At the recent 9th annual VideoNuze Video Ad Summit, connected TV was a major focus throughout the day. In a presentation, Telaria CEO Mark Zagorski shared research illustrating how connected TV enable customized ad experiences that are more enjoyable, especially for younger viewers, better conversion than social and higher purchase intent than linear TV. With 30% of U.S. households not reachable by linear TV, forecast to jump to 50%, Mark makes a persuasive argument about CTVs’ important role.
A related after lunch session, “Connected TVs Take Center Stage: What Does It All Mean?” delved even deeper. The session included Christina Beaumier (VP, Product, TV Platform, Xandr), Alison Levin (VP, Global Ad Sales and Marketplace, Roku), Harold Morgenstern (SVP, National Advertising Sales, Pluto TV) and Ken Ripley (VP, Sales, Newsy) with Howard Homonoff (Principal, Homonoff Media Group) moderating.
Alison noted that 30% of viewers’ time spent is now spent with CTVs, but only 3% of ad budget are. So there’s a lot of room for budgets to shift. Ken, Harold and Christina explained how today’s media plans must include CTV to be complete, especially given viewership fragmentation. They also discuss the value of brands, discoverability, data, a unified currency, attribution and more.
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.
Below are the final two session videos from our recent SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit.
First up is “Bringing the Precision of the Digital Age to Television” which was kicked off with a short presentation by Scott Ferber (Chairman and CEO, Videology) showcasing research on key challenges to accelerating programmatic TV. Following his presentation, Scott joined a panel I moderated, with Larry Allen (VP of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions, Turner Ad Sales) and Andrew Feigenson (CEO, Simmons Research) also participating.
The second session is “Trending Now: What’s Ahead for Programmatic Video and TV?” which included Paul Alfieri (Chief Marketing Officer, Cross MediaWorks), Rob Byrnes (VP, Digital Planning, National Geographic), Rob Cukierman (VP, Sales Strategy & Partnerships, Vevo), Stephen Strong (Head of Revenue, Newsy), Tore Tellefsen (VP of TV Solutions, DataXu), with Chris Karl (CEO, VertaMedia) moderating.
Watch the session videos now!
I’m pleased to present the 386th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
After taking a couple weeks off from the podcast, Colin and I are back, and today we discuss 4 different industry stories that have caught our attention. First up, just before Labor Day, Roku filed its S-1 IPO document, sharing financial details for the first time. Colin and I are both struck by the strength of Roku’s “platform revenues” and believe the company’s strategy of innovating with low-priced streaming devices to gain market share has opened up many revenue options (though Colin’s a bit worried about Roku losing its valuable neutrality position in the wake of launching the Roku Channel this week).
We then move on to T-Mobile’s plan to give away Netflix to its unlimited family plan subscribers. It’s the latest “video as bait” play by a wireless carrier, and we both see this trend accelerating. Another interesting bundle play this week was the $5/mo promotion from Hulu and Spotify. We discuss its potential to extend beyond the initial college student target.
Finally, Colin and I were both intrigued by a plan unveiled by Newsy, a popular millennial-focused news app, to create a linear TV channel by taking over Retirement Living TV’s pay-TV subscribers. It’s a relatively unusual move given most TV networks are launching OTT apps these days.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 55 seconds)
Here’s a somewhat counter-intuitive move: Newsy, a millennial-focused OTT news property, is buying the pay-TV carriage agreements of Retirement Living Television covering around 26 million multichannel TV subscribers in order to get a position on the cable dial. The deal will cost Newsy’s owner E.W. Scripps approximately $23 million, or 93 cents per RLTV subscriber. Newsy also expects to get to 40 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2018.
The deal is predicated on developing Newsy into a “prominent multi-platform news network with dual revenue streams,” according to Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson. Newsy already has carriage deals with skinny bundles YouTube TV and Sling TV and clearly believes it can extend its audience reach and advertising potential by being available in multichannel bundles. Scripps also sees Newsy’s programming as helping pay-TV operators appeal to younger audiences.
Mobile video is growing fast, but monetizing it fully is a work in progress. At the recent Video Ad Summit, participants on the “Capitalizing on Mobile as the First Screen” session included Justin Fadgen (VP, Business Development, Beachfront Media), Kevin Hein (U.S. Industry Lead, Technology and Telecom Vertical, Facebook), Manny Puentes (Chief Technology Officer, Altitude Digital) and Blake Sabatinelli (GM, Newsy) with Anna Bager (SVP, Mobile and Video, IAB), moderating.
Particular challenges for mobile video that the panelists raised included ad/video load times, a limited window to gain the viewer’s attention, standardized measurement, consistent user experiences and the growing role of data. The panelists also discussed the opportunities and challenges around distributed video models on social platforms and how much effort is required to optimize each, among other topics.
The conversation balanced perspectives from the advertiser, publisher, platform and technology perspectives really well. Mobile video has gained a lot of usage, but it’s clear that it’s still early days in fully monetizing it.
Watch the video now (41 minutes, 23 seconds).
Newsy, a popular video-based news service for millennials, has partnered with SpotX for programmatic video ads in Newsy’s Apple TV app. The companies believe they are among the first to monetize Apple’s tvOS which was itself first announced by Apple last September in conjunction with the launch of the new Apple TV. SpotX released an SDK for Apple TV last November.
Free, short-form mobile video news is becoming a hot area of focus for established media companies. The latest evidence is this morning's announcement by NBCUniversal News Group of a minority investment in NowThis News as part of a broader content development collaboration involving all of NBC's news brands.
The investment follows the December acquisition of leading short-form mobile video news creator Newsy by E.W. Scripps for $35 million. That deal followed the launch by the New York Times, in late November, of the "New York Times Minute," a 3 times per day 1 minute video compilation of 3 top news stories of the moment which itself came on top of many other new video offerings from the Times. Meanwhile, in late December News Corp. acquired Storyful for $25 million to accelerate the use of short user-generated video in its and others' reporting.
And all of these follow numerous clip-oriented video news initiatives by a wide range of established and earlier-stage news organizations across both general and vertical subject areas (e.g. sports, entertainment, travel, etc.).
Newsy, which creates short-form video news segments that are syndicated to major third-party online publishers, has been acquired by E.W. Scripps for $35 million in cash. According to the announcement, Scripps was attracted to Newsy for its approach to curating news, its national brand, potential to enhance content from Scripps' 17 local TV stations and the growth potential of online video. Newsy will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary in Columbia, MO.
I've been a big Newsy fan and recently met up with its CEO and founder Jim Spencer and VP of Marketing Alexandra Wharton. Newsy has a very interesting approach to creating original content, but not doing original reporting. That means it doesn't send reporters out to the field, but rather curates the best video and text news from multiple sources, writes its own scripts and creates its own graphics, capturing the essence of stories in under 2 minutes. All underlying sources are clearly identified and have links back to them.
MSN News is the latest high-profile news/information site to partner with Newsy for high-quality, short-form, customized video news clips. In a deal announced today, Newsy's editors will work collaboratively in real time with counterparts at MSN News to create and deliver up to 20 videos/day across categories including world, U.S. politics, science & technology, crime & justice and pop culture. Many videos are already live here and here. They will be distributed across all MSN News platforms.
For Newsy, the MSN News deal is the latest in a string of partnership wins with big news/information sites. In March, Newsy landed a deal with Mashable to create customized videos, which followed other partnerships with AOL/Huffington Post and National Journal. In total, with the MSN News deal, Newsy is creating 200+ custom videos per week for partners, which is part of the 2,000+ videos it creates each month for its own web site, mobile apps and syndication partners such as 5Min, DBG, blinkx, Grab Networks, ClipSyndicate and others. Newsy videos generate over a billion views per year. Newsy uses multiple partner models including revenue sharing and straightforward fees.