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).
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