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Analysis for 'SVOD'

  • 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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  • HBO Max Goes Live on Roku Devices

    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.

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  • Peacock Makes Savvy Move Tiering Access to “The Office”

    Peacock announced a savvy move yesterday, tiering access to “The Office” when it moves to Peacock on January 1st from its current home on Netflix. Peacock said that seasons 1-2 will be available for free, with ads, but that seasons 3-9 will only be accessible on its Peacock Premium (with ads, $5/month) and Peacock Premium Plus (without ads, $10/month) tiers. Paying subscribers will also get access to longer “Superfan Episodes” which are extended cuts with previously unseen footage, starting with season 5.

    The tiered approach makes a ton of sense. Signing up for free is a no-brainer for existing fans who want continued access and will follow “The Office” from Netflix to Peacock. That will help drive up the number of Peacock signups which last week stood at 26 million. For now, this is the only metric Peacock is publicly reporting; it hasn’t yet revealed how many paying subscribers there are.

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  • Disney+ Will Keep On Winning

    When I originally gave Disney+ a test run a little over a year ago, following its launch, I wrote that “Disney+ is a Winner.”  Then, when Disney announced this past February that Disney+ had already accumulated 28.6 million subscribers, I wrote “Now It’s Really Official: Disney+ is a Winner.”

    So what to say after last week’s Disney Investor Day, where it was announced that Disney+ is now up to a staggering 86.8 million subscribers? How many different ways can you say something is a winner? What seems more relevant is that Disney+ is likely to keep on winning, for years to come, totally transforming the Walt Disney Company, the streaming market and the broader media and entertainment industries.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #541: Premium TV Taps Free Streaming

    I’m pleased to present the 541st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.  

    This week Colin and I discuss the recent activation of a Showtime channel within the free Pluto TV service. Showtime and Pluto TV are both part of ViacomCBS and in this case Showtime is tapping into free streaming to drive more subscriptions and higher brand awareness. Colin sees it as part of a larger trend toward “virtual linear TV” channels that streaming offers and a potential alternative to free trials that SVOD services have long used.

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