4C - leaderboard - 4-25-18

Analysis for 'Devices'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #424: Exploring the Benefits of Advertising on Connected TVs

    I’m pleased to present the 424th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    At this past Tuesday’s VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit, Colin moderated a session, “Connected TVs’ Ad-Supported Future,” with Rich Calacci (Pluto TV), Jim Keller (Hulu), Frank Sinton (Beachfront Media) and Seth Walters (Roku) participating. In the first segment of this week’s podcast, we discuss the reasons panelists cited for why ads on connected TVs are so appealing to advertisers, among other topics.

    We then transition to some of the highlights of the keynote interview with David Lawenda (EVP, Digital Sales and Strategy, CBS), with particular focus on his comments about advertisers’ reluctance to pay more just because ad loads are lighter. A range of TV networks are lightening their ad loads to provide a better experience compared to ad-free SVOD, but the benefits are uncertain according to David.

    Finally, we touch on interesting data that Group Nine Media’s SVP of Ad Solutions and Innovation Hayden Lynch made in my interview with him around the difficulties of monetizing video distributed on platforms. Group Nine’s properties generate around 6 billion views/month, but only 10-20% of them are being monetized, which is pretty eye-opening.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 45 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #423: Apple and Amazon Help Pay-TV Operators. Wait, What?

    I’m pleased to present the 423rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Apple and Amazon aren’t two companies that come to mind for helping traditional pay-TV operators, but this week brought news of both doing exactly that. Apple announced at its WWDC the integration of Charter’s Spectrum app in Apple TV that will allow users to gain “zero sign-on” access to the app’s content. Other operators have made their apps available on connected TV devices, but this was a first for Apple TV.

    Then Amazon announced its Fire TV Cube, a mashup of Echo and Fire TV that also aspires to control your entertainment center. The device includes IR blasters to provide limited control over existing set-top boxes, a rare instance where Amazon is looking to help a prior technology rather than disrupt it.

    Colin and I discuss both moves, as well as the broader context that we see for the “appification of TV.” This is already happening with vMVPDs and we expect over the next couple years all major pay-TV operators will have apps for their services available on all major CTVs. For consumers this will be a huge win as they can avoid renting often outdated and expensive set-tops.

    (Note, Colin will be moderating the “Connected TV’s Ad-Supported Future” panel at the VideoNuze Online Video Ad Summit on Tuesday. Register now!)

    Listen in to learn more!


     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 44 seconds)


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  • Amazon’s New Fire TV Cube Plays Nice With Pay-TV Set-Top Boxes

    Amazon launched its new Fire TV Cube this morning - logically combining an Echo device with a Fire TV. But the Fire TV Cube has higher ambitions: to be an entertainment hub, controlling compatible TVs, sounds bars, A/V receivers and even cable or satellite set-top boxes, to deliver 4K TV. The set-top box integrations mean that Amazon is positioning the Fire TV Cube as a surprising friend to pay-TV, rather than a disruptor, the company’s typical role.

    Amazon said that the Fire TV Cube is compatible with set-top boxes from Comcast, Dish and DirecTV, Spectrum, Verizon, Cox, Alice and Frontier, covering more than 90% of households with a cable or satellite subscription. The feat is accomplished through the use of IR blasters in the Fire TV Cube that can switch the input to the set-top box and then turn it on/off and change channels. I haven’t tried the Fire TV Cube yet so I don’t know how well any of this works, but my prior experiences with IR have shown it can be finicky.

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  • In Focus: Connected TVs’ Ad-Supported Future

    Our 8th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit is coming up on Tuesday, June 12th. In the next few weeks leading up to it, I’m going to do something new - a series of posts called “In Focus,” each of which will provide a preview of one Ad Summit Session, including what I hope you’ll learn and why I think the topic is important.

    There is a ton going on in the video industry these days, and as an analyst, I’m constantly trying to identify and write about the most critical trends and news. I use the same approach in programming the Ad Summit. Hopefully the result is an outstanding day of learning for Ad Summit attendees.

    This first “In Focus” post looks at our 2:10pm session, Connected TVs’ Ad-Supported Future, which includes Rich Calacci (Chief Revenue Officer, Pluto TV), Jim Keller (VP, Sales, Hulu), Frank Sinton (Founder, Beachfront Media) and Seth Walters (VP, Demand Partnerships, Roku), with Colin Dixon (Principal Analyst, nScreenMedia) moderating.

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  • Evidence of Connected TVs’ Advertising Momentum Grows

    Connected TVs like Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV and others were originally used mainly for watching ad-free SVOD services on the big screen. But as the sheer number of ad-supported premium video apps available on CTVs has exploded, consumption has broadened considerably. All of that viewing is creating a growing volume of highly-desirable CTV ad inventory. Monetization of this inventory is starting to show up in public company financials and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #419: New Connected TV Research, Roku’s Q1 Results; Apple Video Subscriptions

    I’m pleased to present the 419th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. We’re grateful to this week’s podcast sponsor, Ad-ID, which is the standard for identifying advertising assets. This week, Ad-ID, Extreme Reach, Adstream, and the IAB Tech Lab, released a paper about ad clouds and a universal asset identifier.

    (Apologies that our audio quality is a little choppy this week)

    First up, Colin discusses highlights from his new report, The Secret Life of Streamers, Part II, which details the rise of connected TV usage, especially in primetime. Colin shares some of the key data points, including how PC viewing has been eclipsed in the past year and how viewership patterns vary by country.

    Speaking of CTV usage, Roku reported a very strong Q1 ’18 earlier this week, with Platform revenues (which includes advertising and licensing), edging ahead of device sales for the first time. With Platform’s higher margins, Roku’s overall financial performance improved as well. We dig into the details.

    Finally, we touch on this week’s Bloomberg report that Apple may enable video subscriptions in its TV app. It seems like a smart move to both of us, though very late, given Amazon has been in market with its Channels program since 2015.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 25 seconds)



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  • Apple’s Plan to Offer Video Subscriptions Would Be Smart, But Way Late

    Bloomberg reported yesterday that Apple may enable video subscriptions within its TV app, which is available across iOS devices and Apple TV. It would be a smart, although very late, move by Apple to horn in on the video subscription boom. And Bloomberg correctly characterized it as an apparent copycat effort by Apple to emulate what Amazon has been doing with its Channels program since it originally launched way back in December, 2015 as the Streaming Partners Program.

    If you haven’t used Apple’s TV app, it allows single sign-on access to many cable and broadcast TV Everywhere apps, which would otherwise need to be individually authenticated, cross-app browsing, search and recommendations and multi-platform viewing. For people with an Apple TV in particular, it’s a handy app that aggregates a lot of content (including what you’ve purchased from iTunes) and in typical Apple style, presents it in a nice interface.

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  • You.i TV to Power History’s Connected TV App

    Video app technology provider You.i TV said it will power History’s new TV Everywhere app for connected TVs, using the React Native development platform. React Native is an open source, javascript application platform backed by Facebook. While originated mainly for mobile use, Trisha Cooke, You.i TV’s head of marketing, told me in a briefing that React Native is gaining momentum in CTV as well, for its ability to leverage underlying code for iOS and Android.

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  • SpotX Adds Nielsen Data for Connected TV Audience Measurement

    In another sign of how important connected TVs are becoming for ad-supported content, supply-side platform SpotX announced this morning that it is offering advertisers enhanced audience measurement for ad campaigns on connected TV devices using Nielsen data.

    Advertisers will be able to measure the unduplicated and incremental reach of their campaigns across SpotX campaigns on CTV alongside their traditional linear TV ads. Campaign measurement will include data on reach, frequency and GRPs of CTV ads. The Nielsen data will also be used for insights on CTV ads relative to desktop and mobile ads as well as linear TV.

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  • Research: Ads On Roku Drive 67% Higher Purchase Intent Than Linear TV

    Some good news this morning for advertisers and content providers trying to navigate the shift from linear TV to on-demand viewing on connected TV devices. Roku has released data from research it did with MAGNA, IPG Media Lab and 4 advertisers (Applebee’s, H&M, McCormick and Truvia), finding that video ads run on Roku were 67% more effective per exposure in driving purchase intent than those on traditional broadcast and cable TV.

    The study also found that to drive comparable brand lift, only 7 exposures were needed on Roku, vs. 10 on linear TV. Also interesting is that advertising on Roku appears to have a halo effect, with consumers considering brands that ran video ads on Roku to be twice as innovative as those just on linear TV.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #416: Netflix’s Impressive Q1; Amazon and Best Buy Partner for Smart TVs

    I’m pleased to present the 416th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Netflix reported its Q1 ’18 results earlier this week and once again the performance was very strong, with revenue up 43% and average paid streaming subscribers up 25% to 125 million globally. Colin and I discuss what’s driving the company. With 55.1 million paid U.S. subscribers at the end of Q1, it’s possible that Netflix will hit 60 million by the end of 2018, which is the low end of the range of 60-90 million the company has long said it believed it could achieve.

    We then turn to discussing Amazon’s new deal with Best Buy for its “Fire TV Edition” smart TVs, which were announced earlier this week. We agree that the move is yet another aggressive step in Amazon’s goal to dominate both the living room and whole home. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also announced this week that Prime has hit 100 million subscribers with video continuing to drive acquisition and retention. Colin and I both see Amazon expanding further by launching a skinny bundle pay-TV service sometime in 2018.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 7 seconds)



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  • Amazon Pushes Into Smart TVs With Rival Best Buy as Unlikely Partner

    Amazon is making a major push into smart TVs, with rival Best Buy as an unlikely partner. The companies announced that Best Buy will introduce more than ten 4K and HD “Fire TV Edition” TVs from Toshiba this summer and in-house brand Insignia later this year. Best Buy has had a deal with Roku for its Insignia line, which will now end. Amazon has had a Fire TV Edition model with Element that is being discontinued.

    The new Fire TV Edition TVs will be sold exclusively in Best Buy physical stores, on BestBuy.com and from Best Buy as a third-party seller on Amazon.

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  • 5 Soundbites from NABShow Online Video Program

    Yesterday I produced the Online Video Program at the NABShow in Las Vegas. It was a great day of learning, with 30+ speakers on 8 sessions focusing on the rise of OTT. There were many highlights, but to be brief, below I’ve summarized 5 soundbites that hit my radar:

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #414: DVDs Fade Out; 4K Streaming Hits Data Caps

    I’m pleased to present the 414th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    DVDs have been fading for years now, as viewers shift to streaming alternatives. This week marked another milestone in that evolution as Oppo, which made high-end DVD players, announced it was shutting down its manufacturing. Colin shares the statistics on DVDs’ decline and how inexpensive smart TVs and connected TV devices that support both UHD/4K and HDR have gained share.

    However, the downside of streaming UHD/4K content is that it uses up a ton of bandwidth. Colin shares his personal story of almost exceeding his 1 TB/month data cap and the math behind how easy it is to do that when consuming UHD/4K content. He also explains the challenge of controlling the quality of what stream is delivered and how to overcome it.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 26 seconds)



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  • Comcast Technology Solutions - full banner - 3-28-18
  • Comcast Adds Sling TV International Content to X1

    Comcast is continuing to add programming choices to its X1 set-top boxes, this morning announcing that the Sling TV international app will be made available. Sling TV international offers live and on-demand streaming of over 395 different networks, spanning 21 different languages. Pricing starts at $10 per month and new users can sign up on X1.

    The addition of Sling TV international follows Comcast adding Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and NPR One to X1 over the past 6 months. Because X1 has a broadband connection and can run apps, it’s critical to Comcast’s strategy of bridging online content with traditional TV content. Late last year Comcast also announced deals with AMC and FX to offer subscription, ad-free services from both networks, exclusively for X1 subscribers.

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  • Beachfront and WhiteOps Collaborate on Connected TV Ads

    Video supply-side platform Beachfront is expanding its partnership with cybersecurity provider WhiteOps to also ensure fraud-free connected TV video ad inventory. WhiteOps specializes in bot detection and human verification. The new CTV collaboration is focused in particular on mid-tail and long-tail video. Beachfront said last November that CTV ad requests jumped to over 2 billion in Q3 '17, with a completion rate of 97% and viewability of 100%.

    Connected TVs are one of the hottest areas of online video, as consumers rapidly adopt the devices and smart TVs to be able to access OTT video. While CTVs were initially used mainly to access ad-free SVOD services, ad-supported services have gained share recently. eMarketer estimates there were 168 million connected TV users in the U.S. at the end of 2017, which will rise to 194.4 million by 2021.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #408: Roku’s Transition Continues; OTT Revitalizes HBO and Showtime

    I’m pleased to present the 408th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Roku reported a strong Q4 ’17 holiday quarter this week as it continues to transition to an ad-based business model driven off its 19 million+ active users. Roku is in the middle of all of the industry key trends and Colin and I discuss the company’s results and how we see the business going forward.

    We then turn to how HBO and Showtime have been revitalized by OTT delivery. 2017 results show how both traditional networks are using direct-to-consumer and new online distribution models to make their programming more easily accessible to viewers and achieve record subscribership. Their success is a textbook example of how OTT is shaking up longstanding industry norms.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 2 seconds)



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  • Roku Continues Transition to OTT Ad Business

    Roku reported a very strong holiday Q4 ’17 yesterday, with revenue increasing 28% to $188.3 million from $147.3 million in Q4 ’16. Roku turned in its most profitable quarter ever, with net income of $9.5 million, up from $3.4 million a year ago. Active accounts increased 44% to 19.3 million, with streaming hours up 55% to 4.3 billion hours in Q4.

    Digging deeper, it’s clear that Roku is continuing its transition to an OTT ad business, built on its installed base of Roku players and Roku TVs. The company’s “Platform revenue” which includes both content distribution and advertising, accounted for $85.4 million, or 45% of total Q4 ’17 revenue, as compared with Q4 ’16 when it was $37.3 million, or 25.3% of revenue. Within Platform revenue, advertising generated 75% of the total, compared to less than two thirds a year ago.

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  • Perspective What's this? OTT Advertising in 2018: From AI to Server-Side Ad Insertions

    OTT viewership has increased dramatically in the last year. So, it is no surprise that ad dollars are pouring into the category. Reports estimate that advertising revenue in the market just exceeded $50 billion for the first time. And as more OTT options and channels emerge, and as OTT advertising capabilities and measurement grow more sophisticated, investments will continue to rise.
     
    Beyond growth, however, how else will the OTT ad landscape evolve this year? 2017 saw a number of unique developments, from more traditional broadcasters entering the space to a surge in acquisitions. But what will happen in 2018?

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #402: Hulu’s Growth, DVDs Fall and CES Recap

    I’m pleased to present the 402nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we start by discussing Hulu’s growth to over 17 million subscribers, which it reported earlier this week. Both of us are impressed by the numbers, which makes Hulu a firm #3 in the SVOD market. The key number that we’d like to know is how many new subscribers are taking the ad-supported version, which has dominated in the past.

    Hulu’s and SVOD’s growth have come at the expense of viewers owning and renting video, as Colin explains in his review of recent Q4 ’17 DEG data. DVDs fell a whopping 22% vs. Q4 ’16 and rentals were down as well. The only category that grew was SVOD. Related, the dominance of SVOD makes me wonder how Apple is going to monetize its high-profile original TV shows. If Apple sticks with a transactional model it will be facing serious headwinds.

    Finally, Colin shares a few thoughts on CES product news from Samsung, LG and Intel.

    Listen in to learn more!


     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 30 seconds)


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