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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Analysis for 'Nielsen'

  • Nielsen's Cross-Platform Ratings Should Drive Higher Video Ad Spending

    Yesterday Nielsen made its Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings commercially available, following trials by GroupM, ESPN, Facebook, Hulu and Unilever. Cross-Platform provides, for the first time, "unduplicated and incremental reach, frequency and GRP measures for TV and Internet advertising." Cross-Platform brings together Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) with its longstanding national TV panel.

    The Cross-Platform launch follows Nielsen's announcement two weeks ago that 15 leading video and digital ad platforms have integrated OCR, plus last week's news that the CW Network will use OCR to measure its online viewership and offer demographic guarantees for online advertisers for the 2012-2013 TV season. As I explained last week, Cross-Platform is so critical to online video advertising because it helps align the ecosystem with media buying expectations of the multi-billion dollar TV advertising industry.

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  • Measurement Milestone: 15 Ad Platforms Adopt Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings

    Talk to anyone involved in the business of online video advertising and they will quickly say that the number one challenge to increased spending is better audience measurement. If only advertisers and agencies had a TV-style Gross Rating Points (GRP) metric - not just impression and clickthrough levels - to gauge the effectiveness of their spend, then traditional TV ad dollars would flow more freely into online video campaigns. Inevitably, the online measurement discussion focuses on Nielsen, the undisputed king of TV ratings, whose measurement standard is the common currency for billions in brand advertising dollars.

    And that's why Nielsen's announcement yesterday, that 15 leading video and digital ad platforms - which together deliver thousands of online video ad campaigns and billions of impressions - are integrating Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) for use by their clients in campaign planning and analysis is a big milestone. As Amit Seth, Nielsen's EVP of Global Media Products explained to me late yesterday, these new partners will help cement OCR as an "online GRP" helping them to establish accountability and ROI quantification, two pre-requisites for traditional TV advertisers.

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  • Google/YouTube: Research Shows Lighter TV Viewers Primed for Online Video Ads

    It's no secret that with consumer behavior fragmenting over different video sources and media-related activities, advertisers are having a tougher time than ever reaching their targeted audiences. Especially elusive are younger, lighter TV viewers. No surprise, these lighter viewers skew younger with about 31% of 18-49 age group in the category. They're also choice targets for advertisers: they're wealthier, more educated and more diverse.

    To help prove the efficacy of online video advertising as a method for reaching these viewers, yesterday Google/YouTube and Nielsen released new research demonstrating that lighter TV viewers (who average 39 minutes per/day) are more effectively and cost-efficiently reached with online video advertising that compliments traditional TV advertising.

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  • Nielsen Keeps Trying To Crack the Online Video Measurement Nut

    Yesterday's news that Nielsen is collaborating with GroupM, the largest media buyer in the world, to introduce "Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings," is the latest move by the Nielsen to get its arms around the elusive problem of coherently measuring online video advertising. As I recently wrote, many in the advertising and content community believe there's a "measurement crisis" as video consumption rapidly splinters to numerous new connected devices.

    Given that "what can't be measured, can't be sold," cohesive online video measurement is essential. And since Nielsen is the gold standard in TV ratings, many in the industry have expected it to pick up the mantle in online video as well. That has led to some grumbling at Nielsen's perceived slow pace of innovation, and the drag this creates on online video ad spending.

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  • Study: Online Video Ads Complement TV Ads

    Departing from the typical industry party line that online video needs to shift ad spending away from TV, today YuMe and Nielsen are announcing results of a new study showing that online video advertising is actually complementary to TV advertising and that the two should be paired to optimize results. The proposition is that with an integrated "TV 2.0 media planning" approach, advertisers get the best of both worlds: TV's unparalleled reach and online video's interactivity and engagement.

    In the study, YuMe layered a concurrent $500K online video campaign onto a $2.6M September 2011 TV flight for a consumer packaged goods advertiser. YuMe allocated the online spend using Nielsen's TV/Internet Fusion panel in order augment the TV buy. The key findings included:

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #107 - CTAM/Nielsen Research - Aug 5, 2011

    Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 107th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for August 5, 2011.

    In this week's podcast, Daisy and I discuss research released earlier this week by CTAM and Nielsen which found, among other things, that 85% of video app users are watching the same or more regularly scheduled TV. In addition, the research found that around 75% of video app usage on mobile devices actually occurs in the home. Daisy and I talk about the implications of the research, and additional data points we've seen that reinforce its conclusions.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (11 minutes, 13 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!
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  • 85% of Video App Users Watching Same or More Scheduled TV: Study

    For those fearing that video consumption through mobile and connected devices threatens to disrupt traditional linear TV viewership, a new study suggests it's not happening en masse, at least not yet. The study, fielded by Nielsen and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) indicates that 85% of video app users are watching the same or more regularly scheduled TV. There's no trend data however, so it's not clear how the amount compares to a year or two ago.

    Further good news is that video apps appear to be adding value to TV programs and TV networks. As the below graphic shows, 46% of video app users report more engagement with the program/network, 35% report more visits to the program/network web site, and 37% report watching more associated programs or networks.

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  • Microsoft and Nielsen Team Up to Correlate Online Ads With TV Tune-In

    Microsoft and Nielsen are teaming up to launch the "Television Online Effect" pilot program, to help measure how specific online ads drive TV tune-in. The partners will leverage aggregate profile data from Nielsen's TV/Internet Fusion panel to create a target audience based on TV and online usage. Microsoft then plans to run online campaigns to this audience on its owned properties. It will then measure the tune-in effect of these campaigns. Entertainment is the first vertical in the program, which will launch by August 1st.

    I can see a real opportunity for this for various reasons. The TV landscape noisier than ever, with cable TV networks flooding the market with a record amount of original programming and broadcast networks continuing to fight for audience share. Meanwhile, traditional tune-in advertising, in radio and newspaper, is less effective than ever because audiences are spending more time online. The good news is that in online, users' profiles can be accurately understand and then correlated to what TV shows they're likely to enjoy, in turn increasing the ads' ROI and the likelihood that shows find their appropriate audience.

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  • Online Video Advertising's Number One Challenge: Measurement

    Despite online video advertising's surging growth, its number one current challenge is a consistent and widely-accepted measurement system that allows media buyers, content publishers and brands to gain a clear understanding of how ad campaigns are planned, executed and evaluated. That was the consensus at a launch dinner for the upcoming ELEVATE: Online Video Advertising Summit I attended last night, which included about ten online video industry CEOs, plus brand and agency executives, which was hosted by the private equity firm The Blackstone Group and the law firm Sheppard Mullin.

    Today, online video measurement tends to focus on that which is easily measured and at least relatively well-understood: number of views/impressions and the number of click-throughs (if applicable). While that's a good starting point, much more is required. As a number of CEOs noted, media buyers have set a higher standard for pricier online video buys; they need specific information about audience targeting, meaningful engagement, and importantly, the correlation between spending and brand/sales lift. There was agreement that many of these new requirements never entered the equation in traditional TV advertising.

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  • ESPN Continues Dampening Cord-Cutting Fears

    ESPN released the its latest round of research on cord-cutting this week, finding that a tiny .18% of American homes with both pay-TV service and a broadband connection dropped their video service between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. ESPN said the .18% is actually lower than the .28% it found in its prior period research and is fully offset by a comparable number of people who upgraded from a "broadcast-only" service level to a full pay-TV package. Not surprisingly, ESPN said that among medium-to-heavy sports viewers there was zero cord-cutting.

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  • PwC's New Viewership Research Shows Vastly Changed Landscape

    A industry friend passed me a copy of PwC's new research on viewership across platforms and by age groups this week, which shows a vastly changed landscape for entertainment consumption. On the top line, the research reports that consumers are watching 12.4 hours/week of TV and movies via download, streamed, digitally recorded and online, vs. 8.9 hours of TV and movies on network TV and basic cable. When looked at by three age groups, 18-34, 35-44 and 45-59, only the latter category watches more network TV/cable, and only for TV shows, not movies (see chart below).

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  • Comcast-Time Warner Deal Shows Promise and Challenges of TV Everywhere

    If you're looking for a template of how pay-TV operators and cable networks need to be working together if they want to successfully combat the rise of Netflix and other over-the-top entrants, yesterday's long-term agreement between Comcast and Time Warner is a great example. Under the agreement, Comcast digital subscribers will gain access to popular programs and movies from Turner Broadcasting networks like TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network and others, across multiple platforms, including Comcast's On Demand service, Xfinity TV online web site and companion iPad/iPhone and Android apps (which just last night began streaming full episodes). Importantly, Turner networks' viewers will also be able to view the same programs/movies on Turner web sites and online/mobile platforms.  No extra charges to the consumer are planned.

    The deal is a solid step forward in realizing the vision of TV Everywhere that both companies' CEOs laid out back in July, 2009 (see this video for more). And no doubt both companies want to make similar deals with others in the industry; Comcast with other cable TV network groups, and Time Warner with other pay-TV operators. Still, the fact that the two foremost proponents of TV Everywhere took a year-and-a-half to go from laying out their vision to actually announcing a deal underscores how arduous the full realization of the TV Everywhere model will be.

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  • CES Takeaway #3: Mobility is Video's Next Frontier

    (Note: Each day this week I'm writing about one key takeaway from last week's CES 2011. Also, next Wednesday, January 19th, The Diffusion Group's Colin Dixon and I will be hosting a complimentary webinar, "Demystifying CES 2011," in which we'll discuss key CES highlights and answer participants' questions.)

    One of the clear trends that emerges from the video-related product announcements at CES 2011, and in the months leading up to it, is that mobility is video's next frontier.

    Just as online video adoption grew out of massive online Internet use, mobile video consumption is going to ride the tremendous wave of mobile Internet use. And by many accounts mobile Internet usage is on the cusp of a massive expansion. The analyst Mary Meeker believes that by 2014 there will be more mobile Internet users globally (about 1.6 billion) than desktop Internet users. In just the past year, the number of Americans who have used the Internet from their mobile phones has increased from 32% to 40%, with those reporting they accessed the 'net several times a day from a mobile phone jumping from 24% to 43%, according to Pew.

    Unquestionably the big growth in mobile Internet use has been facilitated by the explosion of video-friendly smartphones and tablets. Indeed CES could have almost been renamed "Tablet-Fest 2011" as numerous tablets were introduced, all seeking to imitate the iPad's huge success. In 2011, IDC predicts 330 million smartphones and 42 million tablets will be sold worldwide. In the U.S., Nielsen estimates that by the end of 2011, smartphones will have a greater market share than feature phones. Certainly Verizon's iPhone announcement yesterday is another smartphone accelerant, with Verizon loyalists finally gaining access to the iconic device. A recent study from MeFeedia underscored Apple's role in driving mobile video adoption: 43% of mobile video usage was from iPhones and iPads, with Android bringing in 21%. In addition to the proliferation of devices, the rollout of speedy 4G networks will make mobile video consumption easier and more pleasing to viewers.

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  • Roku Hits 1 Billion Streams; Viewing Time Is 31% As Much As Traditional TV

    Connected device maker Roku has announced that it has delivered a cumulative 1 billion video streams to its installed base of media players. Even more interesting though is that the company disclosed that in December 2010, its players were used for an average of 11+ hours of play time per week. Since Nielsen reported that in Q2 '10 that the average American watched about 143.5 hours per month, this would mean that Roku owners on average are watching  31% (i.e. 45/143.5) as much through these devices as they do traditional TV.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Dec. 5th

    Once again I'm pleased to offer VideoNuze's end-of-week feature highlighting and discussing 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

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  • ESPN Wades Into Cord-Cutting Research Fray With New Data

    Not content to sit by and watch the headlines claiming significant cord-cutting is underway, ESPN is wading into the cord-cutting research fray, releasing a new analysis of its own, which it asserts that the activity has been totally overblown.

    By analyzing Nielsen data, ESPN says that in the past 3 months, .28 percent of U.S. households have cut the cord, though mitigating this decrease is that .17 percent of households that had been subscribing to the lowest tier of pay-TV service (dubbed "broadcast-only") upgraded to pay-TV and broadband Internet services. With approximately 110 million households in the U.S., ESPN is saying around 308,000 homes cut the cord, with 187,000 upgrading from broadcast-only, for a net loss due to cord-cutting of 121,000 households. Interestingly, that 121,000 households is quite close to the 119,000 subscribers that SNL Kagan said that U.S. pay-TV operators lost in Q3 '10.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Nov. 29th

    Following the Thanksgiving break last Friday, VideoNuze's end-of-week feature of curating 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week, is back. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Nov. 15th

    After a short break, VideoNuze's Friday feature of curating 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week, returns today. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    Time Warner Cable Experiments With Lower Tier Video Package
    It's a rare day when a cable operator announces a lower-priced offering, but that's what Time Warner Cable did yesterday, unveiling a test of what it's calling "TV Essentials." The new tier, priced between $30-$40, will most notably exclude ESPN, the most expensive channel in the cable universe, meaning right away TV Essentials isn't targeted to sports fans. I've argued for a while now that pay-TV operators have ceded the low-priced/value-oriented end of the video market to Netflix (and others), which given the ongoing recession is a mistake. It will be interesting to see how the new bargain service fares; 2 things that will limit its appeal though are that no channels will be offered in HD, and that it appears those with broadband Internet and telephone services won't benefit from typical package discounts.

    Nielsen study: We're still a nation of couch pumpkins

    More evidence this week that despite all the deserved enthusiasm over online and mobile delivery, good old-fashioned TV viewing still rules in terms of hours of consumption. Nielsen said that the average person watched 143 hours of TV per month in Q2, essentially flat vs. a year ago. For homes with DVRs, hours of time watched on them nudged up a bit to about 24 1/2 hours. On a related note, this week comScore released its online video viewing data for October, which showed average viewing of 15.1 hours per person. While online video has made huge progress in the last few years, it still has a ton of room to grow to catch up with TV.

    More Videos Ads, More User Acceptance
    Speaking of the comparison between online video and TV, this week brought some interesting new data on monetization patterns for premium online video. Online video ad manager FreeWheel released data that showed mid-roll ads are the fastest-growing category of ads (up 693% since Q1), and now represent 8% of its ad volume. Completion rates have increased for pre, mid and post-roll ads this year, but notably mid-rolls have the highest completion rate, at 90%. FreeWheel's conclusion is that monetization of premium online video is starting to look a lot like TV, with ad pods inserted throughout. Going a step further, if viewer acceptance of mid-rolls stays high, then this represents a valuable opportunity for TV networks in particular to combat DVR-based ad-skipping.

    Startup Claims To Have Set-Top Hulu Can't Block
    It was inevitable that Hulu's decision to block access to its programs would set off a game of whack-a-mole, with various devices springing up to do end-arounds. Sure enough, the $99 Orb TV debuted this week, prominently positioning itself as the device that can bring Hulu (among other content) to your TV. One catch is that Orb streams video from your computer and only does so in standard definition. It addresses the "keyboard in the living room" challenge by also including a smartphone app to control the device. It's not a perfect solution, but it does provide a glimpse into the PR-unfriendly dynamic that Hulu, and the broadcast networks, have created for themselves by blocking access to their content by Google TV and others. No doubt there will be plenty more Orb-like devices to come to market in the months ahead, all positioning themselves as solving the blocking problem.

    Comcast's Top Digital Exec Amy Banse to Open New Silicon Valley Equity Fund for Cable Giant and NBC
    As Comcast enters the final stages of approval for its NBCU deal, the company this week announced a new NBCU management structure. One item that wasn't formally announced yet, but was reported by AllThingsD earlier this week was that Amy Banse, formerly head of Comcast Interactive Media (now headed by Matt Strauss), will be heading to Silicon Valley to run the combined operations of Comcast's current Comcast Interactive Capital venture arm, and NBCU's current Peacock Equity (a JV with GE). With all the distribution, technology and content assets that will be under the Comcast roof, the fund will be at the top of any online/mobile video startup's list of strategic investors. I've known Amy for a while and have enjoyed having her on industry panels; she'll be a huge asset to Comcast in the Valley venture world.
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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Oct. 25th

    Lots more happened this week in online/mobile video, and so to make your lives easier, VideoNuze is once again curating 5-6 interesting industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    No Longer 'Must-See TV'
    The WSJ reported this week that Thursday night TV viewership (live or recorded) among 18-49 year-olds is down 4.3% this season to 48.5 million, a drop of 2.2 million viewers. For this age group, the drop across all nights (live or recorded) is 2.7%. While the decreases have immediate implications on networks' ad revenue, the bigger issue of course is what the drops say about shifting consumer preferences. For example, I continue to hear anecdotes about users with connected devices now tuning in first to their Instant Watch queues instead of channel surfing or visiting their DVR libraries or VOD. The Nielsen data corroborates other data (here, here) about the decline of TV viewing, especially among young people, and is another reason why broadcast networks in particular should be embracing connected devices like Google TV, not blocking them.

    CW Says Study 'Dispels Myth' About Aversion to Ads in Online Video
    Speaking of networks and their online distribution, this week CW released some interesting new data that detailed extremely low abandonment rates for its shows consumed online, even with ad loads almost equal to those on-air. While it is too early to generalize, the data provides a very encouraging sign that networks may be able to achieve parity economics with on-air, even when they window their online releases for delayed availability. It's also an important sign that online video may be a firewall against DVR-based ad-skipping.

    Comcast Launches Free Streaming Video Service Xfinity for All Digital Subs
    In addition to releasing stellar Q3 earnings this week (albeit with a bigger-than-expected subscriber loss), Comcast also pulled the "beta" label off its Xfinity TV service this week, and relaxed its rules about who can gain access. Now any video subscriber, regardless of who they take their broadband Internet service from, can access XFTV.

    Some began to speculate that it could be a precursor for Comcast allowing non-video subs to also gain access to XFTV. This is the concept I wrote about in over a year ago, in "How TV Everywhere Could Turn Cable Operators and Telcos Into Over-the-Top's Biggest Players." The idea is that TV Everywhere services like XFTV could be offered outside of Comcast's franchise areas to allow them to poach video subscribers from other pay-TV operators. It's still a fascinating concept, but nothing about Comcast's move this week suggests it's coming soon.

    Insight To Bow 50-Mbps Internet In Two Markets
    If you think all that Netflix and other long-form streaming is going to strain users' bandwidth, think again, as yet another cable operator/broadband ISP, 9th-largest Insight Communications unveiled plans for a speedy 50 megabit per second broadband tier. Big players like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been offering this for a while already. It's still very pricey, but as some viewers shift more of their consumption to online and away from conventional TV viewing (see above), more bandwidth will be worth the price. Update - I missed this item, that over in the U.K. Virgin Media began taking sign-ups for a 100 Mbps broadband service. Net, net, last-mile bandwidth will keep expanding to meet increasing demand.

    Promoted Videos hit half a billion views
    Fresh evidence this week that YouTube is finding innovative ways to monetize its massive audience: the company's performance-based "Promoted videos" format achieved its 500 millionth view, just 2 years after being introduced. With Promoted videos, anyone uploading a video to YouTube (brand, content provider, amateur), can buy opportunities to have that video appear alongside relevant keyword-based searches in YouTube. It's a similar format to AdWords, and of course the video provider only pays when their video is actually clicked on. As I said recently, YouTube is becoming a much more important part of Google's overall advertising mix, while for many brands, YouTube's home page is fast-becoming the most desirable piece of online real estate.

  • Nielsen: iPad Already In 3.6% of U.S. Homes in Q2. How's That Compare?

    I was checking out Nielsen's Q2 '10 Home Technology Report findings and one stat jumped out at me: 3.6% of U.S. homes now own an iPad. The percentage would actually be a little higher than Apple's own data given that it reported 3.27 million iPads sold in the quarter ending June 26th (assuming there are approximately 110-115 million U.S. households).

    Either way, when you think of iPad sales in household penetration terms, the question that comes to mind is how long after their introductions did digital products and services like DVR, HDTV, broadband Internet, VOD and others reach 3.6%? I don't know the answer, but I suspect it was far longer than a single quarter.

    With Apple's next quarter performance due on Oct. 18th, we'll see how many more millions of iPads were sold in the 3rd calendar quarter of 2010. And of course with Q4, the holiday quarter, now underway, the biggest wave of purchases is just ahead. At some point it will be fascinating to overlay the iPad's early years' quarterly household penetration curve on other digital products and services. No doubt it will tell a remarkable story of success.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

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