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Analysis for 'Podcasts'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #505: PGA Tour and ESPN Negotiators Belong on Mt. Olympus

    I’m pleased to present the 505th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss the PGA Tour’s $6.3 billion, nine-year rights deal announced this week with CBS, NBC/Golf Channel and ESPN+. The deal will reportedly generate $700 million in fees, up 75% from the current deal’s $400 million. Anyone looking to me to explain how the PGA managed to get this increase, despite so many factors that should have given the TV networks leverage, is going to be disappointed. I just don’t get it, but as a golf fan, it’s still lots of fun to talk about.

    One thing is for certain - with the bulk of the new money going to the Tour’s players, the 2020s are going to be a very good period for them. As is to give a sneak preview, when this weekend’s PLAYERS Championship was cancelled after round 1 yesterday, half the purse of $15 million was divided evenly among the field of 144 players. So each player got $52,083, irrespective of how they played in round one. So if average round lasts 4 hours then they earned $13,020 per hour. Or if they shot par 72 they received $723 per shot (including gimme putts). Life is good.

    ESPN+ popped up as the streaming partner in the new PGA deal, which provided a good opportunity for Colin to explain the remarkable turnaround Disney has effected with the network. ESPN is now in 98.1 million U.S. homes vs. 98.5 million in 2013. After dipping to 89.7 million in 2017, ESPN successfully negotiated its way onto all major virtual pay-TV operators’ lineups (8.9 million). And it cleverly bundled ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu (another 7.5 million) creating significant DTC optionality down the road.  

    Reviewing the new PGA deal and ESPN’s bounce back, we believe executives for both entities deserve to be on the Mount Olympus of media negotiators.


    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 58 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #504: Is Linear TV Dying, Dead, or Just Changing?

    I’m pleased to present the 504th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I dig into the question of whether linear TV is dying, dead or just changing? The narrative around  conventional linear entertainment TV networks contracting is hard to argue with, especially for younger viewers moving to OTT. However, sports and news continue to do pretty well. And then there are newer types of linear TV experiences, like those from Jukin Media, that are finding new ways to serve linear audiences.

    Colin views Jukin, Xumo, Pluto and other OTT services that offer linear TV options as capitalizing on the “more things change, the more they stay the same” motto In other words, even as people embrace new on-demand options they still value linear TV at certain moments. Colin then discusses how these trends merge with pay-TV operators who are eager to reduce programming expenses. He highlights free, ad-supported Zone.tv, whose 13 “linear-like” channels became available to Cox’s Contour subscribers this week. 

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 21 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #503: Live Sports Streaming Grows; CTV Ad Share in 2019

    I’m pleased to present the 503rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up on this week’s podcast, Colin shares details of Verizon Media’s new research on live sports streaming, which found that 53% of fans are paying for some type of extra subscription service. Also noteworthy is that two-thirds of respondents said DVR is a critical feature and that 39% use the DVR feature to skip ads.

    These underscore how different the user experience is becoming between ad-free SVOD viewing and ad-heavy live sports viewing. Lots of fans seem to be willing to watch time-delayed just to avoid the ads. But we agree that connected TV is going to drive lots of innovation in both sports streaming and advertising/monetization going forward. On that topic, we also review Extreme Reach’s latest Video Benchmarks Report. Though CTV ad share settled around 50% in 2019, Colin and I see plenty of growth ahead - and accompanying innovation.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 52 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #502: ViacomCBS is Well-Positioned in OTT; Ratings Keep Plunging

    I’m pleased to present the 502nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week, on the heels of ViacomCBS reporting 11 million subscribers between CBS All Access and Showtime, Colin and I agree that the company is looking well-positioned in OTT. While more needs to be learned about its “House of Brands” strategy and how Pluto TV will be fully leveraged, we both believe ViacomCBS is looking more and more like a serious OTT contender. A big unknown remains what pricing and bundling will be for “CBS All Access Max” as Colin dubs it. And then there’s the impact of pricing pressure from Disney+, Apple TV+, Peacock, etc.

    Regardless, ViacomCBS’s OTT success is coming not a moment too soon, because, as we discuss, new UBS data based on Nielsen ratings, shows TV viewership continuing to plunge in Q1 ’20. Net, net, we both believe connected TV advertising is continuing to shape up as TV advertising’s long-term savior…though who falls through the cracks in the meantime remains to be seen.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 49 seconds)
     


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #501: Roku Reports a Strong Q4; Nielsen Data Shows Viewer Growth Ahead

    I’m pleased to present the 501st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we discuss Roku’s Q4 and full year 2019 results, which were reported late Thursday. Roku now has nearly 37 million active accounts, up almost 10 million in 2019. More important, Roku continues to demonstrate strong capability in monetizing its viewers, with ARPU up $5.19 to $23.14. Looking back over the past few years, Roku’s ability to pivot its business from being player-based to advertising and licensing-based is very impressive, all the more so because it has pulled it off under the long shadow of CTV competition from Amazon, Google and Apple.

    Putting Roku’s growth in perspective though, Colin and I also spend a few minutes reviewing Nielsen’s latest Total Audience report, which showed that overall, streaming still accounts for just 19% of total TV usage. As Colin notes, it’s far higher for younger age groups and cord-cutters. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to conclude that it is still relatively early days for both ad-supported and subscription OTT.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 31 seconds)



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    (Note: I own a small number of Roku shares)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #500: Digging Into First Numbers from Disney+ and YouTube

    I’m pleased to present the 500th(!) edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On today’s podcast, Colin is still mopping up his tears from the 49ers’ heartbreaker last Sunday night, but is being a good sport about the loss. He quickly recaps the game’s streaming audience and shares his insights.

    This week’s main topics are Disney+ and YouTube. Coincidentally, this week we all got a first look at both of their performances, in Disney’s and Alphabet’s earnings reports, respectively. The headline from Disney+ was clearly the 28.6 million subscribers reported after just 84 days after launching - a noteworthy accomplishment by any standard. We discuss how sticky those subs are (i.e. what will the churn rate be?) and what Disney+ will need to do from here to keep up momentum.

    Then we shift to YouTube; we’re both a little surprised that YouTube TV only has 2 million subscribers given how much advertising around marquee sports it has done (by comparison, Hulu Live had 3.2 million at the end of 2019). Nevertheless we are both quite bullish about YouTube going forward, particularly if Google decides to hold off price increases for some time and cord-cutting continues to accelerate. I believe the company as a whole could crack $25 billion in revenue in 2020.

    (Apologies - Colin’s audio quality isn’t very good this week, we’re working to fix for future podcasts.)
     
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    Click here to listen to the podcast (27 minutes, 11 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #499: AT&T is Bleeding Pay-TV Subscribers, Leading to 2020 Surge in Cord-Cutting

    I’m pleased to present the 499th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Earlier this week AT&T reported its Q4 ’19 earnings. There was plenty of lousy news, and as Colin and I discuss, at the top of the list was a loss of over 1.1 million pay-TV subscribers in the quarter, compared with 658K subs lost in Q4 ’18. For the full year, AT&T lost 4.1 million, more than 5x the 750K it lost in 2018. The combined 4.8 million subs that AT&T has lost in the past 2 years is nearly 20% of what it started with back on Dec. 31, 2017.

    There is arguably no bigger influence on the pay-TV industry’s overall cord-cutting rate than AT&T because of its sheer size and outlier loss level. All of that - and lots of other factors - lead us to believe that the rate of cord-cutting is actually going to accelerate in 2020. Colin has crunched the numbers and believes when all the Q4 results are reported, the traditional industry (not including vMVPDs’ gains) will probably lose around 6.5-7 million subs in 2019. He sees that escalating to around 8.5 million in 2020.

    We dig deeply into all of this on the podcast. We all have a front row seat to an industry in complete transformation. As it has in countless other industries, we are watching the Internet massively disrupt the pay-TV and TV industries.
     
    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 11 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #498: All the Reasons (and Math) For Why Netflix Will Get Squeezed in 2020

    I’m pleased to present the 498th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast, we do a deep dive into Netflix’s Q4 ’19 results (reported earlier this week), and what they imply for 2020. Colin mostly focuses his comments on the decelerating growth rate in international subscriber additions and the ARPU squeeze that’s coming this year.

    My focus is on the all-important domestic or “UCAN” (U.S. + Canada) region. Based solely on Netflix’s prior results and its own Q1 ’20 global subscriber addition forecast of 7 million, I think there’s at least a 50-50 chance Netflix will lose subscribers in UCAN in Q1 ’20. Just two years ago, this would have been an unimaginable thing to say; remember in Q1 ’18 it gained 2.28 million U.S. subscribers and in Q1 ’19 it gained 1.74 million.

    That’s all before talking about Q2 ’20 where it will almost certainly lose UCAN subscribers, at a multiple of the 130K it lost in Q2 ’19, given the new competitive landscape. Netflix really needs to launch a lower-priced ad-supported tier, but yet again Netflix management rejected the idea, this time for inexplicable reasons.

    Add it all up and Netflix is in for a bumpy ride in 2020. Meanwhile, since announcing its results on Tuesday after the market’s close, Netflix stock is up over $30 (about 10%, or around $15 billion extra market capitalization), once again proving that speculators simply can’t quit the stock regardless of the company’s actual performance or prospects.
     
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    Click here to listen to the podcast (26 minutes, 59 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #497: Initial Peacock Impressions

    I’m pleased to present the 497th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I share our initial impressions of Peacock, NBCU’s new streaming service. Our impressions are based on watching the investor day presentations yesterday. We break down our discussion into covering Peacock’s economics, release plan and user experience. Again these are all our first impressions and not meant to be an exhaustive analysis.

    Perhaps the most interesting thing to me is that Peacock’s Premium tier viewer monetization is below its two nearest ad-supported comparables, Hulu and CBS All Access. Both charge $6 per month while Peacock is $5 per month. Peacock is also ensuring maximum ad load of just 5 minutes per hour, which it forecast would amount to $6-7 per viewer, compared to the $7-10 per viewer Hulu is currently generating.

    Peacock’s pricing and financial projections remind me why I still believe Comcast should have bought the remaining 70% of Hulu it didn’t own, as I wrote in May, 2018. It feels like an even bigger missed opportunity now. It probably would have cost Comcast around $12-$14 billion to do so, a fraction of the  $39 billion it paid to acquire Sky - and it would have been more strategic.
     
    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 44 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #496: Is There Any White Space for Quibi?

    I’m pleased to present the 496th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    It’s a new year and a new decade, and on today’s podcast we discuss Quibi, the mobile video provider which, having raised $1.4 billion, is one of the industry’s most closely followed startups.

    But as we discuss, Quibi’s go-to-market strategy seems at odds with the realities of the broader video industry, and mobile video specifically. Quibi is rolling out with a paid-only model, targeting 18-34 year-olds with expensive, original content.

    With regard to content alone, it is extremely difficult to see where the “white space” is in the market. In the “Peak TV” and social media era we live in, the world hardly seems to need more long-form original TV programming nor more short-form news/information.

    Net, net, Colin and I are pretty convinced Quibi will be pivoting soon after its April launch. To what though is unclear.
     
    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 37 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #495: The Top 10 Video Stories of 2019

    I’m pleased to present the 495th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In today’s podcast, our final one for 2019, Colin and I share our top 10 video stories of the year. Whether you agree or disagree with our top 10 (or the ordering), no doubt we can all agree it’s been quite an eventful year for the industry. But as busy as 2019 has been, 2020 is setting up to be a year of even more innovation and change.

    As always, Colin and I have had a ton of fun discussing all of the industry’s happenings each week, and we hope you enjoyed following along throughout the year.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 10 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #494: Mobile Video Downloading Report; Roku’s Stream-a-thon

    I’m pleased to present the 494th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I discuss “TV In Your Pocket: Mobile Video Downloading Report,” which we just released. We analyzed 80 top video services, and found that 28 of them offer mobile video downloading. We did 9 different tests probing further for specific features and implementations. In the podcast we share some of our key takeaways and surprises from our research. We also look ahead and make a few predictions about where downloading is going to go. Many thanks to Penthera for sponsoring the report.

    We then briefly discuss Roku’s upcoming Stream-a-thon, which we both believe is a very smart move for Roku and its various partners, including HBO, Showtime, Starz and others. Stream-a-thon will expose millions of Roku users to premier programming (“Game of Thrones,” “Billions,” etc.), no doubt driving lots of new subscriptions. It’s a real win-win and once again illustrates how the video landscape is being rearranged.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 13 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #493: More on SVOD Spinning; Disney+ Pricing; Cheddar’s Monetization

    I’m pleased to present the 493rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we return to the topic of “spinning” SVOD services, which I wrote about and Colin and I discussed on last week’s podcast. “Spinning” is the idea that subscribers will dip in and out of SVOD services to manage their monthly expenditures. Colin and I were at TVOT this week and on a panel Colin moderated spinning came up. We discuss our key takeaways.

    Another topic that came up was where Disney+ pricing will go in the future, which we discuss (I think the only direction is up).

    Last up we talk briefly about Cheddar’s monetization strategy. Colin did a good interview with Melissa Rosenthal, EVP at Cheddar, about the company’s success with native advertising.
     
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    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 45 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #492: Will Hulu Start a SVOD Spinning Trend?

    I’m pleased to present the 492nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I discuss my post from earlier this week, “Will Spinning Video Subscriptions Become a Thing?” which highlighted Hulu’s explicit offer to subscribers to switch (or spin) between its Live TV and ad-supported SVOD service. Hulu made the offer to mitigate a $10 per month rate increase it announced on its Live TV service.

    Colin and I examine the pros and cons of SVOD services explicitly pitching spinning as a value proposition and whether it will take hold. Related, Colin also raises the interesting point that with the SVOD landscape getting more crowded, it might be beneficial for SVOD providers to offer smaller bite-sized on-ramps to start customer relationships (e.g. weekend passes, pre-paid credits, etc.) as we’ve seen in other industries.

    SVOD is entering a significant period of transition, and from our perspectives, all ideas are going to be on the table to attract and retain subscribers.
     
    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 1 second)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #491: Digging into Disney+

    I’m pleased to present the 491st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Disney+ launched this week, nearly 2 1/2 years after Disney announced a massive pivot to focus on direct-to-consumer distribution. Colin and I have both spent time using Disney+ in the past few days and on today’s podcast we share our perspectives.

    There’s a lot to like about Disney+, but of course there’s no such thing as completely clear sailing. Potential issues we explore include whether Disney+ can/will create enough new content to keep pace with Netflix (and even whether it should try), how significant churn will be among the first 10 million activations (all of which are on some type of free trial), whether Disney+ can truly scale to 90 million subscribers while maintaining a family focus, what role bundling will play, and more.

    Disney+ marks a major step forward in the evolution of the TV/video industries. It will be lots of fun to see how it unfolds.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 16 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #490: Reviewing Apple TV+ and Where It Fits In Long-Term

    I’m pleased to present the 490th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I review Apple TV+ which launched this past week, and look ahead to what its strategic value may be to Apple in the long-term. One of things we both observed quickly is that there isn’t really even a distinct Apple TV+ experience. Rather it’s just a name Apple has given to a set of original programs that live within Apple’s TV app, which also prominently features programs from other providers like HBO, Amazon, etc. This is in line with what I expected.

    With this positioning, it seems clear that Apple’s primary goal is to make the TV app a hub for a viewer’s whole TV experience. The Apple originals (or “Apple TV+”) are really just an extra incentive to use the TV app. All of this leads us to wonder whether Apple will eventually drop the $4.99/mo charge entirely and just consider the originals a marketing expense to keep users within the iPhone ecosystem. That could also mean an iPhone plus video/music/services package (“Apple AllPass?”) for one monthly price could be on the horizon.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 24 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #489: Viewers Preferences Shift to Online; HBO Max Updates

    I’m pleased to present the 489th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up on this week’s podcast, Colin and I discuss new data from Hub Entertainment Research, in particular how 63% of viewers said “online” is their main source for their favorite TV show. The research also found very strong awareness for Disney+ and Apple TV+, which is good news for both. Then we transition to WarnerMedia’s updates on HBO Max, which will launch in the spring.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 16 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #488: Amazon-Premier League and Verizon-Disney Show Power of Partnerships

    I’m pleased to present the 488th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast, Colin and I explore how powerful partnerships can be in the increasingly competitive SVOD space. First, Colin shares details on the Amazon-Premier League partnership which was first announced in June, 2018, but will be implemented for the first time in December, 2019. Under the deal Amazon has exclusive streaming rights to 2 blocks of 10 Premier League games. Colin crunched the numbers on what the deal could be worth to Amazon in the UK.

    Then we turn our attention to the Verizon-Disney+ partnership announced earlier this week, in which Verizon's unlimited plan wireless subscribers will gain a full free year of Disney+. The deal could easily jumpstart Disney+ with several million subscribers.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 35 seconds)
     


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #487: Digging Into Netflix’s Path Forward

    I’m pleased to present the 487th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Netflix reported its Q3 ’19 results this week, the last quarter before the onslaught of new SVOD competition begins from Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock, among others.

    In this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss the Q3 results, which were strong internationally and decent in the U.S. (better than Q2 ’19, but still well down from Q2 ’18 and below Netflix’s own forecast). But we focus mainly on where things go from here.

    We agree that the days of Netflix’s robust U.S. growth are almost certainly over. But we also think Netflix’s content remains highly competitive and international could continue expanding strongly in the short-term, depending on how quickly Disney+ rolls out to other geographies. In short, there is a lot of uncertainty given all the new choices coming to market.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 39 seconds)



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  • VideoNuze Podcast #486: Hulu Enables Downloads; Disney-Amazon Clash

    I’m pleased to present the 486th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Colin and I were both excited to see Hulu launch a mobile video downloading feature this week. Hulu had teased the feature over a year ago. As Colin notes though, because it’s only available with the Hulu (No Ads) service and only on iOS devices, just around 15% of Hulu’s overall subscribers will gain access to downloading (at least for now).

    We then discuss reports that Disney doesn’t yet have an agreement with Amazon for its forthcoming Disney+ service to be included in Fire TV devices. The deal is held up due to Amazon’s attempt to wrangle more ad inventory in Disney’s other apps. The situation is typical of the complex and sometimes competitive relationships between big media and technology companies today.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 25 seconds)



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