I'm pleased to present the 284th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we turn our attention to ESPN, which was prominently in the news on Monday, when Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that he believes it’s inevitable that long term ESPN will be sold directly to consumers, instead of in the traditional multichannel bundle. To be fair though, Iger wasn’t ready to put any timeline on this move, so it’s clearly not happening any time soon.
As Colin and I discuss, there are many online video trends unfolding that make ESPN’s world more complicated. These include a decline in the number of ESPN subscribers over the past few years due to the proliferation of OTT entertainment apps that are diminishing the appeal of the multichannel bundle, pushback by pay-TV operators focused on cost containment and skinny bundles (e.g. Verizon’s Custom TV), the aggressive moves by leagues to roll out their own online-only streaming packages, the wide availability of sports-related information online and more.
We hash out what all of this means to ESPN and where things are likely heading from here.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 53 seconds)
Connected TVs are soaring in popularity due to plummeting prices of smart TVs and the proliferation of inexpensive devices like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and others. As more homes adopt connected TV devices and long-form online viewership shifts to them, there’s a huge opportunity for advertising.
This was the topic of discussion for the Video Ad Summit session, “Connected TVs and Advertising: A Match Made in the Living Room,” which included Tal Chalozin (CTO and Co-Founder, Innovid), Ashish Chordia (CEO and Founder, Alphonso), Josh Mallalieu (VP, Partner, Portfolio Management, Universal McCann) and Scott Rosenberg (VP, Advertising, Roku) with Colin Dixon (Chief Analyst and Founder, nScreenMedia) moderating.
The session touched on what types of video ad units are working best on connected TVs, how advertisers are using data to target audiences on connected TVs, why mobile is benefiting connected TVs, how the ad experience on connected TVs is becoming richer and much more.
In a bid to grow its market share among independent online video publishers, JW Player is announcing this morning that it is making the Pro version of its video player free. Important Pro version features include full control over player branding, 9 pre-built skins, social sharing, related video overlays, 5 GB hosting and 25 GB streaming, analytics and player/platform APIs.
Over 1 million organizations currently using the free JW version will be upgraded to Pro. The move applies for all new Pro customers. Existing Pro customers will receive a complimentary upgrade to the JW Premium tier.
Topics: JW Player
Yesterday Variety reported that for Super Bowl 50 in February, 2016, CBS will run all of the same ads from its broadcast of the game in its live-stream of the game. In effect, Super Bowl advertisers will be required to buy the online spots, which CBS is using in part to justify higher rates vs. what NBC charged in 2015. The approach is a departure from the past few Super Bowls which have been streamed, but where the broadcast TV network sold the online spots separately from the TV spots.
It’s tempting to see CBS’s move as a coming-of-age for live-streaming and a “Big Moment” for online video advertising. But as I see it there are at least 5 reasons why this is actually neither, and in reality actually has some drawbacks and carries some risk: