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.
Topics: Extreme Reach
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.”
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.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 10 seconds)
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).
Streaming viewership on smart TVs spiked by 157% in Q4 ’20 vs. Q4 ’19, according to Conviva’s latest State of Streaming report. Smart TV’s growth far outpaced all other device types and was followed by tablets (up 47%), connected TV devices (up 38%), desktop (up 27%), smartphones (up 19%) and gaming consoles (up 16%). Overall time spent streaming rose by 44% in Q4 ’20 vs. Q4 ’19.
TVs were the big winner in Q4 ’20 with 75% of all time spent streaming accounted for by smart TVs, connected TV devices and gaming consoles combined, up from 71% in Q4 ’19. Smart TVs’ share increased from 9% to 17% in the quarter, while CTV devices dropped from 51% to 49% and gaming consoles dropped from 11% to 9%.
Happy New Year and welcome to a new year of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Roku continues to grow, announcing over 50 million active accounts at the end of 2020. On this week’s podcast Colin and I dig into the data that Roku revealed.
The explosion of premium content for streaming no doubt is helping Roku’s account growth and viewership. A recent entrant is Discovery+ and Colin shares his initial review of the service, including a few surprising limitations he found.
Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 24 seconds)
Roku announced preliminary Q4 ’20 results this morning, including that it had 51.2 million active accounts as of Dec. 31st. While breaking the 50 million level is a symbolic milestone, more important, it’s evidence of Roku’s ongoing momentum. Roku increased active accounts by 14.3 million or over 38%, in 2020, up from 36.9 million active accounts at the end of 2019. Roku’s active accounts are up more than 5x in the past 5 years when it reported 9 million active accounts.
While lots of attention in 2020 focused on direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming services, deals announced this first business day of 2021 are a reminder how important third-party distribution remains for premium content. The names and roles of some of these new distributors are different than in the past, but they all underscore how even in a DTC world, third-party partnerships are critical to success.
For example, Discovery highlighted the growing importance of device makers as distribution partners for its DTC discovery+ service which is now live, announcing deals today with Amazon (Fire TV), Apple (iOS devices and Apple TV), Google (Android, Chromecast, Android TV), Microsoft (Xbox), Roku and Samsung (smart TVs).
HBO Max is live on Roku devices, a day after Roku and WarnerMedia came to terms on an agreement. The HBO Max app can be downloaded from the Roku channel store and users can subscribe to HBO Max, which costs $15 per month. Roku users already subscribing to HBO will be automatically upgraded to HBO Max and can use their existing login information.
The Roku-WarnerMedia deal comes after a months-long stalemate between the companies and while terms were not disclosed, it makes lots of sense for both. For HBO Max, Roku’s estimated 46 million active users were a huge hole in its addressable audience. Missing Roku’s user base would have meant that promotions like “Wonder Woman 1984” coming on Christmas Day to HBO Max (and theaters) would have been under-optimized.
Connected TVs are pervasive in American homes and the pandemic has further accelerated their use. As linear TV viewing has declined, traditional TV advertisers have been shifting their spending to AVOD services, where long-form content is largely viewed on CTVs. Top of the funnel linear TV advertisers, driven by reach and frequency goals, will continue to be drawn by CTV’s and OTT’s expanding audience, especially as major TV networks move more of their premium programming online, in turn growing ad inventory.
In the long term, equally exciting for CTV and OTT is appealing to bottom of the funnel, or performance-oriented, advertisers, which have focused on digital opportunities like search, social and display. These advertisers are ROI-driven and are constantly optimizing for desired actions and outcomes like clicks, follows, buys, etc. Because CTV enables digitally-delivered TV ads with rich viewer data, performance advertisers can measure and adjust their CTV campaigns as they always have in digital.
Smart TVs accounted for 14.8% of streaming viewership time globally in Q3 ’20, double their 7.7% share in Q3 ’19, according to Conviva’s new State of Streaming report. Smart TVs’ share was approximately even with Q2 ’20.
Thought smart TVs’ growth was the fastest of all devices Conviva tracked, connected TVs (e.g. Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, etc.) still maintained 50% share of viewership in Q3 ’20, roughly flat from a year ago. Mobile and desktop each declined from 13% to 10% share with tablets and gaming consoles holding steady at 5% and 10% respectively.
People who stream video to their connected TVs say they plan to spend hundreds of dollars more per person this holiday season vs. those that don’t stream, according to the new Consumer Holiday Shopping Report from Roku and The Harris Poll which surveyed approximately 2,000 American adults.
Streamers plan to spend $921 compared with non-streamers who say they plan to spend $673. Overall, 1 in 4 respondents said they plan to spend more this holiday season and 47% plan to spend the same.
79% of streamers said they will do most of their holiday shopping online vs. 55% of non-streamers saying they’ll do so. The primary benefits of online shopping were free/cheap shipping (55%), fast shipping (47%) and tangible discounts and coupons (42%).
I’m pleased to present the 532nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we dive into some of the key data from NBCUniversal’s new Cross-Platform Consumption Report, which revealed that for its entertainment programming, 76% of viewing by 18-34 year olds is now done on-demand. For 35-49 year olds it’s 69% and even for 50 year-olds it’s 50%.
The report points out that connected TVs have become the fastest growing device for consuming on-demand content. Colin and I see this only accelerating and we also discuss new CTVs that have been unveiled in the past week by Amazon, Roku and Google (Chromecast). The consumer experience keeps getting better and for $50 there are multiple solid choices.
Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 50 seconds)
I’m pleased to present the 527th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. We hope all our listeners are staying well.
On today’s podcast Colin and discuss recent research from Conviva about smart TV and connected TV device penetration and usage. Although smart TVs are growing much faster, the CTV devices (or “SSB” streaming sticks and boxes as Colin calls them) account for a much higher percentage of viewing time. We dig into all the reasons for this.
The device ecosystem remains very complicated for SVOD and AVOD providers to fully keep pace with, which leads to inconsistent user experiences and device obsolescence.
Reminder: We’ll be doing a deep dive into CTV and smart TV monetization at our CTV Ad Summit - Virtual Event on September 21 and 22, afternoons. Complimentary sign up now and win a chance for a Roku TV living room makeover.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 26 seconds)
Conviva released detailed streaming viewership data late last week for Q2 ’20, finding that Samsung is the clear leader in smart TV viewing time while Roku leads in connected TV devices. Globally, CTV devices accounted for 48% of viewing time, with Roku holding a dominant 49% share of CTV time (followed by Fire TV at 29%, Apple TV at 8.7% and Chromecast at 7.3%).
Smart TVs accounted for 15% of streaming viewing time, with Samsung holding a 49% share (followed by LG at 23% and Vizio at 11%). Rounding out the share of streaming viewing time, gaming consoles accounted for 11%, desktop and mobile each at 10% and tablets at 5%.
CTV devices have an even higher share of streaming viewing time in North America (56%) compared to smart TVs (14%).
SpotX has released new research highlighting how use of connected TV has become mainstream behavior, with 40% of U.S. adults using CTV, for an estimated reach of 100 million 18+ adults. Among CTV viewers 63% watch daily and 94% watch weekly. CTV users watch an average of 3 hours per day (pre-Covid when SpotX fielded its survey). CTV viewers are quite evenly distributed by age group; 18-24 year-olds represent 21%, 24-34 year-olds (24%), 35-54 year-olds (27%) and 55+ (29%).
These findings and others are included in SpotX’s new paper, “CTV is for Everyone: An In-Depth Look at Connected TV Viewership in the U.S.”
I’m pleased to present the 522nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. For all our listeners especially in states seeing a spike in Covid, we hope you’re staying safe.
There were several examples this week of how linear TV is continuing to adapt in the OTT/CTV era which Colin and I discuss. Top on the list is Comcast’s decision to offer the Sling TV app for its Xfinity Flex broadband-only users. Comcast has been adding broadband subscribers and losing video subscribers for a while and the move seems to signal Comcast wants to enhance the competitiveness of Flex, giving cord-cutters an inexpensive option to rejoin the pay-TV world.
The bar for Flex is getting higher partly due to Fire TV which this week unveiled content discovery integrations with YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV. The integrations make accessing linear TV seamless within one UI, and will drive virtual pay-TV subscriptions within the Fire TV base.
Listen in to learn more about how linear and “virtual linear” TV are adapting to find viewers!
Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 18 seconds)
Connected TV ownership continues to surge, with 80% of U.S. TV households now having at least one CTV, according to new research from Leichtman Research Group. The penetration of CTVs has grown steadily from 24% in 2010 to 57% in 2015 to 74% in 2018.
The mean ownership is 4.1 CTV devices per CTV household, translating into approximately 400 million CTVs currently deployed, according to LRG, up 60% from 250 million in 2016. 64% of CTV households said they had 3 or more CTVs.
Topics: Leichtman Research Group
I’m pleased to present the 517th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. As always, we hope our listeners are staying well.
This week Colin and I discuss how new “virtual linear” channels will translate into more viewer engagement and advertising in connected TV. We start the discussion reviewing new data from Innovid and Pixalate showing healthy gains in both CTV ad impressions and programmatic spending.
Adding to the momentum will be virtual channels, which are essentially on-demand playlists of themed programming. Many CTV platforms are adding these free, ad-supported channels. Colin points out a new partnership between Endemol Shine and Vizio for four unscripted virtual channels. Roku was also in the news this week, launching 40 virtual channels with various programming partners. Virtual channels are also a key feature for Peacock. Colin and I expect the trend to gain momentum.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51 seconds)
Roku is highlighting its ability to support “agile investment plans” by advertisers as it rolls out Upfront presentations to attract more ad spending on its platform. Roku is focusing on delivering advertisers enhanced agility, control and value as they navigate huge market uncertainty.
Dan Robbins, Roku’s VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions, told me in an interview that the shift to streaming, acceleration in cord-cutting and the pandemic’s suspension of live sports and stay-at-home guidelines have led to “each advertiser facing a different reality.” In particular, Dan said more agility is the “number one request” Roku is getting from advertisers. Roku’s goal is to help align advertisers’ spending with actual media consumption. He noted that half of 18-34 year-olds’ consumption is now streaming, requiring different strategies by advertisers targeting this age group.