Tag Archives: content

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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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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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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NBC creates pop-up websites to try out content

NBC News wanted to mix up its news coverage to include more “near news”: content someone reads after they get their fix of breaking news and politics – or as a relief from it.

Two pop-up sites, future-oriented “Mach” and self-improvement site “Better,”officially launched May 31 with a fresh web design to test the content and ad experience with NBC News’ audiences.

NBC News’ strategy to create content aligned with passion has been popular among publishers lately. HuffPost created content for introverts, for example, and distributed to its social followers. Mic launched nine new content channels in March tailored to micro-interests.

“Publishers have an opportunity to tap into passion points with content that small sections of a broader audience can attach themselves to from an identity and interest perspective,” said NBC News executive editor Ashley Parrish. “Writing about tech and innovation as a siloed vertical allows us the resources build out a separate team and for editors to hone in on topics.”

NBC News chose to create content around technology and wellness because those areas historically performed well with its audience. Readers trusted NBC News to report on those topics, Parrish said. Mach started out as a subsection on the NBC News website in November, and Better joined in March, before getting a completely new look last week.

Since the beginning of the year, traffic on Mach grew 100%, making it the fastest-growing section across all of NBC News. Better, which started creating content in March, has grown 60% since launch.

After making the sites look as clean as possible within the existing design, NBC News product head Moritz Gimbel created a new design for the sites. To speed up the process,the internal team collaborated with outside agency Code & Theory.

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YouTube clarifying video ad guidelines for content

Amid blowback from marketers upset about ads being placed on videos deemed inappropriate, YouTube is now taking steps to help creators better understand video ad guidelines for content.

For starters, YouTube has updated is advertising-friendly guidelines for its creator community.

“While it’s not possible for us to cover every video scenario, we hope this additional information will provide you with more insight into the types of content that brands have told us they don’t want to advertise against and help you to make more informed content decisions. We know our systems aren’t perfect and we’re also working to further improve your ability to appeal impacted videos,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Among the types of content listed as not eligible for advertising are controversial issues and sensitive events; drugs and dangerous products or substances; harmful or dangerous acts; sexually suggestive content; and violence.

Newly add content types include hateful content; inappropriate language; incendiary or demeaning content; and inappropriate use of family entertainment characters, which specifically states that those characters cannot be depicted engaging in “violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, even if done for comedic or satirical purposes.”

YouTube also announced the launch of the Creator Academy, which is geared toward helping creators make their content appealing for a broad range of advertisers.

“We hope these new policies and guidelines provide additional information you can use to make the right decisions for your content,” the company wrote. “Thank you for being patient with us as we work to improve the ecosystem for creators, advertisers and users.”

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Global Media Consumer Spending Up 7.2%

Worldwide consumer spending on media content and technology is growing at a faster pace than global inflation and consumer price index rates. PQ Media says there was a 7.2% gain in global average media consumer spending to $299.97 in 2016. Growth drivers include growing demand for digital media content and lower price hikes for new mobile devices.

In fact, digital media content and tech comprised nearly 70% of overall global consumer spending on all media content and tech (traditional and digital) in 2016, the researcher found.

Global inflation has been around 2.8%, according to a recent estimate from Yardeni Research — with the consumer price index up 4.1% for “emerging” economies and up 1.8% for “advanced” economies.

The highest spending was in the U.S., where consumers spent an average of $1,289 in 2016 on all media and technology — a 5.8% gain over 2015.

Average U.S. digital media and technology consumer spending grew 11.1% to $754.42, while traditional media spending was slightly up 0.9% to $534.11.

The lowest-spending country globally among top 20 markets was India, where consumers spent $54 per person.

Global consumer spending on digital media content and technology is rising much faster than with traditional media content and technology. Digital media spending grew 12.2% to $1.05 trillion in 2016, with traditional media content/technology up only 1.6% to $593.19 billion.

Facebook recruits its top publishers for exclusive shows

The social media giant has signed deals with Condé Nast, Mashable and Refinery29 to produce original and exclusive video shows, according to sources. These companies join a list that includes BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Attn and Group Nine Media, according to a Reuters report from yesterday. If this list reads familiar, it’s because many of these companies are also being paid by Facebook to produce live and on-demand video for the news feed every month.

“This is their attempt to turn their video tab into a YouTube-like experience,” said a source.

Since the end of last year, Facebook has been on the hunt for entertainment content, which it would fund and distribute on a redesigned video tab on its mobile app. Facebook is looking at funding shows in two tiers: original shows, which it calls “hero” units, which would be 20- to 30-minute scripted and unscripted shows that Facebook would fully own; and “spotlight” shows, which would be shorter, four- to 10-minute formats, but not owned by Facebook.

Facebook is also looking at six broad genres, including science, sports, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming and teens. (One thing Facebook is not focused on is hard news programming, which has rubbed some news publishers the wrong way.) Budgets for Facebook originals are in the $250,000-per-episode range, which puts them in the low-end cable TV range, sources said. On the other hand, budgets for spotlight shows sit between $10,000 and $40,000 per episode, sources said.

Most of Facebook’s deals for video shows are within the spotlight program. The partner companies have sold multiple shows to Facebook for spotlight, which will retain exclusivity on those shows for only a certain period of time. According to sources, spotlight shows are exclusive to Facebook for seven days, after which the content owner is free to distribute it on their own sites and apps. Two weeks after the Facebook premiere, spotlight shows can go to YouTube and other social platforms, sources said.

This is different from Facebook originals (the “hero” units), which would be fully owned by Facebook. For the originals, Facebook is in talks with and is buying shows from bigger TV production companies and networks, as well as some of the top digital publishers on its platform, sources said. The number of Facebook originals will be fewer than the number of spotlight shows.

One important distinction for spotlight shows is that Facebook is basically funding the cost to produce the content, sources said. After Facebook has recouped the cost by running mid-rolls during the episodes, the company will split any additional ad revenue with the content owners. Like YouTube, Facebook will take a 45 percent cut.

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