Analysis for 'Broadcasters'

  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #18 - May 29, 2009

    Below is the 18th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for May 29, 2009.

    This week I review the Q1 '09 Nielsen A2/M2 Three Screen Report data recently released, comparing it to Q1 '08 data. My comments pick up on a post I wrote earlier this week, "Video Behavior Changes Suggest Evolution, Not Revolution For Now."

    Don't get me wrong, video consumption on alternative platforms (i.e. broadband, mobile, DVR) is continuing to grow briskly. But the reality is that when you look at the numbers, they suggest steady rather than dramatic, overnight change is what's really happening in the market. This reality is sometimes missed in the ongoing hype.

    Meanwhile Daisy adds more detail to a post she wrote, "Fox's Prison Break Finale Demonstrates the Power of Social Media," which describes how Fox cleverly used social media to promote a DVD with 2 additional episodes following the on-air finale. Fox used various social media sites to release a teaser picture from the new episodes and began promoting the DVD which will be available on July 21 on DVD and for purchase on iTunes. It's an intriguing way for the studio to migrate users beyond traditional TV consumption and generate additional revenue.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (13 minutes, 37 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 2-1-20
  • What Impact Does Broadband Have on TV Viewing?

    Want to get your head spinning? Try making sense of the various research data that keeps spilling out about current TV consumption, and how it is being impacted by broadband video's rising popularity.

    For those who think TV is largely unaffected, consider this: Last month, Nielsen reported that the average person in the U.S. watched approximately 142 hours of TV a month, which was 5 hours more than last year. Though Nielsen also said that watching video online and watching video on a mobile phone also clocked in new records at 2 hours, 31 minutes per month and 3 hours, 37 minutes per month, respectively (though, more mobile video use than online video use? That seems odd to me...).

    These positive TV numbers echo what Multichannel News reported CBS research head David Poltrack recently shared: that even though 75% of TV viewers have now watched some video online, TV viewing in all demographics have gone up 8% since 2000. So maybe TV viewing isn't being hurt much.

    But on the flip side is evidence that, particularly among young people, TV has already been hurt by broadband and other alternatives. Just yesterday Adweek reported upcoming numbers from Deloitte showing that viewing among 14 to 25-year-olds is now down to 10.5 hours per week, while their time spent watching video on computers continues to rise. These numbers build on research from IBM released last month that among the 76% of people they surveyed, 15% said they watched "slightly less" TV and 36% watch "significantly less" TV (note this was a 6 country study). There are other reports which have showed similar trends.

    What should one conclude? My take is that broadband and other outlets are certainly having an impact among younger people, where the digital lifestyle is most pervasive. However, there are still a whole lot of people living a mainly analog lifestyle. While that provides the TV industry some short-term comfort, the long-term trends almost certainly favor less TV viewing.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 2-1-20
  • New Magid Survey: Short-Form Dominates Online Video Consumption and Hurts TV Viewership

    Survey results being released this morning by Frank N. Magid Associates, a research consultancy, and video aggregator Metacafe provide fresh evidence that short-form video dominates online video consumption. Notably, the survey also goes a step further, finding that 28% of respondents who watch online video report watching less TV as a result.

    Meanwhile though, on the same day earlier this week that I was talking to Mike Vorhaus, managing director at Magid, and Erick Hachenburg, CEO of Metacafe about this new survey, Mediaweek was reporting a separate Magid survey, commissioned by CBS, which found that "35% of the nearly 50,000 streamers surveyed...reported that they are more likely to view shows on the network as a result of having been exposed to content on the web."

    As I learned from Mike, there's no actual contradiction in these 2 surveys' findings, but you do have to squint your eyes a bit to make sure you're understanding the data accurately.

    First, the findings on short-form's domination. The Metacafe survey asked respondents about the most commonly viewed types of video and presented them with category choices. The top 5 selected were all short-form oriented: Comedy/jokes/bloopers (37%), music videos (36%), videos shot and uploaded by consumers (33%), news stories (31%) and movie previews (28%). TV shows comes in at #6 (25%), followed by more short-form categories of weather, TV clips and sports clips.

    That short-form, snackable video dominates is not really a huge surprise, given YouTube's market share and the preponderance of virally shared clips. Yet Mike emphasized that short-form does not equal UGC, a point that Erick also highlights. Rather, Mike sees short-form as a legitimate alternative entertainment format that creatives are embracing and audiences are adopting. It is causing further audience fragmentation resulting in the TV audience erosion that the survey also uncovered.

    Which of course begs how Magid's CBS survey data squares up. Mike explained that the key here is that the CBS survey is based solely on users of CBS.com. These people naturally have a greater affinity for CBS programming and their likelihood of watching CBS shows on TV will be far higher than randomly-selected audiences (such as in the Metacafe survey). Here's the CBS press release for more details.

    So the CBS data suggests that networks should be encouraged that streaming their shows builds loyalty and broadcast viewership, and therefore that they should keep on doing it. Nevertheless they need to be mindful that their shows now compete in a far larger universe of video choices, and that short-form - as a new genre - is something they too should be looking to exploit. Appropriately, all the networks, and many studios, are doing exactly that.

    There is no shortage of research concerning consumer media behavior floating around these days. As the two Magid surveys show, superficially data may appear to be conflicting, though in reality it is not. Observers need to make sure they're digging in, and taking away the right lessons.

    What do you think? Post a comment now!

     
  • CTV Ad Summit - full banner - 1-10-20
  • New Statistics Address Video Piracy, Importance of Quick Online Release of TV Programs

    During very informative presentations at my NAB panel discussion yesterday, there were 2 slides that really caught my attention. Both shared statistics, new to me, about video piracy and user behavior patterns. These statistics illustrate the important early online window just following when a TV program is aired. Capturing this audience spike can dampen video piracy and also be a big revenue opportunity for providers.

    The first slide, shown below, was presented by Rob Adams, director of digital media operations at CTV, Canada's largest broadcaster. CTV offers both clips and full-length streaming episodes from its networks and select partner networks. In the slide below each line represents a single day's unique visitors for a specific TV series CTV offers.

     

    I know the slide is a bit of an eye chart, so I'll summarize the phenomenon Rob explained. In this example a popular network show airs at 7pm on Tuesday. Notice how the purple usage line spikes during the hour of its run. Rob explained that users who go online to find the episode being aired realize it's not yet available and instead begin catching up on previous episodes. That new episode is posted around 2 am, and the spike in usage the following day is shown by the blue line.

    Note the far lower behavior in the other lines and it is clear that the 24 hour window during and after airing a new episode is critical. It's also interesting to speculate on whether some users are beginning to look at online availability as pure VOD. If so, that would have implications on DVRs (i.e. why record a show when you've come to expect they'll all be posted quickly online?)

    The second attention-getting slide was based on recent research by Akamai and Vobile, which used its digital fingerprinting technology to track the availability of illegal copies of an episode a popular program and their download volume. In the slide below, it is clear that although illegal copies are available immediately, the volume of downloads jumps by more than 500% the following morning (13 hours after broadcast).

     

    What all of this demonstrates is that there is a real window of opportunity for premium video providers to slow video piracy and drive many new video views. By satisfying the obvious demand that users have for this content with legitimate distribution, providers can chip away at, though admittedly not eradicate, illegal sharing. If users gain confidence over time that their favorite programs will be available quickly, in high-quality and with a positive user experience (i.e. not overburdened with ads), the rationale to pursue the illegal route lessens. Conversely, video providers not responding to these viewer needs continue to leave themselves highly vulnerable to illegal behavior.

     
  • CTV Ad Summit - full banner - 1-10-20
  • Survey Says Broadband To Lag TV in 2012. Forget About It.

    This piece in today's Hollywood Reporter about a newly-released survey ("Broadband Won't Overtake TV, Execs Say") caught my eye because it continues a highly speculative, and largely irrelevant debate pervasive throughout the industry about future video consumption patterns.

    Why's the debate highly speculative? Because truly, none of us has any idea how people will consume video in 2012. There are just too many variables and too many unknowns to make an accurate prediction. Here's a point of comparison: let's say 5 years ago, in 2002, you were asked what percentage of Americans would consume broadband video in a given month? How many (or few!) of us would have predicted a whopping 75%? (the correct answer according to comScore in July '07). Better yet, how many of us would have guessed that over 25% of this consumption would be at just one site (YouTube) - a site that didn't even exist in 2002? Given these examples, who's to predict what 2012 will bring?

    And why's the debate largely irrelevant?

    Read on by clicking here...

     
  • CTV Ad Summit - full banner - 1-10-20
  • Survey: Broadband To Lag TV in 2012. Forget It.

    This piece in today's Hollywood Reporter about a newly-released survey ("Broadband Won't Overtake TV, Execs Say") caught my eye because it continues a highly speculative, and largely irrelevant debate pervasive throughout the industry about future video consumption patterns.

    Why's the debate highly speculative? Because truly, none of us has any idea how people will consume video in 2012. There are just too many variables and too many unknowns to make an accurate prediction. Here's a point of comparison: let's say 5 years ago, in 2002, you were asked what percentage of Americans would consume broadband video in a given month? How many (or few!) of us would have predicted a whopping 75%? (the correct answer according to comScore in July '07). Better yet, how many of us would have guessed that over 25% of this consumption would be at just one site (YouTube) - a site that didn't even exist in 2002? Given these examples, who's to predict what 2012 will bring?

    And why's the debate largely irrelevant? Because, in my opinion, it presupposes a continuation of the existing paradigm: an either/or choice of TV consumption OR broadband consumption. Yet these traditional lines of demarcation are already fading. Broadband programming is starting to migrate to networks, as in the recent case of Quarterlife's move from MySpace to NBC, while at the same time network TV programming is increasingly being consumed online. Meanwhile shorter form programming, not bound by traditional advertising pods is on the rise, further confusing industry definitions. Sites like Metacafe, blip.tv, Veoh and others are driving a whole new category of video that could eventually be a more popular format than 30 or 60 minute programs.

    These days consumers themselves are driving this "broadband or TV" debate into irrelevance. They're busy accessing programming on demand - whether "broadband" or "TV" - through a host of devices and services whose popularity is only going to skyrocket in the future. These include TiVo, Xbox, Netflix, Amazon Unbox and many others. Yet traditional thinking is still pervasive. For example, just this week, the chairman of the FCC has attempted to enact new regulations governing how cable programming might be unbundled. Fortunately this initiative collapsed, but take heed, market forces will eventually cause cable operators to offer programming as consumers want it, not how tradition dictates.

    I think Jim Denney, a TiVo product management VP whom I spoke with yesterday hit the nail on the head. Jim said TiVo's philosophy is to have their users "not worry about where any particular video's coming from, but rather just have all choices easily available." That strikes me as a winning business approach for the turbulent and converging 5 years that lie ahead. In my view, those companies which think about how to deliver value to consumers on their terms, rather than being guided by increasingly artificial distinctions, will be the ones to emerge as the winners in 2012.

     
  • CTV Ad Summit - full banner - 1-10-20
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