Amazon Fire TV tops 30 million active users

Amazon’s Fire TV may be moving into the lead among video streaming devices, with its lineup of products attracting “well over” 30 million active users, the company said Wednesday at CES. 

That’s up from the 25 million Amazon disclosed in October, suggesting growth of 5 million new accounts in three months. And Amazon expects the number to grow soon, too. 

“We’re still in the middle of the ‘buy’ to ‘turn on’ period” from the holiday shopping season, Amazon’s head of Fire TV, Marc Whitten, said in an interview with CNET on Wednesday at CES. 

The 30 million figure seems to put Fire TV ahead of Roku, widely considered one of the most popular streaming-video products. Earlier this week, Roku estimated it had 27 million active users. The company said it defines an active account as one that has streamed content in the last 30 days; a single account may include streaming on multiple devices with multiple individuals in the household. Roku declined to comment on Amazon’s announcement.

Amazon didn’t characterize its definition of a monthly active user. The company has Fire devices that work in more than 80 countries, according to its support page. Roku operates in 23 countries.

The market for video streaming devices is exploding. The number of households with a streaming player has quadrupled in the last five years, according to Parks Associates, and Roku and Amazon have been competing for market share since Amazon launched the Fire TV line in 2014. 

Whitten plans to grow the Fire TV business this year by expanding Amazon’s international partnerships, though he avoided offering any specifics about those efforts. Whitten added that the company has been “very happy” with sales of Fire TV Edition smart TVs, which are sets that have Fire TV built into them.

As an example of a recent partnership, Amazon signed a deal last April with Best Buy to bring a new lineup of Fire TV Edition sets to customers in the US and Canada. 

“Smart TV powered by Fire TV Edition, we think, is a great experience, and we want to build more of them,” Whitten said.

read more here: cnet.com

Linear TV Is Still the Advertising King But its Days Are Numbered

Linear TV is still the biggest ad category, but digital video and mobile are making inroads. Advertising research company Warc took a look at 12 major markets, and found most ad spend went to display ads (which here includes TV, radio, mobile devices, out of home, and some online formats) and that linear TV was the biggest chunk of that spend.

Linear TV

Looking at 12 major markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.), all display ad platforms took in $140 billion in 2018, and of that linear TV took 41.9 percent. That’s a 1.0 percent year-over-year (YOY) improvement. The next biggest area was mobile devices.

Taking a step back, the data shows linear’s share has been declining for years, while mobile is improving. In fact, mobile has risen 16.6 percentage points since 2009.

One curious finding is that even though linear attracts fewer eyes every year, advertisers still flock to it. It offers unparalleled reach for top-of-funnel marketing campaigns, and nothing else can match it. Daily viewing time for linear averages 1 hour 54 minutes, which fell by 4 minutes this year.

When it surveyed brands about their plans for 2019, Warc learned that 32 percent planned to spend less on TV next year. Also, 18 percent will increase spending and 49 percent will maintain their current spend.

Addressable online video ads will certainly take a growing share of spending from linear, but Warc notes that the are has its own hurdles. In the U.S., consumers don’t like giving up their data to marketers and often see targeted ads as creepy: 61.5 percent in the U.S. don’t want to trade their personal data for more relevant ads.

“We believe TV spend will dip 1.5 percent in our 12 key markets next year, to $138 billion,” says James McDonald, data editor at Warc. This will largely be due to an expected 4.6 percent fall in the U.S. (to $61 billion). Addressable TV still has a long way to go to make up the expected shortfall in linear investment, but recent developments, such as AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and AppNexus, could instigate a new arms race in the industry.”

read more here: onlinevideo.net

Break Down the Silos of TV and Online Video

There was a time when TV advertising was king, and the only question left after locking in the creative was how much to allocate to cable vs. broadcast. But today, because viewers have more content options than ever, there has been a decrease in linear TV consumption that has created a scale problem for advertisers trying to reach their target audiences. As Deloitte Global projects, viewing of traditional TV content will decline by 5%-15% per year through 2023.

Many advertisers flocked to online video to reach these consumers, leveraging the more granular targeting and measurement capabilities digital advertising offers. But that presented its own challenges, as the increased investment in OLV (online video) resulted in increased fraud, brand safety, and viewability issues.

 This does not mean that the death knell has been rung for television or online video. The sight, sound, and motion of television creates a powerful branding experience that cannot be replicated with a digital display ad. That said, the targeting and measurement capabilities in OLV increase the effectiveness and accountability of advertising. The answer is not to choose one or the other; it’s combining the best capabilities of both TV and OLV into one holistic approach. 

Unfortunately, the tactic most marketers have adopted – simply shifting money from TV to digital – does not create a holistic video strategy. For one, heavy TV viewers are heavy online consumers, so unless you have a sophisticated cross-channel audience extension strategy, you are not truly extending your TV reach with OLV. Additionally, the consumer experience is not the same; TV ads are viewed on a big screen adjacent to professionally produced content, an ideal environment for a marketer’s branding message. Countless studies have shown that simply shifting that message to a small screen adjacent to a news feed or UGC does not produce the same effect on the upper funnel metrics so important to TV advertisers. 

So while the right strategy might seem simple and intuitive (first identify those consumers not exposed to your TV advertising and second, find them in TV like experiences) the constellation of vendors offering such services has made it challenging at best to execute. This fragmented market has largely been bi-furcated between data companies that can identify a consumer across channels (TV and Digital) and OTT content companies that have the quality video inventory available to actually reach them. 

On the data front, there are over a dozen companies in the market today offering ACR solutions to identify unique consumers across TV and Digital all with varying degrees of scale and efficacy, not to mention marketing materials that seemingly contradict one another. Furthermore, few of these companies have access to scaled unique video inventory so once you identify a consumer that has not been exposed to your TV ad, your options are limited for actually finding them in a quality TV-like environment. 

On the quality video side of the equation, advertisers have had to stitch together a hodgepodge of CTV, OTT, and FEP providers to reach people in TV-like environments. Historically, the scale and varying degrees of access to these sources made them challenging to utilize as part of a holistic video strategy.  

read more here: econtentmag.com

Data: Love Island ‘most engaging TV content’

New data published by connected intelligence specialist Kantar Media shows that reality television has driven the highest level of social media engagement over the course of the past year, closely followed by current affairs programmes.

Kantar Media measured engagement amongst UK viewers between December 1st 2017 and  November 30th 2018. The insight is taken from Kantar Social TV Ratings, which was launched in 2014 as the official metric for understanding, analysing and benchmarking the impact of social media on TV viewing habits.

Over the 12-month period studied, there was a total of 75 million Tweets, resulting in an enormous 28 billion overall impressions. Entertainment programmes are the most tweeted about on the whole, attracting 32 million Tweets during the period, followed by drama (20m) and current affairs (13m).

Despite the nation’s interest in live programmes, the data also suggests that viewers have been making increasing use of streaming services and on-demand viewing opportunities. Three-quarters of all TV-related Twitter activity during the year-long period occurred outside of broadcast windows, amounting to 17 billion impressions and 99 million likes.

The Love Island appeal

Kantar Media’s data reveals that Love Island was the most talked about television series on Twitter in 2018, with a total of 6.3 million Tweets, 18 million likes and just under 60 per cent of all interactions taking the form of retweets.

According to additional insights, taken from Kantar Media’s TGI consumer survey, one million adults agree with the statement: ‘I specially choose’ to watch Love Island, 74 per cent of whom are women. The programme is particularly popular amongst those who are young and without children as well as parents with young children. Two extremes of the country find Love Islandparticularly compelling, with those in the North East 31 per cent more likely to be fans and those in the South West 34 per cent more likely to be fans.

When looking at brand engagement around Love Island, clothes brand and sponsor Missguided featured most highly. 15,000 Tweets around Love Islandalso mentioned Missguided; while 6,800 mentioned tech sponsor Samsung and 2,400 mentioned drinks brand and sponsor Lucozade. Missguided was equally popular across Instagram, forums and blog posts referring to Love Island, making up 56 per cent of all brand mentions.

The remainder of the top five television series on Twitter list was made up by current affairs programmes, including Question Time (with 2.5m Tweets), Good Morning Britain (1.8m) and The Andrew Marr Show (1.6m). Daily Politics (1.5m Tweets) came in sixth, just behind Doctor Who.

The top 20 Individual Broadcast list was dominated almost entirely by Love Island, with the first episode of the new series taking third place (with 205,000 Tweets), behind annual live music events The Eurovision Song Contest(841,000 Tweets) and The Brit Awards (229,000 Tweets). The series finale took fifth place (with 151,000 Tweets) behind the series launch of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! (162,000 Tweets). The Great British Bake Offand Celebrity Big Brother entered the top 20 list, in positions 14 and 15 respectively.

2018 was feted as the ‘year of the launch’, with hugely hyped new shows including The Bodyguard and Informer making their debuts, while well-known favourites Doctor WhoOrange is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Talereleased new series. However, of these, only Doctor Who made a significant impact on Twitter, coming in at number five in the top series with 381 million total impressions.

Alongside The Bodyguard, which featured at number seven (42m overall impressions), the list of Series Launches was dominated by popular entertainment shows. Love Island Series 4 topped the ranking with 206,000 Tweets, followed by I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! (162,000) at second; Celebrity Big Brother (77,000) third and The X Factor fourth (63,000). 

“What is truly interesting is the way in which our data highlights the strong attachment consumers have with their favourite television programmes, even outside of the broadcast window,” noted Andy Brown, Global CEO, Kantar Media UK & Ireland.” More than ever, consumers are using social media to communicate about television programmes at a time that suits them. For brands and advertisers, this serves to reiterate the opportunity offered by multi-channel engagement and the need for a connected intelligence approach to measure its impact; using social media platforms to become a part of the conversations they know their audiences are already having, at the right time and in the right place.”

Top 20 series 24-7

ProgrammeChannelTweetsImpressions
1Love Island Series 4ITV 26,279,0832,504,097,324
2Question TimeBBC One2,534,625417,463,964
3Good Morning BritainITV1,804,7131,098,129,607
4Doctor WhoBBC One1,751,565380,961,212
5The Andrew Marr ShowBBC One1,627,741379,495,930
6Daily PoliticsBBC Two1,512,650374,073,067
7NewsnightBBC Two1,310,81129,215,0654
8Eurovision Song ContestBBC One1,184,023428,059,387
9Coronation StreetITV1,163,275563,280,542
10The X FactorITV1,160,523399,778,812
11I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!ITV1,121,051450,559,265
12This MorningITV990,293488,925,655
13EastEndersBBC One975,000388,526,162
14Celebrity Big BrotherChannel 5959,370565,552,864
15Celebrity Big Brother Series 21Channel 5930,763465,267,295
16EmmerdaleITV917,235416,529,963
17Big Brother 2018Channel 5730,843285,681,325
18BreakfastBBC One677,521351,752,281
19Strictly Come DancingBBC One656,647413,796,284
20ShadowhuntersNetflix599,53039,777,553

read more here: advanced-television.com

YouTube and Facebook taking lion’s share of online video ads, but TV dominates

YouTube and Facebook account for the majority of online video advertising in Europe, but the vast bulk of video advertising still goes to television, according to a report by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

facebook Youtube TV ads

According to the report, Online Video Sharing: Offerings, Audiences, Economic Aspects, which cites a number of third-party data sources, YouTube and Facebook together take a 56% share of the European online video advertising market. In 2018, YouTube took an estimated 32% of the market, with Facebook taking a 24% share. Broadcasters took a 20% share of the market collectively.

Despite the dominance of YouTube and Facebook in online video advertising, the vast bulk of video advertising – 91% – went to television in 2016. However, the growth rate of the online video advertising market is much higher than that of the TV ad market – 21.4% between 2015-16 compared with 2% for the TV advertising market and 11% for the overall online advertising market.

The report also noted that 6-15 year-olds in the UK spend about 20% of their screen time watching online video clips, compared with about 45% watching broadcast TV, 12% watching recorded TV, 6% watching catch-up TV and 10% watching paid for streaming or download services. Over 16s, by contrast spend 63% of their screen time watching broadcast TV, 17% watching recorded TV, 6% watching catch-up TV and 6% watching paid for streaming or download services, and only a very small amount of screen time – 2.9% – watching online video clips.

YouTube is used at least once a month by 93% of western European consumers, according to the report.

Despite the growth on online video and the rise of SVOD, the report cited Recode data from 2017 that shows traditional media companies still account for the bulk of expenditure on original non-sports content, with the top four spenders – NBCUniversal, Time Warner, Fox and Disney all being traditional players, led by NBCUniversal, which spent US$10.2 billion. Netflix comes in at number five with expenditure of US$6.3 billion, while Amazon is number seven with US$4.5 billion. Among technology and social media companies, Apple and Facebook were the top spenders, coming in at number 13 and 14 with spend of about US$1 billion apiece.

read more here: www.digitaltveurope.com

The 30-Second Ad Makes a Comeback, Now 55% of All Video Ad Views

In Q3 2017, the 30-second ad was an endangered species. It made up just 27 percent of all video ad views as marketers attempted to cram their messages and branding into shorter ads that viewers would tolerate. That quarter, 67 percent of video ads were 15-seconds long.

What a difference a year makes. Now, people do most of their video streaming on their living room TV, and that’s a win-win-win for all parties. Viewers get true lean back viewing, publishers get a receptive audience, and marketers get high completion rates and lots of unskippable inventory.

In Q3 2018, 55 percent of all video ad views were 30-seconds long, 41 percent were 15-seconds long, and 2 percent were 6-seconds long.

This data comes from the Q3 2018 Video Advertising Benchmarks report released by cross-platform advertising solutions specialist Extreme Reach. Its data comes from major brand advertising served by Extreme Reach.

“The CTV opportunity is one that advertisers are increasingly leveraging, and the impact that’s having on ad length, while unexpected, makes complete sense,” said Mary Vestewig, senior director of video account management at Extreme Reach. “I expect we’ll see even more exciting changes driven by CTV as consumer adoption grows and technology for targeting and measurement evolve.”

Not that everything is good news for the 30-second ad: The report finds click-through rates for 15-second ads were much higher (although rates for both lengths were lower than last quarter): The CTR for 15-seconds ads is 0.30 percent, while the CTR for 30-second ads is 0.14 percent.

read more here: onlinevideo.net

Strategy Analytics: TV to account for 80% of video ad spend in five years

Even though digital video is the fastest growing digital advertising category, TV will still account for the vast majority of video ad spend in 2023, according to Strategy Analytics.

The research firm predicted that TV will represent 80% of global video ad spend in 2023 while digital video will make up 20% of spend, with a breakdown of roughly US$210 billion and US$51 billion respectively.

This compares to an estimated global TV ad spend of US$195 billion and online ad spend of US$30 billion this year, with the US accounting for nearly 36% of global TV ad spend in 2018.

“With consumers increasingly watching video across platforms, including mobile devices and connected TV screens, audience measurement agencies are evolving their tools, however, cross-device measurement solutions are still geared towards reach-based metrics, and in a fragmented online world, no media can provide reach better than television,” said Michael Goodman, Strategy Analytics’ director of TV and media strategies.

read more here: digitaltveurope.com

Why Digital Native D2C Brands are Turning to TV

We’ve seen an explosion in the number of upstart direct to consumer brands – companies which build their audiences online and sell to their customers directly – over the past few years. When it comes to marketing, many of these disruptors have tended to use social platforms and podcast sponsorship to build direct relationships, and social video to communicate exactly what their product is and how it works.

While these digital natives eat up market share in established industries, it might initially look like bad news for TV advertising. However, the reality is that as these brands mature, many of them start to behave like “traditional” FMCG marketers and turn to TV advertising to help them scale further.

A report earlier this year from the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) highlighted this growing investment in TV advertising by what they call “direct disruptors”. VAB analysis of Nielsen Ad Intel data found that TV spend by the fifty D2C brands it analysed grew from $322.8 million in 2015 to $1,313.6 million last year.

So what’s driving these brands to TV?

Advanced TV specialist Simulmedia has worked with several of these brands as they’ve branched out into TV, and CEO Dave Morgan says it’s a matter of scale and brand building.

“Everyone would expect that these digital first direct to consumer brands would build their full businesses on digital, but what happens in many cases is they perfect their product and customer segmentations online, but then they find they can’t really scale any further using digital only,” he said. This hasled them to turn to TV.

Julian Hearn, co-founder of meal replacement powder maker Huel, who raised an additional $26 million last week, agreed that TV’s huge reach made it an attractive medium to his company, which just this week launched its first TV campaign. “I’m not a fan of offline advertising,” he said. “It’s extremely hard to track performance and therefore difficult to optimise. However, TV is interesting, it has massive scale, and it’s an engaging medium.”

“Mattress in a box” company Casper meanwhile ran TV ads from the very beginning, again because it provided reach quickly and efficiently. “We decided to start running TV ads from day one as TV is THE mass media that provides a very large reach in a limited amount of time,” said Quentin Luce, who handles Casper’s European TV advertising. “TV is also, surprisingly enough for most advertiser, a very cheap medium when bought efficiently, which allows us to maximise repetition and therefore increase brand recognition.”

As these digital natives move onto TV, Morgan says they are more focussed on bottom of the funnel metrics than traditional TV advertisers. “None of them say I’ve bought my gross rating point so I’ve got my brand, I’m good,” he said. “They want to know exactly who they’ve reached. In every conversation we’ve had with these companies at Simulmedia, they have involved data scientists or people with deep knowledge of data analytics as part of the conversation.”

Luce agreed that while Casper looks to TV advertising for brand building, they also want to see direct results. “While at first our ultimate aim is of course to drive direct sales in order to cover the cost of a TV campaign, the halo effect of any campaign has a long lasting effect and definitely builds the brand,” he said.

The VAB’s data suggests this approach works very well. Its analysis found that emerging D2C brands (brands founded within the last five years) tended to see their revenues take off after launching a TV campaign or increasing investment. It also claimed that TV is very effective at driving greater audience engagement online – it found that as emerging brands increased online spend by an average of 93 percent, they saw 312 percent growth in search queries, 206 percent growth in social actions, and 177 percent growth in online video views.

“We directly see from day one a TV effect on website visits, and sales coming from those direct visit usually happen quite fast afterwards,” said Luce.

Good News for TV?

This all sounds like good news for broadcasters, with new money flowing into linear TV. “I think that it is not unrealistic to expect that between five and ten percent of US TV advertising revenue in three or four years, certainly within five, will be coming from these direct to consumer brands,” said Dave Morgan.

He cautioned, however, that this won’t necessarily increase TV ad spend overall. “The big question is, does the Casper mattress dollar take away the Tempur-Pedic incumbent money, is it a net positive for TV? And as things stand, that’s far from certain,” said Morgan.

It should however alleviate broadcasters concerns that the rise of DTC brands will be bad news for TV advertising. So even if TV’s traditional big FMCG spenders see a decline, it appears there will be new advertisers ready to replace them.

But the industry needs to be set up to accommodate these upstart brands. “Very few of them use traditional ad and media agencies, and very few large TV companies have sales teams dedicated to selling to them,” said Morgan.

read more here: videoadnews.com

YouTube advertisers can now target audiences watching on TV screens

Google launched a new TV screens device type on Oct. 16 that allows advertisers to target YouTube audiences watching video on TVs through Chromecast, set-top boxes like Apple TV, video game consoles and smart TVs, the company announced in a blog post.

YouTube ads on TV drove an average lift of 47% in ad recall and 35% in purchase intent, according to Ipsos Lab Experiments data cited in the blog post.

Advertisers can access TV-focused analytics and special options through the new device-type update to determine a campaign’s success, according to Mashable. Advertisers can also set specific bidding for TV viewers.

As more consumers cut the cord and turn to over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV services, many marketers have struggled to drive engagement on these platforms, which typically blend in digital elements and don’t always support ads. By adding TV screens to its device categories for YouTube, Google is attempting to ease that process while also recognizing that the channel is a huge opportunity for its own business. The Alphabet company claims that people now collectively watch 180 million hours of YouTube content on TV screens every day.

The ability to specifically target YouTube audiences watching on TV also presents a much more affordable option than traditional TV ad buys, as noted by Mashable. TV ad prices have remained high despite ratings declines of 10% to 12%, according to Magna. Not only that, YouTube advertisers can also leverage valuable TV analytics to inform their video strategies across platforms, which has frequently been a struggle.

Marketers are broadly investing more in OTT, which promises better targeted ads, cross-screen planning and buying and addressability. Magna predicts that ad spend on OTT TV will increase 40% to $2 billion this year. The increase is being driven by higher consumer adoption of smart TVs and set-top boxes, and Magna reports that 80% of all U.S. households will be reachable through OTT in 2018.

YouTube’s viewership continues to grow, with the platform is projected to overtake Facebook as the website with the second-most traffic from U.S. users, according to a recent SimilarWeb study. The platform is also popular with younger audiences, groups that marketers continually strive to reach and who are helping to drive the cord-cutting trend.

read more here: www.marketingdive.com

Snapchat introduces new 5 min TV shows

Snapchat has introduced a new format for its original video programming. Snap Originals are TV shows developed exclusively for the app, with new 5-minute episodes released each day.

All the shows will include six-second, non-skippable ads, building an important new revenue source for the company. Snap Originals will feature prominently on the app’s Discover page and will also each have their own Show Portal. Users can swipe up from the show episode and access additional, related content, including interactive, AR experiences with selected scenes, lenses, filters and other entertaining ways to share the show with friends.

Snapchat already offers third-party video content under the format Shows. The company said viewer time spent on Shows has tripled since the start of this year.

Snap also announced that NBCUniversal extended its content production commitments through 2019, and Viacom has committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals. Viacom also committed to syndicating at least 500 episodes of its network’s shows to the Snapchat audience.

read more here: snap.com