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.
Welcome to Inside the Stream, our weekly podcast with Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia where we take listeners inside the world of streaming video.
Earlier this week Alphabet reported its Q1 ’21 earnings, including $6 billion in advertising revenue at YouTube, a record for the first quarter. In this week’s podcast, Colin and I dig into what drove YouTube’s advertising, which was nearly twice the level of just two years ago in Q1 ’19 and also up 49% from Q1 ’20.
YouTube appears to be benefiting from two strong forces: the shift of ad spending from linear TV to CTV to reach younger audiences, and the desire by advertisers for more measurable, performance-oriented advertising, which YouTube has capitalized on with its TrueView for Action format.
We also spend a little time looking at the over-the-air market and how E.W. Scripps is positioning itself to benefit from the millions of households who still access TV this way.
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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