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.
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 43 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!
(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.)
Ooyala is showing a new mosaic player, giving viewers the option to watch up to 5 live or on-demand video streams simultaneously. The company has also released its Q2 2013 Global Video Index, with new data reinforcing the growth of mobile and tablet video.
The mosaic player (see screen shot below) will first be available on the desktop, and subsequently will roll out on tablets, smartphones and connected devices. Ooyala's director of products Sudhir Kaushik showed it to me last week and explained it is mainly intended for sports broadcasters looking to provide multiple camera angles and/or sports fans trying to watch multiple games at once. Sudhir touted the increased monetization opportunities that the mosaic player creates, as well as the personalization for users. All of Ooyala's analytics are included in the mosaic player.
Mobile is emerging as the locus of innovation in the video user experience, with yesterday's unveiling of the new Yahoo Screen app as the latest evidence. Content providers appear to have realized that the tablet, in particular, offers a new navigation canvas that enables elegant design and graphics with intuitive touch-based interactivity. Combined, the user can be immersed in content to an unprecedented level.
An interesting nugget of data in TubeMogul's quarterly research report released last week was that the click-through rate on mobile video pre-roll ads in the U.S. is a robust 4.9%, more than 8 times higher than the .6% CTR that TubeMogul tracked for pre-rolls on non-mobile devices. Of the 5 countries TubeMogul reported on, the U.S. disparity is by far the biggest, with Canada and Australia following with about a 3x higher CTR for mobile vs. non-mobile (see chart below).
Video ad tech provider Dynamix has rolled out advanced reporting and analytics in its STREAMx platform, enabling advertisers and publishers to track at a deeper level the performance of dynamically-created video ads. Dynamix's core capability is creating and delivering unique in-stream video ads and engagement opportunities based on data such as location, device, user behavior, etc.
Beachfront Media, which last month announced its Beachfront.iO mobile video ad platform, is introducing a new interactive video unit, enabling features to drive deeper brand engagement (see samples here). Advertisers can select up to 4 different calls to action to add to their pre-roll ad, including Facebook/Twitter links, click-to-call buttons, map-it functions and links to app store for further downloads and others. A "skinned final screen" is also available for enhanced branding.
Topics: Beachfront Builder
Online video platform provider Ooyala has released its Q1 '13 Global Video Index, showing, among other things, that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) accounted for more than 10% of online video views in the quarter, a new record. The total share of tablet video viewing alone grew by 33% in Q1.
It's not just the number of views that are up for mobile, but also time spent: watching long-form video (10 minutes or longer) on mobile devices grew from 41% of all time watched in Q1 '12 to 53% of all time watched in Q1 '13, an increase of 29%. Digging in deeper, for tablets, 25% of all viewing time was for content 60 minutes or longer.
Periodically someone asks me how I think of the relative level of social networking use vs. video consumption. Of course they have both have been huge trends over the past 5 years, and they are very complimentary to each other. But, at least when it comes to mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) social dominates video in terms of time spent according to Nielsen's Q1 Cross-Platform Report, released late last week.
Looking at app-only usage on smartphones, social networking notched 9 hours, 6 minutes per person per month, nearly 8x as much as the 1 hour, 15 minutes of video viewed per person per month. For iPads, the range is tighter, with app-only social networking racking up 3 hours, 41 minutes per person per month, just over twice as much as the 1 hour, 48 minutes of video viewed per person per month. This makes sense to me because the iPad is more of a "personal TV" and therefore prone to longer-form viewing.
I'm pleased to present the 180th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. There was a rush of interest around live streaming this week. Among the news items: ABC,TNT and TBS announced live streaming of their linear feeds; YouTube expanded its live feature and Brightcove launched a new live module, which followed thePlatform doing the same last week.
For live streaming TV, neither Colin nor I believe it will have broad appeal, with the possible exception of sports and maybe certain breaking news/events. It's no secret that on-demand, time-shifted viewing has surged in popularity, due to DVR penetration above 50% of U.S. homes and the widespread availability of TV programs online for on-demand use. So in a way live streaming TV is trying to put the genie back in the bottle - getting on-demand viewers to go back to linear.
The fundamental inconsistency to me in this is that if you're tech-savvy enough to be drawn to live streaming on an iOS device, you're even more likely to now be a mainly on-demand viewer. And for those not tech-savvy, who still do enjoy linear viewing, well, why do you need an live streaming app when you can just watch on your TV as you always have? Even the sports use case is a bit thin as watching out-of-home for most will be very expensive given mobile data rates, and most mobile device viewing happens in the home anyway.
Nonetheless, Colin and I describe all the reasons we think other TV networks are likely to roll out live streaming in the coming months as well. Maybe we're missing something, but it strikes us that these will have more to do with PR (countering Aereo for example) and supporting TV Everywhere/retransmission consent negotiations and won't end up resonating broadly with users. More interesting I think is the CW's move to make its shows available free next day on-demand via Apple TV and other devices which seems in synch with users' expectations.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 17 seconds)