DirecTV Leads Off Internet TV Race with Univision's YaVeo Latino Content
It looks like next year will finally bring over-the-top (OTT) television programming, often simply called Internet TV. And DirecTV, which could be part of AT&T soon, may kick off the trend with an Internet TV offering for Latinos called YaVeo.
In a recent Reuters report, the satellite operator has been described as working with Spanish-language media giant Univision on a deal to provide content for the OTT channel, as part of DirecTV's new online TV service.
Several companies are now working on Internet TV packages, but DirecTV's, which is expected to launch later this year, may be the first out of the gate. DirecTV is purportedly talking with other Spanish language media companies in addition to Univision, if Reuters' unnamed sources are correct.
Details about YaVeo are sketchy at the moment, but it makes sense for an Internet TV provider to launch with the Latino audience in mind. As we've previously reported, Latinos in the U.S. are known to be "ahead of the digital curve" in their media habits and purchasing priorities, as Nielsen put it earlier this year.
Hispanic consumers tend to adopt multiple screens for video viewing earlier, and they oversample, compared to the general U.S. consumer, on the average amount of time spent watching online videos -- by as much as an hour and a half more than average. Latinos are also much more likely to have a smartphone than the national average.
Other companies like AT&T, Sony, and Verizon are also getting in on the Internet TV revolution -- which looks to take off soon, after years of failed attempts by various tech companies at garnering enough content deals to make it work -- and the first audiences the companies are looking to attract are young, niche viewers who might not be willing to pay for a packaged cable bill but would subscribe to smaller packages of "channels," if the price is right.
For example, AT&T -- which might subsume DirecTV next year in a major media merger -- is also working on presenting Internet TV for niche audiences. According to GigaOm, the TV and wireless giant is investing in a joint venture that will look to acquire and develop online video properties like Crunchyroll, which offers Japanese anime content on a subscription to fanatics in the U.S.
Young, bicultural, bilingual, tech-savvy, and fast-growing, Latinos are a prime target for niche programming, as well. What the Univision-fueled YaVeo OTT service could bring Latino subscribers remains a mystery at the moment, but GigaOm suggests it could turn out like a Netflix-style app with Telenovelas and other Spanish-language content.
But as Reuters' report shows, DirecTV's Internet deal with Univision involves the rights to the Univision network, its 62 local TV stations, Galavision, and -- wait for it, fútbol fans -- Univision Deportes. It's too early to tell, but YaVeo could provide that top-brand content for much less than a normal cable subscription, and if it does, it's hard not to see DirecTV's venture taking off with audiences.
And that may be the first step towards a media world, coming soon to a television near you, where the Internet provides all the TV you want, and nothing you don't -- with Latinos leading the way.
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