Late last week, Thomas Owadenko, CEO of Octoly, a marketing software company that released a report on YouTube and video games last June, noted that all-time YouTube views of fan-created Minecraft videos are now up to 47 billion, an increase of 16 billion just since the report was released. Underscoring how robust Minecraft's fan community is, just 228 million of these views occurred on Minecraft creator Mojang's own YouTube channel.
Minecraft is a true "unicorn," a one-of-a-kind video game empire built with virtually no paid marketing, which partly explains why Microsoft was willing to pony up $2.5 billion for the company in September. But while Minecraft itself may be a unicorn, its success on YouTube says a lot more generally about the video industry's new rules - including serious challenges for industry incumbents.
Bernstein Research has introduced a new weekly tracking report analyzing ad-supported U.S. TV networks' viewership on a year-over-year basis. The first version, released today, shows that for the week of November 10-16, audiences fell again across the board: down 8% for cable networks, 9% for broadcast and 17% for kids-oriented networks specifically. The declines were similar on a quarter-to-date basis as well.
Bernstein has previously calculated that ad-supported TV networks' audiences declined by around 13 minutes per day in Q3, while SVOD viewership increased by around 12 minutes per day, making SVOD the dominant driver of the TV networks' audience erosion.
There's no doubt connected TV devices will be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, as online video continues to evolve from an early adopter desktop behavior to a mainstream living room experience. But even the prices of connected TV devices plunge and consumers' enthusiasm builds, the space continues to be marked by the drip, drip, drip inefficient process of one-off additions of video apps to specific connected TV devices.
In fact, if you follow the market closely, you'll notice that seemingly each week there are a handful of announcements regarding a specific video app (or group of them) becoming available on a certain connected TV device(s). For example, in last week's news, Amazon Instant Video became available on TiVo Roamio/Mini devices, and HBO Go became available on Xbox One.
Early bird discounted registration for the Dec. 4th VideoSchmooze: Online Video Leadership Forum in NYC expires today. If you've been waiting to see how your schedule is shaping up, now's the time to have another quick look and act. Early bird tickets are $95, with 5-packs for $430 and 10-packs for $760. And remember, one lucky early bird registrant will win a TiVo Roamio Plus DVR with Lifetime service, a $1,000 value (thanks to TiVo).
VideoSchmooze will be a full morning of learning and schmoozing with over 200 industry executives. We're covering a range of compelling topics across 6 sessions, with 18 speakers. These days there's no shortage of interesting stuff to dig into!
Special thanks to the Lead sponsors of this VideoSchmooze, Brightcove and Kaltura plus Branding sponsors Digitalsmiths, FreeWheel and Tremor Video.
I hope you can join us on Dec. 4th!
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