Hulu announced this morning that it has topped 28 million subscribers, with 26.8 million paid and 1.3 million promotional (Hulu operates both ad-supported/ad-free SVOD services and Hulu Live TV but didn’t provide a breakdown). Hulu added 7.5 million paid subscribers in 2018. Viewership also intensified with average time spent per subscriber up over 20% in 2018 and total hours watched per subscriber up 75%. Importantly, 80% of Hulu’s viewing occurs in the living room.
While Netflix has become the market leader in ad-free OTT viewing, Hulu has become the clear market leader in hybrid ad-supported premium OTT viewing. This is an extremely valuable place to be as cord-cutting accelerates and advertisers seek out viewer-friendly and targetable environments for their TV ad budgets. Hulu made a very smart move earlier this year, actually cutting the price of their ad-supported SVOD service by $2, to $6 per month, which no doubt is continuing to add to subscriber growth. A deal with Spotify announced in March to give Spotify Premium subscribers access to Hulu's ad-supported service is also likely having an early impact.
I’m pleased to present the 464th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week Colin walks us through Nielsen and YouTube data he’s been analyzing that shows how 50-64 year olds are watching OTT video at a pretty significant level. According to his analysis, this group’s viewing could be at least 60% of the level of 18-34 year olds, which have been the main focus of many observers’ attention.
This adoption ties to our second topic which the Q1 ’19 loss of around 83K subscribers by DirecTV Now. Virtual pay-TV operators have a big opportunity to drive OTT viewing on connected TV devices, and Colin and I surmise these are taking up a bigger share of 50-64 year olds’ viewing which is more focused on long-form entertainment and sports. However the DirecTV Now loss shows that different players are benefiting differently from this shift.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 37 seconds)
Reminder that early bird discounted tickets are still available for the 9th annual VideoNuze Video Advertising Summit on Wednesday, May 29th at the Westin Times Square in NYC. On top of saving $100, you also double your chances* of winning a 55-inch Roku 4K TV, generously provided by Roku.
The Video Ad Summit is a must-attend event for anyone in the industry interested in a deep dive into video advertising, especially the converging worlds of online, traditional TV, mobile and connected TV advertising as well as the broader digital landscape.
Over 30 executives from leading companies including Hulu, CBS Interactive, WarnerMedia, eMarketer, Roku, Cheddar, fuboTV, Group Nine Media, Publicis, Pluto TV, Mindshare, Vevo, Ellation, Univision, Essence and many others will share their insights. The program will feature a mix of keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, research presentations and case studies, covering the most critical topics in the industry.
Last year's Video Ad Summit drew over 300 attendees; the 2019 Video Ad Summit will once again be the premier video-focused event of the year.
I'm excited to have 10 industry-leading companies on board as initial partners, including Title Partner Deloitte Consulting; Premier Partners Extreme Reach and Telaria; Headline Partners Beachfront Media, Penthera, SpotX, TiVo and Xandr; and Branding Partners Brightcove and Roku.
Learn more and register now!
(*Early bird registrants get 2 entries for the Roku 4K TV drawing.)
I’m pleased to present the 463rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
The SVOD industry’s dynamics are harder than ever to predict now that Disney+ plans to come to market with a robust content offering priced at just $7 per month. So for example while Netflix reported a strong Q1 ’19, when Colin looks ahead to how Q4 ’19 or Q1 ’20 will shape up for Netflix given omnipresent promotion of Disney+ that’s coming, he sees an adverse impact on domestic subscriber additions.
We discuss how significant the impact could be not just on Netflix but also on Apple TV+ which will come to market in late ’19 too, but have a much less competitive content offering vs. Disney+. A key question is how low must Apple TV+’s price now be to compete?
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 48 seconds)
Video adtech provider Beachfront will enable pay-TV operators to monetize their set-top box video on demand (VOD) viewing with ads sourced from programmatic video ad buyers. The move effectively bridges 2 worlds that have been mainly separate - traditional pay-TV VOD and real-time, dynamic digital ad demand.
Chris Maccaro, CEO of Beachfront, told me in an interview that in talking to various pay-TV operators and TV networks, under-monetization of VOD viewership remains a pain point, with up to half of all views not monetized optimally or at all. By enabling a select group of programmatic ad buyers to access this inventory, Beachfront is creating incremental VOD revenue.
Topics: Beachfront Media
The biggest piece of news from last week’s Disney+ mega event was certainly the reveal of the service’s rate: just $7/month, or $70/year, and its implications for competitors, most notably Apple TV+.
Back in September, 2017, just after Disney CEO Bob Iger announced Disney was shifting its strategy toward a direct to consumer (DTC) model, and gave a preview of the massive trove of Disney/other content that would be included, I wrote that success for the service would be highly dependent on its price.
Would Disney+ be priced on the lower end of market expectations (I speculated about $10/month) to achieve strong adoption like Netflix has? Or would it be priced on the higher end (say $20-$25/month) in a market “skimming” approach like what HBO Now has followed? Given the money Disney would be foregoing in third-party distribution fees by going DTC, there was huge conflicting pressures on the pricing decision.
I'm pleased to present the 462nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Colin and I both shed a tear this week as YouTube TV raised its rate to $50/month (up $10 for those currently paying $40/month and up $15 for those like Colin and me who were grandfathered at the original $35/month price - a whopping 43% increase).
While Colin says he wasn’t surprised, I actually was. There’s been a huge window for YouTube TV to grab market share as other virtual pay-TV operators raised their rates and/or scaled back promotions. But Google has obviously decided it was done heavily subsidizing YouTube TV. Colin and I discuss the implications of the move and how the “new normal” in virtual operators’ rates will likely reduce cord-cutting.
Then we switch gears with Colin sharing his takeaways from NABShow - focusing on AI, cloud and live.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 20 seconds)
Telaria and Hulu have released research finding that CTV advertising is helping Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands succeed with their marketing objectives. Importantly, the research notes that the reasons people shop DTC are similar to why they watch programming via CTVs: they care about value, convenience and choice. The implication is that DTC and CTV could create a virtuous cycle, helping the other to grow.
Examples of DTC brands include Caspar, Harry’s, Bonobos and others who create direct transactions with the buyer, primarily through mobile and digital content. DTC brands have been particularly successful in establishing brand awareness and initial scale via social media and banner ads. Jennifer Catto, Telaria’s CMO, believes they’re now primed to capitalize on CTV for big screen ads, since CTV “is accountable to perhaps more modest budgets through digital’s measurable, data and decisioning outcomes.”