsense in the industry this week in the market. But first let's start with NFL Sunday ticket on YouTube TV. So a couple of interesting things. I've been thinking about this marked that we can go into detail on, and I wrote a fairly long blog post this week just on the potential impact good and bad that the industry is going to feel based on the success or problems that YouTube TV is going to have with NFL Sunday ticket. As we all know in our industry, of course, mainstream media doesn't get it, but we all know that you can't have a flawless live event on the internet, even if YouTube does it perfectly and I mean perfectly with everything what is out of their control, the device, the last mile.

Speaker 2:

Wi-Fi there's all kinds of problems. So, no matter what they do, they're going to be people complaining Come September with the stream and the mainstream media who doesn't truly understand our industry. If there's a lot of problems and if there's any technical issues on YouTube side that aren't fixed very quickly, you're definitely going to have media talking about streaming technology not being ready for prime time. Now there's a couple of things to think about here. One is an industry for those who haven't been in our industry a long time, even just three, four, five years I would say, mark, that we've probably never had something this big in our industry in 10 or 15 years take place from a live event standpoint that has such an impact. And by big I mean not the number of simultaneous streams, because that number we don't know if we'll get one from YouTube or the NFL, but it's not going to be astronomical. However, when it comes to live events on the internet in the past Super Bowl, grammys, one off live events like that, even the Olympics most of those events have been free.

Speaker 2:

It hasn't required a subscription. It certainly hasn't required a subscription that you have to pay hundreds of dollars up front in advance. And mainstream media is obviously covering very closely what's going on with sports licensing and sports leagues, what they're doing to get the digital realm, and everyone is tracking the NFL. That's right. So we are going to have an incredible amount of coverage and a spotlight on our industry, i think, like we've never had before. When this launches, that's going to bring confusion. I'm already seeing some people in the media, you know, just reporting on what exactly NFL Sunday ticket is and is not. I've seen, you know, some say where they're reviewing the service of viewers will be able to purchase a certain number of games for a cheaper price. No, that is not true. They also say I've seen a media person quote watch every regular season Sunday afternoon game. No, that's also not true. So confusion is going to be there. Now I give YouTube TV a lot of credit with the.

Speaker 2:

NFL for making it very clear what you can and can't do. And they make it very clear you're not going to be able to see playoff games. No, playoff games are included. They also say local broadcast, locally broadcast Fox and CBS games, sunday night football and NBC select digital only games. international games are all excluded. So they've made it very clear. And yet, mark, one of the biggest searches when it tied to YouTube TV and NFL ticket that people are putting in right now is can I buy Sunday NFL ticket without YouTube TV? And of course, the answer is yes, but the amount of confusion that is going to be out there, that's already there before the starts. YouTube TV is going to have to do a lot of education on top of what they're already doing, because, as we know, consumers are just not great at reading the details. So the other thing that came out this week that was tied to that mark was we're recording this on Thursday, june 22. So yesterday and the 21st, youtube TV rolled out multi view.

Speaker 2:

They announced it on Twitter to only a small portion of members because they said they're testing it out with a small group to make sure it's ready before they roll it out to everyone this summer. Now the interesting thing is, as of now, users can't select the channels that actually go into the multi view feed, which is odd. So on Twitter, youtube TV says quote we're only offering a predefined listing of multi view streams right now, so you don't have any choice of what you see in the other windows. That seems odd. Now, of course, some people quickly replied to them on YouTube TV and said wait a minute, what about NFL Sunday ticket? Can I pick my own games? All they said was that they'll have more information on how MultiView will work for NFL Sunday ticket. Also, they did make it very clear in the Twitter posts multiple Twitter posts that the MultiView feature is only going to be available on living room streaming devices. So if you think you're getting this on your iPad or your iPhone computer, it's just not coming.

Speaker 2:

So to me, mark, that adds another level of complexity to NFL Sunday ticket. We're less than 90 days away from the first game. They are still trialing functionality that they plan to roll out to everyone. The summer Doesn't give you a lot of time. And also there's an interesting blog post about how they were talking about syncing streams in the MultiView and they talked about how they were having to work to push some of that technology back up to the server, to the YouTube infrastructure, as opposed to down at the player level. I thought that's interesting. So what you can see is they're obviously working really hard to try and solve for the best experience. Yeah, but rolling out MultiView with this close and a new functionality like this this close to NFL Sunday ticket Man, that's brave Yeah, you might be flying too close to the sun.

Speaker 2:

On that one, it adds your bets a little, so I'm rooting for them. Obviously, anything in the industry that works with good quality, as, however the user defines it, it's all different.

Speaker 3:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

And it's scale.

Speaker 2:

That helps all of us. The other thing we don't know is obviously how many viewers they're going to have for this. The only thing we know that they have told us publicly is that July 2022. So last year, almost a year ago exactly, they said that they had over 5 million subscribers and trialers in the US. Now this is another thing for us to harp on, mark. It's incredible how many members in the media are not reporting that number properly. Now, some are, which is awesome, but I've been leaving some comments on LinkedIn tied to YouTube TV service And it's interesting to see industry people reply and say oh, i had no idea that that number included trial members as well.

Speaker 2:

And well, i'm not surprised, because the media in many cases is leaving that out of the headline. So you just see the headline YouTube TV has 5 million subscribers, yeah. Now, in one of my comments, i did say that I've heard at any given time, youtube TV has about 20% of all their subscribers in a trial. Now, i'm not going to disclose the source for that And, as I put in the blog post, let's just call that a rumor for now. Right, it has not publicly been verified. Yeah, so take that into context. But if that's the case 20% you're talking about 4 million paying subs today. So 4 million paying subs, how many additional subs are they getting just for NFL Sunday ticket who are also taking YouTube TV with it? Because obviously you should get Sunday NFL ticket without YouTube TV, sure. So really hard to know what the number is going to be. Let's just say that number is double. Let's just say they end up having a total of 8 million subs. How many of those subs are actually going to watch NFL Sunday ticket, don't know. But even if we're talking 50 or 60%, you're talking 4 or 5 million simultaneous viewers. It's not that big of a number. Compared to other events we've seen. It would not be as big as Amazon's Thursday night football And also YouTube TV has made it clear that this is not in 4K Now.

Speaker 2:

In May YouTube TV offered a 10 day free trial for new members only during a limited promotion. That trial is now gone. But I'm curious to see, as we get a little closer to NFL Sunday ticket, if there's going to be a trial again. So they get some people familiar with the platform. But they've also said that there is going to be no trial of any kind when it comes to NFL Sunday ticket. So if you think on the first Sunday of that month you're going to sign up for 24 hours or seven days to try out the service, it is not happening. Yeah, so there's a lot riding here on this.

Speaker 2:

I think if YouTube TV the key thing here is set expectations properly. They're trying to, but the key thing is going to be support day one. If there's any issues, they have to be clear. There's an issue For people who are going to have their own issues that are tied to themselves. They can't log in, they forgot their password, they can't reset it, all of that, those types of things. Youtube TV support better be on point. It better be from people who speak English natively. Right, some of these streaming services, if you call them up, they farmed it out outside the US. Well, this is a service only available in the US. Yeah, so you better get people who truly understand how to speak English. It's very important. So that's going to be a. It's a wonder, watch Big couple days.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, it's going to be exciting.

Speaker 2:

Just thinking how much exposure and limelight is going to be on the industry. Yeah, because of that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 2:

Now, as far as numbers go, you know, i think the NFL is going to put out some numbers, because we've seen them in previous events that they've done. So think Amazon Thursday night football numbers came out. Numbers came out from Amazon. Google's always been harder with the numbers here in terms of getting data from them, but I don't think it's up to them, i think it's up to the NFL, yeah, so I'm super curious to see if we get anything with that. And then the other thing here, mark, i'm just thinking from a billing standpoint. Can you remember any other content in our industry where consumers had to pay between $250 to $440 upfront, in some cases four months before they could even access the content?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, i can't.

Speaker 2:

I can't either. I mean A yearly subscription to Max or Amazon Prime $120.

Speaker 3:

Or shoot Black Friday deals. it was like $69 or something, or whatever it was. Yeah, even cheaper, Yeah so yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I'm also curious to see how some companies potentially might change packaging and bundling. Does a Slim TV or Hulu Plus Live TV give you an incentive to pay for the year? Don't know The other, i'd say. Final point, here that's really important is the amount of times that YouTube TV calls out on their website that there will be absolutely no refunds given None.

Speaker 2:

So, if you have an issue, if you have a problem, you want to cancel. That's not happening now. If there was a widespread problem outage maybe you'd get a credit, as we've seen other companies do. But this is a very unique offering in the market because of how it's being bundled, priced, packaged, and there's going to be a lot for the industry to learn from it. So we all hope we work in the industry. It goes really well, or we should, because it'll benefit everybody. But at the same time, it would be an understatement to say I'm a little concerned, having seen enough live events on the internet, as we all have. That's right.

Speaker 3:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

So we'll keep an eye on that. The first game is September. What is the first game? September 10th? I actually have to put that on my calendar, block that off, So that'll be the first game. So, jumping into a Disney Hot Star blog, Mark, that we were talking about before, So real interesting. Last week, you and I were talking about the blog post where I said content owners were cutting bit rates to save money, And two days after Disney Hot Star, Disney Plus Hot Star, the blog put out details, very good details, on how they quadrupled their capacity for transcoding, reduced their network storage by 80% and cut their computing costs by 10 to 15%. Now, this wasn't by reducing bit rates, but this was just by optimizing their transcoding workflow. That's right And that's a big number.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it really is, and I noticed a lot of people well, at least a few people. There were comments. Well, there's nothing new here, they're just chunking compute, and a lot of people are doing this. So what's the news And I think the point is, when I was reading this and I would encourage everybody to read this blog is that this was as much about compute and storage optimization And it really was. In fact, i don't even think there was a single reference to like oh, we adopted, for example, hevc or Correct no codec stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it wasn't codec. This is all about compute and a lot about storage optimization. And look, right now there's not anybody that I talk to who's operating at any scale, even a modest scale, a video service or platform, who isn't or shouldn't be or should be, sorry, thinking very carefully about your cost, about optimizing cost, And so I just want to call that out, because I think, on one hand, there was like, well, there's nothing new here, like everybody's been doing this, and there were a few examples cited And yeah, I guess on the surface you could say that's true, but there's some good learnings here, And I think it's what we're diving in to look at their decisions and the way they built this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and saving money is key, as we've been talking about, And I'll include the link in the podcast notes.

Speaker 2:

so people have that as well, and also I love the fact that some of the engineering folks who have built this were leaving comments. Yeah, actually this was on a different post where I was talking about cutting the bay rates, but what they said was we have invested into building proprietary IP around business and content-aware encoding techniques towards fruitful ROI. That's a very nice way to put it. We're trying to deliver the best quality video from a transcoding and gestion delivery standpoint at the cheapest cost. That's just the reality. That's right. So I thought that was certainly a great post, very detailed. So see the comments on the podcast. I'll include that as well. I think that's important.

Speaker 2:

A couple of other interesting things around live events. Mark Yes Network announced with their app Basically this interactive they're calling first of its kind, of course, live stats feature for New York Yankee telecasts And they're doing it with partner Easy Live And basically the idea here is to see real-time stats on the same screen on Amazon Fire TV, apple TV and Google TV, so in a different way. So there's a new format really coming here which is going to be interactive. Overlays And interactivity is something we've heard about a long time. We've heard about OK, you could see something, then you could buy it. Usually it took you out to a different website or whatnot.

Speaker 2:

The other folks early watchers play anywhere. They recently announced a deal with La Liga but actually already rolled something out in one country. So it's not just this idea. I got a briefing from them. The past couple of days got to see some of the tech Fascinating. Really interesting what they're doing here, and it's not right away. People are going to say, oh, it's a betting platform. No, it's a fintech clearinghouse. It's very different. But there's a whole other level of interactive television coming here, tied to sports And so seeing a couple of announcements now about it.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and this is super interesting. Somebody else who's been doing a fair amount and I don't know if they've really been talking about it in terms of this interactive, these overlays, is Red Bull, red Bull TV, and I don't know how much they've really talked about it, but if you look at it and of course they stream and produce hundreds, if not maybe a thousand, events a year. I mean it's a lot, and not all are big, Some are quite small, but you can watch some of their marquee sort of big productions and there's some very interesting things that they're doing as well, and I can just imagine that it's going to expand even more.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, with actual use cases, as opposed to just like oh well, it's micro betting, that's not what's. That's not the goal here.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, exactly, and on the Red Bull side, i don't think they're doing anything like betting and gaming. But it's just that I have seen and I've been exposed and had a few conversations to get an inside view. I guess you could say And it's really interesting this whole real time, and there is a new format that's emerging and new formats And that's going to affect player capability. Players are going to have to support these in time if they want to keep up. Yes, yes, the play and the other stuff.

Speaker 2:

It's all API driven too, which makes sense.

Speaker 1:

For sure.

Speaker 2:

For sure. I like those guys a lot, i talk to them a lot. They're going to have some new streaming services announced soon. I won't go into details But to your point, mark, this is something we're going to hear more about. What concerns me is the moment people hear interactivity, they're going to be like yeah, we've been doing this forever. Or interactivity in the enterprise side of like, oh, you can sync slides with a video. That's not what we're talking about here.

Speaker 2:

And we've had, mark I remember, since the late 90s with hotspot technology where you could go buy. I remember one of the first ones we did at Globux was BCBG. So that was 1998, 1999. They were using some sort of technology back then so that when a woman walked down the runway you liked their skirt dress, you could click on it And of course it took you to like eight different places. You had to go. Certainly wasn't easy. But the other thing we have to wonder is just how much do consumers want this And what type of stats you're providing. It drives me nuts that Major League Baseball continues to do so many stats during the game that you know. Frankly, i don't care as a fan about right. So someone hit a home run and the angle was 50 degrees. Yeah, and they keep talking about it on air. And then let's show. Why do I care if it's 50 degrees? And, by the way, guys, i don't know what the hell the difference is between 50 degrees and 46 degrees.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, in terms of like am I supposed to be excited? It's 50 degrees. Who the hell cares? All he cares, he had a home run. So I also think that they're just providing all these stats, implying that it's giving us a better user experience. Sure, but what they're getting is, again, these leagues are getting a ton of money from Amazon and Google and Microsoft and Oracle and everyone else doing the stats. So, you know, let's not go back into that conversation of where it's not about the fan experience, it's about leagues just wanting money.

Speaker 2:

But this is very different from an interactivity standpoint, because it will ask you oh, who do you think is going to win the next series, or win the next game, or win the next inning or score the next goal. So I did get to see the plenty of our stuff across a couple of different services, really, really fascinating. So just keep an eye on that. It's something, mark, i think you and I will certainly talk about more, as we see more announcements come out And also the fact that the league can roll this out already, see that it worked, liked it, and then also they made an investment in Play Anywhere. You know what does that tell you? It tells you they're truly investing in it. They're putting money down.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So more to come on that. Next one, mark, is we've gotten some reports, warner Bros Discoveries and Talks to license some HBO original series to Netflix. I thought the headline was interesting because it said this is a streaming shocker. Yeah, it was like what, really.

Speaker 2:

So we've obviously seen previously streaming services licensed content to other streaming services or in some cases just say, hey, we're now going to make this available AVOD on another fast service somewhere or whatnot, so I don't think this is a streaming shocker. There was some more news out today, specifically about what series it might be. They mentioned Band of Brothers. So there was a couple things comedy and secure comedy. I don't know what that is, and what people were basically saying here is well, this is a way for Warner Bros Discovery to just increase their bottom line. Well, yeah, isn't that what content was supposed to do?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, aren't you trying to maximize the revenue from your assets? Your assets are these video titles, these movies, these episodic shows. And yeah, I don't get the reaction as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i was just shocked, Like hello. And, by the way, Netflix licenses.

Speaker 3:

There was an announcement I think it was the end of last year, it was not too far back Netflix licensing too. I think it was Sony for some Sony property And it's like well, of course, well also in 2014, HBO did a deal with Amazon Prime Video to license the sopranos six feet under the wire.

Speaker 2:

So I don't understand why this seems to be shocking So many who are covering the media space. Many of them probably weren't around in 2014, maybe covering our industry, maybe they weren't here nine years ago But this is what content owners are doing. Broadcasters, that's right. Ott platforms Yeah, if they own the rights it's original content They can decide where they license it to for what they think is the best value. Yeah, yeah, totally makes sense. So I don't see the shock there.

Speaker 2:

Something quick that Netflix co CEO said this past week, past few days, was at a conference And what he said was that he told this was an advertising event with a lot of advertisers. What he said was that Netflix has changed the way people watch TV and video already. I would agree with that And he suggested that Netflix is going to help help advertisers do that. When it comes to commercials, and he described one ad format in particular. that was, i thought, pretty interesting And he said it would be akin to a quote 30-minute commercial, but the idea here is that it would play out over several days and it would follow subscribers as they watch different shows on the service. So if you're watching multiple shows over multiple days, you're seeing pieces of the commercial that, over time, piece together in a story. Basically, i thought that's interesting. I don't know if consumers want that. I don't know if it's a higher engagement, no idea Now, netflix doesn't either.

Speaker 2:

Netflix was very clear to also say quote this isn't going to happen overnight. It may be not even the next year. But the key point for me in this mark is you still have people in the industry that are saying, oh, netflix is so far behind in the Avot space. And Netflix has made it clear that they don't have to win the Avot space in the next year or two. They are building out this business for the long-term growth. They've already said multiple times what our Avot service looks like when it launches.

Speaker 2:

It will not look the same two years from now. We will have different ad formats. We'll have different ways to buy ads. Are they going to be able to do, potentially, product placement inside videos? I don't know Those services exist out there to do that. Virtually So interesting in that Ted here was giving an idea of a potential new format that could come down the line, and I think the key thing here is that's really what makes Netflix unique in the industry Is their ability to trial different things and try them out, because they have such a large number of users in so many countries And by doing so in terms of testing, they're learning so much about what consumers want And with them, projecting at least quote at least $3.5 billion of free cash flow positive free cash flow this year they also have the means to experiment. Other companies don't. So I just thought that was interesting to point out in terms of how they're still talking about what they want the ad service to be, as opposed to the media, which seems to be focusing what the ad service is today.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and what sticks out to me is that you know, i think Netflix really approaches almost everything they do in terms of story. You know it's, it's it's story It's about. And if you think about engagement, you know what is engagement on a video platform? Well, it's bringing the user into something that they feel they're a part of. Well, that's like story, right. So if you're going to build an ad format and you're going to build some sort of ability that an advertiser could tell a story, you know could. I mean literally. You know the ad is a part of a story, which could be even integrated in somehow, or adjacent to what the. You know what the video content is about. You know the actual show that is. You know that advertising is running in. It's super compelling. I mean, i don't know how an advertiser would like go. Oh, that's a terrible idea. You know we're not interested in that.

Speaker 3:

Obviously yeah, exactly So. And I think and you just said something super key is it is that Netflix is in a preferred position in that they have the ability to experiment. I can understand where some of these legacy, a lot of these legacy platforms, they're kind of locked into the 32nd commercial spot right, just by the nature of how everything's programmed, how it's sold, you know, and maybe they would love to do this too, but you know they just can't. But Netflix can. So for a lot of reasons, you know they've got, i think, some technical advantages. You know they're brand new. Anytime you're bringing something new to the market, your ability to say, hey, we have a slightly different take is you're going to have more flexibility, you know, than an incumbent who has to worry about an advertiser saying wait a second. You know, for 38 years we've been buying ads in this particular way. Now you're telling us it's different.

Speaker 2:

You know like, and yet think of how many people mark in the industry want to think of Netflix as like oh well, they're outdated, they're the old one, yeah.

Speaker 3:

You know, their legacy?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, their legacy makes them unique.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and they have quality at scale by itself. Come on Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Now their earnings are in 27 days, mark, from when we're recording this, so I can't wait for that earnings call. I hope we get a lot of information now. We may not, we might just get one or two updated numbers, but I think we're at least going to get something around password sharing, which, of course, will be very, very interesting For sure, mark. Let's jump into interesting news this morning from Sky. So Sky has launched a new camera that is designed to allow video calling, gaming fitness. So it attaches to the top of Sky glass smart TVs, so you have to have a sky glass TV.

Speaker 2:

You can also watch TV with other households. Do zoom. You can buy for $370 up front, but of course you can also do the six pounds per month on a multi-year contract. So pretty interesting that they're looking to add additional functionality, especially when you obviously so. Sky is owned by Comcast, but you also have Zoom-O, which is a joint venture between Sky and Comcast and Charter. They're preparing to launch a new line of 4K smart TVs in the US this year. Element electronics is the brand of TVs, but it's going to be sold under the Element Zoom-O TV brand. So a little confusing here, for sure. But what Sky is really trying to do is introduce a new entertainment experience for the home.

Speaker 2:

Don't know if this is really something people want. I really couldn't say. The camera, they say, is 12 megapixels. It has a 106 degree field of view for microphones, built in background noise suppression, so it sounds like what you would want from a camera if you wanted to attach one to your TV. Now, i thought it was interesting, mark, that there's no physical privacy shutter, which others provide. I noticed that too. Yeah, yeah, i don't know. That's smart, so you have to push a button to manually turn the microphone on and off, but, ok, how many people remember to do that? You have older people, so I definitely think that's a misstep on them, so it'll be interesting to see just how they do this. Streams are limited to HD if you're watching with other people. So no, you're not doing 4K, that's not happening. It's interesting to see a new piece of hardware device come out. So, if you want to see what that looks like, just Google Sky TV webcam.

Speaker 3:

You can check that out. Yeah, the Verge has a decent write up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a good breakdown.

Speaker 3:

Including a video which I didn't get a chance to watch the video, but yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, pretty straightforward. I mean, it's a camera. Yeah, exactly Piece of news this morning. Fortress Investment Group has agreed to acquire VICE out of bankruptcy for $225 million. So, wow, incredible just how far VICE has fallen. So they would take ownership of VICE out of bankruptcy and it would allow Fortress to run the business without any of its debt load and the complex capital structure it has now. So it still has to be approved, but that was already announced and put out today, so it sounds like pretty much a done deal.

Speaker 2:

And then, mark, maybe let's just wrap up with almost a 28 minutes here Some sort of nonsense in the market here. So I'm going to call someone out here company-wise, and the company is Sandvine. So, for those that don't know, there's this debate that's starting to really heat up in Europe, where Tocos and Carries have gotten together and they've gotten in the ear of the European Parliament and said that content owners Netflix, apple, google, the usual big guys should really pay us to help us upgrade our networks, because these video providers are the ones that are taking up so much traffic on our network. And European Parliament has voted to establish a policy framework for what they're calling a fair share model. Now they're still hearing proposals, they're still getting feedback, which is good. We've already had a lot of companies of course, netflix and other pushback with facts, which I really love, which is important. But what's really starting to bother me now is Sandvine has done multiple blog posts calling for content owners to pay what is essentially a tax. I don't care what you call it, it's a tax, yeah, that's what it is. And they're saying if you do this quote, customers will get more for less. What they're saying is it's great for customers. It's great for customers.

Speaker 2:

Now here's the problem I have with Sandvine. You're not a neutral party. You are selling your platform to measure services over the last mile and other networks to the telcos and carriers and ISPs. These are your customers. So why not let the data speak for itself? Sanvine, right? Why are you taking a stance? either way And I see this by other companies tied into the system or the discussion, i should say The other thing is, in this second blog post, they say that the European Parliament is using Sanvine data. Well, which data are they using? How come we can't get a copy of it? So the biggest problem, mark, this sounds like net neutrality debate.

Speaker 2:

It's different, right, but it sounds like in a sense, that the vast majority of people making comments have a vested interest in this, going one way or the other. They are not neutral parties. They have a conflict of interest. The other thing similar to net neutrality in the US why are all these conversations around data happening behind closed doors? So we have seen some data. others have put out third party companies in Europe, firms that have said, hey, we don't think this is needed. There's some good information out there, but I don't think vendors in the space should be out there taking a stance on this.

Speaker 2:

I almost think of this mark as like the role of a business. The role of a corporation in America over the last couple hundred years has been to serve customers right Their employees and their shareholders. And now businesses seem to think their role is to educate society on the social issues of the day. That's not the role of business. The role of business is to provide especially when you're talking about something regarding laws unbiased, factual information. So Sandline wants to provide data that we can all look at and evaluate and have third party people who are neutral, who are not tied financially to whichever way this goes, i think that's absolutely fine.

Speaker 2:

The other thing is part of what the European Parliament is talking about is something that they call a digital decade. You know, basically target, and their target here which is pretty odd is that they want to roll out higher capacity than with the consumers everywhere. And when they talk about the numbers or what they want to roll out, which is gigabit for everyone, i don't see why they're saying you need it. How would improve business or just our lives as consumers? Where's the return on investment? They don't say So. There's a lot of grandstanding taking place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and there's going to be more companies coming in, i'm sure, and talking about this, and man, i would get on the phone and debate this any day with any of these companies and provide facts, because also, some of them are just giving out absolute nonsense around. Yeah, for instance, mark, well, you know per gigabit pricing and it's like guys, telcos and carriers own and operate their own network. Yeah, they have a fixed cost right And there's things involved Transit, there's peering, there's co-location Right. That's very different than just a per gig delivered, and most of these ISPs are not in the commercial CDM business, so you're not even using the right methodology. Yeah, and this is what we saw, mark, obviously in that neutrality was people wanted to quote data, but they took just a slice of the data to try and prove their point. You can always do that, and the example we've given Mark multiple times in this podcast is when a vendor will put out a press release and say their revenue grew 100% year over year.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Well, your revenue was $250,000 last year. Yeah, exactly, good for you for growing it 100%, but you're still only half a million dollars You have to put it in the context, And this is the same thing.

Speaker 2:

But you know, Sanvine, you know this is two posts in a row now. The second one is from the CTO I think the first one was from the CEO And it is just full of absolute crap. You know, operators need capital to invest in innovation. Right, Yeah, Defined as what? Oh and, by the way, have you, Sanvine, looked at the profitability of some of these operators? No, Obviously, because if you look at their actual financials Mark, some of these operators in Europe are throwing off such a high level of positive free cash flow that the argument of like well they don't have money to invest in their.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they don't have money to invest Right out the door.

Speaker 2:

The other thing I thought was interesting, Mark, is someone made a comment online another vendor, of course, you know saying well, this really makes a lot of sense, because it's not fair for operators that these streaming services are allowed to deliver services over their network at such high margins. I was like, wow, high margins. Every single streaming service is losing money today, Exactly.

Speaker 3:

Disney would like you to show them where the high margins are hiding. Yeah, So again it's just these comments people throw out, having no understanding of the numbers of any kind.

Speaker 2:

So for anyone who's going to continue to do that, maybe understand the understand what's going on behind the scenes. Talk to these operators, talk to these carriers, collect the numbers And a lot of the numbers are public if you look at financials and whatnot. But as usual, we're having a debate about something for consumers behind closed doors. So I'm going to do a blog post, call out Sanvine, just sort of make this wider. I hope I don't have to cover this like it covered the net neutrality stuff for 18 months back in the days, because so much nonsense out there. But just listeners, just use common sense. read through the lines. Anytime anyone's using big marketing terms of like this is great for consumers and innovation and cutting edge services. The other thing that they put in their blog post Mark Sanvine did was, of course, they had to throw in meta.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yes, once the metaverse comes, we're not going to have to support. Just stop already. So lots of fun from Sanvine. You guys should really be doing a better job, especially being this is coming from your C level execs, right Yeah?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, garbage, absolute garbage. Oh well, dan, while you're writing your blog post, make sure you read the AXON Partners. I guess it's a white paper. It's called Study on the Implications of an Unbalanced IP Traffic Market on European Socioeconomic the title so long I won't even finish it. I know what you're talking about. Yeah, yeah. So there are so many examples where you can just pull out just ridiculous statements, but here's one. Here's one. The video autoplay feature is now quite common across many major OTT platforms. They go on about you know kind of what it is, how it works. The conclusion is this may result in users generating unnecessary data traffic if they forgot to stop streaming. Oh, interesting.

Speaker 2:

Like tell you what Axion? how about you get advertisers to stop autoplaying videos? when I come to the page I don't want to see, yeah yeah, and I know you've talked about that, but oh, it's not.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, just you'll be able to pull out some real nuggets of Yeah. So I've been.

Speaker 2:

Mark, i've been watching this. It's a reasonable analysis. Let's just be kind There's been quite a few over the past couple of months. I've been creating a list of just links in case I have to go back to this topic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there you go.

Speaker 2:

And they're one of them, for sure, because the other thing I love that they say is you know, with what they're writing, is you know? they're providing visionary and they're helping companies figure out quote how to drive innovation in today's market. So, guys, come on.

Speaker 1:

I guarantee.

Speaker 2:

If I ask you the difference between transit and peering, or a cross connect and interconnect, you don't even know what it is. And I'm not saying that I am some deep network expert. Right, i'm not saying it right now, but these guys are writing about a topic they don't even know, yeah. So, yeah, there's quite a few of them, and I'm really hoping I don't have to hit this topic hard, mark, because frankly, it's just I'm just tired of it. It's just nonsense. And it's real to the point of where Netflix, on stage, talked about this in public at their upfront presentation and then provided written comments on it, and they've been very vocal and linked in. So it's a real topic, it's a real story, but you know, companies like Sandvine should be doing a better job, for sure.

Speaker 2:

So, mark, that's all we've got this week. We're going to take a break as I'm traveling, but we will be back the week of July 4th And my guess is next week probably. All kinds of things will come out in news, since we're not around, which is usually the case, and we actually take a one week break, which hardly ever happens, but we will be back with some additional news. Also, mark, just a quick update on some numbers here. We're just over 25,000 downloads now on the podcast, so thanks to all the listeners.

Speaker 2:

I was also telling Mark that the Apple podcast is about 50%, almost the number one app people are using to listen to, and the length of time people listening are averages well over 80% for episodes, which is somehow they want us to listen, to hear us talk, for 35 or 40 minutes every week, so that's great. We appreciate that because we can be pushing these out every week and you're listening for 3% of the stream.

Speaker 3:

That's not the case.

Speaker 2:

So we do appreciate it. It's rolling real well, i'd say. Finally, just Mark, i just started thinking about the NAB streaming summit in New York. I know I've said that previously, but now the NAB streaming summit website it's up, it's flipped, it's providing information on New York. Last night I put up just bullet points of what I want to cover. Some of the topics call for speakers is now open. You're going to see NAB doing a big marketing push after July 4th. So it's rolling again. The NAB machine is rolling, coming to New York. So go to the website. Obviously, shoot me an email if you're interested in speaking. Someone wants to do something. But two days in New York City at the Javits, i'm also going to, hopefully, mark to meet up the night before Midtown Manhattan somewhere. I haven't had one of those in New York City in a long time, so need to get that going in post September.

Speaker 2:

Well, you should try. I mean you're going to moderate something in New York, i'm sure So you'll be there. So more to come, but anyone has any questions, hit Mark and I up on LinkedIn at any time, happy to help out. Thanks for listening, everyone. Have a great week and we'll be back in two weeks.

Speaker 1:

If you enjoyed the show, send it to a friend, have questions for Dan or Mark, connect with them on LinkedIn at any time and be sure to check out Dan's blog at streamingmediaplogcom.

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