Global Media Consumer Spending Up 7.2%

Worldwide consumer spending on media content and technology is growing at a faster pace than global inflation and consumer price index rates. PQ Media says there was a 7.2% gain in global average media consumer spending to $299.97 in 2016. Growth drivers include growing demand for digital media content and lower price hikes for new mobile devices.

In fact, digital media content and tech comprised nearly 70% of overall global consumer spending on all media content and tech (traditional and digital) in 2016, the researcher found.

Global inflation has been around 2.8%, according to a recent estimate from Yardeni Research — with the consumer price index up 4.1% for “emerging” economies and up 1.8% for “advanced” economies.

The highest spending was in the U.S., where consumers spent an average of $1,289 in 2016 on all media and technology — a 5.8% gain over 2015.

Average U.S. digital media and technology consumer spending grew 11.1% to $754.42, while traditional media spending was slightly up 0.9% to $534.11.

The lowest-spending country globally among top 20 markets was India, where consumers spent $54 per person.

Global consumer spending on digital media content and technology is rising much faster than with traditional media content and technology. Digital media spending grew 12.2% to $1.05 trillion in 2016, with traditional media content/technology up only 1.6% to $593.19 billion.

Facebook introduces New Ad Inventory

As Facebook’s news feed increasingly moves from text to video, the social network is rolling out a new feature on desktop that makes clips more prominent.

In February, Facebook rolled out a mobile feature called watch and scroll that lets people keep watching organic videos and ads as they scroll through news feeds. Now, the feature is available to all desktop users, meaning consumers who use it can see two videos at once in a news feed, opening up potentially new ad inventory.

Here’s how it works: As users discover videos in their news feeds, they can click on icons that appear on videos or click to turn a clip’s sound on since videos automatically play silently. The side-by-side view then appears on the left side of the screen as users scroll past the clip in the news feed. Users can move the video across the screen. Once a clip is finished, a replay icon briefly appears on the page before the video disappears. Such a “sticky” or “pinned” video player is a tactic many publishers, including CNN and USA Today, have used on their websites to keep video content viewable as users read news articles.

As more users, brands and publishers upload video to the platform, Facebook has actively developed more video products and is reportedly in talks with publishers and creators to make TV-quality original programs specifically for the platform, though Re/code reports the time line for those efforts has been pushed back.

Facebook has also warned investors over the past year about ad load concerns as it begins to max out the ratio of organic posts to ads. Watch and scroll could open up new ad inventory as a way for Facebook to show two videos at once. In recent months, publishers have started adding ad breaks to their clips as a way to make money off of live videos.

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Facebook recruits its top publishers for exclusive shows

The social media giant has signed deals with Condé Nast, Mashable and Refinery29 to produce original and exclusive video shows, according to sources. These companies join a list that includes BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Attn and Group Nine Media, according to a Reuters report from yesterday. If this list reads familiar, it’s because many of these companies are also being paid by Facebook to produce live and on-demand video for the news feed every month.

“This is their attempt to turn their video tab into a YouTube-like experience,” said a source.

Since the end of last year, Facebook has been on the hunt for entertainment content, which it would fund and distribute on a redesigned video tab on its mobile app. Facebook is looking at funding shows in two tiers: original shows, which it calls “hero” units, which would be 20- to 30-minute scripted and unscripted shows that Facebook would fully own; and “spotlight” shows, which would be shorter, four- to 10-minute formats, but not owned by Facebook.

Facebook is also looking at six broad genres, including science, sports, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming and teens. (One thing Facebook is not focused on is hard news programming, which has rubbed some news publishers the wrong way.) Budgets for Facebook originals are in the $250,000-per-episode range, which puts them in the low-end cable TV range, sources said. On the other hand, budgets for spotlight shows sit between $10,000 and $40,000 per episode, sources said.

Most of Facebook’s deals for video shows are within the spotlight program. The partner companies have sold multiple shows to Facebook for spotlight, which will retain exclusivity on those shows for only a certain period of time. According to sources, spotlight shows are exclusive to Facebook for seven days, after which the content owner is free to distribute it on their own sites and apps. Two weeks after the Facebook premiere, spotlight shows can go to YouTube and other social platforms, sources said.

This is different from Facebook originals (the “hero” units), which would be fully owned by Facebook. For the originals, Facebook is in talks with and is buying shows from bigger TV production companies and networks, as well as some of the top digital publishers on its platform, sources said. The number of Facebook originals will be fewer than the number of spotlight shows.

One important distinction for spotlight shows is that Facebook is basically funding the cost to produce the content, sources said. After Facebook has recouped the cost by running mid-rolls during the episodes, the company will split any additional ad revenue with the content owners. Like YouTube, Facebook will take a 45 percent cut.

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62 Must-Know Live Video Streaming Statistics

Live video took the world by storm in 2016, and we’ve got the live streaming statistics to prove it. Our streaming experts have compiled a list of need-to-know live video statistics that will teach you exactly what you need to know about livestreaming. Find out how audiences are engaging with live video, their favorite platforms, and which industries are leading the live video revolution.

1. 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015.

2. Breaking news makes up 56% of most-watched live content, with conferences and speakers tied with concerts and festivals in second place at 43%.

3. Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

4. 67% of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one.

5. Behind-the-scenes access is a huge draw for 87% of audiences, who would prefer to watch online vs. on traditional television if it meant more behind-the-scenes content.

6. 45% of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive, on-demand video from a favorite team, speaker, or performer.

7. Video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers when watching a livestream broadcast.

8. 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live. 90% think video quality is the most important aspect of Facebook Live videos.

9. 86% of colleges and universities have a presence on YouTube, according to the University of Dartmouth.

10. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.

11. Average time spent for video on mobile is 2.8 minutes for VOD and 3.5 for livestreams.

12. Average time spent for video on tablets is 7.1 minutes for livestreaming versus 4.1 minutes for VOD.

13. Average time spent for video on desktop is 34.5 minutes for livestreaming versus 2.6 minutes for VOD.

14. According to Tubular Insights, viewers spend 8X longer with live video than on-demand: 5.1 minutes for on-demand vs. 42.8 minutes for live video content. As brands compete for eyeballs in the newsfeed, live is a key differentiator.

15. By 2016 video ad spending will reach $5.4 Billion according to Break Media.

16. 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.

17. 40% of young mobile users report watching native forms of video on their smartphone more frequently than they were a year ago.

18. Live video is outpacing the growth of other types of online video, with a 113% increase in ad growth yearly.

19. Compelling content is the primary motivator for live online viewing.

20. 45% of internet users view at least one online video over the course of a month, according to comScore.

21. 100M internet users watch online video every day.

22. The global VOD market in 2016 is about $16.3 billion.

23. VOD accounts for 16% of the Digital Media Market.

24. 4X as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

25. Users spent 10 billion hours per month watching Netflix for a total of 42.5 billion streaming hours in 2015.

26. According to Deloitte, 70% of Netflix users binge-watch shows. Among millennials, 35% did it on a weekly basis.

27. Hulu has streamed 700 million hours even though they have 9 million subscribers compared to Netflix’s 81 million.

28. Amazon Prime is gaining more traction with 54 million members at the end of 2015, a 35% jump from the previous year.

29. By 2019, online video will be responsible for four-fifths of global Internet traffic.

30. In the US, online video will be responsible for 85% of domestic internet traffic.

Live Video Statistics For Business

31. 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

32. According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text.

33. 79% of websites that feature video use third party hosting.

34. 96% of B2B organizations are using video as part of their online marketing.

35. 73% of B2B organizations report positive ROI from video marketing.

36. According to a report published by Forrester, including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.

37. An introductory email that includes a video improves an increased click-through rate by 96%.

38. Digital marketing spend will grow from $57.29 billion in 2014 to $103.37 billion in 2019.

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Amazon Still Far from Being the TV-Killer


One of the most common assumptions I hear — and read in parts of the trade press – -is that the TV industry will be killed off in its entirety to make way for a host of new web-native alternatives. Whilst the impact of OTT apps and platforms has undoubtedly had a significant impact, the fundamental mistake the doom-mongers make is they fall down at the first hurdle by failing to differentiate between Pay TV platforms and individual broadcasters. The former group are set to face unprecedented levels of direct competition in the coming years, the latter are set to enjoy unprecedented competition for their content.

So yesterday’s news that Amazon is adding linear TV channels to its Amazon Prime service – such an ad-free version of ITV for £3.99 or Discovery (£4.99) and Eurosport (£6.99), in addition of course to the £79-a-year subscription fee — shouldn’t be interpreted as broadcasters or pay TV operators waving the white flag to their Silicon Valley (or in this case, Seattle-based) overlords. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s a sign they’re still in a position of strength. Here’s why:

Tech Platforms can Only Win by Working with Broadcasters, Not Against Them

Pay TV competition will only be be healthy for broadcasters. To take the UK TV industry as an example, there has been a longstanding (and perfectly healthy) tension between broadcasters like ITV and Channel 4 and pay TV operators like Sky and Virgin Media (Liberty Global). They broadcaster-pay TV operator relationship is the classic frenemy relationship, even if the friendship part has been amplified in recent years as they found common cause in the PR spats with the tech giants.

However, YouTube is now ten years old and most have come to realise that the economics of the platform are ill-suited to high-cost productions. That’s not to say that YouTube hasn’t been a revolutionary platform in its own right, or that it hasn’t given rise to new forms of content and new ways of interacting with it, but TV it ain’t. Which is why when YouTube TV, a cloud-based pay TV replicant launched in the US earlier this year, it was largely dependent on channels from ‘traditional’ broadcasters like CBNC, MSNBC, USA, FX, Disney Channel and even Silicon Valley’s enemies at Fox News. Because nobody in their right mind wants to pay a monthly subscription for PewDiePie.

The platform winners will be those that best nourish the broadcasters they depend on. Flagship proprietary shows and original content will always have their place as a means of differentiation for the likes of Netflix, Amazon, YouTube TV or Facebook’s imminent equivalent, but for the foreseeable future they’ll only be a small slice of the wider offering. Platforms that try to go it alone and produce all of their own content will quite simply fail.

The Content Wars are Only Just Beginning

It’s no secret that OTT apps are heavily dependent on TV content, which is often branded with the channel they first appeared, so for example when you see UK TV content on Netflix you’ll often see something like this:

However, broadcasters aren’t only making money by redistributing their hand-me-downs. Even when you’re watching seemingly ‘exclusive’ content on an OTT app or platform, there’s often still plenty of money flowing into TV coffers behind the scenes. Take Amazon’s latest flagship show, American Gods. It was produced by Fremantle North America, which is owned by RTL Group, Europe’s largest broadcaster. Then over on Netflix even classic binge shows like Breaking Bad and its successor Better Call Saul were both produced by AMC.

The larger broadcasters have been waiting for this day and have had years to prepare. As we’ve mentioned on VAN many times before, one of the main pillars of ITV’s transformation strategy has been an investment in content production studios. So even if ad revenues decline, which they have been lately (albeit based on just one quarter), the company will be able to play its content strengths as competition hots up between the various OTT apps and platforms.

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Video Is Not Display, So Publishers Should Stop Using Display CPM Strategies

– by Yoav Naveh

The concept of online advertising has long been associated with the standard banner ad – the square unit that consumers breeze past as they scroll down a page.

That’s changing rapidly, though, as video viewership grows and introduces more opportunities for engaging video ads. As a result, video ad spending is predicted to grow by 12% this year while traditional banner spending shrinks, according to JP Morgan.

Publishers have long relied on display as their primary revenue source. As a result, many of the publisher-focused technology solutions have addressed display ad selling. But video isn’t sold or served in the exact same way as display advertising, which means that established tactics aren’t necessarily transferable.

For instance, when publishers try to optimize toward the highest CPM with video, as they do with display, they run the risk of inconsistent fill rates and long load times. Rather than trying to mimic display strategies, publishers need to look for a strategy that leads to the same desired outcome, rather than a direct technological equivalent. In video, that means optimizing toward overall ad revenue rather than CPMs.

Video advertising is far more technologically intense than display. VPAID tags can take 10 seconds or more to fire and actually load an ad, and some ad calls time out, resulting in no actual payment to the publisher. With all this heavy lifting, publishers want to maximize the chances they’ll get paid for every potential video impression. As a result, many are loading up on video ad networks to get the highest CPMs possible.

Unfortunately, this focus on CPM has a downside. Adding more networks means adding more tags, which means even longer load times. To make matters worse, the entity that wins a video ad auction may not always pay for the impression. This may be attributable to technological errors at times, but a delinquent buyer is most likely rooted in video’s archaic arbitrage practice, where even prominent supply-side platforms own seats on demand-side platforms and bid for impressions.

These attempts to buy up inventory and resell it for a higher fee have created a mess of a consumer experience and set up a very dangerous house of cards for publishers. A buyer trying to resell an impression can push the load time toward 20 seconds or more. These excruciatingly long load times lead to user abandonment, which can cause traffic to crater, thereby bringing fewer ad impressions and ultimately resulting in no business at all for the publisher. Maxing out on ad networks in an attempt to optimize for CPMs in this way is not optimizing for revenue, especially if it has the potential to destroy revenue and the online user experience altogether.

What are publishers to do if they want to maximize return in the increasingly competitive video market? Rather than optimize impressions around the highest CPM, publishers need to take the longer view toward revenue, which is part and parcel with understanding fill rates and load time.

The first step is shifting the focus toward revenue per thousand page views, or RPM, rather than the CPMs from auctions. Simple A/B testing should provide a clearer understanding of this metric. Publishers may find a new partner can generate $20,000 RPM, which is great. But if that source is potentially taking $25,000 away from another bidder, then that’s a net loss of $5,000 per thousand page views. Getting the highest CPM for each impression might provide a real-time rush for the publisher, but careful analysis needs to be done to ensure that a quick thrill won’t negatively impact long-term revenue success.

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TV erosion leads to The Breaking Point

Anyone who has spent any time in the TV business has heard the mantra before: This year is advanced advertising’s year. But unlike the past two decades, in which many a promising ad-tech initiative has stumbled, cable and broadcast executives may finally have the incentive to make targeted ads reality.

For advanced advertising — using the torrent of data from set-top boxes, digital and mobile devices to target messages to specific households and individuals — the erosion of the traditional TV model could be the force that frees the technology. As viewing habits have shifted away from linear TV, distributors, networks and advertisers themselves all have a vested interest in reaching that elusive market.

“When models reach the breaking point, that’s when breakouts happen,” Tom Rogers, chairman of TRget Media LLC and the former TiVo CEO, said in an interview. “It’s been clear for some time that the traditional linear TV model has had its challenges. We’re really beginning to see some things happen that are very, very significant accelerations.”

And networks, distributors and ad buyers alike are buying in, with distributors like Comcast and Altice USA snapping up small ad-tech companies, networks forming consortiums like OpenAP to identify opportunities and set standards, and even, in the case of NBCUniversal, devoting a growing piece of their ad budgets to targeting.

In March, NBCU said it would offer about $1 billion in inventory to targeted ads this year. And at the recent upfronts, NBCU chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships Linda Yaccarino slammed the questionable reach of some digital ads.

First-Quarter Slippage

Exacerbating the need for more focused ads is the mounting evidence that cord-cutting, cord-shaving and skinny programming bundles are gaining steam. In the first quarter, the pay TV distribution market fell by 762,000 subscribers, the single largest first-quarter decline ever, according to MoffettNathanson. And once indestructible brands, like The Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, have seen their subscriber bases shrink as viewers move to other venues and devices to fill their content needs.

ESPN has lost between 12 million and 13 million subscribers from its peak and plans to launch a direct-to-consumer service targeted at younger viewers later this year. At the same time, ratings stalwart the National Football League saw its ratings fall 9% last year (double that for the coveted 18-24 year old demographic), while other sports are getting older. Meanwhile, younger viewers are staying away from the living room TV set.
According to TechCrunch, viewers are watching 1 billion hours of YouTube video clips per day.

Traditional distributors and programmers are taking notice. Comcast has purchased several ad-tech companies over the past few years, including FreeWheel, and Visible World. Altice USA bought advanced ad company Audience Partners in March, and in April programmers Viacom, Turner and 21st Century Fox formed consortium OpenAP to standardize the way targeted audiences are defined and measured.
The TV industry still has some time before the ad model completely disintegrates, Pivotal Research Group senior analyst Brian Weiser said.

“To me, it’s evolutionary, not revolutionary,” Wieser said. “Ratings can fall by double digits, yet traditional TV is a source of premium video content with adjacent advertising opportunities. It continues to dwarf everything else.”

Industry group the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) pegged digital video ad revenue at about $9.1 billion in 2016, compared with $69 billion for TV ads.
Wieser said a dramatic shift in viewers could sway the market, but it would have to be very dramatic.
“For TV to find itself in a position where advertisers would all of a sudden make radical changes, you would have to find a good core of the audience evaporate,” Wieser said. “And by evaporate I mean reach goes away.”

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Research: US broadband subs surpass pay-TV

According to the latest findings from specialist broadband, media and entertainment industries analyst firm Leichtman Research Group (LRG) the fourteen largest cable and telephone providers in the US – representing about 95 per cent of the market – acquired about 960,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in Q1 2017.

These top broadband providers now account for 93.9 million subscribers – with top cable companies having 59.4 million broadband subscribers, and top telephone companies having 34.5 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

Overall, broadband additions in Q1 2017 were 85 per cent of those in Q1 2016
The top cable companies added about 1,000,000 subscribers in Q1 2017 – 90 per cent of the net additions for the top cable companies in Q1 2016

The top telephone companies lost about 45,000 subscribers in Q1 2017 – compared to a gain of about 10,000 broadband subscribers in Q1 2016

Telco providers have had net broadband losses in seven of the past eight quarters
Over the past year, there were about 2,530,000 net broadband adds — compared to about 3,035,000 over the prior year

“With the addition of nearly one million subscribers in the quarter, the top cable and telco broadband providers in the US cumulatively now account for over 93.9 million subscribers in the US,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “In the first quarter of 2017, the number of broadband subscribers surpassed the number of pay-TV subscribers in the US.”

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Pre-roll ads less of an interruption than other video formats

What video ad format do internet users find the least interruptive? The answer is pre-roll.

A recent report by IPG Media Lab and YuMe recruited 6,864 participants and directed them to watch video content based on their interests and then rate their ad experience, regardless of device. Whether viewing on a computer or a smartphone, users said pre-roll ad formats felt less interruptive compared with mid-roll and out-stream formats.

Less than one-fifth (17%) of viewers thought pre-roll ads were interruptive after viewing 15-second ads on both smartphones and desktop/laptop computers.

It might seem axiomatic that pre-roll ads—which by definition precede content rather than interrupt it in the middle—are less interruptive, but the survey also found that more users rated pre-roll ads as more informative and more engaging than other formats.

But the study highlighted the value of other types of video ads. For instance, it found that mid-roll ads communicate brand messages particularly well on larger, more TV-like screens—which makes sense, given that TV watchers are accustomed to ads amidst programming.

Mid-roll ads also can have higher completion rates than pre-roll, though they were deemed most interruptive by 72% of smartphone users and 53% of desktop/laptop users.

Out-stream video ads, which play outside of video content—between paragraphs of text, for example—were considered interruptive by a little less than half (46%) of smartphone respondents. These types of ads were more successful when run in contextually relevant articles (e.g., a video ad for a restaurant in an article about food).

According to a separate study by IPG Media Lab, this one in partnership with Magna Global, the completion rate for digital video ads is low. Only 35% are completed, it found, while 65% are skipped.

Facebook’s plan to disrupt TV advertising may have hit a wall

The biggest players in tech want a crack at disrupting TV advertising. Amazon and Google are taking a more direct approach by paying to control some TV ad space. Facebook is looking to partner and moving more deliberately. That means Facebook is likely to face resistance from the ad industry, which could put it behind other players

Facebook wants to grab a big chunk of the $70 billion-plus US TV ad market.

The opportunity is clear. Even as the social network’s advertising business has exploded, driven by small and mid-sized companies, major brand advertisers – that is companies that sell soda and cereal and razor blades and beer – have historically spent the largest portions of their budgets on TV ads. Break in to TV advertising, and billions of dollars could flow to Facebook.

The challenge for the tech giant is breaking old habits and fending off resistance from suspicious media companies. Despite the ongoing decline in live TV viewing, large swaths of marketers’ budgets have remained stubbornly locked up in TV advertising. And for the most part, TV advertising is controlled by TV companies.

That leaves tech platforms like Facebook with a few options if they want to jam their way into the TV ad world. They can:

Buy the rights to programming, like Amazon’s NFL deal, which affords them the right to sell some ad time during live games.They can sell TV subscription services-essentially cable alternatives like YouTube TV and Hulu’s coming 50-channel offering. Being a pay TV provider also gives companies like YouTube and Hulu the ability to sell a certain amount of live commercial time each hour, just like cable companies such as Comcast and Charter. Or, they can try to convince TV companies to let them sell some of their ad space, or at least help TV companies sell ads using their digital ad software and data. This route is less expensive, but perhaps a lot tougher.
It’s the latter route that Facebook has chosen. The company aspires to help TV companies sell ads using their sophisticated digital ad tech and robust data. The focus is on ads that are delivered when people watch content on their TVs via apps, ranging from individual TV networks apps to services that aggregate content from multiple networks. People in the TV business refer to this as “OTT” or “over the top” viewing, where consumers get their TV via a device like a Roku or Chromecast, rather than through a set-top cable box.

Facebook is facing some resistance, however, and its OTT ad play is a work in progress. Meanwhile, rivals such as Amazon, Google and Hulu, a joint venture between Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Time Warner, will be well positioned to experiment with more sophisticated TV ad tactics later this year.

The stakes are high. The faster that one of these tech companies can establish that it is the one that can bring innovation to TV advertising, the more TV partners it is likely to land and more advertisers it will be able to work with.

An early foothold will theoretically make it a lot harder for other tech to gain real traction in the TV ad ecosystem.

Facebook is likely to face resistance from the TV business
Last November, Recode reported that Facebook had kicked off a small test with a handful of partners, including Roku, A+E Networks and the startup Tubi TV. Ad buyers say that while those test have continued, the amount of ad inventory available remains limited, and Facebook has moved at a deliberate pace.

Facebook has focused on “OTT ads,” or ads that appear as people stream TV on apps via connected TVs using devices like Rokus or Apple TVs. While a huge chunk of viewing on web-connected TVs is driven by non-ad supported content (Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc.), the ad tech company Videology recently issued a report that found the number of ad campaigns including some amount of OTT ad inventory’ jumped sixfold over the past two years. For example, last summer NBCU saw big increases in people streaming the Olympics via connected TVs.

But it’s not clear just how aggressive Facebook is actually being when it comes to trying to land more TV partners for this initiative. “It’s been more noise than action,” said an ad buyer. “There is no real Facebook TV right now.”

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