Three-Screen Convergence Is At Hand

Two days ago I wrote about Nielsen’s “Three Screen Report” chronicling the increase in video consumption across television, the Internet and mobile devices.

Before publishing that post I edited out my observation that the lines between these platforms were blurring and one day may disappear altogether. Now I wish I had kept it in because it would have made a damned prescient lead-in to this item reported Thursday by Christopher Rick over at ReelSEO:

Telestream and Wowza (Media Systems) have shined light on a deal between them that will offer live video production and universal streaming to the iPhone, Web and TV. In a major step towards three screen convergence (forget the fact that it’s only iPhone representing mobiles) Telestream and Wowza are working on an industry-first, single-encode stream and will show that tech off at the [International Broadcasters Convention] in Amsterdam [Sept. 11-15].

The service will allow simultaneous streaming to iPhones, iPod Touch, Flash players, Silverlight and Quicktime players as well as IPTV set-top boxes. …

This is one small step for video, one giant leap for the industry. With the ability to simultaneously push to all three screens you’ll be giving consumers the ultimate in freedom and choice.

Considering Nielsen’s latest survey data showing Americans consuming more video than ever, it’s more like giving a tweaker keys to the meth lab.

While we’re probably some ways off from the major video producers (television studios) using this technology — laggards that they are — smaller production houses (Web TV shows, independent video-makers) should find it intriguing. Here’s a statement from Dave Stubenvoll, CEO and co-founder of Wowza:

“Together, Wowza and Telestream enable content owners, producers and delivery networks to realize the vision of true three-screen streaming in a very practical, yet extremely powerful way.”

Customers can buy Telestream’s Wirecast production software for under $500 and get a Wowza Media Server Software Subscription for $65/month or less per server. The service will be available later this year.

Wowza is a Colorado-based streaming software vendor, while Telestream, based in Northern California, is a video distribution company.