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Analysis for 'SVOD'

  • 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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  • Perspective What's this? Paramount+: A Chip Off the ViacomCBS Block

    More than two months since its launch, it’s no secret where the new kid on the SVOD block, ViacomCBS’s Paramount+, is getting its programming persona: directly from its parent company.

    Of the more than 30,000 unique television episodes available from the successor to CBS All Access at its early March launch, some 25,000, or close to 84%, were sourced from the ViacomCBS vaults.

    And why not? With ownership of iconic pop culture brands like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central (not to mention CBS itself), ViacomCBS possesses an enviable content pedigree that gives the two-tiered streaming service immediate marquee value.

    A deep dive into the Paramount+ offering quantifies how ViacomCBS has populated a deep streaming offering. A One Touch Intelligence VODTRAK® audit from March 2021 yielded this top-line breakdown of the content ViacomCBS’s own brands have contributed (approximate number of titles in 000s):

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Interview With Deloitte’s Vice Chairman Kevin Westcott

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

    Deloitte recently released the 15th edition of its Digital Media Trends survey, and this week we’re pleased to have Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s vice chairman and leader of its telecom, media and entertainment group join us to discuss key findings.

    The survey shows that SVOD churn has doubled, with many viewers binging hit content and then churning out. Kevin believes services need to focus on retention, adding non-video content (e.g. music, games, audio, etc.) to become more compelling and perhaps most important, offering lower-priced, ad-supported tiers.

    Many like Hulu, Peacock and Paramount+ already have these tiers and HBO Max intends to introduce one. We discuss why others like Netflix and Disney+ are resistant and the implications.

    Kevin speaks at length about the role AVOD services are playing, and especially how different age groups relate to advertising. He notes that for younger viewers, gaming is now their preferred media, with watching TV shows and movies falling to number five.

    These are just a few of the subjects we discuss during the wide-ranging interview.

    Listen to the interview (33 minutes, 32 seconds)


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  • Report: SVOD Market Fragments Following New Service Launches

    The U.S. SVOD market has undergone significant fragmentation over the past two years as new services have launched, according to the Q1 2021 Growth Report from Antenna, an SVOD insights provider. In Q1 ’19, Netflix and Hulu together accounted for over three-quarters (78%) of all SVOD subscriptions. But two years later, in Q1 ’21, their combined share fell to just over half (51%), with Disney taking 17%, HBO Max 11%, Paramount+ 7%, Starz 6%, Showtime 4% and discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+ all at 2%.

    Antenna didn’t report Amazon Prime Video numbers. Amazon said in its Q1 ’21 earnings report that 175 million Prime members have streamed TV shows and movies in the past year, though it didn’t provide any breakdown of U.S. share vs. rest of world.

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  • Streaming Watch Parties Attract 25 Million U.S. Adults During Pandemic

    Twenty five million U.S. adults participated in streaming watch parties in the past year, according to new research from The Diffusion Group. A watch party is when two or more viewers co-watch synched, on demand video with others outside their homes using any screen connected to the Internet and use social features while watching. TDG surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults over age 18 who use an SVOD service. If under 18 year-olds were surveyed as well the total number of watch party users would no doubt further increase.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #553: Should Netflix Crackdown on Password Sharing or Consider an Ad Model?

    Welcome to the 553rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On today’s podcast Colin and I explore whether Netflix should pursue a crackdown on subscribers sharing their passwords (as it’s doing in a trial) or if it should consider launching a lower-priced, advertising support tier, or if it should do both.

    Earlier this week Colin shared thoughts about the potential consequences of policing passwords and I wrote about the benefits of offering subscribers more pricing flexibility as other streaming services do already. On today’s podcast we dig deeper into both of these approaches and agree an action plan will become more urgent if there’s a fall in U.S. subscribers in the first or second quarter this year.
     
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  • Revisiting Why Netflix Should Launch an Ad-Supported Tier

    Back in December, 2019, before the pandemic upended everything, I speculated that Netflix would launch an ad-supported tier in 2020. Subscriber growth in the U.S. was slowing in 2019 and there was reason to believe that in Q1 ’20 Netflix might lose subscribers in its UCAN (U.S. + Canada) region.

    A lower-priced ad-supported tier would have multiple benefits: reducing churn, revenue growth/diversification by tapping into the white hot connected TV ad market, a way to compete with new lower-priced streaming entrants, new growth story for investors, etc. The key challenge was that Netflix had for years said it had no interest in an ad-supported tier; it wanted to stick to its ad-free brand identity and user experience.

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  • Disney+ Tops 100 Million Subscribers; ESPN+ Content to be Available in Hulu

    Disney+ now has over 100 million subscribers, just 16 months since launching. The update was provided by Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company in his remarks at the annual shareholder meeting this afternoon.

    The growth of Disney+ since its launch has been meteoric: 10 million at the end of launch day on November 19, 2019, 28.6 million in February, 2020, 50 million in April, 2020, 73.7 million in September, 2020 and 86.8 million in December, 2020. The most recent update Disney provided was 94.9 million subscribers as of January 2, 2021.

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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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  • discovery+ Accounted for 19% of U.S. SVOD Signups in January

    discovery+ accounted for 19% share of US SVOD signups in January according to new data released by ANTENNA, a subscription insights provider. That put discovery+ at the top of the SVOD market, ahead of HBO Max (14%), Disney+ (13%) and Hulu and CBS All Access (each with 11%).

    discovery+ launched on January 4th in the U.S. and recently estimated it would have 12 million paying subscribers at the end of February, including 7 million paying in the U.S. discovery+ made a content-rich debut with 55K TV episodes, more than are available on Netflix, Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max. discovery+ also plans to add 1,000 hours of original content this year.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #550: Paramount+ Details; Netflix Downloads

    Welcome to the 550th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    ViacomCBS shared more content and pricing details for Paramount+ this week, ahead of its March 4th launch. Colin and I agree that from a content perspective, it’s an “everything but the kitchen sink” strategy, with a strong lineup of 30K+ TV episodes and 2,500 movies, plus sports, kids and originals. ViacomCBS repeatedly referred to the Paramount+ approach as a “mountain of entertainment.”

    Paramount+ is also priced aggressively, at $4.99 per month with ads and $9.99 per month without ads. That’s slightly less than Hulu’s comparable tiers and equal to Peacock’s pricing. Colin and I are interested to see what the Paramount+ ad load looks like compared to Hulu and Peacock.

    We also discuss Netflix’s new Downloads For You feature, announced earlier this week. Colin has given it a spin and while we agree the feature is a valuable, it is diminished by the content that is recommended, which didn’t match Colin’s tastes.

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  • Netflix’s New Download Feature Pushes Recommended Content to Mobile Devices

    Netflix has introduced “Downloads For You,” a clever feature that automatically downloads recommended TV shows and movies to users’ mobile devices. For now the feature is available on Android devices globally, with iOS devices being tested soon (I’m an iOS user so I haven’t been able to try it out yet). Netflix users opt in to Downloads For You and then choose how much space they want to allocate on their device for recommended downloads - 1GB, 3GB or 5GB. 

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  • Perspective What's this? discovery+ Makes a Content-Rich Debut

    Discovery Inc.’s new direct-to-consumer streaming service discovery+ stacks up well against category leaders by virtue of a deep on-demand content reservoir yielding more than 55,000 individual titles.

    That count is based on an audit of the discovery+ content offering that compares the new streaming powerhouse with other entrants in the category, and with TV Everywhere and video on demand offerings from affiliated pay television providers. The audit is part of the STREAMTRAK® industry data series from One Touch Intelligence.

    In terms of pure volume, discovery+’s tally amounts to more discrete TV episode selections than are offered by several prominent SVOD services, including Disney+, NBCU’s Peacock, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, and even the reigning category king, Netflix. If one of the mandates for modern-day streaming success is a deep pool of titles, discovery+ has worked its way into the big leagues from day one.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #548: Disney Reaches 146 Million DTC Subscribers; Super Bowl Streaming Jumps

    Welcome to the 548th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Disney turned in yet another strong quarter of direct-to-consumer streaming growth, with 146.4 million subscribers at the end of its fiscal Q1. Disney+ added 21.2 million to reach 94.9 million subscribers. The only hiccup was that Hulu with Live TV dropped by 100K to 4 million subscribers. Colin and I dig into the numbers to better understand the trends revealed in the quarter.

    Then we shift to discussing this past Sunday’s Super Bowl TV ratings which were down and streaming viewers which were up. We discuss what drove each - and add a little commentary about our favorite ads.


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #547: YouTube and Crunchyroll Post Strong Results

    Welcome to the 547th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    A couple of weeks ago on our podcast, Colin and I discussed how both AVOD and SVOD services keep growing strongly. This week we explore two specific examples. In AVOD, YouTube’s ad revenue hit $6.9 billion in Q4 ’20, up 46% and for the full year ad revenue hit $19.8 billion, up 31% from 2019.

    Meanwhile Crunchyroll, the anime OTT service, announced it’s up to 4 million subscribers, adding a million in the past 6 months, a record growth rate. Like many other streaming services, Crunchyroll appears to be benefiting from Covid. Colin and I explore what’s behind both companies’ success and where things go from here.

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  • Peak TV Originals Drop Slightly in 2020; Rebound Likely in 2021 Due to AVOD

    The number of scripted original TV shows released on broadcast, cable and streaming dropped slightly from 532 in 2019 to 493 in 2020 according to FX Networks, which has been tracking the number for the past 10 years. FX chairman John Landgraf previously dubbed the spiraling number of scripted originals “Peak TV.” Back in 2009 there were 210 scripted originals, according to FX.

    The reduction in 2020 is likely a temporary pause due to the effects of Covid shutting down productions and shifting network strategies. That’s because the streaming industry, where the majority of Peak TV originals has come from, is continuing to expand aggressively, in both subscription and ad-supported.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #545: Both AVOD and SVOD Keep Growing

    Welcome to the 545th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    AVOD services are growing strongly, yet linear TV still accounts for 90% of video ad spending. This week Colin and I discuss a new report from Tubi that details how advertisers can now only reach a sizable share of younger audiences by shifting more spending to AVOD. With AVOD services poised to grow even further in ’21, advertisers will be pressed to reevaluate their spending decisions.

    Meanwhile, it’s not just AVOD that’s growing, it’s SVOD too, as Netflix’s Q4 and full year earnings report underscored. Netflix added nearly 37 million subscribers, with international making the biggest contribution. We dig into the highlights of the report, including analysis of differences in Netflix’s results by region.

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  • Paramount+ Gets March 4th Launch Date

    Paramount+, the new streaming service from ViacomCBS, will launch in the U.S. on March 4th, the company announced today. Paramount+ will also launch in Latin America on March 4th, and in Canada, CBS All Access will be rebranded on that date, though a broader content rollout won’t happen until later in 2021. Paramount+ will also launch in the Nordics on March 25th and in Australia in mid-2021 according to the release.

    ViacomCBS will share more details of its streaming strategy at an investor event on February 24th.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #544: Disney+ Will be Challenged in Streaming Movies; AT&T Quits Virtual Pay-TV

    Welcome to the 544th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Kids movies were a big part of the success of Disney+ in 2020, with the service having seven of the top 10 streaming movies, according to Nielsen. But as Colin and I discuss, Disney+ will be challenged this year by Netflix, HBO Max and others. With theaters still running at low capacity due to Covid, 2021 is setting up as a game-changing year for streaming movies.

    Separate, this week AT&T pulled the plug on its AT&T TV Now virtual pay-TV service, which at one point a couple years ago led the category with nearly 2 million subscribers (when it was called DirecTV Now). Colin and I examine what went wrong and why AT&T shifted its strategy so dramatically.  

    Enjoy!

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  • Nielsen: Netflix, “The Office,” and Kids Movies Top 2020 Streaming

    2020 was a strong year for streaming across the board, but newly released Nielsen data reveals some of the biggest winners. At the top of the list was “The Office,” which racked up the most viewership of any TV show, with 57.1 billion minutes streamed for its 192 episodes on Netflix.

    Along with “The Office,” 6 of the top 7 streamed shows in 2020 were licensed content (and all were on Netflix). The only original show in the top 7 was “Ozark” with 30.4 billion minutes streamed. Ahead of it were “Grey’s Anatomy” (39.4 billion minutes) and “Criminal Minds” (35.4 billion minutes) and just behind it were “NCIS” (28.1 billion minutes), “Schitt’s Creek” (23.8 billion minutes) and “Supernatural” (20.3 billion minutes).

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