Analysis for 'Aggregators'

  • VideoNuze-TDG Podcast #154 - Explaining YouTube's Declining Market Share; Update on Nordic OTT Activity

    I'm pleased to present the 154th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group. This week finds Colin in Copenhagen, in the middle of the Nordic region which is seeing a lot of OTT activity from Netflix, HBO Nordic and others. Colin provides an update on what he's learned.

    In addition, we discuss YouTube's declining market share, which in September stood at 33.2%, down from 53.1% as recently as July. I delved deeply into all of the year-over-year data this past Monday. Colin adds another dimension to the analysis, saying that this reflects a shift away from viewing short clips, toward longer-form viewing.  

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  • YouTube's September Market Share Plunges to Record Low

    Yesterday comScore released its September 2012 Video Metrix data which showed YouTube accounted for approximately 13.1 billion videos viewed out of the monthly total of 39.4 billion. At 33.2%, that's the lowest market share YouTube has had since Aug. '10 when I started tracking this data. As recently as July '12, YouTube had a 53.1% share (with 19.6 billion videos viewed), though as I pointed out previously, in August, its share dropped unexpectedly to 36.5%.

    In addition, the 13.1 billion YouTube videos viewed in September is the lowest in the 13 months since comScore changed its reporting methodology and is nearly 30% lower than the 18.6 billion videos viewed a year ago in Sept. '11 and almost 650 million lower than its Aug '11 total of 13.8 billion videos. (YouTube's record high was 21.9 billion in Dec. '11). See chart below for more.

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  • Report: Netflix Usage Holding Steady At Around 2,000 Minutes Per Subscriber Per Month

    Research firm GfK released data from its third annual Over-the-Top TV report late last week, finding, among other things, that consumption by Netflix subscribers age 13-54 is roughly 2,000 minutes per month, about the same as it found in its '11 study. That amount is in the same general ballpark as the 2,388 minutes/sub/mo that BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield calculated for June, 2012, and in line with the 2,000 minutes/sub/mo that I calculated during Q4 '11.

    The survey of 1,051 persons age 13-54 and conducted in June, 2012, found the average Netflix subscriber watches 5.1 TV shows and 3.4 movies per week. The survey revealed that 39% of this age group are Netflix subscribers (up from 35% in '11), with 47% having ever been a Netflix subscriber.

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  • Netflix's Monthly Streaming Per Subscriber Is Nearly Double ALL Other Internet Viewing

    In case you missed it while vacationing for July 4th, last week Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted on his Facebook page that Netflix's streaming exceeded 1 billion hours for June, a new record for the company. BTIG's Rich Greenfield calculated that equates to approximately 2,388 viewing minutes per Netflix U.S. subscriber for the month (that's up from 2,000 minutes/mo which I calculated for Q4 '11). To put the June minutes in context, it's nearly double the average 1,315 minutes that the 180.5 million U.S. Internet subscribers each streamed in May, according to comScore's data.

    Admittedly, it's a little bit of apples vs. oranges (comScore vs. Netflix internal data, May vs. June, free vs. paid, etc.), but assuming the numbers are at least in the ballpark, they demonstrate how thoroughly Netflix dominates in time spent per viewer vs. all other sites. For example, Netflix's 2,388 minutes/sub in June is more than 5x YouTube's 462.7 minutes/viewer in May and almost 10x Hulu's 253.7 minutes/viewer in May. Beyond YouTube and Hulu, the disparities become even more glaring; Netflix has 30x or greater viewing time of sites like Yahoo, VEVO, AOL and others.

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  • It's Hard to See How Streaming Movies Will Surpass DVD/Blu-ray In 2012

    Last Thursday night, a Bloomberg headline, "Online Film Viewing in U.S. to Top Discs in 2012, IHS Says," caught my eye. The article reported that media research firm IHS Screen Digest is forecasting that "legal online viewings of films will more than double to 3.4 billion this year from 1.4 billion in 2011." Meanwhile IHS is forecasting that DVD/Blu-ray viewing will decline from 2.6 billion viewings in 2011 to 2.4 billion in 2012.

    Over the weekend, as I kept seeing other publications essentially reiterating the Bloomberg story, I started wondering how IHS arrived at its forecast, the details of which I haven't seen. Doing a little back of the envelope analysis, as I show below, it's awfully hard to see how streaming movies in the U.S. will more than double from last year, unless some very unexpected things happen with Netflix (IHS notes that 94% of streaming movie volume was subscription-based, and of course, Netflix massively dominates this segment). Rather, it seems likely DVD/Blu-ray will hold on for another year.

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  • Amazon Cracks comScore's Top 10 Video Sites for Second Time

    Looking through comScore's list of top 10 video sites for December, 2011, one name jumped out at me: Amazon, which turned up at #9, with 27.8 million unique viewers and 95.4 million videos viewed. I'm accustomed to seeing the usual names on the list: Google (YouTube), Hulu, Viacom, Yahoo, AOL, etc., but I couldn't recall seeing Amazon before. I went back and looked at the last year of comScore numbers and in fact, this is the second time Amazon has appeared on the list. Back in June '11, Amazon showed as #10, with 21.2 million viewers and 43.1 million videos viewed.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #115 - Video Viewing Goes Multiplatform

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 115th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for Jan. 6, 2012. In today's podcast Colin and I discuss several new data points around multi-platform video adoption. Colin cites a U.K. report that says 36% of people are watching TV via a PC, laptop or tablet device and discusses the impactions of changing viewer behaviors, just latest in a string of research showing changing viewing patterns.

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  • Netflix's 2 Billion Streaming Hours in Q4 Blows Away Competitors

    Netflix subscribers appear to be spending far more time viewing the service's streaming content than do users of any other online video destination. According to new data Netflix released today, its 20 million subscribers consumed 2 billion hours of streaming TV shows and movies in Q4 '11. Using simple averages, that would mean each subscriber streamed 100 hours during the quarter, or approximately 2,000 minutes per month (about 33 hours). That's roughly 4 1/2 times the level of YouTube's time spent/viewer. According to comScore, YouTube, which dominates total monthly volume of online video, had approximately 151 million U.S. users in November, 2011, who viewed 444.5 minutes each, on average.

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  • Globally, YouTube's Market Share is 20 Times Its Nearest Competitor's

    I've often said that YouTube is the 800-pound gorilla of online video, but I was always basing that on its share of the U.S. market. Now, with comScore's first-ever release of global data from its Video Metrix service, it's clear that YouTube is in fact planet earth's 800-pound gorilla of online video.

    As seen in the chart below, in October YouTube delivered almost 44% of the 201 billion videos viewed globally, nearly 20 times as much as China's Youku, which was in second place with 2.3%, and nearly 7 times as much as the #2-5 players. Since the global market is so fragmented, based on some assumptions I've made, it's quite possible that YouTube has more market share globally than the top 100 video sites, combined. Wow.

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  • Exclusive: More Netflix Subscribers Still Use DVDs Than Streaming for TV Viewing

    Streaming may be the future, but for the present, more Netflix subscribers age 13-54 still use DVDs and Blu-ray discs to watch TV shows and movies on their televisions, according to a new research report that Knowledge Networks will release later this morning. As the chart below shows, among those surveyed, 29% said they use DVDs and Blu-ray to watch Netflix content at least once per month on their TVs, while 20% said they use streaming to watch on their TVs.

    For Netflix users the TV is still the primary viewing screen; 44% of those saying they use Netflix at least once a month use their TVs to watch, with 30% using a computer and 11% using a mobile device. Even among those using a computer, DVD usage is holding up pretty well, with 9% of respondents who watch Netflix at least once per month saying they use DVD, and 15% using streaming. This data, along with other results in the research, raises further questions about whether Netflix acted prematurely in deciding to split off its DVD operations to focus on streaming, a point I have made previously.

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  • comScore: VEVO is Top YouTube Partner Channel By Far

    Music video site VEVO attracted nearly 60 million unique viewers and generated over 844 million videos viewed to its YouTube partner channel in July, making it by far the most popular YouTube partner channel, according to new data released by comScore.

    comScore has recently begun measuring traffic for a select number of YouTube partners. As the chart below shows, Warner Music's channel was second in unique viewers with 31 million+, while Machinima's was second in videos viewed with 265 million+. From its inception, YouTube has been providing technology to VEVO, which was founded by Sony, Universal and Abu Dhabi Media, with EMI licensing its music videos.

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  • comScore: YouTube's Time Per Viewer In May Tops 5 Hours, More Than Next 5 Sites COMBINED

    comScore released its May 2011 U.S. online video rankings today which once again illustrated the extent to which YouTube remains the 800-pound gorilla of the online video market. For the first time, YouTube's time spent per viewer during the month exceeded 5 hours, coming in at 5 hours, 11 minutes. That reflects nearly 2.2 billion viewing sessions generated from over 147 million unique viewers (83.5% of all Americans who watched any online video in May).

    Looked at another way, YouTube's 5 hours, 11 minutes of viewership is more than the next 5 properties ranked had during the month, combined. The number 6 property, Microsoft's sites, had 46.5 million visitors for the month, less than a 1/3 of YouTube's, and 252 million viewing sessions, just 1/9 of YouTube's (see below). Hulu is the only property remotely close to YouTube in viewing time per user, racking up 3 hours, 38 minutes per viewer in May from 196 million viewing sessions. But Hulu had 28.5 million unique viewers in May, less than 1/5 of YouTube's.

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  • New Research Shows Netflix Is A Catalyst for Cord-Cutting and Cord-Shaving

    The Diffusion Group released interesting research yesterday which supports a view that I've had for a while: heavy Netflix streaming usage correlates with a propensity to cut back on pay-TV services. Although Netflix has strenuously tried to position itself as a low-priced compliment to pay-TV services, the reality is that for some pay-TV subscribers who have begun shifting their viewing hours to Netflix streaming, the two are more substitutes than compliments. As I've argued, these are primarily people who are entertainment-oriented, don't care about live sports, are comfortable with on-demand, not live-viewing, are budget-constrained, or some combination of all of these.

    The headline of the research is that the number of Netflix streamers considering downgrading their pay-TV service doubled year-over-year from 16% to 32%. But to me the key nugget is that among those who said they are likely to downgrade or eliminate their pay-TV service, 61% of moderate to heavy Netflix streamers cite online video usage as the top reason for doing so (with two-thirds of these citing Netflix specifically), while just 24% point to economic issues as their top reason. Conversely, for all Netflix streamers, almost half point to economic issues as their main reason (e.g. "cost of service" and "need to save money"), with just 34% pointing to online video usage as their top reason.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Jan. 10th

    Even though I was very focused this week on the CES "takeaways" series, there was still plenty of news happening in the online and mobile video industries. So as in the past, I'm pleased to offer VideoNuze's end-of-week feature highlighting 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Enjoy!

    Level 3 fights on in Comcast traffic dispute
    Level 3 is showing no signs of relenting on its accusations that Comcast is unfairly trying to charge the CDN for Internet traffic it delivers to Comcast's network. In an interview this week, Level 3 said it may use the "Open Internet" provisions of the FCC's new network neutrality rules to press its case. Level 3's challenge is coming at the 11th hour of the FCC's approval process of the Comcast-NBCU deal; it's not really clear if Level 3 is having any impact on slowing the approval, which appears imminent.

    Comcast-NBCU deal challenged over online video proposal
    Speaking of challenges to the Comcast-NBCU deal, word emerged this week that Disney is voicing concern over the FCC's proposed deal condition that would force Comcast to offer NBC programming to any party that had concluded a deal with one of NBC's competitors for online distribution. The Disney concern appears to be that the condition would have an undue influence on how the online video market evolves and how Disney's own deals would be impacted. While the FCC should be setting conditions to the deal, the Disney concerns highlights how, in a nascent, fast-moving market like online video, government intervention can cause unintended side effects.

    YouTube is notching 200 million mobile video views/day
    As if on cue with my CES takeaway #3, that mobility is video's next frontier, YouTube revealed this week that it is now delivering 200 million mobile views per day, tripling its volume in 2010. That would equal about 6 billion views per month, which is remarkable. And that amount is poised to increase, as YouTube launched music video site VEVO for Android devices. YouTube clearly sees the revenue potential in all this mobile video activity; it also said that it would append a pre-roll ad in Android views for tens of thousands of content partners.

    Google creates video codec dust-up
    Google stirred up a hornet's nest this week by announcing that it was dropping support for the widely popular H.264 video codec in its Chrome browser, in favor of its own WebM codec, in an attempt to drive open standards. Though Chrome only represents about 10% market share among browsers (doubling in 2010 though), for these users, it means they'll need to use Flash to view non-WebM ended video. There are a lot of downstream implications of Google's move, but for space reasons, rather than enumerating them here, check out some of the great in-depth coverage the issue has received this week (here, here, here, here).

    Netflix usage drives up Canadian broadband bills
    An interesting test of Canadian Netflix streaming showed that a user there might have to pay an incremental $12/month under one ISP's consumption cap. That would be more than the $7.99/mo that the Netflix subscription itself costs, leading to potential cord-shaving behavior. This type of upcharge hasn't become an issue here in the U.S. because even ISPs that have caps have set them high relative to most users' current consumption. But if streaming skyrockets as many think it will, and the FCC allows usage-based billing, this could fast become a reality in the U.S. as well.


     
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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Dec. 5th

    Once again I'm pleased to offer VideoNuze's end-of-week feature highlighting and discussing 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Nov. 29th

    Following the Thanksgiving break last Friday, VideoNuze's end-of-week feature of curating 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week, is back. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

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  • Report: 4% of Hulu Users Subscribe to Hulu Plus; Of Them 88% Also Subscribe to Netflix

    A new report being released today by One Touch Intelligence has found that 4% of surveyed Hulu.com users are subscribing to Hulu Plus and that of them, 88% of them are also Netflix subscribers. The survey included 970 individuals who subscribe to both a pay-TV service and a broadband Internet service, and have streamed or downloaded at least one TV show or movie in the past month.  Of the 970 individuals, 612 of them said they use the free Hulu.com service at least weekly, with 25 of them subscribing to Hulu Plus. Of the 25, 22 of them also subscribe to Netflix.

    On the one hand, the 4% penetration is noteworthy, since Hulu has yet to advertise the Hulu Plus service beyond its own site. That was reflected in the relatively narrow awareness of the service, with 68% of Hulu.com users who are not subscribing to Hulu Plus saying they are either "barely" familiar with Hulu Plus or not familiar with it at all.

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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Oct. 25th

    Lots more happened this week in online/mobile video, and so to make your lives easier, VideoNuze is once again curating 5-6 interesting industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    No Longer 'Must-See TV'
    The WSJ reported this week that Thursday night TV viewership (live or recorded) among 18-49 year-olds is down 4.3% this season to 48.5 million, a drop of 2.2 million viewers. For this age group, the drop across all nights (live or recorded) is 2.7%. While the decreases have immediate implications on networks' ad revenue, the bigger issue of course is what the drops say about shifting consumer preferences. For example, I continue to hear anecdotes about users with connected devices now tuning in first to their Instant Watch queues instead of channel surfing or visiting their DVR libraries or VOD. The Nielsen data corroborates other data (here, here) about the decline of TV viewing, especially among young people, and is another reason why broadcast networks in particular should be embracing connected devices like Google TV, not blocking them.
     

    CW Says Study 'Dispels Myth' About Aversion to Ads in Online Video
    Speaking of networks and their online distribution, this week CW released some interesting new data that detailed extremely low abandonment rates for its shows consumed online, even with ad loads almost equal to those on-air. While it is too early to generalize, the data provides a very encouraging sign that networks may be able to achieve parity economics with on-air, even when they window their online releases for delayed availability. It's also an important sign that online video may be a firewall against DVR-based ad-skipping.

    Comcast Launches Free Streaming Video Service Xfinity for All Digital Subs
    In addition to releasing stellar Q3 earnings this week (albeit with a bigger-than-expected subscriber loss), Comcast also pulled the "beta" label off its Xfinity TV service this week, and relaxed its rules about who can gain access. Now any video subscriber, regardless of who they take their broadband Internet service from, can access XFTV.

    Some began to speculate that it could be a precursor for Comcast allowing non-video subs to also gain access to XFTV. This is the concept I wrote about in over a year ago, in "How TV Everywhere Could Turn Cable Operators and Telcos Into Over-the-Top's Biggest Players." The idea is that TV Everywhere services like XFTV could be offered outside of Comcast's franchise areas to allow them to poach video subscribers from other pay-TV operators. It's still a fascinating concept, but nothing about Comcast's move this week suggests it's coming soon.

    Insight To Bow 50-Mbps Internet In Two Markets
    If you think all that Netflix and other long-form streaming is going to strain users' bandwidth, think again, as yet another cable operator/broadband ISP, 9th-largest Insight Communications unveiled plans for a speedy 50 megabit per second broadband tier. Big players like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been offering this for a while already. It's still very pricey, but as some viewers shift more of their consumption to online and away from conventional TV viewing (see above), more bandwidth will be worth the price. Update - I missed this item, that over in the U.K. Virgin Media began taking sign-ups for a 100 Mbps broadband service. Net, net, last-mile bandwidth will keep expanding to meet increasing demand.

    Promoted Videos hit half a billion views
    Fresh evidence this week that YouTube is finding innovative ways to monetize its massive audience: the company's performance-based "Promoted videos" format achieved its 500 millionth view, just 2 years after being introduced. With Promoted videos, anyone uploading a video to YouTube (brand, content provider, amateur), can buy opportunities to have that video appear alongside relevant keyword-based searches in YouTube. It's a similar format to AdWords, and of course the video provider only pays when their video is actually clicked on. As I said recently, YouTube is becoming a much more important part of Google's overall advertising mix, while for many brands, YouTube's home page is fast-becoming the most desirable piece of online real estate.


     
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  • 6 Items of Interest for the Week of Oct. 18th

    It was another busy week for online/mobile video, and so VideoNuze is continuing its Friday practice of curating 5-6 interesting industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    Networks block Google TV to protect themselves
    Yesterday news started breaking that ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking access by Google TV. There are numerous concerns being cited - potential disruption of advertising, encouraging cord-cutting, incenting piracy, diminished branding, unsatisfactory ad splits with Google, and general worry about Google invading the living room. Each item on its own is probably not enough to motivate the blocking action, but taken together they are. Still, doesn't it feel a little foolish that broadcasters would differentiate between a computer screen and a TV screen like this? For Google, it's more evidence that nothing comes easy when trying to work with Hollywood. I'm trying to find out more about what's happening behind the scenes.

    TWC Lines Up For ESPN Online Kick
    An important milestone for TV Everywhere may come as early as next Monday, as #2 cable operator Time Warner is planning to make ESPN viewing available online to paying subscribers. Remote access is part of the recent and larger retransmission consent deal between Disney and TWC. TV Everywhere initiatives have been slow to roll out, amid cable programmers' reluctance.  Further proving that remote authenticated access works and that it's attractive with a big name like ESPN would increase TV Everywhere's momentum.

    Hulu Plus, Take Two: How's $4.95 a Month?
    Rumors are swirling that Hulu may cut the price of its nascent Hulu Plus subscription service in half, to $4.95/mo. That would be a tacit recognition of Hulu Plus's minimal value proposition, largely due to its skimpy content offering. As I initially reported in August, over 88% of Hulu Plus content is available for free on Hulu.com. More important, Netflix's streaming gains have really marginalized Hulu Plus. Netflix's far greater resources and subscriber base have enabled it to spend far bigger on content acquisition. Even at $4.95, I continue to see Hulu Plus as an underwhelming proposition in an increasingly noisy landscape.

    Viacom Hires Superstar Lawyer to Handle YouTube Appeal
    Viacom is showing no signs of giving up on its years-long copyright infringement litigation against Google and YouTube. This week the company retained Theodore Olson, a high-profile appellate and Supreme Court specialist to handle its appeal. While most of the world has moved on and is trying to figure out how to benefit from YouTube's massive scale, Viacom charges on in court.

    Verizon to sell Galaxy Tab starting November 11th for $599.99
    Verizon is determined to play its part in the tablet computer craze, this week announcing with Samsung that it will sell the latter's new "Tab" tablet for $600 beginning on November 11th. The move follows last week's announcement by Verizon that it will begin selling the iPad on Oct. 28th, which was widely interpreted as the first step toward Verizon offering the iPhone early next year. Apple currently owns the tablet market, and it remains to be seen whether newcomers like the Tab can break through. For his part, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Apple's earnings call this week that all other tablets are "dead on arrival." Note, if you want to see the "Tab" and learn more about how connected and mobile devices are transforming the video landscape, come to the VideoSchmooze breakfast at the Samsung Experience on Wed., Dec. 1st.

    One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
    A fascinating new study from Say Media (the entity formed from the recent merger of VideoEgg and Six Apart), suggesting that 56 million, or one-third of adult Internet users, have reduced their live TV viewership. The research identified 2 categories: "Opt Outs" (22 million) who don't own a TV or haven't watched TV in the last week and stream more than 4 hours/week, and "On Demanders" (34 million) who also stream more than 4 hours/week and report watching less live TV than they did a year ago. Not surprisingly, relative to Internet users as a whole, both Opt Outs and On Demanders skew younger and higher educated, though only the latter had higher income than the average Internet user. This type of research is important because the size of both the ad-supported and paid markets for live, first-run TV is far larger than catalog viewing. To the extent its appeal is diminishing as this study suggests poses big problems for everyone in the video ecosystem.


     
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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 27th

    It's Friday and that means that once again VideoNuze is featuring 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Have a look at them now, or take them with you for weekend reading!

    Nielsen Unveils New Online Advertising Measurement
    comScore Introduces Digital GRP `Overnights` in AdEffx Campaign Essential
    Dueling initiatives from Nielsen and comScore were announced on Monday, aimed at translating online usage into comparable TV ratings information, including reach, frequency and Gross Ratings Points (GRPs). While online video ad buying is ramping up, the tools to measure viewership in a comprehensive way have been lacking. This is one of the main issues holding back content providers from participating in TV Everywhere. 

    Analyst: Cord-cutting fears overblown
    New research shared this week by BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield concludes that less than 8% of the market is actually interested in cord-cutting. The big impediment: losing access to sports and cable programming, which is unlikely to migrate to free over-the-top alternatives. Greenfield's conclusion is that cord-cutting isn't a major threat to pay-TV operators over the next 3-5 years. Notwithstanding the research, another factor I'd point to that could tip cord-cutting the other way is consumers' belt-tightening. Much as nobody wants to lose access to programming, if the price is perceived as too high, they'll make compromises.

    Why YouTube Viewers Have ADD and How to Stop It
    Abandonment rates for online video have always been a concern, and using new research, Visible Measures CMO Matt Cutler now quantifies the behavior. Expect 20% of the audience to drop out within 10 seconds of hitting play, 33% by the 30 second mark and 44% by 60 seconds in. Pretty sobering data but incredibly important in thinking about content creation and monetization.
     

    Networks Have Sharing Issues With Hulu
    Hulu's New Hoop
    On the one hand, Hulu's network partners, ABC, NBC and Fox are reportedly pulling back ad inventory that Hulu is allowed to sell, yet on the other, Hulu is reportedly out aggressively selling ads in Hulu Plus, its subscription service. Meanwhile this week Hulu also announced that Hulu Plus will be accessible on both Roku devices and TiVo Premiere, as it continues chasing Netflix in the subscription game.

    The New Apple TV Reviewed: It`s All About the Video
    Apple TV devices started shipping this week, and reviews began popping up all over the web. This mostly positive review indicates that the user experience is solid, but that content selection is still skimpy. That's no surprise given how few deals Apple has struck to date. Yet to be seen is how Apple TV performs when it can access other iOS apps.
     
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