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VideoNuze Analysis

  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Why Has Apple Been Surpassed By Amazon in CTV?

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    On this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss why Apple has been surpassed by Amazon in CTV and streaming video. As Colin articulates very well in “Five ways Amazon is Crushing Apple in the CTV Market” earlier this week, Apple was early to market with its Apple TV CTV device (albeit at the very high price point of $299), and was also the dominant player in movie and TV show rentals and purchases with iTunes not that long ago. But major product strategy mistakes and decisions by Apple, combined with deft, low margin and user-friendly moves by Amazon have led the two companies’ positions in these critical markets to completely reverse themselves. With this new normal, what lies ahead?

    One big measure Apple has taken to try course correcting has been the launch of Apple TV+. We start this week’s podcast by understanding why Apple is spending so heavily on original TV shows for the service, which it is expected to spend $500 million marketing in 2022. A new analysis by the WSJ illuminates Apple’s heavy product placement agenda, in support of ecosystem loyalty and core device sales. As I explain, this strategy - along with Amazon’s - has potentially big implications for established and newer media companies still reliant on traditional advertising and subscription revenue models.

    Listen to the podcast (29 minutes, 26 seconds)




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  • Apple’s Product Placements in Its Originals Reveal Commerce Agenda and Shifting Industry Leverage

    Ever since Apple started ramping up its investments in original programming there has been lots of speculation about the company’s true motivation for the initiative. Keep up with the competition? Drive more “services” revenues? Burnish its brand? Ensure executives have tickets to award shows and after parties? All of the above? None of the above? Something else?

    The most accurate motivation is likely to keep viewers loyal to Apple’s ecosystem and thereby sell more Apple products to them. That’s the conclusion from a compelling new analysis by Kenny Wassus, senior video journalist at the Wall Street Journal, explained in a 7 minute video (see embedded below). Wassus studied which Apple products appeared and how often in five Apple originals, “Defending Jacob,” “The Morning Show,” “Mythic Quest,” “Ted Lasso” and “Trying.” He watched a total of 74 episodes, totaling over 2,600 minutes, logging every Apple product placement.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Interview With Alan Wolk About His New Smart TV Report

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    This week we’re pleased to have as our guest Alan Wolk, who is the Co-Founder and Chief Analyst at TV[R]EV and who is well-known to all of us in the industry. Alan has released a new report, “The Emerging Smart TV Ecosystem,” which is available for complimentary download and was underwritten by LG Ads, Samsung Ads and VIZIO.

    In a nutshell, Alan believes smart TV makers “are having a moment.” A key part of our discussion is whether and how quickly smart TVs will supplant streaming sticks and boxes as the primary connected TV device. Alan also shares his predictions and assumptions for how quickly smart TV advertising will grow over the next several years. We also get into the crucial role of improved user interfaces, how the big 3 work with FAST services to attract and retain viewers, and where Amazon’s new Omnia smart TV fits in.

    Smart TVs are helping reinvent the living room experience; hopefully our interview provides new insights for how they’re doing so and over what time period their impact will be felt.

    Listen to the podcast (36 minutes, 32 seconds)
     


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  • How CTV Advertising Can Drive Super Bowl Ads Above $10 Million Per Spot

    News yesterday that NBC has certain advertisers willing to pay a record price of up to $6.5 million for a 2022 Super Bowl spot, 18% higher than this year, and that it has fewer than five unsold 30-second spots remaining for February’s big game, brought to mind a newsletter I wrote way back in February, 2006 entitled “The $10 Million Super Bowl Ad?” (Unfortunately link no longer available). In it I asserted that Super Bowl ads would eventually command $10 million.

    For reference, back in 2007 NBC sold spots in Super Bowl LXI for $2.5 million apiece. That means the price per spot has grown by an annual compounded rate of approximately 6.5%. That is 3.5x the rate of inflation over that 15 year period, which was approximately 1.9%. If Super Bowl ad rates continue to increase at an average of 6.5% per year, then the price will hit $10 million per spot in about 7 years, for the 2029 big game.

    (Note, back in 2015, when NBC was charging $4.5 million per Super Bowl spot, NBC Sports Group’s EVP of Sales and Marketing Seth Winter said “$4.5 million is a steal. We think the Super Bowl is worth closer to $10 million in incremental exposure for marketers.” Worth it or not, 6 years later NBC believes a spot is now valued by the market at $6.5 million and to be fair some of the ads’ value is tied to a packaging approach NBC is taking with the 2022 Winter Olympics).

    What’s going on here?

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Does it Really Make Sense for AMC+ to Partner With Amazon Channels?

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    On this week’s podcast we dig into my post from earlier this week about my experience starting a 7-day free trial to the SVOD service AMC+ using Amazon Channels. I did this in order to watch the movie “A Few Good Men” with extended family last weekend.

    While the sign-up process was very easy, the issue is that neither AMC+ nor Amazon has done anything to try converting me from trial to paid subscriber by explaining the service’s content value. In fact, when I tried cancelling the first time, they did the opposite, offering me a new discount if I stayed on for another two months.

    Colin and I explore the bind that small to mid-size SVOD services find themselves in with Amazon Channels and other big platforms. On the one hand, the platforms are huge potential sources of trial subscribers. On the other hand, if the SVOD service has virtually no insight about their trial subscribers, can’t connect with them to directly promote content and the platform itself does nothing to convert subscribers from trial, is there really any long-term value being created for the SVOD service, or is it just churning through viewers?

    These are tricky questions without clear answers. But they have huge implications for SVOD services and the platforms going forward. Learn more now!

    Listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 10 seconds)




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  • Save the Dates for the Connected TV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit (Virtual) on November 16th and 17th

    Please save the dates for VideoNuze’s inaugural Connected TV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit (virtual) on the afternoons of November 16th and 17th.

    As we all know, connected TV advertising is exploding. eMarketer estimates that in 2021, in the U.S. alone, CTV advertising will exceed $13 billion, and will more than double, to over $27 billion in 2025. Other analysts are forecasting even faster growth.

    But there are still many challenges for CTV advertising to achieve its full potential. One of the most significant challenges over the past several years has been “brand safety” - advertisers’ discomfort with having their brands associated with anything but premium, “brand-safe” content. This is a topic we’ve explored deeply at prior VideoNuze CTV Ad Summits.

    Beyond the traditional conversations about and solutions to brand safety, there is a more recent focus on “brand suitability” in CTV advertising - how advertisers can optimize their adjacency to particular premium video content, according to specific performance metrics. “Suitability” is a critical evolution in industry vocabulary because it moves the conversation from negative associations of “safety,” to instead focus on the positive nature of appropriate advertising.

    Integral to the topic of brand suitability is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). Increasingly, advertisers and agencies recognize that advertising campaigns and the professionals who create and execute them must reflect society’s diversity and its evolving values. Brand building is becoming more purposeful around advancing equity, inclusion and representation. As CTV advertising gains a larger share of both linear TV and digital ad spending, it is poised to play a more important role in brand suitability and DE&I.

    For all of these reasons, the time is now right for a first of its kind industry event that is 100% focused on brand suitability and safety in CTV advertising along with the integral role of DE&I. This is VideoNuze’s Connected TV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit’s mission. An opportunity for the industry’s top thought-leaders to convene and dig into all aspects of this complex, vital topic. Through a highly curated program of keynotes, research presentations, interviews and panel discussions, attendees will immerse themselves in all the key issues and how they’re being addressed through modern approaches and solutions.

    I’m planning for the CTV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit to feature significant involvement from large ad agencies and advertisers who are leading in both CTV advertising and DE&I. I’m really proud to share that I will be directing 10% of all paid sponsorship revenue to agency partners, or their designated affiliates, to advance their DE&I initiatives. I’m also really excited that a number of the industry’s leading companies have already committed to be sponsors of the CTV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit. Based on my initial outreach, I’m anticipating this event will be very well-received across the industry. If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact me.

    Please visit the CTV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit’s website for more information and registration. I'll have a lot more information to share in the coming weeks. I’ll also be sharing VideoNuze’s full 2022 event plan, which will build on 15 years of successful online video and CTV events that have been attended by thousands of industry professionals. Next year will feature at least three compelling CTV advertising events, including one in the first quarter.

    For now, please save November 16th and 17th for what I hope will be two high-impact afternoons of learning and networking.

     
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  • AMC+ on Amazon Channels Highlights Challenges of Third-Party SVOD Distribution

    VideoNuze readers know that I’ve long been bullish on Amazon Channels, the program Amazon provides to distribute SVOD services. Amazon offers these services access to its massive audience and comprehensive delivery infrastructure, while retaining a share of the monthly subscription revenue for itself. For SVOD services, Amazon Channels is an attractive and highly tempting way to quickly scale up their subscriber base. For Amazon, it’s yet another way to bolster its presence in the media business, generate high-margin revenue and leverage its reach and tech capabilities.

    But an experience I’ve had over the past few days has highlighted the execution challenges SVOD services encounter when partnering with Amazon Channels and more broadly, the downside of third-party distributor relationships at a time when building direct-to-consumer bonds is more important than ever.

    On the last night of vacation this past Friday with extended family, we decided to watch “A Few Good Men” after dinner. A quick search revealed it was available on AMC+ which itself could be subscribed to either directly or through Amazon Channels. I chose the latter route (why not, Amazon already has my credit card, etc.). With a couple clicks on the Roku TV, I started my 7-day free trial to AMC+ and we were watching the movie. Easy, easy.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: FAST Ad Revenue in the U.S. Will Double in the Next Two Years

    (Reminder - if you are a listener of The VideoNuze Report podcast, please update your feed per below to the new Inside the Stream feeds which have been available for a couple of months....we don't want to lose you as a listener as we complete this transition!)

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    Colin has just released an in-depth white paper on the free ad-supported streaming TV (“FAST”) market, underwritten by Verizon Media, and on today’s podcast he shares his key takeaways and assumptions (note, I have not yet had a chance myself to review the paper which is free to download).

    The paper also includes Colin’s forecast for FAST services’ advertising revenues in the U.S. alone. Colin has built his model with both a top-down industry analysis and a bottoms-up review of FAST services including logging ad pod durations, frequency, fill rates, etc, and consulting with numerous industry leaders. Colin sees FASTs generating $2.1 billion in ad revenue in the U.S. in ’21, increasing to $4.1 billion in ’23, though he notes he may be erring on the conservative side.

    If you’re interested in the FAST market and especially how it relates to AVOD, Colin’s paper is a must to download. Colin’s also eager to refine his model further, so please feel free to share your feedback directly with him.

    Listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 28 seconds)


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