Cisco released its updated Visual Networking Index "VNI," forecasting that mobile video traffic will increase 14-fold from 2013 to 2018 and will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category. By 2018, mobile video will represent 69% of global mobile data traffic, up from 53% in 2013. Mobile video will account for more than 6 times as much mobile traffic as mobile web/data (11.7%), the next highest category.
By region, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest percentage of mobile video traffic (76%) in 2018 with the highest growth (84% CAGR). Interestingly, North American will have the second-lowest mobile video traffic percentage (67%) and the slowest growth rate (56% CAGR).
Categories: Mobile Video
Adobe has published its Q4 '13 U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report, finding that authenticated TV Everywhere streams more than doubled in 2013 to 574.2 million, up from 222.5 million in 2012. As the graph below shows, 73% of authenticated views occurred on mobile devices, 22% on desktop and less than 5% each on gaming consoles and connected TVs. For the mobile viewing, tablet share more than doubled vs. 2012 to 42%, with smartphone declining to 31%.
Free, short-form mobile video news is becoming a hot area of focus for established media companies. The latest evidence is this morning's announcement by NBCUniversal News Group of a minority investment in NowThis News as part of a broader content development collaboration involving all of NBC's news brands.
The investment follows the December acquisition of leading short-form mobile video news creator Newsy by E.W. Scripps for $35 million. That deal followed the launch by the New York Times, in late November, of the "New York Times Minute," a 3 times per day 1 minute video compilation of 3 top news stories of the moment which itself came on top of many other new video offerings from the Times. Meanwhile, in late December News Corp. acquired Storyful for $25 million to accelerate the use of short user-generated video in its and others' reporting.
And all of these follow numerous clip-oriented video news initiatives by a wide range of established and earlier-stage news organizations across both general and vertical subject areas (e.g. sports, entertainment, travel, etc.).
Akamai and NBC Sports announced this morning that Akamai will be powering video streaming, site performance and security services for the 2014 Winter Olympics on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will run from February 6-23.
NBC Sports plans to stream over 1,000 hours of Olympics content, double what it did 4 years ago from Vancouver. Streaming will include all 15 sports across 98 different events, plus lots of exclusive content such as interviews, athlete profiles and backstories that have become standard Olympics fare.
Brightcove announced this morning that it is acquiring Unicorn Media for approximately $49 million, a savvy move to expand into cloud-based video ad insertion, which is particularly beneficial for mobile devices.
Unicorn has differentiated itself by enabling content providers to dynamically insert ads in the cloud, rather than in the video player. By "stitching" ads in the cloud, Unicorn obviates some of the major issues in video ad insertion today, including delays and buffering caused by the video player switching between content and ad playback. These diminish the user experience, in turn causing abandonment which hurts overall consumption and monetization.
Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!
Perhaps the biggest sleeper hit of 2013 was Google's Chromecast. Launched cautiously and with little fanfare, momentum built in Q4 with a slew of new apps integrating the 'casting' feature. Since its launch, it has been the top-selling electronics item on Amazon. Not surprisingly, Google has big plans for Chromecast in 2014, including the debut of its software development kit (SDK) along with an aggressive international expansion, both certain to broaden consumer adoption.
Chromecast's big difference vs. all other connected TV devices is that it is almost 100% dependent on mobile devices in order to deliver its full value proposition to consumers (of course Chromecast would still work if you only had a computer using the Chrome browser, but it would far less appealing). In other words, Chromecast isn't just another connected TV device for viewing Netflix, Hulu and other OTT content on the TV, rather, it's more of a platform for bringing mobile's capabilities into the living room.
ESPN has reported a slew of viewership data for the 2013 college football season across both traditional TV and digital platforms. Of note, WatchESPN recorded a 20% increase in average live game usage vs. 2012, to 32,000 live unique viewers. Though that's a healthy increase, the incremental viewership WatchESPN represents is still quite small compared to TV viewing. ESPN said that its networks averaged nearly 1.9 million viewers for the 254 regular-season games that were broadcast. Across all of its networks, a total of 189 million people watched games.
I'm pleased to present the 206th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we discuss 3 of our key takeaways from this past Tuesday's VideoSchmooze, which over 230 industry executives attended. The morning was jam-packed with learning and insights, which I'll continue to share in the coming weeks, along with the session videos.
First, Colin shares the observation of Craig Moffett, who was on the opening session, that many content providers are assuming Netflix/other OTT providers are not a substitute for pay-TV over time. Craig believes this is an incorrect assumption and that if content providers come to depend too heavily on digital licensing revenues from Netflix and others, they run the risk of addicting themselves, even if/when their core businesses suffer due to audiences shifting.
Next, on the mobile video session I moderated, Silvia Lovato from PBSKids Digital shared the stunning data point that 75% of its viewership from its 2-5 year-old audience now occurs on mobile devices. I believe this has incredibly profound societal implications 10, 20 and 30 years down the road, as kids learn from the earliest age to expect programming fully on-demand.
Last, we turn to Smart TVs. On the online video advertising session, John Nitti from ZenithOptimedia (who oversees $10 billion of client spending) Eric Franchi from Undertone said Smart TVs are too fragmented to be an appealing environment for advertisers for now. As more online viewing shifts to the big screen, it's imperative that advertising follow, but the separate ecosystems of each Smart TV manufacturer makes it difficult for both developers and advertisers for now. Some form of aggregation/streamlining must occur to create the scale advertising requires.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 16 seconds)
Yesterday's VideoSchmooze drew 230+ attendees for a full morning of deep dives into the hottest topics in the industry. One of the sessions focused on mobile video and featured executives from ESPN, PBSKids and VEVO, which are already achieving huge mobile viewership, plus technology provider Beachfront Media, which is powering many popular mobile video apps. While I was moderating, my partner Colin Dixon took notes and he shares his observations below.
Mobile Video Experts Share Insights at VideoSchmooze
by Colin Dixon
At the VideoSchmooze event in NYC Tuesday I sat in on a panel moderated by my podcast partner, Will Richmond, entitled Mobile Video Rising. And according to the panel participants, it is rising indeed. We were treated to a host of eye-popping data showing just how far video to tablets and smartphones has come.
Damon Phillips, VP of Watch ESPN and ESPN3, said that two thirds of smartphone viewing occurred outside of the home. This is very different from other data I heard in June of this year that said that 64% of smartphone viewing and 82% of tablet viewing occurred in the home. Mr. Phillips went on to say that he was very surprised at the length of time people watched. On a smartphone, 15 minute viewing periods are common, while tablet viewing can go the whole length of a game. With respect to the smartphone, this led Mr. Phillips to comment that ESPN targeted shorter subject matter at the devices. The long viewing times on tablets, however, suggest it is being used as a TV replacement.
Beachfront Media announced the 2.0 version of its Beachfront Builder mobile video app platform at VideoSchmooze today, including new social, commerce, analytics and video management features. Beachfront's CEO Frank Sinton shared a demo with me last week and provided further details today.
Frank explained that Beachfront's customers have been looking to augment their video apps with more social and community-building capabilities. So with the Beachfront Builder 2.0, content providers can add social feeds from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, enabling users to engage within the apps themselves. Users can also login to create cross-platform watch later lists, comment and share videos more easily.
Topics: Beachfront Builder
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the biggest food holiday of the year. But for many people, food is a year-round personal obsession, which can now be amplified through mobile, social and video technologies. Operating at the intersection of these powerful trends is a startup called Tastemade, which is building a foodie community of digital natives through an innovative prosumer and user-generated video programming model. When I was in LA recently, I visited with Stephen Kydd, one of the 3 co-founders of Tastemade, who all worked together previously at Demand Media.
Here's a good news / bad news story for TV executives closely watching millennials' video consumption habits as a harbinger of what the future may look like. The good news is that, in new research by YuMe and IPG Media Lab, TV shows are still the most popular type of video millennials are watching, cited by 37% of the group.
The bad news however, is that among women 18-24, hours of TV viewing/week was down 10% year-over-year and among men 18-24 it was down 7%. Of note, user-generated content was a close second to TV shows in popularity, cited by 33% of millennials, and ahead of movies (28%), music videos (19%) and news (13%). For low-budget UGC to be vying so closely with expensive TV programming for millennials' attention says a lot about their changing tastes.
YouTube is now getting nearly 40% of its views from mobile devices, up from 6% in 2011. That nugget was shared by Google's CEO Larry Page in its Q3 2013 earnings call yesterday. YouTube is the latest content provider to share strong mobile viewership data; in the past several weeks BBC said its iPlayer mobile views are now up to 32% of total, VEVO said 50% of its views are mobile and PBS Kids said 75% of its are mobile.
These are clearly leaders in mobile and their viewership shows mobile's potential. More often these days, I'm hearing content providers say 20-30% is the range for their mobile views. Note, if you want to learn more about mobile video, both VEVO and PBS Kids (along with ESPN and Beachfront Media) will have executives speaking on the mobile video session at VideoSchmooze on Dec. 3rd (early bird discounted registration is now available).
It's common knowledge that watching online videos has become hugely popular, but it turns out that posting videos has also experienced a huge surge recently. According to new research from Pew, 31% of adult Internet users now post videos, more than double the 14% that did so back in 2009. Though posting is still most common among 18-29 year-olds (with 41% doing so), 30-49 year-olds are right behind (36%), trailed by 50+ year-olds (18%). See chart below.
Hulu has announced that its Hulu Plus apps for Android and iPad are now Chromecast-enabled (iPhone coming soon). The Hulu Plus apps join the initial launch apps (Netflix, YouTube, Google Play), which were announced concurrent with the device's debut in late July.
I'm not a Hulu Plus subscriber so I haven't tested with Chromecast, but from the company's blog post, it looks like all the existing apps' features are maintained, with integrated one touch casting to the TV via Chromecast the only change. In my original post on Chromecast, I noted that a key Chromecast advantage for content providers was that it leveraged existing apps, and via a simple SDK could enable the integrated casting capability. This means Chromecast updates are relatively simple and inexpensive to execute - both huge factors in getting content providers' much-coveted attention.
TV powerhouse FremantleMedia has launched a new mobile video app for its hit show Family Feud, available for iOS and Android devices. The app was built using Beachfront Media's Beachfront Builder technology and is being monetized via the company's Beachfront.io platform. The app offers dozens of short highlight clips categorized into channels such as Greatest Hits, Rated R, Interesting Answers, etc. FremantleMedia's Nicholas Dale said the app is meant to "connect with viewers in new ways and create engaging experiences in a multiplatform world."
Beachfront's CEO Frank Sinton told me in a briefing that a key part of FremantleMedia's decision to build its own app was to gain more control and improve the user experience vs. existing mobile viewing on YouTube and also to better monetize viewership. FremantleMedia will now funnel more of its mobile viewership to its own app.
Jun Group, the incentivized video ad provider, has shared a new infographic with a few interesting nuggets of data, indicating, among other things, that mobile video ads are getting longer and are also more engaging than video ads delivered online. Based on 10.2 million mobile and online video views in Q1 and Q2 2013, Jun Group found that 54% of mobile ads are now 30 seconds, 10% are 60 seconds and a surprising 32% are 90 seconds (personally I'm glad I haven't experienced one of these yet).
Topics: Jun Group
Amazon has announced its new Kindle Fire HDX tablet which includes many new features, but from a video perspective the one that stands out as a key differentiator is the ability to download Prime Instant Videos and watch them while not connected to the Internet. The downloading feature will be available to Prime members at no extra charge.
The new downloading feature opens up great new use cases (on a plane, at a beach, no WiFi, etc.) that add meaningful value to Prime membership and help to differentiate Prime from Netflix and the HDX from the category-leading iPad.
Interactive video advertising provider Innovid, and technology giant Cisco have unveiled a new partnership today at IBC meant to deliver interactive, contextual video ads to second screens.
As Innovid's CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter explained to me, the proof-of-concepts at IBC show how Innovid taps in, via API, to a Cisco-powered metadata stream associated with a pay-TV operator's services to TVs and second screen apps. The metadata allows Innovid to deliver interactive iRoll ads to the second screen apps that are synched with ads that are running on TV. A second proof-of-concept also shows this done by location. Second screen apps from pay-TV providers have become a key priority as part of their TV Everywhere initiatives.
I'm pleased to present the 195th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Colin patched in from Amsterdam, where he's attending the big IBC show. Colin sat in on an interesting session with Keith Hindle, CEO of FremantleMedia's Digital & Branded Entertainment Division. For those not familiar with Fremantle, it is one of the biggest producers of TV shows in the world, with credits like American Idol and The X Factor.
Colin shares some of Hindle's key observations about how the TV landscape is shifting, the powerful role of 2nd screen apps in attracting advertisers, the paradigm of "paid/owned/earned" media and how to balance TV distribution vs. online (Fremantle is the 12th-ranked YouTube content partner). Lots of great insights.
We then shift our focus to the plethora of data this week quantifying the surge in mobile and tablet viewing. I have covered new reports from FreeWheel, Ooyala, VEVO and TubeMogul this week, all supporting this trend. VEVO in particular is capitalizing, with 50% of its views now on mobile, tablet and connected TVs (note, the success of VEVO TV has been a huge contributor on the latter).
Still, as we agree, it's important to remember that TVs and desktops are where the vast majority of video viewing currently occurs, per Nielsen and FreeWheel data respectively. This is changing each quarter, but it's an evolutionary, not revolutionary shift.
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(Note there is a 3 second drop-out in the audio mid-way. Apologies, we're not sure what happened. During it, I am referencing VEVO TV.)