Posts for 'AOL'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #191 - A Big Week For Online Video Advertising

    I'm pleased to present the 191st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This was a big week for online video advertising, with 3 key milestones: AOL's acquisition of for $405 million (the biggest of CEO Tim Armstrong's tenure), YuMe's IPO, and Tremor Video reporting solid 2nd quarter results, in its first quarter as a public company.

    As I explained earlier this week, the success of is riding on 3 key market trends, the shift from linear TV style viewing to anywhere/anytime/any device viewing, the democratization of video production and distribution which has led to a plethora of online originals, and the influence of technology in the ad buying/selling process. AOL is seeking to capitalize on all this through's programmatic platform.

    Meanwhile Tremor Video, whose stock has had a bumpy start since the company went public in early July, posted a strong 2nd quarter, with revenue growing by 41% year-over-year. As CEO Bill Day explained on the earnings call, key to this was a focus on premium performance-based in-stream video advertising, which grew from 20% of revenue in Q2 '12 to 34% in Q2 '13. Mobile was also a big contributor to the quarter, rising from 4% of revenue to 13% of revenue. Bill noted the company is highly focused on providing transparency and analytics around traditional brand metrics such as brand lift, engagement, completion rates, etc. to engage buyers.

    More broadly, as Colin observes, online video is giving brands and content providers more flexibility to insert product placements and other deep product integration. I agree, though for the foreseeable future, I see the vast majority of online video ad revenue coming from more traditional pre-, mid- and post-roll advertising.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 57 seconds)

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    (Note: YuMe and Tremor Video's VideoHub are VideoNuze sponsors)

  • Inside AOL's Acquisition: Making Scale and Personalization Pay

    This morning AOL announced its biggest acquisition to date under CEO Tim Armstrong, buying for $405 million. The deal says volumes about the future of video generally and video advertising in particular. It also underscores the key role that AOL intends to play in helping shape the future.

    To understand the deal, it's important to understand 3 of the most important trends in video today: 1) the shift from linear TV / living room viewing to anytime/anywhere/any device viewing, 2) the democratization of video production and distribution enabled by online delivery and 3) the growing importance of technology/data in the ad buying/selling process. Taken together, these trends portend a future of of massively scaled, yet highly personalized video viewing, monetized through targeted, higher-impact advertising.

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  • Device Fragmentation is Causing Huge Headaches for Content Providers [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    These days everyone has their own favorite device on which to consume video. While improved convenience is great for content providers and advertisers, the resulting fragmentation also causes huge headaches developing for multiple devices.

    In a session at the recent Video Ad Summit, executives from Adobe, AOL, Scripps and TheBlaze shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities of surging video consumption across devices, how to generate an ROI and what it all means for advertisers.

    The video is below and runs 22 minutes, 14 seconds.

    Watch the video

  • VideoNuze Podcast #178 - NewFronts Review

    I'm pleased to present the 178th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This was NewFronts week, when a slew of content providers presented their slate of programs and initiatives to advertisers. Having attended a couple of the presentations, I was impressed by the turnout, energy and interest, especially since this was only the second year for these types of presentations.

    Advertisers have clearly moved online video beyond the experimental stage and are taking a strong interest. Colin and I agree that this is mainly due to viewers' strong adoption of online video viewing. This should only increase as viewers are presented with an exploding array of content choices. We talk more about the role that mobile and apps are playing in all of this too, and why established media needs to be aggressive in this shifting landscape.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 53 seconds)

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  • AOL's Originals Emphasize Authenticity, Differentiate From TV

    Looking past the thumping music and flashing lights that pervaded AOL's NewFront presentation yesterday, the big theme from the company's new slate of original productions was far quieter: it wants to be the online home for authentic programming from thoughtful creators.

    Going this less mainstream route means AOL isn't trying to out-TV TV - like for example Netflix is trying to do with "House of Cards" and its other new shows (how many times have you heard Netflix executives compare their efforts to HBO's?!). Though it is collaborating with some well-known talent such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow and Hank Azaria, AOL's new programs are mainly built around online and offline personalities who have unique perspectives on the world.

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  • Social Recommendations: No Surprises There

    Today I'm pleased to share a contributed post from Alan Wolk. Alan is Global Lead Analyst at KIT digital. He frequently speaks about the television industry in general and second screen interactions in particular, both at conferences and to anyone who'll listen. Recently named as one of the "Top 20 Thinkers In Social TV and Second Screen" Wolk is one of the main architects behind the award-winning KIT Social Program Guide and writes about the television industry at the Toad Stool blog. You can find him on Twitter at @awolk

    If you are interested in contributing to VideoNuze, please contact me!

    Social Recommendations: No Surprises There
    by Alan Wolk

    There’s a firmly held belief in the world of social TV and social media that our social graphs-- the people we are friends with on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks-- are the best source of recommendations for anything from restaurants to movies to TV shows. (Witness this week’s Facebook Graph Search announcement.)

    I’m here to suggest that may not be the case, particularly in regards to television.

    Let’s take Facebook, the most personal of the social networks. While it is considered good form by many on Twitter and LinkedIin to connect with relative strangers, our Facebook friends are generally people we know in real life.

    Or knew.

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  • Proliferation of Online-Only Originals Points to Further Audience Fragmentation

    Audience fragmentation isn't a new concept, but the proliferation of high-quality online-only originals suggests the trend is only going to intensify. These days, a week doesn't go by without another key player announcing a new or renewed online-only series, in turn creating ever-more choices for viewers and advertisers. Combine the surge in originals with the broad adoption of video-enabled connected devices, and the pieces are falling into place for even more changes in viewing behaviors.

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  • Study: Ads in Short-Form Video More Effective Than Those in Long-Form

    Advertisers and content providers continue to grapple with how to optimize ads in online video, and contributing to the dialogue, this morning AOL is releasing research indicating that ads in short-form videos are more effective than ads in long-form. Based on research involving 800 participants, AOL and its research partner Qualvu found that ads in short-form video had a 25% higher brand recall, produced 42% higher purchase intent and were 26% more likely to be liked. Short-form video is defined as less than 10 minutes with long-form 10 minutes or longer.

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  • VideoSchmooze [VIDEO]: Industry Executives Share Insights on Multi-Platform Success

    Below is the full video of last week's VideoSchmooze session, "Cracking the Code on Multiplatform Success," which included Peter Dolchin (VP, Viacom Media Networks), Jason Forbes (EVP, zeebox), Ran Harnevo (SVP, AOL On Network), Chris Smith (VP, Collective), with Olivier Manuel (Principal, Accretive) moderating.

    The group covered a lot of ground, sharing insights on what their companies are doing with multi-platform and how they view multi-platform unfolding. Among the specific topics they discussed included:

    - What is the definition of a "TV" in the online video age?

    - What do marketers want - unified measurement for media buying, or separation by platform? And what do incumbent linear networks and upstart online-only programmers want?

    - What is the difference between "TV Everywhere" and "Video Everywhere?" How are new programmers challenging incumbents to force more audience fragmentation and how is the ad community valuing this programming?

    - Can online-only originals be financing solely on ads or do they need a dual revenue stream with subscriptions, like cable?

    - Does premium content that was produced for the web get TV-style premium CPMs or will it be considered low-cost web content? How important is targeting matter and what other factors matter?

    - Do ad formats need to be different on TV, mobile and online?

    - How can business models align with user behaviors, and who's succeeding in doing this today?

    - What lessons does mobile, with the dominance of iOS and Android, offer to connected TV space? Will a "connected TV operating system" emerge and if so, who will drive that?

    - How does social help the discovery process and combat DVR usage?

    And much more!

    Watch the session video

  • VideoNuze-TDG Podcast #155 - More on AOL's Video Syndication Success; Data from BBC's Olympics Delivery

    I'm pleased to present the 155th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, who joins from London. First up this week, we discuss AOL's video success and the larger concept of video syndication. Earlier this week, AOL revealed that its video revenues jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to $100 million in 2012, largely due to syndication. Colin and I dig into why syndication is so compelling and what's ahead.

    Next up, Colin shares insights he gained from a presentation at the OTTTv World Summit in London by Marina Kalkanis, Head of the BBC's Programmes OnDemand Core Services team, which is responsible for the media and metadata services supporting BBC online. Marina's team oversaw BBC's online simulcast and on demand streaming of the London Olympics.

    Colin was impressed by the scale of the BBC's Olympics operation and how video was consumed online and on mobile devices. One key takeaway - BBC found online/mobile complimenting linear TV, similar to NBC's experience in the U.S.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 11 seconds)

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  • Syndication Wins: AOL's Video Revenue Jumps From $10M to $100M in Past 2 Years

    I've been devoting a lot of ink to AOL recently because its success has made it the poster child for the power of online video syndication and monetization. In yesterday's Q3 '12 earnings report, AOL delivered the most resounding evidence yet of syndication's value - CEO Tim Armstrong said AOL's video ad revenue jumped from $10 million 2 years ago to a projected $100 million in 2012, with more growth ahead in 2013. The results are mainly due to video syndication, powered by AOL's acquisition of 5Min in 2010.

    Simply put, AOL is capitalizing on the concept of the "syndicated video economy" that I first began discussing 4 1/2 years ago. On the call, Armstrong described how AOL's large video syndication library (which has grown from 30K videos to 450K today) feeds both its owned and operated properties and its network of 30K publishers. All of these sites are hungry for video for 2 important reasons: they meet users' increasingly video-oriented expectations and their adjacent ad inventory is monetized at far better rates than traditional display.

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  • AOL Video Goes Mobile with New iOS and Android Apps

    AOL has announced this morning new iOS and Android apps that provide access to over 420K curated videos from its AOL On Network. AOL is including videos from its owned properties such as Engadget, TechCrunch, HuffPo Live and partners like Martha Stewart, Travel Channel and E!.

    I've been playing around with the app a bit on my iPad this morning and it's a strong user experience. Upon launch, a set of highlight videos moves across the screen, with others displayed below. At left there's an icon which allows the user to pick videos from among 14 channels like Business, Food or Parenting. At right there's an icon that allows the user to go directly to certain content properties and/or search within them. The videos can then be sorted A-Z, by date, or by number of views. I only have one nit which is that there's no persistent "home" icon to get back to the starting point (you have to navigate to "Top Picks").

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  • Syndicated Video Model Gains Momentum Among Top Properties

    Long-time VideoNuze readers know I've been talking about the trend toward content providers' video being syndicated to third-party publishers' sites for a while now, and judging by comScore's August data, the model appears to be gaining further momentum.

    Two of the top 10 video properties - NDN and Grab Media - have syndication as their core business model, while a third - AOL, via its 5Min acquisition, uses syndication to power a significant amount of its views. Meanwhile, YouTube, which is consistently the largest property, leverages embedding for organic syndication, while #4 property VEVO syndicates a lot of its music videos to YouTube. Beyond the overall top 10, as I've written previously, in the sports vertical specifically, syndicators took 2 of the top 4 spots in the first half of '12.

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  • comScore Data: AOL Video Soars, YouTube and Total Views Down

    comScore released its August '12 data on online video usage last week , making it a full 12 months since it changed its reporting methodology. Looking over the data, there are a few things worth pointing out.

    First is that AOL has had a very strong year, increasing its videos delivered from 408 million in Sept. '11 to 725 million in Aug. '12, a 78% jump (see chart below). That's the best growth rate of any of the top 10 sites from Sept. '11. It's also the second consecutive month that AOL was in second place to YouTube, the industry's perennial leader. AOL has put a huge emphasis on video, launching the AOL On Network last April, along with a slate of original programming.

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  • AOL Updates Its Connected TV App, Now Includes Ad Support

    AOL is announcing this morning version 2.0 of its connected TV app, which will include a refreshed UI and advertising support for the first time. The app has been known as "AOL HD" but will now be known as "The AOL On" app. It is available on Samsung and Sony connected TVs and devices, plus Roku, and within a few weeks on TiVo Premiere DVRs. The move is another sign of how major content providers are getting more serious about migrating the online video experience from the desktop to the living room.

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  • A Big Picture Debate on the Future of Online Video Advertising [VIDEO]

    At last month's VideoNuze 2012 Online Video Advertising Summit, our closing session was a big picture debate on the future of online video advertising, featuring AOL's Frank Besteiro, NBCU's Peter Naylor, TiVo's Tara Maitra, TubeMogul's Brett Wilson and YouTube's Suzie Reider, which I moderated.

    One of the things the group addresses is whether buyers of online video advertising will prefer an impression-based model (akin to traditional TV advertising) or an engagement-based model (akin to search and other forms of online advertising). I believe it's a key question as it goes to the heart of how video advertising will work and the experience viewers will have online. Within this larger question is the omnipresent issue of measurement - when will there be an accepted currency for online video advertising, and what will it be?

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  • Online Video Heavyweights Organize First "NewFronts" Ad Marketplace

    Five of the top 10 online video destinations - AOL, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo and YouTube - are joining with ad agency Digitas to launch the first-ever "Digital Content NewFronts" (DCNF). The DCNF's goal is to "shape a new and practical marketplace for connecting the wealth of native digital content with brand marketers and their media and marketing agencies." From April 19th to May 2nd, each of the 6 companies will host a day-long event in NYC showcasing their programming and ad opportunities. The DCNF actually builds on the 1-day NewFront event Digitas has been holding for the last 3 years.

    I think the combined approach of the DCNF is the right idea at the right time. Given the wealth of premium original online video that each of the 5 destinations is pursuing - all of which is ad-supported - the DCNF could become an important catalyst in educating advertisers and agencies about these new opportunities and therefore why they should shift some of their spending. As I've recently written, a bevy of Hollywood A-listers and others are getting involved in original online video productions, helping create a "virtuous cycle" of anticipated growth.

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  • Online-Only Originals Are Entering a Virtuous Cycle

    Just last week, in "Hollywood's A-Listers Embrace Online Video, Upending the Status Quo," I noted all the various factors that are contributing to top industry talent now pursuing online-only projects. But as I've had a chance to digest last week's CES announcements, plus Hulu's news yesterday that it too is planning an aggressive originals strategy in 2012, I think it's quite likely that online-only originals are entering a "virtuous cycle." Key elements for online-only originals' success are falling into place and are poised to build on each other, combining to dramatically accelerate the growth and acceptance of this emerging class of programming.  

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  • Hollywood's A-Listers Embrace Online Video, Upending the Status Quo

    Tom Hanks. Louis C.K. Lisa Kudrow. Kevin Spacey. David Fincher. Bill Maher. Jennifer Lopez. Judy Greer. Steven Van Zandt. Anthony Zuiker. Morgan Spurlock. Ed Begley, Jr. Heidi Klum. What do these Hollywood A-Listers (or near A-Listers) and other stars all have in common? They're all involved in original online video projects which are helping upend the Hollywood ecosystem, legitimize the online medium and further fragment audiences. Each no doubt has his/her own reasons for getting involved, and taken together they're creating momentum that is going to draw in even more talent.

    Of course, the big news this week was Tom Hanks partnering with Yahoo for the animated series "Electric City." Hanks, one of Hollywood's most bankable stars, said he was drawn by the opportunity to make "ambiguous attractive" which feels like another way of saying he's searching for greater creative freedom. While creativity may be motivating Hanks, in Louis C.K.'s case, it seems more about tweaking the System and proving that when presented with a compelling offer (in this case a $5 DRM-free download of his "Live at the Beacon Theater" special), people will behave properly (i.e. pay rather than steal).

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  • 3 Video Predictions for 2012: AOL's Ran Harnevo

    Following are 3 video predictions for 2012 from Ran Harnevo, AOL's SVP, Video.

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