Yesterday YouTube announced YouTube Go, a new mobile app that provides sophisticated new features for offline video use. While YouTube Go will initially only be available in India, it will no doubt be introduced in other geographies once proven in.
YouTube Go builds on YouTube’s embrace of downloading for offline viewing in India and other Asian territories begun nearly two years ago with the introduction of YouTube Offline, which allowed downloading of certain videos for viewing within 48 hours. Earlier this year YouTube added the “Smart Offline” feature that allows users to schedule their downloads to take advantage of off-peak data use.
The first of the three presidential debates is coming up on Monday night, and in addition to the spotlight being on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it looks like a big focus will be on live-streaming. That’s because Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - each of which is pushing hard into live-streaming - will stream the debates, in partnership with a variety of major media companies.
YouTube will be streaming in partnership with PBS, Fox News, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Telemundo as part of its #voteIRL initiative. Facebook has once again partnered with ABC News (as it did for the conventions) to stream the debates, which it will enhance with viewers’ comments and conversations in Facebook Live. Finally, as part of its previously-announced partnership, Twitter will be streaming Bloomberg TV’s coverage of the debates.
This morning YouTube unveiled “TrueView for action” an important update to its TrueView ad format. With TrueView for action, advertisers can add calls-to-action during and after the ad’s play. Examples of a call-to-action could include get a quote, book now or sign up alerts.
YouTube is positioning the feature as applicable for advertisers of high consideration products or services, such as financial services, automotive or travel, where the ability to move a viewer down the funnel toward purchase enhances the ROI of the ad. YouTube said that its research has found approximately 70 million 18-54 year-olds in the U.S. say YouTube already helps at least once per month in making a purchase decision.
Yesterday Amazon placed pilot episodes for 10 of its of its original programs on YouTube and Facebook. On the surface, this seems like a smart move, allowing these huge communities to get a taste of popular Amazon shows like “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle.” Amazon’s larger goal is to hook viewers and convert them to Prime membership. Free access to pilots have long been available at Amazon itself.
Clearly it is still very early in terms of mining the potential of YouTube and Facebook, but a day in, it’s somewhat surprising to see how few views there are. On Amazon’s YouTube channel, which has a cumulative 34 million views to date, “The Man in the High Castle” has done the best of the 10 pilots, but has just 1,583 views (see below). A distant second is “Transparent” with 258 views. Kids show “Tumble Leaf” is last with only 71 views.
Last week’s Q2 earnings reports provided another valuable window into how Amazon, Comcast, Google and Facebook have all hit on winning formulas in video (at least for now), while Apple continues to spin its wheels, under-optimizing its ability to capitalize on the massive shifts underway in video and TV.
To briefly review, Comcast lost just 4K subscribers in Q2, vs. a loss of 162K three years ago, as its sleek X1 set-top box gains further traction and satellite and telco competitors stumble. Facebook reported a blow-out quarter, with earnings of $2 billion, double what they were just 6 months ago. Facebook has become a mobile powerhouse and is now laser-focused on video, as Facebook Live becomes widely adopted (though still under-monetized).
Facebook is pouring lots of resources into video and according to a new report published by ad tech provider Mixpo this morning, the strategy appears to be bearing fruit. In its “State of Digital Advertising for Publishers” report, based on a survey and interviews with 263 digital publishing and advertising executives, Mixpo found that 50.2% of respondents had run video campaigns on Facebook, compared to 31.1% on YouTube. Twitter followed with 17%, then Instagram with 13.2% and all other social platforms were in single digits.
Online video and YouTube specifically are playing big roles in the auto industry for prospective buyers and enthusiasts, according to new research from video ad tech provider Pixability. The company found that auto-related video views on YouTube increased 42% from 2014 to 2015. There are currently 244K auto-related channels on YouTube with 3.5 million videos that have driven 73 billion views. Searches for “car reviews” specifically on YouTube have outpaced the same searches on Google itself over the past 5 years.
I'm pleased to present the 328th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
It’s been a milestone week for live-streaming, starting with news that Facebook is spending $50 million with media partners to create content for Facebook Live. Then there was C-SPAN live-streaming the Democrats’ gun protest sit-in via Facebook Live and Periscope after C-SPAN’s cameras were shut down.
Meanwhile, adding more momentum to live-streaming this week, Tumblr announced that it would support live-streaming via YouNow, Kanvas, Upclose and YouTube. And then just yesterday, YouTube announced that it will soon introduce mobile live-streaming within the YouTube app - arguably a catch-up move given Periscope, Meerkat and others already enabling this for a while - but significant given YouTube’s massive scale. Last but not least, game 7 of the NBA finals garnered WatchESPN its largest audience ever for an NBA game, with nearly 1.8 million viewers.
In today’s podcast we discuss Facebook’s live-streaming moves and the industry’s broader opportunity. I continue to be very bullish on live-streaming’s potential and believe we’ll see a lot of interesting applications of it going forward.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 31 seconds)
When Amazon Video Direct (AVD) was announced last week, lots of industry observers saw it as a new YouTube competitor. At some point that may be true, but for now, there is little for YouTube, the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of the online video industry, to be worried about.
While video content providers will welcome another deep-pocketed third-party distributor into the market, the most important challenge AVD faces is proving that it can make incremental money for these providers, beyond what they can already earn on YouTube, their own direct channels/apps and elsewhere.
Amazon revealed 4 different ways that content providers can monetize their videos, but each has challenges.
OpenSlate has released data revealing vastly different YouTube viewing for men vs. women. OpenSlate said that 62% of YouTube views by women aged 18-34 are in the Beauty & Style category, more than 10x the viewership of the next category, Health & Fitness, which had a 6% share.
The Beauty & Style category is dominated by Face & Body Care, which accounts for 40% of the views, followed by Make-Up & Cosmetics (34%) and Hair Care (13%). OpenSlate also found that Beauty & Style has the highest women 18-34 audience composition, followed by Food & Drink (38%) and Shopping (33%).
YouTube drew 2,700 industry executives to a cavernous Javits Center for its Brandcast NewFront to tout its audience scale vs. primetime TV. CEO Susan Wojcicki said that during primetime in the U.S. more 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube videos than the top 10 TV shows combined, according to a Google-commissioned Nielsen study in December, 2015.
Based on the same study, Wojcicki said that it reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network, on mobile alone. But YouTube is not only proud of its mobile viewership, it also said the number of hours watching YouTube on connected TVs more than doubled in the past year.
More news in the white-hot live-streaming space, as YouTube announced yesterday support for 360-degree live-streaming as well as spatial audio (which will initially be for on-demand streams only). In a blog post, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said that YouTube will use 360 streaming itself for coverage of select performances at Coachella this weekend.
I interviewed Neal on-stage at the NABShow Online Video Conference, as part of his kickoff keynote yesterday and he noted that 360-degree streaming will work for viewers on multiple platforms without any new hardware (distinguishing it from 4K and VR, for example). YouTube is also easing the path for content creators by offering the 360 capability at its YouTube Space studios and by working with camera makers via its Live API.
As video viewing on Facebook has soared, the company has been dogged by “freebooting,” whereby certain users rip copyrighted videos from YouTube and re-post them natively on Facebook. The problem has been widely reported and was perhaps most famously documented in a blistering critique last August by Hank Green (in that piece, Green highlighted data that in Q1 ’15, 725 of the top 1,000 videos on Facebook were freebooted, accounting for 17 billion views).
Being perceived as a place where copyright piracy is rampant is obviously detrimental to Facebook’s efforts to court brands, celebrities and publishers, an initiative which has dramatically ramped up as the company has prioritized video. All this is why Facebook’s announcement yesterday of its new “Rights Manager” tool is an extremely important first step in helping legitimize Facebook as a publisher-friendly video platform.
Categories: Social Media
The global recorded music industry generated $15 billion in revenue in 2015, a 3.2% year-over-year improvement, its first meaningful gain in nearly 20 years, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s new Global Music Report. But rather than celebrating, the IFPI is emphasizing that a “value gap,” created by YouTube and other upload/sharing sites, is sapping the industry of much-needed revenue.
Another day, another new SVOD service. Yesterday, Fullscreen said that April 26th would be the launch date for its “fullscreen” $4.99/month ad-free SVOD service which had been teased last fall. Fullscreen is targeting 13-30 year-olds with 800+ hours of content that will include films plus scripted and unscripted online originals and exclusives from YouTube stars like Grace Helbig, Shane Dawson, Hannah Hart and Jack & Dean.
Like Vessel and YouTube Red, two other SVOD services based on exclusive or windowed YouTube creator content, fullscreen is another test case for millennials’ willingness-to-pay for content that they’re long accustomed to getting for free (putting aside the differentiators of earlier access and exclusivity).
The convergence of video and TV advertising is everywhere these days. The latest evidence is a new tool that OpenSlate unveiled last week that gives ad buyers the ability to screen YouTube inventory based on custom criteria and then see how it translates into TV-equivalent reach and demographics.
OpenSlate’s CEO Mike Henry demo’d the new YouTube GRP Planning Tool for me last week, illustrating how buyers can enter target audience information to build an “unwired TV network,” then enter a budget and see how this equates to Total Rating Points and GRPs for a YouTube campaign.
Video ad tech provider Pixability has unveiled v4 of its platform, enabling unified video ad buying across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With v4, agencies and advertisers can plan, execute, measure and optimize video ad campaigns through one dashboard, greatly streamlining the workflow. With v4, Pixability is expanding beyond its traditional focus on YouTube ad buying.
Google’s parent Alphabet reported strong Q4 ’15 earnings late yesterday, with $21.4 billion in revenue (up 18% vs. Q4 ’14) and operating income of $5.4 billion (up 22% vs. Q4 ’14). On the earnings call, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat and Google CEO Sundar Pichai repeatedly cited YouTube as one of the key contributors to the company’s very successful quarter.
But as usual, there were few specifics of YouTube’s actual financial performance disclosed, with Porat only saying “YouTube revenue continues to grow at a very significant rate” primarily due to the TrueView skippable ad unit.
The latest evidence that wireless carriers will fuel a boom in unlimited mobile video viewing came this morning with AT&T announcing a new plan that gives new and existing AT&T wireless subscribers who already have or who add either DirecTV or U-Verse TV service unlimited video on their smartphone for $100/month. Options are available for adding more smartphones and tablets for additional fees. AT&T also said it was the “first of many integrated video and mobility offers the company plans to announce in 2016.”
Wireless carriers’ capped data plans have meant that subscribers needed to meticulously monitor their usage as they watched data-intensive video in order to avoid costly overage charges and also to aggressively search out WiFi hotspots. As wireless carriers have migrated to unlimited text and talk, data has become a key source of incremental, usage-based revenue.
I'm pleased to present the 303rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
In this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss our top 10 online video stories of 2015. A lot happened this year and it’s been tons of fun to cover and try to make sense of it. If you disagree with any of our choices, then as always, we welcome your feedback.
We’re going to try to slip in one year-end podcast next week, but in case you’re heading out early for the holidays, 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!
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