I’m pleased to present the 477th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Colin and I were both following new industry data out this week. First, Parks Associates shared insights on the streaming media player market, which surprised both of us as having essentially flatlined since last year, with Roku and Amazon now having 70% combined market share. By contrast, Colin notes that recent comScore data showed smart TV sales continuing to grow strongly.
Then we shift to reviewing data from a new global survey released by Limelight Networks, showing the U.S. leading 8 other countries with 42% daily streaming and downloading activity. The survey also revealed that nearly 82% of 26-35 year old respondents are streaming or downloading on a weekly basis.
We also provide a little commentary upfront on AT&T’s plan to drop the DirecTV Now name, since we just speculated on AT&T’s video plans on last week’s podcast.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 3 seconds)
Roku’s share of the connected device market grew to 37% of U.S. broadband households in Q1 ’17, up from 30% in Q1 ’16, according to new research from Parks Associates. Roku has shown amazing staying power considering it has been up against some of the biggest tech/device companies in the world. Clearly looking to capitalize on its market momentum, Roku is reportedly planning to go public by the end of 2017.
Amazon’s Fire TV also expanded its market share, to 24% of U.S. broadband homes from 16% in Q1 ’16. Conversely, Chromecast fell from 22% to 18% during the period and Apple fell from 20% to 15%. Other devices accounted for the remainder in both quarters.
I’m pleased to present the 379th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
On this week’s podcast Colin and I discuss recently released data from Nielsen, Parks Associates and Roku, which all underscore the growing momentum of connected TVs.
Colin’s analysis of Nielsen’s data shows that across all viewers, connected TV device viewing has increased from .4 hours per week in Q1 ’14 to 2 hours 30 minutes per week in Q1 ’17. Zeroing in specifically on users with connected TVs, the view time nearly quadruples.
The Parks data reinforces these trends, finding that 50% of U.S. broadband users are watching video on TV, using their connected TV devices (separate industry data has indicated over 70% of U.S. homes actually have at least one connected TV). The big 3 services (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu) continue to dominate, but Parks noted that certain niche SVOD services are gaining real traction.
Finally, Colin shares his analysis of Roku’s new data on times spent with the device. Roku’s numbers are noteworthy because they’re the only connected TV device that self-reports any usage data.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 34 seconds)
Here’s one measure of how popular watching online video in the living room has become: according to new research from Parks, which was presented at NABShow, among broadband households, over 25% of viewing done on TV was from online sources, up from 10% in 2010. No surprise, linear broadcast TV saw the biggest decline over that period, dropping from 62% of TV time to 41% of time.
Topics: Parks Associates
Yesterday research firm Strategy Analytics released a forecast showing growth in domestic SVOD spending will slow slightly in 2016 vs. 2015 and then drop by almost 50% in 2021, to just 8% year-over-year. The 2016 slowdown is nominal - a $1.19 billion increase vs. a $1.21 billion increase in 2015, which could be easily tweaked by minor changes to churn rates, as just one example. Domestic SVOD spending in 2016 will be $6.62 billion, still an increase of 22% year-over-year, a growth rather most industries would happily take.
The key takeaway shouldn’t be the current year forecast, but rather what’s expected over the next 5 years, to 2021. Strategy Analytics Digital Media Director Michael Goodman said that the spending forecast was modeled assuming an 85% saturation rate of broadband households in 2021, comparable to pay-TV’s current adoption (60% of households currently subscribe to one or more SVOD services), with Netflix alone accounting for 53% of subscriptions.
I'm pleased to present the 318th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week Colin and I dive into the Parks data from yesterday revealing that just 5% of US broadband homes subscribe to one or more of the 98 SVOD services other than the big three (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu). We agree that the data underscores just competitive it will be for the 98 and growing) minnow SVOD services to breakthrough.
One of those 98 services is Sling TV, which this week announced the beta of a new $20/month multi-stream service that includes select Fox networks. While Colin believes it’s a smart move by Sling TV to further segment the market, I view it as both confusing and also counter to Sling TV’s brand proposition, at least as it’s currently offered.
By separating the Fox networks and ESPN networks on 2 different tiers, Sling TV is in effect forcing sports fans to take both. That means $40/month for just the 2 base packages, and, as best I can tell there are 22 other networks that are duplicated in both tiers (meaning dual subscribers are in effect paying twice for them).
It’s hard to see how this represents breakthrough value and simplification of TV. Rather it just seems like unnecessary confusion, likely driven by Disney and Fox licensing restrictions to hedge against Sling TV becoming too popular.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 51 seconds)
Here’s a measure of how dominant the big three SVOD services (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu) are in the US: according to new OTT data from Parks Associates, just 5% of all broadband homes subscribe to one or more of the 98 SVOD services available in the US aside from the big three. Among the 98 services Parks counted are high-profile offerings like HBO Now, CBS All Access and Sling TV.
At the end of 2015, there were approximately 96.3 million broadband homes in the US, according to Leichtman Research. So that would mean that about 4.8 million broadband homes were subscribing to one or more of the 98 SVOD services outside of the big three. Parks did not specify the actual subscriber levels of any of the 98 SVOD services.
I'm pleased to present the 288th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we return to the connected TV category which we both believe remains in flux. Recent research from Parks showed that Roku maintained its market share lead in 2014, with 34% share, followed by Chromecast with 23%. However, as we explain, there are at least a couple of key variables that could shake up the market’s dynamics.
First is that on Sept. 9th Apple will introduce a new Apple TV, which will include a range of new features (though Colin notes 4K appears to be missing). Given Apple’s massive customer base, the new Apple TV will almost certainly gain market share at other devices’ expense.
The second variable is if pay-TV operators prioritize integration of major OTT services into their advanced set-top boxes. This would improve the viewer experience by not requiring a change of inputs to access OTT services and in turn would diminish demand for standalone connected TV devices (this is analogous to how integrated DVRs succeeded). However, as I recently wrote, even though OTT integration is a huge opportunity for pay-TV operators, it’s not yet clear they’re embracing it.
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I'm pleased to present the 285th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
It’s been a wild week for major media companies as mixed earnings reports, fears that cord-cutting is accelerating and anxiety over ad dollars leaving TV all combined to send big media stocks plummeting. Meanwhile, with Netflix expanding internationally, Hulu and Amazon gaining ground and many other SVOD services launching in 2015, the question of what role SVOD will play for consumers and in the media ecosystem of the future is becoming more relevant all the time.
Those are the topics of today’s podcast, as we start by analyzing recent Parks research (which both Colin and I wrote about, here and here) revealing high levels of churn for various SVOD services. Colin is less concerned about high churn than I am, as I see high churn as indicative of a broader challenge SVOD services have with consumers, namely, not being seen more as transactional opportunities, given how frictionless it is to add/drop these services.
Colin and I agree that great content is going to be the key to SVOD services retaining subscribers. But with more people walking around with binge-viewing bucket lists, I think it’s going to be harder than ever to hook viewers on shows they didn’t have an interest in already, especially given the proliferation of great content. We explore these dynamics further.
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Research released late last week by Parks Associates, which revealed high levels of churn for many smaller SVOD services, reinforced for me that many of these services are at risk of being seen as little more than transactional VOD opportunities by consumers. If this occurs it would have huge implications for both the SVOD services and larger ecosystem.
First, to review the research, Parks found that for SVOD services other than Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, the churn rate over the past 12 months was equal to 60% of those who subscribed to such services. For Hulu Plus, 7% of U.S. broadband subscribers cancelled their subscription in the past 12 months (equaling churn of half or more of Hulu Plus’s subscribers). Parks estimated Amazon’s churn at around 25% (though that’s clouded by value of the overall Prime service). Only Netflix fared well, with churn in the past 12 months running around 9% of its subscriber base. Note, none of these SVOD services publicly disclose their churn rates.
Early Chromecast owners appear to be integrating the device into their lives, with almost a third or more of them using it daily or almost daily, according to a survey conducted by research firm Parks Associates. Not surprisingly, using Chromecast to watch video on TV is most popular on a daily/almost daily basis (38%). But right behind is "displaying web pages on your TV" (36%), followed by "listening to online music through your TV" (32%).
YouTube was the most-used video source on a daily/almost daily basis (49%) followed by Netflix (47%), Hulu (38%), other video web sites (36%), HBO GO (30%) and Amazon Instant Video (30%). Note that all but the YouTube and Netflix usage must be happening by "tab casting" from the Chrome browser, since none of these video sources have yet integrated Chromecast's "casting" feature (the survey was taken in August, before Hulu Plus integrated casting).
I'm pleased to present the 198th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Just as Hulu was announcing this week that Hulu Plus is now Chromecast-enabled, new research from Parks Associates revealed that 50% of people already using Chromecast to watch Hulu content on TV are actually watching the free Hulu.com service. They're able to do this by using Chromecast's "tab casting" feature to stream from a tab in the Chrome browser. Their behavior undermines a key Hulu Plus value proposition (and differentiator from Hulu.com) of being able to watch Hulu content on connected TVs.
This isn't random behavior either; the Parks research also revealed that 34% of Chromecast owners stream Hulu content to their TVs every day, with 43% watching Netflix this way.
In today's podcast, Colin and I talk about how Chromecast is convoluting Hulu's model and more broadly how technology and consumer behaviors continue to pressure Hollywood's licensing/windowing practices. As a Hulu Plus subscriber, Colin also shares 2 other wrinkles: first, that certain Hulu Plus content is just available for "web-only" viewing and NOT for connected devices like Roku, Xbox or Chromecast, and second, that in the case of the USA Network program "Psych," there are actually more recent episodes freely available on Hulu.com than there are on Hulu Plus. I've reached out to Hulu PR for comment and will update as appropriate.
(UPDATE: A Hulu PR representative told me that permission to stream to devices is granted by the content provider and varies by show, so it's not possible to stream all Hulu Plus content to devices. More info about the policies is here.)
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 41 seconds)