Facebook Now Beats YouTube for Video Viewing

It’s time to shift those budgets from YouTube to Facebook, a report suggests. According to a study by Slidely, maker of the Promo video creation platform, 47 percent of viewers say they watch more videos on Facebook now while 41 percent watch more on YouTube (only 8 percent say they watch more on Instagram). It looks like Facebook’s efforts to become the leading video destination are a huge success.

But people don’t simply watch more videos on Facebook now; they also prefer the video ad experience there, as well. While YouTube is known for its easily skipped ads, 71 percent of those surveyed said they find the sponsored videos in their Facebook feed to be relevant or highly relevant to their interests.

“This is fantastic news for marketers because it confirms their paid social budgets are going to good use. Not only are consumers watching sponsored videos, but they’re also finding them relevant (which is, of course, critical to successful marketing),” the report says. “For marketers, this also points to the extreme importance of closely targeting the right users. Consumers have come to expect that sponsored social content be perfectly tailored to their lives and their interests.”

All that video ad viewing is turning into consumer action, as the report finds 70 percent say they sometimes or very often visit the company’s website after watching a video. Also, 60 percent say they sometimes or very often visit the company’s social page after watching a video.

The survey looks at the popular Stories format on Facebook and Instagram, and finds viewing high. While 68 percent say they watch Facebook or Instagram Stories either sometimes or all the time, that number zooms up to 81 percent for those under 34.

view the full report for free online (no registration required).

read more here: onlinevideo.net

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

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

Creators are making longer videos to cater to the YouTube algorithm

YouTube has frustrated digital video creators for not always displaying their videos to the people who subscribe to their channels and for sometimes pulling ads from their videos that people do see. So YouTube stars are increasingly responding by extending the lengths of their videos in order to curry favor with YouTube’s watch-time-minded recommendation algorithm and to be able to feature more ads per video.

“I’ve figured out ways to monetize and to take advantage of the power of the algorithm,” said Cody Ko, a comedian whose main YouTube channel claims more than 1.1 million subscribers. “Obviously, it preferences longer videos, throwing multiple mid-rolls in, which tons of people do now.” Last year, Ko typically posted videos to his channel that lasted between six and seven minutes. But as YouTube cracked down on which videos were eligible to carry ads and removed ads from some of Ko’s, he upped the average length of his videos to range from 12 to 16 minutes.

The move by creators to produce longer videos “is very much correlated to over the last two years when YouTube switched the recommendation engine and search and discovery [to push new channels and creators to viewers],” said Rafi Fine, CEO of Fine Brothers Entertainment, an entertainment company that produces videos and shows for digital platforms like YouTube as well as for traditional TV and whose main YouTube channel counts more than 17 million subscribers.

While YouTube’s algorithm has prioritized watch time since 2012, creators have seen it shift toward favoring videos that people are likely to click on, but from channels they don’t subscribe to over videos from subscribed channels, Fine said. But if creators can demonstrate that their audiences spend more time on YouTube in order to watch their longer videos, they may be able to retrain YouTube’s algorithm to promote their videos in order to generate the desired watch time.

Other creators and media companies are similarly lengthening the videos they upload to YouTube. Remi Cruz, a lifestyle vlogger with 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube, usually posts 20-minute videos, she said. Gwen Miller, vp of content strategy at digital video network Kin Community, said 10 to 16 minutes has become the sweet spot for YouTube videos. And Whistle Sports, a digital video network that works with individual creators and produces its own original programming, tries to stick between the seven- and 12-minute range.

“We’re trying to generate watch time because we know that’s favorable to YouTube,” said Josh Grunberg, Whistle Sports’ head of community development and growth. “We know that they want meaningful views.”

Meanwhile, the move to increasingly insert mid-roll ads within these longer videos coincides with YouTube’s push over the past year to more aggressively restrict ads from running against some videos in an effort to reduce its brand-safety problems. A video may still risk being stripped of ads, but creators can hedge their bets by attaching more ads to a video so that a monetized view can generate more money to offset a demonetized view.

Once Ko’s videos began to exceed 10 minutes, he could run multiple ads in the middle of videos in order to make more money per view. Sixty percent of viewers probably won’t even be shown an ad, said Ko, “but it ups the chance that someone will get an ad, so the [per-video revenue] goes up, and you make more money for your video.”

read more here: digiday.com

How UK producer ITN mines its YouTube revenue

Media companies have been cashing in on the world’s appetite for the royal family this spring, and ITN Productions, the in-house production company for U.K. TV news and content provider ITN, was no exception.

ITN Productions’ revenue has mainly come from selling original and syndicated digital content to publishers like the Daily Mail, HuffPost, the Guardian and The Independent to use on their own sites. For the last two years, ITN Production News been distributing this content on YouTube.

ITN Productions has seen a 40 percent growth year over year in revenue from its news, entertainment and royal family coverage on YouTube, although the company wouldn’t share actual numbers.

“Initially, we used this content to grow audiences online, but the revenue from the platforms has become much more prominent. It’s showing greater movement in a positive direction, so we’ve been paying it more attention,” said Joanna Boyd, video syndication account manager at ITN Productions, speaking of YouTube and Twitter.

SocialBlade data shows total subscribers for the royal channel have more than doubled since the beginning of April to 320,000, and average views per day are 1.2 million, up from 300,000 since early April due to an increase in content around Prince Louis’ birth and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Subscriber growth for ODE and ODN have been steadier, with 300,000 and 500,000 subscribers, respectively.

Armed with the knowledge that people are avid consumers of royal family content, ITN Productions began focusing on this YouTube channel last year, posting more content — footage that would never make it on broadcast, like Queen Elizabeth II getting off a train, for instance — and creating more video playlists to keep people on its channel as well as suggesting relevant videos at points where people drop off.

“We’ve seen the growth in the last year when we started focusing on it as a core part of the news cycle,” said Boyd, adding that on June 14, the second top news story featured the queen and Markle visiting the county of Cheshire. “That’s how big they have become to be the second news story.”

A royal wedding and birth in quick succession is unlikely to happen again, but Boyd is confident the interest will continue. “The children have huge appeal on our channel; people want to watch them grow up,” she said. Equally, the popular videos are ones that typically fall outside the mainstream, like Prince Harry and Markle attending Prince Charles’ 70th birthday party, with 1.6 million views. “Everyone has the royal wedding; we have the story afterward,” Boyd added.

read more here: digiday.com

Hulu, Roku, YouTube Execs Talk Importance of Curating Streaming Content

With peak TV hovering at almost 500 scripted shows alone, for many content providers the question is not how to break through that glut with a standout original of their own but instead how to make sure the audience can find the content they will connect with on their specific platforms.

“Roku has over 5000 channels,” Rob Holmes, head of programming for the OTT service, said at the ATX Television Festival Thursday. “Our purpose was really to make it easy to find free stuff. …We worked with a variety of partners to make…sort of an end-cap, like you’d find in a supermarket. [The free content] is curated into this experience that’s front and center on the platform.”

Holmes acknowledged that as the landscape changes, there is an “increasing challenge to highlight the great stuff that’s there.”

“We’re going to leave the super high quality, must have, must pay [programs] to the others who are doing it very well,” Holmes said of Roku’s content plans.

For some, attracting an audience without focusing on originals is also about the sheer diversity of offerings.

“We set out to basically reinvent television. We were the first channel to present multi-channel television [online],” Dwayne Benefield, head of Playstation Vue, said, adding that the reason they have been able to have the high ratings they have is because they are doing something digitally that other streaming services are not yet.

Vue also uses “channels” as a way to further curate its content and help users navigate the large amount of choices they have, which Benefield acknowledges could go away in the future but for now has helped the audience narrow those choices down.

While originals are an important side to Hulu’s business, the acquisitions are key, too. Curating content for which the audience is clamoring is key there, and series such as “Golden Girls,” “Boy Meets World” and “ER” have been proven performers in getting viewers staying on the platform for days at a time. “ER,” for example, attracted more than 35,000 bingewatchers who watched every single episode within the first two months it was available on the service.

“We look for those shows that are sort of the comfort food to blend in with [originals like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’s’] intensity,” said Lisa Holme, vice president of content acquisitions at Hulu.

Hulu also expanded into the live television experience to provide consumers who cut the traditional cable cord a chance to watch series when they air in a more traditional time period.

But whether or not it will expand into hosting or creating live events the way YouTube has, Holme says it’s about, “What’s the right content that matches the right business model that hopefully matches the delightful consumer experience?” So while there are no solid plans to expand in that way today, “[it] could come some time,” she said.

As the success of series such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” proved for Hulu, the evolving landscape does often require the creation of original series to push streaming services forward in a bigger way.

YouTube Red also saw success with “Cobra Kai” last month and certainly hopes to continue it with series such as “Impulse” and “Origin.” The service, which is rebranding to YouTube Premium, gets a lot of pitches for high school set series as well as tech-based shows, said head of scripted drama Jon Wax. But that’s not all they want to be.

“On the drama side, we’re definitely looking for some more premium content that could compete with our brethren…but with probably a slightly younger bent for our audience,” he said.

Both Hulu and YouTube are open to acquiring series that started their lives on other networks. But both Holme and Wax said that the decision over whether or not to “save” someone else’s original comes down to if the “economics of the show and the size of the audience” match.

“The reality is that often when a show has declined over time and lost some of the audience over time and the network decides not to continue with it, that was the right decision,” Holme said.

read more here: variety.com

Teens leaving Facebook for YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat

Until recently, Facebook had dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth – but it is no longer the most popular online platform among teens, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, roughly half (51 per cent) of US teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

This shift in teens’ social media use is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Center’s last survey of teens and technology use in 2014-2015. Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teen life: 95 per cent of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fuelling more-persistent online activities: 45 per cent of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31 per cent) or mostly negative (24 per cent), but the largest share (45 per cent) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.

These are some of the main findings from the Center’s survey of US teens conducted in March and April 2018. Throughout the report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17.

Facebook is no longer the dominant online platform among teens

The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago. In the Center’s 2014-2015 survey of teen social media use, 71 per cent of teens reported being Facebook users. No other platform was used by a clear majority of teens at the time: Around half (52 per cent) of teens said they used Instagram, while 41 per cent reported using Snapchat.

In 2018, three online platforms other than Facebook – YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat – are used by sizable majorities of this age group. Meanwhile, 51 per cent of teens now say they use Facebook. The shares of teens who use Twitter and Tumblr are largely comparable to the shares who did so in the 2014-2015 survey.

For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographic characteristics, but there are exceptions. Notably, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households – a trend consistent with previous Center surveys. Seven-in-ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 per cent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

It is important to note there were some changes in question wording between Pew Research Center’s 2014-2015 and 2018 surveys of teen social media use. YouTube and Reddit were not included as options in the 2014-2015 survey but were included in the current survey. In addition, the 2014-2015 survey required respondents to provide an explicit response for whether or not they used each platform, while the 2018 survey presented respondents with a list of sites and allowed them to select the ones they use. Even so, it is clear the social media environment today revolves less around a single platform than it did three years ago.

When it comes to which one of these online platforms teens use the most, roughly one-third say they visit Snapchat (35 per cent) or YouTube (32 per cent) most often, while 15 per cent say the same of Instagram. By comparison, 10 per cent of teens say Facebook is their most-used online platform, and even fewer cite Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr as the site they visit most often.

read more here: advanced-television.com

IAB says revenues up 21% to $88B in 2017. What they don’t say: ‘not for you’

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its Q4 and 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report. In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices. And while the IAB doesn’t name names, Facebook and Google continue to suck up most of the oxygen in the room.

The data for the IAB report is collected from IAB member companies and publicly available corporate data by PwC.

Overall, digital ad revenue grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017. To put that in perspective, PwC says the revenue change in digital seen last year is greater than in the newspaper industry as a whole.

Digital video increased overall share in 2017, chipping away at search, to $11.9 billion, up 33 percent from $8.9 billion in 2016. Search still continued to grow at 17.5 percent in 2017, to $40.6 billion. Banner revenues, which includes banners, sponsorships and rich media, totaled $27.5 billion in 2017, up 23 percent from 2016.

Mobile continues to gain share, accounting for 57 percent of the overall digital ad pie in 2017, to reach $49.9 billion. That’s more than all digital ad revenues in 2014. Mobile has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.4 percent since 2010. Mobile share grew across all formats, as shown in the slide from the IAB webinar on the report.

Despite mobile’s ascendance, desktop revenues still grew in 2017, with a CAGR of 6 percent over 2016.

CPMs also increased in 2017, according to data from SQAD.com shared by the IAB. CPMs for in-stream video were up 3 percent 2017 year over year to $25.22, and CPMs for display rose 6 percent to $14.72 on average.

Social media isn’t broken out as a format, but its share of revenue topped 25.2 percent in 2017, reaching $22.2 billion. Facebook, of course, accounts for the bulk of social media advertising spend in the US.

Duopoly dominance
The IAB doesn’t release data on specific companies, but the top 10 companies commandeered 74 percent of total revenues. That share among the top 10 has remained relatively consistent, says the IAB. The elephant in the room is the fact that the top two — Facebook and Google — now make up the majority of that 74 percent.

During the webinar announcing the IAB report, Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research shared his analysis of Google and Facebook’s share of the market in the US. Acknowledging there are “a lot of assumptions” that go into these estimates and that his analysis is based on gross revenue, Wieser said, “It seems clear they are taking share. [Google and Facebook] probably accounted for 90 percent of the growth. The rest probably accounted for 10 percent or so.” Weiser pegs the duopoly’s share of US ad revenues at above 70 percent.

read more here: marketingland.com

Nielsen adds YouTube TV to audience measurement

Nielsen has announced that YouTube TV viewership at designated market levels (DMAs) will now be included in Nielsen Local TV audience measurement using Digital in TV Ratings (DTVR). This follows the introduction of YouTube TV into national TV ratings with DTVR last summer and is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to measure viewing everywhere as content consumption continues evolve.

To measure local media viewing, Nielsen developed DMA regions that group counties that form common local TV markets. There are currently 210 DMA regions across the US. By including YouTube TV in local ratings using DTVR, Nielsen says it will programmers and advertisers across these local DMAs to gain a more comprehensive view of audiences engaging with linear TV programming across digital platforms.

“Local broadcasters have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion of YouTube TV into Nielsen currency measurement,” said Jeff Wender, Managing Director, Nielsen Local. “We’re excited to be able to help local media buyers and sellers capture digital audiences, as well as provide advertisers a full account of all viewing activity, irrespective of distribution channel.”

YouTube ditches creators, targets TV users and reaches 25% of the world

YouTube ditches creators, targets TV users and reaches a quarter of the world

At its annual Brandcast event last week, YouTube said more than 1.8 billion users – almost 25% of the world’s 7.6 billion population – log into the streaming platform each month. It represents a 20% increase from the year before and a substantial increase from its total in 2013, of 1 billion.

Alphabet – which owns Google, YouTube’s parent – earned more than $95 billion in advertising revenue last year. Estimates put the total amount of online ad revenue at around $300 billion. EMarketer estimates that around 11% of this revenue comes from YouTube. If true, this would make YouTube one of the largest advertising platforms in the world.

YouTube targets TV users

Brandcast did more than demonstrate the immense influence and scale of YouTube; it also showed a change of strategy. The company announced, “over 150 million hours of YouTube watch time was recorded per day on TV screens alone.”

“The YouTube content is actually scaling for TV incredibly well,” said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl. “It is our fastest growing screen of all screens.”

The company will add TV screens to the list of devices that advertisers can target through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. For brands chasing cord-cutters, the company is introducing a new audience segment called “light TV viewers.” Targeting the new segment will allow advertisers to reach YouTube viewers who watch most of their videos on the television.

Companies can now buy TV inventory through the Google Preferred ad program. vMVPD users subscribers Q4 2017Google is adding the TV network ad inventory it gets through YouTube TV to the program. The move will allow brands to target audiences watching the most popular YouTube content and traditional TV shows in a single campaign.

YouTube touted its new vMVPD service, YouTube TV, as momentous. Though it hasn’t revealed monthly subscribers, it said the service is now available in more than 85% of US households. It is also the largest vMVPD service available. According to data from TiVo, 9% of consumers used the service in Q4 2017, more than double its biggest rival.

However, television wasn’t the only strategic change targeted by the platform.

YouTube ditches its creators for celebs

It’s no secret that YouTube enjoys massive popularity with the young Gen Z demographic. These children and young adults idolize internet sensations such as Logan Paul, Pewdiepie, and Liza Koshy. However, during Brandcast these stars were nowhere to be found. There was, however, no shortage of familiar faces.

Will Smith, Priyanka Chopra, Kevin Hart, and Demi Lovato were just some of the stars at the event as YouTube looked to “shine a light on human stories that inspire us.” The top Hollywood talent took center stage, while it was tough to find a single YouTube creator in the mix. YouTube announced new videos and partnerships with these celebrities. For example, Will Smith will bungee jump from a helicopter, and Demi Lovato will star in a show to build awareness, both efforts to help highlight the inspiring stories campaign.

read more here: nscreenmedia.com