VAB Study: Millennial Viewers Attached To TV Programming. Sure.

In another (desperate) attempt to counter the perception that young people are flocking away from TV, the Video Advertising Bureau released a new study showing that millennials are emotionally connected to TV programming and buy the products that are advertised there.

TV advertising revenue has been largely flat as media buyers watch eyeballs, particularly of young viewers, move to digital platforms and streaming services.

But the VAB found that millennials–those in the 18 to 34 age bracket–say they are connected to TV shows and their characters. And that emotional attachment is important because “someone who is highly attached is three times more likely to engage with the brand,” the report said. “They are less price sensitive, go deeper into the product line and have a higher lifetime value to an advertiser.”

The VAB commissioned Research Now to conduct the Program Engagement Survey fielded online in April 2018 with 1,000 adults surveyed. The respondents skewed slightly younger than the overall population but their TV consumption was line with the population.

The survey found that millennials feel a strong bond with TV programming. They regularly set aside time to watch their favorite programs and prioritize it as their “me time.”

Emotional connection inspires deeper program engagement among millennials, the report said. Young adult viewers are actively engaged beyond the TV airing – they share and post video clips, follow actors on social media, read recaps, and scour the web for behind-the-scenes scoop.

The survey found that the emotional connection viewers have with TV shows results in pop-culture-inspired activities, with 55% of millennial respondents using phrases from shows–like “Make It Work”– in everyday conversations, or 45% following a recipe they saw on TV to make a dish or even 43% dressing up as a TV character on Halloween.

Importantly, engagement motivates purchase.

The survey found that 43% of millennials said they purchase a product they saw on a TV show. That’s higher than the 40% of all adults that said that. Similarly, 43% of millennials said the purchases a product they saw while watching a TV–either in the program or during an ad, compared to 25% of all adults.

Another 43% of millennials said they’ve eaten at a restaurant because it or its chef was featured in a TV show.

The relationship between millennials and ad-supported TV is stronger when it comes to their favorite programs. The survey found 44% of millennials say they watch their favorite shows on broadcast or cable, topping Netflix (25%), Hulu, 12%, Amazon Prime (10%) or other streaming (8%).

Millennials don’t feel the same immediacy or sense of community around original YouTube videos as they do for TV, the survey found.

“Millennials are drawn into TV’s complex storylines, rich character development and well – known talent resulting in an unmatched emotional response,” the report said adding that millennials feel a stronger connection with TV characters and actors than to YouTube.

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Google’s Android TV and YouTube loom large at IBC 2018

YouTube invading European TV screens

Google Senior Vice President Neal Mohan gave a keynote at the IBC conference on Friday. During the speech he discussed the company’s success in getting YouTube on connected TV devices:

“Thanks to our partnerships with manufacturers, broadcasters and operators like Sky and Virgin Media, YouTube is available on over half a billion certified devices globally – from smart TVs to set-top boxes and to gaming consoles.”

The investment seems to be paying off. Mr. Mohan says the television is now the fastest growing screen for YouTube. In the European Union, the time viewers spend watching YouTube on TV screens increased 45% year-over-year.

Mr. Mohan also stressed the importance of YouTube to European broadcasters:

“In 2017 alone, consumers watched the equivalent of 268,000 years of content from European Broadcasting Union (EBU) members. Broadcasters are some of the longest and most important partners for YouTube, and we’ve been helping the best broadcast moments find new life online.”

The YouTube team is leaning into the TV opportunity by making a more lean-back experience. Engineers are busy improving machine learning and recommendations to relieve viewers of the need to hunt through all the videos on the site. Instead, viewers will be able to sit back and let the app automatically play their favorite clips and shows.

However, Google isn’t only focused on having YouTube appear on the television. The company is making huge strides in running the complete pay TV experience with Android TV.

Operators are ready for Android TV

On the show floor, Google’s TV operating system is showing up all over the place. Google’s booth is right at the entrance to Hall 14, where all the new media companies show their wares. The operator tier of Android TV is, of course, a feature attraction. As well, Google ran an Android TV summit on Saturday which was one of the hottest tickets at the show. Many vendor booths throughout the RAI Convention halls also are showing Google’s pay TV operating system. Vendors like Massive, 3SS, Amino, and Accedoare showing operator solutions featuring it.

Pay TV operators have begun deploying it to their set-top boxes. For example, Com-Hem in Sweden has Android TV operator tier running on its hybrid cable/IP set-top boxes courtesy of 3SS’s solution. Amino is demonstrating the end-to-end Android TV integration it provided to Finish operator DNA Oyj on its booth.

Google has been trying to get pay TV operators to use Android TV on their set-top boxes for three years. Why do operators finally appear ready to do it? There are four main reasons:

Reason 1: The rapid growth of SVOD services

Many Europeans have embraced SVOD services as a regular part of their television diet but still, have pay TV. Operators see an opportunity to help and retain their customers by integrating SVOD into the pay TV experience. However, it’s hard to predict precisely which SVOD services their customers will use. The simplest solution is to deploy a set-top box platform with an open app store populated with many of the most popular services. Android TV operator tier delivers on this need.

Reason 2: The latest Android TV is a better platform for operators

The Android TV team has included many features operators have requested in the latest ‘P’ edition of the operator tier. For example, CEO of 3SS, Kai-Christen Borchers, described to nScreenMedia how operators could customize the search results. When a customer searches for a movie, the first viewing option shown to the user is from the operator. To see other viewing options, the subscriber must press the up-arrow on the remote.

Reason 3: Vendors are supporting it

It feels like every vendor showing operator solutions at IBC has a version that supports Android TV. For example, Accedo is showing the Android TV 1 Launcher product. Company CEO Michael Lantz showed nScreenMedia how an operator using the product could provide an entirely custom Android TV experience. The operator app starts up when the box starts, and the subscriber remains in that experience throughout.

Reason 4: It’s free

Google doesn’t charge a license fee for Android TV operator tier. It does come with conditions, like providing access to the play store and inclusion of the Google assistant. However, these are small prices to pay for such a capable operating system.

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Social “the new TV” for young UK audiences

Creative tech player VidMob surveyed 1,000 16-24 year olds and 1,000 25-34 year olds in the UK in May about their media consumption and digital advertising preference.

The study reveals where and why Gen Z and Millennials consume video content, engage with video ads and form perceptions about brands.

The findings from VidMob’s State of Social Video study could have implications on how marketers use video ads to connect with younger audiences in the UK:

1. Social is the new TV: a large percentage of younger audiences’ time spent is watching video.

– 40 per cent Gen Z’s digital time is spent watching video over reading articles or looking at photos while 33 per cent Millennials watch videos over articles or photos.
– In every hour of digital time: Gen Z spend 24 minutes watching video while Millennials spend 20 minutes watching video.
– 57 per cent of video time per day is spent on social apps (31 per cent YouTube, 26 per cent other social platforms) — that’s 3.8x time spent watching linear TV and 2.5x watching streaming services.

2. All social boats are rising:

– 52 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials spent more time on social media this year versus last year.
– Growth in usage of social apps is 27 per cent higher than mobile browsers.
– Compared to last year, Gen Z has embraced YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram whilst Millennials show the most love for Instagram and YouTube.

3. Social has become the portal to the web:

– Less than 4 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials open a browser first.
– Top 3 first apps opened by Gen Z are Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube.
– Top 3 first apps opened by Millennials are Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat

4. It’s a Stories World:

– Over 63 per cent of Instagram and Snapchat users watch Stories on both platforms daily.
– Percentage of Millennials who consume Stories on each platform: Instagram 68 per cent; Snapchat 49 per cent; Facebook 44 per cent.
– 31 per cent of Gen Z watches Facebook Stories.

5. The meaning of personalisation has changed for younger audiences:

– Across the board, similar style and taste is most important for whether either generation likes an ad.
– 34 per cent of Gen Z feels more positive towards ads that are visually beautiful versus 33 per cent of Millennials.
– Gen Z dislikes overly repetitive ads (46 per cent say it annoys them; 29 per cent say they tune out).
– Millennials either tune out or dislike brands who run the same ads over and over.

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Jeremy Corbyn proposes creation of BBC sister company – the British Digital Corporation

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has proposed the launch of a sister company to the BBC which would be called the British Digital Corporation (BDC) and funded by a tax on technology companies like Amazon and Google.

Corbyn put forward the idea along with a slew of other media reforms during his Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival today (23 August).

What is the BDC?

The new BDC would exist as a free to access service alongside the BBC.

Though the BBC has plans already in place to develop its landmark iPlayer service, which director general Tony Hall said was vital to the future of the public broadcaster, Corbyn has tabled the creation of a much more radical separate bespoke digital service that would futureproof its existence.

The Drum approached the BBC for comment but the broadcaster declined to discuss the proposals.

The leader of the opposition proposed the BDC plan in the hope of generating “some thinking” around a public sector body taking advantage of new technology, he said. The proposition builds upon the idea of a BDC, first floated by James Harding, the former BBC director of home news.

“Imagine an expanded iPlayer giving universal access to licence fee payers for a product that could rival Netflix and Amazon. It would probably sell pretty well overseas as well,” he said.

In addition to an organisation that would commission content he said it might also create a secure social media platform that would rival Facebook.

“A BDC could develop new technology for online decision making and audience-led commissioning of programmes and even a public social media platform with real privacy and public control over the data that is making Facebook and others so rich,” he explained.

Corbyn said he did not want the public realm to sit back and “watch as a few mega tech corporations hoover up digital rights, assets and ultimately our money”.

A BBC funded by tech giants

Corbyn said this venture would be funded by a “digital licence fee” that would be issued to a “few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires” who “control huge swathes of our public space and debate”.

Under his scheme, media companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon operating in the UK would be taxed.

Corbyn noted that “the licence fee itself is another potential area for modernisation”.

“In the digital age, we should consider whether a digital licence fee could be a fairer and more effective way to fund the BBC,” he said.

On its implementation, he added: “A strong, self-confident government could negotiate with these tech giants to create a fund, run entirely independently, to support public interest media.

“Google and news publishers in France and Belgium were able to agree a settlement. If we can’t do something similar here, but on a more ambitious scale, we’ll need to look at the option of a windfall tax on the digital monopolies to create a public interest media fund.”

Google and Amazon both declined to comment on Corby’s speech when asked by The Drum.

Additional proposals

In the lecture, Corbyn also made a number of additional proposals on the future of the BBC.

He suggested that the corporation could be freed from government control by having the taxpayer elect representatives to its board.

He also suggested granting charitable status for not-for-profit journalism outlets, creating an independent public service journalism fund and for the BBC to regularly produce internal reports on its operations for greater transparency.

On a wider level, Corbyn set forth an agenda for the media industry. “To improve our media, open it up and make it more plural, we need to find ways to empower those who create and consume it over those who want to control or own it.”

He also expressed concerns with the monopolisation of the UK’s media. “Just three companies control 71% of national newspaper circulation and five companies control 81% of local newspaper circulation. This unhealthy sway of a few corporations and billionaires shapes and skews the priorities and worldview of a powerful section of the media.”

Corbyn concluded: “We need big, bold, radical thinking on the future of our media. Without it, at best, we won’t take advantage of the opportunities in front of us as a country and for the kind of journalism that makes the world a better place. At worst, a few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires will control huge swathes of our public space and discourse.”

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) issued a statement in response to Corbyn’s comments.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “The NUJ welcomes bold proposals that seek to protect and bolster public service broadcasting, and aim to carve a future for the BBC that is free from the ceaseless political pot-shots lobbed its way in the last two licence-fee settlements that have undermined its resources and threatened its ability to deliver quality content and programming. As a union we want to see an end to the raiding of the licence fee – which has put the BBC in the unenviable position of having to fund free licences for the over-75s or be the organisation that is forced to wield the axe on what had always been a government-funded welfare benefit.

“Extending freedom of information legislation to include private companies in receipt of public contracts can only be good for public interest journalism. As will be the long-overdue need for action on digital monopolies that have so badly hit traditional media players in the industry – whether it’s an agreed settlement with the likes of Google and Facebook or a windfall tax, that is money that could be a shot in the arm to journalism in the UK.”

Rowly Bourne, founder of media adtech firm Rezonence expressed skepticism about the launch of the BDC. “Firstly, I love it when politicians and big corporates make it sound so easy to create a new product or company from scratch. There is overwhelming statistical evidence that big corporates and government fail to disrupt even themselves, let alone sectors they are not experts in. Ask any entrepreneur or early-stage investor, they invest in the team and the entrepreneur, who will have the sheer bloody-mindedness to deliver, not government backing.

“Everyone talks about Facebook which has won market share, but there have been so many fallen stars along the way, from Bebo, Myspace, and let’s not forget Google has had an attempt at making its own social platform (Google Plus) and failed. Facebook is powerful because it has create a product and evolved a product to meet the needs of its customers base, as voted for by its customers, who could leave to use another platform at any point. “

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Q2 US pay-TV subs fall but OTT prospers

Strategy Analytics’ analysis of US pay-TV subscriber numbers shows Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPDs) with 868,000 net adds in Q2 bringing the total number of vMVPD subscribers to 6.73 million, up 119 per cent YoY.

Despite this, overall pay-TV subscribers (cable, satellite, IPTV, vMVPD) fell to 93.78 million, breaking a string of two consecutive quarters of growth, according to a Strategy Analytics’ Television & Media Strategies report, which examined the subscriber bases of 27 public traded and private pay-TV operators, accounting for 97 per cent of all pay-TV subscriptions.

“While the entire vMVPD segment is growing, AT&T’s DirecTV NOW deserves special notice,” said Michael Goodman, Director, Television & Media Strategies, given how rapidly it has grown in a fairly short period of time. If it continues on its current growth trajectory it will overtake Sling TV as the largest vMVPD in early 2019.”

In comparison, Qq 2018 was not particularly kind to legacy pay-TV providers (e.g., cable, satellite, IPTV) as they lost nearly as many subscribers (-973,000) as the prior two quarters combined (-1.16 millio). In Q2 2018, total legacy pay-TV subscriptions fell to 87.05 million, down 3.6 per cent YoY.

“Historically, pay-TV in the US has consisted of cable, satellite, and IPTV; however, the introduction of over-the-top pay-TV services, commonly referred to as vMVPDs, necessitates a change in our thinking,” said Goodman. “What we have commonly referred to as pay-TV (cable, satellite, and IPTV) should now be referred to as legacy pay-TV, while the definition of pay-TV should include vMVPDs.”

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Advertising Spend on TV and Video Will Reach $559B Globally in 2022

Consumer spend and digital video ad revenue from OTT video services such as YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Google Play, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, DirecTV Now, NOW TV, Maxdome, iflix, and other online video services will double over the forecast period, reaching $123B in 2022.

“OTT TV and video services will be the driving force behind future revenue,” according to Michael Goodman, Director, Television & Media Strategies, “however, traditional TV and video services should not despair too much, as they will continue to account for the majority of consumer and advertising spend for the foreseeable future.”

By 2022, consumer and advertising spend on traditional TV and video products and services globally will be over $435B, an increase of $7B from 2017, and account for nearly 78% of all TV and video revenue.

Additional findings from this report include:

– In 2022, North America will continue to be the largest TV and video market; accounting for 38.7% of global consumer and advertising spend on TV and video.

– IPTV will buck the cord cutting trend in Western Europe. While cable (net loss of €987M), pay satellite (net loss of €187M), and pay DTT (net loss of €125M) will all see revenues decline over the next five years, IPTV will reach €9.9B in 2022, an increase of €1.5B.

– In 2022, the Asia Pacific region will account for 23.4%% of global consumer and advertising spend on TV and video. Unlike North America and Western Europe, where consumer spend on legacy pay TV services are flat or declining, driven largely by China and India, consumer spend on legacy pay TV services will continue to see robust grow.

download the full report here.

EC must reject anachronistic Dutch market analysis

Broadband cable trade body Cable Europe is urging the European Commission not to accept Dutch regulator ACM’s draft broadband market analysis, which has concluded that multiplay operator VodafoneZiggo holds “joint significant market power (SMP)” together with Dutch incumbent operator KPN.

As a direct consequence, both operators will have to provide wholesale access to third parties. The analysis now rests with the European Commission, which has the power to accept or reject the proposed measures.

“This proposed intervention in the Dutch market is anachronistic and runs contrary to the consumer interest,” stated Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe. “My first reaction is one of astonishment. The Dutch market is highly competitive and is often cited as best in class by international observers. It scores high on the Commission Digital Economy and Society Index. Consumers have the choice between two very fast broadband services practically everywhere in the country. The market is extremely dynamic and characterised by innovation, quality of service and affordable prices and there is a commercial wholesale access offer in the market (KPN).”

“Imposing onerous regulation using the concept of joint SMP in a market with these characteristics will set a negative precedent in Europe. Regulatory intervention comes with risks which are often difficult to gauge in advance. The negative consequences of this proposed regulation will outweigh any marginal improvements the regulator is seeking to achieve. I hope the Commission will examine this analysis with great care and conclude that the Dutch market and its citizens already benefit from effective competition,” he added.

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Nielsen: Americans Now Spend Nearly 6 Hours Per Day With Video

Americans’ appetite for video just keeps rising. Measurement specialist Nielsen released its Q1 2018 Total Audience Report today, finding that U.S. adults now consume 5 hours 57 minutes of video per day. That’s an increase of 11 minutes per day just in the last quarter.

Of that 5 hours 57 minutes, 4 hours 46 minutes goes to live and time-shifted TV viewing, up 2 minutes this quarter. The biggest gain is with TV-connected devices (including internet-connected devices, game consoles, and DVDs) which average 46 minutes per day, up from 40 minutes last quarter.

Video on a computer gets 10 minutes, video on a phone (either through an app or browser) gets 10 minutes, and tablets get 5 minutes, all of which are fairly flat.

Looking at Americans’ total media diet, Nielsen finds we spend 11 hours 6 minutes each day connected to some kind of media. This figure includes all internet, phone, and radio use. That’s up from 10 hours 47 minutes in the previous quarter.

Two-thirds of U.S. homes own devices that let them stream video to the television set, and 2.7 percent subscribe to a skinny bundle (vMVPD) while 64 percent subscribe to a subscription service (SVOD). Even cord-cutters and cord-nevers find plenty to watch, as over 80 percent of non-TV homes still watch video.

For more, download the full Nielsen report (registration required).

Video benchmark report shows that viewability rates continue to rise.

Internet connected television continues to be a fertile place to advertise, according to a new report released Wednesday by Extreme Reach.

Extreme Reach’s Video Benchmarks Report is based on billions of video ad impressions served through its platform in the second quarter of 2018 across multiple devices.

With an 111 percent increase in impressions served over second quarter last year, connected TV (CTV) emerged as the top platform for video advertisers for the first time. Thirty-eight percent of all impressions took place on CTV, edging out mobile’s 30 percent, down from 33 percent from Q1 of this year.

The report concludes that much of the increase was driven by cord-cutting consumers who have turned to platforms like Roku, and services like Netflix and Hulu in lieu of cable.

There’s also good news for advertisers who prize video completion rates (VCR) over click-through rates (CTR) as their leading KPI. Average viewability rates (across media type/purchase method/ad length) rose to 67 percent from 62 percent in Q2, and the proportion of impressions that were both viewable and completed was steady at 76 percent.

Not surprisingly, premium video inventory led every category. Premium video is defined by Extreme Reach as media purchased directly from web publishers, rather than through an exchange, network, demand-side platform (DSP) or other third party. Ninety-two percent of premium ads played in full — 16 percent higher than Q2 of last year — while the rate for aggregators slightly decreased. CTV showed a staggering 97 percent completion rate across premium inventory.

Mary Vestewig, senior director, account management at Extreme Reach, told me that “what stands out in our Q2 report is the increasing strength of the metrics we are seeing around CTV/OTT

“Video completion rates have been strong in previous quarters which is the result, I believe, of two factors: Viewers tend to be committed to the content they choose to watch and they don’t have an option to skip the ads,” Vestewig said. “What shifted in Q2 vs Q1 and earlier quarters, is that video impressions served on CTV overtook those served on mobile (smartphones) for the first time.”

The report notes that in-banner video rates have been in decline over the past five quarters and that the trend is expected to continue.

From the report:

The in-banner video rate has been declining over the past two years, likely because it is a format used a lot when demand for video ads outpaces supply. With the growth of video content and the ad inventory that accompanies it, in-banner video should continue to decline. In Q1 2018, the rate for premium sites held steady at 5% and declined slightly for media aggregators.

Desktop is the one device that saw a decline in CTR from Q1 to Q2, with just 23 percent of impressions.

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Broadcast Spending Down, Digital Broadcast Rising, Says Matrix

Viewers are changing their TV-watching habits, and advertisers are right there with them.

According to a half-year report from media ad sales company Matrix Solutions, total broadcast spending by advertisers is down $3.8 billion year-over-year, which means a 0.83 percent decline. Digital broadcast (all spending for broadcasters’ local affiliate online properties) is up $243 million, which is a 13.21 percent increase. By the way, digital broadcast includes both video and display ads. The report doesn’t break them out by ad type, but considers the platforms as a whole.

The biggest categories for digital broadcast spending are in services, automotive, medical, and home improvement. Services charted $50.5 million in spending for the first half of 2018. Nearly every category in digital broadcast showed improvement, with an average growth of 13.03 percent when excluding political campaign spending.

The growth of digital broadcast reflects not only a change in viewing habits, but a more precise way for advertisers to reach their target viewers.

“Broadcast is still a viable medium for advertisers, but advertisers are becoming more adaptive to campaigns that package linear alongside non-linear channels,” explains Mark Gorman, CEO of Matrix Solutions. “It casts a wider net amongst audience members with more detailed measurement in an era where brands are shifting their interests in advertising spots to impression-oriented delivery. Digital broadcast offers the best of both worlds to complement linear advertising, and our research validates that opportunity as it’s the platform that has netted the most growth in comparison to last year.”

The report also looks at national versus local spending, and finds national ads are surging with a growth rate of 4.69 percent, while local ad spend contracted by 2.89 percent.

Matrix got its numbers by looking at a nationally representative $11 billion sample of ad deals that used Monarch, the company’s global ad sales platform. For more info, download “Matrix 2018 Midyear Ad Spend Report” for free (registration required).

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