Welcome to Inside the Stream, the weekly podcast where nScreenMedia’a Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.
This has been NewFronts week, in which 30+ companies pitch to advertisers and agencies why they should be allocated a portion of the tens of billions of dollars of video/TV campaign budgets. NewFronts presentations typically include the presenter sharing audience profile data, updates on how advertisers can best reach their audience and reveals of upcoming original shows, which often include appearances by the talent. The NewFronts are organized by the IAB, which does an incredible job.
I attended about a dozen presentations, by Roku, Crackle Plus, Tubi, Samsung Ads, VIZIO, Amazon, YouTube, Vevo, A+E, Snap, DoubleVerify, TikTok and NBCUniversal and was very impressed. All emphasized streaming-first messages: younger audiences watch little to no linear TV so running campaigns on streaming is essential, streaming offers full funnel marketing capabilities, and screens like CTV and mobile are the way of the future.
Many thanks to our inaugural Inside the Stream sponsor Verizon Media. When you have quality connections at scale, you’re truly connected.
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Over 50% of the viewing on Comcast’s Flex streaming TV device is free, ad-supported, according to an update Comcast shared this morning. Comcast didn’t identify viewing shares by specific services, but said four services - Peacock, Xumo, Pluto and Tubi - were “routinely among the most viewed apps on the platform.”
Comcast offers the Flex box for no extra charge to its 31 million Xfinity broadband users and said it had over three million Flex boxes deployed as of March. Flex users also get free access to Peacock Premium, the $4.99 per month ad-supported tier that includes all Peacock content, including all seasons of “The Office” which is Peacock’s most valuable content and gets significant promotion in the app. Comcast also noted its “content forward design that puts free programming front and center.”
Ad buyers plan to allocate 56% of their video advertising budgets to digital video (CTV, desktop, mobile), with 41% to linear TV (linear TV, addressable, data-driven linear) and 2% to other video, according to IAB’s new Video Ad Spend 2020 & Outlook for 2021 report, which is based on a survey of 350 video advertising decision makers conducted Mary 19th to April 5th. Within digital video, CTV is expected to get the largest share of spending, with 35%, followed by mobile with 33% and desktop with 32%.
CTV is expected to have the strongest growth in 2021, with 35% of respondents planning to increase budgets, followed by data-driven linear TV and broadcast/cable TV (21%) and addressable TV (15%). The primary reasons buyers behind the increase for CTV were “premium/high quality content,” “trusted, brand safe environment” and “targeting.”
The U.S. SVOD market has undergone significant fragmentation over the past two years as new services have launched, according to the Q1 2021 Growth Report from Antenna, an SVOD insights provider. In Q1 ’19, Netflix and Hulu together accounted for over three-quarters (78%) of all SVOD subscriptions. But two years later, in Q1 ’21, their combined share fell to just over half (51%), with Disney taking 17%, HBO Max 11%, Paramount+ 7%, Starz 6%, Showtime 4% and discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+ all at 2%.
Antenna didn’t report Amazon Prime Video numbers. Amazon said in its Q1 ’21 earnings report that 175 million Prime members have streamed TV shows and movies in the past year, though it didn’t provide any breakdown of U.S. share vs. rest of world.