Analysis for 'MetaCafe'

  • New Magid Survey: Short-Form Dominates Online Video Consumption and Hurts TV Viewership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What do you think? Post a comment now!

     
  • Survey Says Broadband To Lag TV in 2012. Forget About It.

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

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

    And why's the debate largely irrelevant?

    Read on by clicking here...

     
  • Survey: Broadband To Lag TV in 2012. Forget It.

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

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

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

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

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

     
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