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Analysis for 'Podcasts'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #358: Apple and Facebook Have Contrasting Ambitions in Video

    I’m pleased to present the 358th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Apple and Facebook have contrasting ambitions in video, with the former pursuing a very modest approach while the latter appears to be embarking on an all-out company pivot to being video-first.

    Earlier this week I wrote about Apple’s new TV series,  “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke” spinoff. They each have their own appeal, but are far from the expensive undertakings we’ve seen from Netflix and Amazon, for example. That means that far from re-inventing TV as Apple was one predicted to do, it will in fact continue to play a very small role, which Colin and I see as a real missed opportunity.

    Meanwhile, Facebook has confirmed it will launch connected TV apps as the company aims to have users expand how they engage with the social media giant. Colin and discuss some of the pros and cons of the CTV approach and also Facebook’s motivation, which is to attract TV ad dollars.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 30 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #357: Super Bowl Streaming and NFL Viewing; Assessing HBO Now’s Growth

    I’m pleased to present the 357th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up, Colin shares his experiences streaming the Super Bowl on numerous services and devices. Overall the video quality was pretty strong, especially on Sling TV. Colin also used the Fox VR app with Google Cardboard and relays his reactions.

    While Super Bowl LI was one of the best-viewed in history, NFL ratings this past season declined across the board and we discuss what’s likely happening. As I wrote earlier this week, the wide adoption of ad-free SVOD feels like a major culprit.

    We then transition HBO Now, which Time Warner reported earlier this week now has over 2 million subscribers. Neither Colin nor I are super-impressed with HBO Now’s growth, especially by comparison with Netflix’s performance in the same time period. We both think HBO Now’s relatively high price of $15/month is the key issue.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 53 seconds)


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #356: Exploring "TV As An App," Super Bowl Ads

    I’m pleased to present the 356th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we explore the concept of “TV as an app,” which represents a paradigm shift in how TV is accessed by viewers. Of course the rise of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others has paved the way for app-based viewing, but an entire TV lineup being delivered via an app to a connected TV device is still a significant change from conventional set-top box-based viewing.

    “TV as an app” got a boost this week with Comcast’s beta release of the Xfinity TV app for Roku. I’ve given it an initial try and provide some observations. In addition, Colin was moderating a panel on video apps this week and shares further insights he heard.

    We then shift focus to this Sunday’s Super Bowl, which will once again feature multiple free streaming options as well as localized dynamic ad insertion in the streams, which is a first. I’m keeping an eye on the ads to see if they offer any meaningful viewer engagement.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 8 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #355: Millennials Go Cordless, Netflix Reality TV, YouTube Targeting and FCC’s Overhaul

    I’m pleased to present the 355th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we discuss four topics that caught our attention and we wrote about: research from GFK MRI that 30% of U.S. millennials are now “cordless” (here), Netflix’s move into reality TV programming (here); Google enabling YouTube ad targeting based on users’ searches (here) and the new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai (here). We dig into all of these topics and discuss their implications.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 49 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #354: Interview with Sling TV’s Chief Product Officer Ben Weinberger

    I’m pleased to present the 354th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I interview Sling TV’s chief product officer Ben Weinberger. We’ve known Ben for many years from when he was CEO and founder of Digitalsmiths, which was acquired by TiVo.

    As loyal listeners know, we’ve discussed “skinny bundles” like Sling TV many times on the podcast and so the interview was a great opportunity to get Ben’s views on the category in general and how Sling TV specifically is doing. We discussed many different topics, including the role of broadcast TV networks and antennas, sports and regional sports networks, how subscribers use the service on different devices, how Sling TV fits with SVOD services and much more.

    Importantly, Ben talks a lot about Sling TV’s value propositions including offering more choices and flexible packages. We wrap up with Ben sharing his views on where the market is heading over the next few years.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 15 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #353: Lots of Reasons to be Optimistic About Mobile Video’s Growth

    I’m pleased to present the 353rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about mobile video’s upcoming growth and on this week’s podcast, Colin and I explore them. 2017 is setting up as a major year of change for mobile video, with numerous positive catalysts.

    These include wireless carriers zero-rating their video services and investing in content, mobile data plans becoming more flexible, cable operators entering the wireless market, Facebook emphasizing video, smartphones’ enhanced capabilities, a more conducive regulatory environment and much more. (Colin and I also wrote about these earlier this week here and here)

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 25 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #352: Predictions for 2017

    Happy New Year! I’m pleased to present the 352nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I share our top predictions for the video industry in 2017. We also look back at our predictions for 2016 and rate how we did, which was pretty good.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (27 minutes, 33 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #351: The Top 10 Online Video Stories of 2016

    I'm pleased to present the 351st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss our top 10 online video stories of 2016. It’s been another incredibly busy year with tons of industry innovation and progress. As always, it has been a lot of fun to analyze all of this and report on it. Let us know what you think of our choices, whether you agree or disagree!

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (29 minutes, 45 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #350: Lots of Reasons Why Sports TV Will Be Under Pressure in 2017

    I'm pleased to present the 350th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we return to the cost of sports and specifically why sports TV will be under pressure in 2017. Colin noted new SNL Kagan data this week that sports programming now costs pay-TV operators $18.37/month, which is 40% of their total programming budget. Colin also noticed that DirecTV is planning to increase its rates by $2-$6/month next month, which it blamed on the rising costs of programming.

    These types of increases will no doubt contribute to a rising level of cord-cutting and cord-nevering, especially for entertainment-centric viewers who now have more choices of great TV shows to watch than ever and therefore have less reason to pay for expensive multichannel bundles. We’ve seen some of this effect already in the soft NFL ratings this season. Then there’s the question of where skinny bundles will fit in with sports; they’ll almost certainly have to keep sports to a minimum to maintain low rates.

    As we discuss, all of this threatens the unique value of sports as a firewall for pay-TV, live viewing and advertising - the reasons why sports rights have ballooned in the first place. 2017 is going to be a very important in redefining sports’ actual value in the video ecosystem.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 45 seconds)
     


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #349: DirecTV Now Has Potential and Limitations

    I'm pleased to present the 349th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    DirecTV Now, the latest skinny bundle to launch, was unveiled on Monday. In this week’s podcast, Colin and I provide our initial assessment. Given AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s bold reveal a few weeks ago that it would include over a 100 channels for just $35/month, there’s been a lot of anticipation that DirecTV Now could be a genuine industry disruptor.

    Well, it turns out the 100+ channels are actually available at $60/month (the “Go Big” tier), though temporarily on special for $35/month. However, the base tier (“Live a Little”), which includes 60+ channels, turns out to be pretty decent itself, especially with a very aggressive $5/month HBO offer. What’s gained by moving up to Go Big for an extra $25 is actually not that impressive.

    Still, as we discuss, with no DVR, limited VOD, scarce broadcast TV (and no CBS at all) and a 2-stream cap, DirecTV Now feels like a niche product. At least for now, that means it will have little impact on incumbent pay-TV operators, tamping down concerns it could roil the industry. Skinny bundles still have lots of challenges, though 2017 is going to be an active year, especially with Hulu and YouTube coming, so it will be worth keeping a close eye on whole category.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 43 seconds)


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #348: Cord-Cutting Update; How Do Ads Fit Into Video’s Future?

    I'm pleased to present the 348th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    We lead off this week with a cord-cutting update, based on reported Q3’16 results from the 11 largest pay-TV operators in the U.S. Video subscriber losses expanded a bit, to 255K in Q3 ’16 vs. 210K in Q3 ’15, with a continuing shift to cable operators and away from satellite and telco. As I wrote on Wednesday, depending on how the DirecTV Now, Hulu and YouTube skinny bundle launches in 2017, subscriber losses could accelerate.

    We then shift to discussing new TiVo survey data that provides insights about online video viewers’ tolerance for ads. As Colin points out, despite respondents stating they have a low tolerance, their behavior suggests otherwise. That suggests there’s more potential for ad-supported premium video, in addition to the SVOD model that has thrived.  

    Speaking of ads, I also point out the surprising research from Brightcove this week, that 46% of people who watched a branded video on a social platform then made a purchase. That’s the kind of performance that gets marketers’ attention and could portend an increase of more TV ad dollars moving to social.

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



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #347: Facebook’s Video Ambitions

    I'm pleased to present the 347th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast we discuss Facebook’s video ambitions. Colin was in London at the OTT TV World Summit where he saw a fascinating presentation by Matthew Corbin, who’s in global product marketing for Facebook. Colin shares highlights of what he learned, including how Facebook thinks of itself as the “world’s discovery agent.” Matthew said Facebook thinks of itself “not as a broadcast network, but as a network of broadcasters,” which feels like an apt description. Combined with Facebook’s targeting capabilities, this translates to lots of potential.

    On Facebook’s Q3 ’16 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also highlighted how he wants video to be at the center of all of Facebook’s apps and services. It’s becoming clearer that the primary way Facebook is going to be able to continue its torrid revenue growth is by shifting over more TV ad spending, hence the push toward video.

    After discussing Facebook, we shift gears and spend 5 minutes reviewing the excellent Comcast-Netflix integration which I wrote about earlier this week.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 26 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #346: Is YouTube’s Own Success Hurting YouTube Red’s Prospects?

    I'm pleased to present the 346th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I discuss YouTube’s continued success, picking up on my post from earlier this week. Google’s executive team highlighted YouTube’s contribution to the company’ Q3 ’16 financial results. One of the big reasons is the viewer- and advertiser-friendly TrueView ad format, which can be skipped in 5 seconds.

    But TrueView’s popularity has created a high bar for ad-free subscription services based on YouTube content, to succeed. Vessel was one victim and now even YouTube’s own YouTube Red SVOD service, which has a reported 1.5 million subscribers, is under the same pressure. Colin and I explore the issues YouTube Red faces.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 58 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #345: At $35 Per Month, Is DirecTV Now Going to Disrupt the Pay-TV Industry?

    I'm pleased to present the 345th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    What a week it’s been. Google Fiber’s expansion being put on hold. Vessel sold off just for its technology to Verizon. Twitter planning to close Vine. And yet, none of those are the big story of the week for today’s podcast.

    Rather, we dig into the news that DirecTV Now will be priced at just $35/month, a level which virtually guarantees it will be a money-loser from day 1 for AT&T. Worse, it runs the risk of cannibalizing high-margin existing pay-TV subscribers from both DirecTV and other pay-TV operators. We don’t know yet which “100+ premium” channels will be in DirecTV Now, but if they include most of what people are currently paying 2-3 times as much for per month, it could be very disruptive.

    More broadly we discuss AT&T’s pay-TV strategy, the DirecTV acquisition last year and now the pending Time Warner deal. All of it is a real head-scratcher for me.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 40 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #344: A Busy Week in the Video Industry

    I'm pleased to present the 344th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week was busier than usual in the video industry and on today’s podcast, Colin and I discuss a number of news items that hit our radar. First we talk about the new Google-CBS deal for the upcoming Unplugged skinny bundle. Next up is VUDU’s Movies on Us, new free, ad-supported VOD service which we both think has potential. We then dig into Facebook’s new feature for advance scheduling and promoting live broadcasts. Finally we review LeEco’s new content and TVs (Colin attended the company’s big launch event this week.)

    Clearly there was a lot happening this week as major players in the video industry continue jockeying for position. One news item that broke after we recorded is the rumor about AT&T acquiring Time Warner. That type of deal would be straight out of the Comcast-NBCU playbook and could trigger even more distribution-content tie-ups.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (26 minutes, 17 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #343: Is SVOD Behind the NFL’s Ratings Decline?

    I'm pleased to present the 343rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    As has been widely reported, TV audiences for NFL football games have decreased this season, in some cases by double-digit percentages. That has a lot of people wondering what’s going on, Colin and me included.  

    In this week’s podcast, we discuss the various explanations that have been raised, most notably interest in the presidential election. But, politics aside, we both wonder whether the proliferation of viewing choices from SVOD and other sources are now having an impact. We’ll know more when we see the NFL ratings post-election.

    All of this matters because sports (and the NFL specifically) have been critical to the value of pay-TV subscriptions and advertising, which depends on live viewing. If sports viewing declines, that would further upset TV’s value proposition.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #342: Will Amazon’s SVOD Partnering Success Prompt Others to Follow Its Model?

    I'm pleased to present the 342nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Earlier this week I wrote about the success Amazon is having with its Streaming Partners Program, which now includes 75 different SVOD services, likely representing about three-quarters of all SVOD offerings in the U.S. As I explain on the podcast, the program appears to be a win for all parties, including viewers.

    Colin is enthusiastic as well, noting he’s signed up for 3 different services already. Amazon’s early aggregation success will likely lead to others to follow its model, and one example that’s hit Colin’s radar is VRV ("verve"). Colin shares details about VRV’s strategy and why Mondo Media, a successful adult animation creator, just signed up with VRV.  

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #341: Video Viewing Behavior Shifts; Downloading’s Value

    I'm pleased to present the 341st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Over the past few years, online video viewing has become a completely mainstream activity. There are no better indicators of this shift than viewers’ adoption of mobile and connected TV devices for watching increasingly long-form entertainment programming. Yesterday’s FreeWheel VMR for Q2 ’16 revealed key data around these trends, which Colin and I dig into today.

    Critical for mobile video viewing (which we explored in depth on last week’s podcast) to expand further is improving viewing experiences. This is being addressed in lots of ways, and I continue to believe that downloading, for offline viewing, is one of the main solutions. Colin and I also discuss the value of downloading, in the context of YouTube Go, a new offline viewing app launched earlier this week.

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    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 56 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #340: Mobile Video Soars, With Big Changes Ahead in 2017

    I'm pleased to present the 340th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we return to the topic of mobile video, which we last discussed in June. Mobile video has reached a milestone, according to new Ooyala data, reaching nearly 51% of all video views, which is 10 times greater share than just 4 years ago.

    Mobile video has soared mainly due to the proliferation of smartphones. However monthly data caps have curbed mobile video, as users have learned how expensive exceeding their plans can be. This is why T-Mobile’s “Binge-On” has been so popular and why we’re now seeing the advent of other “zero-rated” services like DirecTV Now.

    But as Colin and I discuss, mobile video could get a big boost in 2017 as Comcast and Charter both announced this week they’ll enter the mobile business (here and here). Because they’ll be leveraging millions of their WiFi hotspots, they will likely be able to not only offer bigger data plans, but also charge subscribers less by bundling mobile phone with other services.

    (Note, one clarification - I said I didn’t know of any video service on Verizon Wireless that is zero-rated, but in fact Go90 is.)

    Listen in to learn more
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #339: Turner Moves Toward Direct-to-Consumer; Tough Realities for Skinny Bundles

    I'm pleased to present the 339th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss Time Warner’s investment earlier this week in You.i TV, a video app development platform. Colin notes that the acquisition furthers Turner’s strategy of owning its own technology and going direct-to-consumer. From my standpoint, You.i TV is critical in streamlining Turner’s app development across multiple connected devices, where viewing is migrating.

    We then transition to talking about skinny bundle research from Altman Vilandrie & Co., which I wrote about yesterday. The data confirmed my skepticism about how difficult it will be for skinny bundle providers to offer sufficiently comprehensive channel lineups while still enticing subscribers with cost savings. We dig into some of the most salient data points.

    (apologies, the recording quality was a little sub-par this week)

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 16 seconds)



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