On yesterday’s Time Warner Q4 ’15 earnings call, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that HBO Now as at “about 800,000 paying subscribers.” It was the first specific subscriber number the company has shared since launching in April, 2015. While Plepler positioned the 800K as significant, no surprise, given HBO Now’s expectations, there’s been much debate about whether the 800K is in fact, disappointing.
I’ve been bullish on HBO Now’s opportunity since its launch, but I think there are a number of things that held things back during the launch year. Most significant is lack of marketing and promotion. HBO Now came out of the gate strong, launching with Apple TV and establishing a presence both online and offline. In those first few months it was hard to miss an ad for HBO Now.
Categories: Cable Networks
Topics: HBO Now
Video ad tech provider Genesis Media has launched “Adaptive Formats,” which dynamically delivers video ad units that are optimized to an individual web page’s editorial and to the user’s behavior. The goal is to enable content publishers to best monetize each individual piece of their content while providing an outstanding user experience and full value to advertisers.
Genesis Media’s CEO Mark Yackanich explained to me that Adaptive Formats automates a previously manual process. He added that Adaptive Formats directly addresses key publisher pain points of how to select from the myriad video ad units which are now available and then how to scale the ones that are selected.
Topics: Genesis Media
Meredith Digital has tapped Ooyala IQ for unified video engagement and performance analytics across multiple video players on properties including Parents, Allrecipes, Better Homes & Gardens and others. The deal builds on an existing relationship between the companies with Meredith using Ooyala for its Martha Stewart Living property.
With Ooyala IQ, Meredith will be able to see video performance by device, operating system, DMA, player and specific location. Ooyala IQ also gives insight into video ad performance such as drop-out rates in various formats.
Overall, the quality of streaming of last night’s Super Bowl was strong, although I experienced inconsistent latency across different devices I was using. As shown in the images below, I set up an informal lab in my house, with the game on Comcast, via X1 (center), Roku TV (left rear), Amazon Fire TV on an Insignia (right rear), CBSSports.com (front left and right) and Verizon Go90 (front center).
As can be seen, each device is lagging behind the CBS broadcast feed on TV and to a different extent. I measured the latency at a few points and it seemed to get worse as the game progressed. For Lady Gaga’s national anthem, the Roku and Amazon feeds were approximately 40 seconds delayed, but by the end of the game, each was over a minute delayed. The online streams were approximately half this delay and the Verizon stream still slightly better.
After a 4 month beta, video ad platform Mediabong has launched its Syncroll outstream video ad unit, aiming to go beyond viewability, to focus on viewer attention. With Syncroll, outstream ads can be triggered in the reader’s “attention zones” as they scroll down the page. The ads change and update based on a patented algorithm of the user’s real-time behavior while scrolling.
I'm pleased to present the 309th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week we discuss Comcast’s robust Q4 ’15 earnings results. Despite all of the talk of cord-cutting, Comcast had its best year for video subscribers in 8 years, improving its loss to just 39K. In addition, both Charter and Time Warner Cable actually reported video subscriber gains for 2015.
Once again, Comcast cited its X1 next-gen set-top box as the key driver of success. Colin and I have talked about X1’s value in the past, and it’s clearly a game-changer for the company.
Ironically, Comcast’s success with X1 is happening even as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is calling for a new technology mandate on the pay-TV industry to give access to third-party set-tops. Colin and I discuss why we think market forces are a superior choice to government intervention.
Last, we’ll both be watching the Super Bowl this weekend, which will be a milestone in allowing cord-cutters and cord-nevers to stream for free to connected TV devices.
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GfK MRI has released results of a new study analyzing the amount of time nearly 6,000 smartphone users spend on different activities, finding that just 2% of time is spent watching video. Phone calls and texting are tied for first with 22% of time spent, followed by email and social media (both 10%). Overall GfK’s category of “Entertainment,” which includes web surfing, music, games, video, shopping and reading, accounted for 22% of time spent.
Categories: Mobile Video
Continuing the trend of making live sports available to viewers across a wide range of devices, CBS will stream live coverage of this Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 broadcast to viewers both online and through an expanded network of over-the-top connected TV devices, including Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Microsoft 10. This decision by CBS and the NFL to allow, and even encourage, the consumption of the premier sports event of the year through connected TV devices is significant for 5 reasons: