It’s been a rough few weeks for all companies in the TV and pay-TV industries as cord-cutting and advertising shifts have taken center stage. Stock market sentiment has turned bearish as investors have extrapolated that the long-stable days of TV and pay-TV are officially over.
But a more granular analysis of actual video and broadband subscriber data for Q2, as well as a clearer understanding of what’s driving the market forward, suggests that such a broad brush approach to all players is misplaced. In reality, big cable operators had a standout second quarter in both video and broadband and should be poised for even further gains going forward as OTT becomes the single biggest industry influence.
Topics: Leichtman Research Group
There’s been a lot written in the past few days about Comcast’s reported plan to introduce a new platform called “Watchable,” that will curate short-form online video content from various providers for viewing on its X1 set-top boxes and eventually on mobile devices. The initiative is seen as helping Comcast increase its appeal to millennial viewers and drive additional online video advertising revenue.
On the one hand, I applaud the company’s desire to dive more deeply into online video, which has many synergies with Comcast’s broadband and TV businesses. Without knowing any of the details, the biggest issue to me with Watchable is that it’s hard to understand why Comcast would prioritize it as a current initiative when a far more significant opportunity would be integrating popular OTT services into X1, which would have huge subscriber acquisition and retention benefits.
Video supply-side ad platform Altitude Digital has reduced the level of bot/non-human traffic (NHT) to under 1% of its video ad inventory. The milestone is the result of a 6-month initiative to improve quality, using fraud filtering and reporting technology in partnership with Integral Ad Science. The objective was to proactively filter bot/NHT inventory before it is seen by advertisers.
Topics: Altitude Digital
Vdopia’s “Chocolate” programmatic mobile video marketplace, which launched last October, has experienced a 172% increase in ad spend from Q1 ’15 to Q2 ’15. Vdopia said that Chocolate served 12 billion mobile video ad auctions per month in Q2, a 110% increase vs. Q1. Chocolate had a 97% increase from Q1 to Q2 in mobile web ad auctions and a 195% increase in mobile in-app ad auctions.
I'm pleased to present the 286th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
The past couple of weeks have brought into stark relief the tectonic changes happening in the video and TV industries. Linear ratings are way down, audiences are fragmenting to on-demand sources, pay-TV subscriber losses are up and advertisers are shifting their spending.
In this week’s podcast, Colin and zero in specifically on the huge shifts occurring in TV and video advertising. Advertisers’ priorities and buying processes are fundamentally moving toward more flexible, data-driven approaches. I explain why programmatic video/TV and mobile video ads are surging, looking at recent results from TubeMogul and SpotXchange as key evidence (see here and here for more). We also get into why advertising-supported VOD could have a bright future.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 57 seconds)
The range and quality of online original programs is unquestionably improving as investments by OTT services soar. What gets far less attention - but is equally important - is that the viewers’ actual experience watching these new programs must be high quality and free of buffering/other annoyances. The best content in the world will not make up for lousy delivery. Increasingly, a TV-quality level of experience is where viewers set their expectations.
Fortunately there was some good news this week on the quality of experience front, with Conviva reporting mid-year 2015 quality metrics gleaned from analyzing billions of video streams worldwide. Some of the key data points, according to Conviva’s mid-2015 Viewer Experience Report, were:
Watch an ad longer and all kinds of effectiveness measures should increase. That’s a pretty bankable assumption. But in a world where viewers are going to great lengths to avoid ads, just getting them seen and paid attention to have become huge challenges. For example, earlier this week a report from Adobe and PageFair estimated that publishers are now foregoing $22 billion per year due to increased use of ad blocking software.
All of this has triggered a range of new video ad approaches to deliver improved monetization. One of them is “outstream” video ads, where the video ad plays outside of the video stream, instead running in a text article, newsfeed or slideshow, as opposed to instream (i.e. pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll). I’ve been a fan of outstream ads for a while as I think they unlock lots of new premium inventory for publishers while balancing the viewer experience.
I’m excited to announce our next VideoNuze conference: SHIFT // 2015 Programmatic Video & TV Advertising Summit, which will be on Tuesday, December 1st in NYC at the Time-Life Conference Center.
SHIFT // 2015 is an immersive new one-day conference which will bring together senior industry leaders and influencers who have a stake in the success of programmatic video & TV advertising. SHIFT // 2015 is the first conference laser-focused on programmatic video & TV advertising, which eMarketer forecasts will account for almost $4 billion, or approximately 40%, of online video ad spending in 2016, up from just $190 million in 2013.
As VideoNuze readers know, I’ve written extensively about how video viewers are fragmenting across countless devices, services and platforms, which has in turn created unprecedented challenges for advertisers and content providers. As David Cohen, UniversalMcCann’s Chief Investment Officer said in his keynote interview with me at this past’s June’s Video Ad Summit, re-aggregating target audiences and delivering the right video ads - efficiently and at scale - have become the media industry’s top priority (last week’s market meltdown in media stocks underscored its urgency).
This is why programmatic video & TV advertising has such huge potential - offering the ability to shift (hence the conference name!) to an automated, data-driven and flexible approach. Programmatic enables ad buyers to target and reach their audiences wherever they watch video, and content publishers to recognize the full value of their inventory.
Despite this potential, it is still early days for programmatic video and even earlier days for programmatic and cross-screen TV. For many industry executives, programmatic’s complex ecosystem and “alphabet soup” of participants is difficult to understand. Questions about viewability, channel conflicts, pricing integrity, measurement, attribution, etc. swirl. As a result, there’s still caution around programmatic video & TV.
By comprehensively addressing these and other key topics, I’m confident SHIFT / 2015 will create new value for market participants. The SHIFT // 2015 program will focus on the most critical aspects of programmatic video & TV advertising, with experienced industry executives delivering actionable insights and data that help attendees to be smarter and more productive back at the office. SHIFT // 2015 will pick up on important themes raised on our programmatic sessions at the Ad Summit, which drew 450+ attendees and featured 55 speakers.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of months talking to industry colleagues about the opportunity for SHIFT // 2015 and have been hugely gratified by the response. I’m very aware of the proliferation of conferences and believe SHIFT // 2015 is differentiated by its deep-dive focus on programmatic video & TV.
I’ve set the bar high for SHIFT // 2015 to be a must-attend day for executives at publishers, distributors, agencies, advertisers, trading desks, networks/exchanges, technology providers/platforms, research and investment firms, journalists and anyone else seeking to learn more about programmatic video & TV and accelerate its success.
SHIFT // 2015 is an important new initiative for VideoNuze which will build off momentum from our many prior Video Ad Summits and VideoSchmoozes. Early bird discounted tickets are now available as are discounted charter sponsorships (contact me to learn more). I’m excited to share a lot more about SHIFT // 2015 in the coming months and I welcome your input. I hope you’ll join us on December 1st!