With so much uncertainty in the TV and online video industries these days, I keep telling myself to never be surprised by anything anymore. But last night, when the WSJ headline, “Hulu is Developing a Cable-Style Online TV Service” popped up in my Twitter feed, I have to admit it tested the boundaries of my imagination.
The most immediate head-scratcher was that such a move would position Disney and Fox, two of the three network shareholders in Hulu (along with Comcast, which is now a silent partner due to terms of its NBCU acquisition) as direct competitors of pay-TV operators, their biggest distributors. These companies spend billions of dollars per year to carry the very same TV networks that would now be included in the skinny Hulu lineup.
Late last week Videology shared Q1 ’16 data from its platform, showing the continued convergence between TV and online video advertising. Videology found that 11% of video campaigns run through its platform used TV data segments to help target online video campaigns. As in the past, the most-used segment was current TV ad schedules, followed by sports viewers and competitors’ TV schedules.
The use of TV audience data has been on an upswing over the past year plus according to Videology. In Q4 ’15, Videology reported that video campaigns using TV audience data had increased by 114% year-over-year. No doubt this was off a very small base as the whole concept of using TV viewing data is still relatively early stage.
I'm pleased to present the 320th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
As both Colin and I wrote this week (here and here), Comcast delivered very strong video and broadband subscriber gains in Q1 '16. Despite all of the rhetoric around cord-cutting and the fact that SVOD services - which were considered a potential substitute for pay-TV - have boomed, Comcast had its best first quarter in 9 years, adding 53K video subscribers vs. a loss of 8K subscribers in Q1 ’15.
As Colin and I discuss on the podcast, Comcast is benefitting from weakening competition, its own investments in product/content/user experience, and triple-play bundling, powered by broadband adoption. As has been the case for a couple of years now, the X1 set-top box, now in 35% of video subscribers’ homes, continues to be the linchpin in video, driving up ARPU, VOD and DVR usage, reducing churn, etc. In an era of rising viewer expectations, X1 delivers a superb, differentiated, web-like experience.
Given all of the above, I think Comcast has a strong outlook at least through 2016 if not beyond. Colin is a little less sanguine and we discuss our differences.
Listen now to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 4 seconds)
A reminder that early bird discounted registration is available for the 6th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Tuesday, June 14th in NYC. All early bird registrants will be entered to win a 55-inch TCL 4K Roku TV, generously provided by Roku.
Our overarching theme this year will be the ongoing convergence between TV and online video advertising. So far, over 25 executives are on board to speak at the Ad Summit, from industry leaders like A+E Networks, American Express, Conde Nast, IAB, Initiative, Mindshare, NBCU, Newsy, Turner, The Washington Post, The Weather Company, Whistle Sports, Zenith Optimedia and many others.
I’m thrilled that Marc Debevoise, EVP/GM, CBS Digital Media at CBS Interactive will be our morning keynote guest. I will be interviewing Marc about CBS’s digital strategy, including initiatives like CBS All Access, CBSN its live-streaming news channel, Super Bowl streaming, monetization strategies, mobile distribution along with larger industry trends.
The packed program will feature 13 sessions focused on the convergence of TV and video advertising from both a strategic and operational perspective, mobile video, how TV networks are succeeding in the digital era, multi-platform campaigns and connected TVs, the critical role of data, the NewFronts/Upfronts, succeeding in the platform economy and lots more.
The Ad Summit will again be a must-attend day of learning and networking with industry leaders from brands, agencies, content providers, technology companies and others in the ecosystem. Last year's Ad Summit drew over 450 attendees and featured 50+ speakers.
There are 15 industry-leading companies on board so far as sponsors, including Title Partner Videology, Premier Partners Altitude Digital, DashBid, Extreme Reach, Verizon Digital Media Services and VertaMedia, Headline Partners Alphonso, Beachfront Media, Cedato, FreeWheel, Genesis Media, JW Player, Operative and Placemedia and Branding Partner Roku. As always, I’m extremely grateful for our partners’ generous support!
Learn more and register now!