March 5, 1997Seminar with Paolo Soleri.
Virgin Media has signed a deal to add over-the-top video service Netflix to its TiVo platform, marking Netflix’s first agreement with a pay TV platform.A pilot of the Netflix app on Virgin Media TiVo boxes will launch this week in 40,000 homes, with the service due to roll out to all Virgin Media’s 1.7 million TiVo customers later this year.The deal will allow Virgin customers to watch Netflix movie and TV content – including Netflix original series like House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black – directly through their set-top box.For the pilot, the Netflix application will be available in the Apps & Games section of the Virgin Media TiVo display with Netflix members able to log-in using their existing Netflix details. New members can also sign up for Netflix via the app.The roll out follows Virgin Media’s addition of BT’s suite of new sports channels to its service last month, and joins Virgin Media’s existing collection of more than 6,000 hours of on-demand content.Virgin said that its TiVo customers will be able to easily search and browse titles across Virgin TV’s entire collection of films and TV programmes, as well as from Netflix and other content apps including BBC iPlayer.“The UK has given Netflix a fantastic welcome and we’re excited to be partnering with Virgin Media to bring an amazing Netflix experience to Virgin Media customers,” said Netflix’s global head of business development, Bill Holmes.Dana Strong, Virgin Media’s chief operating officer, added: “Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favourite shows and movies simply and easily – all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value.”
Total mobile video traffic in the next six years will be around 17 times that of last six years, according to the latest Ericsson mobility report. The global research, published ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, claims that two-thirds of app data traffic over mobile networks comes from just five of the most popular apps in each country studied, with video streaming and social networking dominating.While Facebook was found to be the number one app in each country studied, mobile video “dominates traffic growth”, with Ericsson forecasting it to grow by around 45% annually through to 2020 when it will account for around 55% of all mobile data traffic.“Prominent factors driving this rapid growth include increased number of video-enabled devices, larger screens, and better picture quality. Another prominent driver is that video is becoming an increasing part of online content, such as news, adverts, and social media. Video is increasingly shared via popular social sites, such as Twitter,” said Ericsson.The research claims that accumulated mobile data traffic for video was 25 ExaBytes during 2009-2014 and will rise to 440 ExaBytes for 2015-2020. Total mobile data traffic will climb from 70 ExaBytes to 860 ExaBytes over the same period of time.Breaking down mobile traffic volume in a few key markets, Ercisson said that in the US in December Facebook accounted for 16% of mobile traffic, followed by YouTube at 15% and Netflix at 12%. In Spain the most popular apps were Facebook and Instagram with 20% and 13% of traffic respectively.The Mobility Report claims that 800 million smartphone subscriptions were added worldwide for full year 2014, taking the total number to 2.7 billion. This was up 40% from a total of 1.9 billion smartphone subscriptions in 2013.The study also noted a decline in the numbers of people watching broadcast TV, at the same time that streaming services gain more traction.“This year for the first time more people will watch streamed on demand video than broadcast TV over a weekly period in those markets. Drivers for this change include the advent of 4G technology, the growth in smartphone and tablet usage, and a shift in consumer behaviour towards easy-to-use, on-demand services that offer cross-platform access to content,” said Ericsson.
This year has seen a rapid expansion of Discovery’s footprint internationally under president and CEO Mark Hollinger, following the group’s decision to split its European business into a western European division under Dee Forbes and CEEMEA under Kasia Kieli. The female-skewed TLC channel recently passed 100 million homes, following launches in Denmark, Finland and Poland.Age 52Education J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. degree (summa cum laude) in history and political science from Colgate University.Previous positions Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, senior associate, 1985-91; Columbia Law School, lecturer, entertainment law, 1988-91; Discovery Communications, VP/deputy general counsel, 1991-94; Discovery Channel Asia, acting GM, ‘94 ; Discovery Communications, VP international business development/ VP, deputy counsel, 1995-96; general counsel, 1996-2001; EVP, corporate operations, 2001-03; senior EVP, corporate operations/general counsel, 2003-07; COO, 2008-09Last year’s highlights The successful rollout of TLC; industry-leading results.Last year’s most significant development The continued momentum toward a VOD world – whether Netflix, UPC’s Horizon initiative, iPlayer or TV Everywhere.Goals for next year Continue to build the strongest non-fiction portfolio in global pay television.Industry challenges and opportunities Figuring out the business model for programmes in the VOD environment in order to continue investments in great content; and figuring out how the VOD environment can co-exist successfully with the traditional pay TV environment.Alternative career choice Sports management – as with TV, it would give me a chance to work every day with something I love.TV character most identified with A contestant on The Amazing Race – always on the go, with lots of challenges to faceMost admired personality Jimmy Carter, who has used his position to promote important, but unglamorous, causes like free elections and affordable housing.Life outside work Hang out with my three sons, watch football, read and, crazily enough, travel.