I'm pleased to present the 266th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Colin starts this week's podcast by sharing his positive reactions to Vessel, the startup from former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, which went live this week. Colin likes the mobile app a lot and thinks Vessel's promotion of a free year of service is a smart approach. In particular, Colin is bullish on Vessel's non-intrusive ad model.
However, Colin is less certain about Vessel's odds of success, noting that YouTube's response is a major wildcard. I agree and observe that while Vessel is very impressive, it's also a big test case for users' willingness-to-pay for first window access to content. There's a lot to like about Vessel, and ample reason to believe millennials will like the model, but only time will tell.
Speaking of YouTube, it's becoming increasingly apparent that Facebook is poised to become YouTube's main competitor in the long-run. As I wrote yesterday, this week at Facebook's F8 developer conference, the company unveiled key updates, geared especially for premium publishers, that will bring a lot more high-quality content onto the platform. Colin and I dig into each of these and also discuss a big remaining missing piece - pre-roll ads against videos posted on Facebook.
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At Facebook's F8 developer conference yesterday, the company announced a series of initiatives that, taken together, demonstrate it is positioned to be a very big player in video and YouTube's biggest competitor long-term. Following are the most important announcements and my take on their implications. I also note the key missing pieces that are almost certainly on Facebook's video roadmap.
Over the past week, I've been spending a little time each day with Snapchat's recently launched "Discover" feature. In case you missed it, or are not a Snapchat user (as I wasn't), Discover is an area of in Snapchat's mobile app featuring icons from 11 different media companies. Behind each icon are innovative, slickly packaged sets of short videos and text stories, perfectly suited for attention-challenged mobile users (see short video below).
It's not immediately clear why a social network like Snapchat, known mostly for enabling ephemeral selfie photos and videos by its addicted young female audience (my 14 1/2 year-old daughter among them), believes it's strategic to partner with mostly mainstream media companies (note, not a single YouTuber) to offer this type of service. Perhaps advertising potential? Or driving deeper user engagement? Or broadening its mission? Or all of the above?
(Note, I'll share details of online viewing of Super Bowl ads and the game later today…I'm still pulling all of the relevant data together.)
We're just a month into 2015, and there are already abundant signs of online and mobile video's momentum, with lots more growth to come as the year unfolds. Here's what's hit my radar so far:
Twitter has announced that users will have the ability to record, edit and share 30-second videos within the Twitter app on iPhone and Android mobile devices. The videos will post within users' timelines just as other tweets do. The feature has been teased for a while and will roll out over the next few days.
I haven't gained access to the video feature yet, but if it works as easily as Twitter describes it, I think it will be a very valuable addition. Of course Twitter has already offered video via its Vine app, but I see Twitter's native video feature as having 2 distinct advantages: first, eliminating the step of having to switch back and forth between the Vine and Twitter apps and second, Twitter's more flexible 30-second length.
The WSJ is reporting today that YouTube is now offering some of its most popular video creators bonuses in exchange for signing exclusive multiyear deals. The new offers are on top of previously reported deals to underwrite programming for the same creators. All of this is happening primarily in response to pitches ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is making to the same YouTube creators, to provide his new company Vessel with an exclusive 3-day window for these creators' new videos.
The YouTube talent war is raging because the viewing behaviors of millennials - the primary audience for this type of programming - is up for grabs. The most compelling evidence of this came in last week's Nielsen Q3 '14 Total Audience report. Based on my calculations, live TV viewing by 18-24 year-olds (the core millennial segment) dropped by nearly 20% in Q3 '14 vs. Q3 '13. The reduction represented over 4 hours per week of viewing time, thereby dropping live TV viewing to approximately 17 hours per week, easily the lowest of any age group Nielsen measures.
According to a recent study by Nielsen, 15% of viewers said they enjoyed watching television more when social media was involved. By now, we know that consumers are using these screens to browse the web, talk on social networks about what they're watching or access complementary content that enhances their experience. So what new and different opportunities does this activity create for pay-TV operators and programmers to leverage the second screen for increased tune-in, engagement and ad revenues?
At LiveRail's Publisher Forum yesterday, CEO and co-founder Mark Trefgarne shared product roadmap details, including support for mobile display advertising, taking the company beyond its video advertising roots. Mark said LiveRail will offer full display ad serving across all devices and a unified video/display SDK for Android and iOS. Mobile display units will include banners, interstitial and native.
With these new display units, LiveRail will expand its mobile ad serving and programmatic capabilities beyond video. All of this will be offered initially through the Facebook Audience Network which provides monetization to mobile apps outside of Facebook. In addition, LiveRail previewed what it's calling "Platform 5," a next-generation UI for ad operations, which streamlines workflows.
Video ad tech provider Mixpo has acquired ShopIgniter, a Portland, OR firm specializing in social and mobile advertising. Mixpo CEO Jeff Lanctot said the company concluded in a recent internal strategic review that in order for it to truly offer a best-in-class multiscreen video ad platform, it needed to improve its capabilities in mobile and social, which are increasingly intertwined.
In case you missed it, last Thursday Twitter acquired SnappyTV, a cloud-based video platform that allows content providers and brands to quickly create clips from live video and then distribute them through social media. It's a highly strategic deal for Twitter, further positioning the company to "win the moments that matter" for both audience and monetization.
"Win the moments that matter" is a phrase I first heard from YouTube executives a couple of years ago and it has great relevance for the Twitter-SnappyTV deal. The massive trends around mobile devices, social media, content syndication and video have created a sweet spot for TV networks and rights-holders to drive huge traffic spikes by making highly newsworthy moments readily available to fans.
Unruly has released new data from its Social Diffusion Curve, showing that, for the top 4,000 videos, 42% of total social sharing now occurs within 3 days of their launch, up from 25% a year ago. Social shares on the day following launch increased from 10% to 18% of total shares and within the first week increased from 37% to 65% of total.
Unruly noted that the acceleration of upfront sharing reinforces how important immediate post-launch activity is becoming to a branded video's overall online reach and impact.
Categories: Social Media
There is no doubt the TV industry is changing dramatically, largely due to the rise of online and mobile video viewing. But is it "dying," "imploding" or being "nuked" as some recent tech media headlines assert? No, not yet anyway. As a close observer of all things video, it's just mind-boggling sometimes to see how data is conflated to support distorted conclusions. If your company's product strategy were guided by today's headlines alone, you'd be on a course to disaster.
To help set things straight, Piksel's Alan Wolk has put together a really good slide deck with data debunking 7 of the bigger myths floating around these days (1) cord-cutting is a mass movement, (2) kids ignore mainstream TV, (3) your pay-TV provider is the one forcing you to pay for 800 channels, (4) cutting the cord lets you stick it to the cable company, (5) second screen is all about social TV, (6) TV viewing has decreased and (7) in the future we'll be able to watch TV wherever, whenever and however we want.
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.
I'm pleased to present the 199th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. In this week's edition we discuss the new "See It" tool announced in a partnership between Comcast/NBCU and Twitter.
Beginning in November, certain tweets about TV shows will carry the "See It" button. When users click on it, they will be given choices to watch the program now on their mobile device, tune their Comcast X1 set-top to that channel to watch on TV, set their DVR or receive a reminder (more about how See It works here).
Colin and I both like See It's potential to convert the "chatterfest" that now regularly occurs on Twitter around TV shows and live events (sports, award shows, etc.) into higher viewership. Tightly coupling social discovery and the opportunity to immediately watch is very compelling. If Twitter can show See It can actually driving viewership (note, still a big "if"), it would become a very important promotion tool for the TV industry.
We also discuss how See It works with authentication/TV Everywhere, the critical role that Comcast's new IP-based X1 set-tops play in enabling See It, how the rest of the pay-TV industry might adopt See It, and the potential to spread See It to other social sites. See It's widespread adoption will require a lot of TV ecosystem support, but if its value is quickly proven, we believe that could happen.
(Last - Colin and I will both be participating in BroadbandTV Con in Hollywood Nov. 4-6. Come meet us! VideoNuze readers get $75 off conference registration using the code "VideoNuze." Colin will also be hosting a pre-conference workshop.)
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 19 seconds)
The Internet is awash in free videos to watch. For consumers, that's been great news as there are more choices available today than ever. For independent content creators, the Internet offers an unparalleled opportunity to build audience and visibility. The problem is that for these creators, actually making money online has remained a tough nut to crack.
Now, a startup named LittleCast is giving content creators an easy way to sell their videos, via Facebook and in iOS and Android mobile apps. CEO Amra Tareen explained to me that the process is pretty straightforward - content creators just upload their videos to LittleCast and decide how much to charge. LittleCast transcodes the video into various formats and HD/SD resolutions and stores them in the cloud. They can then be published in LittleCast's media player on Facebook and in the mobile apps.
This is last call to register for tomorrow's complimentary webinar, "Social Media and Second-Screen TV Experiences." The webinar will feature Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, who will share social insights from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of its accompanying report, a $1,500 value. Then Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how the company's entertainment-related social media can be incorporated into TV apps. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.
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.
Next Wednesday, June 19th, I'll be hosting a complimentary webinar focused on the impact of social media and second-screens on TV experiences. By now, anyone involved in the TV industry is well aware that the content itself is one part of the overall viewing experience; for a growing group of viewers the social aspect that surrounds it has become equally important. Still, social is a relatively new phenomenon for TV and much is not yet understood.
In this webinar, Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, will share social insights from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of its accompanying report, a $1,500 value. Then, Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how the company's entertainment-related social media can be incorporated into TV apps. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.
Please join me for a complimentary webinar on the impact of social media and second-screens on TV experiences. In this webinar, which I'll moderate, Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, will share detailed findings from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of the accompanying report, a $1,500 value.
In addition, Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how it enables entertainment-related social media to be seamlessly incorporated into apps, with supporting examples. There will be ample time for Q&A.
CNN and BuzzFeed are partnering to create a new YouTube channel called "CNN BuzzFeed" to break original news online. The channel will feature current and archived CNN video and like all BuzzFeed content, is targeted to a younger, social media savvy audience.
CNN BuzzFeed will capitalize on two of the most important attributes of today's online video landscape: short-form and syndication. Last week, data from ad manager FreeWheel showed that "Digital Pure-Play" content providers grew their video views by 47% year-over-year (with 84% of their views coming via syndication to 3rd-party sites), while views from long-form "Linear + Digital" providers (e.g. broadcast and cable networks) decreased by 8%.