I'm pleased to present the 223rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we dig into the strong performance of Comcast's recently concluded 2nd annual "Watchathon" on-demand week and more broadly, how viewing behaviors on linear, on-demand and OTT are becoming intertwined.
Comcast revealed that Watchathon week drove 61 million views and 50 million hours watched, with "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead" and "The Good Wife" topping the list of most popular shows. Of note was the increase in live ratings for shows that were available on Watchathon. For example, Game of Thrones' season 4 premiere was up 17% in Comcast homes, "The Mindy Project" was up 83%, "Archer" was up 78%, "Parks and Recreation" was up 49%, etc.
Colin and I discuss how this appears to support the idea that allowing easy catching-up via on-demand can be an effective tactic for networks (and pay-TV operators) to drive audience to live viewing. In fact, in a prior survey Comcast did, it found that 82% of U.S. adults are binge-viewing now, with 55% saying they preferred to do so with current season programs. By enabling both, Comcast seems to be finding a sweet spot.
One other related data point we found interesting was from Rentrak, which said fully 66% of viewing of broadcast primetime programs on demand occurred after the C3 window. By Colin's calculations, that could mean for certain shows, 20% or more of total audience isn't being counted for advertisers today.
Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 27 seconds)
Aereo has launched a PR blitz ahead of its April 22nd Supreme Court hearing, the centerpiece of which is a new advocacy site called "Protect My Antenna," which includes all of the court briefs, decisions and documents related to the Aereo case. The site also invites visitors to sign up for email updates. Presumably additional media, such as interviews with Aereo's founder and CEO Chet Kanojia will be added as well.
Chet has been interviewed by many media outlets in the past couple of years (including VideoNuze, here and here), but a new one appearing today as part of the PR campaign is with Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric (embedded below). As he has done in prior interviews, Chet adroitly positions the case as being about far more than Aereo itself, but rather about the legitimacy of cloud computing, the expense of today's pay-TV bundles, consumer choice and the importance of innovation.
TV is moving to digital - and fast. Today, billions of digital ads are seen everyday by millions of online viewers, yet 99% of those ads are repurposed from television and often measured by traditional TV metrics of reach or gross ratings points (GRP). Not only is this inefficient, but it also only scratches the surface of measurement’s potential for digital video.
Last week, our company hosted a panel discussion in New York City with top industry leaders and agency executives to discuss the evolution of measurement beyond the current standard of impressions and GRP. We agreed that using the same success metrics as TV measurement for digital video is insufficient and the true potential of what digital video can accomplish for brands will only be reached when we look at factors such as post-impression activity, increased website visitation, lead generation, and even offline sales. These metrics looked at the broader effectiveness of digital video ads beyond simply reach.
Some of the questions addressed by the panel included: is the industry ready to add more customized measurements what should they be? What challenges do they bring? How can we balance between the need for a standardized measurement unit and customization (the specific needs each brand advertiser)?
It was a great night and I wanted to share some of the key perspectives from the panelists during the discussion:
Signs of online video's growth and vibrancy are everywhere these days, but certain startup content providers still believe the surest road to success is by landing old school distribution (or "carriage") deals with large pay-TV operators. That was the message at last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger from Jamie Bosworth, Chairman and CEO of golf lifestyle focused Back9 Network.
When asked at the hearing why Back9 Network couldn't just operate as an online video service, Bosworth said that "while online viewership is increasing, the average American still watches 20 times more video content via television and the advertising rates mirror that as well." Bosworth's issue is that because Comcast's NBC Sports group owns and distributes Golf Channel, the big cable operator has little incentive to add another golf-oriented network. Further, if the TWC merger were approved, it would stifle TV competition to a vast part of the American population.
Reading through a WSJ article yesterday, "Advertisers' Dilemma In Online Video - Reach or Frequency?" it struck me once again how silly it is to keep reinforcing a debate of online video advertising versus TV advertising. Five years ago this debate may have had some merit. But in 2014, savvy advertisers know it's really online video advertising and TV advertising. The two are highly complimentary and are actually blurring as many of the traditional distinctions between them continue breaking down.
Late last week Google released research demonstrating the growing impact that YouTube and Google are having on TV show viewership and engagement. Per the chart below, Google found that for a sample of 100 broadcast and cable networks, TV-related activities on Google and YouTube for May-December 2013 were up sharply across 5 different metrics vs. the same period of 2013.
The biggest gainer was TV-related watch time on YouTube, which was up 65%, followed by TV-related engagement activities on YouTube (up 56%) and TV-related searches on YouTube (up 54%). The big driver of searches was mobile devices, which experienced a 100%+ growth rate year-over-year.
Categories: Video Search
I'm pleased to present the 222nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we first discuss Sesame GO, a new SVOD service from Sesame Workshop, as a starting point for a broader discussion about the increasing proliferation of high-quality online content.
Colin points out that new entrants to long-form content, like Xbox Studios and Yahoo (per a report from WSJ earlier this week) are adding to the volume of TV-style content online. Just this week at MIPTV, online providers Vice Media, Maker Studios and Dailymotion all did first-ever screenings at the international TV market. Colin sees this trend starting to impact pay-TV, as users still must use different inputs on their TVs to watch online content.
All of this is part of the broader topic of whether OTT services, with high-quality long-form content, will actually find their way into the pay-TV world at some point. I've been skeptical of this in the past, but as programming costs continue to soar, I'm evolving my thinking.
We wrap up with Colin providing an update on Fire TV, which he's now had a chance to use.
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 14 seconds)
Early bird discounted registration is now open for the 4th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Wednesday, June 25th in NYC.
The Ad Summit will once again be a highly-focused, immersive day with industry leaders from brands, agencies, content providers, technology companies and others in the ecosystem. Last year's Ad Summit drew over 350 attendees, featuring 40+ speakers and I'm confident this year's event will be even better. Detailed program info will be posted soon; executives from Comcast, Conde Nast, Digitas, eMarketer, Forrester, News Corp., Starcom MediaVest, Weather Company and others are among those participating.
I'm thrilled to have 10 fantastic companies on board as initial sponsors. These include Title Partner ILoveVideo.tv/Castaclip; Headline Partners Active Video, Brightcove, Eyeview, FreeWheel, LiveRail, TubeMogul and Videology plus Branding Partners Innovid and Mixpo. All of these companies are key players in the online video advertising ecosystem and I'm honored they've decided to be a part of the Ad Summit.
The online and mobile video landscape is more vibrant than ever, with both high-quality online original programming and monetization opportunities proliferating. Yet we're still in the early innings and the opportunity to learn, share and build relationships makes the Ad Summit a must-attend event for industry executives.
This year's Ad Summit will be held during CE Week, a weeklong event in New York City presented by the Consumer Electronics Association, producer of International CES. Last year CE Week attracted 6,000+ technology leaders. As a bonus, all Ad Summit attendees registered by June 11th will be provided a badge to attend CE Week exhibits and free conferences.