Posts for 'Google'

  • Inside the Stream: YouTube Ads in Q1 ’23, Pluto TV's Tony Play, Exploring AI Drake

    First up this week on Inside the Stream we discuss YouTube’s advertising revenue for Q1 ’23, which was $6.7B, down 2.6% from Q1 ’22 of $6.9B. Obviously growth, not contraction, is the goal, but given the huge headwinds blowing through the ad business, in my view, a slight dip can rightly be considered a clear win. And the quarters that YouTube is now lapping were extremely strong to begin with, so comps will be tough by definition.

    We also spend a few minutes discussing YouTube’s four priorities outlined in the earnings call. I’m looking forward to attending YouTube’s NewFront presentations on Monday morning, especially “AI and the Future of Creative Transformation.”

    Next up, we both like how Paramount is leveraging Pluto TV by having it stream “THE TONY AWARD: ACT ONE,” preceding the main Tonys broadcast on CBS and Paramount+ on June 11th. ACT ONE is a perfect example of how “shoulder content” that can drive free streaming viewership (helping build Pluto’s brand) while acting as lead gen for Paramount+ and maybe even a little incremental retention for pay-TV.

    We expect to see a lot more of this “shoulder content on FAST” playbook run in the future elsewhere too. It’s a solid, synergistic play.

    Last, we make a maiden foray into the intersection of AI, video and music, prompted by a well-reported - though maybe slightly over-dramatic - article in The Verge about “AI Drake.” It’s a bit of a head-spinner to keep track of the machinations, but the net of it is that - no surprise to anyone - generative AI is already kicking up some dust related to copyright and Fair Use.

    Big players like Google and Microsoft will have to sort out what positions they ultimately want to stake out given their varied business interests. We do our best to decipher things and discuss implications. No easy answers here, but expect a lot more about AI on Inside the Stream in the future.

    Listen to the podcast to learn more (31 minutes, 59 seconds)

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  • [VIDEO] Understanding Brand Suitability’s Relationship with CTV Advertising

    The following video was recorded at VideoNuze's Connected TV Advertising Brand Suitability Summit virtual on November 16, 2021.

    Understanding Brand Suitability’s Relationship with CTV Advertising
    What exactly is brand suitability and what does it has to do with CTV advertising? Why is it so critical for the CTV ecosystem? Who’s responsible? Why is brand suitability something that  all industry participants need to understand? How is the industry moving beyond conventional notions of brand safety?

    - Joshua Lowcock - U.S. Chief Digital & Global Brand Safety Officer, UM
    - Susan Schiekofer - Chief Digital Investment Officer, GroupM North America
    - Dani Wolinsky - Global Head, YouTube Ads Buying Experiences, Google
    - David George - CEO, Pixability (moderator)

    Watch the session video now!

  • Behold, YouTube (Q3 2021 Edition)

    Another quarter and yet another blowout performance by YouTube advertising. Alphabet reported Q3 2021 results yesterday, including YouTube advertising revenue of $7.2 billion, up 43% vs. Q3 2020. To say that YouTube has been on a roll over the past two years would likely qualify as a top 10 understatement by any reasonable person’s judgement.

    Consider that the quarterly growth rate for YouTube advertising for each of the past 8 quarters has never been below 30%, except in the hardest Covid period, Q2 2020 when it grew 5.8% (keep in mind many other companies’ revenues shriveled in that quarter). The Q3 2021 growth rate of 43% follows Q2 2021 (up 84%), Q1 2021 (up 49%) and Q4 2020 (up 46%).

    The growth streak is all the more noteworthy because YouTube advertising has been over $3.5 billion per quarter since Q4 2018 except Q1 2019 (reminder, Alphabet first began breaking out YouTube advertising in Q4 2019, and in that report it also revealed Q4 2018 revenue). To put YouTube advertising's dollar growth in perspective, in Q3 2019 it was $3.8 billion. In Q3 2021 just reported, it was $7.2 billion. That’s an additional $3.4 billion of revenue, or 89.5% higher. In other words, YouTube advertising is growing very fast off of a significant base.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: What’s Really Behind the YouTube TV - NBCUniversal Dispute?

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    YouTube TV and NBCUniversal have become embroiled in a highly public dispute about the details of their distribution agreement. On today’s episode, Colin and Will discuss what’s really behind the dispute and the larger industry shifts that impacting the negotiation.

    It is a very complicated situation as each company is trying to hold on to certain industry conventions (such as most favored nation pricing), while also broadening into new areas (such as including Peacock Premium, a streaming service, with underlying YouTube TV subscriptions). Each company also comes to the table with a host of business imperatives, with many driven by Wall Street’s expectations and the overall streaming market’s evolution.

    Colin and I try to break things down. As I mention, one significant factor weighing on my assessment of things is Comcast’s gigantic missed opportunity when it decided not to acquire the 70% of Hulu it didn’t already own, back in 2018 when Comcast and Disney were battling over control of Fox (see "Why Comcast Should Take Control of Hulu" from May, 2018). Comcast had a one-time opportunity to vastly expand its footprint in streaming and CTV advertising and likely to position a combined Hulu-Peacock entity for eventual spin-off (see "Quick Math Shows Comcast Missed Out on Almost $6 Billion in Annual Revenue by Not Buying the Rest of Hulu" from January, 2020).

    Instead Comcast passed and became a passive owner in Hulu. Comcast will eventually realize a nice return on this stake, but Comcast needs strategic assets for the streaming era far more than it needs additional cash.

    Listen to the podcast (36 minutes, 27 seconds)

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  • Disney and Google Gain Importance in Pay-TV

    The U.S. pay-TV business performed better than expected in Q3 ’20, with top providers “only” losing around 120K subscribers, according to data compiled by Leichtman Research Group. The results would have been even stronger if a portion of YouTube TV’s one million subscriber additions in 2020 are attributed to Q3 specifically.

    Google didn’t break out how many of YouTube TV’s additions came in Q3, but given the return of major sports during the quarter, it’s probably fair to assume at least 500K-600K. Add those to Hulu + Live TV’s 700K additions in Q3 and just these two virtual pay-TV providers may have accounted for 1.2 to 1.3 million additions.  That would be enough to more than offset the approximately 1.15 million subscriber losses that the largest cable, satellite and telco pay-TV providers incurred.

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  • Has Google Decided to Take the Lead on Tackling the RSN and Sports Bubble?

    There are so many dramas playing out in the TV/video business these days it’s hard to keep up. Cord-cutting, M&A, reorganizations, high-profile executive departures, product launches, discounted pricing, eye-popping A-lister salaries….the list goes on and on.

    But one particularly intriguing drama that’s been catching my eye lately revolves around YouTube TV and the YES Network. As with everything in the TV/video business, the background is complicated, so here’s the high level cheat sheet:

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  • Here’s the Math For How YouTube’s Total Revenue Could Exceed $25 Billion in 2020

    Finally, finally, finally, Google provided some transparency about YouTube’s financial condition, in its Q4 ’19 and full year 2019 earnings report yesterday. YouTube’s financials have been treated as a state secret by Google since the beginning of time, with only high level usage information periodically shared.

    Even yesterday’s reveal was only for YT’s advertising revenue, which came in at $4.7 billion for Q4 ’19 and $15.1 billion for the year. YT’s subscription revenues - which consist of YT Music, YT Premium includes YT Music) and YT TV (its virtual pay-TV service) - were buried in “Google other revenue.” On the earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai said all YT subscriptions had a $3 billion annual run rate at the end of 2019.  

    Using some conservative assumptions and relatively quick math, it’s clear that YT’s total revenue could exceed $25 billion in 2020. As I also detail below, YT has to be considered among the best acquisitions in corporate America’s history. For Google, only the acquisition of Android (for the measly price of $50 million) could be considered more successful.

    Here are my calculations:

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #474: Amazon Keeps Pursuing Video in Creative Ways

    I’m pleased to present the 474th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week Colin and I discuss the “detente” that Amazon and Google seem to have achieved, announcing earlier this week that the Prime Video and YouTube apps will be supported on each other’s CTV devices. That’s good news for viewers who have had incomplete experiences.

    Then Colin describes a new service Amazon’s Twitch has launched called Twitch Prime. Colin sees it as another opportunity for Amazon to drive value back to the Prime service and even create new Prime subscribers. Last, Colin shares some new data illustrating that even though Prime Video has made progress in video, its original programming is still not at Netflix’s level.

    Listen in to learn more!

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  • YouTube and Amazon Prime Video Apps Return to Fire TV and Chromecast

    Frustrated Chromecast and Fire TV users can now breathe a sigh of relief: parent companies Google and Amazon have announced that apps for YouTube and Prime Video are officially available the other company’s CTV devices. That means Prime Video can be cast once again using Chromecast and is on Android TV devices. And YouTube’s app is available on Fire TV Stick (2nd gen), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and Fire TV smart TVs (e.g. Toshiba, Insignia, Element, Westinghouse).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #471: Local Broadcasting’s Video Opportunity; Ad-Supported Originals

    I’m pleased to present the 471st edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast we first discuss local broadcasting’s video opportunity. Colin provides updates on an interview he did about Google News Initiative’s role. Then he shares a few takeaways from a panel he did, highlighting the new Sinclair OTT service Stirr. More broadly we explore how the combination of connected TV, longer engagement time and better monetization is laying the foundation for ad-supported original programming.

    Listen in to learn more!

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  • Amazon and Google Ramp Up Premium Video Ads

    Some great reporting from Ad Age over the past couple weeks reveals how Amazon and Google are ramping up in premium video advertising. Given the size and respective positioning of both companies, their initiatives are worth paying close attention to.

    First, on Google, Ad Age reported that YouTube has begun to offer feature length movies like “The Terminator,” “Rocky” and “Legally Blonde” for free and with ad support (note all are also available on The Roku Channel). They’re part of around 100 movies YouTube has collected in a bid to further boost YouTube viewership and give advertisers more access to premium, brand safe content.

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  • Why Google, AT&T and Disney Are Now the Most Important Players in Pay-TV

    For all the talk about cord-cutting over the years, the most important trend in pay-TV these days isn’t consumers dropping out entirely, but rather shifting from traditional multichannel services to lower-priced virtual MVPDs or “skinny bundles.”

    The trend of skinny bundle gains offsetting  multichannel losses continued again in Q2 ’18 where, according to Leichtman Research Group, the top traditional services lost approximately 800K subscribers. But just the 2 publicly-reporting skinny bundles, Sling TV and DirecTV Now, gained 383K (with the latter accounting for 342K).

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  • Interview with Gal Turjeman, CEO of Artimedia, Which Just Sparked an Antitrust Investigation of Google in Israel

    Coincidentally, while I was in Israel a couple of weeks ago for the Video Trends conference, the country’s Antitrust Authority opened an investigation into Google and its dominance of the Internet advertising market as a restraint of trade.

    The investigation was prompted by a complaint from Artimedia, a global company that entered the Israeli online video advertising market 3 years ago. Artimedia is backed by Singaporean investors, mainly by Mr. Ching Chiat Kwong, chairman and CEO of Oxley Holdings, which is publicly traded in Singapore Exchange market (SGX:5UX). I interviewed Artimedia’s CEO Gal Turjeman to learn more about the investigation. Following is an edited transcript.

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  • Google and Facebook Have Single Entity Advantage in Race for TV Ad Dollars

    No surprise, at last week’s SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit, the “duopoly” of Google and Facebook came up repeatedly on stage, mainly in the context of how they’re pursuing TV ad dollars and what the TV industry is doing to defend itself. In fact, the whole concept of “programmatic TV” - TV networks data-enabling and automating /streamlining the ad transaction process - pretty much captures what the industry is doing to become more competitive. 

    But as I listened to and participated in the SHIFT sessions, one consideration kept coming back to me as possibly being the biggest single influence over how TV advertising evolves in the coming years: the idea that Google and Facebook are single entities, while the TV industry is fragmented with many different powerful players, each with their own agendas, capabilities and resources.

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  • Google Makes Search Data Available for YouTube Ad Targeting, Upping Pressure on TV

    Last Friday, while most of the world was focused on the presidential inauguration, Google announced that YouTube advertisers will now be able to target their ads based on users’ past Google searches, as well as their demographic information. Depending how this is executed, there could have significant upside to YouTube’s advertisers, further incenting them to shift budgets from TV to YouTube.  

    In a blog post, YouTube’s director, product management Diya Jolly provided the example of a user who is searching for winter coats on Google and is then presented with video ads by a particular retailer on YouTube. No doubt we have all had the experience of searching for a product, only to have ads immediately start appearing in web sites we subsequently visit. The same would now happen, but with video ads on YouTube.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #344: A Busy Week in the Video Industry

    I'm pleased to present the 344th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week was busier than usual in the video industry and on today’s podcast, Colin and I discuss a number of news items that hit our radar. First we talk about the new Google-CBS deal for the upcoming Unplugged skinny bundle. Next up is VUDU’s Movies on Us, new free, ad-supported VOD service which we both think has potential. We then dig into Facebook’s new feature for advance scheduling and promoting live broadcasts. Finally we review LeEco’s new content and TVs (Colin attended the company’s big launch event this week.)

    Clearly there was a lot happening this week as major players in the video industry continue jockeying for position. One news item that broke after we recorded is the rumor about AT&T acquiring Time Warner. That type of deal would be straight out of the Comcast-NBCU playbook and could trigger even more distribution-content tie-ups.

    Listen in to learn more!
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  • Google, VUDU and LeEco: 3 More Potential Video Disruptions Coming?

    Each week brings more innovation, product announcements and new business models to the ever-changing video industry. This week was certainly no different, and news from 3 companies - Google (a deal with CBS for its Unplugged skinny bundle), VUDU (a new ad-supported on-demand movie offering) and LeEco (a range of new products from the Chinese giant, including TVs and content) - caught my attention. Each has the potential to cause further industry disruption, or amount to nothing. Below I share thoughts on each.

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  • With Facebook and Apple Out of NFL Thursday Night Bidding, Who’s in the Pole Position Now?

    Late Friday afternoon, Bloomberg reported that Facebook had dropped out of the bidding for streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday night package. That news followed Recode’s report from last month that Apple had also withdrawn. With two of the most likely candidates now gone, the only digital players remaining who are both big enough to afford the deal and for whom it potentially makes enough strategic sense are likely Verizon, Google and Amazon (I’m excluding Yahoo since its own instability almost certainly precludes a bid).

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  • TV Companies Must Build A Common Audience or Lose to Digital Giants

    TV programmers like Viacom and AMC are in the same position that print companies like The New York Times and Conde Nast were ten years ago. As consumers moved to reading content online, the legacy publishing companies figured they could replicate their business on a new channel. No one could believe that a tech company with no real content could compete for brand advertising budgets. We all know how that played out.

    Now, consumers are cutting the cord and moving to digital channels to watch TV. There is more to lose on both the buy and sell side during this time around. TV advertising is considered by advertisers to be the holy grail of inventory, and they don’t want to lose it any more than the TV companies do. However, the siren song of audiences at scale and with technical ease could change their minds.

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  • The Video Industry Still Needs To Solve The Mobile Challenge

    Despite all the advances in online video in recent years, which have been wide-ranging across technologies, business models and consumption habits, most publishers' approach to mobile video continues to fail. While many feel that 2015 is the year of digital video, the industry won't have truly arrived until we're able to solve our mobile problem, and several other lingering challenges.
    These challenges were discussed last month in JW Player's second annual JW INSIGHTS conference, which brought together video experts, influencers and partners from a cross-section of companies including Google, Popsugar and Verizon to discuss the state of the online video industry and the factors that are still holding it back from even greater growth.

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