Analysis for 'CBS'

  • Ad Loads in Long-Form Online Video More Than Double: Report

    If you catch up on your favorite TV programs by watching them online, then no doubt over the past year you've noticed, as I have, that ad volume has been growing. A new report from ad manager FreeWheel substantiates the trend: the number of video ads in long-form content (20+ minutes) has more than doubled, from just over 3 in Q1 '11 to almost 8 in Q2 '12. But in a very encouraging sign for both content providers and advertisers, an amazing 91% of these ads (including pre, mid and post-roll) are viewed to completion, the highest level FreeWheel has yet measured.

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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 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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  • Sports Continues to be Shining Star of Online Video

    The final and streaming viewership numbers for the FIFA World Cup provide the latest evidence that sports are the shining star of the online video world for both free and paid viewing. Here's some sample data for recent free online sporting events:

    FIFA World Cup: (7.4 million unique viewers, 15.7 million hours viewed), (10 million hours viewed)

    2010 NCAA March Madness: (8.3 million unique visits to MMOD video player, 11.7 million hours of video and audio)

    2009-2010 Sunday Night Football: (2.2 million unique visits, 1M hours viewed, 29 minutes of average tune-in time)

    2008 Beijing Summer Olympics: (70 million video streams, 10 million hours viewed, 27 minutes of average tune-in time)

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  • 4 Items Worth Noting from the Week of August 3rd

    Following are 4 items worth noting from the week of August 3rd:

    1. Research, research, research - For some unknown reason, there was a flurry online video-related research and forecasts released this week. In no particular order:

    eMarketer was out with a new forecast indicating 188 million online video viewers in the U.S. in 2013.

    Veronis Suhler released its forecast of 2009-2013 communications industry spending, showing advertising shrinking as a percentage of total spending.

    PWC's UK office released its 2009-2013 forecast, which also anticipates declines in advertising.

    CBS's research head David Poltrack used detailed data to explain the company's online video strategy and buttress its argument that in a TV Everywhere world, it should be compensated for its content (slides are here, via PaidContent).

    Ipsos found that Americans streamed a record amount of TV programs and movies, doubling their consumption from Sept '08 to July '09.

    Yahoo and a group of research partners released data finding that 70% of online video consumption happens throughout the day and night, as opposed to traditional TV viewing which is concentrated in the prime-time window.

    Last but not least, TDG released excerpts of its research on "over-the-top" video services, available for download at VideoNuze.

    2. Unicorn Media launches, hires ex-Move Networks executive David Rice - It will be hard for some to believe there's room for yet another white label video publishing and management platform, but startup Unicorn Media is going to try elbowing its way into the crowded space, with a specific focus on large media companies. I spoke with Unicorn's executive team this week, led by Bill Rinehart, who was the founding CEO of Limelight.

    Unicorn is positioning itself as the first "enterprise-grade" solution, staking out key differentiators such as enhanced analytics/reporting, faster/easier transcoding, improved APIs for content ingest/management and more flexible monetization/ad queuing. I have not yet seen a demo, but I'm intrigued by what I heard. The company has raised $5M to date from executives/angels and has a staff of 25. David Rice, formerly Move's VP of Marketing has come on board as Chief Strategy Officer. Given the team's industry expertise and relationships, this could be a company to watch.

    3. Google acquires On2 Technologies and other encoding-related news - The blogosphere was in a flurry about Google's $106M acquisition of video compression provider On2 Technologies this week. Speculation flew about Google open-sourcing On2 new VP8 codec, which could potentially force a new standard to emerge as a challenge to H.264, today's leading codec. This is important stuff, though a little further down the stack than I usually focus, so I refer you to Dan Rayburn's analysis of the deal's implications, which is the best I've seen.

    There was other news in the emerging cloud-based encoding/transcoding/delivery market this week, as announced a new premium service with tighter service level agreements (4 minute max wait time and 50 Gbyte/hour/customer throughput).'s Gregg Heil and Jeff Malkin explained the company is using the new SLAs to move upmarket to service tier 1 and 2 media companies. Separate,'s competitor mPoint's CEO Chiranjeev Bordoloi told me they're now on a $3M annualized revenue run rate as cloud-based alternatives continue to gain acceptance.

    4. Don't try this at home - On a lighter note, there's been no shortage of knuckle-head stunt videos we've all seen online, but this one is near the top of my personal favorite list. Do NOT try replicating this over the weekend!
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  • 4 Industry Items from this Week Worth Noting

    YouTube mobile video uploads exploding; iPhones are a key contributor - The folks at YouTube revealed that in the last 6 months, uploads from mobile phones to YouTube have jumped 1,700%, while in the last week, since the new iPhone GS was released, uploads increased by 400% per day. I didn't have access to these stats when I wrote on Monday "iPhone 3GS Poised to Drive User-Generated Mobile Video," but I was glad to see some validation. The iPhone 3GS - and other smartphone devices - will further solidify YouTube as the world's central video hub. I stirred some controversy last week with my "Does It Actually Matter How Much Money YouTube is Losing?" post, yet I think the mobile video upload explosion reinforces the power of the YouTube franchise. Google will figure out how to monetize this over time; meanwhile YouTube's pervasiveness in society continues to grow.

    Nielsen study debunks mythology around teens' media usage - Nielsen released a new report this week "How Teens Use Media" which tries to correct misperceptions about teens' use of online and offline media. The report is available here. On the one hand, the report underscores prior research from Nielsen, but on the other it reveals some surprising data. For example, more than a quarter of teens read a daily newspaper? Also, 77% of teens use just one form of media at one time (note, data from 2007)? I'm not questioning the Nielsen numbers, but they do seem out of synch with everything I hear from parents of teens.

    Paid business models resurfacing - There's been a lot of talk from media executives about the revival of paid business models in the wake of the recession's ad spending slowdown and also the newspaper industry's financial calamity. For those who have been offering their content for free for so long, putting the genie back in the bottle is going to be tough. Conversely for others, like those in the cable TV industry, who have resisted releasing much content for free, their durable paid models now look even more attractive.

    Broadcast TV networks diverge on strategy - Ad Age had a good piece this week on the divergence of strategy between NBC and CBS. The former is breaking industry norms by putting Leno on at 10pm, emphasizing cable and avidly pursuing new technologies. Meanwhile CBS is focused on traditional broadcast network objectives like launching hit shows and amassing audience (though to be fair it is pursuing online distribution as well with Both strategies make sense in the context of their respective ratings' situations. Regardless, broadcasters need to eventually figure out how to successfully transition to online distribution, something that is still unproven (as I wrote here).

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  • 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.

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  • 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 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!

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