As Video Evolves, Media Companies Scramble to Adapt

TEN, Condé Nast Entertainment and Time Inc. rethink format and distribution strategies.

Pardon the pun, but video is a medium that keeps on moving. It’s not only the channel with the highest audience growth for magazine media brands (up 44% in unique viewers YoY, per the February 2017 Magazine Media 360º Brand Audience Report) but its formats remain in flux. In the last year, we’ve seen the impulsive Facebook fall in (and sometimes out) of love with distributed video clips, live streaming and now long-form media with ad inserts 20-seconds into play. Meanwhile, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have gone all in on their own streaming formats. On connected TV sets, OTT has been the growth catalyst for lean-back viewing as prime-time viewing shrinks. But how are well-established magazine branded video programs maintaining business and editorial strategies as many of the major distribution points morph at will? To find out we checked in with TEN: The Enthusiast Network, Condé Nast Entertainment and Time Inc.’s People Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) to learn how they’re adjusting and maintaining focus on growth in the face of relentless change.

While most players followed Facebook’s ambition for live video early in the year; TEN, PEN and CNE look at their video strategy holistically. “The real question is whether we can justify the investment and satisfy user experience while making it a business,” says Scott Bailey, president, automotive division at TEN. Across its auto properties, TEN launches north of 45 live programs (more than 1,000 minutes) each month. While it was fueled initially by Facebook’s seed funding, Bailey is exploring revenue models for the format. “It’s changed how we go to market,” he says. In addition to long-standing auto event coverage and new car unveils, the live push has inspired content innovation, like renovating a Chevy live on air over the duration of a week.

While TEN often spiffs up the raw live content in postproduction to create new franchises, Bailey notes a certain economy to it all, in that users don’t expect the same fit and finish from live feeds. “When there’s a two-person production team with an Osmo camera you can produce live video.” And yet these broadcasts can now be amortized across Facebook, YouTube and TEN’s O&Os site, as well as its paid Motor Trend On Demand network. Facebook has moved from testing to deploying ad inserts.

Conversely, PEN’s overall strategy remains focused on its cross-platform video-on-demand site, mobile, as well as OTT apps, which just celebrated one million downloads. The full content for its programming resides solely within PEN, but lighter clips and teasers get widely distributed across the social video ecosystem. Red carpet events and TV episode recaps have been effective real-time streams. And while the emphasis has been less about live feeds, now even OTT platform partners Apple and Roku are “very interested in live programming,” says Susanne Mei, general manager, PEN. Yet, the PEN apps have proven video doesn’t have to be live to feel live. The basic design of the app drops people into a linear playback experience from which they can opt into on-demand choices. “We have seen a lot of linear usage,” Mei says. People often want to lean back and “not be confronted with not knowing what to watch.”

Playing the Quality Card

More polished, longer and linear experiences may eventually trump the live streaming fetish of early 2016. “The jury is out on whether these lower production value live streams are really resonating with audiences,” says CNE General Manager Joy Marcus. The format can be very compelling when live events are well suited for social activation—like commenting on fashion on the red carpet. CNE created a live studio on budget, she says, and the company learned a lot from being one of Facebook’s top paid partners on live. But Marcus wants to keep CNE’s focus on whether these opportunities really add up to a good user experience rather than just feeding the live beast. “I think this incarnation of live as low-res, turning on the camera and talking, might not be its final incarnation,” she says.

read more here:

http://www.minonline.com/as-video-evolves-media-companies-scramble-to-adapt/

99% of Young Adults Multitask While Viewing

Americans are streaming a lot of TV, but how much of it are they really seeing? According to the 11th edition of the Deloitte Digital Democracy Survey, 73 percent of American consumers binge watch TV shows. Young adults are the strongest bingers, averaging six episodes and five hours per viewing session. They’re not simply glued to the screen during that couch time: 99 percent of millennials and generation Z viewers are multitasking by texting, browsing, using social networks, reading emails, and shopping online. How they can follow the twists of complex streaming series is a mystery.

In the latest high water mark for streaming services, Deloitte finds that 49 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to a paid OTT service, while 74 percent subscribe to pay TV. For younger adults, nearly 60 percent subscribe to a paid streaming service. However, viewers spend 40 percent of their time streaming from free services and 35 percent of their time streaming from paid services.

The hardware used for streaming video varies by age: Millennial and generation Z viewers spend roughly half their viewing time watching on something other than a TV. Generation X spends 60 percent of their viewing time with a TV and baby boomers spend over 80 percent.

The reason pay TV subscription rates are as high as they are is largely due to bundled offerings. Deloitte finds 66 percent of pay TV subscribers keep their service because it’s bundled with internet and they’d pay more without it.

read more here:

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/News/Online-Video-News/73-Binge-Watch-99-of-Young-Adults-Multitask-While-Viewing-117132.aspx?CategoryID=430

Roku Moves From Audience Measurement To Demographic Guarantees

Two years after Roku starting working with Nielsen on audience measurement it’s become the first OTT platform to offer demographic guarantees based on Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings. “It’s a huge mile marker for our industry,” Jim Lombard, Head of Advertising Sales, says in this interview today with Beet.TV during a break at the 2017 Transformation conference of the 4A’s.

The advancement of Roku’s video ad platform capabilities helps advertisers reach audiences on its 300-plus channels that are drifting away from linear television while using detailed demographic metrics comparable to linear TV. “It allows for advertisers to transact the same way as they would with measurements in the linear space in the OTT space,” says Lombard.

Two years ago, Roku announced that it was working with Nielsen on audience measurement deals. The next logical step was audience guarantees, particularly since they are becoming more popular with linear TV buys.

“Essentially, what we’ve done is Roku registration data is matched with a third-party vendor,” Lombard explains. “The metadata is passed through in the ad call, and then Nielsen uses their measurement tool to be able to verify age and demo against that ad call.”

One of the ways Roku has differentiated itself is that its technology enables its channel partners to do targeting, measurement and interactivity. The company also has its own sales team that sells and monetizes inventory across more than 300 channels.

It’s also the only platform that has both comScore and Nielsen, according to Lombard.

read more here:

https://www.beet.tv/2017/04/jim-lombard.html

Will Snapchat’s Data Play Fend Off Competition?

Wall Street investors seem undecided about whether Snapchat is indeed the wave of the future or just a flash in the pan.

But one month after its IPO, the messaging app’s execs are doggedly focused on broadening Snapchat’s appeal to brands—notably direct response-minded companies.

“Snapchat has a perfect opportunity to become a direct response powerhouse, especially for location-based marketing to millennials,” said David Deal, digital marketing consultant. “Though Snapchat needs to mine data about millennials more effectively to beat Facebook and Instagram.”

To that end, effective April 3, millennial marketers will be able to zero in on Snapchat users who are most likely to download their brand’s app, targeting slivers or swaths of the platform’s 160 million users who have shown interest in either the brand or the functionality it’s offering. These app-install ads allow the marketer to set cost-per-download goals in a measure that’s designed to get app marketers of all budgets into Snapchat’s business client pool.

Snapchat, part of Snap Inc., has ramped up its machine-learning and audience-segmenting capabilities for app installs since its beta product went live in October—to date, it had offered only rudimentary targeting tools to a select number of brands. The new system charges ad buyers on a cost-per-thousand-impressions scale that’s based on auction-style, competitive bidding. “[It’s a] cost-efficient way to drive app installs right from Snapchat,” explained Peter Sellis, Snap’s director of monetization product.

Also today, brands can serve follow-up ads (re-marketing, in industry parlance) to those who have interacted with Snapchat’s sponsored lenses, geofilters or videos. Such behavioral data can be employed to reel in everything from a fitness app download, to a test-drive appointment for an automaker to a shoe purchase via ecommerce. The company believes advertisers will want to take aim at consumers in what direct response practitioners call the “consideration stage.”

“We’ve been listening closely to direct response advertisers,” Sellis revealed.

He’s listening for good reason: eMarketer’s latest figures for 2016 had the U.S. app-install advertising space valued at $5.7 billion. Facebook has reportedly, at times, seen up to 20 percent of its ad revenue, which totaled nearly $26.9 billion last year, from app installs. Google is increasingly a huge app-install contender, and Pinterest just last week rolled out its own app-install ads system. So, Snapchat’s competition is fierce.

“Right now, Snapchat doesn’t move users outside its own environment, so we would expect a longer time for user behavior to adapt,” remarked Emmy Spahr, media director at SapientRazorfish. “Pinterest, on the other hand, actively works across other websites and shopping experiences, so users are already engaging with the platform and websites—adding app downloads here would be seen as a value add.”

read more here:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/will-snapchats-data-play-help-fend-off-competition-from-facebook-and-instagram/

Prime-time is still king, however you watch

It’s becoming increasingly clear that, despite the fact we can watch anytime, we continue to gravitate to traditional prime-time hours. And that is regardless of the device we are using.

Data from comScore shows that however we watch video, the most frequent time for viewing is between 8 and 11PM each night. Television, of course, has lived by primetime for decades. However, it looks like the DVR was made for it. In the peak viewing hour, 9 to 10PM, 17% of household DVR viewing takes place. Both television and online viewing see a much smaller peak, about 8%, occurring in that hour.

The BBC confirms that the peak of on-demand viewing occurs at almost the same time as regular television viewing. At 9PM, TV viewing peaks with 27 million viewers. The peak in iPlayer usage occurred slightly earlier in February 2017. There were 763,000 iPlayer TV requests about an hour earlier than the TV. Unlike TV viewing, however, the peak in iPlayer requests is sustained much longer, through until about 10PM.

Incidentally, the BBC points out that the Internet peak, which includes all consumer usage, not just video, occurs at 4PM.

Viewing peaks at primetime through all devices

In the recent free nScreenMedia white paper The Secret Life of Streamers, new Conviva data reveals that primetime is peak viewing time regardless of the screen used. The two biggest screens, the connected TV and the PC, show the biggest peaks at 9PM each night. During that hour, connected TV video plays are 2.7 times higher than in the average hour. PC video plays are 1.7 times bigger than average hour plays.

The tablet and smartphone peaks are twice the average hour plays for each device.

This data reflects the very different usage patterns for each of the connected devices. The connected TV is a favored device for consumers to turn to when they want to enjoy their favorite shows on SVOD. For example, Netflix reports most of its viewing is on connected TVs. Whereas, the smartphone is used more consistently throughout day. When it comes to nighttime viewing, consumers turn to the biggest screen at their disposal to watch high value content.

One interesting thing to note about the PC is the peak in viewing that occurs around noon each day. This may suggest that a favorite lunchtime activity at work is catching up with a favorite show, or the latest YouTube video.

On-demand viewing, bigger screens preferred for prime-time

This data suggests two things:

On-demand platforms support and enhance the viewers desire to watch during prime-time
Viewers continue to gravitate to the biggest screen available between 8-11PM.

read more here:

http://www.nscreenmedia.com/prime-time-still-king-however-watch/

Ad Revenue Growth Predicted To Rise 3.7% In 2017

Global ad growth will slow in 2017 to 3.7%, with total advertising revenues reaching $511 billion, according to Interpublic Group’s Magna.
By comparison, Magna estimates that 2016 ad revenue grew at a stronger 5.7% pace, reaching $493 billion. Magna states the slower rate of growth is attributable to lack of cyclical events such as the Olympics and major political campaigns that added $3.5 billion in incremental ad spend last year.

Advertisers are reallocating their budgets. Digital-based ad sales will grow double-digits to become the top media category in 2017, Magna asserted, surpassing linear TV ad sales for the first time ($70 billion vs. $67 billion for national and local).

2016 was the first year when digital ad sales finally surpassed total linear television.

This shift took place years ago in many other countries analyzed by Magna — such as 10 years ago in the UK and two years ago in China. The fact it happened in 2016 in the U.S. is a testimony to the strength and resilience of television in America: “linear TV is losing viewers but remains attractive enough to national advertisers that they are — so far — willing to tolerate high CPM inflation to try and maintain their investment in the medium,” says the report.

Digital-based ad sales are approaching 40% of total sales in 2017 and projected to reach 50% by 2021. Magna found social and search captured the bulk (95%) of digital dollar growth in 2016: $10.5 billion out of $11 billion total net growth.

Social video was one of the key drivers in 2016, and this will continue in 2017 with the main social media networks competing to offer ever more video content to their users, including some premium content through partnerships with television and major sports leagues.

This will allow social media vendors — Facebook, Snap, Twitter — to offer new innovative video ad formats to advertisers, such as ads in live social streams, like the Facebook Video app on OTT. Driven by this continued video push, Magna expects social video ad sales to double again in 2017 to reach more than $4 billion dollars, or a third of total U.S. digital video ad sales, and 20% of total social media ad sales.

“While total marketing budgets are flat, the main driver of advertising growth at the moment is below-the-line direct marketing budgets (e.g. direct mail) being re-allocated towards Search and Social by big and small businesses,” stated Vincent Létang, EVP global market intelligence, Magna. “Most of the net advertising dollar growth will be taken from traditional direct marketing budgets rather than new marketing spend.”

U.S. advertising sales grew by nearly 6.6% this year to $180 billion, which Magna asserted was the strongest growth in six years, and it’s a new all-time high for U.S. ad dollars.

read more here:

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/298217/ad-revenue-growth-predicted-to-rise-37-in-2017.html?edition=101838

Google Warns YouTube Creators: Ad Revenue May Fluctuate

As you know, Google promised to make ad controls for advertisers as advertisers continue to leave Google over the controversy around their ads being shown on hateful, offensive and derogatory content sites and YouTube videos.

So the next step, Google announced yesterday that changes are happening now with YouTube Creators.

Marissa, a YouTube Community Manager, said in the YouTube Help forums that over the next few weeks, YouTube creators may see “fluctuations in your revenue.” Why? She said it is because Google is “fine tuning” their “ads systems to address these concerns.” “While this can be unsettling, we’re working as fast we can to improve our systems so that advertisers feel more confident in our platform and revenue continues to flow to creators over the long term.,” she added.

She did give some advice to these YouTube Creators:

If you are monetizing your videos and seeing a drop in revenue from videos that are being monetized, review your videos’ thumbnails, titles and descriptions to ensure they accurately represent the content in your video and are aligned with the advertiser friendly content guidelines.

If you think your video was demonetized in error, request an appeal by clicking on the yellow $ icon next to the video in Video Manager. You will be notified once a decision is made on the appeal, and if it is successful, your video will immediately be monetized again and have a green $ icon. In light of these changes, we’re pledging to make the reviews process around appeals even faster for creators. You can learn more about how to request an appeal here.
So YouTubers, get ready!

GroupM Partners with OpenSlate to Mitigate YouTube Brand Safety Risks

GroupM, the media investment management unit of WPP, announced it is partnering with OpenSlate, a YouTube analytics platform, to enhance brand safety on their YouTube media buys. The move follows the recent controversy over brand safety on YouTube, which started with an article on The Times that showed how the ads of various brands were be run against content featuring ISIS and far-right propaganda. The issue has since snowballed into an advertiser boycott of YouTube featuring everyone from Verizon and Johnson & Johnson right through to Walmart, PepsiCo. and HSBC.

OpenSlate is a social video analytics company that maintains data about all ad-supported content on YouTube, which enables them to score YouTube content for quality and brand safety, whilst also providing additional contextual insights. The company will provide clients of GroupM’s agencies additional controls and content safeguards to support their YouTube media buys.

OpenSlate say that their solution will enhance brand safety in both reservation media, including Google Preferred, and in auction-based inventory bought through AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager. Using independent data from OpenSlate, GroupM clients will be able to better define the type of content that should be excluded from their YouTube media buys. Finally, OpenSlate will also provide clients with contextual reporting that highlights exactly where their campaigns run.

“Long gone are the days when advertisers could simply rely on reaching audiences in carefully curated programming environments. Most brands today have scaled their advertising on digital platforms like YouTube, where most content is user-generated, but their needs for mature and safe ad products and environments persist.” said Susan Schiekofer, chief digital investment officer, GroupM North America. “Although it is not possible to eliminate all risks in user-generated media, our clients’ hard-won brand reputations must be protected with the best efforts possible. We appreciate that Google is enabling our work with OpenSlate to provide our clients with better brand safety controls, and we believe it’s essential that all digital platforms carrying ad-supported user-generated content do the same.”

read more here:
http://www.videoadnews.com/2017/03/29/groupm-partners-with-openslate-to-mitigate-youtube-brand-safety-risks/

The Guardian is Suing Rubicon Project

The Guardian is to sue Rubicon Project, a sell-side ad technology company, for failing to disclose fees they charged advertisers. The disputed figure is believed to be in the single digital millions according to Business Insider, but Rubicon Project insist that it made not attempt to conceal the charges. In a statement provided to VAN the company said, “We charge buyer fees for certain services we provide and have disclosed that fact publicly, including in our SEC filings, and in client contracts, including a contract we signed with Guardian over a year ago. We split our fees between sellers and buyers, reflecting the value we provide to both.”

The statement continued, “Our marketplace fees on transactions support the considerable and compounding costs of performing an open auction – including our extensive brand protection and inventory quality screening, and malware protection. As we add new buyers and sellers onto the platform, the resulting impact is compounding infrastructure costs. Without buyer fees we would need to charge sellers more, and we think our approach is fair.

“Rubicon Project connects more than 500,000 advertisers, hundreds of DSPs, more than 1 million websites and 20,000 mobile applications. We believe that the aggregate fees we charge represent the value for our services and are in line with industry practice. The Guardian’s claims amount to a contract dispute, which we will vigorously contest in court.”

As Mediatel reported last year, The Guardian discovered that on some occasions it was only receiving 30 pence out of every pound spent on media as various intermediaries took a slice of the spend.

read more here:

http://www.videoadnews.com/2017/03/28/the-guardian-is-suing-rubicon-project-for-allegedly-failing-to-disclose-buy-side-fees/

Telstra Joins YouTube Advertising Boycott

Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra have joined ranks with companies across the world by dropping advertising on YouTube in response to an investigation by The Times last week, which found that ads from the BBC, the UK government and UK retailer Argos were appearing alongside extremist and offensive content.

The telecommunications giant says it is working with Google to ensure its strict advertising guidelines were upheld, but in the meantime has suspended its ads from the video platform.

“We have made the decision to pause our advertising on YouTube until we are satisfied there is an appropriate level of protection for our brand,” a Telstra spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Bunnings, Foxtel and Caltex have also suspended their ads.

It’s been estimated by analysts that the global backlash could cost Google $750 million in ad-spend.

Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said in a blog post last week that the company would make changes to improve ad placement.

read more here:
http://www.channelnews.com.au/telstra-joins-youtube-advertising-boycott/