About 50% of Hulu subscribers take $11.99 limited-ads option

A significant number of Hulu’s more than 20 million subscribers are paying for the more expensive limited-commercials option.

That’s according to Fox CEO James Murdoch, who told Recode that about 50% of Hulu subscribers are willing to pay $11.99 per month to cut down on ads popping up during streams. Fox—along with NBCUniversal, Disney and Time Warner—is a part owner of Hulu.

Recode later updated its story to cite insiders who say that more than 60% of Hulu subscribers still take the less expensive, ad-supported tier.

Earlier this month, Hulu revealed that it now has more than 20 million subscribers, but the service has yet to reveal how many of its subscribers are opting for the $40-per-month live-TV service.

Hulu also said it has grown total engagement by more than 60% and that 78% of viewing on the service takes place in the living room on connected TVs.

“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer in a statement. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment—and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”

The strong uptake for Hulu’s more expensive tier with limited commercials is similar to the numbers CBS has been able to put up for its All Access streaming service.

Earlier this month, CBS said about one-third of its 2.5 million All Access subscribers are opting for the $9.99-per-month ad-free tier of the service.

Joe Ianniello, chief operating officer at CBS, said the fact that consumers are willing to pay more for a premium channel experience with CBS shows gives the company some added leverage when negotiating things like carriage and distribution.

read more here: fiercecable.com

IAB says revenues up 21% to $88B in 2017. What they don’t say: ‘not for you’

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its Q4 and 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report. In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices. And while the IAB doesn’t name names, Facebook and Google continue to suck up most of the oxygen in the room.

The data for the IAB report is collected from IAB member companies and publicly available corporate data by PwC.

Overall, digital ad revenue grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017. To put that in perspective, PwC says the revenue change in digital seen last year is greater than in the newspaper industry as a whole.

Digital video increased overall share in 2017, chipping away at search, to $11.9 billion, up 33 percent from $8.9 billion in 2016. Search still continued to grow at 17.5 percent in 2017, to $40.6 billion. Banner revenues, which includes banners, sponsorships and rich media, totaled $27.5 billion in 2017, up 23 percent from 2016.

Mobile continues to gain share, accounting for 57 percent of the overall digital ad pie in 2017, to reach $49.9 billion. That’s more than all digital ad revenues in 2014. Mobile has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.4 percent since 2010. Mobile share grew across all formats, as shown in the slide from the IAB webinar on the report.

Despite mobile’s ascendance, desktop revenues still grew in 2017, with a CAGR of 6 percent over 2016.

CPMs also increased in 2017, according to data from SQAD.com shared by the IAB. CPMs for in-stream video were up 3 percent 2017 year over year to $25.22, and CPMs for display rose 6 percent to $14.72 on average.

Social media isn’t broken out as a format, but its share of revenue topped 25.2 percent in 2017, reaching $22.2 billion. Facebook, of course, accounts for the bulk of social media advertising spend in the US.

Duopoly dominance
The IAB doesn’t release data on specific companies, but the top 10 companies commandeered 74 percent of total revenues. That share among the top 10 has remained relatively consistent, says the IAB. The elephant in the room is the fact that the top two — Facebook and Google — now make up the majority of that 74 percent.

During the webinar announcing the IAB report, Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research shared his analysis of Google and Facebook’s share of the market in the US. Acknowledging there are “a lot of assumptions” that go into these estimates and that his analysis is based on gross revenue, Wieser said, “It seems clear they are taking share. [Google and Facebook] probably accounted for 90 percent of the growth. The rest probably accounted for 10 percent or so.” Weiser pegs the duopoly’s share of US ad revenues at above 70 percent.

read more here: marketingland.com

New Amazon Channels Data Shows Why Apple Wants to Copy It

Amazon has quietly become a major player in the subscription video sales business: Amazon Channels, the company’s platform for reselling subscription services like HBO and Showtime, now accounts for 55 percent of all a la carte direct-to-consumer video subscriptions, according to new data from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

53 percent of all consumers who don’t get HBO through their pay TV provider are purchasing it via Amazon channels, TDG estimated in a new report titled The Future of Direct-to-Consumer Video Services. Those numbers are apparently even higher for some of the other TV networks: 72 percent of Showtime subscribers get the network’s direct-to-consumer offering via Amazon Channels, and 70 percent of Starz a la carte subscribers receive it from Amazon.

The Diffusion Group arrived at these estimates by surveying a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adult broadband users. “We used an online panel comprised of several million double opt-in respondents, one of the largest in the country, and added multiple quality checks to best ensure accurate outcomes,” explained the company’s president and director of research Michael Greeson.

However, it’s worth noting that the relative size of these subscription services inevitably leads to small sample sizes, which can result in significant variation. HBO’s online service surpassed 5 million subscribers this year, while Showtime has more 5 million subscribers together with CBS ALL Access.

A Showtime spokesperson told Variety after the initial publication of this story that the percentage reflected in this survey for Showtime was significantly off, but declined to comment on Amazon’s actual share.

Amazon launched Channels as an add-on program for Prime Video subscribers at the end of 2015, and has since continuously grown the number of video services available through channels. The company also briefly experimented with selling its own niche video services through Channels, but gave up on that strategy earlier this year.

Sources at participating video providers have long told Variety that Amazon has become a massive reseller, easily outpacing Google’s and Apple’s app stores. The success of Amazon’s program also hasn’t been lost on Apple, which is reportedly looking to resell standalone video subscription services via its TV app on Apple TV and mobile devices. However, those plans may not materialize until next year, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

read more here: variety.com

MTG takes full control of digital video network Zoomin.TV

MTG has upped its stake in Zoomin.TV from 51% to 100% after agreeing to buy out the digital video network’s founders Jan Riemens and Bram Bloemberg.

MTG acquired the remaining 49% of Zoomin.TV from Adversa Media Groep, which is controlled by Riemens and Bloemberg, paying a cash consideration of €6.2 million and settling Adversa’s €11.3 million of shareholder loans to Zoomin.TV.

Riemens and Bram Bloemberg has been serving, respectively, as chief executive and chief financial officers of Zoomin.TV, but with the deal have stepped down immediately.

MTG today announced that Roger Lodewick, a former executive at TEAM Marketing who was responsible for the sale of UEFA Champions League and Europa League Media rights, will take over as CEO.

Andreas Walker, who has previously held a number of senior roles for MTG, RTL and MTG subsidiary ESL, has been appointed as Zoomin.TV’s new CFO.

“After all these years and the many successes, the farewell does evoke emotions, but it is good to transfer the management to a new team that will lead Zoomin.TV into a new phase”, said Riemens

Amsterdam-headquartered Zoomin.TV, which was first founded in 2002, publishes online video content targeted at ‘generation Z’ viewers and claims to generate around 3.2 billion video views per month.

The company has 16 offices on four continents and has a global network of some 3,500 freelance video journalists. Zoomin.TV was a launch content provider for the Facebook Watch platform last year and also has a partnership in place with Tencent in China.

MTG initially acquired 51% of Zoomin.TV in July 2015 for roughly €44.9 million. It bought the stake based on an enterprise value of €88 million, with the deal part of the firm’s strategy to invest in “relevant, complementary and scalable digital brands, content and communities.”

MTG bought the original stake from Adversa and Evalue and said that the takeover of the remaining shares is in accordance with the previous agreements with Adversa.

“Every day, Zoomin.TV delivers hundreds of videos from around the world that inspire Generation Z,” said MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann. “These unique stories have made the company one of the world’s largest online video publishers, and now we will work more closely with Zoomin.TV to reach even more of the world’s most passionate audiences.”

The news comes a week after MTG completed the sale of its 75% holding in youth broadcaster Trace for a total cash consideration of €30 million (approximately SEK 313 million).

MTG agreed to sell its majority stake in Trace in January and since then has announced the sale of its 95% shareholding in Bulgaria’s Nova Broadcasting Group to investment company PPF Group.

The moves mark MTG’s ongoing strategic transformation from a traditional national broadcaster to a global digital entertainer. Last year it also sold its Czech TV assets for €116 million and its Baltic broadcasting business for €100 million.

Separately, MTG held its annual general meeting (AGM) in Stockholm yesterday where it voted to support all the resolutions that the board and nomination committee proposed to the meeting – including the payment of an annual ordinary dividend of SEK 12.50 per share to shareholders on May 29.

read more here: www.digitaltveurope.com

Nielsen adds YouTube TV to audience measurement

Nielsen has announced that YouTube TV viewership at designated market levels (DMAs) will now be included in Nielsen Local TV audience measurement using Digital in TV Ratings (DTVR). This follows the introduction of YouTube TV into national TV ratings with DTVR last summer and is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to measure viewing everywhere as content consumption continues evolve.

To measure local media viewing, Nielsen developed DMA regions that group counties that form common local TV markets. There are currently 210 DMA regions across the US. By including YouTube TV in local ratings using DTVR, Nielsen says it will programmers and advertisers across these local DMAs to gain a more comprehensive view of audiences engaging with linear TV programming across digital platforms.

“Local broadcasters have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion of YouTube TV into Nielsen currency measurement,” said Jeff Wender, Managing Director, Nielsen Local. “We’re excited to be able to help local media buyers and sellers capture digital audiences, as well as provide advertisers a full account of all viewing activity, irrespective of distribution channel.”

Top 30 Online Video Platforms to Watch in 2018

Gone are the days when the means of production and distribution of movies and creative videos were firmly in the hands of large and well-funded broadcast companies. Today, with the explosion of online video platforms, made possible by miniature HD video cameras embedded in handheld smartphones and cloud-based storage capable of housing large video files, the power of video storytelling is freely available to any individual.

Serving as an active broadcasting medium for businesses, entertainment companies, and self-appointed reviewers, online video platforms offer anyone with an opinion the chance to reach a mass or niche audience, spread across the world. Obviously, this format will emerge to be highly preferred and influential in the immediate future.

Here are the top 30 online video platforms that are worth the watch in 2018:

1) YouTube
With 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, YouTube is undoubtedly the king of online video platforms. If an enterprise wants to amplify its brand’s reach, establishing a presence on YouTube is the smart first step. YouTube has become the most important source for video distribution in the modern age. Right now, this infotainment giant has seen tens of millions of channels created, where users upload their video content in droves — by the second.

Highlight Features: Live video streaming, video on demand (VOD), video hosting and monetization, video analytics and broadcasting.

2) Brightcove
Brightcove’s powerful cloud platform offers a sophisticated selection of versatile video technologies to customers in over 70 countries. Founded in 2004 and based in Boston, the company provides a full suite of products and services that reduce the complications associated with publishing, distributing, measuring and monetizing video across devices.

Highlight Features: Ingest and transcoding, HTML5 video player, live video streaming, monetization and advertising, video analytics, mobile devices and OTT support.

3) Comcast Technology Solutions
Comcast Wholesale, This Technology, and thePlatform were merged into Comcast Technology Solutions in 2016, with the aim of providing new content distribution and monetization solutions to industry media partners. At CES 2017, the company announced it was expanding its direct-to-customer (D2C) solutions, which significantly focus on helping content providers manage over-the-top (OTT) services, covering everything from video processing to multi-content delivery network distribution.

Highlight features: Advanced monetization and commerce engine, OTT platform, broadcast and IP convergence, D2C solutions.

4) Ooyala
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ooyala is one of the leading and profitably popular online video platforms. Ooyala holds an advantage right out of the box – its platforms are built with Big Data analytics capabilities for advanced business intelligence that allows users to deliver appropriate videos to their target audience accurately. The company’s solutions help broadcasters, media and production companies build engaging and personalized experiences across all screens and maximize return for any video business.

Highlight features: Mobile video, OTT TV, video discovery, video hosting and monetization, live streaming.

5) Akamai
With a wide array of cloud delivery solutions, including superior web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access, and video delivery solutions, Akamai is a solid online video platform to lean on for those who consider video as a primary marketing strategy. The company uses its own in-house CDN platform and media storage solution for online video delivery with higher reliability, adaptability, and scalability.

Highlight features: Video player design and development, video syndication and distribution, advertising, content hosting, video analytics, secure streaming and content protection.

6) Kaltura
Kaltura is used by more than 300,000 companies worldwide to easily deploy applications that include video creation, publishing, syndication, management, monetization and analysis. Its open-source video management system is one of the most commonly chosen online video platforms on the global market. The Kaltura platform is mainly designed and developed for larger institutions in the media, enterprise and education sectors.

Highlight features: Video upload and ingestion, video transcoding and processing, video marketing and sharing platform, video streaming and delivery, video publishing, and video editing tools.

7) DaCast
DaCast is the first web-based video streaming platform with a complete streaming as a service (SaaS) model. The platform offers a suite of features through cloud computing that includes on-demand video, paywall integration, and high-definition live broadcasting. It is an all-in-one solution, offering services such as encoding, decoding, monetization, analytics, etc. It also offers a CDN server.

Highlight features: SaaS-based video platform, HTML5/Flash video player, APIs and SDKs, auto archiving, ad-free broadcasting, and white label service.

8) JW Player
Since the creation of JW Player over a decade ago, the world’s largest network-independent video platform has significantly focused on building products and services that enable businesses to create compelling video experiences for their end-users. The company recently announced the beta release of the latest version of its media player, JW8, which offers a fully-customizable responsive user-interface, improved video load speed and support for next-generation advertising standards including VAST4.

Highlight features: High-quality user experience, developer-led innovation, ad monetization, custom API implementations, and mobile SDK.

9) Muvi
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, US, Muvi is a globally acclaimed video-on-demand platform that promises to help video content providers build their own video streaming platform instantly. With Muvi, video streaming can be easily launched across platforms like mobile apps, websites, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV ecosystems.

Highlight features: VOD and live streaming, multi-screen and devices, multiple monetization, payment gateway, invoicing and billing, user management, analytics and reports.

10) Ensemble Video
Ensemble Video is one of the top online video platforms, particularly designed for organizations, making it easy for the latter to upload, encode and publish their own video content. The solution can be customized to create a custom-built video platform that can help a business stream its videos across screens and regions. This platform is equipped with advanced video security and built-in analytics to make sense of the viewership and their preferences.

Highlight features: Identity Provider Support, Live Stream and Record, Adaptive Bit Rate, Video Dropbox, Canvas Video Tool, Blackboard Building Block.

11) Amobee
Amobee is an award-winning global marketing agency with corporate clients such as Dell, Lexus, and Airbnb. Amobee’s platform receives more than 480 billion global impressions each month through leading video exchanges. The company’s technology platform and solutions help to capture data from video, the web, and mobile to create insights on consumer behavior.

Highlight features: Business intelligence, ads API integrations, end-to-end platform integrations.

12) Anvato
Anvato is nestled amongst the world’s leading online video platforms. This California based company counts several large media houses as customers and is helping Google better compete with other enterprise storage providers that target media businesses. Anvato was recently acquired by Google, to help the latter with scalable media processing and workflows in its cloud platform. Its customer list includes Fox Sports, Univision, Gray TV, and NBC Universal.

Highlight features: Live streaming, live to VOD, video encoding, cloud editing, syndication, ad insertion, and subscription.

13) BrightRoll
As one of the largest independent video advertising platforms to reach audiences across mobile, web, and connected TV, BrightRoll is powering digital video advertising for the world’s largest brands, including 90% of the top 50 US advertisers. In 2014, Yahoo acquired BrightRoll for $640 million in cash to make its video network the largest in the US market.

Highlight features: Digital video advertising, demand side platform (DSP), supply side platform (SSP) and exchange.

14) Envient
With a wide range of options and features at an affordable price, ClipShare platform (Envient Network) is the ultimate script for starting a video sharing and streaming site similar to YouTube, or Dailymotion. With its video transcoding engine, uploaded videos are converted to mobile and web ready formats in multiple resolutions and qualities.

Highlight features: High-quality video streaming, on-demand content, real-time video conversion.

15) EBD
EBD, a pioneering proprietary software provider, developed its Web Video Player that relies on powerful advertising capacities and community tools. The platform makes the most of web 2.0 technology to monetize video content for institutions and companies, thereby fostering the divulgation power of social networks and advertising initiatives on mobile video.

Highlight features: Content management, distribution and syndication, monetization, statistics and reports.

16) Limelight Networks
Limelight Networks, a world leader in digital content delivery, offers complete online video solutions to publish, measure, manage and monetize high-quality video content on the web. This video platform is integrated with the Limelight Orchestrate Platform, that combines a vast global private infrastructure, advanced content delivery applications, and support services.

Highlight features: CMS content management, HTML5 player, automatic transcode, APIs, reports and analytics.

17) Mediacore
Perceived as one of the most innovative learning platforms for use by enterprises, universities, and schools, MediaCore aims to bring quality education to the world. The MediaCore Video Platform puts powerful video sharing and learning tools into the hands of students and professors, empowering them to easily capture and share video securely and privately across all platforms and mobile devices.

Highlight features: Cross-device compatibility, media library management, in-depth analytics, web-based interface.

18) Pixability
Founded in 2008, Pixability’s platform broke ground when YouTube was still young. The company understood the incredible marketing opportunity that streaming services offered companies, especially when paired with data-driven insights and SEO. This premium video advertising company recently announced its new brand safety technology which guarantees that 100% of the advertiser spend goes to brand-safe placements.

Highlight features: Insights and targeting, media execution, reporting and analytics.

19) Samba Tech
Samba Tech is the largest independent distributor of online videos in Latin America. A pioneer amid online video platforms, Samba Tech recently updated its visual design and identity as it tried wooing a brand new audience: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). With a global partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Samba Tech guarantees security and high-quality, as well as the delivery of the company’s message to the target audience, wherever they may be.

Highlight features: Live video, VOD, media management, and business intelligence.

20) SpotX
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, SpotX is a leading video ad serving platform. The company released figures that highlighted explosive growth in global OTT video advertising spends across its platform. The SpotX platform presents new ad serving, programmatic infrastructure and other monetization tools, including solutions for OTT as well as outstream video ad units. The company recently merged with its sister outfit, Smartclip, to establish a single global firm operating under a joint management team.

Highlight features: Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), broadcast-quality inventory from tv networks, and VOD.

21) VideoBloom
VideoBloom is a bonafide leader in online video commerce. This online publishing and management platform is designed to offer end-to-end video technology and production solutions. Increasingly focused on user transactions and engagement, VideoBloom’s video solutions are not only designed to manage video but to accomplish predetermined targets.

Highlight features: Video production, online video management, publishing and advertising platform, and video commerce widgets.

22) Ramp
Ramp, a leading provider of enterprise video delivery solutions for large companies, ended 2017 by publishing the latest version of AltitudeCDN, the brand’s flagship suite of software solutions for optimizing the distribution of streaming video. Throughout 2017, a prominent group of enterprise streaming platform providers integrated AltitudeCDN into their solutions to make video delivery a streamlined process for the customers.

Highlight features: Content optimization solutions, Software as a Service (SaaS), multicast support, optimizing live video traffic.

23) Bubblecast
Bubblecast is a prominent online video platform that serves thousands of simultaneous users, with video plugins for WordPress and a customizable flash player. The company is focused on creating video-sharing services, video marketing websites, video social networking services, video blogs and much more.

Highlight features: Video sharing services, monetization, and social networking services.

24) Coull
Coull, a relatively small company based in the UK, was one of the first online video platforms to think up an innovative video model. Coull’s technology lets advertisers and publishers tag individual products within videos, thus making it possible to click through and purchase products right from the video. Further, the company has a partnership with LiveRail, a programmatic video advertising platform to serve its premium advertisers.

Highlight features: Online video advertising, scalable monetization, and contextual targeting of advertisers.

25) Digitalsmiths
Digitalsmiths is one of the leaders in video search and recommendations for TV Everywhere platforms, and enables global video providers to increase viewer engagement. The company offers personalized search, recommendations and browsing applications for all content across smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, computers and gaming consoles.

Highlight features: Personalized video discovery applications, data management, and unified data service.

26) Flumotion
Founded in 2006, this Spanish technology company is a leader in online video and audio technology. Flumotion offers multiple award-winning solutions that include an online radio platform and online video platform that maximizes content monetization and ROI. The company’s SaaS solution covers the entire value chain and transforms a single audio or video stream into value-added content.

Highlight features: Multi-format transcoding, content delivery, asset management, and media ad monetization.

27) Piksel
Piksel, a global provider of video monetization software, launched the Piksel video platform in 2014. Its advanced broadcast quality and multi-screen solution allows content owners and distributors to quickly start OTT offerings to users without having to invest in an expensive static platform. Built on the SaaS business model, the Piksel video platform is a cost-effective and highly flexible solution.

Highlight features: OTT video monetization, VOD, on-premise hosting, and broadcast monitoring solution.

28) VBrick Rev
VBrick is a complete media management solution suite that enables the delivery of media and video content enterprise-wide. The company was quick to respond to the opportunities in cloud-based webcasting by re-architecting its services from the ground up for the cloud. Its cloud platform allows enterprises to stream on-demand and live video over the corporate network onto any designated device.

Highlight features: Intelligent video networking, schedule broadcasts, recordings, multiple video formats, and centralized video recording.

29) Viddler
Viddler is an online media solution centered on businesses. Additionally, it holds expertise in the extra niche of producing interactive videos. Viddler’s services include a secure cloud-based content delivery network, a robust API, patented video technology, and the backing of a professional services team. The platform has supercharged viewer engagement and analytic features, allowing enterprises to track trends in content and viewership.

Highlight features: Video contest management, opt-in advertising, secure upload and optimization.

30) Vidcaster
Vidcaster, a service mark of Vid Network, makes online training and subscription-based video sharing extremely easy. The platform can be used for video subscriptions, employee onboarding, lead generation, online courses, certification, premium content and customer support. It best suits those who want to create a robust online training platform but don’t have an IT backbone. The platform has a wide range of video site templates that can be set up and launched quickly without additional expenses.

Highlight features: Content management, customizable templates, monitoring and customizable branding.

read more here: www.technavio.com

Adobe to Acquire Magento Commerce

(press release)

Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Magento Commerce, a market-leading commerce platform, for $1.68 billion, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The addition of the Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud, delivering a single platform that serves both B2B and B2C customers globally. The Magento Platform brings together digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence into a unified commerce platform enabling shopping experiences across a wide array of industries.

Adobe is the leader in designing and delivering digital experiences through content and data. At the core of every great experience are content and data, which enable the consistent, personal, intuitive experiences consumers have come to expect. Commerce is also integral to the customer experience. Consumers and businesses now expect every interaction to be shoppable – whether on the web, mobile, social, in-product or in-store.

Magento brings Adobe Experience Cloud digital commerce enablement and order orchestration for both physical and digital goods across a range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, retail, wholesale, manufacturing and the public sector. The Magento Platform is built on proven, scalable technology supported by a vibrant community of more than 300,000 developers. The Magento partner ecosystem provides thousands of pre-built extensions, including payment, shipping, tax and logistics. This level of flexibility gives businesses the ability to quickly ramp and iterate their commerce capabilities for their unique business needs.

Current Magento customers include brands like Canon, Helly Hansen, Paul Smith and Rosetta Stone. Adobe and Magento share joint customers including Coca-Cola, Warner Music Group, Nestlé and Cathay Pacific.

“Adobe is the only company with leadership in content creation, marketing, advertising, analytics and now commerce – enabling real-time experiences across the entire customer journey,” said Brad Rencher, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Experience, Adobe. “Embedding commerce into the Adobe Experience Cloud with Magento enables Adobe to make every moment personal and every experience shoppable.”

“Adobe and Magento share a vision for the future of digital experiences that brings together Adobe’s strength in content and data with Magento’s open commerce innovation,” said Mark Lavelle, CEO, Magento. “We’re excited to join Adobe and believe this will be a great opportunity for our customers, partners and developer community.”

Upon close, Magento CEO Mark Lavelle will continue to lead the Magento team as part of Adobe’s Digital Experience business, reporting to executive vice president and general manager Brad Rencher.

The transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of Adobe’s 2018 fiscal year, is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently.

2018 Will Be Netflix’s Best Year (yet)

Netflix’s growth, especially outside the United States, has been so robust that some analysts had to change their outlooks. “These forecasts are a lot higher than the last edition of this report,” says Simon Murray, principle analyst at Digital TV Research, of his Netflix Forecasts report. “Similar to many other analysts, we underestimated the fast take-up in international markets.”

That fast take-up suggests Netflix will have its strongest year ever in 2018 as it adds 28 million subscribers. Its growth should slow after that, Digital TV Research believes.

By the end of 2023, look for the SVOD leader to count 201 million subscribers around the world. That’s up from 111 million at the end of 2017. By the end of 2023, North America and Western Europe will make up 62 percent of Netflix’s customer base. That’s down from the 76 percent they made up in 2017 thanks to surging demand in other countries. For example, look for the Asia Pacific region to make up 14 percent of Netflix’s base by the end of 2023.

“Netflix expanded to 130 more countries (notably excluding China) in January 2016 to bring its total to 190 countries.” says Simon Murray, principle analyst at Digital TV Research. “The 130 new countries will have 40 million subs combined by 2023, quintuple the 8 million at end-2017. The 2023 figure corresponds to 20 percent of Netflix’s global total; up from only 7 percent in 2017.”

As for revenue, look for it to grow from $11.3 billion in 2017 to $28.8 billion by the end of 2023. Of that, $11.2 billion will come from the U.S.

U.S. pay TV providers lost 305K subs in Q1, 2018

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 305,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2018, compared to a pro forma loss of about 515,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 91.9 million subscribers – with the top six cable companies having 47.8 million video subscribers, satellite TV services 31.1 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 9.2 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered pay-TV services 3.8 million subscribers.

Key findings for the quarter include:

The top six cable companies lost about 285,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss about 115,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017. Satellite TV services lost about 375,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of about 340,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017. The top telephone providers lost about 50,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of 325,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017.

Net losses for the top Telcos in 1Q 2018 were the fewest in any quarter since 3Q 2015

AT&T U-verse did not report net video losses for the first time since 1Q 2015

Internet-delivered services (Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW) added about 405,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to about 265,000 net adds in 1Q 2017

Traditional pay-TV services (not including Internet-delivered services) lost about 710,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018 – compared to a loss of about 780,000 in 1Q 2017

“The number of pay-TV subscribers for the top providers peaked six years ago. Since 1Q 2012, top providers have lost about 3.4 million total pay-TV subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Since the industry’s peak, traditional services have lost about 7.2 million subscribers, while the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered services gained about 3.8 million subscribers.”

OTT Video Services to Climb to US$51.4 billion in 2022

The growth of subscription OTT services has been driving the changing trends in the Pay-TV landscape. OTT video services have attracted hundreds of millions of subscribers worldwide, causing pressure on traditional Pay-TV operators. This OTT growth trend is expected to continue, reaching a subscriber base of 400 million in 2018, according to a recent report by ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies.

OTT video services offer less expensive alternatives and no long-term contract features compared to existing Pay-TV offerings that are driving an increasing number of Pay-TV customers to switch to these OTT services. In markets such as North America and Europe, Pay-TV operators have jumped into the OTT market to improve churn by providing less costly video service. DirecTV’s Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, and Sky’s Now TV are among the operators which offer Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPD) services, linear channels via an internet connection.

“vMVPD services offer live TV packages as low as US$10 and customized packages are attracting cost-sensitive customers,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. Dish Network’s Sling has secured more than 2 million subscribers in the two years since it launched. Similarly, DirecTV Now has gained 1.2 million subscribers within one year of its launch, offsetting the subscriber loss of its satellite TV platform. “Pay-TV operators recognize the consumer demand for vMVPD services and are trying to expand their OTT offering by providing more content choice to compete against other subscription OTT services such as Netflix,” Lynn noted.

Despite the low cost of basic vMVPD packages, the availability of live sports packages and customization features contribute the higher ARPU compared to other subscription OTT services. Hulu and YouTube launched live streaming packages in 2017 creating more competition in the vMVPD market. “As competition intensifies, content and quality of service are crucial to win the OTT war,” concludes Lynn. ABI Research forecasts that OTT video services will put more pressure on traditional Pay-TV services especially in the developed markets with high broadband and Pay-TV penetration. The worldwide OTT video market is expected to grow at CAGR 10% to generate US$51.4 billion in 2022.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Service Provider OTT Services and Set-top boxes Update report.