(Note, I’m traveling this week, so the following is written by my weekly podcast partner Colin Dixon, founder and Chief Analyst of nScreenMedia. It is also posted here.)
SVOD Maintains Growth Despite Netflix Sluggishness
by Colin Dixon
New data from Digitalsmiths shows that Netflix’s sluggish US growth hasn’t rubbed off on the rest of the SVOD industry. It also demonstrates that TV Everywhere continues to make slow progress, and a small but significant group consider online a viable alternative to pay TV.
Netflix growth has slowed considerably in the US. The company increased subscribers just 0.3% in Q2 2016. That is not true of the SVOD industry overall. Digitalsmiths says that 63.9% now have access to at least one SVOD service. Users increased 3.2% quarter-over-quarter, 6.2% year-over-year, and 13% since Q2 2014.
I'm pleased to present the 314th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week, Colin and I dig into the TV Everywhere awareness/usage data from Digitalsmiths’ Q4 ’15 Video Trends report. Both of us found it pretty sobering that 60% of pay-TV subscribers are still unaware of TVE services and usage has stalled out, despite the industry’s big bet. The data indicates that only around 10% of pay-TV subscribers use TVE on a weekly basis.
We then turn to the frustrations of buffering, which IneoQuest focused on in its “Buffer Rage” survey released this week. But despite the issues online viewers may be having with delivery quality, SVOD remains on a roll. DVDs have clearly been a victim of SVOD’s success and Colin notes that Digitalsmiths’ report found respondents’ usage of Redbox DVD kiosks dropped precipitously from 18.4% in Q1 ’15 to 13.1% in Q4 ’15. This week Redbox’s parent Outerwall said it was exploring “strategic and financial alternatives.”
Listen now to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 31 seconds)
60% of pay-TV subscribers are still not aware of TV Everywhere apps allowing TV viewing on mobile devices. That’s one of the key highlights of the 13th edition of the Digitalsmiths quarterly Video Trends Report, for Q4 ’15, which surveyed 3,100 consumers. The 40% awareness level is up just 3.7% since Q4 ’13 and 13.6% since Q4 ’12.
Worse, the Q4 ’15 report found that 21.5% of pay-TV subscribers have their pay-TV provider’s app on their mobile device, a decrease of 3.7% since Q4 ’13 and 4.5% since Q4 ’12. Among those who use their pay-TV provider’s app, 45.4% use it on a weekly basis, flat from Q2 ’15 but up 3.6% from Q3 ’15 when it dipped.
Categories: TV Everywhere
TV Everywhere is the great hope of the pay-TV industry to combat viewers from defecting to OTT. But pinning down actual TVE usage remains murky at best.
For example in its Q4 2015 Digital Video Benchmark released last week, Adobe found that 17.4% of pay-TV viewers used TV Everywhere at least once per month. That was the highest level of TVE usage Adobe has found, rising above the 13%-14% range of usage over the past 4 quarters.
Categories: TV Everywhere
I'm pleased to present the 301st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up on this week’s podcast, I share some of the key highlights from this past Tuesday’s SHIFT // 2015 Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is the diversity of perspectives on what programmatic means in video and TV. Most definitions focus on automation and data, but understanding which business model applies makes things fuzzier. I’ll have a lot more on SHIFT as I post the session videos in the coming weeks.
Next we discuss Digitalsmiths’ new Q3 2015 Video Trends Report which was released this week. Colin zeroes in on a couple of noteworthy data points: the soaring adoption of over-the-air antennas plus how these complement SVOD subscriptions and the wide variation of SVOD subscription rates by pay-TV operator. Colin has much more detail in his analysis of the report here.
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I'm pleased to present the 291st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Video is emerging as a top priority for Amazon and its varied investments appear to be paying off as it builds an ecosystem to compete with Apple. On this week’s podcast Colin and I dig into the key device and content announcements Amazon has made recently (see also my post from earlier this week) and why they’re important.
Amazon has clearly concluded that video is a successful driver for its Prime service, which is one of the company’s most important consumer-facing priorities. Colin notes that research released from Digitalsmiths earlier this week showed that Amazon Prime video is now used by over 20% of U.S. households, up from 7.5% 2 years ago (by comparison Netflix increased from 28% to 49.4% and Hulu increased from 6.3% to 11.8%).
Colin and I expect a lot more video-related investments by Amazon as it leverages its deep pockets and multiple lines of business to change the rules of the game in OTT.
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New research from Digitalsmiths shows relatively muted interest in switching/dropping pay-TV providers, strong appeal of customized, a la carte pay-TV channel lineups, high awareness and usage of OTT services, and low adoption of TV Everywhere, among other things.
Just 7.7% of respondents said they’d switched pay-TV providers in the last 3 months (up from 6% in Q2 ’14). Less than 15% of respondents said they might either cut their service, switch to pay-TV providers or move to an online app or rental service in the next 6 months, an improvement vs. Q2 ’14.
While 76.6% of pay-TV subscribers are satisfied or very satisfied, 23.4% are unsatisfied, an increase of 6.1 percentage points since Q2 ’13. For those unsatisfied, the top 3 reasons were “increasing fees for cable/satellite service,” “increasing fees for Internet service” and “poor customer service.” Digitalsmiths found the top 3 predictors of satisfaction were monthly bill, ease of finding linear content and ease of finding VOD content.
Categories: TV Everywhere
Discovery and analytics provider Rovi has announced its acquisition of Fanhattan, a startup offering cloud-based discovery solutions as well as the innovative Fan TV connected TV device. Fanhattan combines live TV, VOD and OTT in one search experience powered from the cloud, which is available to viewers either through the web, an iOS device or the Fan TV.
Omar Javaid, SVP/GM of Rovi's Discovery group told me the primary motivation for the deal was Fanhattan's cloud-based unified discovery technology, its team and the products. Fanhattan augments Rovi's existing next-generation discovery products. Rovi's customers include many pay-TV operators (Charter, Dish, etc.), device manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, Sharp, etc.) and online entertainment services (Shazam, Facebook, MTV, etc.).
TV Everywhere's conundrum continues. Data from Viacom late last week again showed that people who actually use TVE appear to really value it, plus it improves their perceptions of their pay-TV operator. Nonetheless, other recent research and comments from industry executives themselves show that relatively few people have tried TVE and still fewer use it consistently.
First the Viacom data. Sampling 1,300 Viacom viewers ages 13-49, and 600 kids, ages 2-12, Viacom found that TVE users watch 64% more TV (72% for millennials), as 98% said TVE adds to their pay-TV subscription and 93% said they're more likely to stay with their pay-TV operator as a result of TVE. Respondents said the main reasons for TVE use were to re-watch/replay TV episodes, view flexibly and be an early adopter of new services.
Charter Communications has begun rolling out personalized video search and recommendations to its 5 million subscribers, using Digitalsmiths' Seamless Discovery Platform. Billy Purser, VP of Marketing at Digitalsmiths told me that Charter actually began introducing this to its web and Charter TV mobile app users over the past 3 months and has now started rolling it out to subscribers with IP set-top boxes.
The Digitalsmiths search and recommendations are based on the company's Unified Data Service, which structures numerous individual data services (e.g. TMS, Rovi, Thuuz, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, Common Sense Media, etc.). This data is then paired with both implicit (e.g. viewer behavior) and explicit (e.g. viewer ratings).
Over half (52.4%) of pay-TV subscribers still don't know whether their provider offers an app that allows for tablet or smartphone-based viewing, according to Digitalsmiths' new Q4 '13 video trends report. The level is basically the same as the company's Q3 report. Just 21.6% of subscribers have downloaded their provider's app (up slightly from 19.6% in Q3), but almost 60% of those that have downloaded it use it either less than once per week or never.
Digitalsmiths has released its quarterly survey on consumer behavior around pay-TV and VOD, finding that consumers are continuing to “cord cheat,” with 48% supplementing their pay-TV subscriptions with OTT services, up from 35% reported in Q2 '13. Most popular for these consumers was Netflix (42%), while for individual movie rentals Redbox kiosks took the lead at 17%.
Digitalsmiths believes cord cheating is a big threat to pay-TV providers and said they must adapt and better support consumer expectations. According to the survey, the top reasons consumers are choosing OTT services like Netflix, Hulu or iTunes are because they are more convenient (53%), cheaper (48%) and allow full season TV viewing (31%).
I'm pleased to present the 202nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This week we dig into why Smart TVs are going to be increasingly challenged by connected TV devices like Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV and others. As my colleague Jose Alvear wrote yesterday, new IHS research shows relatively low purchase intent for Smart TVs, despite high awareness. Price has emerged as the top driver for consumers, which means inexpensive connected TV devices will become more attractive alternatives for OTT viewing.
This is all part of a larger context for how TVs will be integrated with mobile devices in the home. Colin notes that discovery is best suited to mobile devices, but the critical link to the TV's set-top box is still missing. Some operators like Comcast are fixing this, but for tens of millions of homes the TV remains essentially an island unto itself. This is certain to change in the years ahead as new devices proliferate.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 15 seconds)
(Note: Colin and I will both be in LA next week at BroadbandTV Con. If you're attending, send us a note and let's meet up. VideoNuze readers get $75 off registration using the code "VideoNuze.")
Digitalsmiths said this morning that its Seamless Discovery Platform has been chosen by 7 of the top 10 U.S. pay-TV operators, which cover 64% of the country's subscribers. Globally the company is powering discovery for over 100 million homes through 46 customers and partners. Most recently Digitalsmiths announced Australia's Foxtel as its latest big customer.
New research released today by Veveo reveals that nearly 2/3 of pay-TV viewers know what they want to watch "almost always" or "most of the time." In addition, almost 75% of them said they'd like better search capabilities from their pay-TV operator, a preference that dwarfed recommendations as an option, which was cited by less than 5% of respondents. Heavier TV viewers' preference for search was even stronger.
According to Sam Vasisht, Veveo's CMO, whom I spoke to last week, the findings underscore the extent to which search has become an integral part of everyday life for many consumers. The fact that search has become a positive online experience for many means that sub-optimal search tools provided by pay-TV operators becomes more glaringly obvious, leading to viewer frustration and lost revenue opportunities.
TV Everywhere is the pay-TV industry's most important strategic priority to combat OTT viewing and enhance the value of expensive monthly subscriptions. In my view, a pretty good proxy for how TV Everywhere adoption is going is subscriber usage of pay-TV operators' tablet apps. According to a new report from Digitalsmiths, there is both good news and bad news on this: usage is increasing, but it remains at a nominal level.
The Digitalsmiths Q2 2013 Video Discovery Trends Report, based on 1,850 adult respondents, shows that of the 29.5% of respondents who say they own a tablet, just 23.8% have downloaded their pay-TV operator's app. Over half (52.4%) don't even know whether their pay-TV operator offers an app. In a bit of good news though, 42.9% of those who have downloaded their pay-TV operator's app say they use the app at least once per week. Indexing to 100 respondents, this would mean approximately 3 respondents, or 3%, use their pay-TV operator's app at least once per week.
Digitalsmiths is taking video metadata to the next level, unveiling its Unified Data Service, a one-stop shop for pay-TV providers to access multiple, pre-integrated data feeds.
Digitalsmiths CEO and co-founder Ben Weinberger explained to me last week that as pay-TV operators have rolled out their own on-demand services and video apps, they're striving to make them as rich as possible. This includes adding the kind of related data (e.g. actor, cast info, schedules, merchandise, etc.) and social tools (e.g. Twitter/Facebook feeds, etc.) that are commonly found in entertainment-oriented web sites and apps.
Note: I'm pleased to post the latest from Stewart Schley, VideoNuze's newest contributor.
Survey: Under 2% of Pay-TV Subscribers Are Using Their Providers' Tablet Video Apps
by Stewart Schley
Digitalsmiths’ Q1 2013 Video Discovery Trends Report is out, and one of the key findings is that less than 2% of pay-TV subscribers use their providers' tablet video apps. The online survey of 1,800-plus adults shows how far the pay-TV industry has to go before their tablet video apps influence TV watching.
Of the roughly one-third of respondents who said they have tablets, 60% said they haven’t downloaded their pay-TV provider’s app, and another 14% aren’t aware such an app even is available. Of the 26% of tablet owners who have downloaded pay-TV provider's apps, only 18% said they actually use them. That means for every 100 pay-TV subscribers, under 2% of them ever fire up their provider's video app.
Digitalsmiths has announced deals this morning to power personalized video search and discovery across all platforms for Time Warner Cable, and for i.TV, the TV guide app for iPhone/iPad, Nintento Wii U, AOL, Huffington Post and others.
Ben Weinberger, Digitalsmiths CEO, also told me this morning that the company's "Seamless Discovery" technology is now powering over 1 billion transactions per month, which consist of user requests for search, recommendations and other data. At this level, Ben believes Digitalsmiths is now the largest provider of search and recommendations in North America, its main geographic customer area.
Univision has launched its ambitious UVideos online and via mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Announcing UVideos, Univision cited Nielsen research that 60% of Spanish-speaking Hispanic consumers like to share video clips with friends online, with 60% of them saying they want more Spanish-language digital video.
When visiting UVideos for the first time, Univision has helpfully posted the splash screen below with navigation cues called out to orient new users.