2014 was the year during which the "Big Game" became the "Really Big Game." From the Super Bowl and Sochi Olympics kicking off the year, to the college football Bowl Season closing it out. One could hardly turn around in 2014 without hearing of another programmer boasting cutting-edge streaming coverage of tent-pole sporting events or unprecedented depth of exposure for previously hard-to-find games.
Live sports serve a dual function for programmers trying to expand their digital footprint. In addition to bringing significant numbers of viewers to ultra-premium, high-CPM ad inventory, live sports have also been deployed as an entry point - hooking new adopters and indoctrinating digital viewing habits.
More evidence of TV Everywhere's momentum today, as FreeWheel's Q4 2014 Video Monetization Report found that 56% of long-form and live ads were viewed via authentication. That's more than 4x greater than the 13% authentication rate for long-form content in Q4 '13. Total long-form viewing was up 43% in Q4 '14 vs. the prior year.
The new data follows Comcast's news last week that 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers use TV Everywhere monthly. (Note Comcast owns FreeWheel).
Turner Broadcasting System Latin America has launched a new OTT service in Latin America and Brazil, powered by Kaltura's OTT TV platform and IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure.
The service is being offered in Spanish and Portuguese and is available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It includes both live TV channels and VOD options. Notably, it is being offered through Turner's pay-TV partners, so it does not appear to be disruptive to the existing ecosystem, but rather a TV Everywhere extension.
I'm pleased to present the 261st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we return to the topic of TV Everywhere, which we've discussed on previous episodes. While TV Everywhere's challenges are well-understood, this week Comcast released encouraging adoption data, which we dig into.
Comcast also announced it now offers over 70 linear networks via TVE, in addition to on-demand choices. Related, NBC said this week that it will offer authenticated access to its linear feed via its app, but only in its O&O markets. Colin notes that's a very different approach than CBS is using for linear, which is only available via its All-Access service that costs $5.99/month.
Aside from improved content for TVE, Colin and I also observe that monetization is also improving, with technology providers BlackArrow and This Technology, as examples, recently sharing product updates on dynamic ad insertion (here and here).
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Comcast said that in 2014 over 30% of its Xfinity TV subscribers used its TV Everywhere app ("Xfinity TV Go") on a monthly basis, representing a 20% year-over-year growth rate. The average Xfinity TV Go viewer watched over 7 hours per month via the app, up 40% vs. a year ago. Comcast said the Xfinity TV Go app for iOS and Android has been downloaded over 11 million times.
Once again demonstrating the rapidly blurring lines between online video and TV on-demand, ad tech provider BlackArrow has announced that it will be powering dynamic ad insertion (DAI) in on demand content viewed on connected and mobile devices by Time Warner Cable subscribers. BlackArrow has already supporting DAI for TWC in traditional set-top box VOD and linear streams over IP.
This has been a significant year for TV Everywhere growth and no question, live sports has been the biggest driver. At the recent VideoSchmooze, one of our sessions explored how sports is playing a pivotal role in introducing TV Everywhere to millions of viewers and in turn, is creating a path to using TVE for entertainment programming as well.
The session featured Brian Dutt (FreeWheel), Vito Forlenza (Comcast), Dina Juliano (NBCU) and Clark Pierce (FOX Sports), with Colin Dixon (nScreenMedia) moderating.
The full session video is included below.
I'm pleased to present the 254th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
As is our custom for the final podcast of the year, today Colin and I discuss our top 10 online video stories of 2014. Needless to say, it was an incredibly busy year for online video, making it quite a challenge to narrow our list to just 10 top stories. If you disagree with any of our choices, then as always, we welcome your feedback.
Stepping back and reviewing the list, I think there's an argument to be made that when observers look back 10-20 years from now, 2014 could well be viewed as the big turning point for online video - the year when all of the critical pieces to online video becoming a completely mainstream experience fell into place. These pieces include viewer acceptance, burgeoning content, robust monetization, wide deployment of connected devices and mobility. At a minimum, buckle up, because the stage has been set for a huge 2015.
Colin and I would like to thank all of our listeners for tuning into our podcast this year, and wish all of you happy holidays!
NBCU is looking to boost awareness of TV Everywhere access for its 14 different networks with a new multi-platform ad campaign. The campaign's tagline is "Watch TV Without the TV" and has been created by TBWAChiatDay NY using 20 different TV viewer behavioral archetypes. The campaign will run from Dec. 26th through Jan. 1st.
The digital side of the campaign will use SEM, social and rich media, and interestingly, will be bought solely through programmatic channels, handled by Xaxis. After an initial targeting of intended audiences, cookies will be used to lead NBCU to subsequent outlets on which to run the campaign. The overall goal is to reach new audiences and prep the market for new apps, features and consumer experiences in 2015.
Below is the full video of the opening season at the recent VideoSchmooze: Online Video Leadership Forum, featuring Dounia Turrill, SVP, Client Insights, Nielsen and Bruce Leichtman, President and Principal Analyst, Leichtman Research Group, with me moderating. It was a fascinating session with Bruce and Dounia dispelling many of the myths around the changing video landscape, while zeroing in on the trends that matter most.
Among the topics we explored were cord-cutting and pay-TV seasonality, how SVOD is substituting for linear TV viewing, how Netflix is penetrated across different demographics, whether CBS All Access and HBO OTT will succeed, why too much attention is paid to millennials' viewing habits, why TV Everywhere is being marketed incorrectly, and how ad dollars are shifting from TV to online video, plus others.
Clearleap has announced a cloud-based multiscreen sports solution to support live-streamed games, near real-time highlights/clips and personalized playlists. Clearleap's Sports and Live TV Solution targets sports-oriented TV networks which recognize that today's fans demand always-on access across their multiple devices.
The new Clearleap solution enables networks to ingest, process and deliver live and on-demand sports streams, supported by a network operations center aiming to provide 99.999% uptime. Obviously when it comes to live sports any hiccup in a live-stream that could risk missing the big play would be catastrophic. Clearleap provides a dashboard to manage and monitor real-time analytics of video delivery.
I'm pleased to present the 250th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
(Programming note - While we were quite tempted to add our voices to this week's raging net neutrality debate, we decided to pass, on the assumption that listeners are likely fatigued. But if you'd like us to do an episode on net neutrality, please let us know.)
Instead, we start this week with FreeWheel's newly-released Q3 '14 Video Monetization Report (VMR), and specifically how sports are playing a big role driving TV Everywhere's adoption. As Colin wrote, a whopping 82% of live online video ad views are now tied to sports content. Live video ads themselves grew by 214% year-over-year and now account for 21% of all video ad views for programmers.
This is critical because it's increasingly clear that sports are going to play a pivotal role in broader TVE adoption. Colin will be moderating a session at VideoSchmooze on Dec. 4th that will dive deep into the subject with FreeWheel's Brian Dutt, who oversees the VMR, along with executives from Comcast, NBCU and Fox Sports. The session is a key part of our jam-packed VideoSchmooze program.
We then discuss Yahoo's acquisition of video ad platform BrightRoll for $640 million cash. As I wrote earlier this week, the deal is the latest in a string of video ad tech acquisitions, fueled by the market's growing acknowledgement of online/mobile video advertising's growing importance. We also dig into what the deal means for Yahoo.
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Adobe's Q2 '14 U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report has found that global online video starts hit 38.2 billion, a 43% increase vs. Q2 '13 and a new record among Adobe customers. Q2 was fueled in part by the heavily streamed World Cup matches in June. Mobile continued to experience strong growth too, with 26% of starts occurring on mobile devices, up from 19% a year earlier. Smartphones notched 13.6% of starts vs. 13% for tablets, the first time smartphones have pulled ahead. However, just 16.6% of mobile videos reached 75% completion.
Categories: TV Everywhere
Big Ten Network (BTN) is the latest example of how sports fans are benefiting from online video's rise - gaining more convenient access, more content choices and additional packaging options.
BTN rolled out BTN2Go, its TV Everywhere service, four years ago, which is currently available to over 90% of its 60 million+ subscribers. Now, it is using BTN2Go as its platform brand and has introduced BTN Plus, a "hybrid TV Everywhere" service, which includes non-televised games and events from Big Ten schools and is available exclusively online and on connected devices. BTN Plus takes the place of previously fragmented efforts by individual schools under the CBSSports.com brand.
Industry research firm The Diffusion Group has found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, authentication is not blocking broader consumer acceptance of TV Everywhere services. TDG found that just 7% of TVE users perceive the TVE authentication process as "difficult" to "very difficult" while over two-thirds (68.4%) said it was "easy" to "very easy." Nonetheless, 82% of TVE users said eliminating TVE log-in entirely would be an important enhancement.
Categories: TV Everywhere
September is here and that means summer 2014 is in the rear-view mirror. For online video and the broader video ecosystem, it was another busy few months, as viewers around the world continue to shift their consumption patterns, with many companies scrambling to keep pace. Below I've distilled my list of the 10 biggest online video stories of the summer - read on and let me know if I've missed something!
I'm pleased to present the 239th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Today we dig deeper into FreeWheel's Q2 '14 Video Monetization Report. Yesterday I briefly highlighted the data around TV Everywhere, and first we discuss that, with Colin adding data from other sources that tempers the picture a bit.
We're also both intrigued by the lengthening ad loads FreeWheel found and discuss viewers' tolerance levels for more ads. Finally we examine the distribution of viewing devices FreeWheel found, including a comparison to distribution in the UK and other data Colin shares.
Once again the report can be downloaded here.
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TV Everywhere proponents will find a lot to like in FreeWheel's newly released Q2 2014 Video Monetization Report. Ad views on authenticated on demand long-form plus live-streaming content grew 619% vs. Q2 '13. Fully 38% of these content formats' ad views now come via authentication, up from just 8% a year ago.
Live content was up 201% year-over-year, with 81% of live ad views attributable to sports. Q2 included marquee events like World Cup, NBA and NHL playoffs. The share of live content's ad views vs. total ad views increased from 8.1% in Q2 '13 to 18.3% in Q2 '14.
EchoStar, which is DISH Network's main technology partner, has selected Conviva to guarantee video quality of DISH Network's 2 main TV Everywhere services, DISH Anywhere and DishWorld. The former provides live and on-demand access to DISH's programming while the latter is focused on international programming delivered online.
EchoStar will use Conviva's Intelligent Control Platform to optimize streaming video quality in real-time, on a per user basis. Conviva's platform monitors stream quality at an the individual user level, anticipating problems and preemptively optimizing by adjusting the bitrate, content delivery network and other parameters. An analytics suite gives content providers insight into the performance and viewership of their video.
Adobe has released its Q1 2014 U.S. Digital Video benchmark report, finding among other things, that 21% of U.S. pay-TV subscribers use TV Everywhere, up from 16% in Q3 '13. The 21% usage rate is exactly what research firm NPD found in its separate research released last month.
(Note, in a NY Times article today, Adobe said that the Q1 data excludes the Sochi Olympics TVE usage.)
Adobe also found that the number of TVE authentications jumped by 246% vs. Q1 '13, with iOS devices taking a 43% share of views, followed by browser (36%), Android (15%) and gaming consoles (6%). The latter experienced the strongest growth rate, up from a 1% share a year ago.
Categories: TV Everywhere