Research released late last week by Parks Associates, which revealed high levels of churn for many smaller SVOD services, reinforced for me that many of these services are at risk of being seen as little more than transactional VOD opportunities by consumers. If this occurs it would have huge implications for both the SVOD services and larger ecosystem.
First, to review the research, Parks found that for SVOD services other than Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, the churn rate over the past 12 months was equal to 60% of those who subscribed to such services. For Hulu Plus, 7% of U.S. broadband subscribers cancelled their subscription in the past 12 months (equaling churn of half or more of Hulu Plus’s subscribers). Parks estimated Amazon’s churn at around 25% (though that’s clouded by value of the overall Prime service). Only Netflix fared well, with churn in the past 12 months running around 9% of its subscriber base. Note, none of these SVOD services publicly disclose their churn rates.
Revenue in the U.S. from premium OTT services could double or triple from $4 billion in 2014 to $8-12 billion in 2018, according to new research study from Ooyala and Vindicia, which was conducted by MTM.
The study, based on input from 45 content and service providers, forecasts that just a small number of OTT providers, mainly existing ones, will dominate. Netflix is seen as the biggest of the group, although its market share will decline from 85% currently to approximately 50% in 2018. However, respondents were optimistic about the opportunity for niche OTT providers such as sports, kids, specialized entertainment and personality-drive services where they foresee 15-20 providers each having over 100K subscribers.
A new study from research firm SmithGeiger and Net2TV has found that just 18% of 18-34 year-olds’ video viewing time is now spent with traditional broadcast and cable TV. Fully 61% of their viewing has shifted to digital devices. For 35-44 year-olds, 27% of total video viewing is on traditional broadcast and cable TV. The data is the latest in a well-documented trend toward viewership fragmentation driven by OTT services and the proliferation of digital devices.
With binge-viewing becoming a mainstream activity, there’s more and more energy being devoted to understanding the behavior and how to profit from it. The latest comes from video optimizer Conviva, which has published a white paper, “Binge Watching: The New Currency of Video Economics,” detailing findings from a survey of 750 binge-viewers between the ages of 25-36.
Ooyala has released its Q1 '15 Video Index, and as with all of its recent reports, the headline is the surging growth of mobile video, whose share is now at 42% of online video views. That's up nearly 5x from the 9% share mobile video recorded in Q1 '13. Ooyala restated its forecast that mobile video will surpass 50% of online video views in Q3 '15, if not sooner.
No surprise, Ooyala cites smartphones as the big driver of mobile video usage, noting that the ratio of smartphone plays to tablet plays has increased from 2:1 in Q4 '13 to 4:1 in Q1 '15. In fact, tablet share has remained constant at 8% during that time. Ooyala cites the rise of larger screen size smartphones (particularly iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) as spurring mobile video adoption and stunting tablet viewing.
Categories: Mobile Video
More affirmation that advertisers and agencies are shifting spending to video: a new Forrester survey has found that 77% of advertisers and 70% of agencies plan to increase their video ad spending in the next 2 years. In addition, 73% of media companies plan to offer more video inventory to meet demand.
The data is based on a survey Forrester conducted of 529 executives at advertisers, agencies and media companies in 8 countries, including the U.S., for a report commissioned by Teads.
Pixability has released its second annual, deep-dive, "Beauty on YouTube" report, finding, among other things that beauty video views have increased by 50% between January, 2014 and April, 2015. Overall, beauty is one of the most vibrant verticals on YouTube, with 1.8 million videos driving 45.3 billion total views to date, of which 55% are now viewed on mobile devices.
There are over 123 million subscribers to YouTube beauty channels. Makeup accounts for 51% of beauty videos, far ahead of hair (28%), nails (10%) and skincare (6%). No surprise, 89% of YouTube's beauty audience is female.
Categories: Brand Marketing
A new survey from Unruly reveals that 70% of U.S. advertisers have shifted a portion of their TV ad budgets to programmatic online video ads in the past 12 months (see graph below). In addition, 75% of U.S. advertisers said that programmatic will account for a share of their overall online video ad budget.
The data is based on a survey of 1,000 senior advertiser and agency executives, 500 each in the U.S. and U.K. from March, 2015. It is one of the strongest endorsements yet for the adoption of programmatic video advertising.
Here's some data that contradicts conventional wisdom: in a new survey from Clearleap, 67% of pay-TV subscribers said sports are not the reason they maintain a subscription, citing viewership of programs on other TV networks instead. Even sports fans didn't express a lot of enthusiasm for sports as justifying the multichannel bundle, with almost half citing other programs they watch as requiring a subscription.
There has always been a strong industry consensus that live sports were the firewall for pay-TV's multichannel bundle. Even as entertainment programming has proliferated in OTT services and elsewhere, the only place to get marquee sports programming was on pay-TV. Therefore, the reasoning went, sports were the "glue" keeping subscribers on board.
A new survey from Leichtman Research Group has found that 56% of American homes now have at least one TV connected to the Internet, more than double the 24% level from 2010. 29% of American homes now have TVs connected using multiple devices.
LRG did not break out the type of connected TV devices used, but last week, FreeWheel's Q1 '15 Video Monetization Report found that Roku has a 43% share, followed by Apple TV (23%), gaming consoles (20%), Chromecast (12%) and Smart TV (2%).
LRG also found that 29% of adults watch online video on their TVs at least weekly, almost 6x the 5% level in 2010, underscoring how rapidly this has become a mainstream activity. 33% of adults watch video on non-TV devices on a daily basis, with 58% watching on non-TV devices on a weekly basis.
Topics: Leichtman Research Group
FreeWheel has released its Q1 '15 Video Monetization Report, which reinforces many of the key trends seen in recent quarters. Of note, TV Everywhere viewing increased 328% vs. Q1 '14, now accounting for 57% of long-form content viewed. Once again, live content grew the fastest, up 140% year-over-year. Sports accounted for 82% of live ad views, basically flat from Q4 '14.
Overall, FreeWheel found that video views grew 40% in Q1 '15 vs. Q1 '14, with ad views up 43%, the fastest growth since 2012.
U.S. pay-TV operators lost 31K video subscribers in Q1 '15, compared to a gain of 271K in Q1 '14, according to analysts MoffettNathanson. The loss was the first time the industry has ever lost subscribers in a first quarter, and signals an acceleration of cord-cutting (or cord-nevering, since it's hard to pull the two apart), contributing to a .5% industry contraction over the past 4 quarters (461K subscribers).
MoffettNathanson has always tried to put pay-TV results in context with both occupied housing net additions and new household net additions. In Q1, the former declined by 407K, but the latter increased by 1.3 million, suggesting around 900K households were added in the U.S. Despite the gain the industry still lost subscribers.
There's more data this morning on how young millennials are switching from traditional TV to online video. Limelight Networks has released new survey data finding that approximately 60% of 18-25 year-olds report watching at least 4-7 hours of online video per week. The results contrast with all 18+ adults, where less than 40% said they watched at least 4-7 hours of online video per week.
In addition, less than 20% of 18-25 year-olds said they watch just 1-2 hours of online video per week, whereas nearly 40% of all 18+ adults said they watch 1-2 ours of online video per week.
Topics: Limelight Networks
Capitalizing on video's tremendous monetization potential has become a top priority for all content providers, as evidenced by the biggest-ever NewFronts, which kick off today. But newly released survey results highlight how some content providers are already better positioned than others to actually profit from video advertising.
Ad tech provider Operative provided me with a cut of data from a new benchmarking survey it released last week, evaluating the correlations between video ad sales/operational effectiveness and profitability. The overall survey, done in partnership with Digital Content Next, provides insights into 194 content providers, with the cut I received focusing on the 70 content providers that generate at least 25% of their online billable revenues from video.
New research validates the key assumption that TV Everywhere adds critical value to the increasingly expensive pay-TV subscription. In a survey, HUB Research has found that 82% of heavy TVE users rate pay-TV a "good" or "excellent" value vs. 52% for light TVE users, and just 48% for non-TVE users.
That's encouraging news for the pay-TV ecosystem, however, just 16% of subscribers are actually heavy users, using TVE several times per week or every day). Importantly though, 30% of millennials identify themselves as heavy users. Clearly a key industry challenge is to raise TVE awareness and usage.
Categories: TV Everywhere
Watching TV programs and movies on TVs has fallen by 13% during the past year globally, with usage among 14-17 year-olds down 33%, 18-34 year-olds down 14%, 35-54 year-olds down 11% and 55+ year-olds down 6%, according to Accenture's new "Digital Video and the Connected Consumer Report."
Even though viewing on TVs is dropping, consumption is migrating to other devices. Accenture found that 89% of viewers watch long form video on connected devices. However, these viewers cited numerous problems with their streaming experiences: poor Internet service (51%), too much advertising (42%), buffering (33%) and loss of audio (32%).
Strategy Analytics has released the results of a new survey which validate Amazon's decision to bundle Prime Instant Video with free 2-day shipping in its Amazon Prime service. Although Prime members say they're more likely to subscribe to Prime for the shipping benefit than for the videos, once they have the Prime service, they watch the videos almost as they much as they use their Netflix subscriptions.
The survey revealed that 59% of U.S. Amazon Prime members used Instant Video in the past month, almost at parity with the 63% of Prime members that used Netflix. Overall, the survey found that 36% of Prime members only used Instant Video, almost equal to the 40% that only use Netflix, and the 23% that use both. The 40% of Netflix-only's are clearly a huge target for Amazon to pursue as it builds out the Prime Video benefit.
Ooyala has released its Q4 '14 Global Video Index, once again showing the powerful rise in mobile as a preferred viewing platform for online video. A record 38% of video views in December, 2014 occurred on mobile devices, up from less than 18% in December, 2013. For the full fourth quarter of '14, mobile accounted for 34% of video views.
When it released its Q3 Global Video Index in December, '14, Ooyala forecasted that mobile video's share will cross 50% industry-wide by Q3 '15. Since 2011, mobile's share of video plays has increased 16-fold.
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).