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Monday, December 22, 2014

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Analysis for 'Syndicated Video Economy'

  • Startup Video Syndicator Vidible Hits 1 Billion Streams Per Month

    Vidible, a startup video syndicator, has announced its platform enabled 1 billion video streams in August.  Further highlighting its momentum, Vidible said it has 150+ content providers across the U.S., Europe and Asia in 12 different categories now using its platform. Vidible anticipates 300% growth in 2014 and profitability in 2015.

    Michael Hyman, Vidible's CEO and co-founder, recently explained to me that Vidible is differentiating itself from other video syndication platforms with greater transparency and controls for all parties plus a lower cost structure for publishers. Michael believes that to date video syndication has offered minimal transparency, akin to the early days of ad networks where arbitrage was the primary business model.

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  • USA Today Sports Partners With NeuLion for Video Syndication and Originals

    USA Today Sports Digital Media and NeuLion have announced a strategic partnership for video syndication and original productions. The deal includes NeuLion College, a network of 170 NCAA sports properties and USA Today Sports' extensive collection of digital sports sites plus Gannett's 120+ local media properties. Dave Morgan, president of USA Today Sports Media Group and Chris Wagner, EVP of NeuLion filled me in on the deal yesterday.

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  • ESPN-AOL Partnership Highlights Power of Video Syndication

    AOL has scored a huge coup with a deal announced today to syndicate ESPN video content across its owned-and-operated sites, plus its distribution network of 1,700 publisher sites. ESPN video in AOL will be accessible on desktops, smartphones, tablets and connected TV devices.

    Importantly, the deal underscores the allure of online video syndication. By choosing to syndicate through AOL, ESPN concluded - despite its already formidable presence as the top-ranked sports property online - that AOL's distribution network could provide still further online reach and monetization potential. That's no small statement, and it is a testament to both AOL's video growth over the past several years and to the strength of the "Syndicated Video Economy" concept I began talking about back in 2008.

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  • Sports Video Syndicator CineSport Partners With USA TODAY Sports in Biggest Deal to Date

    Online video sports syndicator CineSport has announced its biggest content and technology partnership to date, with USA TODAY Sports Media Group, a top 5 comScore sports property with 30 million monthly unique visitors. USA TODAY Sports operates the sports section of, plus the sports sections of 140 local newspaper/broadcast TV station sites, a network of digital-only sports sites and a network of 60 affiliates.

    Under the deal, USA TODAY Sports will integrate CineSport's VaMP video platform technology throughout its content network. As a result, new and archived original video will be accessible for local producers to easily embed in digital articles. Gregg Winik, CineSport's CEO, noted that these types of contextual embeds are key to CineSport and how it helps its publisher partners differentiate themselves beyond simply displaying video clips in the right column of site pages.

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  • Study Shows Short-Form and Syndication Are Critical for Video Ad Growth

    There's a lot of excitement about online, ad-supported access to TV programs (accessible on the TV networks' own sites or via Hulu), but a new study from ad manager FreeWheel being released this morning shows that in reality, short-form content and 3rd-party syndication are the workhorses of online video advertising.

    For the first time, FreeWheel breaks down its data by "Linear + Digital" content providers (i.e. TV networks like Fox, NBC, etc.) and Digital Pure-Play (online-only content providers or aggregators like VEVO, AOL, etc. that mainly focus on short-form content). FreeWheel found that video views grew 30% in Q1 '13 vs. a year earlier, driven by a 47% increase in views from DPPs, which offset a surprising decline of 8% by L+Ds. The data is based on 16 billion video views in Q1.

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  • GrabPress Syndication Plug-in for WordPress Delivers Deeper Video Integration

    Grab Media, which has been at the forefront of what I've called the "Syndicated Video Economy," is gaining traction with its recently-released "GrabPress" video plug-in for the WordPress content management system. GrabPress allows publishers of any size using WordPress to quickly customize and embed a feed of video from Grab Media' s ever-growing catalog of 500K+ video clips directly into their web pages. Grab Press has been downloaded 3,500 times to date.

    Grab executives recently explained to me that while the company's core mission of connecting video providers with a distribution network of publishers remains the same, the mechanism for doing so has changed significantly over the past year. The big driver of this is that advertisers have become reluctant to place video ads against syndicated video content showing up in right column 300x250 units. As such, Grab has sought, with GrabPress, to enable video content to be more contextually integrated with publishers' own content.

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  • Here's How NDN Has Surged to Number 2 in comScore's November Video Rankings

    comScore released its November, 2012 ranking of the top 10 U.S. video properties yesterday and News Distribution Network (NDN) spiked to the number 2 position, with 55.7 million unique viewers, surpassed only by YouTube, the perennial 800-pound gorilla.

    NDN has burst onto the online video scene over the past 8 months moving from the 10 position in April '12, with 27 million views, then dropping out of the top 10 in May and June, followed by 5 months of blistering growth, surging from the number 8 position in July, with 35.1 million viewers to the number 2 position in November. I recently caught up with Kevin Gentzel, NDN's chief revenue officer, who was previously publisher of Forbes, to learn more about the company's success.

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  • Another Syndication Victory: Perform Sports Tops ESPN In November Viewers

    Another great example of how video syndication is continuing to deliver results: in November's comScore rankings of U.S. sports properties, Perform Sports edged out perennial leader ESPN in number of total monthly unique viewers. As the chart below shows, Perform had 24.532 million viewers and ESPN had 24.092 million. Yahoo Sports is a distant third with 9.988 million, followed by another syndicator, CineSport, with 8.367 million and NFL with 5.936 million.

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  • Yahoo Has Become a Magnet for Video Syndication by Big Media

    Late yesterday NBC Sports and Yahoo announced a content sharing and promotional partnership that further cements Yahoo's role as a video syndication magnet for big media companies. In addition to the new NBC Sports deal, over the past year, other major media partnering with Yahoo include ABC News, CBS Television Distribution, Wenner Media, Clear Channel, CNBC, Fox Digital Entertainment/DirecTV and others, as each has sought to extend its online video presence beyond their own properties and to generate new ad revenues.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Podcast #155 - More on AOL's Video Syndication Success; Data from BBC's Olympics Delivery

    I'm pleased to present the 155th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, who joins from London. First up this week, we discuss AOL's video success and the larger concept of video syndication. Earlier this week, AOL revealed that its video revenues jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to $100 million in 2012, largely due to syndication. Colin and I dig into why syndication is so compelling and what's ahead.

    Next up, Colin shares insights he gained from a presentation at the OTTTv World Summit in London by Marina Kalkanis, Head of the BBC's Programmes OnDemand Core Services team, which is responsible for the media and metadata services supporting BBC online. Marina's team oversaw BBC's online simulcast and on demand streaming of the London Olympics.

    Colin was impressed by the scale of the BBC's Olympics operation and how video was consumed online and on mobile devices. One key takeaway - BBC found online/mobile complimenting linear TV, similar to NBC's experience in the U.S.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze-TDG podcast is available in iTunes...subscribe today!

  • Syndication Wins: AOL's Video Revenue Jumps From $10M to $100M in Past 2 Years

    I've been devoting a lot of ink to AOL recently because its success has made it the poster child for the power of online video syndication and monetization. In yesterday's Q3 '12 earnings report, AOL delivered the most resounding evidence yet of syndication's value - CEO Tim Armstrong said AOL's video ad revenue jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to a projected $100 million in 2012, with more growth ahead in 2013. The results are mainly due to video syndication, powered by AOL's acquisition of 5Min in 2010.

    Simply put, AOL is capitalizing on the concept of the "syndicated video economy" that I first began discussing 4 1/2 years ago. On the call, Armstrong described how AOL's large video syndication library (which has grown from 30K videos to 450K today) feeds both its owned and operated properties and its network of 30K publishers. All of these sites are hungry for video for 2 important reasons: they meet users' increasingly video-oriented expectations and their adjacent ad inventory is monetized at far better rates than traditional display.

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  • Syndicated Video Model Gains Momentum Among Top Properties

    Long-time VideoNuze readers know I've been talking about the trend toward content providers' video being syndicated to third-party publishers' sites for a while now, and judging by comScore's August data, the model appears to be gaining further momentum.

    Two of the top 10 video properties - NDN and Grab Media - have syndication as their core business model, while a third - AOL, via its 5Min acquisition, uses syndication to power a significant amount of its views. Meanwhile, YouTube, which is consistently the largest property, leverages embedding for organic syndication, while #4 property VEVO syndicates a lot of its music videos to YouTube. Beyond the overall top 10, as I've written previously, in the sports vertical specifically, syndicators took 2 of the top 4 spots in the first half of '12.

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  • Sports Video Syndicators Nab 2 of Top 4 Traffic Positions in First Half of 2012

    The Olympics is currently dominating the sports world's attention, but have a look at comScore's first half 2012 data (chart below), and what jumps out is that 2 of the top 4 properties aren't well-known branded destinations, but rather little-known video syndicators, Perform Sports and CineSport.  

    Perform is #2, with 14.6 million average monthly unique viewers, trailing predictable leader ESPN, which has 20.5 million. And CineSport is #4 with 11.4 million average monthly unique viewers, behind #3 Yahoo Sports, which has 12.4 million. Following them are properties you'd expect to see on any top 10 list: Turner Sports, MLB, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, NFL and CBS Sports.

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  • Grab Media's Growth Underscores Power of Video Syndication Model

    It's been a little over four years since I started discussing a concept I called the "Syndicated Video Economy." My thesis was that for content creators to succeed, they needed to distribute their videos to relevant third-parties in addition to their own sites. Only by leveraging syndication would they gain enough scale to achieve an ROI. Flash forward to today, and value of syndication is strong and growing.

    One of the companies which is capitalizing on the syndication trend is Grab Media, which in 2011 saw its unique viewers jump from about 7.3 million to about 24 million, the second-fastest growth of an video property according to comScore. Grab works with hundreds of content providers of all sizes and has built a catalog of 800K-900K short videos (usually 3-5 minutes), which it makes available to 140,000 different publisher sites. All of this aggregates to almost 300M video views per month.

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  • Video Syndicators Are Finding Success in Sports Category

    The power of the video syndication model is on full display in the online sports category, where 2 of the top 3 properties in December, 2011 were little known, early stage video syndicators, rather than well-known media brands and sports leagues. As the chart below shows, the #2 slot belonged to CineSport, a company I wrote about 6 months ago, with 15.7 million unique viewers while the #3 position went to Perform Sports, a year-old entrant, with 14.6 million unique viewers. Both trailed ESPN with 24.7 million unique viewers, but were still well ahead of stalwarts like CBS, Turner and Fox. Earlier this week I spoke to Juan Delgado, Managing Director of Perform Americas to learn more about its syndication formula.

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  • RealGravity Seeks to Shake Up Video Platforms and Syndication With All-in-One Solution

    Newcomer RealGravity is looking to shake up online video platform/publishing and syndication with a no-commitment, risk-free, all-in-one solution. RealGravity hit my radar recently as it is powering CineSport, which has become one of the top online video sports properties this year (recently with more viewers than Yahoo Sports, ESPN and SI Digital) by focusing exclusively on syndicating its content to larger 3rd-party publishers.

    As VideoNuze readers know, online video syndication has been a focus of mine for several years, as I'm a big believer that it's critical for generating audience and revenues, particularly for smaller content providers that lack well-trafficked destinations. RealGravity is providing important infrastructure for fueling syndication, and recently I caught up with Luke McDonough, co-founder and CEO to learn more about what makes RealGravity different.

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  • HealthiNation Lands on Roku; Now #3 in Health Vertical Due To Syndication Strategy

    Health and lifestyle video creator HealthiNation is announcing its availability on Roku devices this morning. The move extends HealthiNation's content syndication approach which helped place it third in comScore's Video Metrix ranking of health-related sites last month. HealthiNation racked up 3.1 million unique visitors, putting it ahead of WebMD and Everyday Health, and trailing only 5Min and HealthGuru. As Raj Amin, HealthiNation's CEO told me last week, the company gains the bulk of its traffic through its third-party syndication network of approximately 25 partners.

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  • Meredith and AlphaBird Partner For Branded Video Distribution

    Meredith Video Studios, the branded entertainment division of magazine giant Meredith Corp. and AlphaBird, a click-to-play video syndicator, have partnered to distribute advertisers' branded video across the Meredith Video Network. Chase Norlin, AlphaBird's CEO explained that the company will become Meredith's branded video sales agent, and MVS will offer video production as part of packaged deals.

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  • Targets Small to Mid-Sized Publishers With Hosted Video Solution

    LongTail Video, the company behind the free, hugely popular JW Player, has launched a public beta of, which includes a hosted version of the JW Player, a gallery of embeddable videos from 5Min (and others soon) and turnkey advertising. Dave Otten, co-founder and CEO of Long Tail, told me that with addresses small to mid-sized customers' demands for a solution that requires minimal technical expertise, offers easy access to premium content and provides incremental revenue. has been in private beta with 300 publishers for over a month.

    While allows publishers to insert URLs to their own videos (an upload option and other features are coming soon with the full integration of LongTail's Bits on the Run OVP product) to play within the hosted JW player, the main value proposition is gaining access to the 5Min videos, which are sorted by category and new revenue. A publisher can simply grab the "Arts" or "Business" channels and a curated set of up-to-date videos from various 5Min content partners will be available on its site.

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  • Guess Which Sports Property Had the Most Unique Viewers in May (Hint: It's Not Yahoo, ESPN, MLB or SI)

    Here's a interesting tidbit from comScore's Video Metrix - the top sports property in May, as ranked by unique viewers, wasn't any of the names you'd expect (e.g. Yahoo Sports, ESPN, MLB, SI, etc.), but rather a little-known, four year-old start-up named CineSport. As the chart below shows, CineSport generated 13.1 million unique viewers in May to top the list (CineSport was actually number one in April too, and has been so periodically before as well). How CineSport is generating so much viewership says a lot about how online video is creating unexpected new opportunities for those with clever approaches. Last week I caught up with CineSport's CEO and founder Gregg Winik to learn more.

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