Subscription OTT Market to Grow 24% in 2018

Nearly 765 million people worldwide will use a subscription over-the-top (OTT) video service at least once per month this year, according to the latest forecast from eMarketer. This total will represent 10.2 percent of the global population and 32.1 percent of digital video viewers worldwide.

The firm expects the global subscription OTT market will grow by 24.0 percent thanks to increasing internet penetration, faster speeds and a broader shift toward online entertainment. The shift is fueled in part by streaming giants like Amazon and Netflix increasing their content spend outside the country in an effort to boost international membership. Netflix alone added 4.47 million subscribers internationally in Q2 of this year. The streaming giant has remarkable user penetration rate in countries including Norway (62 percent), Canada (56.3 percent), Denmark (54.9 percent), and Sweden (50.2 percent).

All around the world consumers are turning to OTT services as a cheaper alternative to traditional pay TV subscriptions. In the UK, for example, new data from media regulator Ofcom (per Variety) shows SVOD subscritions outnumbering those to traditional pay-TV for the first time.

read more here: thevideoink.com

YouTube Invests $25M Supporting News Orgs, helping Youtube

With authoritative news sources facing a crisis in the U.S. and digital competition bearing more than a little responsibility, YouTube announced it will spend $25 million to support news organizations and also take measures to combat the spread of fake news on its own platform.

The $25 million investment will help news organization around the globe adapt and profit from a video-centric world. A working group that includes Vox Media and India Today will help YouTube create new products for news organizations and improve the experience for viewers. YouTube will also provide direct funding in 20 markets to help news organizations create sustainable video operations in-house. These grants will help employees learn best practices for video, build up their production systems, and create formats that appeal to online video viewers. Finally, YouTube will provide support for news organizations through an expanded team of experts. This team will help news organization apply best practices and grow audience development initiatives.

Like Facebook, YouTube is owning up to its role in spreading fake news, and is taking steps to promote authoritative sources. Fake news creators take advantage of breaking news, for example, by creating sensationalist videos that rise to the top of searches before authoritative videos are available. Because reporters often publish articles before creating video reports, YouTube will offer short news previews on breaking news searches. These previews will link to full articles. Look for this to start in a few weeks. YouTube will also feature trusted news sources prominently on its homepage and in search results. It’s already begun featuring trusted local news sources in its TV app.

Combatting false information goes beyond the day’s news, which is why YouTube will include links to third parties such as Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia on topics often beset with conspiracy theories, such as the moon landing.

Viewers following an Encyclopaedia Britannica link will see the publication’s usual entry, as well as information prepared for them such as a quick summary of what is and isn’t known about the topic. The ideas is to engage the curious and give them context for creating informed opinions.

read more here: streamingmedia.com

Live TV no longer 1st viewing choice

According to findings from Decoding the Default, the annual study by Hub Entertainment Research which tracks the TV sources US consumers consider their go-to viewing platform, there is a continuing increase in multiple platform use and a steady move away from live TV as a default source.

Highlights from the study:

1) Multiple Platforms Proliferate: Consumers are using more sources for TV watching than ever before.

The average consumer has 4.5 different sources to choose from when they’re ready to watch TV, including linear TV, DVR, video on demand, Netflix, Hulu, etc. That number is up from 3.7 in 2014.

Among younger viewers age 18-34, the number of platforms is even higher (5.1 different sources).

As just one example, half (50 per cent) of 18-34 year-olds subscribe to two or more of the ‘big three’ SVoDs: Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.

2) First Choice No Longer: With multiple sources at their disposal, only 39 per cent of viewers now say live, linear TV from a traditional pay-TV service is what they turn on first.

That’s down 8 points from just last year, when 47 per cent called live TV their viewing default.

Consumers are now more likely to turn first to an on-demand, time-shifted source of TV, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, a DVR, or pay-TV video on demand (48 per cent combined).

3) Live TV Down in Core Demos: Consumers who consider live TV their default has dropped significantly across the board, even among older viewers.

The majority (56 per cent) of viewers 55 and over still default to watching live. But one year ago, it was two-thirds (66 per cent).

Among those 18-34, only about a quarter (26 per cent) say that live TV is their default. One year ago, it was more than one-third (35 per cent).

“We’ve been watching live TV drop steadily as a default source since we first conducted this study in 2013,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “But this is the first year where we’ve seen a sharp drop among older consumers too which has huge implications for the monetisation of linear TV in general. As online, on-demand platforms continue to become mainstream, live viewing has become the exception rather than the rule.”

read more here: advanced-television.com

Broadband Households Embrace Alternative Video Sources

According to the 360 Deep Dive: Alternative Content Consumption report, content such as livestreaming, user-generated content, short-form videos and web video series that are available via social networking, video-sharing or similar apps or sites is gaining traction.

For instance, nearly one-half of US broadband households watch user-generated content on a monthly basis, and more than 10% watch livestreamed content. Almost one-quarter of broadband households have posted videos to some type of content site or app within the last 30 days.

“Alternative video is an important part of the video landscape, and it competes with other video options for a share of consumer attention,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. “Approximately one-half of households with a TV watch video from YouTube and similar sites on their TV set. In fact, more households watch online video from an app such as YouTube than watch video from a TV channel app.”

Parks Associates data about alternative content consumption shows that adoption of pay-TV declines as the frequency of user-generated content consumption increases. This correlation poses a future threat to pay-TV providers, the report found, as younger respondents are far more likely to watch user-generated content, which could potentially impact their future pay-TV habits and perspectives.

“Younger consumers are far more likely to create their own content as well as watch user-generated content,” Sappington said. “For these viewers, the creation of content is as much a part of the entertainment experience as is watching video. Increasingly, traditional content producers and service providers are leveraging alternative content, in order to connect with audiences and draw viewers. Some are partnering with individual web celebrities and influencers who often have a disproportionately large influence on the user-generated side of the alternative content space.”

The research also found that, at present, only 7% of US broadband households watch sporting events via livestream. And, consumers who view user-generated content are much more likely than those who never watch it to have an OTT service.

read more here: rapidtvnews.com

Roku Lets Publishers Sell Inventory Using Its Audience Data

Roku released its Audience Marketplace on Tuesday, designed to let publishers use its first-party data based on how consumers interact with the OTT device.

The new marketplace allows publishers to match their audiences with Roku’s. The device’s first-party data also provides behavioral insights – such as what content Roku users search for or how much time they spend streaming content – that allow publishers to sell their inventory based on a deeper understanding of the consumer.

Turner, Fox and Viacom are the first publishers to sign on.

“Historically, we sold using show mix from an OTT perspective,” Noah Levine, SVP of advertising data and technology solutions at Fox, told reporters at a press briefing. “There have been challenges developing a sense of identity on OTT. The reason you need a source of identity is so you can activate data.”

While Roku’s marketplace isn’t a singular solution to the challenges of buying inventory on connected TV, Levine said it’s a step forward.

“What Roku has done here is probably one of the first steps needed to be able to do programmatic on connected TV in a meaningful way because, guess what, there’s no cookies on connected TV,” he told reporters.

Roku hopes the marketplace will ultimately serve its viewers, too. If publishers can run more relevant ads, the viewer is more likely to engage with them. Roku doesn’t sell all the inventory on its platform. Instead, advertisers can buy inventory from one of the company’s partners, such as Fox, Turner or Viacom. So it doesn’t hurt Roku now that it can monetize inventory it doesn’t itself sell.

Less waste is more engagement, or so the ancient marketing adage goes.

read more here: adexchanger.com

The Frenemy Report: 15 Minutes of Attention

HBO’s new management is making a splash, with John Stankey, an AT&T exec who now oversees HBO in his new role as chief executive of Warner Media, telling the team, “We need hours a day,” referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”

More and more publishers are heading OTT, with WIRED announcing a TV channel. It will be free and ad-supported … a model which could also apply to Amazon in the near future: UK job ad indicates Amazon wants to bring TV advertising and free TV channels to Prime. The living room increasingly makes sense for capturing the attention of elusive Millennials and Gen Zers– check out this VAB study which found on average, in any given minute, the ad-supported multi-screen TV 18-34 audience is six times larger than Facebook and over two times larger than YouTube in the summer months.

Why are we so concerned with the Frenemies, anyway? Maybe it’s because they (Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat) are feeding us “behavioral cocaine,” disguised as notifications, in a bid for our limited hours of attention.

Given all the trade-offs, I believe the most likely scenario in the near term is an increasing divergence of strategies between brands.

Brands and influencers are excited about the potential for longer-form videos that can tell stories to Instagram’s 1 billion users. But traditional Hollywood making content for IGTV? Don’t count on it, because there’s no way to monetize the pricey programming they might make for the new app, especially when so many other outlets are willing to pay.

YouTube said it provide funding in about 20 global markets to support news organizations in “building sustainable video operations.” The grants will let new orgs build out video capabilities, train staff on video best practices, and enhance production facilities. YouTube says it also will expands the team focused on supporting news publishers.

Philo will use funds raised from its Series C to invest in new product features and enhancements — including a “social media TV experience,” according to Deadline — as well as to expand its marketing efforts. Philo’s other existing investors include A+E Networks and Scripps Networks, who participated in a $25 million round last November. Per Crunchbase, Philo has raised roughly $107 million in venture funding to date.

Mr. Stankey described a future in which HBO would substantially increase its subscriber base and the number of hours that viewers spend watching its shows. To pull it off, the network will have to come up with more content, transforming itself from a boutique operation, with a focus on its signature Sunday night lineup, into something bigger and broader.

Brands are only a small portion of the entire universe of YouTube videos, according to analysis by Tubular Labs, which tracks 4 billion online videos. In part that’s because of the sheer overwhelming scale of YouTube, where around 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. It’s easy to feel lost there if you don’t have a smart video strategy to get your content seen.

read more here: tvrev.com

Wired Magazine Introduces New Streaming TV Channel

As the new month ushered in, Wired Magazine launched its first streaming TV channel. This is the publisher’s response to the over-the-top (OTT) video environments increasingly becoming the norm.

Starting July 1, viewers can access Wired’s streaming channel on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV. The service will also be available on Roku beginning next week.

Condé Nast, Wired’s parent organization, had the streaming video channel already as part of its agenda for this year. The TV channel is one of a series and Wired is the first one of them.

Kimberly Kelleher, Condé Nast’s brand executive for Pitchfork, Wired Media Group, Golf Digest and GQ, revealed that Condé Nast views online streaming as an opportunity to reach more audience.

She affirmed that the publishing company is mindful of the people’s increasing usage of connected TV devices. In addition, the company understands that consumers nowadays prefer the on-demand TV experience. So in response, it introduced streaming video channels.

Bon Appétit, the culinary magazine, and GQ, the men’s magazine published monthly, will also have their streaming TV channels slated to be launched in 2019.

Wired’s streaming TV channel includes the most popular shows and videos from the magazine’s website and YouTube channel. Among these shows are “Technique Critique,” “Almost Impossible,” and “Autocomplete Interviews.”

As the publication celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, more TV shows and licensed films are lined up for its streaming TV channel.

Small and middle-tier streaming TV channels struggle with viewers who refuse to give them the time of day. This is due to the reality of an ocean of channels diminishing their probability of getting noticed. Roku alone is reported to offer over 5,000 channels on a wide array of categories.

Nonetheless, Alan Wolk, TVRev’s chief analyst, pointed out that Wired has the advantage of being a “solid brand.” He explained that the publisher does not have to contend with the dilemma of discoverability.

Wired is “fortunate that it’s a big enough name,” Wolk affirmed.

Kelleher is assured that Wired will be able to attract a lot of audiences and loyalty. Wired’s YouTube page is a testament to its success, boasting over 688 million video views every year and over 2.3 million subscribers.

Kelleher added that Wired met the requirements of connected TV platforms: trusted and high-grade brands and content attracting more viewers and help to build their image. Hence, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and Roku, have all committed to advertising the streaming TV channel on their platforms.

read more here: digitaltvlife.com

Amazon Job Posting Hints at Ad-Supported TV Ambitions

Amazon has dropped a huge hint that it’s working on an ad-supported TV service, releasing a job posting looking for a ‘head of Prime Video channels, free to air TV and advertising TV partner channels’. The job description, spotted by Facebook’s director of gaming Damian Burns, gives us some initial clues of how an ad-supported TV service on Amazon might look.

The post describes one of the main responsibilities of the roles as developing Prime Video’s European strategy for free-to-air and advertising funded channels. It says whoever us hired will be required to work with broadcasters across Europe, translating their requirements into Amazon capabilities, and to act as an “internal champion” for free-to-air and ad funded content.

There are two possibilities for what exactly this could be referring to, but both would be a significant step into the video ad world for the e-commerce giant.

Amazon may be looking to develop an ad-supported, free-to-air version of Amazon Prime Video, with subscribers able to avoid the monthly subscription fee by watching ads instead. Currently, Prime Video only runs ads for other Amazon shows as pre-rolls or post-rolls, but the company runs targeted video ads elsewhere, meaning opening up ads on Prime Video to other brands shouldn’t be too difficult tech-wise.

Ad Age reported rumours that Amazon was developing this kind of service last November, though a company spokesman denied that this was the case.

Such a move would mark an acceleration of Amazon’s TV strategy, where premium content isn’t used primarily to make an Amazon Prime subscription (which includes free delivery and a variety of other benefits) more attractive to consumers.

Currently the vast majority of VOD services available through Amazon Prime Channels only offer ad-free, paid subscriptions, even when that service has a cheaper or free ad-supported subscription tier on its native platform. A few broadcasters have made live streams of their linear channels available through Prime Video in Europe, but these still come as part of paid memberships.

The introduction of free to air channels would suggest that at the very least some of these channels would be made available without paying an extra fee, and possibly without a Prime Video subscription too.

Regardless of the end product, it will be another big step into ad land for Amazon and in the UK market it will provide additional competition for the likes of Freeview, YouView and FreeSat, as well as to paid services like Sky and Virgin Media.

read more here: videoadnews.com

Facebook to stream live boxing

Golden Boy Promotions is launching a partnership with Facebook to bring live boxing and original programming to a global community of fans on the social media platform.

The first of five live fight nights on Facebook will debut on August 11th and will feature Jesus Rojas defending his WBA World Featherweight Title against Joseph “JoJo “Diaz Jr at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. The second live fight will feature light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera against a soon-to-be announced opponent on August 18th from the Sands Casino Resort in Pennsylvania.

“This game-changing deal for the sport of boxing places Golden Boy Promotions and its stable of fighters at the intersection of live sports mega-casting and ultimate fan engagement. Our team is now positioned to present world-class boxing from Silicon Valley, to Madison Avenue, to Hollywood and to the rest of the world. The reach of Facebook is just incredible, and our sponsorship conversations will truly resonate with brands across all categories,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

Golden Boy Media and Entertainment will serve as the production entity producing the live fights and original programming. De La Hoya will serve as Executive Producer and will invoke his extremely high standards across the board and push for entirely new approaches to presenting the sport to the Facebook audience. For example, the live broadcasts will incorporate the real-time fan interaction and engagement made possible by Facebook’s social video platform.

“We’re thrilled to team with Golden Boy Promotions to make Facebook a home for championship-calibre boxing this year,” said Devi Mahadevia, North America Live Sports Programming Lead at Facebook. “Through this unique partnership, a global community of sports fans will have free access to some of boxing’s most exciting live bouts and be able to interact with the action like never before.”

read more here: advanced-television.com

35% boost in video views driven by live sports, vMVPDs, connected TV

In the free white paper, The Secret Life of Streamers, Part II, nScreenMedia reported on the huge increase in live premium video viewing in the home. The paper also revealed that the connected TV had become the driving force in consumption of live video. According to the Q1 2018 Freewheel Video Monetization Report, these two trends are still very much in play.

Live views up 77%

Freewheel reports strong growth in premium video and ad views between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018. Video views increased 35%, and ad views grew by 34%. However, live views saw the greatest growth, increasing 77%, while full-episode and clip views grew 25% and 7% respectively.

Full episodes still draw the most ad views, 53%, but that is down from 60% one year earlier. Meanwhile, live ad view share grew from 24% to 35%. Clips ad view share declined over the same period, from 16% to 12%.

Sports dominate live streaming, with three-quarters of all live ad views coming in that content type. Entertainment delivers 16% and clips just 8%.

vMVPDs and live sports synergies

The occurrence of 3 major sporting events in the first quarter is responsible for the big increase in live consumption: Winter Olympics, Super Bowl LII, and NCAA March Madness. However, it is their wide availability online that is relatively new. Until recently, the major television networks carrying premium sports were only available through expensive pay TV subscriptions. In the last year, the emergence of vMVPDs such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now allow people to watch live sports online at a much lower price point.

There is evidence that sports are also driving growth in vMVPDs. App intelligence company Sensor Tower reports that first-time downloads of the top 5 vMVPD services increased 77% in the first week of the World Cup. Leading the pack is the sports-oriented FuboTV. Before the World Cup Sensor Tower estimated that the service average 38,000 downloads per week. In the first week of the tournament, downloads exploded to 309,000!

read more here: nscreenmedia.com