I'm pleased to present the 247th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we talk about so-called "hybrid set-top boxes" and why we believe they're poised to play a critical role in the video ecosystem, especially for pay-TV operators. A hybrid STB can handle both traditional linear TV feeds and also broadband/IP/apps. Comcast's X1 is a great example, as are TiVo's boxes. Another technology approach which creates the same capability is from ActiveVideo Networks.
Colin and I both like hybrid STBs because they give the operator the ability to blend pay-TV/VOD/DVR with OTT. One prime opportunity of this that I see is for Netflix to be included in Comcast's X1, as I explained earlier this week. Just to give one example of how compelling these integrations can be, Colin cites the example of UPC Hungary, which integrated the YouTube app. Within a few months, 72% of its subscribers have used YouTube, averaging 45 minutes per session.
Colin notes the big win for subscribers here is convenience - it's just easier for people to use one device to access everything. We share additional thoughts on why we think hybrid STBs are beneficial and will become a big trend going forward.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 56 seconds)
Following HBO's announcement of HBO OTT last week, a lot of the media coverage has focused on how disruptive it will be to the pay-TV ecosystem. But on today's Comcast Q3 '14 earnings conference call, company executives threw cold water on these prospects, highlighting the challenges and risks that HBO faces in going direct to consumer.
Responding to analysts' questions, NBCU CEO Steve Burke said:
The next VideoSchmooze: Online Video Leadership Forum is coming up on Thursday morning, Dec. 4th in NYC and the program is continuing to get stronger, with 2 new sessions added: "TV, Disrupted: Online Originals Hit Their Stride" and "The Connected TV Audience: Not Who You Might Think."
Viewership of online original programming has been surging and there's now a massive ecosystem creating great high-quality originals well beyond marquee shows from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. For many millennials in particular, online programming is now more appealing than traditional TV. This session brings together executives at 3 of the biggest players in online originals - Fullscreen, DEFY Media and Vimeo, to discuss what drives originals' success, why fans are so engaged, how originals are being monetized and what it all means for traditional TV.
Helping enable online originals is the fact that connected TVs are now in more than half of all U.S. homes. But you might be surprised about who's driving this adoption. In a special research session, Tremor Video's head of market research Doron Wesly will present brand-new data about who owns connected TVs, how their behavior differs from traditional TV viewers and how this is changing the video ecosystem.
I'll be unveiling the final pieces of VideoSchmooze's exciting morning-only program in the next couple of weeks. As always, it's shaping up to be an amazing morning of learning and networking for 250+ industry executives who need to be in the know.
Early bird tickets are available now for $95, with 5-packs for $430 and 10-packs for $760. As an extra incentive, all early bird registrants will be entered to win a TiVo Roamio Plus DVR with Lifetime service - $1,000 value, generously provided by TiVo. I've owned one for a while and in my opinion it's the BEST connected device around.
I look forward to seeing you on Dec. 4th!
Adobe's Q2 '14 U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report has found that global online video starts hit 38.2 billion, a 43% increase vs. Q2 '13 and a new record among Adobe customers. Q2 was fueled in part by the heavily streamed World Cup matches in June. Mobile continued to experience strong growth too, with 26% of starts occurring on mobile devices, up from 19% a year earlier. Smartphones notched 13.6% of starts vs. 13% for tablets, the first time smartphones have pulled ahead. However, just 16.6% of mobile videos reached 75% completion.
Categories: TV Everywhere
The list of YouTubers who owe their success to YouTube alone is shrinking. After years of dominating the online video market, YouTube is no longer the only place where online video is happening. From big video outfits like Maker Studios, to independent YouTube stars like PewDiePie, video producers who got their start on YouTube are now looking beyond YouTube for their next act.
Diversify revenue streams. It sounds simple enough, but as smart a move as this is, there are plenty of potential pitfalls in its execution. Because as much as relying on YouTube as your sole revenue stream is a mistake, not fully taking advantage of the alternative distribution channels at your disposal - or using them haphazardly - is an even bigger mistake.
Advertising on YouTube offers a ton of potential, but remains a complicated endeavor, creating friction for prospective buyers. To simplify things, Pixability is introducing v3 of its platform, which aims to optimize YouTube TrueView ads by enabling programmatic management of AdWords for Video buying. Bettina Hein, Founder and CEO of Pixability and Andreas Goeldi, CTO, demo'd the new features for me, explaining how they create new value for YouTube advertisers.
The video ad tech consolidation trend continues on, with the latest deal seeing Ooyala acquire London-based Videoplaza for an undisclosed sum. The deal comes just 2 months after Ooyala itself was acquired by the big Australian telecom provider Telstra, which was a previous investor. Jonathan Wilner, VP, Product at Ooyala, told me in an interview that these are just the first 2 steps in Telstra's broader ambition to help content providers better monetize their video, particularly by using data.
If your head is still spinning from last week's HBO/CBS/potential cord-cutting news, then buckle up, because here's another doozy that seems ripe to be right around the corner: a partnership deal between Netflix and Comcast. You heard that right - two companies that have been sniping at each for years now have a perfect moment to strike a partnership deal with significant upside to both.
First, as far as the deal itself, it would roughly follow the template Netflix has already established with large pay-TV operators in Europe and smaller ones in the U.S. All those deals' details aren't known, but at a minimum they include operators integrating Netflix's app into their IP-based set-top boxes'/devices' UI, certain co-marketing arrangements, and some type of revenue sharing by Netflix (i.e. one-time new subscriber bounties and/or ongoing revenue sharing).