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.
I’m pleased to present the 516th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. As always, we hope our listeners are staying well.
After much anticipation HBO Max has launched and we share our initial observations on the app and content. Colin is especially impressed with the recommendation feature, which reportedly mixes algorithms and human curation. Even with its massive content library, HBO Max at $15 per month is at the high end of the market which should slightly limit its appeal.
A far bigger limiter is that neither Roku nor Amazon Fire TV are supporting HBO Max. Colin and I dig into what’s behind the conflict. Colin believes all the companies are seeking control over the user experience and the accompanying revenue and usage insights. In particular Amazon has around 5 million HBO Now subscribers through its Channels program that it is reluctant to see transition to HBO Max directly.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 4 seconds)
My longtime podcast colleague Colin Dixon at nScreenMedia and I are trying out a format for a second podcast, which we’re calling “Behind My Thinking.” The idea is that we would ask each other a few questions about a post we each wrote recently, to get share a little more insight on why the topic was important and other takeaways - in other words, behind each of our thinking.
On this episode Colin first asks me about my post about Extreme Reach’s data showing connected TV ad impressions share has varied widely over the past few months. Then we flip to me asking Colin more about his post on why he thinks Covid-19 in an unlikely culprit for Quibi’s weak start.
After a period of relative consistency, connected TV’s share of ad impressions has varied widely in recent months, according to Extreme Reach’s Video Benchmarks Report for Q1 ’20 and through May 11th. CTV ad impression share stayed in a tight range from 47%-51% for each quarter of 2019. But in January they dropped to 41%, in February to 35%, in March to 36% and in the first two weeks of April to 29%. However, in the period from April 15 to May 11, they rebounded to 42%.
Topics: Extreme Reach
Roku has launched OneView Ad Platform, a demand side platform (DSP), enabling ad buyers with a set of self-serve tools to create and manage campaigns across screens and ad formats. The move positions Roku to further increase the value of viewing data from its 40 million active accounts to help ad buyers allocate their TV, OTT and digital spending more effectively. As Dan Robbins, VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions told me in a briefing “OneView Ad Platform is informed by TV but built to be omnichannel.” Launch partners include Drizly, Experian, Intuit TurboTax, Lexus and others.
Streaming viewing hours were up 57% in Q1 ’20 vs. a year earlier, with on-demand consumption up 79% and live up 19%, according to Conviva’s State of Streaming first quarter 2020 report. On-demand consumption accounted for 72% of viewing time in Q1 ’20 vs. 63% in the prior year. The quarter included a spike in streaming for the Super Bowl and college football. The shift to on-demand consumption is likely to accelerate in Q2, as live sports remains suspended.
Roku shared upbeat estimates on its Q1 ’20 active accounts, streaming hours and profitability yesterday, ahead of its May 7th earnings release. Roku said active accounts were approximately 39.8 million at the end of the quarter, up almost 3 million during the 3 months. That’s 49% higher than the 2 million active accounts it added in Q1 ’19. Roku has nearly doubled its active account base in the past 2 years; back on March 31, 2018 it was 20.8 million.
Streaming hours in Q1 ’20 also surged, to 13.2 billion, up 49% from 8.1 billion in Q1 ’19 and more than double the 5.1 billion hours from Q1 ’18. The increase in streaming hours is noteworthy because Roku said that in Q1 it finished rolling out its “Are you still watching?” feature which prompts the viewer after 4 hours of viewing and will terminate the session if there’s inactivity. The feature would suppress growth in streaming hours because sessions when people have fallen asleep or left the room would not play on indefinitely. The other impact is that for free, ad-supported services being watched on Roku and for Roku itself, ad inventory and monetization would be suppressed.
As stay at home guidelines remain in place, it seems like more and more free TV and video are being made available, spanning the short and long ends of the tail (meaning super-premium through user-generated) - and everything in between. Not only does this create more choices for viewers, which will be welcomed, it also means more competition for subscription video services which were already vulnerable to belt-tightening. And for free TV/video that is ad-supported, it means more inventory and choices for advertisers.
Here’s what’s caught my eye just in the past week:
After the Democratic Party primary results last night, lots of heads are spinning this morning, including mine.
But my head was already spinning yesterday afternoon. Here’s why: In the morning I received the note “U.S. Media: Watching the Slow Death of Linear TV…Live (2019 Edition),” from Michael Nathanson at MoffettNathanson. Michael’s an old friend as is his partner Craig Moffett, and together they provide must-read data and insights. I began skimming the note and, as expected, it was jam-packed with all the current evidence supporting the “linear TV is dead (except sports and news)” narrative - especially for younger audiences who have moved to OTT.
The head-spinning part of the day for me came later in the afternoon when I had a briefing call with Jill Goldfarb, VP of Linear Programming at Jukin Media. If you’re not familiar with Jukin, it’s a user-generated content / viral video powerhouse with over 200 million social media followers globally.
Topics: Jukin Media