CNN launches daily show on Snapchat

CNN this week kicked off a new daily second-day news program on Snapchat.

“The Update” will air weekdays at 6 p.m. ET and will feature news and updates from CNN staff reporters.

“Since launching content on Snapchat, we have believed in the importance of giving our community access to accurate and authoritative news coverage, and CNN has played an important part in that from the beginning,” said Sean Mills, senior director of content programming for Snapchat, in a statement.

“In today’s news environment, people are hungry for news and they want a quick update of where things are at within one tap of their phone. So, we’re serving that up, speaking their language and delivering it in beautiful, vertical, mobile friendly video,” said Samantha Barry, executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN, in a statement.

CNN’s daily news show comes after NBC already earlier this year launched its own daily news program on the platform.

“Stay Tuned,” which airs on NBC at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST on weekdays and 1 p.m. EST on weekends, has already reportedly had success in attracting a large audience. The companies last week announced that the show has pulled in 29 million unique viewers since launching in July.

For NBC, the Snapchat show launch coincides with the company’s $500 million strategic investment in Snap.

NBCU CEO Steve Burke called the Snap investment part of the company’s strategy to invest in digital growth, which includes NBCU’s recent $400 million investment in BuzzFeed and $200 million investment in Vox.

read more here:
http://www.fiercecable.com/broadcasting/cnn-launches-daily-show-snapchat

Smart TV users watch 36% less than streaming box users

Most TVs shipped in the US are smart and increasing numbers of consumers are connecting them and using them to stream video. However, will they catch up to, and overhaul, the market leading streaming media players?

Smart TVs the norm when purchasing a new set

Smart TVs are now the default choice for consumers when purchasing a new set. 70% of all televisions shipped in North America in 2016 were smart. A third of total smart TV sales have gone to Samsung, with Vizio close behind with 30%. The rest of the market is divvied up between multiple manufacturers. LG secures the third spot with 10%, Sony is next with 7%.

Smart TV and streaming media player benefiting from OTT growth

Streaming media player (SMP) and enabled smart TV penetration has grown strongly over the last four years. In Q1 2014 just 10% of TV homes had a smart TV and 15% had a streaming media player. In Q1 2017, smart TVs have narrowed the gap on SMPs as penetration has grown to 29% and 31% respectively.

Both devices growth reflects how video streaming has moved into the mainstream. Between Q1 2014 and Q1 2017, Netflix U.S. streaming subscribers have grown from 36 million to 52 million. Moreover, services like Netflix put a strong emphasis on the television as the primary viewing platform. This trend seems likely to accelerate as consumers continue to move traditional television viewing to online platforms.

So, will smart TVs continue to catch up to, and overtake, SMPs as the preferred device for online streaming? Maybe not looking at usage data.

Smart TV usage is mixed

When it comes to usage smart TVs come with a natural advantage. When the TV is turned on many smart TVs start from the devices web portal. Moreover, many smart TVs make content and app suggestions in the opening screen. These advantages impact how often an owner uses that functionality. According to Nielsen, enabled smart TVs were used on 20.8 days between December 26th, 2016 and January 29th, 2017. Game consoles were used 15.3 days and SMPs 14.9 days.

When it comes to raw viewing hours the smart TV is well behind other devices. For example, game consoles are used for 4.4 hours per day, though that usage is likely dominated by gameplay rather than video viewing. On the other hand, SMPs are used for 3.6 hours per day with most of that usage dedicated to streaming. Enabled smart TVs are used for 2.3 hours, over an hour less than devices like Roku and Apple TV.

read more here:
http://www.nscreenmedia.com/smart-tv-watched-less-streaming-media-player/

How long will YouTube TV be priced at a loss?

YouTube TV reaches 50% of US population

YouTube TV announced it has launched in a further 14 markets, adding to the original five markets it previously supported. The new markets are Baltimore; Boston; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville-Brunswick, Fla.; Las Vegas; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; Pittsburgh; San Antonio; Seattle-Tacoma; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota; and West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla.

The company says it will launch in further 17 markets in the coming weeks. With a total of 36 major metropolitan markets covered, its reach will increase 64% of the population.


New broadcaster affiliate agreements benefit YouTube TV

YouTube TV’s progress is remarkable considering the company promised it would not launch in any market that it could not deliver the top four local broadcast channels. Previously, negotiating the appropriate licenses was a Herculean task.

A licensor would have to go market-by-market negotiating with each independent affiliate separately. Also, it would have to negotiate with big affiliate groups such as Sinclair Broadcasting and Hearst Television. Then it would have to further negotiate with the big four networks to get their owned-and-operated station.

However, YouTube is the beneficiary of a new approach by the broadcasters. ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC have reached an agreement with many of their affiliates to negotiate a deal on their behalf with licensors such as YouTube TV. Stations can opt-out of these agreements if they like, but looking at YouTube TV’s rapid progress, it appears most are choosing not to.

YouTube TV is certainly making a loss

YouTube TV channel bundle cost
The lowest cost of YouTube TV’s channel bundle
Being able to get the licensing done is one thing, but getting a good deal is quite another. The best license rate that YouTube TV could have expected to get from content providers is what traditional pay TV operators currently pay. Using estimates for those numbers, the 48 channels I receive from YouTube TV in San Francisco Bay Area would cost $34 a month.

However, YouTube is likely paying more than big operators like Comcast. Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, mentioned that the license fees he sees from vMVPDs like YouTube TV are slightly higher than for regular operators. How much more is anyone’s guess, but even a 5% premium means YouTube is paying more in license fees than it is receiving in subscriptions.

YouTube TV can probably sustain these losses while subscriber numbers remain low. However, if the service takes off, things could get very ugly for the service.

About the estimates

Many of the channel license fees I obtained from SNL Kagan estimates for 2014. I corrected these numbers by applying a 35% increase. ESPN license fees increased from $6.04 in 2014 to $7.86 this year, a 30% increase. Comcast content license fees increased 35% between Q2 2014 and Q2 2016, while Dish’ increased 80%.

I also consulted the site whatyoupayforsports.com for current estimates of the license fees paid for major sports channels. I also used other SNL Kagan estimates for retransmission fees paid to owned-and-operated and affiliates of the major four broadcasters. These numbers gave an average cost for the four broadcasters ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.

read more here:

http://www.nscreenmedia.com/youtube-tv-making-loss/

Just how bad will cord-cutting get?

Could be pretty bad, judging by the most recent figures gleaned from the pay-TV industry. In its latest “Cord-Cutting Monitor” report released last week, MoffettNathanson LLC calculated that traditional US pay-TV providers lost a whopping 941,000 subscribers in the second quarter, by far their worst quarterly showing ever. That’s up from the industry’s previous record loss of 809,000 subs in the first quarter and 709,000 in the same period a year ago.

As a result, the US cable, satellite and telecom industries have now lost more than a combined 1.7 million traditional pay-TV customers in just the first half of this year. Plus, the annual rate of subscriber losses for the industry accelerated to 2.7% in the spring quarter, up from 2.5% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the rival OTT skinny bundle providers, or virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), fared well, gaining an estimated 469,000 paying customers, or about 50% of the cord-cutters fleeing the legacy pay-TV bundles.

“Did things get worse in Q2?” asked Craig Moffett, principal analyst for MoffettNathanson, in his note to investors last week. “Yes, at least for the traditional distributors.”

With more OTT skinny bundle services hitting the video market in the US every season, the cord-cutting craze only promises to get worse, at least in the short term. Indeed, Moffett predicts that the annual cord-cutting rate will soon climb to around 3%, or over 2.7 million subscribers a year. And, as Moffett freely admits, that rate could well climb to 4%, 5% or even 6% per year in the future because the market is still so unsettled and unpredictable. “There is, unfortunately, no roadmap,” he notes.

And yet, even with all the unknowns in the market out there, there’s still hope that cord-cutting could abate at some point. For one thing, as bad as the second quarter numbers were, the quarterly rate of acceleration actually declined from the previous quarter. So, as Moffett puts it, things “got worse less slowly” in the spring despite some “worst-case scenario” market expectations that the cord-cutting rate might take off even more than it did.

Further, with such major TV programmers as Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) planning to flood the market with even more OTT networks and more skinny bundle services spreading their wings, the video market could easily end up glutted with too many viewing alternatives. That could lead to the weaker streaming services closing their doors, as we already started to see last week with NBC Universal shuttering its two-year-old comedy OTT network, Seeso. (See Disney Joins OTT Bandwagon and CBS Streaming Service to Expand Globally.)

Plus, with no vMVPD or single-network OTT service likely to be able to duplicate the variety and diversity of offerings that traditional pay-TV bundles deliver, there could easily be a backlash against these rival services as consumers realize they’re not getting everything they want. In turn, that could lead to a slow, gradual trickle of subscribers back to the much-derided “heavy” bundles that are shedding customers in bulk today.

read more here:

http://www.lightreading.com/video/ott/are-cord-cuttings-days-numbered/a/d-id/735406?

Ad Industry Unites for First European Viewability Standard

The European ad industry has published its first set of viewability principles as it works to create a standards framework that it hopes will become the benchmark online. The new European-wide framework aims to help reduce discrepancies, as currently different platforms and different agencies have their own standards.

The European Viewability Steering Group, set up by the IAB Europe, WFA and European Association of Communications Agencies, aims to provide a “quality benchmark” that should improve the accuracy and consistency of measuring viewable impressions. It is now looking for suitable auditors to ensure its principles are being met.

download your copy of new standards here

Verizon Ends Its YouTube Boycott

Verizon said Tuesday that it will resume buying video ads on YouTube after a five-month break that was triggered by concerns about the kinds of content appearing near its brand.

John Nitti, chief media officer at Verizon, says the company has hired Integral Ad Science, an outside ad analytics company, to verify both that it’s only paying for ads that have a sufficient chance to be seen and that those ads aren’t running near anything offensive, violent or otherwise unsuitable.

Verizon is still testing Integral Ad Science’s solution for YouTube, but expects to return its spending on the platform to normal if all goes well.

Third-party verification focused on viewability and brand safety are missing from both YouTube, which is owned by Google, and “other partners that have a large amount of user-generated content uploaded on a daily basis,” Nitti adds. (Update: Google points out that it has supported third-party viewability reporting on YouTube via companies such as Integral Ad Science, Moat and Double Verify since 2015.)

“This is an overall industry issue that Verizon is trying to address across the board, not just with Google and YouTube, but with all of our partners,” Nitti says. “The need to have consistency and measurement and for us to deploy the Verizon standard is pinnacle to get to the transparency that every marketer deserves.”

In addition to Verizon, major brands including AT&T, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson said they were freezing their ad spending on YouTube earlier this year after press reports about ads appearing next to content like ISIS videos.

read more here:

http://adage.com/article/digital/verizon-ends-youtube-boycott-brand-safety/310123/

Nielsen to Credit Video Views on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube

Broadening its visibility into the world of digital video and OTT distribution, Nielsen said it will begin crediting video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube.

That added capability, delivered via Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, will enable TV and digital publisher clients to capture viewing of their content within their reported audience numbers, Nielsen said, noting that this “consistent and transparent view ensures a level playing field” because it provides access to the same information across both publishers and platforms.
While enabled publisher clients will be able to receive credit for video offered on Facebook and YouTube in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, Hulu will be providing “select media partners” with credit for current series content that it distributes, Nielsen said.

That expansion follows Nielsen’s announcement last month that “eligible TV viewing” from YouTube TV and Hulu’s new live TV service would be included in its Digital in TV Ratings.

“The inclusion of video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings is a major accomplishment and part of our ongoing commitment to providing the industry with independent, comprehensive measurement of the evolving consumer landscape,” Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen, said in a statement. “Through capturing this audience, Nielsen is providing publishers, agencies and advertisers with a better picture of today’s media consumption, with comparable metrics.”

read more here:

http://www.multichannel.com/news/advanced-advertising/nielsen-credit-video-views-facebook-hulu-and-youtube/414612

Does Snapchat See A Google-Like Search Opportunity?

by Laurie Sullivan

Apparently search has become an underlying focus for Snapchat. Cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel, in his opening remarks during the Q2 2017 earnings call, mentioned the feature several times. When asked by an analyst to elaborate on search within Snapchat, Spiegel said it’s still early days with search on the platform as people learn they can search for stories and not just friends. He also noted that there are great opportunities to explore.

“The pre-type experience that we’ve [added] when you tap into search is a really important part of the learning process and I think we’re getting better at showing really interesting content depending on who you are,” Spiegel said.
Snapchat introduced Universal Search in January to simplify navigation within the app. The feature amounts to a search bar to help brands build an audience and quickly allow users to find the best content and conversations related to their specific preferences.

The company also has begun to focus on connecting and measuring the effectiveness of its online advertising with offline sales. It created an offline sales measurement systems with the acquisition of Placed in June. With Placed, the company’s goal is to measure activities such as store visits and offline purchases which prove that digital ads drive sales for advertisers.

As search becomes a visual medium with trillions of photos, it has become more important for social platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest to improve their respective search tools.
The ability to search for content within Snapchat could dramatically improve options for brands. Google reportedly will prove that theory with a tool it calls Stamp.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on Google’s development of an AMP-powered Snapchat-like “discovery tool” called Stamp, but we have yet to hear directly from the Mountain View, California, company as to whether the report will become a reality.

One of the main features, per reports, would be that it ties into Google’s search engine, giving publishers a built-in audience for Stamp stories. The Stamp versions of stories would serve in Google search results, or within other Google products.

Jason Beckerman, CEO and cofounder at Unified, which focuses on social advertising, says the only way for Google to increase market share from Facebook is to add social features that include video and images to the feed, much more than what YouTube can offer.

Beckerman, musing, points to Snapchat’s video ads served between social snapshots from users. “The ability to buy inventory within the feed is very attractive to brands,” he said.

read more here:

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/305665/does-snapchat-see-a-google-like-search-opportunity.html?edition=104655

US Market Ad Revenues Dip Amid Ongoing Concerns

National TV advertising revenues were down 1% in the second quarter — an improvement from the 3% decline in the first quarter. Yet challenges remain.

The estimates came from Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal Research Group, and were based on recent second-quarter earnings results from major media companies.

“The traditional medium is unlikely to return any time soon,” he writes in a recent note, estimating a drop of 1% to 2% for the remainder of 2017.

Although TV networks say there is “strong” pricing in scatter markets, near-term quarter-by-quarter buying of TV time proves “pricing does not necessarily reflect changes in demand.”

Scatter deals with higher pricing come mostly from scatter-only advertisers — which have higher cost bases — and can account for a higher percentage of spending. Changes in demand for TV ad inventory will not cause all advertisers to alter how they budget for the medium.

Wieser is critical of media companies that did not provide specific details about the health of the major TV advertisers. He said “many of the large advertisers that dominate TV are relatively weak at present — and not enough new advertisers are emerging to replace older ones.”

The largest marketers on television — about 200 — account for around 90% of national TV revenues and about 60% of all TV.

“They are losing market share to companies that are smaller and structurally better positioned to spend money on digital media rather than TV,” he adds.

Although there are opportunities for growth — when it comes to new TV metrics, 35 days of time-shifted viewing versus three or seven days — Wieser doesn’t believe this will have a strong impact on TV networks.

read more here:
https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/305612/national-tv-ad-revenues-dip-amid-ongoing-concerns.html

Facebook Launches Watch en here’s how you signup

Is Facebook TV? The social network introduced its Watch tab yesterday, along with its first pieces of original content. Watch is staring off with limited availability in the United States, and will be available on desktop, mobile, and TV devices. It will expand to more viewers in the coming weeks.

As Facebook relies more and more on video, the Watch tab gives members a dedicated place to find live and recorded content. Shows are episodic, and Watch has its own watchlist so people know what to view next.

Organised lists help the Watch tab feel social. Viewers will see groupings such as “Most Talked About” and “What’s Making People Laugh” that make viewing a community activity. They can see “What Friends Are Watching” for more personal recommendations. Viewers can also post comments and see those from other people.

Viewers can even get involved in shaping some of the programming. In “Returning the Favor,” for example, Mike Rowe helps out people who are helping their communities. Those people are nominated by the Facebook audience. Debut Watch content includes a science show from National Geographic, a kids’ cooking show from Tastemade, a show about celebrity moms from Time Inc, and live Friday night games from MLB. While Facebook funded its first shows with a select group of producers, it plans to open the area up to all creators in the future. The launch includes content from A&E, Hearst, Time Inc., and more.

Creators will be able to monetize their shows through ad breaks and brand sponsorships. Creators will keep 55 percent of ad revenue, while Facebook will take 45 percent. Anyone interested in creating a show is invited to drop Facebook a note.

read more here:

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/News/Online-Video-News/Facebook-Launches-Watch-Tab-and-Original-Shows-to-Select-Users-119823.aspx