Analysis for 'YouTube'

  • comScore Data: AOL Video Soars, YouTube and Total Views Down

    comScore released its August '12 data on online video usage last week , making it a full 12 months since it changed its reporting methodology. Looking over the data, there are a few things worth pointing out.

    First is that AOL has had a very strong year, increasing its videos delivered from 408 million in Sept. '11 to 725 million in Aug. '12, a 78% jump (see chart below). That's the best growth rate of any of the top 10 sites from Sept. '11. It's also the second consecutive month that AOL was in second place to YouTube, the industry's perennial leader. AOL has put a huge emphasis on video, launching the AOL On Network last April, along with a slate of original programming.

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  • Google/YouTube: Research Shows Lighter TV Viewers Primed for Online Video Ads

    It's no secret that with consumer behavior fragmenting over different video sources and media-related activities, advertisers are having a tougher time than ever reaching their targeted audiences. Especially elusive are younger, lighter TV viewers. No surprise, these lighter viewers skew younger with about 31% of 18-49 age group in the category. They're also choice targets for advertisers: they're wealthier, more educated and more diverse.

    To help prove the efficacy of online video advertising as a method for reaching these viewers, yesterday Google/YouTube and Nielsen released new research demonstrating that lighter TV viewers (who average 39 minutes per/day) are more effectively and cost-efficiently reached with online video advertising that compliments traditional TV advertising.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • CES Takeaway #3: Mobility is Video's Next Frontier

    (Note: Each day this week I'm writing about one key takeaway from last week's CES 2011. Also, next Wednesday, January 19th, The Diffusion Group's Colin Dixon and I will be hosting a complimentary webinar, "Demystifying CES 2011," in which we'll discuss key CES highlights and answer participants' questions.)

    One of the clear trends that emerges from the video-related product announcements at CES 2011, and in the months leading up to it, is that mobility is video's next frontier.

    Just as online video adoption grew out of massive online Internet use, mobile video consumption is going to ride the tremendous wave of mobile Internet use. And by many accounts mobile Internet usage is on the cusp of a massive expansion. The analyst Mary Meeker believes that by 2014 there will be more mobile Internet users globally (about 1.6 billion) than desktop Internet users. In just the past year, the number of Americans who have used the Internet from their mobile phones has increased from 32% to 40%, with those reporting they accessed the 'net several times a day from a mobile phone jumping from 24% to 43%, according to Pew.

    Unquestionably the big growth in mobile Internet use has been facilitated by the explosion of video-friendly smartphones and tablets. Indeed CES could have almost been renamed "Tablet-Fest 2011" as numerous tablets were introduced, all seeking to imitate the iPad's huge success. In 2011, IDC predicts 330 million smartphones and 42 million tablets will be sold worldwide. In the U.S., Nielsen estimates that by the end of 2011, smartphones will have a greater market share than feature phones. Certainly Verizon's iPhone announcement yesterday is another smartphone accelerant, with Verizon loyalists finally gaining access to the iconic device. A recent study from MeFeedia underscored Apple's role in driving mobile video adoption: 43% of mobile video usage was from iPhones and iPads, with Android bringing in 21%. In addition to the proliferation of devices, the rollout of speedy 4G networks will make mobile video consumption easier and more pleasing to viewers.

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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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  • 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 Oct. 11th

    Continuing VideoNuze's Friday feature of highlighting 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    JetBlue Unvails Ads Created By Mullen
    Take a moment to head over to YouTube today where JetBlue has bought out the top-of-page expanding banner for a hilarious new ad campaign, "You Above All," featuring a series of reality-style videos of New Yorkers in situations that mock the JetBlue competitors' service. The clever JetBlue campaign follows the head-turning Sylvester Stallone YouTube ad for "The Expendables" from a couple months ago and underscores the ascendance of YouTube as the #1 piece of online real estate for break-the-mold video campaigns for high-profile brands. Google is capitalizing on YouTube's appeal by featuring it prominently in its current "Watch This Space" ad campaign promoting the value of display advertising.

    Google TV Guns for Cable Deals
    And speaking of Google, with the recent introduction of Google TV, the company is reaching out to cable operators to ink integration deals similar to what it showcased with satellite operator Dish TV last week. Google TV offers tantalizing potential, particularly to smaller operators, to add Internet elements to their core video service, helping better compete with over-the-top entrants like Netflix. Conversely, as we saw this week with the funding/public launch of BNI Video (and in a series of separate product announcements coming next week), technology vendors are lining up to offer cable operators the ability to deliver their own Internet experiences. It's a very confusing time for cable operators, who must figure out whether to go it alone and invest heavily, or partner with a tech giant like Google.

    comScore Releases September 2010 U.S. Online Video Rankings
    comScore's video rankings for September yielded no big surprises, as Google/YouTube continued to be the dominant online video provider and Yahoo narrowly retook the #2 spot from Facebook. comScore changed the way it publicly reports its data this past June which has made it a little harder on independent analysts like me to show trending data as I used to do. Nonetheless, I'm hoping to have some new trending charts to share soon.

    Blip.tv Predicts Best Quarter Yet for Web Creators
    More encouraging news on the online video ad front, as video platform/distributor blip.tv said this week that Q4 '10 is on track to be its best quarter ever. Blip has been a very important player in bringing independent web series to market and its ability to monetize is a key driver of sustainability for many fledgling creators. Blip's news synchs with overall online video ad momentum in first half '10.

    Introducing the JW Player for Flash and HTML5
    Last month I wrote about how the open source JW Player is receiving 15K downloads per day. This week version 5.3 of the JW Player was released which integrates Flash and HTML5 into a single video player, using a unified JavaScript API. What that means is that anyone embedding the new player can seamlessly deliver either Flash or HTML5 video with the browser auto-detecting which playback mode to use. Since browsers and devices are still quite heterogeneous in what formats they support, initiatives like this help reduce friction in publishing and user experience.


     
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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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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 6th

    Though it was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, there was no shortage of online video industry happenings this week. As I've been doing each of the last few Fridays, following are 5-6 noteworthy industry stories for your weekend reading pleasure.

    Ooyala Raises $22 Million to Accelerate Global Expansion
    Online video platform Ooyala's new $22 million round is a bright spot in what's been a pretty slow quarter for online video industry private financings. Ooyala's new funds will help the company grow in the Asia-Pacific region. Ooyala said it is serving 550 customers, double the level of a year ago.

    Google TV to Roll Out World-Wide Next Year
    Even though the first Google TV-enabled devices have yet to be deployed, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that he envisions a global rollout next year. The connected device landscape is becoming more competitive for Google TV given the growing number of inexpensive connected device options.

    Business Groups Question Net Neutrality Rules
    Three pro-business trade groups urged the FCC to drop its net neutrality initiative, citing the "flourishing" broadband market and concerns that regulations will curtail new investments and hurt the economy. It seems like everyone has a different opinion about net neutrality, so the consensus needed to move regulation forward is still down the road.

    ESPN, YouTube Link Up for Promo Campaign
    This week ESPN and YouTube kicked off their "Your Highlight" campaign, enticing ESPN viewers to upload their own sports clips, with the best ones to be shown on SportsCenter. Then the best of the best will win a trip to ESPN's studios to watch a SportsCenter taping. It's a great promotional concept, using online video to further invest ESPN viewers in the brand. Whoever thought it up deserves a shout-out.

    Life Without a TV Set? Not impossible
    Another interesting data point to tuck into your back pocket: according to a 2010 Pew study, just 42% of Americans feel a TV set is a "necessity," down from 64% in 2006. Pew interprets this as a loss of status for the TV, as other devices like computers and phones have become video capable. The perception of convergence is taking root.


     
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  • YouTube Surges to Almost 15 Billion Views in May

    comScore has released its May online video rankings and at the top of the list, as usual, is YouTube. In May it racked up a record 14.6 billion video views, up 11.5% from April. YouTube's market share actually dipped slightly in May, to 43..1%, still its 3rd-highest monthly share since comScore began releasing this data in Jan '07. Total video views were also at a record high of 33.9 billion views in May.

    The chart below shows how remarkable YouTube's growth has been since Jan '09. YouTube has more than doubled its monthly views from 6.3 billion. Meanwhile, YouTube's market share has hovered right around 40% each month, with its lowest level at 37.7% in Oct '09 and its highest of 43.5% in April '10. YouTube is generating more than 10 times the monthly views it was when Google acquired it.


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  • Total Video Viewership Down Slightly in April; YouTube Share Jumps

    comScore has released its new online video rankings for April '10 which show total videos viewed of 30.3 billion, down almost 3% from the prior month's 31.2 billion. As a result, YouTube, which was roughly flat in April at 13.1 billion videos, saw its market share increase to 43.5%, its highest level since July '08. It was also YouTube's second highest share since I started tracking the comScore numbers in Jan '07 (when YouTube had a relatively paltry 16.2% market).

    The 3% decrease in total videos from March '10 to April '10, compares with a 5% decrease from March '08 to April '08 and a 16% increase from March '09 to April '10. While it's hard to discern any trends around these 3 year numbers, one thing worth noting is that over the last 6 months, with the exception of blips up in Dec '09 and Jan '10, total video views have stayed relatively stable right around 30 billion. I'm not sure exactly what to conclude from that, but I'll certainly be watching the coming months to see if viewership is flat-lining or just taking a breather.

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  • Online Video Viewing Rebounds in March According to comScore; Hulu Performance is Mixed

    Online video viewing rebounded to 31.2 billion total streams in March '10 according to comScore's newly-released numbers. The March total marks an 11% increase in streams over February's 28.1 billion. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it also continues a leveling-dipping-rebounding pattern that has occurred in the Dec-Mar months for the last 2 years as shown in the chart below. If the pattern holds, we'll see strong growth for the next 6 months or so.



    As always, YouTube was the top video site by a wide margin. In March it notched 13.1 billion views, up 10% vs. February's 11.9 billion. Its share was down just slightly to 41.8% from February's 42.5%. Still, it was the 21st consecutive month that YouTube's share has been plus or minus 2-3 percentage points of 40%, a remarkable run.

    Hulu also bounced back strongly in March, recording its best month to date with 1.070 billion streams, up 7.5% vs. February's 912.5 million. But with Hulu viewers averaging 156 minutes, the minutes per viewer in March actually slipped to 5.84 from 6.18 in Feb. Hulu's average minutes has stayed stubbornly around 6 minutes for over a year now. In addition, total unique viewers came in at just over 40 million. As I've pointed out in the past, Hulu's viewership has been stuck around the 40 million mark now for a year. Absent a radical change, it seems that neither one of these metrics will break out of their respective range any time soon.

    Lastly, on the ad network site, Tremor Media, which earlier this week announced a $40 million financing, saw its reach increase to 96 million viewers.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
     
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  • comScore's February 2010 Numbers Show Further Online Video Usage Declines

    comScore released its Feb '10 online video rankings yesterday, which showed the 2nd straight month of usage declines in aggregate and for many of the top 10 sites. Total video views came in at 28.1 billion, vs. 32.4 billion in January and 33.2 billion in December '09. As I pointed out in my analysis of comScore's Jan numbers last month, and as the chart below shows, in each of the last 3 years, the period from December to February has seen flat to slightly declining viewership.



    It's still too early in online video's evolution to form hard and fast conclusions about the impact of seasonality, but judging from the past 3 years it seems as though we're beginning to see the pattern. February is also a shorter month than either Dec or Jan, so this too plays a role in explaining the downward trend in viewership.

    As usual, YouTube was the most-used video site, generating 11.9 billion views, down from 12.8 billion in Jan and 13.2 billion in Dec. YouTube's share jumped up to 40% in Jan, marking almost 2 years that the site's share of the overall video market has been plus or minus 3 percentage points of 40% share, a remarkable achievement given the growth of other video sites.

    Hulu is one of those sites that achieved growth in Feb, increasing its video views to 912.5 million from January's 903 million, though both are down from the site's December record of just over a billion views. In Feb Hulu averaged 6.18 minutes viewed per video, the first time the site has been back up over 6 minutes since Sept '09. Hulu's audience came in at 39.2 million uniques, continuing to be stubbornly stuck around the 40 million mark for a full year. I've commented before that Hulu appears to be encountering a challenge broadening its user base. The deletion of the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert programs will only make this challenge harder.

    As the chart above also shows, in the past 2 years March has been a month when viewership rebounded, setting the stage for growth over the following 9 months. We'll see whether the same pattern starts to play out next month.
     
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  • Interpreting comScore's January 2010 Online Video Usage Decline

    comScore released its Jan '10 online video rankings yesterday, and while the numbers were still very strong, they did show declines from Dec '09. For example, in Jan, total monthly views were 32.4 billion, compared with 33.2 billion in Dec '09, a decline of 2.4%. To try to put this blip downward in a little more context see the chart below. I've called out the Dec-Feb period for the past 3 years. In prior years there have been slight to moderate decreases somewhere in this period. This might suggest some seasonality, based on limited historical data.
     



    It's also worth noting that over the course of the last 3 years there have been 7 monthly sequential declines in the total monthly video views. Obviously nothing grows uninterrupted forever, and nobody should expect this from the online video market. Still, when you look at the overall growth curve, there can't be too many other Internet activities that have grown as consistently, with the exceptions maybe of social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

    Elsewhere in the comScore stats, YouTube remained the undisputed 800 pound gorilla for another month, once again maintaining its approximate 40% market share (39.4% in Jan to be exact). According to comScore, YouTube's market share hasn't been below 35% since May '08, when total video views were 12 billion. In other words, even as total views have almost tripled, YouTube has consistently held onto its market share. Pretty amazing.

    Hulu also had another strong month, notching 903 million views (its 3rd best month) from 38.4 million unique visitors. Still, the unique visitor count tumbled by 13% from 44.2 million in Dec '09 to 38.4 million in Jan (by comparison YouTube increased from 135.8 million unique visitors in Dec to 136.5 million in Jan). As I mentioned recently, I'm looking for evidence that Hulu can expand its U.S. user base beyond the 35-45 million range it's been in for over a year.

    One other point worth noting from the Jan data is that Vevo, the music video aggregation site just launched in Dec '09 broke into the top 10 with 32.3 million unique viewers and 226.1 videos viewed. Vevo's rapid growth is further testament to the popularity of music videos online and the continued importance of short-form.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

     
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  • Why Did Online Video Consumption Spike in 2009?

    If you want to get a sense of how significant an inflection year 2009 was for online video, have a look at the chart below.

     

    As you can see, according to comScore data, while Jan-Dec growth in 2007 (up 2.8 billion views or 39%) and 2008 (up 4.5 billion views or 46%) were impressive by any standard, the Jan-Dec 2009 growth of 18.4 billion views, up 124%, completely blows them away. Growth was so significant in 2009 that I think years down the road it will be pointed to as the year that online video really turned the corner.

    But if that's the case, the question begs, "Why did growth accelerate so much in 2009 vs. prior years?" That's what I've been asked several times by industry colleagues since posting "comScore Data Shows 2009 Was a Blistering Year for Online Video" 2 weeks ago. It's a great question and though I don't have a really precise answer, here's my best sense of what happened.

    No surprise, the most important contributor to the year's growth was YouTube. It zoomed from 6.3 billion views in Jan '09 to 13.2 billion in Dec. '09. That increase of 6.9 views accounts for 38% of the 18.4 billion delta between Jan and Dec. So what did YouTube do to generate such significant growth? Part of the reason is surely organic; more people uploading, sharing and viewing YouTube videos. But in 2009 YouTube also made strides in professionalizing the content on YouTube, broadening its value proposition to users. For example, its "Content ID" program, which lets media companies manage and monetize user-uploaded videos, has largely addressed the copyright infringement concerns from past years (the Viacom suit is a notable exception).

    In 2009, among other things, YouTube also signed up Disney/ESPN, Univision and others as content partners, began implementing FreeWheel's ad system so 3rd party content providers could better monetize their views, engaged a number of leading brands to use it as a promotional platform, and with "YouTube Direct" engaged news organizations as partners. In short, YouTube continues to immerse itself into the fabric of the Internet. Whether users are viewing videos at its site or through its wildly popular embeds, YouTube has become omnipresent. YouTube now also claims to be the 2nd largest search site.

    A second, but distant contributor to 2009's growth was Hulu, which saw its views increase by over 763 million from Jan to Dec, accounting for about 4% of the 18.4 billion increase in total views during that period. Hulu's mindshare leaped following its 2009 "Evil Plot" Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin and the subsequent ones. No doubt the addition of ABC programs throughout the year, plus other new content partners, also helped generate more viewership, along with the hugely popular SNL clips.

    Once you get beyond these top 2 sites, the individual contributions to 2009's growth are more dispersed. The comScore data shows that across all video sites, usage intensified significantly during the year. For example, the number of videos viewed per viewer increased from 101 in Jan to 187 in Dec. The number of minutes watched jumped from 356 in Jan (almost 6 hours) to 762 in Dec (more than 12 1/2). There were also 31 million more U.S. Internet users watching video in Dec vs. Jan (178 million vs 147 million).

    Looking beyond the numbers and thinking more qualitatively, it's also fair to conclude than in '09 online video reached a certain level of awareness that made it almost ubiquitous. There is just so much video online, and it is shared so widely, and highlighted so frequently by mainstream media, that it is unavoidable, even for the least technically-savvy among us. People are increasingly entertaining themselves with online video, but they're also finding new uses for it in their daily personal and professional lives.

    I think it's unlikely we'll see the same level of growth in 2010 as in 2009, but I do believe the growth curve over the next 5 years will be very steep. The primary contributor will be convergence devices (e.g. game consoles, Blu-ray players, Roku, etc.) that are bridging online video to the TV where longer-form consumption will be the norm. Another key contributor will be TV Everywhere services, which are just now getting off the starting blocks. Lastly, I think growth in mobile consumption will be another important contributor. Add them all up and the 33.2 billion videos viewed in Dec. '09 will look relatively small 5 years from now.

    What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).

     
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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #49 - February 12, 2010

    Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 49th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for February 12, 2010.

    This week Daisy and I dig into the 2009 comScore data that I detailed in my post on Tuesday (slides available for download too). It was a blistering year for online video, with total streams growing from 14.8 billion in Jan '09 to 33.2 billion in Dec '09. All the other relevant metrics also recorded strong growth. I share more details on the numbers and what they mean, focusing particularly on the top 2 sites YouTube and Hulu.

    Then Daisy discusses her takeaways from the recent iMedia conference she helped organize. She talks about how brands are trying to break through the clutter, and the role of online video ad networks. Finally, she also discusses recent interviews she conducted with Facebook executives.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (13 minutes, 55 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

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

     
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