Despite all the talk of massive cord-cutting being just around the corner, evidence continues to demonstrate that the U.S. pay-TV business remains relatively healthy. The latest, from Leichtman Research Group, shows that the 13 largest U.S. pay-TV operators, which together account for 95% of the market, lost just 125K subscribers in 2014. That was basically even with the 95K they lost in 2013 (see chart below).
LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman noted that the 220K subscribers lost over the past 2 years represents just about .2% of the operators' total subscriber base. Of course no business ever wants to lose customers, but given the dramatic rise in OTT usage and subscriber levels, along with the vast array of viewing options, losing just .2% over 2 years seems like a pretty good level of stability (consider that Netflix alone added 5.7 million U.S. subscribers in '14).
More evidence of TV Everywhere's momentum today, as FreeWheel's Q4 2014 Video Monetization Report found that 56% of long-form and live ads were viewed via authentication. That's more than 4x greater than the 13% authentication rate for long-form content in Q4 '13. Total long-form viewing was up 43% in Q4 '14 vs. the prior year.
The new data follows Comcast's news last week that 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers use TV Everywhere monthly. (Note Comcast owns FreeWheel).
BrightRoll has released findings from its 3rd annual U.S. ad agency survey, including among other things, that agencies believe targeting is by far the most valuable benefit of online video advertising. Cited by 56% of respondents, targeting alone exceeded all other benefits combined: reach (20%), price relative to TV (8%), other (8%), ad unit format (7%) and ability to reuse creative (2%).
Comcast said that in 2014 over 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers used its TV Everywhere app ("Xfinity TV Go") on a monthly basis, representing a 20% year-over-year growth rate. The average Xfinity TV Go viewer watched over 7 hours per month via the app, up 40% vs. a year ago. Comcast said the Xfinity TV Go app for iOS and Android has been downloaded over 11 million times.
Mobile video viewing will soar 13-fold over the next 5 years, to account for 72% of global mobile traffic by 2019, up from 55% in 2014, according to Cisco's new Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2014-2019. Video will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 66% over the period, the second fastest of any mobile application. Cisco forecasts that 17.4 exabytes out of the 24.3 exabytes that cross global mobile networks in 2019 will be video.
Categories: Mobile Video
Viewability of video ads increased from 30% in Q3 '14 to 39% in Q4 '14, according to a new report by Integral Ad Science, which measures media quality across hundreds of billions of impressions. Viewability is defined by the MRC standard of 50% of an ad's pixels in the viewable space of the browser page, for at least 2 continuous seconds.
Topics: Integral Ad Science
Here's more evidence of how watching TV programs is changing: according to part two of a TV viewer survey fielded by NATPE and CEA, 71% of respondents said they have streamed full-length TV programs in the past 6 months. No surprise, Netflix was the go-to source, with 40% having watched there, followed by 26% for YouTube and 25% for network web sites.
Akamai has released its Q3 2014 State of the Internet Report, its compendium of global connection speeds and broadband adoption for fixed and mobile networks, along with 4K readiness, attack traffic and IPv4/IPv6 updates. Among the highlights are that broadband adoption rate reached 60% globally, a 1% increase vs. Q2 '14. (Broadband is defined as an average connection speed of greater than 4 mbps.)
South Korea once again led all countries with 96% adoption above 4 mbps, followed by Bulgaria (95%), Switzerland (93%) and Israel (92%). South Korea also had the highest percentage (81%) of adoption of "high broadband" (defined as average connection speed above 10 mbps), followed by Hong Kong and Japan (both at 55%) and Switzerland (54%).
Categories: Broadband ISPs
Digital purchases of movies in the U.S. boomed in 2014, to $1.55 billion, up 30% from $1.19 billion in 2013, according to new data from the Digital Entertainment Group. However, the $360 million increase was more than offset by a decline in purchases of physical movies (DVD and Blu-ray) of $844 million in 2014, to $6.93 billion, an 11% drop. In fact, as the chart below shows, physical sales have declined by over $2 billion since 2011 when they were nearly $9 billion.
Mobile video may be the hottest trend in video today, with evidence of its ascendance seemingly everywhere. As just one data point, last week's Q3 2014 Global Video Index from Ooyala pegged mobile video plays at 30% of all online video plays. That was up from 20% share in Q2 '14, more than double mobile video's 14% share from one year earlier in Q3 '13 and quintuple the 6% share from Q3 '12.
That scorching growth prompted Ooyala to accelerate its forecast for when mobile video's share will cross the 50% threshold industry-wide. Ooyala previously saw this happening in 2016, but now believes it will occur by Q3 '15.
Categories: Mobile Video
Nielsen has released its Q3 '14 Total Audience report (which is the new name for the previous quarterly Cross-Platform report), the highlight of which is the marked reduction in linear TV viewing across every age group except 65+, with an accompanying surge in online video. I charted the new Q3 '14 data vs. Q3 '13 data below.
The big quarter-vs-quarter change that pops out is the 19.2% reduction in linear viewing per week by adults 18-24. This age group is now watching 17 hours, 34 minutes per week, which is 4h, 11m less than the 21h, 45m a year ago. While this group increased its online video usage by 20.7%, that only accounted for 25 incremental minutes per week.
Sandvine has released its latest Global Internet Phenomena Report based on data collected in March, 2014 across leading wired and mobile broadband networks. Focusing just on North America, Netflix once again dominates primetime usage, accounting for 34.9% of downstream bandwidth, more than the next 6 services combined. YouTube was second with 14.04% of bandwidth.
It's a different story on mobile however, where YouTube remains the top downstream provider, eating up 19.75% of bandwidth, up from 17.7% a year ago, with Netflix in 5th place with just 4.51%. The usage pattern largely reflects the difference between Netflix's long-form content focus vs. YouTube's short-form focus. YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki recently disclosed that 50% of YouTube's usage is now on mobile.
Media, finance and automotive brands continue to lead online video advertising adoption, according to new data from MediaRadar. In October, 2014 the product categories were first, second and third respectively, just as they were in October, 2013. MediaRadar found an increase in the number of brands placing online video ads in all 10 of the product categories it measures.
Multiscreen video ad campaigns running on Videology's platform in the U.S. in Q3 '14 surged to 35% of total campaigns, up 59% from the 22% share multiscreen campaigns had in Q2 '14. Multiscreen includes campaigns running either on PC/mobile or PC/mobile/connected TV. Video ad campaigns running solely on PC dropped from 74% in Q2 '14 to 60% in Q3 '14.
Adobe's Q2 '14 U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report has found that global online video starts hit 38.2 billion, a 43% increase vs. Q2 '13 and a new record among Adobe customers. Q2 was fueled in part by the heavily streamed World Cup matches in June. Mobile continued to experience strong growth too, with 26% of starts occurring on mobile devices, up from 19% a year earlier. Smartphones notched 13.6% of starts vs. 13% for tablets, the first time smartphones have pulled ahead. However, just 16.6% of mobile videos reached 75% completion.
Categories: TV Everywhere
Underscoring the dramatic shifts occurring in millennials' TV viewing behavior, a new survey from comScore has found that millennials (18-34 year-olds) now use digital platforms for 1/3 of the time they watch original TV programs. That's double the 16% of time 35-54 year-olds spend using digital platforms for TV program viewing, and triple the 10% of time for those over 55 years-old.
For all 3 age groups, computers were the preferred digital platform by a significant margin - 19% for millennials, 10% for 35-54 year-olds and 6% for 55+. Smartphones and tablets trailed in single digits for all 3 groups. Just 55% of millennials said they "typically" watch TV programs on traditional TV, vs. 70% for 35-54 year-olds and 83% for 55+.
Sporting News Media, which operates a large sports online video syndication network, has launched a new research service called "Sporting Views," which will provide insights about how online viewers engage with sports-related video.
The data is based on Sporting News Media's SN ePlayer network which syndicates video highlights from major leagues and rights-holders to over 350 publishers' sites, generating over 20 million unique visitors/mo and 300 million streams/mo. The SN ePlayer network has been comScore's top-ranked online video sports property for 9 of the last 12 months.
In the inaugural report, Sporting Views found that viewing of sports content on local publishers sites is quite diffused, actually drawing big out-of-market audiences. In ten of the largest U.S. markets, 62.1% of viewers who watch sports video on local publishers' sites were from outside that market. Dallas (72.7%), LA (71.3%), New York (70.9%) and Miami (70.3%) led in terms of percentage of viewers from outside their markets.
Topics: Sporting News
BrightRoll has released a new study, conducted by Nielsen, which concludes that mobile video advertising provides cost-effective incremental reach to TV advertising. Nielsen found the following incremental reach with mobile video ads in 4 verticals it studied: CPG (12.7%), Auto (11.9%), Telecom (9.5%) and Financial Services (9.9%).
Underlying the incremental reach benefit of mobile video is Nielsen's estimate that once a brand hits 60% or more of its target audience with TV advertising, there's a point of diminishing returns, making incremental reach very expensive.
Industry research firm The Diffusion Group has found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, authentication is not blocking broader consumer acceptance of TV Everywhere services. TDG found that just 7% of TVE users perceive the TVE authentication process as "difficult" to "very difficult" while over two-thirds (68.4%) said it was "easy" to "very easy." Nonetheless, 82% of TVE users said eliminating TVE log-in entirely would be an important enhancement.
Categories: TV Everywhere
In another sign of programmatic video advertising's rising popularity among brand advertisers, Adap.tv's newly released 2014 State of the Video Industry report has found that 60% of brands' video ad spending is now allocated to programmatic channels. That compares with 44% for ad networks and 38% for agencies and trading desks.
However, when it comes to premium video, brands said just 23% of ad spending was done programmatically, reflecting how important publisher direct sales remains for the most coveted ad inventory. In fact, 51% of publishers said they're making premium ad inventory available for sale programmatically, up just slightly from 49% in 2013. Still, private marketplaces continue to gain, with 32% of publishers running one in 2014, up from 20% in 2013.