New YouTube kids app

Just search in the Google or Apple Store for it – YouTube kids.
 My daughter was up and rolling with it within a minute – she is two.
 We found some content to not load – could be a geo issue thing since it’s not globally released and I use my USA based accounts.
 The interface is awesome and their are parental controls which allow you to turn off things like search. The sounds effects are fun – I think both my kids will like the effects. I do think my seven year old will easily get past the parental settings control though. They should allow the parents to create a password for them.
 I didn’t log in so I guess it works without an account and even has some privacy adjustments. You can turn off search and then there is just the curated and featured content which is nice but I am assuming even with search on one cannot find non kids content? Need to play with it more.
 Best part about it though? There is a timer so you can have it auto shutoff. Need to play with that as well.
 Slick stuff.
 I just wish they would offer a download feature for when we are not online.

The OTT tsunami has arrived

My OTT Asia tracking page ::

Obviously I write this from the perspective of someone working in the OTT space but of course confined to a specific content niche – Indian video globally available to anyone who wants it. Fortunately it means that I have experience with building a global OTT platform given spuul has customers dotted around the globe.

If you are in developed regions you probably have had the choice of some sort of regional or global OTT network for years. Netflix is clearly the big one to contend with and it is very interesting to read their latest view of the market and their place in it :: .

I love how their business plan and goals for the product are clearly explained. It is also interesting how they directly discuss the competition. I think Netflix knows it will take serious money to stay on top since as the content leaders bifurcate and run their own services – Netflix will have to continue to ramp their original content to make up the gaps.

When it comes to developed markets I think Netflix is unstoppable but I always watch for HBO to do something but the problem is HBO is not a tech leader and this is their Achilles heel in competing with Netflix. However when it comes to content and marketing – HBO is a force to be reckoned with.

The emerging markets though are a totally different story with the excess of regional content to be mopped up and the strength of the telcos to be reckoned with.

I can only really discuss Asia with the caveat that I will leave China, Korea and Japan out of it since they are unique markets. Netflix already as their sights set on Japan and China has enough of it’s own players to contend with.

If one looks at the ANZ region it will be a market to watch the evolution play out since quickflix is on the way down while Stan takes a shot it before Netflix comes to town. Stan does have a chance given they will have a lot of local TV content bottled up but maybe that is not enough to combat Netflix technology and their huge swath of original content.

The rest of Asia though appears to be up for grabs. India may or may not look like China with local incumbents winning but given English as a dominant language, the local market may be open to large international players. I think apart from niche players, spuul for example, India will likely have Amazon and Netflix giving it a go. It also seems that the large local telcos will try to own the market as well as regional players like the newly formed HOOQ. India is big enough to support all this competition – it is after all the next China. In general the south Asian market will be lead by and grouped in with India.

Southeast Asia though is almost another region in and of itself. Already each country is home to some country based players but my take is that they will not survive a regional play since the economics of a regional player will allow for larger catalogs and better technology. HOOQ appears to be the first to really go after this market but they will not be the last.

I reckon that there are lots of players sitting on the sidelines waiting to dip their toes in due to the market size and the complexities that will allow for specific innovation in payments, tech and telco partnerships that could easily allow a competitor to sprint past another. I have no way of validating this list apart from my own gut and the rumor mill but this is my guess for other companies that will either start or partner to create another SEA OTT service – Astro, Starhub, and Catcha Group come to mind but just look at any media company or telco not yet in the game or partnering with someone as a possible entrant.

The potential market with the growth of mobile and Internet is just too big to ignore. Problem is that this market doesn’t look like the developed markets so freemium models, telco payments and multi language support will prevail. Not exactly a good fit for Netflix or Amazon.

Of course apart from Asia there is also the Middle East and Africa to think about. In theory one could argue there is the total set of emergent markets for an OTT player to try and win over with the right mix of Hollywood content, global TV content, regional TV and movie content all buttoned up with a focus on mobile, payments and tech that rivals piracy and YouTube. What many forget is the main competitor in all these markets is piracy – not incumbent services.

I have been patiently waiting for the deep pocketed Rakuten to take their property and the tech and audience behind Viki to build a more focused emerging markets premium video play but doesn’t look like it is in the cards. Or maybe with Razmig exiting Viki, he is actually working on just this?

It’s 2015 – the next 3-5 years in the OTT space is going to be pretty insane.

I am sure consumers are in for a lot to benefits as the competition slugs it out.

Jonathan Ive profile in the New Yorker

It’s a must read – even if you are not into apple ::

The scale of the article and the access to the inner core at Apple is amazing. Clearly a new Apple when it comes to media access.

Stuff I gleaned from it:

– the amount of wealth centered at the top of Apple employees must be incredible

– Ive is working a ton which is interesting considering he almost retired at some point prior to the iPhone

– everyone talks about Apple in the vein of everything they do must be at iPhone scale. But reading stuff like this makes me think they are free to do almost anything they want – whether it is huge scale or not since overall the business is at enormous scale regardless

– amount of luminaries working for Apple is stunning

– Apple could work on anything really and obviously the car rumors are going nuts but I am curious what are they working on that we know nothing about

– if this current team running Apple stays together for a few more year my guess is the consumer market for music, video and payments is just starting to see a new level of disruption

Enjoy the long read!

Would have been an amazing course to attend!

Found another article with more stories about David and his professorship ::

I always enjoyed a David Carr column. Have never read his memoir but added it to my list.

I didn’t know he was teaching a uni class. David would have had an amazing view of modern media space and the effects of the digital era on how media is constructed and consumed.

Anyone who attended that class must see it now as a very special gift from one of the greats.

Apple to offer carrier billing?

So now I get it. Must say that the tech in Asia headline is quite misleading.

This article explains it better ::

Th carrier is creating a virtual credit card via the user’s phone account. So apple sees a credit card still but user doesn’t have one.

Brilliant idea. More carriers should do this.

That being said – apple needs to step up their game. Biggest win for android is being able to modify the payment model.

My old post ::

This is the biggest news in tech if so!

Email sucks

Adding this – good email read ::

The last week I got real excited about the new Outlook email client and was pretty much switched over to it – even put it in my iPhone doc but after a week of it I am constantly getting locked out of my gmail accounts. Both my corporate, paid one, and my normal free user account. I get iOS complaining about password error and the Outlook app says I need to login again. Practically daily I have a login problem and then none of my clients work when it happens. This only started since using Outlook. I have since killed it and seems to have gone away. Microsoft needs to figure this out. I actually don’t recall that this happened with Accompli.

Outlook was better than Mail even if there were quirks to it but I loved the integrated calendar but I also use Sunrise anyway. I really hope they keep Sunrise separate versus forcing us to use Outlook. That will be a bummer since for now I am done with Outlook. The attachment handling was awesome though and I loved the focus inbox.

For now though I am returning to Dispatch, which I use for work support emails, but I am going to use it as core mailbox now. Bummer there is they are not on iPad yet. . I hope it is coming! Dispatch is a great general client but also has lots of cool things like snippets, OnePassword integration and great for saving docs off, making a task or popping stuff into evernote. The other thing I like about Dispatch is I can add manual inboxes where on Outlook you can’t. 

On top of all the cool features – Dispatch is made in Singapore!

So Microsoft is making progress but they don’t have me yet.

So that is my iOS plan for now.

On the desktop – well. It is just cluster fuck of epic proportions. I would try Outlook but it cost too damn much. I keep using Apple Mail but it is such a pain when it either stops working or won’t load new emails. I did have this fixed before by disabling load all folders but Outlook wanted this on. I may turn it off again and usually this keeps Mail from hanging.

I have tried other desktop clients but so far I don’t love any of them. Anyone find one they love yet?

All in all email is not dead. But innovation in clients isn’t happening. My guess is cause indie devs can’t make enough money on the clients ecosystem. Sure they get bought but they don’t create worthwhile businesses. Such a letdown. I use Slack, Asana, Google Docs and even other chat products, (also made in Singapore), but I still use and need email. That just isn’t going away but I just wish we had better email clients.

back to some email…

Stunning trainwreck

When I read about Line working on grocery deliveries. Or wechat shutting out alibaba apps, I am constantly dismayed with how Yahoo had an amazing assortment of platforms – payments, games, content, locals and chat, that it could have used together to form a new platform.

I guess innovation like this is too hard to manage from the inside but someone, someday will write about the dominance of chat as a platform and how Yahoo choked on the enormous opportunity.