Why The Future of Sports Broadcasting is Now: Rio 2016 and More

It is a truth universally acknowledged: people like sports. Some of the most viewed broadcasts on TV are sporting events, and they make up 40% of the content that people watch on TV. The 2012 Olympic Games were the most watched sshutterstock_153142547porting event in television history with a massive global in-home audience of 3.6 billion viewers, followed by the 2014 World Cup, which raked in 3.2 billion viewers.

This World Cup also saw a 36% increase in broadcast hours in comparison to the previous one, which can perhaps be attributed to the rise of online streaming—according to STATS, over 280 million people watched games on their devices, which would also make it the most digitally connected World Cup of all time.

Now, as the 2016 Olympic Games approach following a summer of soccer—both the Euro cup and Copa America were held this year—lovers of the beautiful game and fair weather fans alike seem to be asking themselves “streaming or cable?” just as often as they ask, “soccer or football?” While there are many names for the beautiful game, it doesn’t necessarily exist as a binary, but the mediums with which people tune in often do. The number of traditional TV subscriptions are declining as more and more fans opt for streaming services to keep up with their favorite teams, and there are a considerable amount—86% of Americans consider themselves sports fans, and among these, 90% follow more than one sport and/or team.

The act of swapping traditional TV for streaming services such as Roku is often referred to as ‘cord-cutting’ and will see considerable growth in the coming years. As the media tides are shifting, so is the market for sports broadcasting. Jeffery I. Cole, founder and director of the Center for the Digital Future (CDF), says that “…sports continue to gain importance among all content — in some cases, it is the only must-see live content left”. Fans would undeniably agree, which is probably why so many are willing to shell out for expensive cable subscriptions to watch games. This is no longer the case with the rise of sports streaming subscriptions.

A study released by the CDF found that fans are clearly shifting preferences, behavior, and spending—in fact, they are willing to pay more for streaming. 56% said that they were willing to spend a higher proportion of their budget per month on online streaming than on cable or satellite channels. This is especially true for the younger, more digitally-inclined generation: millenials are willing to pay more for subscription services, although the same applies for dedicated sports fans of all ages.

And why wouldn’t they? With live sports streaming, they have the option to view more than one game at a time across multiple devices. They can choose from packages which include press conferences and post-game analysis that is specific to their sport or team. Just look at the popularity of existing subscription streaming services such as FOX Soccer. Better yet, look towards the future—more than 4,500 hours of this year’s Olympic Games will be streamed live, and experts predict that, with the availability of streaming services, it will shatter records for live-streaming sporting events. Perhaps there is an Olympic medal for that?

Live sports streaming is a way to reach fans across the globe, across geographical and political divides, regardless of team or nationality. It connects people through one easily accessible medium, even in areas where people may not even own a TV. Even among rural populations, mobile devices are more common. So whether you are a die-hard soccer/football/futbol fan or a young Brazilian national without access to cable, there is an easier way to be a part of the pomp and competition through streaming.

How Can Audio Streaming Benefit Your Business?


We have all, at some point in our lives, walked into a store, restaurant, or hotel and thought to ourselves, “what song is this?” If that point has been within the past couple of years, it’s likely that the song was being played on internet radio or a dedicated stream curated for the business you walk into.

Consumers like curated content. This has grown to be more and more relevant as we reach an internet age in which everything is targeted to and personalized for the consumer. But how does one go about adding personal appeal to a standing business or institution? It has been mentioned in a previous post that businesses and hospitality services can build a brand with dedicated internet radio. Audio streaming for your business creates a consistent, recognizable atmosphere and is a simple way of allowing consumers to feel more engaged with your brand.

Internet radio is also highly convenient for business owners: unlike traditional radio, you have total control of what content is put out, as well as where and when. Consider a new customer walking into a café. What are they listening to? Is it music that uplifts, invigorates, calms, or inspires? Now, think of a guest walking into a new hotel for the first time. Are they hearing about any new promotions or deals the hotel has to offer? With audio streaming, it is entirely up to the owner. Your customers can be reached 24/7, with the ability to decide what your business is playing at your fingertips, on any web-enabled device. Music selections and promotional content can be curated into playlists, which can then be automated after being uploaded to Primcast servers. There is always the option to flip a switch and make live broadcasts or announcements.

Aside from brand building and customer satisfaction, audio streaming for your business can also bring substantial monetary benefits. That’s right—money! 50% of the American population tunes in to internet radio every week. According to Edison Research and eMarketer, that’s roughly 177 million listeners per year, and $42 billion dollars in mobile advertising revenue forecasted for internet radio and streaming services this year. Most people who tune in to internet radio actually opt for ad-supported listening—91% of global listeners use ad-supported devices.

Bringing advertising into the picture can be mutually beneficial for the business owner and the advertiser. For example, if your hotel has a tennis court, it may be advantageous for the business to run internet radio ads for sporting goods (like tennis rackets). Again, there is a vast amount of freedom in being a business owner with a dedicated streaming service, so it is entirely up to you.

Streaming that is customized for your business gives it a personal touch, and that has universal appeal. So whether you are a tiny eatery that is open late nights or a busy hotel with guests flowing in and out at all hours of the day, giving your customer a seamless audio experience adds multitudes to their overall satisfaction, and may add a huge amount of revenue for your business.

The Internet Didn’t Kill the Radio Star


It is December 1999. The world is preradio-blogparing for catastrophic doom in the form of technological disaster, also known as Y2K. Even the likes of Time Magazine releases an issue on the inevitable meltdown of society that comes with the meltdown of computers, which were never programmed to denote the year beyond ‘99. Now fast forward a few months. Computers, electricity, communications, and society are all still around, much to our collective relief. The radio is still an incredibly popular medium in which we get our news, listen to our favorite stations, and figure out how to avoid the hour-long wait in traffic along the Midtown Tunnel.

But the times are changing—slowly, but surely, more and more of the ways we consume our news and tunes are moving to the web. In the year 2000, only 2% of the American population listened to online radio. In 2016, a study by Edison Research found that the number had jumped to a whopping 50%, with 136 million unique listeners tuning in every week and 160 million per month. That number is even higher in the UK, with a study conducted by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) stating that 57% of the UK population tuned in to digital radio every week in the same year.

Internet radio broadcasts and podcasts have literally been taking over the airwaves. This is not to say that radio as we once knew it is dead. Rather, radio streaming is revolutionizing the way we receive news, listen to and curate the music we want to listen to, keep up to date on pop culture, and even how we consume stories—talk radio and fictional programming on the radio have been around since the 1920s and don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. The difference in 2016 is that the listener has a vast amount of freedom in deciding what, when, and where. All the freedom to choose and no limits on where or how often makes for a happy consumer.

Unlike traditional or ‘terrestrial’ radio, internet radio services like the ones offered by Primcast can be accessed globally and across all web-enabled devices at any time. Live broadcasts can be archived by the broadcaster and streamed by the listener at their leisure. This mobility and ease of access makes it apparent why half of America is getting their radio fix online, and beyond that, proves that radio is here to stay. In fact, the average listener in 2016 tunes in to up to 21 hours of live radio per week.

Consider the popularity of “Welcome to Night Vale”, a twice-monthly science fiction podcast that can be streamed on TuneIn, which works in tandem with Primcast’s servers. It is so popular, in fact, that it surpassed NPR’s “This American Life” to become the most downloaded podcast on iTunes, achieving more than 150,000 downloads in a single week. It is arguable that this format of sci-fi longform storytelling has not gotten this much attention since Orson Welles’ broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” in 1938, during which distressed listeners thought they were listening to a real, apocalyptic news broadcast. Thankfully, neither Y2K nor this imagined apocalypse were able to wipe out the radio as a medium for storytelling, especially not with the internet around.

For the majority of people, however, the radio is how we listen to music. Whether it’s listening to the songs and genres we already love or discovering something new, music has been keeping us tuned in for almost as long as radio has been around. In the past few years, however, listening to music on the web has undergone a major facelift. Over 50 million people subscribe to some sort of music streaming service. This kind of streaming, which is tangentially different from traditional radio, has become massively popular because consumers crave highly personalized content with which they feel they are curating their own ‘brand’. The same thing applies on a broader spectrum for businesses and hospitality services, which can build a brand with dedicated, global, and accessible broadcasting.

Appealing to Millenials with Easy-Access Visual Media


Mmillenialblogillenials, often referred to as Generation Y, are a veritable goldmine of a target demographic when it comes to content marketing–but only if you hit the right notes. This tech-obsessed new generation of youth are arguably some of today’s most in-demand consumers. But with them comes the era of six-second videos and ten-second photographs (or ‘Snaps’) that disappear upon viewing. While their college debts are high, their attention spans are generally lower than generations before them. Plain format text promotions are becoming increasingly ineffective.

So how does anyone make Generation Y buy? According to an essay published on Social Media Week, distracted minds find comfort in visual media. In other words, busy millenials want to be reached in a unique, succinct, and aesthetically pleasing manner. Consider it instant gratification for the digitally savvy.

The data backs it up: in a study conducted by Animoto, 60% of millenials preferred watching a company video over reading newsletters.  70% said they are likely to watch a company video when shopping online, and 80% consider video content when researching a purchase. With all due credit, this says less about how distracted they are as a generation and more about how involved and connected they want to be when making purchases–in the right format, of course.

So where does streaming fit into the picture? In a content preferences survey published by Demand Gen Report, webinars are one of the most popular forms of visual content preferred by millenial consumers. Consider the popularity of TED, a nonprofit that dedicates itself to spreading ideas in the format of short, powerful talks by various speakers. These ‘TEDTalks’ are usually streamed live and then archived for viewing. Its most popular talk has over 40 million views, with total views numbering over 1 billion. And, get this: millenials love it! TED’s popularity with younger groups (between their teens and mid 20s) has skyrocketed over the past few years.

For a generation that is chastised for being addicted to tiny screens, it may come off as unsurprising that in the same study by Animoto, 50% of millenials said that they only watched videos on their phones. Ease of access across devices is a selling point to Gen Y-ers, and a must-have with live streaming. If a stream cannot be accessed by a phone in the same way it can be accessed on a desktop, consider that 50% of the millenial audience lost to a basement show in Brooklyn.

There is also a broader appeal here for live streams among millenials. Any marketing expert can tell you that fear is one of the best selling points. With Gen Y, it’s not spiders or the dark, but ‘FOMO’, or the fear of missing out. Jim Toben, President of Ignite Social Media, says that live streaming “allows us to tap into that FOMO that people have….if people are watching a live event [online], it makes them want to attend more because people love the value of a physical event.”  In fact, according to Digitell, 30% of people who watch a live stream of an event will attend that same event the following year.

Make Your Live Stream More Dynamic With Epiphan and Primcast

There’s an obvious reason live event production streaming is becoming so popular: the benefits of instant high-quality delivery of your content anywhere in the world speak for themselves. But the novelty of this tool means that it’s not always obvious what works and what doesn’t. How do you make your live event stream work?

Dynamic video

Even if you have a very animated and interesting subject, using only a single static camera can grow boring for a viewer. The limited ability to focus lacks energy and can make a presentation feel tediously long. If you want viewers to feel engaged and interested, you have to fight for their attention, using multiple video sources to make sure you’re streaming continuously captivating content.


Don’t feel bound to a single room either. In a long stream, such as full coverage of an 8-hour event, you need capture different angles and make sure you’re always filming the most interesting part of your event. So when the speaker finishes their talk, don’t just keep showing an empty stage as people leave the room: in a broadcast, dead air is just as deadly to your viewers’ attention span as its name suggests.

Live switching

To keep your stream lively and moving from one view to another, you need to use an encoder with live-switching capabilities. Epiphan’s flagship all-in-one live video mixer, Pearl, can do this quickly and effectively with a tap on the touch screen, a click of browser button or Epiphan’s Live PC/tablet operator interface.

You can use Pearl’s custom layout feature to add background images, multiple sources, timestamps overlay text and more to create dynamic and balanced layouts that can adapt to whatever you want them to do.



Not only that, you can use Pearl’s live switching feature to switch between any number of these custom layouts on the fly!

The switching capability allows you to present different layouts, better views of the speaker or their slides, a view of the audience, information from tablets or smart phones, etc. – all without having to pause the video or change your equipment set up.




Better yet, you can use local IP streaming (or local network streaming) to get the most out of your venue by placing IP cameras or encoders around the space. Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) streaming is a network control protocol that allows you to significantly broaden the range of locations you’re streaming from.

With an RTSP equipped encoder, such as a Pearl with the new 3.17.0 firmware (to be released in July 2016) you are not limited to just cameras in the same room as your encoder. You can also use network-based RTSP sources. A good example of this kind of source are IP cameras, which all have network cables for local networking. Once it’s online, it will have an IP address – add that to your Pearl’s Web UI as a source, and you can stream the video from that camera live without needing a physical connection.



You could even extend the reach of your setup by setting up multiple encoders and using these as RTSP sources to the main Pearl encoder that is streaming your event live. Select one of your multiple Pearl systems as the “Main” encoder, and then enter the IP addresses of the other Pearl systems into it in the same was as you did for the IP camera. The other Pearl systems all have their own sources connected and layouts configured, and the Main Pearl will then integrate the data from these multiple RTSP sources into a single stream. Operators can then perform live switching by using the web UI or any of the touch screens, and have the result immediately reflected in the live stream.




All this means that your stream has no wires to run, isn’t limited to a single room, and gives you a great deal of versatility in capture options.

How does all this work in practice?

Live streaming an event

A business conference wants to have a live online stream of all its events, lasting a full 8 to 10-hour day. The venue has a main presentation room, a separate interview room, and an expo room with all the booths set up.

Room 1: Main presentation room

– Main Pearl

– 2 Cameras connected to Pearl capturing different angles of the speaker

– 1 Camera connected to Pearl capturing a view of the audience

– Slide projector connected to Pearl as a video source

Room 2: interview room

– A second Pearl connected to the Main Pearl by RTSP

– 1 Wide-angle Camera covering both interviewer and interviewee

– 1 Semi-mobile Camera capturing close-up of interviewee or of their product

– HDMI cable and adapters to capture video from an interviewee’s mobile device

Room 3: Main conference hall

– An IP camera capturing floor crowd, connected to the main Pearl by RTSP


When you add in layouts (there are lots of good ways to do this with Pearl) or customize your audio encoding to suit the video you’ll have a truly dynamic video set up to give your viewers a great experience.





Never having to go to a blank screen during your stream means that you never have your audience walk away from the screen and forget to come back.


Of course, the most important part of the stream is getting it online. That’s why Epiphan products are always ready to integrate perfectly with Primcast. Simply log in to your Primcast account to access your live video streaming settings.




Then login to Pearl and copy-paste the account details into your channel’s streaming settings. Click Start to send the stream to Primcast, and in a few moments you’re streaming live!


Put theory into practice


The ability to switch between different sources and layouts and even different rooms of the event at the drop of a hat limits the amount of dead air, and keeps the video consistently interesting. Primcast’s easy integration with Pearl makes this an ideal setup for using RTSP streaming and getting your video online as quickly and easily as possible. The more dynamic you make your video, the better your viewership will be. For more information on using Primcast and Epiphan products together, take a look at Primcast’s own guest post on the Epiphan blog!











Pluto.TV to Ban YouTube Channels

Many of the channels available on Pluto.tv have great content, but they are streaming through YouTube, which brings the YouTube logo onto the Pluto platform. Pluto.tv is planning to remove these channels from its program guide, unless they stream through a white label provider, such as Primcast. So why is Pluto.tv doing this you ask?

About Pluto TV

Based in West Hollywood, Pluto.TV has taken up the challenge in online TV by offering a service, similar to cable, absolutely free! Unlike traditional cable or satellite TV, Pluto manages to keep its viewers glued for hours, through a leaner technology that makes streaming easier.

They have partnered with the small to medium video content makers and are categorizing all of the video contents in a channel guide, similar to what you see on your cable box. This is resulting in a nonstop and continuous viewing of content over longer hours. However, most channels on Pluto TV are YouTube branded. This is hampering the brand marketing of Pluto TV, and soon these channels will be banned.

How will content producers streaming their videos on Pluto TV through YouTube react to these news? Stay tuned for more on this from Primcast.


How Online Video Transformed Marketing

Modern day marketing is all about presentation. The way you present your marketing message to your target audience holds a tremendous amount of sway with them. The most brilliant idea presented in a sub-standard, outdated manner has the ability to kill its spirit right on the spot. This is where content marketing comes into the picture.

Content marketing is a focused approach to marketing. It studies the market and delivers content that is directed to attract a specific target audience. Keep in mind, to keep an audience interested, the content should be dynamic and constantly evolve according to the newest trends, while at the same time providing helpful information that creates a favorable impression towards the brand. These factors work collectively towards moving the customer closer to a conversion.

 How content marketing works?

Never underestimate the intelligence of a customer. If you’re trying to sell a product or a service you shouldn’t try to convince the customer to buy it. Instead of pitching your product what you need to do is deliver information, make your customer aware of what your product is about and not only what you have to offer which leads to a desire to buy the product. Your job is to keep the customer informed. Note that this involves a lot of communication between the customer and the seller.

When content marketing made its debut, it was through text-based content in the form of physical white paper promotions, newsletters, blogs, articles, and emails. In short it was all about words. But today, nobody has the time or the patience to read those words. We have evolved and so has content marketing. Consumers want and need more interactive and attractive options and they will not settle for words anymore.

What Do the Statistics Reveal?

According to statistics, in 2015, the number of video viewers surpassed 200 million in the United States alone. It is one of the most popular activities worldwide, with South Korea leading at a 96 percent online video reach. It goes without saying that video is the best mode of selling anything.

So if you’re thinking about an alternative to video, don’t. There is nothing as effective; it is time to join the revolution. If you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest platforms then you are losing out.

Why Video Rules Content Marketing?

If it is the cost you are worried about then think again. These are not the dark ages anymore. Video is not an option only for big corporations. You don’t need an astronomical budget. Nearly everyone has the access to a decent quality camera phone nowadays. All you need to keep in mind is the camera should be HD. There is quite a number of free or cost-effective video editing software available out there just for such a purpose. Videos once edited can be uploaded onto video streaming platforms. These videos can also be embedded onto a blog or a website or even a social media platform.  Small businesses can now join in the video revolution without further ado.

Still not convinced about the boons of video streaming? Here are a few more reasons why video streaming should be adopted pronto.

  • Recent research has shown that 71 percent of the consumers prefer video content, for the customer conversion rate of a video outperforms any other marketing content method.
  • Also videos have the ability of drawing more attention. We have already seen the statistics of video viewers in the United States. There is also an overload of content which discourages a viewer from even wanting to take in more information but video is easier to assimilate and preferred and capturing the attention of a consumer is important.
  • Your content is more likely to be viewed if it is supplemented with a video link. In fact, if you add a video to your website, it improves your chances of being viewed since this improves your Search Engine Optimization, thereby increasing your chances of appearing on the first page of Google search results by 53 times.
  • Opinions matter. A consumer is more likely to comment on or share a video than any other article or post conveying the same information.
  • Information relayed through video has a greater ability to be retained than any other mode of information.
  • It is not possible to check on each viewer to figure out which part of the article was liked or viewed most or how many times but a video has a feedback loop built in. This loop records the number of times watched and measures the click-through rate to such accuracy that it is even possible to bring it down to the level of an individual.
  • The exact tone of your message is delivered only though video. While reading a blog, the message can be received in many ways, some may even be unappealing but through a video your every emotion can be transmitted bringing out the essence of your product effectively.

Now that you have been convinced, here is another detail to be noted. It isn’t enough to just post a video online. It is also important to review your platforms. Since 2015, Facebook has been getting even more daily minutes watched than YouTube which has been the largest video streaming website available. Snapchat and Twitter viewers too have taken branding to a whole new level. YouTube is huge, agreed, and it is swarming with content so it is very likely to lose your content among the millions others vying for attention on the same platform. Facebook on the other hand is more personalized. If you post a video directly onto Facebook you are placing it onto Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm, which means you get an even larger viewer base and your community grows by leaps and bounds, creating the ultimate marketing network.

If you want to stay current and reap the best benefits for your company, video marketing is the way to go because let’s be realistic, all the other marketing channels are as good as void since the advent of video. If you need professional assistance for making video the star in your content marketing campaign then check out Primcast’s expertise in this context.

Best Cameras for Live Video Streaming

Live video streaming has the capability to provide targeted outcomes for your business – wider reach and more footfalls to your blog or website and then convert the leads to conversions. However, your live stream broadcast has to be of superior quality and this is dependent on the camera you select to broadcast your content.

With so many cameras in the market claiming to be the best for live streaming, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. So before you decide to start your shopping spree, take a look at the following buying factors along with their pros and cons. This will allow you make a more informed decision.

Selection Criteria

Before you start looking at the different cameras, here are some things to consider.

  1. Hardware: It is important that your video camera is compatible with your hardware. Hence, make sure your computer has ports to connect your camera. It is best to opt for a camera that fits seamlessly with your hardware rather than changing your hardware to suit your camera.
  1. Budget: Have a budget in mind when you start shopping for a video camera. This will allow you to shortlist cameras based on what you can afford rather than selecting one and then finding out it is beyond your means.
  1. Shooting Options: How do you intend shooting the live broadcast? If you shoot on the go, you will need to make sure the video content is clear, without interference and signal degradation.

These factors will narrow down your choices to a sane level. Now with the finalized options, you can add further operational and functional filters as below –

Your Camera Options

Today, there is a wide range of cameras, including USB, HDMI, analog, SDI and DSLR cameras. Within this range, you can get different makes and models.

  1. USB Camera: This particular video camera is ideal for a newbie live broadcaster. You can connect the camera to any computer system with the USB port. If this is the first time you are live streaming, this camera will be the best choice as it is hassle-free.


  • It is extremely affordable
  • Easy setup as it is a plug-and-play camera
  • Does not require capture cards or boxes and can be connected directly to a majority of computers
  • Does not need power source, as it is powered by the computer


  • It comes with limited features. You will be unable to zoom, balance the white or enjoy more precise shots
  • You will be unable to upgrade the lens
  • Does not have the ability to generate professional-grade audio
  • Unable to record locally
  1. HDMI Camera: Although this camera is primarily for home theater systems, it is extremely popular, as it is not as expensive as an SDI camera. And, you will still be able to broadcast superior quality videos. Besides live streaming in HD, you also can record content in high-def.


  • You can get entry-level camera that is affordable and at par with a feature-laden professional-grade camera
  • Easily available
  • Easy to convert to SDI


  • Depending on the encoder or switcher you are using, you may have to convert the image to SDI
  • Does not have as long a cable as an SDI camera
  • Cables are not lockable and as a result, they can get disconnected quite easily
  • Some HDMI cameras have built-in copy protection, preventing transfer of signal
  1. Analog Camera: It comes with red, green and blue cable ports that allow you to connect to your computer. However, since laptops usually don’t have analog ports, you will have to use a capture card or switcher to enable the connection.


  • Affordably priced
  • The camera is easily available
  • You can easily replace the cables should they get damaged
  • You will find it quite easy to get capture cards and switchers to facilitate connection with your laptop


  • If you opt for an older model, you may be stuck with just SD resolution. Just new analog cameras come with high-definition image quality
  • You will not be able to use the camera too far out, as long runs can lead to poor signal and interference
  • The connector cables are usually proprietary. Hence, it may be tough to find a replacement
  • You will need an additional cable to connect to your encoder or switcher
  1. SDI Camera: This perhaps is the best camera for live broadcast streaming. It provides professional-grade videos and hence, it is the most expensive of all video cameras. There is no worry of the cables getting disconnected, so you will enjoy stable connection. The cables are long enough to shoot far out.


  • Comes with long cables that have a locking option
  • The camera comes with professional connections
  • It has connections for capture cards and encoders


  • Its cost is prohibitive and can prevent you from purchasing it
  1. DSLR Camera: This camera is similar to an HDMI camera when it comes to live video streaming. The camera should have an HDMI output, and you will have to use a capture card to connect the camera to your computer. If you overcome these issues, you can use the camera for live video streaming.

However, be careful as some models come with a mirror and this will reveal the settings of your camera during live streaming. Its limited audio capabilities are also a disadvantage. The built-in mic may not be able to capture high-quality audio and hence, you will need an external mic for the audio. Also, check the camera carefully before purchase, as some models shut down automatically if they are used for extended periods. If you plan on streaming live content for a couple of hours, DSLR camera may not be the best choice.

The Bottom Line

Now you know about the best cameras for live video streaming. Based on this information, you can make an informed decision to purchase a camera that best suits your needs. Already zeroed in on your choice? Then opt for Primcast’s live streaming services to start streaming.

Radionomy’s Stations Removed from Tunein

Radionomy’s Stations Removed from Tunein

In an interesting twist to the on-going war between Sony labels and Radionomy, Sony has issued a take-down notice to Radionomy stations hosted on Tunein. Radionomy has been under the fire for copyright infringement from Sony brands since February, 2016. This action puts online radio stations hosted on Radionomy at risk of being removed from Tunein at any time.

Radionomy, which hosts around 40000 to 50000 online radio stations, has seen its volumes taking a hit, since Sony group of music labels have filed the infringement case. Radionomy does not mention to its customers that royalties are to be paid to copyright owners, nor do they provide royalty reports so that broadcasters can become legal.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), Sony group of music labels has claimed ownership of specific content (i.e. music, albums, tracks or artists), and Radionomy stations, listed on TuneIn have been broadcasting and streaming this content without permission to do so. TuneIn, on its part, has taken cognizance of the DMCA’s requirement, and has accepted to take down Radionomy stations from its broadcasting system.

The origins of the case

Readers may remember the Feb 26 lawsuit filed by Sony group of labels in a California federal court that cited multiple violations of copyright of their music by stations like Radionomy. Sony has claimed that the radio station has wrongfully participated in reproduction, public performance, and display of the music tracks through its users. The monetary damages sought by Sony makes the case all the more interesting. They are claiming maximum statutory damages under US laws – $150,000 per track that was infringed upon by Radionomy.

What the future holds

As of now the content disabling notice by Sony has been implemented by TuneIn for a majority of the Radionomy stations. The action has impacted mostly stations that have played or continue playing music owned by Sony Music Entertainment and other US labels. Online broadcasters can get licensed and receive monthly royalty reports from Primcast, which will allow them to calculate and pay their royalty fees.

Stay tuned for more updates, as Primcast keeps you informed of more action on this front.

Why Video Autoplay Does not Work On Mobile

Why Video Autoplay Doesn’t Work On Mobile

Handheld devices and smartphones have revolutionized the world of videos. Today, video streaming services are formatting videos to suit these mobile devices so that people can watch content on the go. The ease of watching videos on your mobile can be fun and relaxing. However, the experience of watching a video on your computer is completely different, one that you may not be able to reproduce on your mobile. This is where the video autoplay function comes in.

If you are the broadcaster, you definitely want viewers to watch your video. Otherwise, you will lose revenue. Usually, you get paid for the number of video views. So if autoplay function doesn’t work, you will be losing out on the number of views. This, in turn, translates to lower revenues.

Hence, it is important for you to first understand why video autoplay doesn’t work on a mobile devices, and what you can do to fix this.

Understanding Video Autoplay

As the name suggests, video autoplay occurs when a video starts playing automatically. Usually, this happens when the webpage loads completely. This allows seamless video-watching experience without the viewer having to do anything.

However, this seamless play of the video does not occur when a viewer watches a video on his mobile device. The viewer first has to activate the video for it to play. Just loading the webpage will not work.

Why Autoplay Doesn’t Work on Mobile Devices?

Both Android and iOS have disabled this particular feature for mobile phones, and this is done for a reason. By disabling the video autoplay feature, the mobile phone software makers save users money.

It is prudent to remember mobile phone companies charge mobile phone users by the bandwidth they use. A typical mobile device user will have limits on the data they can use each month. If they exceed the limit, their connection speed drops or they are charged overages. Hence, the autoplay function is disabled on mobile phones to ensure users do not pay for videos they have no interest in watching.

The real culprits are the mobile phone companies, as they keep levying incremental charges for data downloads instead of charging a flat monthly fee like Internet service providers.

How Can a Broadcaster Work Around This Issue?

Well, the good news is there are a few ways around disabled video autoplay. Some of them are as follows:

  1. HTML5

You can create GIFs using HTML5. While the video will not play unless the viewer explicitly clicks the Play button, you can still transcode the initial few seconds of your video into a GIF to let the user see what it contains. You can make the GIF alluring so that the viewer feels compelled to watch your video.

  1. Single device solution

Let’s not forget that Android is an open source OS. Hence, if you know advanced coding, you can alter your Android operating system to enable autoplay of videos. This is beneficial only if you are the viewer.

While this is a possible solution, you may find it difficult, as a majority of subroutines and applications on Android OS are not open-source. If you still succeed in changing the operating system to enable video autoplay, you risk making it incompatible with certain other applications.

This trick will not work with iOS since it is not an open-source operating system. So if you own an Apple device, you will still have to manually start the videos you want to watch.

The Ideal Solution for Disabled Video Autoplay

The perfect solution is with mobile phone companies. A large number of mobile phone operators do not offer their customers unlimited data plan. Hence, until they start, video autoplay on mobile phones will be a distant dream. And, when a mobile phone company does offer unlimited data plan, the prices are exorbitant. For instance, T-Mobile in the U.S. has recently hiked the monthly charge for unlimited data plan to $95.

Today, people are downloading more than they used to a few years ago. This is because a large chunk of the population has smartphones. As a result, it is straining the mobile companies’ network and hurting their bottom line. This, in turn, is causing mobile operators to charge more for unlimited data plan. But if you see the other side of the coin, there is a demand for unlimited data plan. Hence, mobile phone carriers will sooner or later have to offer the plan to customers or commit business suicide.

The Bottom Line

Video autoplay function has been purposely disabled to save viewers money. Rather than making it more convenient for viewers, operating systems are designed to prevent unnecessary expenses that can occur with limited data plans.

As a broadcaster, you can opt for a few workarounds, but your aim should be to market your video using a webpage and making sure it is of high-quality and informative to get viewership. This way, even mobile device users will hear the buzz around your video and have no qualms about watching whether they have a limited or unlimited data plan.  Contact us for more quick tips on how to handle your media production needs.