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A number of leading companies from the online video ecosystem are jointly to form the Streaming Video Alliance with the aim of facilitating the creation of architecture, standards and best practices that will scale the infrastructure for online video and improve efficiency for all providers in the ecosystem while preserving a high quality experience for consumers.

The Alliance members, comprised of a variety of industry leaders from the entire online video value chain and open to all companies from all sectors, include: Alcatel-Lucent, Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, EPIX, Fox Networks Group, Korea Telecom, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Ustream, Wowza Media Systems and Yahoo!.

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Over three billion people are now online and information and communication technology (ICT) growth remains buoyant in just about every country worldwide, according to ITU’s flagship annual Measuring the Information Society Report.

The latest data show that Internet use continues to grow steadily, at 6.6 per cent globally in 2014 (3.3 per cent in developed countries, 8.7 per cent in the developing world). The number of Internet users in developing countries has doubled in five years (2009-2014), with two thirds of all people online now living in the developing world.

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NAB Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning Rick Kaplan has written a Blog Post regarding the FCC’s proposal to extend the definition of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to online video providers, suggesting it presents “exciting opportunities” for consumers.

In the Blog Post, Kaplan addresses FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s assertion that broadcasters were able to stop Aereo in court, in part because of the old rules of the FCC. He notes that Wheeler has circulated a proposal to Commission colleagues that recommends classifying certain over-the-top providers as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). The proposal aims to stimulate competition in the increasingly consolidated pay-television market.

“NAB agrees these are worthy goals,” writes Kaplan. “Emerging over-the-top distribution provides an opportunity to unleash new competitive alternatives while preserving and enhancing localism and diversity in the Internet age. Broadcasters support the deployment of new and innovative video services that have the potential to boost competition to the benefit of consumers. We are committed to providing our highly sought after and unique blend of local and national content on any device wherever Americans want and need access,” he confirms.

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Serial entrepreneur and mobile consultant Hannah Bree Hanson and I were in attendance at the Streaming Media West Conference last week in Huntington Beach, CA. The event featured a veritable who's-who of industry leaders including Verizon, Limelight Networks, Wowza, Skype, and NFL Now, Tivi, and Ramp.

Here's the top streaming video trends you can expect to see in 2015:

1. Better Personalization:

Video content providers are becoming obsessed with "meta-data". It's a buzzword becoming more popular and is driving the personalization and search industry. As NFL Now head Cory Mummford shared in his keynote speech, all 32 clubs are streamlining meta-data for the user.

This breaks down to specifics - videos are being better tagged so each viewer is getting exactly what they want in their video feed so they aren't seeing junk. A Cowboys fan who has Peyton Manning and Arian Foster on his Fantasy team is only getting Cowboys highlights along with Manning and Foster, and in order of importance. Users will get what they want, when they want, in one linear feed.

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Netflix wants to further expand into international markets next year, according to the company’s CFO David Wells, who said at an investor event Tuesday that it plans a “sizable expansion” for 2015. Wells added that the expansion will be similar to what Netflix did in 2014, when the company entered six new countries in Europe, or potentially even “a little bit more.”

Netflix launched its service in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxemburg in September. Wells didn’t reveal subscriber numbers for any of those new markets, but said that the engagement in some of those markets has been “stronger than any other market that we have launched.”

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