Posts for 'Devices'

  • Understanding the Intersection of Addressable TV and CTV

    The rise of streaming represents a generational shift in consumer behaviors. The pandemic radically accelerated what had been a persistent, long-simmering trend, and now the entire industry is transfixed by the challenge and the opportunity that is advertising on a connected TV (CTV) device.

    The problem is, CTV and streaming are not exactly synonymous. Streaming is content delivered over an internet connection to any device, often via a direct relationship with the streaming service. The concept of CTV refers to the device itself, such as a smart TV, and the concept of CTV advertising covers the full range of opportunities made possible by having a screen that big connected to the digital advertising ecosystem.  Linear TV programming, when run across an internet-connected CTV device, can in theory present media buyers with addressable advertising opportunities on the big screen.

    Marketers can be forgiven for conflating the two, because the fact is, Linear TV inventory has become addressable and programmatic at a slower rate than many expected, at least relative to the meteoric rise of streaming. A crisis of trust in common measurement standards has only slowed progress further. Folks today see CTV and assume streaming.

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  • Vevo’s New FAST Channels on Roku Highlight Diverse CTV Viewing Behaviors

    Vevo has launched 11 free ad-supported TV (“FAST”) channels within The Roku Channel. FAST channels are free 24/7 programmed linear experiences that can be tuned into by viewers on-demand. Vevo’s new FAST channels are another reminder that CTV viewers have a diverse range of behaviors; sometimes accessing a single “unit” of programming on-demand (e.g. a movie, a TV episode, a music video, etc.) or binge-watching multiple units, or watching on-demand a curated set of programming from a linear TV or FAST channel, or even accessing a scheduled, linear TV experience (most notably sports).

    I’ve often thought of FAST channels as analogous to playlists in the audio world and the new Vevo channels feel like they fit that mode. The new channels include  Vevo Pop, Vevo R&B, Vevo Hip Hop, Vevo Reggaeton & Trap, Vevo Country, Vevo Latino, Vevo ‘70s, Vevo ‘80s, Vevo ‘90s, Vevo 2K, and Vevo Holiday, which will be accessible through New Year’s Eve. I sampled a few of the channels and as expected they all played their particular genre seamlessly.

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  • Here's Why Not Too Long From Now, Streaming Media Players Will be Free for Certain Consumers

    All of the Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals flying around are reinforcing an idea I’ve been thinking about for much of 2021: not too long from now, some streaming media players/devices will be offered for free to certain consumers under specific circumstances.

    There are three fundamental reasons why this is likely to happen 1) The gross profit margins on these players is negligible if not non-existent, 2) The gross margin on advertising revenue for player providers is significant, and likely to strengthen even further, and 3) the entire streaming player / streaming services industry is in a massive land grab that isn’t close to being over.

    Following is how I look at the three reasons, and what comes next:

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: HBO/Max’s 1.8 Million Q3 U.S. Subscriber Loss is Actually a Good Thing

    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.

    HBO / HBO Max lost 1.8 million subscribers in the U.S. in Q3 2021. On the surface that might seem like a bad thing, especially given how hot the streaming business is these days. But as Colin and I discuss, this week, it’s actually a good thing, as it reflects the rolloff of many millions of subscribers who were acquired via a prior distribution deal with Amazon Channels.

    HBO Max has made an intentional decision to focus on a direct-to-consumer strategy, which we think is smart. Back in August, I explained the challenges SVOD services have with third-party distribution, including with Amazon, based on my personal experience subscribing to AMC+ through Amazon.

    After talking to industry colleagues since, I’ve become more skeptical about the long-term value to SVOD services in these deals. So a DTV strategy, especially for a big player like HBO Max, seems like the right one. As we also discuss, it’s also a smart move given HBO Max, as part of WarnerMedia, will be merged into Discovery in 2022.

    Elsewhere in the podcast we talk about the per subscriber value of the ad-supported vs. ad-free business model, and why I think that in the long-term, the former is far greater in a connected TV dominated world with “full funnel” marketing capabilities. We also dig into HBO Max’s decision to have content parity starting in January between its ad-supported and ad-free tiers. Lots to digest.

    Listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 57 seconds)




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  • Roku-Shopify Partnership Brings CTV Ads’ Full-Funnel Future a Step Closer

    Yesterday’s partnership announcement between Roku and Shopify brings CTV advertising another step closer to realizing its ultimate potential as a full-funnel channel for advertisers. Loyal VideoNuze readers know that I have been advocating for CTV advertising to become full-funnel for a while now (see “How CTV Advertising Can Drive Super Bowl Ads Above $10 Million Per Spot,” “Behold, YouTube,” “The CTV Advertising Flywheel is Here, and It’s Only Going to Accelerate,” and “Connected TV’s Big Opportunity at the Bottom of the Funnel.”).

    CTV advertising is of course surging these days, with eMarketer forecasting CTV ads in the U.S. alone will more than double to over $27 billion in 2021. CTV ads are benefiting from proliferating adoption of CTV devices, many new streaming services creating compelling content for audiences, cord-cutting, and massive changes in viewers’ behaviors. Still, when I talk to industry executives, there’s broad consensus that today CTV ad spending is coming mostly from the shift in spending from linear TV to CTV as advertisers seek to maintain their reach and frequency goals. In other words, CTV is mainly a “follow the eyeballs” strategy.

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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.

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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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  • Connected TV Advertising Summit Virtual on June 9th and 10th

    The Connected TV Advertising Summit virtual will be taking place on June 9th and 10th, starting at 1pm ET / 10am PT each day.

    Registration is complimentary. If you haven’t registered already, you can do so during the Summit and you’ll receive an email from VideoNuze Events with the Zoom links.

    You can also follow along on Twitter at #CTVAds2021. See you at the Summit!

     
  • Don’t Delay: Tomorrow the CTV Ad Summit (virtual) Starts, With Over 45 Speakers on 14 Sessions

    A final reminder, tomorrow afternoon and Thursday afternoon are VideoNuze’s Connected TV Advertising Summit virtual, featuring over 45 speakers on 14 sessions. Registration for the CTV Ad Summit is complimentary and all attendees will be entered to win a 50-inch Roku TV and Smart Soundbar, generously provided by Roku.

    Each afternoon will kick off with a research presentation sizing the massive size of the CTV advertising opportunity. Tomorrow Bruce Leichtman from Leichtman Research Group will share newly released data highlighting, among other things, that CTVs are now in 82% of U.S. homes, with over 400 million devices deployed. On Thursday Eric Haggstrom from eMarketer / Insider Intelligence will share the details of the firm’s CTV ad forecast in the U.S., which it recently increased to over $27 billion per year by 2025.

    The conference also features executives from Roku, NBCUniversal, Bloomberg, Tubi, Amplifi/Dentsu, Publicis, LG, Samsung, VIZIO, Vevo, A+E Networks, fuboTV, Crackle, Digitas and many others. They will explore all of the most important topics in CTV advertising, including challenges that still need to be worked out, in transparency, measurement and frequency, for example.

    Many thanks to our partners Beachfront, Comcast Technology Solutions, DoubleVerify, Evergent, Extreme Reach, IRIS.TV, Mediaocean, Roku, Verizon Media, Wurl and Xandr.

    REGISTER NOW!

    (If you’ve already signed up, please disregard this message and check your inbox for important Zoom links for the conference.)

     
  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Smart TVs’ Longer Lifespans; Buyers Switch to CTV Ads

    Welcome to the second edition of the Inside the Stream podcast with Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up we highlight three stories that hit our radar this week: an upgraded Apple TV device possibly in the works, research on growing SVOD subscriptions in the U.S. and TikTok’s new e-commerce ad formats.

    Then we dig into our two main topics this week. Colin explains why smart TV manufacturers have strong incentives to support older units given the promise of high-margin ad revenue. I share details of new research showing advertisers and agencies overwhelmingly plan to move spending into connected TV.

    Many thanks to our inaugural Inside the Stream sponsor Verizon Media. When you have quality connections at scale, you’re truly connected.

    Listen to Inside the Stream (24 minutes, 46 seconds)


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  • Survey: 57% of U.S. TV Households Have Roku or Amazon Smart TVs or Devices

    57% of U.S. TV households had either Roku or Amazon Fire TV smart TVs or streaming devices in Q1 ’20, according to survey results in the newest Connected Home report from Hub Entertainment Research. The two companies’ combined share rose from 51% in Q1 ’20.

    Among just U.S. homes with a smart TV or streaming device, Roku’s and Amazon’s share was a combined 69%. Of this Roku has a 40% share and Amazon Fire TV has a 29% share. These numbers are very close to those in FreeWheel’s recent Video Marketplace Report, which found the companies with a combined 72% share (Roku with 43% and Amazon with 29%). Hub didn’t report findings for smart TVs and players beyond Roku and Amazon.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #552: CTV Device Sales Hit a Record But User Experiences Vary

    Welcome to the 552nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week Colin and I discuss recent data from Strategy Analytics showing that globally, a record 109 million connected TV devices were bought in Q4 ’20. For the full year of 2020 over 305 million CTV devices were bought, another record. Amazon had the highest market share.

    But user experiences across different CTVs still vary, including the presence of traditional grid guides and other content navigation which impact viewer choices. Colin provides a couple of tangible examples of how searching for content can yield sub-optimal results. We explore why this is the case and what might be done to change things.
     
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  • YouTube Topped 120 million Connected TV Viewers in U.S. December

    More than 120 million U.S. viewers streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on a connected TV last December, according to a blog post yesterday from Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer. That’s up from 100 million per month that YouTube last revealed in June, 2020 at its Brandcast presentation during the NewFronts. Mohan reiterated that while mobile is still the most popular way to consume YouTube content, CTV is the fastest-growing.

    Mohan also said that in December over 25% of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers in the U.S. watched over 90% of their YouTube content on CTV.  Mohan quoted comScore data that 41% of all ad-supported streaming watch time occurs on YouTube, which makes YouTube by far the biggest CTV player.

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  • Research: 109.1 Million CTV Devices Sold Globally in Q4 ’20

    A record 109.1 million connected TV devices (smart TVs, streaming sticks and boxes, and game consoles) were sold globally in Q4 ’20, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. That was up 9% from the 100.3 million CTV devices sold in Q4, ’19 and up 34% from the 81.5 million sold in Q3 ’20. Amazon led with 12.1% market share for the first time, edging out Samsung, which fell to second with 10.9% share. Following Samsung were Sony (8.2%), Nintendo (7.7%), LG (5.9%) and Roku (5.8%).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #551: Vizio’s Path Ahead; discovery+ Starts Strong

    Welcome to the 551st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Vizio filed to go public this week and it’s looking to take a page out of Roku’s playbook. Vizio’s business is dominated by sales of TV sets today, but it wants to ramp up its Platform Plus segment which includes its advertising and data business. Colin and I discuss the opportunity and also what challenges Vizio will face (note, this is not investment advice).

    Switching topics, discovery+ accounted for 19% of SVOD signups in the U.S. in January, marking a very strong start for the new streaming service. Looking ahead, we explore whether discovery+ will be able to maintain this pace, and also retain these new subscribers.
     

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  • Video Ad Impressions by Device Were Redistributed in 2020

    Video ad impressions by device were redistributed in 2020 vs 2019 according to Extreme Reach’s new Video Benchmarks Report which is based on ad serving data from the company’s AdBridge platform. The biggest changes included video ad impressions on desktop increasing from 16% share in 2019 to 22% share in 2020, while video ad impressions on CTVs dropped from 49% share in 2019 to 38% share in 2020. ER said the redistribution occurred as “work from home became the norm” due to the pandemic.

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  • More Proof Points of Connected TV Advertising’s Surge

    Last Thursday’s Q4 and 2020 earnings reports from The Trade Desk and Roku provide further evidence of connected TV advertising’s surge and also viewers’ significant adoption of streaming video. Because the two companies are heavily invested in connected TV advertising and provide lots of thoughtful insights on their earnings calls (transcripts here and here), their results and sentiments are valuable in gauging the state of the market. Together they provide a holistic picture of the market since The Trade Desk operates on the demand side and Roku on the supply side (primarily).

    For some time, The Trade Desk has talked about the rising importance of CTV advertising on its overall business, which continued this quarter with the pandemic accelerating key trends. Founder and CEO Jeff Green said that advertisers’ CTV spending on the platform more than doubled in 2020 (total spend, including CTV, was $4.2 billion with Q4 revenue up 48% to $320 million). Green said “more than 1,000 brands spend at least $100,000 on CTV on our platform” and that “those brands spending more than $1 million on our platform in 2020 more than doubled from a year ago.”

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #549: Digging Into Roku’s Strong Q4 Results

    Welcome to the 549th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I dig into Roku’s strong Q4 and full year 2020 results which were reported yesterday. As has been the case for the past several years, “platform” revenue, which includes Roku’s advertising business, led the way. Platform revenue reached  $471.2 million in the quarter, up 81% year-over-year. The Roku Channel was another bright spot for the company in Q4, with 175 ad-supported virtual linear channels now included.

    We discuss these and other topics, including whether Roku’s interest in original content could cause conflicts with existing content partners.

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  • Wurl Posts Record Results by Powering Streaming Linear TV Channels to CTVs

    Wurl posted record results in 2020, powering free streaming linear TV channels to a variety of popular connected TVs (what Wurl calls its “Wurl Network”). Wurl launched 539 channels in 2020, including 220 in Q4 alone. It now delivers over 700 channels from approximately 150 different content producers and TV networks.

    Wurl’s channel model demonstrates that despite all of the attention paid to SVOD viewership (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc.), consumption isn’t monolithic; in fact viewers often still crave free, lean-back, programmed TV experiences where they can press play once and then sit back and enjoy. Industry analysts have sometimes called these channels “virtual linear” or “free ad-supported TV” (FAST).

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