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Major business

US pay-TV sees continued decline with Q1 subscriber drain

The first quarter of 2016 was not a good one for pay-TV subscriptions in the United States, according to the latest SNL Kagan quarterly compendium of subscriber totals across segments.

Amazon offers content creators a raft of biz models

Amazon has launched Amazon Video Direct (AVD), which allows video content owners to specify a range of different business models to generate revenue from their content.

Fox beats the street with Deadpool’s help

Saved by a superhero: Twenty-First Century Fox has reported quarterly earnings in line with Wall Street expectations, thanks to the box-office hit Deadpool and with its TV business doing well also.

Media Analysis

MENA pay-TV spikes in 2015

2015 was the year of growth for the pay-TV market in the Middle East and North Africa region, as the number of pay-TV households jumped 10% to 4.95 million.

Streaming, pay-TV preference varies dramatically with age

When forced to choose between legacy pay-TV and streaming services, dual-service users react differently according to their age, research from TDG has revealed.

Cable, satellite shine as subs inch up for US pay-TV leaders

19 may lead pic 1000pixA study from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) has found that the 13 largest pay-TV providers in the US — representing about 95% of the market — added about 10,000 net video subscribers in Q1 2016.

Media Investment

Google streaming Instant Apps are a competitive shot across the bow

Google has released streaming Android Instant Apps, which allows developers to upgrade their existing apps to become modular and streaming-compatible.

Hedge fund says DISH stock should be trading at half its current value

A prominent hedge fund has made the case that DISH Network’s spectrum is way over-valued.

FCC settles with Videohouse LPTV ahead of broadcast spectrum auction

The FCC’s incentive spectrum auction has cleared another hurdle: the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has accepted the US TV regulator’s settlement in Videohouse et al's challenge to proceedings.

Google streaming Instant Apps are a competitive shot across the bow

Michelle Clancy
Google has released streaming Android Instant Apps, which allows developers to upgrade their existing apps to become modular and streaming-compatible.

google instant appsSo, instead of downloading and installing apps, users will be able to stream parts or modules of the apps they want to use. People who use mobile Google Search will get instant links to mobile apps of the sites or topics they are searching for, and then be given the option to connect to them. Android Instant Apps will also be accessible from any in-app link that opens a mobile website.

With no need to download and install Android apps, it’s a boon to the phone's storage, and allows developers to build in rich-media capabilities that on-device apps simply can’t support well.

One of the early testers of Android Instant Apps is Disney, which makes sense, considering that the House of Mouse is one of the top-grossing global publishers of mobile games and video content.

“The future promise of streaming Android games will help me avoid the 414MB download file size of the Good Dinosaur Story Book or the 1.8 gigabyte installation space needed by Vainglory,” said financial blogger Motek Moyen. “The technology behind Instant Apps is very capable of streaming multi-gigabyte-sized PC or Android games.” One can extrapolate the usefulness in driving the use of long-form mobile video as well.

The mobile apps industry is expected to hit $101.1 billion by 2020, according to App Annie. Making Android apps streaming-friendly is a huge advantage for Google over its rival Apple. It also boosts mobile search usage and therefore advertising revenue. But, there are other revenue plays for Google as well.

“The real killer feature of Instant Apps is that it's fully compatible with Google Play Services,” explained Moyen. “People will be able to do in-app purchases on streamed Android apps. This is very clever – tempting web surfers with impulse buys from the app store is brilliant because Alphabet takes a 30% cut from app purchases.”

Apple, meanwhile, will have some work to do to catch up. “Anything that gives Alphabet an advantage over Apple always is good for Google investors,” Moyen said. “Alphabet's judicious purchase of Agawi last year is behind Instant Apps. Agawi was the innovator behind low-latency app streaming technology. As far as I know, there is no other company [that Apple can buy] which has the same app-streaming IP of Agawi.”