Gen Z discovering music on YouTube, but not listening

Sweety High, a digital media company for Gen Z girls, has released its first Gen Z Music Consumption & Spending Report, which reveals research around the preferences of the powerhouse cohort. According to the report, while YouTube ranks as the top platform for music discovery (75 per cent), more than half of respondents also cite Radio (58 per cent) and Movies and TV Shows they watch (57 per cent) as top sources for exploring new artists.

Additionally, while they may have grown up in an age of reality TV, Gen Z shies away from talent featured on competition shows: they appreciate contestants’ talent but are unlikely to listen to their music after the show ends (78 per cent).

While streaming platforms, like Spotify, ranked second for music discovery (70 per cent), the service is Gen Z’s top choice for frequent listening (61 per cent). YouTube drops to 6th when it comes to general listening (30 per cent), with more Gen Z respondents preferring to listen to music they own, via CDs (38 per cent) or iTunes (36 per cent). When it comes to overall consumption, streaming services have clearly become the new normal, with 66 percent of Gen Z saying they use both for discovery AND listening, vs. Radio (55 per cent) or YouTube (25 per cent).

“Music plays a pivotal role in Gen Z’s lives. They have more options than ever to find undiscovered music, and Gen Z embrace that diversity in their music genres (nearly all, 97 per cent say they listen to 5 different genres regularly) and platforms, blending a mix of new and traditional media options for music discovery and consumption,” said Frank Simonetti, CEO, Sweety High.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

– The majority of this demographic take pride in their variety of music taste (78 per cent) — preferring to listen to a wide range of artists and genres rather than just one style.
– So, what is Gen Z listening to? Pop takes the cake, with more than 3 in 4 respondents claiming it as their top choice in music, followed by Rock (51 per cent) and Rap (50 per cent).
– While only 1 in 5 fans is wooed by a band or artist’s social media presence, 2 out of 3 respondents say they follow artists they like on social and over 80 per cent agree that it’s important for artists to be active on social.
– Love of the music is their top motivation for liking an artist or band (94 per cent), while a shared preference among their friends runs a distant second (36 per cent).
– As to where they find artists and new music, YouTube ranks as the top platform for discovery (75 per cent), followed by streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora (70 per cent), and social networks like Instagram and Facebook (62 per cent).
– Beyond the digital medium, more than half cite Terrestrial Radio (58 per cent) and Movies/TV Shows (57 per cent) as major sources of music discovery.

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TV Can No Longer Avoid The Viewability Challenge

by Dan Schiffman

The echoing three-count drumbeat of transparency, fraud and viewability has amplified the din of the digital marketing cacophony. The challenges these issues present have proven so strong that some agency holding companies are voluntarily superseding industry minimums by setting higher thresholds for quality delivery than what the standards bodies recommend. Blame it on a hungry set of publishers, ad tech vendors, and anxious marketers, but the high level of noise is finally getting quieted by folks like Marc Pritchard at P&G who are leading the charge to make the digital landscape accountable for media placement.

TV has fallen to the number two slot in media spend — having made it over 75 years without having to own up to who actually saw an ad displayed on their television set. The famous John Wanamaker quote – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half” – was born for the print world and easily translated to TV. While the digital ecosystem can very accurately understand who specifically saw an ad and for how long, the more mainstream impression-based media placements got a hall pass from having to tie an impression to a consumer, and a consumer to a sale.

Eyeballs, Meet Impressions

That time is changing though. If digital has suffered the recent wrath of detailed measurement, that approach is starting to make TV look woefully unprepared for modern marketing management. The multi-front war – for attribution, targeting, and personalisation – weighs against the current TV ad measurement approach. Layer in OTT, addressable TV, and connected TV data, and the issue shifts from offence to defense for advertisers interested in measuring which messages resonate.

There are two dynamics at play here. The first is the knowledge of whether the TV was being watched when it was “on.” For any of you with kids, dogs, and multiple TV sets, there are many times that the TV is on but no one is watching (never mind the many times that the TV screen is off but the set top box does not know that). The second is, assuming their is a beating heart in the room, who that person is and are they using the TV for background noise.

The way it works today, viewability on TV is measured by completion. If the program or ad shows in total based on set-top box or Smart TV data, the assumption is that it was seen in its entirety. But think about the number of screens in your house, and which one you or your family are looking at when the commercials come on. If you are actively watching TV, chances are good that you are also actively changing the channel. If you are not paying attention, those ads are probably playing out entirely. So the correlation between 100 percent airplay and 100 percent viewability is not what it seems, and may actually be the reverse.

The important part of the above chart is the delta between standard GRPs and those weighted by attention. This measurement of viewability is powerful in that it answers the question of not just who tuned in, but who is actually watching the show. For broadcasters and pay TV operators, this could translate into better ad prices. For advertisers, it’s a better media plan and likely better link to brand and sales lift.

Ratings Still Matter

Let’s be clear. Ratings are a critical measure of interest, audience reach, and value of the spot placement. But as Dave Morgan of Simulmedia has consistently pointed out, ratings and audience sizes are decreasing as the volume of content is fragmented across broadcast, cable and over-the- top viewing channels. So a show with a lower rating and a high attention score may actually drive more impact than a highly rated show that is on in the background. The two measures need to work together to prove the viewable impact of a TV ad.

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Free trials work! 60% convert to paying customers

It can be a struggle to find and retain subscribers for smaller SVOD services. New data from Vimeo shows that a free trial is a critical tool in converting subscribers and apps help cement the relationship.

Vimeo has been helping content rights holders launch online video services for more than a decade. It has plumbed data from 3.6 million worldwide online subscribers to bring some insights into how to build a successful video service. Two of the five data points in the just-released The 2018 OTT Revolution report struck me as particularly useful to any online video service provider looking to boost subscribers and increase customer lifetime value.

Free trials work

Online video service providers (OVSPs) could be forgiven for hesitating to provide a free trial. There are risks that many people will signup, binge the content they want, and then bolt without paying a dime. New data from Vimeo shows it is worth taking the risk. Vimeo data shows that any online video service provider (OVSP) would foolish not to allow free trials of the service. The company found that 60% of people that sign up for a free trial from any platform end up becoming a paying customer.

The company saw the highest conversion rates through iOS devices, 69.6%, and Roku devices, 69.4%. 68.4% of those signing up through a web interface converted to paying customers. Android TV and Android conversions were slightly lower, 64.7% and 62.7%, but only slightly.

The challenge is to get people to sign up for a free trial. Vimeo says an OVSP can increase its chances of that happening by one-third if it can get them to use the service app rather than the web interface. Since downloading an app implies a bigger commitment than browsing the website, it makes sense that free signups would be higher. The trick, however, is to get people to download the app in the first place.

Apps a critical part of the ecosystem

Vimeo says that it examined subscriptions to hundreds of online video services it powers. It found that more than 73,000 people subscribed through a web browser in 2017. Of those, over three-quarters also watched through an app. 32% watched through an app on their iPhone, 20% on an Android device, 2.4% through a Roku, and 3.3% through an iPad. This data strongly supports the idea that when consumers signup for a service they expect to have access to it through all the screens they use.

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UK TV advertising slips back year-on-year

Even though it did not quite hit the highs set two years ago, nor indeed 12 months earlier, the UK’s advertising market generated £5.11 billion in revenue in 2017, according to survey data from Thinkbox.

The association of UK commercial broadcasters said the figures represent all money invested by advertisers in commercial TV across all formats and on any screen: linear spot and sponsorship, product placement, broadcaster VOD, addressable and interactive.

The data showed that the annual decrease compared with 2016 came after seven consecutive years of growth in the UK, caused mainly by ongoing economic and political uncertainty, with a weakened pound and inflationary pressure leading some advertisers to reduce TV investment, notably FMCG advertisers. Yet according to data from Nielsen, FMCG spend on TV advertising in Q4 2017 grew by 8% compared with the same period in 2016. And figures from the UK broadcasters suggest that Q4 2017 saw an approximate 2% overall increase in TV spend year-on-year. The Advertising Association/WARC predicts that TV advertising in the UK will return to annual growth again in 2018, forecasting a 1.5% increase in total investment.

Thinkbox also found that, according to Nielsen data the top five TV spending categories in 2017 were: online businesses: £682 million (0.3% down year-on-year); food, which generated £559 million (-11.4%); cosmetics and personal care with £431 million (-2.4%); entertainment and leisure generating £385 million (+1.6%); and finance, capturing £324 million (-3.1%).

Commenting on the results, Lindsey Clay, chief executive of Thinkbox, said: “Post-recession, TV advertising in the UK had seven consecutive years of growth. But TV hyper-reacts to the economy, good or bad, and recent uncertainty saw growth stall in 2017. That growth is now returning. The pendulum is swinging back to TV. We have more proof than ever that TV advertising drives business growth and outperforms all other forms of advertising. TV is a proven, trusted, high quality environment for brands. And TV’s strengths and unique assets have been thrown into even sharper relief recently following the much-publicised scandals and loss of trust in some areas of online advertising. Advertisers are re-assessing where they advertise and TV is well placed to capitalise.”

Three Strategies to fight Netflix

In just a few years’ time, the way we consume entertainment has changed drastically. Netflix and other video streaming services have taken the industry by storm, encouraging consumers to cut the cord and enjoy their content on demand. In fact, last year Netflix users collectively watched 1 billion hours of content each week, and more than 22 million U.S. adults were expected to drop cable services, up 33% from the previous year — a major blow to cable companies.

With streaming on the rise, how can cable outlets keep their current customer base coming back?

Stay Transparent

Open communication is key to maintaining a healthy customer relationship. When it comes to set-up fees, service upgrades or any extra charges, cable providers should be up front about a customer’s tab.

Unexplained price increases are a common cable customer gripe, and with monthly charges up an average of 53% in just a decade, according to S&P Global Intelligence figures cited by the Associated Press, customers are turning to alternate options. Nobody likes seeing an unexpected uptick in their monthly bill — be prepared to explain why things may be changing, and it’ll go a long way toward maintaining customers’ trust.

Tap New Revenue Streams

Who doesn’t like a healthy bottom line? By offering a valuable benefit like customized consumer electronics warranty products for TVs, gaming systems, laptops and more, cable companies can give current customers another reason to stay on board. Include this protection in a customer’s overall package, and you become much more than just a cable provider — you’re a one-stop shop for devices, service and coverage. Plus, you’ll be adding another line of revenue.

Don’t Be a Robot

While consistency in messaging is important when communicating with your customers, train your service reps to avoid being robotic in delivery. Sure, everyone has a script to read, but a simple gesture like asking the customer how their day is going can make a tremendous difference in the tone of a service call.

That interaction can have effects beyond one call as well. Angry customers aren’t hesitant to post bad reviews or recorded conversations online, potentially affecting your reputation. Take Comcast for example, where $300 million was pledged toward an updated customer service strategy. After multiple complaints, the cable giant promised customers incentives like $20 if a representative is late to an appointment, and a redesigned monthly bill to better answer customer questions.

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U.S. cable, satellite and telcoTV lost 3.5 million subs in 2017

Cable, satellite, telcoTV all lose subs

The traditional pay television industry in the United States had its worst year ever in 2017. The top seven public companies, which jointly account for 85% of pay TV subscribers, lost 3 million residential subscribers. If this 3.7% decline holds true for the operators serving the other 15% of subscribers, the industry will have lost 3.5 million subscribers.

Telco TV faired the worst in the year. AT&T U-verse lost 17% of its subscriber base. The huge loss is primarily attributable to the fact that AT&T is working hard to retire the service, pushing subscribers to switch to DirecTV and DirecTV Now. Verizon FiOS lost 1.6% of its pay TV customers.

Satellite operators lost 5.4% of its customers. Dish Network subscribers lost 10.3%, down an amazing 1.14 million. DirecTV lost 554,000 customers, or 2.7%, despite AT&T making a huge marketing push to bring U-verse customers to the services.

Cable held up the best in the face of this broad overall decline. Comcast, Charter, and Altice jointly lost 1.1% of their video customers. Comcast had the lowest overall decline, losing just 0.8% of subscribers. Charter was down 1.8% and Altice down 3.8%.

The X1 bubble has burst

Last year, Comcast enjoyed the first full year of growth in pay TV subscribers in 10 years. The company gained 103,000 subscribers. The company’s market-leading X1 service seemed to be doing a great job attracting disaffected subscribers from other pay TV services. Showcases such as the Rio Olympics, which Comcast integrated into a unique experience on X1, did a great job of marketing the service.

In 2017 far more customers left rival satellite and telcoTV providers than in 2016. Unfortunately for Comcast, most appear to have left traditional pay TV altogether rather than switching to its premium X1 experience. As my podcast partner Will Richmond remarked to me last week, it seems like Comcast has already won all the customers that would want its high-priced TV experience.

vMVPDs enable an exit from high price plans

The biggest beneficiary of the massive decline in traditional pay TV is the new online virtual MVPDs. The existence of services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now is a major reason many people now feel they can live without their cable or satellite company. Before these companies existed, it was impossible to get content from channels like ESPN and TNT without pay television. Now, a $20 a month subscription to Sling TV provides both.

Dish Network reported that Sling TV gained 710,000 subscribers in 2017 to reach 2.21 million. DirecTV Now reached the 1 million subscriber mark in December, impressive performance by the barely 1-year-old service. Overall, vMVPDs have about 4.6 million subscribers or about 5% of total MVPD subscribers.

Compared to traditional pay TV, the vMVPD business is terrible. nScreenMedia estimates that even after YouTube TV’s $5 price increase the service is barely breaking even. The same is likely true at other providers, like DirecTV Now. However, none of the major vMVPDs show any sign of backing away from their aggressive pricing. Linear television services are part of more important strategic initiatives that make low or non-existent profit margins tolerable for companies like AT&T and Google.

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YouTube algorithm favors scandalous content

YouTube’s acquisition by Google in 2005 brought a new focus on search to the video sharing company. The shift heralded the birth of the YouTube algorithm. The algorithm helped YouTube morph from an engine driving embedded video at other sites into the top destination for video online.

YouTube’s algorithm dictates what videos to recommend, suggest, relate, and play next, as well as which videos appear in your search results. Over the years it has evolved to maximize ‘watch time’ over ‘views.’ The algorithm helped YouTube win a Peabody award for “promoting democracy,” and Entertainment weekly heralded it as a ‘safe home’ for creators. It was during this time that it came to dominate online video by a very wide margin.

Today, YouTube’s algorithm can predict what users will select even before they know themselves. Personalization and more advanced predictive analytics keep users glued to their screens. As Jim McFadden, the technical head behind ‘suggested videos’ on YouTube, put it:

“We also wanted to serve the needs of people when they didn’t necessarily know what they wanted to look for.”

The approach has been very successful. Speaking at Google IO in 2017, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that users watched more than a billion hours of video per day.

With an algorithm as powerful as this, comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t seem able to measure up.

YouTube’s algorithm a big part of the problem

Though incredibly successful at keeping users watching on its platform, YouTube’s success has come at a cost. Though it is effective at choosing videos which are entertaining it is very poor at picking which videos are factual or appropriate.

According to an ex-YouTube insider, the recommendation algorithm has promoted divisive clips and conspiracy videos. For example, during the shooting in Las Vegas, the top video search results on YouTube claimed it was a government conspiracy. Despite all the outrage, the same thing happened again after the recent Florida shooting.

Kids content is not safe either. As nScreenMedia pointed out, many top kids’ channels on YouTube were found to contain disturbing and inappropriate content. One such channel was Toyfreaks, which had 8.53 million subscribers at the time of its removal. Though YouTube apologized for both these and other incidents inappropriate content is still making it onto its kids’ channel.

The biggest controversy, however, came with One of YouTube’s top creators, Logan Paul. A video he posted showed him laughing and joking around a dead body in Japan’s suicide forest. Despite the backlash and negative press it received, and perhaps partly because of it, the video made it onto YouTube’s most watched videos trending page. The video was deleted, and YouTube and Paul apologized profusely. Unfortunately for them, copies of the original video were re-uploaded. Once again, the copies appeared on YouTube’s trending page with one ranked 2nd and another 20th.

YouTube’s algorithm will not change despite the backlash

YouTube has been trying to fix the problem. It has hired thousands of human reviewers to monitor large channels. However, this “whack-a-mole” strategy, of removing videos after there is an uproar, does little to prevent the video from being uploaded in the first place.

YouTube seems unable to deliver a technical or business solution to prevent the cycle of posting of offensive material, public apology, removal, and re-upload.

The bitter truth is that no matter how misinformed, disturbing, or controversial these videos may have been they were watched by millions of people! YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes all that watch time over the appropriateness of the content.

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Launch F1 TV OTT streaming service

Formula 1 is set to launch F1 TV, a live Grand Prix subscription service, early in the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

F1 TV is Formula 1’s over the top (OTT) platform and marks F1’s biggest investment in its digital transformation to date. Pricing for F1 TV Pro will be offered on a monthly basis of between $8 and $12, and annual rates will be priced according to market.

F1 TV will offer commercial-free live streams of each race with multi language commentary. In addition, the service will provide access to all 20 driver on-board cameras throughout every race session. F1 TV Pro will have unique feeds not available on any other platform with the capability of multi-level personalisation.

Subscribers will be able to choose the content they view and how and when they access it. All of practice, qualifying and races, will be offered live, along with press conferences and pre and post-race interviews. Subscribers will be able to watch live races of the main support series, the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series and Porsche Supercup, among others.

During the season, F1 TV will be made available in four different languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and will appear in nearly two dozen markets at launch (including Germany, France, USA, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and much of Latin America). Access will initially be available through desktop and web, with mobile apps and TV apps being phased in on Amazon, Apple and Android.

A less expensive, non-live subscription tier, F1 TV Access will provide live race timing data and radio commentary, as well as extended highlights of each session from the race weekend. It will also be underscored by unprecedented access to archive video content from the historic archive owned by Formula 1. F1 TV Access will be available on a near-global basis at launch, to complement F1 TV Pro.

CDN and connectivity services to distribute the F1 TV content globally will be supplied by Tata Communications, Formula 1’s Official Connectivity Provider.

“With the launch of F1 TV, we are beginning on the journey to build a cornerstone of our digital transformation. F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans, and we are firm believers that while we are bringing a new audience to the sport, we must always remain focused on delivering products and experiences that serve the most avid F1 fans,” said Frank Arthofer, Director of Digital and New Business, Formula 1.

“Our objective with F1 TV is simple: provide these fans with the best available service to watch live Grands Prix and provide them with the best sports OTT customer experience in the world. Our team and our partners are singularly focused on delivering on that vision: not just for launch but over the long-term. Live streaming video is an exciting space changing almost daily.”

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Four Steps to Successfully Negotiate Rates with Influencers

There’s more hype surrounding YouTube Influencer Marketing than ever. Even though collaborations with creators on social media have driven results, Influencer Marketing is still a young industry with rapidly shifting benchmarks: especially when it comes to compensating creators for the work they do.

At the end of the day, it’s always a negotiation between brand/agency and creator. However, here are some helpful tips that will help you and the influencer you’re building a relationship with leave the negotiation table on good footing:

Step 1: Find a Baseline: Views vs. Reach


First, figure out what you want: do you want to reach, do you want views, or do you want both?

Influencers determine their monetary worth based on their subscriber count or the views they get. Expect to pay about $1,000 USD for every 100,000 subscribers an influencer has on YouTube.

A good rule of thumb to abide by as you do your influencer research is to take a look at how many views on average an influencer’s videos are getting. If you see that views on a creator’s content — on average — represent roughly 20% or more of the total subscriber count — then you can safely assume that their subscribers are real and the content isn’t stale.

Don’t feel any pressure to go big either. Try booking a diverse portfolio of creators and test what works best for your brand. As we’ve seen through hundreds of campaigns on the Grapevine Influencer Marketing platform, micro-influencers yield increased engagement.


If you’re leveraging an Influencer Marketing Platform, you should be able to access insights to metrics such as clicks, click through rates (CTR), cost-per-view (CPV), and more. These are additional tools to help you negotiate for better pricing.

Take a look at the performance of influencers with similar follower counts that work in the same industry and base expectations and benchmarks from there. There is a strong correlation between view count and cost. For example, breaking 100,000 views costs $3,000 USD. Expect to see creators negotiate up based on their views. Likewise, you can use view counts to negotiate down if you need to.

Whether it be views or reach, it really all comes down to how well your targeted influencer can sell. If a video gets 10,000 views but yields 500 conversions, then that’s a success! This is only the beginning of your negotiation process. It’s critical that you use this step as only a baseline for your booking process. The best marketers do their due diligence to ensure that these influencers actually drive a return on your investment.

Step 2: Negotiate Content

Have a clear idea or vision of what kind of content you want the targeted influencer to share. Do you want just a shout out at the beginning of a video or something more integrated? This impacts how much compensation a creator might ask for to promote your campaign, product, or brand. If you need conversions: be sure to equip the creator exclusive (and maybe even generous) offer to help drive more leads.

If you want to build a successful collaboration: give yourself and the creator some time to volley back and forth between ideas to ensure that your content actually resonates. Influencers are busy and the best ones usually have packed content calendars. Build campaigns around a 4-6 week buffer before content actually starts being published. This is especially important to keep in mind if you’re creating campaigns based on holidays or special events.

Step 3: Track and Test

If you thought booking and scheduling content was the end of your negotiation process: you thought wrong! Assign an internal champion on your team to keep close track of the engagement your collaboration is driving with a close eye on clicks and click-through-rate.

If it’s not driving the engagement you need, it might be worth re-negotiating with the influencer, finding someone new, or adjusting your offer/content produced.

Step 4: Collaborate Again

When you work with an influencer you are also building a relationship with someone that could potentially even be a brand ambassador. Think of how some NBA players are either fiercely loyal to Adidas or Nike. That’s all because of the relationships they’ve built with their contacts at those organizations.

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Study: Growing consumer desire for aggregation

Findings from The Best Bundle: Consumer Preferences in a Peak TV World from Hub Entertainment Research point to increasing consumer frustration with the rapid expansion of TV viewing options.

Highlights from the study:

– Consumers find themselves forced to create their own TV bundles to satisfy their needs: Only those who subscribe to at least three TV services (pay-TV, SVoDs, virtual MVPDs, etc.) are more likely than not to feel that their viewing needs are “very well met”.

– But the work required to choose between services is becoming more onerous: Only 22 per cent say that the growing number of TV services makes it “easy to choose what’s best for me” (down 11 points, from 33 per cent in 2017).

– This is driving consumers to lean toward providers that offer aggregated solutions: Among those with a preference, more than twice as many would rather access all their TV content from a single source (69 per cent) than access sources individually (31 per cent).

Even with an aggregated solution, viewers only want to pay for the content they know they’ll watch: Consumers would overwhelmingly prefer services that let them choose and pay for just the networks they want (43 per cent) over services that offer a large number of networks in a pre-set bundle (10 per cent)—even if the larger bundle means a lower cost per network.
“The novelty of having so many options for TV content is wearing off. Now consumers want simplicity and efficiency,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and one of the authors of the study. “Bundles that aggregate content from multiple sources are highly desirable – but only if those bundles include little or no content they know they won’t watch.”

“Consumer preference for an à la carte TV offering has never been higher,” said Jon Giegengack, co-author of the study. “It’s not the price of traditional big TV bundles that turns consumers off, so much as how much of what they pay goes to content they don’t use. Viewers would rather have a bundle comprised of just the content they care about – even if it means they have to pay more for each network”.

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