With 3.7 billion video ads served, the combined AOL-Adap.tv has landed atop comScore's September 2013 U.S. Online Video Rankings. (see chart below) It's the first time that AOL has outranked Google (primarily YouTube), which dropped to second with 3.2 billion video ads served. On its own in August, Adap.tv served over 2.5 billion video ads. AOL-Adap.tv was also tops in total ad minutes in September with over 1.6 billion, followed by BrightRoll with nearly 1.3 billion.
I'm pleased to present the 193rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week Colin and I discuss our experiences with Chromecast, adding details to our respective previous posts (here and here), as well as our initial podcast from a few weeks ago just after the device was announced.
Overall, we're both very positive about Chromecast. Among other things, we like the easy set-up, the "tab-casting" feature, and of course, the low price of $35. We both believe it is hugely strategic for YouTube and other video providers who are outside the pay-TV universe to gain access to the living room. Colin has had a few issues with Netflix crashing his Nexus 4 when trying to use Chromecast (though when it has worked the quality has been strong) and he has had trouble using Chromecast's capability of turning the TV on and off.
I haven't had any problems using Netflix, though the streaming quality feels slightly lower than when I watch on my iPad or via my connected Blu-ray player. I did have problems with Chromecast when trying to watch golf and suspect it would be difficult to watch faster-action sports.
Still, we're both impressed and believe Google deserves lots of credit. We're both expecting big things from Chromecast this holiday season.
On a closing note, we'd like to thank all of you for listening to our weekly podcasts. It's been an incredibly busy summer for online video and we both believe the best is yet to come. For those of you with a long Labor Day weekend ahead, enjoy, and we'll see you in September!
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 16 seconds)
Underscoring how important YouTube has become as a marketing channel, a new study (free download here) from Pixability has found that all but one of the Top 100 Global Brands (as identified by Interbrand) now maintain a presence on YouTube. Together these 99 brands have generated 9.5 billion views on YouTube across 2,200+ channels, with over 258K videos posted.
Beyond the overall volume of activity, the Pixability study discloses a wide variation in the activity level and effectiveness of the brands' channels. Most striking is that less than half the brand videos posted gained 1,000 views or more while just 1,300 videos - a tiny fraction of all the total posted - achieved more than 1 million views. Further, 37% of brand channels haven't been updated with new content in over 120 days and many brands' channels were simply inactive.
Categories: Brand Marketing
Three items last week brought to mind one central question I've long wondered about: can traditionally free, ad-supported online video providers make the leap to a paid, subscription model? The first item was a long piece in Variety that chronicled the struggles the first set of YouTube content partners trying subscriptions is having upselling their free viewers. Second, Reuters broke the news that Machinima, one of the biggest online video players (and a big YouTube partner) is planning to go it alone in creating its own subscription service to complement its free, ad-supported offering. And third was the milestone news that Netflix, by far the most successful online subscription service, garnered 14 Emmy nominations, including 9 for "House of Cards" alone.
How do these all tie together?
I'm pleased to present the 179th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Yesterday, YouTube confirmed that it will offer content partners the ability to charge for subscriptions. In what its calling a pilot program, 53 subscription channels are being launched, some from established brands like UFC, PGA, National Geographic and Jim Henson, and many more from less well-known content partners.
In this week's podcast Colin and I discuss whether this is a big deal or not. Colin's more bullish than I am, seeing it as a very important piece in the YouTube puzzle, adding to existing advertising, rental and purchase monetization options.
I agree it's smart move by YouTube, but I don't think it's a game-changer. While I see this as the right thing to offer content partners - especially those with huge audiences on YouTube - this is akin to "freemium" type option that will require partners to very clearly differentiate the incremental content available in their subscription tiers in order to convert a small percentage of their free viewers to monthly subscribers.
A complicating factor is that for many users, YouTube subscriptions will be on top of - not a substitute for - already expensive pay-TV monthly bills. Then there's also a Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon or other SVOD subscriptions which already make a claim on finite entertainment dollars too. Lastly, YouTube is perceived as a "free" site by many, so it will take significant promotion by channels to persuade users to pay.
Bottom line: YouTube is doing right by its content partners in offering this capability, but it's up to the content partners themselves to make it successful. My guess is for most partners, advertising will continue to dominate their YouTube-related revenue for a long time to come.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 15 seconds)
I'm pleased to present the 178th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This was NewFronts week, when a slew of content providers presented their slate of programs and initiatives to advertisers. Having attended a couple of the presentations, I was impressed by the turnout, energy and interest, especially since this was only the second year for these types of presentations.
Advertisers have clearly moved online video beyond the experimental stage and are taking a strong interest. Colin and I agree that this is mainly due to viewers' strong adoption of online video viewing. This should only increase as viewers are presented with an exploding array of content choices. We talk more about the role that mobile and apps are playing in all of this too, and why established media needs to be aggressive in this shifting landscape.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 53 seconds)
YouTube has been the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of the online video market since the beginning of time. And it's key message to advertisers at last night's "Brandcast" NewFront event was to emphatically remind them of its massive size and its reach into the youth market, factors it believes should drive advertisers' attention and spending.
Whereas last year's Brandcast was all about the 100 new channels that YouTube was funding/launching, this year's event was more of a return to its roots: it's ability to give native digital talent the platform to reach and grow huge audiences. Because a lot of this talent resonates first and foremost with younger digital natives (in Nielsen parlance "Generation C"), YouTube says it's in a unique position to deliver these audiences. YouTube cited Nielsen data that it reaches more 18-34-year-olds than any cable network.
I'm pleased to present the 172nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we first discuss Google Fiber, which Google announced this past Tuesday would roll out to a second city, Olathe, KS. Nonetheless, as we discuss, it still feels like Google Fiber is a hobby for Google, though its executives recently asserted otherwise. Neither Colin nor I quite understand what Google Fiber's actual market impact or game plan is, and we are skeptical that there's a business case to support its broader rollout.
We then turn our attention to another Google-related item, which is that YouTube announced this week it is now attracting 1 billion visitors/month, even as (according to my analysis), its U.S. online-only traffic has dropped by 32% year-over-year. But, because comScore doesn't measure mobile access, this isn't an accurate portrayal of YouTube's reach, which is clearly expanding. Colin has further data that adds color to the situation.
Separate, Colin has released his excellent new white paper, "Second-Screen Apps for TV" (free download here)
And a reminder to sign up for "Sizing Up Apple TV" a free video webinar on April 2nd featuring Brightcove's Jeremy Allaire and me.
Listen in to learn more!
(update - the correct pronunciation of Olathe, KS is "O lay the" (thanks Frank Hughes!).
Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 57 seconds)
Here's an eye-popping data point from last week's comScore online video rankings report for Feb. '13: YouTube's total of 11.3 billion monthly views were down 32% vs. Feb. '12 when it had 16.7 billion views (see chart below). But lest you think viewers are fleeing YouTube, the perennial 800-pound gorilla of the online video market, what really appears to be happening is that a sizable chunk of viewers are shifting their viewing to mobile devices, which as I understand it, is not counted in comScore's data.
Today I'm pleased to share a contributed post from Alan Wolk. Alan is Global Lead Analyst at KIT digital. He frequently speaks about the television industry in general and second screen interactions in particular, both at conferences and to anyone who'll listen. Recently named as one of the "Top 20 Thinkers In Social TV and Second Screen" Wolk is one of the main architects behind the award-winning KIT Social Program Guide and writes about the television industry at the Toad Stool blog. You can find him on Twitter at @awolk
If you are interested in contributing to VideoNuze, please contact me!
Social Recommendations: No Surprises There
by Alan Wolk
There’s a firmly held belief in the world of social TV and social media that our social graphs-- the people we are friends with on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks-- are the best source of recommendations for anything from restaurants to movies to TV shows. (Witness this week’s Facebook Graph Search announcement.)
I’m here to suggest that may not be the case, particularly in regards to television.
Let’s take Facebook, the most personal of the social networks. While it is considered good form by many on Twitter and LinkedIin to connect with relative strangers, our Facebook friends are generally people we know in real life.
Categories: Social Media
Audience fragmentation isn't a new concept, but the proliferation of high-quality online-only originals suggests the trend is only going to intensify. These days, a week doesn't go by without another key player announcing a new or renewed online-only series, in turn creating ever-more choices for viewers and advertisers. Combine the surge in originals with the broad adoption of video-enabled connected devices, and the pieces are falling into place for even more changes in viewing behaviors.
Categories: Indie Video
Welcome to 2013! If you were mostly checked out over the past 1-2 weeks (or were only paying attention to the fiscal cliff roller coaster), you didn't miss a whole lot in the video world. However, there were 5 items that caught my attention which I briefly describe below:
YouTube has posted a gallery of the top 20 most-viewed ads of 2012. Topping the list, with almost 21 million views is "Nike Football: My Time Is Now," the 3-minute plus film which debuted for last summer's Eurocup. My personal favorite, with 17.7 million views and in the #3 position, is "The Bark Side," (see below) Volkswagen's 2012 Super Bowl teaser spin on its clever 2011 Super Bowl ad, "The Force" which is now up to 55 million views itself. The top 20 ads have over 200 million views combined.
comScore released its October Video Metrix rankings late last week and the good news for YouTube was that with a little over 13 billion videos delivered, its market share nudged up to 35% from September's 33.3%. As I wrote a few weeks ago, that was a record low share for the perennial online video leader, and was actually down from 53.1% just 2 months prior.
However, as the chart below shows, it's the third straight month of share below 40% and may well represent the "new normal" for YouTube's place in the industry. One interesting explanation for the drop in share is the comScore's numbers don't account for mobile (smartphone and tablet) viewing. If proportionately more of YouTube's viewing has shifted to mobile, then the declines in its online share would reflect that.
I'm pleased to present the 156th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group. Google is all over the online video industry and today is an "all Google" podcast, as we focus on updates related to Google TV, Google Fiber and YouTube.
First up is Google TV, and Colin discusses new features including voice-based search, the PrimeTime TV/movies app and updated YouTube app, as well as a new AirPlay-like app that allows users to watch video through their Google TV that was discovered on their Android devices. Colin views all of these as the continued evolution of Google TV, which long-term he believes will become an interesting device.
Next up, the first installations of Google Fiber occurred this week in Kansas City. The much-hyped project promises to deliver 1 gig speeds for $70/month, though a profile of an early customer indicated actual speeds around 600-700 mbps. Still, that's a huge jump from typical broadband ISP service and Colin shares scenarios of what may happen when speeds and bandwidth caps are no longer constraints.
We finish up with YouTube, which this week revealed that it will re-invest in 30-40% of the original channels it helped launch, meaning 60-70% won't get additional funds. Like TV networks, YouTube is learning what works and what doesn't, and re-upping accordingly. It's also worth noting that the YouTube app launched on Nintendo Wii this week, further spreading YouTube's reach into the living room.
Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 39 seconds)
In my post last Tuesday, I cited comScore data showing that YouTube's share of online video views had dropped to 33.2% in Sept. '12, its lowest level in the 3+ years since I've been keeping track. On our weekly podcast last Friday, Colin Dixon from The Diffusion Group noted that while YouTube's view count was down, its time spent per viewer (sometimes referred to as "engagement") had increased during the past year.
Colin's point was consistent with YouTube's own goals; in response to my post, a YouTube spokesperson had directed me to a company blog post from August, in which Eric Meyerson, head of creator marketing communications, described changes the company had made to "encourage people to spend more time watching, interacting and sharing with the community."
I'm pleased to present the 154th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group. This week finds Colin in Copenhagen, in the middle of the Nordic region which is seeing a lot of OTT activity from Netflix, HBO Nordic and others. Colin provides an update on what he's learned.
In addition, we discuss YouTube's declining market share, which in September stood at 33.2%, down from 53.1% as recently as July. I delved deeply into all of the year-over-year data this past Monday. Colin adds another dimension to the analysis, saying that this reflects a shift away from viewing short clips, toward longer-form viewing.
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 8 seconds)
Yesterday comScore released its September 2012 Video Metrix data which showed YouTube accounted for approximately 13.1 billion videos viewed out of the monthly total of 39.4 billion. At 33.2%, that's the lowest market share YouTube has had since Aug. '10 when I started tracking this data. As recently as July '12, YouTube had a 53.1% share (with 19.6 billion videos viewed), though as I pointed out previously, in August, its share dropped unexpectedly to 36.5%.
In addition, the 13.1 billion YouTube videos viewed in September is the lowest in the 13 months since comScore changed its reporting methodology and is nearly 30% lower than the 18.6 billion videos viewed a year ago in Sept. '11 and almost 650 million lower than its Aug '11 total of 13.8 billion videos. (YouTube's record high was 21.9 billion in Dec. '11). See chart below for more.
Yesterday marked another milestone in online video's continuing evolution as 8 million concurrent live streams of Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos Mission were delivered (note that's according to YouTube, but has not yet been independently verified). I was one of those live streams, gathered with my family around my Mac watching the jump unfold on YouTube in full screen mode.
I figured a lot of people were also watching, so what really hit me was the quality of the stream - no buffering, no audio/video synch issues, no pixelation, nothing. Just a seamless high-quality feed for the full hour we watched. In my experience, that would be noteworthy even if only a small audience was tuned in and it was on-demand. The fact that it was done with 8M live concurrent streams seems quite significant.
Categories: Live Streaming
Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group and I are back for the 151st edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast. This week Colin and I first discuss YouTube's curation plans which I wrote about yesterday. I've received a number of emails about my post, with most readers intrigued by the idea, and wanting to learn more. Colin likes YouTube's curation direction too, seeing it as a reminder of the value of programming.
Colin then walks us through some of the interesting reactions he got on a panel he moderated at the TV Next conference, "The Rise of the Next-Gen Operator." He asked the question - imagine its 2022, what does a pay-TV operator look like? Listen in to learn more.
Last but not least, Colin is moderating a session for Ooyala at next week's Digital Hollywood. Ooyala is offering complimentary admission to the conference in exchange for completing the form located here.
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 15 seconds)