Verizon reported that Q2 ’15 FiOS video subscriber additions declined to just 26K in Q2 ’15, down from 100K additions in Q2 ’14 and 140K additions in Q2 ’13. In the earnings call, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo pinned the blame for the declines on “triple play offer changes at a time of increased competitive intensity” before saying that its new Custom TV packages are now accounting for a third of all new video subscribers.
Verizon is the first big pay-TV operator to share its results and a key question is whether its weak quarter is an early indicator of an accelerating industry slowdown. Last week, in discussing Netflix’s breakout Q2 ’15 results in the U.S. (in which it added 900K subscribers vs. a range of 530K-630K additions in each of the prior second quarters), I asserted that Netflix’s gain could finally be coming at pay-TV’s expense, particularly among younger cord-nevers.
Controversy and confusion - two words that describe native video advertising. It may be one of the industry’s latest emerging ad formats, but brands, advertisers, media executives and even the Federal Trade Commission have been in advertising purgatory over it - questioning whether native video is a real form of advertising or a publisher trick to make consumers believe an ad is actually editorial content. Couple this with the debate over the high price tag, and the looming question remains: “Is native video advertising worth investing in?”
The answer is yes, and this article will explore why.
Viewability threaded its way through many of our sessions at last month’s Video Ad Summit, underscoring how important a topic it remains in the online video advertising industry.
Once again, the conference featured a dedicated session on viewability, which was presented by IAB and included Jonah Goodhart (CEO and Co-Founder, Moat), Rick Mandler (VP, Strategy and New Media Sales, ABC Television Networks), Mark Yackanich (CEO, Genesis Media), Julian Zilberbrand (EVP, Activation Standards, Insights and Technology, Zenith Optimedia), with Matt Prohaska (Principal, Prohaska Consulting) moderating.
The participants discussed the evolution of viewability standards, the challenges of consistently measuring viewability across devices, the complications resulting from Facebook and YouTube not allowing third-party viewability measurement, where viewability is heading over the next 12-18 months and much more.
Google highlighted YouTube’s audience and revenue growth in last week’s Q2 ’15 earnings call, with viewing time up 60%, the number of advertisers up 40% and the average spending of the top 100 advertisers up over 60%, all vs. a year ago. While Google has never broken out detailed YouTube performance, these selected data point to strong momentum at the video site.
At the 2015 Video Ad Summit, our session, “How to Capitalize on YouTube’s Vast Landscape With Winning Video Ad Campaigns” helped explain why YouTube is succeeding. The session included Michelle Bandler (Director of Brand Activation, Google), Al Cadena (Senior Account Director, Beeby Clark+Meyler), Hermann Hassenstein (Global Head of Marketing Planning, PUMA) and Art Zeidman (EVP, Chief Revenue Officer, Pixability), with Mike Shields (Senior Editor, The Wall Street Journal) moderating.
The session explored, among other things, how ad buyers think about YouTube and the key challenges the site faces in persuading traditional TV ad buyers to pursue YouTube. These include measurement, sales lift, business processes, incomplete experimentation, etc.
The group also discussed how advertisers work with YouTube influencers on branded entertainment, the rising importance of mobile, the impact of Facebook, how ads are optimized for YouTube and social media, plus much more.
I'm pleased to present the 282nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we dig into Netflix’s Q2 ’15 results. As I wrote yesterday, the big number for me was the 900K subscriber additions in the U.S., breaking out of the narrow 530K-630K range over the past 3 years. If pay-TV video subscriber additions are soft for Q2 when reported over the next few weeks, then it will suggest accelerated cord-cutting and cord-nevering.
Colin also explores Netflix’s big international gains, its emerging movie strategy and its endorsement of the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal. While Netflix may well be negatively impacting the video side of the pay-TV business, we also discuss what impact it is having on the broadband side.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 25 seconds)
Click here for previous podcasts
Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.
The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!
Netflix released its Q2 ’15 earnings late yesterday, adding 3.28 million subscribers globally, almost twice as many as the 1.69 million it added in Q2 ’14. Everyone knows that Netflix has been expanding fast internationally, but what was most intriguing about the Q2 report was that Netflix added 900K subscribers in the U.S. vs. its forecast of 600K. The 900K compares with 570K U.S. adds in Q2 ’14, 630K in Q2 ’13 and 530K in Q2 ’12.
In other words, in Q2 ’15 Netflix significantly broke out of a relatively narrow growth range it had been in over the past 3 years in the seasonally-weak second quarter. The 900K add is even more noteworthy because Netflix has almost twice as many U.S. subscribers (42.3 million) now than it did 3 years ago (23.9 million). The law of large numbers suggests the bigger a company gets, the harder it is to achieve even comparable unit growth, much less greater growth.
At the 2015 Video Ad Summit, we reprised a session from 2014, focused on NewFronts, Upfronts and the Ongoing Battle for Video Ad Budgets, including Jackie Kulesza, EVP, Group Director, Digital Acceleration, Starcom and Adam Shlachter, Chief Investment Officer, Digitas Lbi, with Tim Hanlon from The Verrtere Group moderating.
The session included a deep dive into why the Upfronts are still important to advertisers even as online video advertising spending has soared. Still, Jackie and Adam agreed that advertisers are seeking more flexibility than ever to buy in real-time and optimize their campaigns, which has put huge pressure on the Upfront process.
The session also touched on the important role of data, why price is still a critical issue, how measurement challenges are still holding back true cross-platform audience buying, how advertisers are adapting and much more.
Mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks has launched Opera House, a creative studio, to help brands and agencies create compelling mobile video ads based on best practices and data. Opera House includes 60+ professionals around the world who will work with brands and agencies to help optimize mobile video campaigns for mobile’s unique features such as the camera, gyroscope, vibration and GPS.
Beyond creative and technical development assistance, Opera will also test the campaigns at increasing scale and across multiple devices to ensure successful launch. Specific ad unit executions could include native video, short-form video and selfie ads.