I’m pleased to present the 479th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Q2 was a very tough quarter for pay-TV operators, with cord-cutting soaring to a record level. This week we dive into the numbers and discuss why things have changed so dramatically since Q2 ’18. Then we transition to the Viacom-CBS deal, which was formally announced this week. Colin sees substantial upside, leveraging Pluto TV, which Viacom acquired earlier this year.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 20 seconds)
I’m pleased to present the 461st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
On this week’s podcast we first discuss highlights of FreeWheel’s Q4 2018 Video Marketplace Report. Once again FreeWheel’s data reveals important shift from linear TV to OTT consumption. Then we discuss a number of moves that Viacom is making into OTT, highlighted by its acquisition of Pluto TV. As Colin wrote, in many ways Viacom is on the front line of viewers’ shifts due to its traditional focus on younger audiences.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 14 seconds)
I recently hosted a free webinar on The Future of Live Streaming, with guests Alec Hendry, Senior Director of Technology Convergence at Viacom and Henrik Eriksson, Service Line Manager at Akamai, which presented the webinar which is now available on-demand. Our round table discussion was followed by audience Q&A.
If you or your colleagues are using live streaming as part of your content strategy or are thinking about doing so, I believe the webinar and Alec’s and Henrik’s insights/advice is invaluable.
Categories: Live Streaming
Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about Netflix’s solid Q4 subscriber growth was the company’s ongoing success with a pure ad-free subscription model. Netflix is becoming even more unicorn’ish among big video providers in completely eschewing ads. Virtually every other major video provider (aside from established premium TV networks like HBO, Showtime, etc.) is reliant, at least in part, on advertising (Amazon’s ad-free approach gets an asterisk because of the outsized role Prime/free-shipping still plays - and even Amazon is now integrating ads in various ways, see below).
In fact, though we’re barely a month into 2019, there are signs everywhere of advertising’s growing role in the future of the video industry.
Consider just the following:
I’m hosting a free webinar today at 1pm ET / 10am PT focused on the Future of Live Streaming. I’ll be joined by guests Alec Hendry, Senior Director of Technology Convergence at Viacom and Henrik Eriksson, Service Line Manager at Akamai, which is presenting the webinar, for a roundtable discussion, followed by audience Q&A.
We’ll dig into key topics such as the state of live streaming today, how to measure quality and ensure a positive user experience, which business models are being used successfully in live streaming, best practices, key challenges, future directions and more. Alec and Henrik have a wealth of experience live streaming hundreds of events and they’ll share their unique perspectives.
The webinar builds on a white paper I just wrote for Akamai in which I interviewed 5 leading media executives about their live streaming initiatives. The edited transcripts of these interviews are included in the white paper which will be released shortly.
Bolster your live streaming efforts in 2019 by joining us for this free webinar today!
Categories: Live Streaming
I’m pleased to present the 441st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
(Apologies my audio quality is low this week)
On this week’s podcast Colin shares highlights of a panel discussion he led last week in London focusing on the best practices of three different direct-to-consumer video services. As Colin covered in his post about the session, these include keeping the service’s brand front and center, providing access to a base level of free content and having a comprehensive retention program.
This week’s podcast is really a continuation of last week’s interview with Paywizard’s CEO Bhavesh Vaghela who discussed how video service providers can improve their competitive. As Colin and I agree, these days, having great content is table stakes, but what really differentiates successful services is delivering outstanding experiences.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 52 seconds)
Click here for previous podcasts
A critical challenge facing video providers is how to balance distribution of their content on platforms vs. on their owned & operated properties. At the recent VideoNuze Online Video Ad Summit, we dug deeply into this topic in a session featuring Trevor Fellows (EVP, Digital Sales and Partnerships, NBCUniversal), Paul Kontonis (Chief Marketing Officer, WHOSAY Viacom), Blake Sabatinelli (CEO, Newsy E.W. Scripps) with Lorne Brown (CEO, Operative) moderating.
Each of the panelists did an excellent job articulating the specific benefits they seek out in platform deals such as incremental reach, enhanced branding and stronger monetization. They talk about how platform distribution deals work and why advertising is central, the role of data and demographic fit, why producing compelling, premium content is paramount, how they choose to allocate finite resources among various platforms and why scale matters so much, among other topics.
For anyone considering how to monetize video everywhere, while maintaining a strong O&O presence, the session is really valuable.
Viacom’s EVP, Data Strategy Bryson Gordon said the TV industry must overcome an “activation gap” relative to big digital players, which prevents advertisers from easily planning and executing campaigns targeted to specific audiences. Gordon said this is the key challenge the TV industry’s OpenAP initiative is seeking to overcome. Gordon made the comments in an interview at the IAB Video Symposium in NYC yesterday, which I attended (and where I also moderated a session on skinny bundles and the future of TV).
Gordon illustrated the issue with a hypothetical example of a product marketing executive at an auto company preparing to launch a new crossover vehicle. In the example, the executive would have dedicated tons of time to researching and identifying highly specific segments of prospective buyers who would value the features of the new vehicle. But Gordon noted that when the time came for the executive to approach TV networks with the campaign’s targeting goals, the best the networks could offer up was a generic “We can give you 25-54 year-olds.”
At our SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit a couple weeks ago we had two sessions that were connected: one that focused on executing the roadmap for success in audience buying and one that focused on maximizing data’s ROI.
Panelists for the audience buying panel included Gabe Bevilacqua (SVP of Product Management, Advanced Advertising, Viacom), Jason DeMarco (VP, Audience and Data Solutions, A+E Networks), Anupam Gupta (Chief Product Officer, 4C Insights) and Adam Hecht (VP, Monetization, SintecMedia), with Mary Ann Halford (Senior Advisor, FTI Consulting), moderating.
Panelists for the maximizing data’s ROI panel included Scott Ashby (Sr. Director, Advanced Ad Products, Fox Networks Group), Judith Hammerman (SVP, Data Solutions & Programmatic Solutions, Time Inc.), Mark Risis (Head of Global Data Partnerships, IBM Watson Advertising), Damian Garbaccio (Global Chief Revenue Officer, Nielsen Marketing Cloud), with Brian Leder (Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, Promatica), moderating.
Watch the session videos now!
Can an entertainment-centric skinny bundle succeed? That question will be answered soon when a new service including TV networks from Discovery, Viacom, AMC, A+E and Scripps launches, according to a recent WSJ report. The service will be called “Philo” which is the same name as the technology provider that will power it.
Skinny bundles have received a huge amount of attention over the past couple of years as a lower cost approach the pay-TV industry is using to retain would-be cord-cutters. However, skinny bundles have faced the vexing question of whether to include expensive sports networks in their offers, which in turn pressure already minuscule profit margins.
Categories: Skinny Bundles
Everyone in the video industry is focused on data these days, whether to help target ads, develop more relevant content, improve viewer experiences or compete better. At last week’s VideoNuze Online Video Ad Summit, our panel “The Data Gold Rush: How Investments Are Paying Off,” delved into where specific investments are being made, what’s working, where key challenges remain, how companies are staffing their data initiatives and lots more.
The session included Gabe Bevilacqua (SVP, Product Management, Viacom Vantage), Denise Colella (SVP, Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy, NBCUniversal), Adam Shlachter (President, Global Innovation, PMX, Publicis Media), Catherine Warburton (Chief Investment Officer, MDC Media Partners), with Scott Ferber (Chairman and CEO, Videology) moderating. With both media and agency executives on the session, lots of contrasting insights were raised.
Watch the video (36 minutes, 5 seconds).
I’m pleased to present the 372nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we discuss 4 stories that caught our attention in recent days. First, Viacom’s plan to anchor an entertainment-only skinny bundle without sports or news networks. Colin and I are intrigued, but for a variety of reasons are skeptical Viacom is the right company to lead this.
Next we turn to Facebook, which has made no secret of its interest in pursuing longer-form video. This week brought news of its initial partnerships and potential business models.
We then discuss Amazon Channels expansion into the UK and Germany this week, building on the US model for Prime users to easily subscribe to various SVOD services. Both of us have been very bullish on Channels for a while and see lots of potential for it in other geographies.
Finally we dig into Snapchat Shows, the fast-growing social network’s plan to enlist multiple media companies to make vertical videos. Variety did a really good roundup of all the activity earlier this week, which suggests substantial progress.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 48 seconds)
I’m pleased to present the 366th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Once again, we’d like to thank our podcast sponsor Akamai Technologies, which will show its Media Acceleration capabilities and range of cloud-based solutions at the NABShow in Las Vegas, in booth SL3324. Click here to schedule a meeting.
This week rumors of two more online TV services surfaced on Bloomberg - one is an alliance of AMC, Discovery and Viacom and the other, from NBCU, would include programs from the company’s broadcast and cable TV networks. Both services appear to be in the mold of CBS All Access, with the AMC/Discovery/Viacom service being positioned as a sports-free and offered by pay-TV providers. Bloomberg said it was too early to tell whether sports or a linear feed of NBC would be included in the second.
At first blush, Colin and I are intrigued by both as they appear to target “entertainment-only” viewers who don’t care about sports. Netflix and Amazon, among others have been super-successful targeting this entertainment-onlys and we both believe there’s still growth available for additional services. We discuss the opportunity as well as potential stumbling blocks in this week’s podcast.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 35 seconds)
One of the big benefits of online video advertising is vastly improved audience targeting beyond typical demographics found in traditional TV. TV networks are responding by investing significantly in data and audience segmentation to stay competitive.
What they’re prioritizing, how they’re overcoming key challenges and how these efforts synch with online video and other digital initiatives were all in focus at our recent Video Ad Summit session, “Optimizing Video Ad Targeting Through Data and Insights.”
The panel featured Gabe Bevilacqua (VP, Product Management, Viacom Vantage), Denise Colella (SVP, Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy, NBCU), David Ernst (VP, Audience Measurement & Innovation, Discovery Communications), Mark Gall (Chief Revenue Officer, Alphonso), Vikram Somaya (SVP, Global Data Officer, ESPN) with Mike Chapman (Managing Partner, Accenture Strategy) moderating.
For anyone seeking a better understanding of how TV networks are moving beyond purely demographic-based targeting, the session offers a ton of insights.
Watch the video below (33 minutes, 23 seconds).
At the recent SHIFT // 2015 Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit, the data’s vital role in programmatic was a recurring them. In a dedicated morning session, “Data is the New King: Re-Aggregating Audiences in the Programmatic Era,” Matt Spiegel, SVP/GM, Marketing and Technology Solutions at MediaLink led an insightful discussion
Participating on the session were Bob Ivins (EVP, Cross Media Business Development, comScore),
Brian Leder (SVP, North America Media, Razorfish), Manny Puentes – CTO, Altitude Digital and Julian Zilberbrand (EVP, Audience Science, Viacom).
Among the many topics the group explored were how to validate 3rd-party data sets, how data drives ROIs, the impact data has on content creation, new staffing requirements and lots more.
Viacom announced that it has added 3 new executives to its Viacom Vantage data-driven ad product, which was itself announced in late April. Joining Viacom are Bryson Gordon as SVP of Data Strategy, Gabe Bevilacqua as VP of Product Management and Kodi Foster as VP of Data Strategy. Together they’ll oversee development of new data products to micro-target viewers which are overseen by Kern Schireson, EVP of Data Strategy and Consumer Intelligence for Viacom Media Networks.
Mobile video is now up to 42% of all online video viewed and is poised to surpass 50% later this year, making it a top priority for advertisers. So our Video Ad Summit session, “Small Screens, Big Opportunities: Why Mobile Video is Skyrocketing,” was one of the most timely discussions in the day-long program.
The session explored how mobile video fits with cross-screen strategies, why mobile video durations are shortening, why 15-second ads dominate on mobile but are changing, what role Facebook and Snapchat are playing in mobile video advertising, why there’s more data in mobile video than in desktop video, whether mobile video will move from the horizontal to the vertical format and lots more.
The session included Mike Berkley (Head of Product, Viacom), Dan Colarusso (Executive Editor, Digital, Reuters), Rachel Pasqua (Head of Mobility, MEC North America), Frank Sinton (CEO, Beachfront Media), with Michael Sebastian (Reporter, AdAge) moderating.
Yesterday provided us with 2 excellent examples of how OTT is changing the video landscape and how the pay-TV ecosystem is struggling to adapt. The first example was the second straight LA Dodgers' opening day in which the majority of LA fans were not able to watch the game because SportsNet LA doesn't have deals with most of the area's pay-TV operators. The second example was the $785 million write-down announced by Viacom to cover the costs of an expected "strategic realignment."
Yesterday Viacom announced Noggin, a new $5.99/month ad-free, mobile-centric OTT service for preschoolers that will launch on March 5th. Viacom said that Noggin's content will be solely library-based, making it distinct from what's already available on-air on Nick Jr. Noggin will include programs such as "Blue's Clues," "Little Bear" and "Ni Hao, Kari-lan," plus others. In addition to the OTT offering, Viacom said it's talking to pay-TV operators about Noggin being a premium offer for authenticated subscribers.
Noggin is the latest response by TV networks to the dramatic market changes currently playing out. As I recently described, disruption has been particularly acute in the kids' space, where kids' cable TV networks' ratings are plunging as OTT services have avidly built out their kids offerings. Just since writing that piece 2 weeks ago, YouTube has launched a kids-focused app, Netflix has added 5 new kids series and Amazon has renewed 4 others, all amping up the pressure on kids TV networks even further.
Viewability has emerged as one of the hottest topics in the online video industry this year, for good reason - video ads that aren't seen diminish the advertiser's ROI and undermine the integrity of the market.
However, the industry is addressing viewability and at the recent Video Ad Summit, IAB presented a session that dug into the details. Participants included Rob Brett (Viacom), Tal Chalozin (Innovid), David Gunzerath (MRC) and Julian Zilberbrand (Zenith Optimedia) with Matt Prohaska moderating.