Given the current regulatory climate around consumer privacy, many ad industry observers are anticipating a broad move away from audience-based targeting in the digital space, with contextual targeting increasingly being presented as the primary alternative. While this shift might seem logical on the surface, the binary thinking represented in the audience-versus-contextual debate is problematic, particularly as the thinking expands out to emerging channels like Convergent TV.
Topics: 4C Insights
You don’t have to wait very long for another “Connected TV vs. Mobile” stat to pop up, as industry watchers consider what connected TV growth may or may not mean for mobile video. For example, a recent well-circulated report from Extreme Reach showed that CTVs’ share of video ad impressions has grown to 49%, while mobile’s share of impressions is decreasing. The report pointed to a 60% YOY jump in CTV ad impressions in Q1, also asserting that this growth in CTV ad impressions is “encroaching on mobile devices, whose share of video ad impressions dipped to 25%, the lowest in two years.” Yet the comparison does not acknowledge evolving viewer behavior and the fact that both CTV and mobile video are each growing in terms of overall time spent.
Some marketers hold the misconception that ads on streaming TV can deliver the laser-sharp precision of Facebook combined with the scale of linear TV. Streaming does offer unique advantages, but the medium hasn’t matured enough to beat digital on precision, or traditional TV on scale.
What do we mean by streaming TV?
Over-the-top (OTT) TV is streaming video delivered over the internet, independently of a traditional pay-TV service, irrespective of device. There are subscription-based channels like Netflix, transaction-based channels like Google Play, as well as ad-supported channels like Sony’s Crackle. Hulu blends a couple of those models; you can opt to watch ads or pay for ad-free content. eMarketer forecasts that just over 61 percent of the US population will use OTT services this year.
With services such as Netflix being viewed over 70 percent of the time on connected televisions (CTVs), when a media buyer thinks of over-the-top (OTT) their first thought is not usually mobile or laptop-first. But the truth is, OTT can come in many shapes and sizes and merely represents how a piece of video is delivered. With viewing trends shifting so drastically, should the size of the screen really matter? Many viewers are shifting their consumption habits of live, linear and VOD television content to devices they can access whenever, and wherever. A study by Deloitte Insights, showed mobile-first viewers consume a comparatively large portion of long-form video on their smartphones, almost three times the average streamer. With TV being made available everywhere, mobile OTT has become a new norm.
Categories: Mobile Video
As OTT audiences demonstrate an increased appetite for video streaming, some providers are updating their download options, while others are facing questions about their lack of the capability. With enthusiasm and expectations high, it’s vital for providers to ensure a high-quality experience. But, as more providers add mobile video download capabilities, there’s one issue that remains challenging for many streaming services: licensing restrictions.
Viewers are binge watching and sharing video on multiple devices and social media like never before. New video distribution market entrants are driving this change to a large extent. It’s safe to say change won’t stop.
To remain competitive, not only will video service providers need to offer innovative new features, but they also will have to optimize their cost structure. Can they do that in today’s demanding environment? Can they be both feature rich and low cost?
We think so.
Categories: Video On Demand
In my ten years of experience in major event streaming, including Super Bowls and Olympics, I’ve found that every big event is unique – and every event has something unexpected happen. But successful streaming always has three essential ingredients – clear objectives, comprehensive testing, and operational playbooks.
Know Your KPIs
The ultimate objective may be to make the live-stream experience flawless. Realistically, that can’t happen for all viewers all the time in all places. Audience expectations, while rising steadily overall, vary locally. And there are cost-performance tradeoffs to navigate.
Amid all that variability, you need to establish specific KPIs to benchmark performance measurement, comprehensive testing, and continuous improvement. Start with the basics – viewers’ time-to-access the stream and rebuffering percentage. Include audience satisfaction and feedback if measured. And be precise about time-to-recovery objectives. For example, when servers go down, software components fail, or unexpected things happen on the Internet, does the workflow have the resiliency to recover quickly, even imperceptibly to the viewer?
It’s in the script for every OTT service with an app for phones and tablets: “your favorite shows are now available anytime, anywhere!” It’s in the script because marketers know that “available anytime, anywhere” is what audiences want. Their impulse to make this promise is the right one, and it may induce an initial consumer engagement. But failing to deliver on that promise will quickly frustrate users and potentially increase churn. Saying it does not make it reality.