This edition of Nielsen’s Local Watch Report focuses on news consumption. News viewing increased from 2015 to 2016 and has shown continued growth in early 2017. But growth isn’t the only good news here.

Perhaps the more astonishing fact is that local news on local broadcast TV stations is the place where people spend the most time consuming news on TV. By far, local news reaches more adults than both national broadcast network news and cable news. In fact, in an average week in the first quarter of 2017, local news reached 40% of persons 25- 54. This compares to 32% for national broadcast news and 17% for cable news. In the same time period, adults spent two hours and 22 minutes watching local news, which is more than double the amount of time spent watching national broadcast news.

Analyzing individual markets, we found that Memphis was the top Set Meter market for time spent watching local news, at three hours and 55 minutes per person per week while Cleveland was the top Local People Meter (LPM) market at three hours and 27 minutes.

We also looked at news consumption through personal digital media. Adults reached by local news on TV surpasses the reach of people consuming news on smartphones and PCs 4 to 1.


Adults in the top 25 markets are spending more than 44 billion minutes consuming news in a typical week—up 11% from full-year 2016, and 25% from full-year 2015.

download the full report here:


Apple Set to Launch Anti-Tracking Update for Safari

Apple’s ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ will arrive on iPhones and iPads tomorrow as iOS 11 is rolled out, preventing third parties from tracking Safari users for more than 24 hours. The update will make life more difficult for advertisers reliant on third party data, as well as for the publishers who support themselves via these advertisers, and six trade groups have penned an open letter complaint against Apple in response.

The new anti-tracking technology, announced earlier this year at WWDC, will also arrive on the desktop version of Safari when macOS High Sierra is released later this month. Safari already blocks third-party cookies by default, but now cross-site tracking will be made more difficult, as websites will have cookies partitioned and deleted if users don’t return regularly to any website which tracks users.

Safari will identify, via machine learning, which domains have the ability to track users across the web. Any cookies stored by these domains will be usable in a third-party context for 24 hours, after which they will be partitioned: stored, but unable to be used in a third-party context. If a user hasn’t visited the original domain in 30 days, the cookies will be purged.

Apple has painted Intelligent Tracking Prevention as a tool for boosting user privacy. “It’s not about blocking ads, the web behaves as it always did, but your privacy is protected,” explained Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, at the announcement back in June.

But the advertising industry disagrees. Six trade groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Association of National Advertisers, and the 4 A’s, called Apple’s approach “heavy handed” and “bad for consumers” in an open letter. “Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful,” they said in the letter. “Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”

Apple retaliated, saying that the new technology protects users against tracking that is so pervasive it allows websites to “recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history”. Many commentators however have pointed out that Intelligent Tracking Prevention won’t really affect big domains like Facebook and Google which users visit daily, but will mostly punish smaller publishers.

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Survey: 58% UK smartphone owners watching video – while walking

More than half (53 per cent) of 16-75-year-olds in the UK use their smartphones while walking – the equivalent of around 22 million people – according to the latest research from Deloitte. For younger consumers aged 16-24, the proportion rises to 74 per cent. Worryingly, more than 4.5 million people (11 per cent of respondents) also admit to using their smartphones while crossing the road. This proportion almost doubles for 16-24-year-olds (21 per cent).

Deloitte’s seventh annual Mobile Consumer Survey, State of the smart, which analyses the mobile usage habits of 4,150 people in the UK, has found that 85 per cent of 16-75-year olds now own or have access to a smartphone. This is an increase of four percentage points from 2016 and 33 percentage points from 2012. For 18-24-year-olds, market penetration is at a record 96 per cent.

“Most people can relate to ‘smartphone zombies’, either through being one or bumping into one,” noted Paul Lee, head of research for technology, media and telecoms at Deloitte, comments. “But this is just one indication of just how infatuated we are with these devices, for better or worse. While we may be glued to our smartphones, it is important to acknowledge that these devices are also, increasingly, the glue that is binding society together, and will soon become the primary way to communicate, interact and transact with customers and fellow citizens.”

Swipe out
Deloitte’s research shows that the UK’s continued love of smartphones continues to affect almost every aspect of daily life, including night-time. Among 16-19-year-olds, two-thirds (66 per cent) check their phones in the middle of the night, double that of all UK respondents (33 per cent). More than a quarter of ‘screenagers’ (26 per cent) actively respond to messages they receive after falling asleep at night.

More than a third (34 per cent) of respondents look at their smartphones within five minutes of waking, and over half (55 per cent) do so within a quarter of an hour. At the end of the day, more than three-quarters (79 per cent) check their smartphones within the last hour before going to sleep.

Deloitte’s research also reveals that half of all UK meals taken at home with friends or family, approximately 20 million per week, are disrupted by individuals using their smartphones.

“If the first 10 years has been about changing our social lives, the next 10 years will be about changing our working lives,” predicted Dan Adams, UK lead partner for telecoms at Deloitte. “The smartphone’s attractiveness lies in the fact that it is the definitive multi-purpose consumer device: a digital Swiss Army knife with a set of tools that is millions of apps deep.”

“Importantly, what goes on behind the smartphone’s screen is only getting smarter through machine learning, facial recognition and other technological advancements, so it is a device that will continue to offer an ever-widening array of benefits and challenges for years to come.”

Call to attention: awareness of usage
For the first time, this year’s research has captured smartphone owners’ self-awareness of their device usage. Two-fifths (38 per cent) of respondents believe that they are using their phone too much –around 15.5 million people. Significantly, this perception is most apparent among younger consumers: 56 per cent of 16-24-year-olds believe they are overusing their phone. By comparison, just 16 per cent of those aged 55-64 think they use their phone too much.

In addition, 60 per cent of parents believe their children use their phone too much, and 41 per cent of respondents in a relationship think their partner is spending too much time on their phone.

Of respondents who believe they use their phone too much, 14 per cent are making an effort to control their usage, and are usually succeeding; 34 per cent are making an effort, but are not normally succeeding and a quarter (26 per cent) are not trying to control their usage, but would like to.

“With every year the smartphone is becoming easier and more enticing to use,” added Lee. “The question is: are we at the point at which smartphones have become almost too good for people to cope with, and if so, what remedies might be required? Interestingly, the steps that people are taking to control smartphone usage have a common theme: removing temptation.”

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Uber Sues Dentsu’s Fetch Media for Click Fraud

Uber Technologies Inc. is accustomed to getting sued. Now it’s doing the suing. And it’s partly because of Breitbart News.

The global ride-hailing company is taking advertising agency Fetch Media Ltd. to court for click fraud, alleging that the firm improperly billed Uber for “fake” online ads and took credit for app downloads it had nothing to do with. Fetch is owned by the world’s fourth-largest advertising company, Japan’s Dentsu Inc.

Uber filed the lawsuit Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The company said it discovered something was amiss when it canceled a campaign on the conservative website Breitbart, where Fetch was placing Uber ads. As part of the lawsuit, Uber plans to seek at least $40 million in damages, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified disclosing legal plans. Fetch didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Going on the offensive in court is a rare move for Uber. The company is a plaintiff in only two federal cases, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, it has been a named defendant in about 250 federal cases. The data aren’t comprehensive but show Uber is usually on the defensive.

Online advertising fraud has grown more sophisticated in recent years along with the amount spent on such ads. Fetch has acknowledged the challenge publicly and said it was working with research firm Forensiq to “fight against mobile ad fraud.”
“One of the biggest challenges we face as digital marketers is to reduce mobile ad fraud,” James Connelly, Fetch’s chief executive officer, said a year ago.

Uber learned of the alleged fraud when it was trying to avoid scandal of a different kind. The company had asked Fetch not to post advertisements on Breitbart News, a site run by President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But it saw ads appearing there anyway.

Fetch pulled ads from all networks that had a relationship with Breitbart, but the move had little effect on the number of people downloading the app, contrary to Fetch’s claims, the complaint said. Uber pays Fetch and other ad networks a fee when a potential customer downloads its app after seeing an ad. Uber alleged that after further inspection, Fetch had a widespread practice of over-billing. Uber claims that Fetch had been attempting to claim credit for app downloads it didn’t generate.

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Mobile video consumption flattens

According to the Q2 2017 Global Video Index from video software and services provider Ooyala, video consumption on mobile devices stayed essentially flat in the second quarter of 2017. The quarter’s report also tracks global variances in video consumption including greater Q/Q growth for tablet viewing, mobile growth in global markets, as well as emerging trends in online video advertising.

For the second consecutive quarter, long-form content — greater than 20 minutes in length — now represents the majority of time spent watching video across all screen sizes, with mobile devices being the platform of choice between 2.4 to 3.3 times more than personal computers.

Much of that is due to the increasing amount of premium content that services are now making available to all devices. As longer content becomes more prevalent, an increasing number of users — across all demographics — are as comfortable watching longer form content on smaller screens as they are watching it on big screens. And they’re simply watching more content in general.

By device, data finds long-form content now represents:

– 96 per cent of all time spent watching video on connected TVs, down marginally from 98 per cent the quarter before;
– 82 per cent on tablets, also up slightly from 81 per cent in Q1;
– 53 per cent on computers, down from 65 per cent in Q1;
– 53 per cent on smartphones, marginally down from 55 per cent in Q1

Global video consumption

Mobile viewing continues to be a major driver of OTT growth, despite the plateau in growth in Q2 2017. Although mobile plays were dominant in every region, Ooyala found that mobile plays in Asia pacific made up nearly three quarters of all plays at 72 per cent, the highest in the world, a 21.9 percent variance in consumption over North American viewers. EMEA at 12.6 per cent and Asia Pacific at 14.1 per cent saw the highest percentage of tablet plays.

Regionally, the study finds:

– In EMEA, mobile plays represent 57.7 per cent of all video plays, up from just 54.1 per cent in Q1;
– In North America, mobile represents slightly more than half of all video plays; for the fourth consecutive quarter;
– In APAC, 72 per cent of all video plays are on mobile, up from 61 per cent in Q1;
– In LatAm, mobile plays topped 56 per cent. After consecutive quarters of mobile play share increasing 7.5 per cent in Q4 2016 and 8.4 per cent in Q1 2017, mobile this quarter grew just 0.1 per cent

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Two Kinds of Pay TV Customers: The Fickle and the Loyal

Some pay TV customers are loyal and some are very willing to jump to a new service. Video providers need to understand the difference and craft specific messages for each.

That’s the take home lesson from TiVo’s 2017 survey of pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) customers, released today. TiVo questioned 8,500 customers from 7 countries through an online survey. Roughly 2,500 of those were from the U.S.

Analyzing the results, TiVo found two distinct groups of customers: loyalists and fickle newbies. Loyalists have been with their pay TV provider for over 4 years. In the U.S., they represent 55 percent of pay TV customers and are a bit older. The fickle have been with their current provider less than a year.

About half of loyal pay TV customers also subscribe to an OTT service; the number is higher for the fickle group.

With the fickle group at a higher risk for churn, TiVo advises pay TV operators to keep them happy by staying current, offering access on a range of devices and constantly matching innovative OTT services in order to stay relevant. The loyalists typically spend more on pay TV services so they’re a more valuable asset. Keep them happy by bringing OTT offerings into the company’s interface so they can try streaming options from the same remote.

The proliferation of OTT services is leading to frustration for some viewers: TiVo says 50 percent the total survey group thinks finding content should be easier, 38 percent shut off their devices when they can’t find something to watch, and 26 would pay more for a simple content discovery system that works across all services.

“We think that all of this is representative of the fragmentation of the marketplace that’s in transition right now,” says Paul Stathacopoulos, ‎vice president of strategy at Tivo. “Consumers having access to services with a differing mix of content is causing some confusion, and they’re indicating that they’re willing to open their wallets to solve that problem.”

To read more, download the full report (no registration required).

Tv Ad Spend Flat until 2021

Cord-cutting is accelerating at faster-than-expected rates across the United States, according to a new study by digital analytics firm eMarketer, which notes that, as a result, television ad spending is expected to remain relatively flat over the next five years. In 2017, for instance, TV ad spend is expected to grow just 0.5% to a less-than-projected $71.65 billion.

The depleted spend will be driven by a continued migration of pay TV subscribers to OTT platforms — a number of Americans that eMarketer says is growing at a substantially speedier rate than initially expected. By 2021, for instance, total pay TV viewership is expected to fall by roughly 10%. And this year, there will be a total of 22.2 million cord-cutters aged 18 and over — up 33% from last year. Meanwhile, there are 196.3 million U.S. adults who watch pay TV, down 2.4% from 2016.

Check out a chart illuminating these changing tides — courtesy of eMarketer — below:

“Last year, even the Olympics and presidential elections could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen in a statement. That said, TV viewership among adults aged 55 and up will continue to rise — though that’s the only demographic where this is the case.

eMarketer also attributes the reduction in TV viewing to a slew of new skinny bundle service launches from the likes of Hulu and YouTube — and existing players like Dish’s Sling TV — as well as standalone subscription services from individual TV networks like HBO and ESPN.

Average daily TV watch-time among U.S. adults is also expected to drop 3.1% — to 3 hours and 58 minutes — this year, according to eMarketer, while digital video consumption is expected to rise 9.3% to 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Netflix CFO hints content spending could get more cautious

Netflix CFO David Wells said his company’s nearly unparalleled content spending could become more cautious, particular as competition increases for top content.

Speaking today at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Wells said Netflix could possibly become more budget constrained in the future, but as long the company is able to grow the top-line and operating margin, it will continue to invest in content.

As more competitors like Amazon, Apple and Facebook look ready to spend big money for top-tier content, Wells said the bidding for that content is getting higher. He said that you have to have confidence that you’re going to monetize it effectively—confidence he said Netflix gets from its subscribers totals—but he insisted that Netflix is still disciplined on price.

When bidding on content, Wells said Netflix considers the cost and compares it to how similar content has already performed in order to determine the efficiencies Netflix can expect.

“If there’s more competition for top-tier content, we may end up producing one less show,” Wells said.

Wells’ comments seemingly had a positive effect on Netflix stock, as shares rose nearly 2% while he was speaking.

Netflix, of course, has been one of the most aggressive companies in terms of spending on content. Its $6 billion content budget for 2017 puts its ahead of SVOD rivals like Amazon Prime Video and premium programmers like Time Warner’s HBO.

While Netflix continues to spend heavily on content, the threat of price increases for the services continues to loom. When asked directly about future price increases, Wells was careful to not specifically point to when prices would increase, but instead frame his answer around building more value into the platform.

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Engagement with Instagram Videos Is Surging

Savvy publishers are finding success on Instagram with video, a format the social media platform added to its app back in 2013 in a move that seemed revolutionary at the time—and still may prove to be.

According to new data from social media analytics firm NewsWhip, photos are typically still generating higher engagement levels than videos among Instagram users. (NewsWhip counted a “like” or a comment as engagement, which it also called a “content interaction.”)

But engagement numbers for videos posted to top media publisher accounts worldwide increased by 53% year over year in May, surpassing the 46% growth rate seen for photos over the same timeframe.

Some news and media organizations appear to be taking note of video’s appeal among Instagram users, and a select few have been adding such content at a furious pace. Sports Illustrated, for example, posted just eight videos to its Instagram account in May 2016, but upped that figure to 325 this May. ESPN, for its part, more than doubled its number of Instagram videos over the same period.

Sports-focused site Bleacher Report outpaced any other publisher by posting 479 videos on Instagram in May 2017. The Turner Broadcasting System-owned site seems to have figured out a winning formula for driving engagement on the platform.

NewsWhip found that Bleacher Report logged more than 74.5 million content interactions in May—more than 10 times the second-place finisher, Fox News, among the platforms it examined. BuzzFeed News also saw an impressive improvement in its content interaction figures, with engagement levels increasing by 687% between May 2016 and May 2017.

There’s an obvious reason for the spike in the number of videos posted to these media properties’ Instagram accounts: Publishers have increasingly been turning to video ads to bolster their bottom lines. According to a forecast from Dentsu Aegis Network, worldwide ad spending on digital video will jump 25.4% next year.

The trend of increased social video advertising is reflected in sentiments expressed by those overseeing ad budgets. An April survey of marketers in the US carried out by cloud-based video creation company increase spending on Instagram video ads over the coming year.

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Welcome to the ‘Royalty Black Box’

Delve into the music industry’s sordid past, and you’ll find tawdry details of mobbed-up labels and Soprano-style venues. Indeed, crooners like Frank Sinatra were notoriously implicated with organized crime. But the way he explains it, there wasn’t any alternative.

So who’s replacing the mobsters in the digital economy? Welcome to a more sophisticated racket that’s just as lucrative. And it involves billions in unclaimed, unmatched, delayed, or otherwise unpaid digital royalties. And holding the golden bag is a mish-mosh of well-positioned middlemen, including a gaggle of PROs, mechanical rights licensing administrators, and others who mysteriously can’t figure out where that check should be sent.

So who’s holding all this cash?

Like the problem itself, the answer is complicated. And it’s hard to pick out the bad guys. Many times, it’s just simple incompetence instead of actual malice.

Like SoundExchange. Over the years, we’ve blasted SoundExchange for holding hundreds of millions in unclaimed royalties. Indeed, the deeper we clawed into SoundExchange’s unclaimed database, the more we found glaring examples of obvious copyright owners not getting paid. We’ve even found fraudulently claimed royalties — lots of them — fueled by disorganization and maybe even purposeful obfuscation.

Intentional or not, the result ends up being the same. And it turns out that’s just scratching the surface. Now, as Spotify battles hundreds of millions in unpaid royalty claims, a little startup in London wants to shine the light on this dirty butt-crack of the business.

The company is called Paperchain, and their mission is to clean up an estimated $2.5 billion in blocked funds. They’re ready to seriously rock the boat.

+ Live Concerts + Streaming = 73% of the US Music Industry

Paperchain was started in Sydney, Australia, and migrated their HQ to London. That’s still far from the epicenter of the music industry (pick one: New York or LA); though its closer to the rat’s nest of overlapping European PROs (more on that cesspool later).

Here’s just some of the depressing info that Paperchain emailed Digital Music News this morning.

More than 46 million instances of unidentified songwriters or unknown copyright owner ‘Notice of Intents (NOIs)’ have been digitally filed with the US Copyright Office by streaming services since April 2016.

Royalties are unpaid and go into “royalty black boxes” until the owner is identified or dispersed into the industry.

The global value of these royalty black boxes is estimated to be $2.5 billion.

That’s right: $2.5 billion, with a ‘b’. And given an absolute avalanche in plays and associated metadata, this is a problem compounding exponentially every year.

So ask yourself: where’s this $2.5 billion going?

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