European broadcast and entertainment giant RTL Group has bought a 65% stake in online video ad platform SpotXchange for $144 million, plus an earnout based on performance and an option to buy the remaining 35%. SpotXchange will continue to operate as an independent company, with CEO Mike Shehan saying that funds will be used to accelerate growth, particularly in Europe.
TV powerhouse FremantleMedia has launched a new mobile video app for its hit show Family Feud, available for iOS and Android devices. The app was built using Beachfront Media's Beachfront Builder technology and is being monetized via the company's Beachfront.io platform. The app offers dozens of short highlight clips categorized into channels such as Greatest Hits, Rated R, Interesting Answers, etc. FremantleMedia's Nicholas Dale said the app is meant to "connect with viewers in new ways and create engaging experiences in a multiplatform world."
Beachfront's CEO Frank Sinton told me in a briefing that a key part of FremantleMedia's decision to build its own app was to gain more control and improve the user experience vs. existing mobile viewing on YouTube and also to better monetize viewership. FremantleMedia will now funnel more of its mobile viewership to its own app.
I'm pleased to present the 195th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Colin patched in from Amsterdam, where he's attending the big IBC show. Colin sat in on an interesting session with Keith Hindle, CEO of FremantleMedia's Digital & Branded Entertainment Division. For those not familiar with Fremantle, it is one of the biggest producers of TV shows in the world, with credits like American Idol and The X Factor.
Colin shares some of Hindle's key observations about how the TV landscape is shifting, the powerful role of 2nd screen apps in attracting advertisers, the paradigm of "paid/owned/earned" media and how to balance TV distribution vs. online (Fremantle is the 12th-ranked YouTube content partner). Lots of great insights.
We then shift our focus to the plethora of data this week quantifying the surge in mobile and tablet viewing. I have covered new reports from FreeWheel, Ooyala, VEVO and TubeMogul this week, all supporting this trend. VEVO in particular is capitalizing, with 50% of its views now on mobile, tablet and connected TVs (note, the success of VEVO TV has been a huge contributor on the latter).
Still, as we agree, it's important to remember that TVs and desktops are where the vast majority of video viewing currently occurs, per Nielsen and FreeWheel data respectively. This is changing each quarter, but it's an evolutionary, not revolutionary shift.
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(Note there is a 3 second drop-out in the audio mid-way. Apologies, we're not sure what happened. During it, I am referencing VEVO TV.)