Video software firm Penthera is expected to announce veteran cable exec Dan Taitz as its new COO on Tues. Taitz was once interim CEO at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and has held sr exec positions at Univision and Oxygen Media. Penthera scored deals with Charter and Time Warner Cable earlier this year to offer video download services as part of their TVE offerings. And things won’t be a lot different after the merger since both companies are focused on improving the user experience, of which Penthera’s solutions are part, Taitz said in an interview. Penthera expects to work with both companies on integration, he said. In addition, “we expect some significant launches next year” to join the list of around 10 companies currently under contract, and Penthera will have several announcements early next year, the exec said.
Another priority for the company in 2016 is to expand internationally. Taitz noted potential partnerships with major ops and programmers in EU and Mexico. Also earlier this year, Penthera extended its deal with Comcast for 2 more years. Comcast is the 1st major MSO that has integrated Penthera’s software with its TVE apps. Among things the 2 have been working on is dynamic ad insertion in the downloading environment, Taitz said. The technology has already been integrated with the Xfinity platform. What is Taitz’s 2016 prediction? Expansion of mobile video. Cable MSO execs repeatedly talked about their interests in mobile video services that will run on WiFi networks and potentially cellular networks through partnerships with the telcos. Calling WiFi the “lifeblood” of streaming services, Taitz expects continuous rollout of WiFi hotspots.
As more people consume content on the go, there will be similar offerings like T-Mobile ’s “Binge On,” said Taitz. The service, launched in Nov, lets subs stream video over T-Mobile’s LTE network from services such as Starz Play, HBO Go and Netflix without eating into their LTE data plans. “Consumers don’t want to be restricted by WiFi in the home,” Taitz said. And to make more streaming content available on the go, there will be continuing discussions around in and out of home streaming rights. “Those barriers need to be broken down,” the exec said. Convenience and ease of use is “absolutely essential,” and the ones who provide that will be winners in the streaming age, he said.