The First Ever Internet-only Streaming Service in the U.S. is Yaveo, DirecTV's Latino Entertainment Offering
Yaveo, a streaming entertainment TV subscription for Spanish-language programming over the Internet, puts Latinos at the center of media history: It's the first of its kind Internet-only TV subscription to launch in the U.S.
Latinos lead the way when it comes to owning smartphones, streaming video, and several other hallmarks of the modern digital consumer, so why wouldn't the first-ever over-the-top (OTT) subscription TV service in the U.S. be aimed at Hispanics?
Yaveo marks the first time a TV provider (in conjunction with Univision and Viacom) has launched an Internet-based streaming TV service offering not only on-demand content but also live streaming sports and entertainment channels -- all without having to subscribe to any of that TV provider's non-Internet-based services.
DirecTV officially "soft-launched" Yaveo on Monday in the U.S., meaning that not all features will be ready for primetime quite yet, but it's available to anyone without a satellite subscription or a contract.
GigaOm notes that while most of the programming is Spanish-language, the service itself operates in both English and Spanish, and Yaveo promises that English-language subtitles will be added to programming in the future.
Yaveo currently works on the web and Android devices, but connectivity to TV boxes like Xbox, Roku, and HDMI dongles like Chromecast is coming soon, as well as an iOS version of the app.
A pretty decent lineup is already in place, from classic movies like "Desperado," recent comedies like "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Grownups," and kids movies like "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Latino programming includes content from Cine Sony Television, ¡Hola!TV, Tr3s, Univision, and Nick en Español, beIN Sports en Español, among many others.
Yaveo, a niche, second-language service for a demographic that's been called by Nielsen, "ahead of the digital curve," is a safe bet for DirecTV and for the first bonafide OTT television subscription service.
Others, like Google, Intel, and Apple (maybe?), have tried to launch OTT services in recent years, only to be stymied in their efforts by media companies wary of offering their mainstream content outside of the pure paid-TV cable and satellite environment. And while CBS launched "All Access" for $5.99 in October without requiring an existing pay-TV subscription to log in, the broadcaster was only offering the same thing that you could get with an antenna and a DVR.
But with regulatory changes coming from the FCC to level the playing field for online content distributors bidding against cable and satellite companies for content, and a standalone, subscription version of HBO Go finally set to go online in 2015, change is coming to TV land.
It just so happens that DirecTV and Yaveo -- and its Spanish-speaking Internet streaming audience -- is the first to cross the finish line.
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