YouTube has officially announced its new free YouTube Kids app, a dedicated space for kids and families to watch age appropriate content, available on Android and iOS. The app puts even more pressure on kids-oriented cable TV networks, whose audiences were already being decimated by OTT options like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
YouTube Kids creates a safe, accessible, organized space for young kids. The content is organized into four categories, Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Content is licensed from Dreamworks TV, Hit Entertainment, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club and National Geographic Kids. Popular shows included are "Fraggle Rock," "Reading Rainbow," "Sesame Street," "Talking Tom and Friends" and "Thomas the Tank Engine."
I'm pleased to present the 261st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we return to the topic of TV Everywhere, which we've discussed on previous episodes. While TV Everywhere's challenges are well-understood, this week Comcast released encouraging adoption data, which we dig into.
Comcast also announced it now offers over 70 linear networks via TVE, in addition to on-demand choices. Related, NBC said this week that it will offer authenticated access to its linear feed via its app, but only in its O&O markets. Colin notes that's a very different approach than CBS is using for linear, which is only available via its All-Access service that costs $5.99/month.
Aside from improved content for TVE, Colin and I also observe that monetization is also improving, with technology providers BlackArrow and This Technology, as examples, recently sharing product updates on dynamic ad insertion (here and here).
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Varick Media Management, which specializes in programmatic ad buying, has chosen Tremor Video's demand side platform, powered by VideoHub, as its preferred partner for premium programmatic campaigns. Neeraj Kochhar, Managing Director of Buy-side Platforms at Tremor Video, told me that it's the first big agency that's been announced as a VideoHub DSP customer, though others are using the platform as well.
BrightRoll has released findings from its 3rd annual U.S. ad agency survey, including among other things, that agencies believe targeting is by far the most valuable benefit of online video advertising. Cited by 56% of respondents, targeting alone exceeded all other benefits combined: reach (20%), price relative to TV (8%), other (8%), ad unit format (7%) and ability to reuse creative (2%).
In 2014 I cut the cord. We live in Toronto, Canada, are not a sports family, and watch mostly drama. The kids watch only Netflix, so for them, cutting the cord really had no impact. We made the conscious decision to buy whatever we wanted to watch, as I suspected we would never come close to the monthly cable bill we had just shed. But the truth is always more complicated, and in a surprising turn of events, I find myself back with Bell Canada’s Fibe TV a year later.
A look back at our purchases and motivations is quite revealing, considering the disruption going on in the video industry.
Topics: Bell Canada
Comcast said that in 2014 over 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers used its TV Everywhere app ("Xfinity TV Go") on a monthly basis, representing a 20% year-over-year growth rate. The average Xfinity TV Go viewer watched over 7 hours per month via the app, up 40% vs. a year ago. Comcast said the Xfinity TV Go app for iOS and Android has been downloaded over 11 million times.
Ad tech provider This Technology has been awarded a patent covering key dynamic ad insertion (DAI) functionality, the company has announced. The patent relates to "identifying dynamic ad inventory and defining attributes like ownership, length and interactivity, which are all critical requirements for targeted advertising delivery."
That's a mouthful, and fortunately I spoke to This Technology's CEO Jeff Sherwin last week, who provided a plain-English explanation of why this is important.
Topics: This Technology
Over the past week, I've been spending a little time each day with Snapchat's recently launched "Discover" feature. In case you missed it, or are not a Snapchat user (as I wasn't), Discover is an area of in Snapchat's mobile app featuring icons from 11 different media companies. Behind each icon are innovative, slickly packaged sets of short videos and text stories, perfectly suited for attention-challenged mobile users (see short video below).
It's not immediately clear why a social network like Snapchat, known mostly for enabling ephemeral selfie photos and videos by its addicted young female audience (my 14 1/2 year-old daughter among them), believes it's strategic to partner with mostly mainstream media companies (note, not a single YouTuber) to offer this type of service. Perhaps advertising potential? Or driving deeper user engagement? Or broadening its mission? Or all of the above?