Analysis for 'CW'
Friday, October 29, 2010, 10:03 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondLots 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.
Friday, April 2, 2010, 8:17 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondDaisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 55th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for April 2, 2010.
This week Daisy and I first discuss my post from this past Monday, "New comScore Research Available; More Ads Tolerable in Online TV Programs" (the post also includes a link for a complimentary download of the research presentation). Among other things the research concludes is that viewers of online-delivered TV programs could tolerate 6-7 minutes of ads which is approximately double the typical current ad load.
I have argued for some time that the ad load in online programs is way too light and that it was jeopardizing the broadcast networks' P&Ls, particularly as convergence devices allow online video viewing directly on TVs. Coincidentally, this week the CW Network announced that it would double its ad load next TV season. And Hulu, though announcing this week that it has been profitable for the past 2 quarters, is under continued pressure by its content partners to increase its ad load to generate more revenue (recall that Hulu recently blocked the new Kylo browser, which I asserted was due to concern about cannibalizing audience and ad dollars from on-air).
Daisy then tells us more about "hot-spotting," which is the ability to click on an item in an online video and learn more about it and possibly purchase. Hot-spotting has become very hot (no pun), with multiple companies now offering technology that appears to be yielding significant results. Daisy reports that ConciseClick, ClickThrough and VideoClix are among the leaders and she provides some interesting stats on their performance. Listen in to learn more.
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Video Research Around the Web
- As streaming surges globally, Roku is falling behind abroad Protocol
- World-Wide Streaming Subscriptions Pass One Billion During Pandemic WSJ
- Cable Now Controls Nearly 70% of U.S. Fixed Broadband After Biggest Year Since 2008 Next TV
- Cord Cutting’s Worst Year Ever: Analyst B&C
- Disney Plus Will Surpass Netflix in Customers by 2026, Research Company Says Next TV
- Tubi Says Streaming Rose 58% In 2020, With Half Of Viewers Younger Than 35 Deadline
- U.S. SVOD Revenue Spiked 39% in Q3 to $5.5 Billion Next TV
- What Are Consumers Willing To Pay For Ad-Free TV Content? Mediapost