My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: RJR Communications Group Launching TVJ Everywhere to boost Advertising Revenue as Digicel and FLOW coming

Monday, September 1, 2014

RJR Communications Group Launching TVJ Everywhere to boost Advertising Revenue as Digicel and FLOW coming

“We already we have been developing and releasing radio and TV applications to give you access to all our broadcast on all platforms — new and old. The TVJ Everywhere Platform will also allow us to facilitate other content creators; independent producers; filmmakers; and playwrights to develop and monetise content as well”

Managing Director of the RJR Communications Group, Gary Allen during an AGM (Annual General Meeting) held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday August 27th 2014

The RJR Communications Group is keeping good on its promise to launch a streaming Platform.

According to Managing Director of the RJR Communications Group, Gary Allen during an AGM (Annual General Meeting) held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday August 27th 2014, this new Streaming Platform will be called TVJ Everywhere as reported in the article “RJR enters subscriber TV market”, published Friday, August 29, 2014  by STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

TVJ Everywhere is a part of a JA$300 million upgrade in partnership with Miami-based UNIV (Unified Video Technologies) launch a VOD (Video On Demand) Streaming by October 2014 as I'd reported back in April 2014 in my blog article entitledRJR Group to launch UNIV’s uVOD Streaming Platform by October 2014 - Streaming Gamble against Piracy as 2015 is DSO to DTT and Digital HD Radio”.

Television Jamaica to go Streaming – Incremental improvements noticeable

This is basically Netflix Style streaming that takes advantage of already pre-existing Telecoms Networks to allow RJR Communications Group’s Radio and Television subscribers to listen to and Watch Television anywhere on any device i.e. smartphone, Tablet or Laptop.

Currently Television Jamaica’s Streaming Platform has since improved with a registration process involving singing in to JWplayer in order to stream from their website, effectively allowing Television Jamaica to gauge who and how many viewers are streaming their programming. 

They've always improved the streaming so that it's streams smoothly even over 6MBps capable Digicel 4G Broadband, which to me is a big deal as that's my main means of connecting to the Internet! Still, it has a long way to go to match the stability of CVM TV Live Streaming which is excellent with no lag or sound distortion.

Also, you can view older programs on Television Jamaica’s Streaming Platform, albeit you're currently limited in your selection as it's not fully comprehensive. Also, there's no option to gain unlimited access to their Prime Time News Archive or even the option to purchase television programs via a Credit Card payment System.

So they have a long way to go, especially now that they’ve upgraded Studio C as a part of that upgrade, to quote RJR Communications Group, Gary Allen: “Our single biggest investment was in the country's first full High Definition TV studio — TVJ's Studio C — which enabled us to take over the lottery draws on TV, contributing much to our improved financial performance”.

With this now revealed JA$300 million spend, what exactly can Jamaicans expect? And do we have to STILL upgrade our Television sets?

RJR Communications Group goes Streaming - From DTT to OTT for TVJ Everywhere  

Television Jamaica has already been doing some upgrades since then, mainly focused on infrastructural upgrades. Once such is their new Studio C, which according to Managing Director of the RJR Communications Group, Gary Allen, is a part of their US$300 million infrastructural upgrade budget which started last year, quote: “We also invested more than $300 million to improve our production and transmission facilities last year”.

They also began, (finally!) to upgrade their Transmission Towers, most notably:

1.      Flower Hill, St James
2.      Mount Airy, Westmorland
3.      Huntley in Manchester

Since they're going Over The Top (OTT) or just IPTV Streaming over Broadband Internet instead of building out a DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television), there will be no need to buy a special Set Top box to listen to RJR Communications Group's Radio and Television Stations.

Instead, with the help of Miami-based UNIV, you'll be able to stream content on any device be it a Smartphone, Tablet via an App or Third-party Streaming Set Top Box.

Good to note here that Broadcast Network based on DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld) or ASTC (Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression) are examples of dedicated IPTV Networks but with fixed infrastructure i.e. subscribers have to have a set top box and possibly having to upgrade their Television Sets.

Thus I'm not sure if by this move, the  RJR Communications Group is really trying to avoid a DTT upgrade that's mandated to occur in 2015 as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled  “The Future of Free-to-Air Broadcasters in Jamaica as Digital Switch Over Approaches in 2015”. After all, it would negatively impact their revenues if they were to go DTT and force everyone to change their Television sets.

Currently the RJR Communications Group has multiple Apps and Websites for Tablets and smartphones that allow you to steam their various Radio and Television offerings as detailed in my blog article entitledMusic Cloud Streaming set to rise in 2014 - Still no home-grown Jamaican or Caribbean Free Cloud Storage Services as we Ride Along on Foreign Cloud Services”.

After the UNIV Streaming upgrade, all these programs will be incorporated under one App as well as live on one common Website i.e. a common Platforms for ALL of RJR Communications Group Content.

Thus as I’d mentioned in my blog article entitledRJR Group to launch UNIV’s uVOD Streaming Platform by October 2014 - Streaming Gamble against Piracy as 2015 is DSO to DTT and Digital HD Radio”, the following improvements are expected by October 2014, when the upgrade is to be completed:

1.      24/7/365 Streaming instead of just a few hours per day on Television Jamaica’s Website
2.      Websites for all the other Television Station and Radio Stations under one common redesigned RJR Communications Group website
3.      Broadcast in HD (High Definition) at 720p and 1080p Resolutions, with the capability to scale up to 4K and offer 3D Programming in the future
4.      Access to RJR Communications Group Library of Content and the ability to pay to play via Apps being made for their various Radio and Television Stations
5.      Pay-per-view Programming, where certain exclusive Content such as local Sports Events can be viewed for a price
6.      Accessible on any device, be it a Computer running Windows, Apple Mac OS Laptops and computers, Apple iPhone or Apple iPad and Google Android smartphones and Tablets.
7.      A lot of Local Programming Content from TVJ, a major hurdle for the RJR Communications Group to cross, as most of our programming is rehashed Content from abroad

TVJ Everywhere – Independent Animators guaranteed revenue as YouTube Piracy Rampant

That last bit should resonate well with Animators, many of who are looking for ways to monetize their content other than YouTube as noted in my blog article entitledJANN to host Intellectual Property Workshop at UTECH – How Independent Animators can Make money from Animation and thwart Copyright Infringement”!

YouTube is clearly Piracy prone as they make it too easy for persons to download your videos and even music as any UWI (University of the West Indies) student knows per my blog article entitledUWI's planning to increase all Tuition by 5.5% come the new Academic Year 2013-2014 - How to Download ANY Video, including Facebook Videos, Convert and Free Video Hosting Online”.

The RJR Communications Group knows this as well, which may well explain why they’re avoided posting their content on YouTube, as advertising revenue made via YouTube, albeit substantive, isn’t worth the loss of their original content to mass copying. A Pay-per-view or Monthly Pay Streaming Model is preferable to wholesale downloading, which can even be done via Mozilla Firefox Browser….’cause that’s how I download YouTube Videos!

TVJ Everywhere - Boon to Animators to boost Advertising Revenue with more Eyeballs Everywhere

2014 has been a tough year for Broadcasting, around the same time the RJR Communications Group began investing in improved infrastructure. Thus 2014 seems to be the year when they're finally turning a corner as it relates to profitability. The RJR Communications Group has seen some growth in Second Quarter of 2014:

1.      JA$15.2 million, an increased of JA$2 million more than year-earlier levels

Their Earnings numbers for Financial Year ending March 2014 are also positive indicators that they're finally turning a corner:

1.      JA$1.84 billion in Revenue for financial year ending March 2014
2.      JA$1.78 billion in Revenue for financial year ending March 2013
3.      3% increase in Revenues overall when financial year ending March 2014 is compared to financial year ending March 2013
4.      JA$59.4 million Net Profit

The economy has been growing slowly, causing many to cut back on advertising as people just aren't buying their products or services. This is especially true of their Radio stations RJR 94 FM, Hitz 92 FM and FAME 92 FM, all of which have been underperforming against the current kings of Radio ZIP 103 FM.

In fact, there are many that are speculating that the Tower climbing incident by Ikon D Link as reported in “Pressure At The Controls”, Published Thursday August 21, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner may have been a publicity stunt by ZIP103 FM all along to cement their popularity!

Telecom Providers and Streaming – TVJ Everywhere competing with Digicel and LIME TV

Television is also poised to become more competitive by 2015 with the Telecom Providers coming onto the scene.

Telecom Provider Digicel is entering into the IPTV Steaming via 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) when they purchased Telstar Cable as chronicled in my blog article entitledDigicel acquires Telstar Cable – 4G LTE with a dash of Streaming Cable TV Service”.

Obviously, they need the Fiber Optic infrastructure that Telstar Cable has to interconnect their various Cell Towers to power their 4G LTE Network as I'd explained in my blog article entitledDigicel’s Fiber Optic Network has July 2014 Completion Date – Launchpad for 4G LTE, Frame Relay, FTTH and Cloud Based PBX Services”.

But they may also use Telstar Cable's License and upgrade it to an all-island license and Stream their content over 4G LTE in a move to counter Telecom Provider LIME's LIME TV Plans as described in my blog article entitledLIME experiences 25% increase in Profits due to MTR - 4G LTE and FTTH like Bahamas with IPTV Streaming LIME TV will give LIME 3 Days to Kill”.

CVM TV, their other competitor in the Free-to-Air Category of Television broadcast, is already feeling the pressure for Cable TV. That's why they've snagged Scandal and now Suits for this September 2014 as I'd reported in my blog article entitledCVM TV's Suits Scandal - Why Couch and Studio get Bigger as Torrenting and Streaming are King and Broadcasting Commission is powerless”.

They already have Streaming on their Website and you can watch CVM TV Midday News served up on their CVM TV YouTube channel.

Whether or not CVM TV has plan to go IPTV Streaming, be it OTT or DTT remains to be seen. So will TVJ Everywhere boost the RJR Communications Group revenues? We'll know in a year’s time by October 2015.

Here’s the Streaming Links:


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