Video distribution over the internet leads to heated net‐neutrality related debates between network operators and over‐the‐top application providers. The purpose of this paper is to analyze this debate from a new perspective that takes into account all of the assets that companies try to exploit in the so‐called battle for eyeballs in video distribution.
The systematic value chain analysis is used to determine the points along the value chain where net neutrality interacts with video distribution. The inputs to the analysis are the existing and proposed policy measures for net neutrality in Europe and in the USA, and a number of net neutrality incidents that have led to discussions earlier.
The paper finds that the current and proposed policy measures aimed at net neutrality each contribute to a certain extent to their intended effects. However, the analysis also shows that they are likely to lead to new debates in other parts of the value chain, as players try to compensate the loss of influence or revenue streams by rearranging the ways in which they exploit their assets.
Further and new debates are expected in the areas of peering and interconnection, distribution of resources between over‐the‐top and managed services and the role of devices with tightly linked search engines, recommendation systems and app stores.
The new perspectives offered by our value‐chain based analysis are valuable for policy makers who aim to promote net neutrality and simultaneously stimulate competition and innovation throughout the value chain.
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