I’m pleased to present the 354th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week Colin and I interview Sling TV’s chief product officer Ben Weinberger. We’ve known Ben for many years from when he was CEO and founder of Digitalsmiths, which was acquired by TiVo.
As loyal listeners know, we’ve discussed “skinny bundles” like Sling TV many times on the podcast and so the interview was a great opportunity to get Ben’s views on the category in general and how Sling TV specifically is doing. We discussed many different topics, including the role of broadcast TV networks and antennas, sports and regional sports networks, how subscribers use the service on different devices, how Sling TV fits with SVOD services and much more.
Importantly, Ben talks a lot about Sling TV’s value propositions including offering more choices and flexible packages. We wrap up with Ben sharing his views on where the market is heading over the next few years.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 15 seconds)
TV advertising is moving the way of online video advertising - with an emphasis on greater data use and audience-based targeting. That’s the conventional wisdom driving huge investments at TV networks. But in a candid panel discussion yesterday at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview, senior TV ad executives raised lots of questions about the extent to which TV will ultimately go the digital route and specifically whether sophisticated data-based targeting will take hold in the TV industry.
The session included Maureen Bosetti, Chief Investment Officer at Initiative, Peter Naylor, SVP, Ad Sales at Hulu, Marianne Gambelli, Chief Investment Officer at Horizon Media and Donna Speciale, President, Turner Ad Sales, with Kelly Liyakasa, Senior Editor at AdExchanger moderating.
According to a new survey from Irdeto, 32% of U.S. consumers watch pirated video content. Of this group, 24% are most interested in TV shows, while another 24% are most interested in movies currently in theaters, with another 18% interested in movies that are already on DVD and Blu-ray. Sports and SVOD content were further down the list.
Worse, when respondents were told that piracy results in studios losing money, in turn reducing their ability to invest in new content, 39% said this had no impact on how much pirated video they watch. And just 19% said this financial damage would cause them to stop watching pirated video. It’s also worth noting that 69% of respondents said they knew consuming pirated video is illegal.
Last Thursday Amazon announced Anime Strike, its own branded SVOD service, available to Prime members in the U.S. for $4.99/month. Anime Strike is the first SVOD service from Amazon (aside from its flagship Prime Video service), and based on an interview I did with Michael Paull, VP for Amazon’s Channels program, it won’t be the last. Rather, Anime Strike is the latest signal of Amazon’s ever-expanding video ambitions.
The Channels program itself (which launched in December, 2015 and was originally called the Streaming Partners Program), has grown by leaps and bounds, and now includes over 100 different SVOD services that Prime members can easily add, with all video viewable in the Prime Video app across devices. For content providers, Amazon handles all hosting, delivery and billing, in exchange for a revenue share.
As web browsers move rapidly to sunset their support for Flash, companies that rely on Flash for video playback are being forced to make changes. Apple has led the charge in driving the need for this change by disabling Flash by default in Safari 10, and Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft’s Edge are quickly following suit. Some media companies migrated to HTML5 video players in early 2016 in anticipation of these industry-wide changes, but others have remained in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode to see if Flash really is going away.
Companies that haven’t moved to an HTML5 video player are now stuck between a rock and a hard-place. For them, its either risk the impact of Flash being disabled and react as needed, or remove this risk at the expense of making this migration an immediate priority. The reticence of those that remain reliant on Flash has to do with not being able to properly evaluate the risk and effort involved.
I’m pleased to present the 353rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about mobile video’s upcoming growth and on this week’s podcast, Colin and I explore them. 2017 is setting up as a major year of change for mobile video, with numerous positive catalysts.
These include wireless carriers zero-rating their video services and investing in content, mobile data plans becoming more flexible, cable operators entering the wireless market, Facebook emphasizing video, smartphones’ enhanced capabilities, a more conducive regulatory environment and much more. (Colin and I also wrote about these earlier this week here and here)
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 25 seconds)
Talk about showing up late to the party: the WSJ is reporting that Apple is now planning to invest in original scripted TV shows and movies. Whether the move actually materializes though is unclear. But if it does, it would be happening years after countless false starts and rumors about the company’s plans to build out a content strategy. Importantly, it would also happen as the number of scripted TV shows rocketed to over 450 in 2016, marked by “Peak TV’s” escalating budgets and intense competition.
According the WSJ article, Apple is engaged with various producers and could be offering scripted TV shows by the end of 2017. Apple’s commitment still seems modest by the standards of Netflix, Amazon and numerous TV networks, with just a handful of productions planned.
Videology has released its “2017 TV & Video Outlook,” a series of interviews with ad industry executives from AT&T AdWorks, Bell Media, CNN International, comScore, GroupM, LiveRamp, MediaCom, Nielsen, OMG, Oracle, WhiteOps and others. The executives provide their insights and analysis on TV/video ad convergence, programmatic, targeting/data, mobile, measurement, fraud and lots more.
Reading through the interviews, it’s clear the proliferation of viewing devices and fragmentation of audiences are critical market drivers (no surprise!). That makes efficiently targeting specific audiences with ads, using data and automation a big opportunity. But many of the executives are pragmatic about where data-driven targeting currently stands and what still needs to be done. Overall the tone is both optimistic and realistic.