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  • If the FTC Challenges Amazon-MGM Deal It is Unlikely to Succeed

    The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the FTC will be the agency to review Amazon’s acquisition of MGM. A review was expected, either by the Justice Department or the FTC. The plot thickener here is that the brand new FTC chair is Lina Khan, a law professor and journalist who was confirmed by the Senate last week in a bipartisan 69-29 vote. Importantly Khan is a critic of Amazon and Big Tech, having written a widely circulated article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” in 2017.

    The article argues, in a nutshell, that the current approach to antitrust, which is focused on “consumer welfare,” is insufficient to oversee platform-based businesses like Amazon which can use predatory pricing for their overall competitive benefit. Rather, Khan believes that antitrust oversight needs to be driven by gauging the concentration of market structures and competitive process, which she writes is a more traditional approach. Khan shares five factors for how to evaluate the competitive process.

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  • Nielsen’s New Viewership Pie Chart is Valuable, But Keep an Eye on Younger Viewers’ Patterns

    Late last week Nielsen released The Gauge, a pie chart representation of the total time Americans spent watching cable TV, broadcast TV and streaming services. It is a valuable new way of assessing TV vs. streaming consumption, but it doesn’t show a complete picture of all that’s happening, especially among younger viewers.

    The chart showed that despite all the attention paid to streaming services, cable and broadcast networks still received 39% and 25% of viewing time respectively. In particular, for all the ink that’s been spilled covering Disney+’s meteoric growth since launch in late 2019, it still accounts for just 1% of viewership. And for all the billions of dollars Netflix has spent on original content since the “House of Cards” launch over eight years ago, it still accounts for just 6% of viewing time.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Diving Into the Connected TV Advertising Flywheel

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

    Today we dive deep into the connected TV advertising flywheel, which I wrote about earlier this week. The TL;DR summary on the CTV ad flywheel is that the massive base of 82% of U.S. households with a CTV device has created a viewing platform for a growing array of free, high-quality ad-supported streaming services, the funding for which is coming from a robust CTV ad model that is siphoning spending from both linear TV budgets and mid-to-lower funnel digital/performance-oriented budgets. (Yes, I know that is a mouthful, but I break it all down on the podcast)

    The CTV ad flywheel is real and it is accelerating as each element gains steam. Evidence of this abounds; just this week Disney said that 40% of its upfront commitments were focused on streaming, Roku announced record viewership of The Roku Channel following the launch of its Roku Originals (primarily the Quibi library it acquired), and Nielsen launched The Gauge, a new reporting visualization for broadcast, cable and streaming (Nielsen said streaming’s share of TV watch time was 14% in 2019, 20% in 2020 and likely 33% by the end of 2021)

    Listen to the podcast (29 minutes, 29 seconds)


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  • Research: Frequency is Viewers’ Top Problem With Streaming Ads

    Conviva’s new State of Streaming Advertising 2021 report found that frequency is the number one problem viewers have with streaming video ads. The report is based on a survey of 1,944 adults 18+ who watch TV or streaming video, conducted by Dynata, along with Conviva’s proprietary viewer data. 59% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that “there are too many streaming ads repeated during the same break/episode.” The next most-cited reason, by 54% of respondents, was “when ads fail or take too long to load.” Over, just 36% of respondents said they were satisfied with advertising in streaming.

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  • The Connected TV Advertising Flywheel is Here, and It’s Only Going to Accelerate

    Last week’s Connected TV Ad Summit, with 46 speakers and 14 sessions, was chock full of insights from executives on the front line of connected TV advertising. Importantly, the speakers brought a diversity of perspectives; ad buyers from agencies, ad sellers from content providers, technology providers enabling CTV advertising and analysts studying and forecasting the industry.

    As the conference host and curator of all the sessions and questions, it was a golden opportunity to fully immerse myself in understanding the critical industry issues. I’ll be publishing a debrief document with all of my key takeaways, but for today, I just want to share one overarching theme that crystallized: a connected TV advertising flywheel is here, and it's only going to accelerate.

    The flywheel concept is well-known to all of us; the idea that when interrelated elements of a business or industry reinforce one another, the momentum of the overall whole is accelerated. For me, the best illustration of the flywheel remains Jeff Bezos’s description of the role video plays in Amazon Prime, in his interview at the Code Conference in 2016. Summing up video’s interrelationship with Prime and the resulting flywheel, Bezos said simply, “When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes.”

    Back to the CTV advertising flywheel, the three core components are 1) the large and growing base of households with active CTV devices including players, sticks, smart TVs, etc., 2) the proliferation of ad-supported and hybrid paid/ad-supported streaming services, each one with ever-better content and 3) the robustness of CTV ad monetization itself and how this is driving more spending into the category.

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  • CTV Ad Summit Session Videos (Second Day) Are Available

    Following up yesterday’s post, today I’m pleased to share video recordings of the 7 sessions from the second afternoon of last week’s Connected TV Advertising Summit virtual. Below I have also included the session description for each, along with the speakers. (Note the CTV Ad Summit web site has been de-activated, post conference). Reminder, the first afternoon's session recordings are here.

    For anyone focused on how to succeed in CTV advertising, there are lots of really valuable insights and data. For example, to get a sense of why the CTV ad opportunity will exceed $27 billion by 2025 in the U.S. alone, watch the presentation from eMarketer / Insider Intelligence’s Eric Haggstrom. To learn how buyers are thinking about CTV ads, watch the session with Amplifi/Dentsu’s Mike Law and Cara Lewis. To learn about Roku’s playbook for CTV success, watch the interview with Alison Levin.

    And don’t miss the panels focused on programmatic’s role in CTV, how smart TV makers are positioning themselves for ad success, the new rules of targeting/data and the big changes coming to TV advertising.

    If you attended please see my email yesterday with an attendee survey. I’m very interested in your feedback on the Summit and how to further improve it.

    Watch the session videos now!

     
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  • CTV Ad Summit Session Videos (First Day) Are Available

    Last Wednesday and Thursday’s Connected TV Ad Summit virtual included 46 industry executives speaking on 14 different sessions over two afternoon. Having watched all of the sessions, I think they include tons of valuable insights and data that is actionable for anyone looking to succeed in CTV advertising.

    I’ll be posting more in-depth about my key takeaways from the CTV Ad Summit, but for today, I’m pleased to share video recordings of the 7 sessions from the first afternoon (I’ll post the videos from the second afternoon tomorrow). Below I have also included the session description for each, along with the speakers. (Note the CTV Ad Summit web site has been de-activated, post conference).

    If you attended please keep an eye out for email with an attendee survey. I’m very interested in your feedback on the Summit and how to further improve it.

    Watch the session videos now!

     
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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Interview with Bloomberg Quicktake’s GM Jean Ellen Cowgill

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

    At this week’s Connected TV Advertising Summit, Colin and I interviewed Jean Ellen Cowgill, GM of Bloomberg Quicktake and Global Head of New Ventures for Bloomberg Media. Jean Ellen shared insights and lessons learned since Quicktake expanded beyond its roots as a social video partnership with Twitter last November to become a free, ad-supported 24/7 streaming news network. It serves business professionals and rising leaders and is reaching 7 million monthly viewers.

    Jean Ellen discusses where Quicktake is positioned competitively, how its partnerships work with multiple CTV devices and services, the monetization strategy, upcoming new original programming,  what’s ahead, and lots more.

    Listen to the podcast (31 minutes, 32 seconds)




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