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Analysis for 'Broadcasters'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #331: Broadcast TV Networks are Taking Different Approaches to Online Video

    I'm pleased to present the 331st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Broadcast TV networks are taking different approaches to online video and this week saw updated online initiatives from Fox and ABC with the former announcing live-streaming of its primetime lineup in all 210 U.S. markets and the latter launching updates to its online service including classic shows, original digital series and more.

    Meanwhile NBC is gearing up for the Olympics in 3 weeks, which promises to be the most ambitious online sports event to date. And CBS is continuing to aggressively pursue its own independent path online, even as recent rumors have the network participating in YouTube’s forthcoming online subscription service.

    In this week’s discussion Colin and I review the Fox and ABC moves, comparing and contrasting them as well as NBC’s and CBS’s approaches.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 11 seconds)



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  • CBS Interactive President and COO Marc Debevoise Discusses Successful Video Strategies [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    One of the highlights of the recent Video Ad Summit was the keynote interview I did with Marc Debevoise, who was just promoted to be President and COO of CBS Interactive.  Marc oversees strategy and operations for all of the CBSi’s 25+ entertainment, sports, news, technology, gaming and media brands. Marc has also led the development of the CBS All Access SVOD service and CBSN 24/7 digital news service.

    In the interview Marc shares the 3 biggest market trends that are guiding CBSi’s strategy and what’s ahead. We discuss in detail the strategic drivers behind the launch of CBS All Access and CBSN, including advertising strategies for both and how well they’ve been accepted by viewers. Marc shares lots of details about viewers’ profiles, how they engage with the two services, the devices that are most successful and how CBS is using them to broaden its appeal to younger viewers. Marc also explains how original programs (e.g. “Star Trek” and “The Good Wife” spinoff) are playing a big role in CBS All Access game plan.

    We also talk about how CBS has become a leader in online sports, trailing only ESPN overall in the first part of 2016. Streaming the Super Bowl to connected TVs was a big milestone earlier this year and Marc discusses why CBS decided to do this and what impact it will have on streaming other sports. We wrap up by looking ahead to big challenges that CBSi is addressing.

    There is a lot of skepticism floating around about the role of broadcast TV in the fast-evolving online video landscape, but Marc does a great job of explaining all the moves CBS is making to remain a leader.

    Watch the keynote interview (35 minutes, 30 seconds)

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  • Reaching Audiences at Scale: Will TV Succeed in the Digital Age? [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    One of the most interesting panel discussions at the recent Video Ad Summit was “Reaching Audiences at Scale: Will TV Succeed in the Digital Age?” which included Adam Gerber (SVP, Client Development & Communications, ABC), Mike Germano (Chief Digital Officer, VICE Media), Melissa Kihara (Global VP of TV & Video Products, Xaxis), Bob Toohey (President, Verizon Digital Media Services) and Lorne Brown (Founder and CEO, Operative) moderating.

    It’s no secret that video viewing is fragmenting and linear TV is declining as new video sources proliferate and behaviors change. Still, TV networks are running fast, distributing programs in new ways, investing heavily in data to better enable targeting by advertisers and leveraging social media to better engage viewers.  

    As Adam pointed out, research suggests that scale in long-form ad-supported online viewing is dominated by TV networks. But as he also pointed out, scale in data and audiences is dominated by platforms like Facebook and Google. This is one of the key sources of tension for advertisers - how to combine the best of both, to achieve scaled, targeted, efficient, effective, trusted advertising in premium video?

    The panelists agreed that for lots of reasons the market is nowhere close to reaching this nirvana state. They explored all the reasons why, along with things that are being done to move the ball forward. For anyone trying to better understand how TV is evolving in the digital age and what role it will play, it’s a fascinating discussion.

    Watch the video now (39 minutes, 48 seconds).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #321: Debating Whether Hulu’s Skinny Bundle Makes Sense

    I'm pleased to present the 321st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Hulu was in the news in a big way this week, confirming a WSJ report that it plans to launch a skinny bundle next year. As I wrote on Monday, the move raises numerous questions, which Colin and I debate on this week’s podcast.

    Absent more information, I’m still somewhat skeptical. It feels very risky to me for Disney and Fox to convert Hulu into a pay-TV competitor. It’s also not clear that the economics of a direct subscriber relationship are superior to the steady flow of monthly retransmission consent and affiliate fees. Finally, I wonder about how big the addressable market is and how appealing the Hulu skinny bundle actually will be, particularly from an all-in cost perspective.

    Colin, on the other hand, is much more optimistic. He doesn’t believe there’s much risk, thinks the economics are better going direct and believes the service can be very appealing. So clearly we’re coming at this from very different angles.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 40 seconds)


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  • Skinny Hulu Subscription Service Raises Many Questions

    With so much uncertainty in the TV and online video industries these days, I keep telling myself to never be surprised by anything anymore. But last night, when the WSJ headline, “Hulu is Developing a Cable-Style Online TV Service” popped up in my Twitter feed, I have to admit it tested the boundaries of my imagination.

    The most immediate head-scratcher was that such a move would position Disney and Fox, two of the three network shareholders in Hulu (along with Comcast, which is now a silent partner due to terms of its NBCU acquisition) as direct competitors of pay-TV operators, their biggest distributors. These companies spend billions of dollars per year to carry the very same TV networks that would now be included in the skinny Hulu lineup.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #319: Amazon Eyes SVOD Distribution Dominance; NABShow Takeaways

    I'm pleased to present the 319th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Colin and I are back from NABShow where I produced the 2-day Online Video Conference, which included 52 speakers over 15 sessions. One of the highlights for me was doing a keynote interview with Michael Paull, VP of Digital Video at Amazon who oversees the company’s new Streaming Partners Program (SPP).  

    As I wrote yesterday, SPP will likely have a majority of U.S. SVOD services included this year, putting Amazon in the undisputed role as THE third-party distributor of SVOD in the U.S. Colin and I dig into why that is potentially so critical and the implications it could have for Netflix and the pay-TV industry. (Colin provides a personal example of how Amazon hooked him on a subscription to Tribeca Shortlist which he never would have found on his own).

    We then transition to specific takeaways from NABShow. Colin notes that many vendors were demonstrating how online video can be delivered with guaranteed quality and user experiences, making online video every bit as good as TV itself. For pay-TV operators specifically, the imperative to move video services online has never been higher.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 41 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

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  • Perspective What's this? TV Companies Must Build A Common Audience or Lose to Digital Giants

    TV programmers like Viacom and AMC are in the same position that print companies like The New York Times and Conde Nast were ten years ago. As consumers moved to reading content online, the legacy publishing companies figured they could replicate their business on a new channel. No one could believe that a tech company with no real content could compete for brand advertising budgets. We all know how that played out.

    Now, consumers are cutting the cord and moving to digital channels to watch TV. There is more to lose on both the buy and sell side during this time around. TV advertising is considered by advertisers to be the holy grail of inventory, and they don’t want to lose it any more than the TV companies do. However, the siren song of audiences at scale and with technical ease could change their minds.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #311: NBCU Adopts Programmatic TV; Conflicting Connected TV Forecasts

    I'm pleased to present the 311th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss NBCU’s announcement on Wednesday that it will allow select advertisers and agencies to buy ads programmatically in its linear TV networks. It’s another important step in advertising becoming more data-infused and targeted, though as I explained, it’s not yet a full-blown programmatic offering like we’ve seen in video and display. Colin and I dig into the details.

    We then turn to new research on connected TV adoption and forecasts. Colin details findings from 3 different sources, which differ from one another. We attempt to reconcile them, although not fully successfully. Regardless, connected TVs remain one of the pivotal areas of online video, providing access to high-quality long-form content in the living room.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 57 seconds)



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  • NBCU to Offer Programmatic TV Ad Buying on All Linear Networks

    NBCU made a big move to embrace audience-based buying yesterday, announcing that select advertisers and agencies will be able to use data and automation to buy ads on linear TV. The expansion of the company’s NBCUx platform represents the most significant step by a TV network group yet to adopt a programmatic approach to buying traditional TV ads. NBCU called its initiative “unprecedented.”

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  • Super Bowl Streaming Quality Was Strong, But With Inconsistent Latency Across Devices

    Overall, the quality of streaming of last night’s Super Bowl was strong, although I experienced inconsistent latency across different devices I was using. As shown in the images below, I set up an informal lab in my house, with the game on Comcast, via X1 (center), Roku TV (left rear), Amazon Fire TV on an Insignia (right rear), CBSSports.com (front left and right) and Verizon Go90 (front center).

    As can be seen, each device is lagging behind the CBS broadcast feed on TV and to a different extent. I measured the latency at a few points and it seemed to get worse as the game progressed. For Lady Gaga’s national anthem, the Roku and Amazon feeds were approximately 40 seconds delayed, but by the end of the game, each was over a minute delayed. The online streams were approximately half this delay and the Verizon stream still slightly better.

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  • 5 Reasons Why CBS’s Live Streaming of Super Bowl 50 is a Big Deal

    Continuing the trend of making live sports available to viewers across a wide range of devices, CBS will stream live coverage of this Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 broadcast to viewers both online and through an expanded network of over-the-top connected TV devices, including Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Microsoft 10. This decision by CBS and the NFL to allow, and even encourage, the consumption of the premier sports event of the year through connected TV devices is significant for 5 reasons:

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  • NFL's Plan for OTT Streaming of Thursday Night Football Raises Many Questions

    The NFL announced yesterday that it was splitting broadcast rights to Thursday Night Football in 2016 and 2017 between CBS and NBC. The WSJ reported that each network will pay $225 million for the annual rights, a 50% increase over the $300 million per season that CBS alone had been paying.

    But the higher broadcast fees are just the beginning of how the NFL will more fully monetize the upcoming seasons. More intriguing were the sentences from the NFL’s press release: "The NFL is in active discussions with prospective digital partners for OTT streaming rights to Thursday Night Football. A deal announcement is expected in the near future."

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  • Perspective What's this? Video Ad Market Predictions For 2016

    The numbers used to analyze the video ad market can be cut in many different ways.
     
    According to the IAB, video ad spend on desktop totalled US$2.0 billion, or 7% of digital ad spend, in the first half of 2015. The peak body also listed mobile video spend, a figure of less than US$300 million for the period, in its H1-15 Internet Advertising Revenue Report.
     
    Yet we know more than this is being spent on digital video. The IAB’s report doesn’t capture ads sold in over-the-top (OTT) TV content, programming which can be delivered via desktops as well as a range of other connected devices. Data from The Diffusion Group in April forecasts ad revenue from OTT TV will reach US$8.4 billion in 2015, a number well below broadcast TV’s expected $60 billion haul.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #301: SHIFT Highlights; TV Antennas Make a Big Comeback

    I'm pleased to present the 301st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up on this week’s podcast, I share some of the key highlights from this past Tuesday’s SHIFT // 2015 Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is the diversity of perspectives on what programmatic means in video and TV. Most definitions focus on automation and data, but understanding which business model applies makes things fuzzier. I’ll have a lot more on SHIFT as I post the session videos in the coming weeks.

    Next we discuss Digitalsmiths’ new Q3 2015 Video Trends Report which was released this week. Colin zeroes in on a couple of noteworthy data points: the soaring adoption of over-the-air antennas plus how these complement SVOD subscriptions and the wide variation of SVOD subscription rates by pay-TV operator. Colin has much more detail in his analysis of the report here.

    Listen now to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51  seconds)

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #297: "Star Trek" on CBS All Access Poses Risks; SVOD Licensing Poised for Change

    I'm pleased to present the 297th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. For a change, this week Colin and I recorded together in NYC after we spoke at a CTAM Think event.

    First up this week we dig into CBS’ decision to create a new “Star Trek” series and include it in its CBS All Access SVOD service rather than on its TV network. Colin astutely points out the various risks in this approach. Yet the move is not all that surprising as consistent with how SVOD services are using high-profile original content to differentiate themselves. In this light, if CBS wants to get share of wallet vs. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others, it has no choice but to beef up the originals available exclusively in CBS All Access.

    The CBS “Star Trek” move came during a week when public media companies reported mixed results, reduced guidance and a strong emphasis on launching their own direct-to-consumer video services. Importantly, Time Warner messaged that it is going to pull back on its SVOD licensing. As we note, all of this clouds the access that the big SVOD services will get to well-known TV programs as networks and studios strive to preserve long-term value in the pay-TV ecosystem.

    Listen now to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 4 seconds)

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  • Perspective What's this? Why CBS All Access Getting Nielsen Digital Ratings is an Indirect Challenge to Netflix

    Why did companies pay more than $9 million per minute for commercial time during the last Super Bowl? The answer: they knew that tens of millions of people would be watching their ad. Advertising rates during any broadcast are tied to viewership – the more eyeballs, the more the spot is worth. Viewership is the currency that determines how much an ad is worth, and ad revenue keeps the broadcast industry running. But what happens when you want to place an ad during a show streamed online? How much is 30 streamed seconds worth to an advertiser when there is no viewer currency to trust?

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  • CBS to Use New “Star Trek” Series to Drive Adoption of Its SVOD Service

    CBS announced this morning that it will release a new “Star Trek” TV series in January, 2017. But in a novel approach, the premier episode will be previewed on the CBS Television Network but will then move to CBS All Access, where it and all subsequent episodes will be exclusively available for U.S. audiences. That makes the new “Star Trek” the first TV series CBS has developed specifically for CBS All Access, the company’s $5.99/month SVOD service.

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  • Eyeview Integrates With WideOrbit for Programmatic TV Ads

    Eyeview has integrated its video ad platform with WideOrbit’s WO Programmatic TV, so that Eyeview clients can programmatically buy and then measure and optimize ads on local broadcast TV. WO Programmatic TV, which is WideOrbit’s  supply-side platform, includes broadcasters covering 115 U.S. media markets, including 18 of the top 25, and 59% of U.S. households.

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  • Comcast Adds Short-Form Video From 30 TV Networks to X1

    The line between TV and online video is blurring still further, as Comcast has announced that it is adding short-form online video content from 30 broadcast and cable TV networks to its X1 platform and online at Xfinity.com. The beta launch means that millions of X1 customers will be able to surf the Web tab of the On Demand section on X1 to access the clips.

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  • Whoa, With NHL Deal, Did MLBAM Just Become the Most Disruptive Force in Sports TV?

    Yesterday, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced a multi-faceted 6-year deal in which MLBAM will pay $600 million to take over distribution and operations of NHL’s GameCenter LIVE and Center Ice online subscription services (including via pay-TV operators), manage all of NHL’s web sites, manage all of NHL Network’s operations (including taking over ad sales) and jointly develop new digital products. As part of the deal, NHL is reportedly getting a 7%-10% stake in MLBAM, which is also reportedly going to be spun off (finally) from Major League Baseball. (clarification, per MLBAM spokesman, NHL's stake is in BAM Tech, the technology arm of MLBAM)

    That’s a mouthful, but what it amounts to is a major expansion in MLBAM’s scope of business, instantly morphing the company from being primarily a provider of technology services supporting rights-holders to being a multi-platform distribution company in its own right. As such, MLBAM may have just become the most disruptive force in sports TV, signaling to every broadcast and cable TV network which has an interest in sports TV -  from CBS, ABC, NBC, ESPN and on down the line - that the ground just shifted underneath them. Here’s why.

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