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Topic # 166036 28-Feb-2015 11:16
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Last I heard, Spark have invested $20m into Lightbox and are in the process of investing even more ... which begs the question, why bother?

It's no point having the best content in the world if you only offer limited access to view. I qualify for 12 months free Lightbox but haven't bothered to take it up. I have a late model Panasonic smart TV,  Sony Xperia tablet and a variety of other android devices,  yet can't get Lightbox on any of these.

So, the question is ... if Lightbox can be accessed through both Samsung smart TVs and tablets, then technically Lightbox is available to both smart televisions and android but is being restricted Samsung. Why? Maybe Spark have arranged a sweet deal with Samsung? But, if so, this will count for jot when the venture ultimately fails through lack of subscriber interest.

In a few months, the Netflix juggernaut will launch in NZ on every device. For my household, that's my smart Panasonic TV and all our android devices. I will happily pay.

So, I will pay for Netflix, yet can't be bothered with free Lightbox in the interim ... Spark, something is seriously wrong.

If Lightbox move very quickly, they may still have a remote chance. If they don't, they will be DOA when Netflix lands and their suicide wish will granted shortly after.

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  Reply # 1248327 28-Feb-2015 11:37
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You should really read the other threads along this line as Lightbox explain why they can't provided to all platforms 'just like that'.

Yes, it would be nice, but there are very good reasons.

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  Reply # 1248352 28-Feb-2015 11:57
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Although I can kind of understand where you're coming from, I think your comments are a bit harsh. I see things from both sides of the fence here and will try to play Devil's Advocate. Lightbox have never said they won't be expanding to other Android devices or other smart TVs etc. They're still expanding their product. They're a new service and I don't think it's fair to expect them to offer the same product as Netflix, when Netflix has been around for so much longer, and have a far bigger customer base to fund expansion.

I too would love to be able to watch Lightbox on my very capable non-samsung smart TV (a Panasonic like yours) or smart Blu Ray player. There are other options. 

If Lightbox had developed for Panasonic Smart TVs only, and no support for other manufacturers' products, would you have been so critical of the offering from Lightbox?

I don't want to see a monopoly on streaming services in NZ. The more players the better. Your comments seem to be anti competition.

Of course there's a chance they won't succeed, just like any large venture. If we don't give them a chance, they're guaranteed to fail.

I get a little annoyed when people complain if they need to buy a new device to use a new service. When Betamax and VHS were first released, you had to buy a VCR to take advantage of this new tech. When DVD was first released, you had to buy a device to take advantage of this new tech. To watch Satellite TV, you need the correct set top box etc. Then Blu Ray. How dare they make disc that won't work in my DVD player? etc. etc. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have a device which is already compatible (maybe an XBox etc to play DVD, PS3/4 to play Blu Ray etc) but sometimes you're just out of luck and need a new device. 




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  Reply # 1248491 28-Feb-2015 15:30
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BigHammer: Although I can kind of understand where you're coming from, I think your comments are a bit harsh. I see things from both sides of the fence here and will try to play Devil's Advocate. Lightbox have never said they won't be expanding to other Android devices or other smart TVs etc. They're still expanding their product. They're a new service and I don't think it's fair to expect them to offer the same product as Netflix, when Netflix has been around for so much longer, and have a far bigger customer base to fund expansion.

I too would love to be able to watch Lightbox on my very capable non-samsung smart TV (a Panasonic like yours) or smart Blu Ray player. There are other options. 

If Lightbox had developed for Panasonic Smart TVs only, and no support for other manufacturers' products, would you have been so critical of the offering from Lightbox?

I don't want to see a monopoly on streaming services in NZ. The more players the better. Your comments seem to be anti competition.

Of course there's a chance they won't succeed, just like any large venture. If we don't give them a chance, they're guaranteed to fail.

I get a little annoyed when people complain if they need to buy a new device to use a new service. When Betamax and VHS were first released, you had to buy a VCR to take advantage of this new tech. When DVD was first released, you had to buy a device to take advantage of this new tech. To watch Satellite TV, you need the correct set top box etc. Then Blu Ray. How dare they make disc that won't work in my DVD player? etc. etc. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have a device which is already compatible (maybe an XBox etc to play DVD, PS3/4 to play Blu Ray etc) but sometimes you're just out of luck and need a new device. 


I have no idea how you conclude my comments as anti-competition, they are about as pro-competition as you can get?

I didn't aim to be harsh, just realistic - compete well, or die?.

I simply don't understand the business model that sees a tech company invest so significantly in content, but then launch with significant limitations on viewing options. Quickflix NZ, I'm guessing, has far less capital investment than Lightbox, yet they have their product across most major TV brands, game consoles, apple and android. Content is king, but that counts for little if only a few are watching it.

Media reports are that Spark are investing even more into content for lightbox. I'd suggest the wise capital investment now would be in delivery ... and fast, if they are to survive.







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  Reply # 1248497 28-Feb-2015 15:57
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I understand where you're coming from.  I think you're seeing people at the Senior Executive level struggling to work out a business model that will allow them to remain viable and relevant.  If you're interested Nick Malik has something interesting to say about Kodak which is relevant http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nickmalik/archive/2015/01/29/how-brand-thinking-can-kill-you-and-capability-thinking-can-save-you.aspx .  What companies are not doing is playing to their strengths.  Spark should have partnered with Netflix against Sky.  Sky should be streaming sports and other "live" content that no one else has the rights to, for a flat rate of $15 an event. 

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  Reply # 1248501 28-Feb-2015 16:08
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Without diving into this discussion, I'd just like to reiterate that we're working hard to expand our device coverage and you'll see plenty of new platforms supported within the next couple of months. I can't give you any specifics just yet (for commercial reasons).

Doing everything at once is unlikely to lead to anything but delays and an inferior product, but we're adding devices at a very brisk pace. If you compare our position to ANY other service 6 months after their launch, we're way ahead of the curve (and as per above, still steaming ahead).

While it's frustrating when none of your devices are supported, it's probably not surprising that the first additions to the service would be the biggest brands. In the coming months, our coverage will expand significantly, but not starting with the biggest brands would make very little business sense.






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Reply # 1248502 28-Feb-2015 16:16
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Lightbox: I'd just like to reiterate that we're working hard to expand our device coverage and you'll see plenty of new platforms supported within the next couple of months. I can't give you any specifics just yet (for commercial reasons).


That seems to be the problem... "Commercial reasons". 

And a "couple of months" will be too late for a lot of users. Especially when you can't tell them for "commercial reasons". By then, you'll be forgotten by most.
When is Netflix coming? Not in a couple of months.

/devils advocate

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  Reply # 1248503 28-Feb-2015 16:20
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dafman: I simply don't understand the business model that sees a tech company invest so significantly in content, but then launch with significant limitations on viewing options. Quickflix NZ, I'm guessing, has far less capital investment than Lightbox, yet they have their product across most major TV brands, game consoles, apple and android. Content is king, but that counts for little if only a few are watching it.

Media reports are that Spark are investing even more into content for lightbox. I'd suggest the wise capital investment now would be in delivery ... and fast, if they are to survive.


Quickflix has been around for a little longer and don't forget it's Quickflix Australia and New Zealand. 

I'd say Lightbox launched when they did to get their foot in the door and to start earning a little payback for what they'd already set up. They've proven people want their product and now they build support for more products based on feedback.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1248504 28-Feb-2015 16:24
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Lightbox: Without diving into this discussion, I'd just like to reiterate that we're working hard to expand our device coverage and you'll see plenty of new platforms supported within the next couple of months. I can't give you any specifics just yet (for commercial reasons).

Doing everything at once is unlikely to lead to anything but delays and an inferior product, but we're adding devices at a very brisk pace. If you compare our position to ANY other service 6 months after their launch, we're way ahead of the curve (and as per above, still steaming ahead).

While it's frustrating when none of your devices are supported, it's probably not surprising that the first additions to the service would be the biggest brands. In the coming months, our coverage will expand significantly, but not starting with the biggest brands would make very little business sense.




Total agreement from me on device roll out, I'm picking your future depends on it. You need your skates on (preferably very quick ones).

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  Reply # 1248505 28-Feb-2015 16:24
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BigHammer: 
Quickflix has been around for a little longer.


Amazing, really, considering their "quality".  tongue-out

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  Reply # 1248507 28-Feb-2015 16:27
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BigHammer:
dafman: I simply don't understand the business model that sees a tech company invest so significantly in content, but then launch with significant limitations on viewing options. Quickflix NZ, I'm guessing, has far less capital investment than Lightbox, yet they have their product across most major TV brands, game consoles, apple and android. Content is king, but that counts for little if only a few are watching it.

Media reports are that Spark are investing even more into content for lightbox. I'd suggest the wise capital investment now would be in delivery ... and fast, if they are to survive.


Quickflix has been around for a little longer and don't forget it's Quickflix Australia and New Zealand. 

I'd say Lightbox launched when they did to get their foot in the door and to start earning a little payback for what they'd already set up. They've proven people want their product and now they build support for more products based on feedback.


Wouldn't it make sense for Spark to buy quickflix, as I understand that the sharevalue of quickflix is relatively low. That would then put their content onto a large number of devices, rather than duplicating infrastructure. I don't think both can survive.

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  Reply # 1248510 28-Feb-2015 16:34
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blakamin:
BigHammer: 
Quickflix has been around for a little longer.


Amazing, really, considering their "quality".  tongue-out


Exactly




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  Reply # 1248512 28-Feb-2015 16:38
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blakamin: 

That seems to be the problem... "Commercial reasons". 

And a "couple of months" will be too late for a lot of users. Especially when you can't tell them for "commercial reasons". By then, you'll be forgotten by most.
When is Netflix coming? Not in a couple of months.

/devils advocate


Not sure what you think "commercial reasons" means here? Most of these platforms are controlled by the brand in question, so any launch has to be agreed and signed off before it can happen. There's a fair amount of legal and commercial agreements that need concluding before that and any announcement would naturally be coordinated between us and the device partner. Nothing sinister about that.

Longer term, any successful service needs great content and to be available on the devices that consumers want to watch it and that's what we're going after. This goes whether or not other services are in the market (and many consumers will probably subscribe to more than one or dip in and out).

Maybe this should be moved to the "streaming" forum instead?




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  Reply # 1248514 28-Feb-2015 16:44
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dafman:
BigHammer: Although I can kind of understand where you're coming from, I think your comments are a bit harsh. I see things from both sides of the fence here and will try to play Devil's Advocate. Lightbox have never said they won't be expanding to other Android devices or other smart TVs etc. They're still expanding their product. They're a new service and I don't think it's fair to expect them to offer the same product as Netflix, when Netflix has been around for so much longer, and have a far bigger customer base to fund expansion.

I too would love to be able to watch Lightbox on my very capable non-samsung smart TV (a Panasonic like yours) or smart Blu Ray player. There are other options. 

If Lightbox had developed for Panasonic Smart TVs only, and no support for other manufacturers' products, would you have been so critical of the offering from Lightbox?

I don't want to see a monopoly on streaming services in NZ. The more players the better. Your comments seem to be anti competition.

Of course there's a chance they won't succeed, just like any large venture. If we don't give them a chance, they're guaranteed to fail.

I get a little annoyed when people complain if they need to buy a new device to use a new service. When Betamax and VHS were first released, you had to buy a VCR to take advantage of this new tech. When DVD was first released, you had to buy a device to take advantage of this new tech. To watch Satellite TV, you need the correct set top box etc. Then Blu Ray. How dare they make disc that won't work in my DVD player? etc. etc. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have a device which is already compatible (maybe an XBox etc to play DVD, PS3/4 to play Blu Ray etc) but sometimes you're just out of luck and need a new device. 


I have no idea how you conclude my comments as anti-competition, they are about as pro-competition as you can get?

I didn't aim to be harsh, just realistic - compete well, or die?.

I simply don't understand the business model that sees a tech company invest so significantly in content, but then launch with significant limitations on viewing options. Quickflix NZ, I'm guessing, has far less capital investment than Lightbox, yet they have their product across most major TV brands, game consoles, apple and android. Content is king, but that counts for little if only a few are watching it.

Media reports are that Spark are investing even more into content for lightbox. I'd suggest the wise capital investment now would be in delivery ... and fast, if they are to survive.








If they waited till they had full device coverage before launching, then they would still not be launched.
No streaming video company in history has launched with full device coverage.
Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, bbc iplayer, Quickflix, etc etc all launched on browser, then slowly added device coverage over many years.
As mentioned above lightbox's device rollout has been quicker than any of theses other guys. Once they add Xbox and chrome cast that will cover virtually everyone.
The fact that they don't have an app for your tv yet is kinda your own fault. You picked a tv that virtually nobody else has, so of course it's going to be lower priority for app development than the TVs that have large market share, like Samsung.
The reason every device launches on Samsung first is because Samsung have the absolute lions share of the market. Why develop for a tv that has 2% market share when yo can develop for a tv that has 50% market share.

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  Reply # 1248515 28-Feb-2015 16:44
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mattwnz: Wouldn't it make sense for Spark to buy quickflix, as I understand that the sharevalue of quickflix is relatively low. That would then put their content onto a large number of devices, rather than duplicating infrastructure. I don't think both can survive.


While I get where you're coming from, I don't think it would have worked out well. Although Quickflix may have support for more devices, I don't think (and this is just my opinion) their product quality is as good as what Lightbox have achieved for themselves. Sometimes you're better developing a good product from the ground up than buying a bad product (again, just my opinion) and trying to fix it.




Keep calm, and carry on posting.

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1248516 28-Feb-2015 16:46
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Lightbox: Maybe this should be moved to the "streaming" forum instead?


Agreed. Moved.




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