Another quarterly earnings call with Facebook and yet another reminder of how glacial the company’s pace has been with prioritizing and monetizing video. Remarkably, it has been over 2 years since CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the Q2 ’16 earnings call in July, 2016 that “We see a world that is video first with video at the heart of all our apps and service.”
Now admittedly, Facebook has had its hands full since then putting out fires that are burning everywhere around it (many unfortunately started by its own negligence). But still…here we are almost 2 1/2 years later and if video were so paramount to Facebook’s future, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect to see some real momentum. All the more so because on the Q3 '17 earnings call, video was practically the only thing Wall St. analysts were interested in asking about.
Instead, Zuckerberg’s and other Facebook executives’ comments on the Q3 ’18 earnings call yesterday revealed not just underwhelming progress with video, but also how surprisingly slow the company has been in understanding how video fits with its traditional newsfeed product.
Categories: Social Media
Last Thursday, Comcast reported a loss of 95K residential video subscribers in Q3 ’18, an improvement over the 134K it lost in Q3 ’17. Losing subscribers is never something to be celebrated, but amid the onslaught of skinny bundles, SVOD, cord-cutting, etc. the improvement was noteworthy (and certainly reflected the fact that AT&T slowed its promotion of DirecTV Now in Q3 ’18, which is why it gained just 63K skinny bundle subscribers, down from 323K a year ago).
For Comcast it was a welcome relief from Q2 ’18, in which it lost 140K video subscribers, over 4x the 34K it lost in Q2 ’17. On its Q2 earnings call, Comcast executives acknowledged that skinny bundles were taking their toll, and yet they did not seem to articulate an aggressive response. But Q2 ’18 also saw the addition of 260K residential broadband subscribers, up from 175K adds in Q2’17. Given how highly saturated the residential broadband market now is, this jump seemed surprising, and yet, it was barely explained on the Q2 earning call.
I’m pleased to present the 442nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we first discuss AT&T’s recently unveiled plans to launch a new streaming service sometime later in 2019, anchored by HBO and including assets from other WarnerMedia properties. Details are still slim, but both Colin and I highlight many different challenges for this service would get executed and priced, especially with respect to HBO’s role.
We then transition to talking about YouTube TV’s winning sponsorship of this year’s World Series. As I wrote yesterday, the execution is superb and includes many creative elements. For millions of viewers, it is impossible to not be exposed to the brand, and the campaign is surely leading to many new trial subscriptions.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 4 seconds)
Viewers are binge watching and sharing video on multiple devices and social media like never before. New video distribution market entrants are driving this change to a large extent. It’s safe to say change won’t stop.
To remain competitive, not only will video service providers need to offer innovative new features, but they also will have to optimize their cost structure. Can they do that in today’s demanding environment? Can they be both feature rich and low cost?
We think so.
Categories: Video On Demand
YouTube TV is back as this year’s World Series presenting sponsor and as with last year, Google’s skinny bundle is once again dominating. Watching the game last night (go Sox!) it was impossible to not be exposed to the brand and also some very creative elements of the “Watch like a fan” campaign.
YouTube TV renewed its World Series sponsorship for 2018 and 2019 with MLB back in March of this year. As with 2017, before the first pitch was thrown, there was a highly produced 90 second ad. At first it looked like a promo for various Fox networks, though when the Google Home demo popped in it became clear it was for YouTube TV.
The Diffusion Group has released new data showing that Roku users have the lowest levels of traditional pay-TV subscriptions and the highest level of cord-cutting. According to TDG, 64% of Roku box users and 66% of Roku stick users subscribe to pay-TV. 30% of Roku box users and 26% of Roku stick users are cord-cutters.
For all adult broadband users, 73% continue to subscribe to pay-TV, with just 21% saying they’re cord-cutters. Other devices measured, including Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast all had slightly higher levels of pay-TV subscriptions and similar to lower levels of cord-cutting.
I’m pleased to present the 441st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
(Apologies my audio quality is low this week)
On this week’s podcast Colin shares highlights of a panel discussion he led last week in London focusing on the best practices of three different direct-to-consumer video services. As Colin covered in his post about the session, these include keeping the service’s brand front and center, providing access to a base level of free content and having a comprehensive retention program.
This week’s podcast is really a continuation of last week’s interview with Paywizard’s CEO Bhavesh Vaghela who discussed how video service providers can improve their competitive. As Colin and I agree, these days, having great content is table stakes, but what really differentiates successful services is delivering outstanding experiences.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 52 seconds)
Click here for previous podcasts
Beachfront, a leading supply-side platform for video ads, has partnered with MadHive, a data management platform, to enrich and verify audiences on connected devices. Frank Sinton, President and Founder of Beachfront told me in a briefing that the company is focused on validation of inventory quality and audiences, issues that are top of mind for its publisher customers.