Exciting trends in video monetization and TV connected devices in Q2 2015 Digital Video Benchmark report

The Dig­i­tal Video Bench­mark report by Adobe Dig­i­tal Index can help you keep up-to-date with the changes tak­ing place in how con­sumers view video. It cov­ers both online video con­sump­tion and TV Every­where trends. In the Q2 2015 report, we iden­ti­fied three key trends that will be impor­tant to Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers. Here’s a sum­mary of these trends.

  1. Video mon­e­ti­za­tion is on an upward trend; view­ers are now watch­ing nearly 3 ads per video view
    Video ads per video view are up 30% over Q2 2014. Mon­e­tiz­ing video appears the eas­i­est in real­ity TV, where view­ers see 3.9 ads per video view, and the hard­est in com­edy, where view­ers see 2.1 ads per video view.
    global monthly average ad start per video start
  2. Authen­ti­cated TV is mov­ing back to the liv­ing room; 21% of TV Every­where authen­ti­ca­tions are hap­pen­ing from TV con­nected devices
    The share of authen­ti­cated view­ing via a TV con­nected device rose from 10% in Q2 2014 to 21% in Q2 2015, an increase of 110% year over year (YoY). This, com­bined with a 21% decline YoY in tablet video view­ing sug­gests that view­ers are ditch­ing their tablets in favor of TV con­nected devices. Kids swap­ping out iPads for Apple TV and Roku are lead­ing this charge.
    share of TV everywhere users by device type
  3. View­ing fre­quency is now the high­est on TV con­nected devices
    In Q2 2014, TV con­nected devices trailed iOS and Android in the aver­age num­ber of authen­ti­cated video views per vis­i­tor. By Q2 2015, view­ing fre­quency jumped from 7.2 authen­ti­cated video views per vis­i­tor to 9.7 authen­ti­cated video views per vis­i­tor. This makes TV con­nected devices beat out all other access types on view­ing fre­quency. In com­par­ison, iOS has a view­ing fre­quency of 9.2 authen­ti­cated video views per vis­i­tor, Android has a view­ing fre­quency of 7.9, and the browser has a view­ing fre­quency of 4.8.
    tv everywhere viewing frequency by access type

You can read the full Q2 2015 Dig­i­tal Video Bench­mark by Adobe Dig­i­tal Index by down­load­ing a free copy here.

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How Adobe Primetime is Incorporating DASH

In March, I wrote about how Adobe Prime­time is tran­si­tion­ing to MPEG-DASH, or DASH for short, which is a stan­dard for adap­tive bitrate (ABR) deliv­ery of media to any device. This month, Abhi­nav Kapoor, Sr. Man­ager of Soft­ware Devel­op­ment at Adobe Prime­time, shared the lat­est update at IBC 2015 regard­ing our plans to incor­po­rate DASH and expand the use of DASH for stream­ing video.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Abhi­nav talks about Adobe Primetime’s sup­port for DASH on HTML5, on our native clients across all the devices that we sup­port, and about how we’re using DASH on both the client- and server-side. For exam­ple, Adobe Prime­time has sev­eral server-side com­po­nents that are ready for DASH, which has sev­eral ben­e­fits, includ­ing reduc­ing the com­plex­i­ties around insert­ing ads on the server side. He also cov­ers how we’re work­ing on exten­sions to the stan­dard in order to bring in sup­port for fea­tures like Web­VTT and com­mon encryp­tion for the rota­tion of licenses and keys.

Adobe Prime­time looks for­ward to actively pur­su­ing to inte­grate stan­dards like DASH to engage audi­ences with pre­mium TV expe­ri­ences online. Inter­ested in the full story? Watch Abhinav’s pre­sen­ta­tion in this video.  

Parks Associates Report Download: What Matters When it Comes to Ad Insertion for Premium Programming

Parks Assoc­iates just released a new report about ad inser­tion, spon­sored by Adobe Prime­time. It’s for media exec­u­tives look­ing to stream­line ad inser­tion in over-the-top (OTT) video and TV Every­where deliv­ery. The report high­lights the need to take a holis­tic approach to ad inser­tion and to prop­erly eval­u­ate the trade­offs of server- and client-side approaches.

The report takes read­ers through four key areas of ad inser­tion. First, it cov­ers the busi­ness and tech­ni­cal con­sid­er­a­tions such as scale, ad block­ing, ad waste, ad deci­sion­ing, and ana­lyt­ics. Sec­ond, it explores the pros and cons of client-side and server-side approaches to ad inser­tion. Third, it dis­cusses the com­pa­nies that offer ad inser­tion capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing Inter­net com­pa­nies, con­tent deliv­ery net­works (CDNs), encod­ing com­pa­nies, online video plat­forms (OVPs), and cable tech­nol­ogy ven­dors. Finally, it out­li­nes the five things that mat­ter the most about ad inser­tion: reach, effi­ciency, intel­li­gence, engage­ment, and qual­ity at scale.

To read the full report, sign up to get a free copy here.

Improving Startup Performance by Pre-Fetching Videos Faster with TVSDK 2.0

Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers get a major improve­ment in star­tup per­for­mance from the Instant On fea­ture in our new TVSDK 2.0.

What is Instant On?

Instant On is a fea­ture in TVSDK 2.0 that allows app devel­op­ers to pre-fetch video seg­ments and queue them up for play­back even before a viewer has selected them.

The Instant On dif­fer­ence

With­out Instant On, when a viewer starts a video, the video player needs to wait until it has received enough data to start play­ing. Depend­ing on fac­tors like the video bitrate and net­work con­di­tions, star­tup can take up to 10 sec­onds or even longer. With Instant On, the data needed to start play­back is pre-fetched in the back­ground so that star­tup only takes half a sec­ond or less. The chart below shows that in our tests, star­tup time can be over 3000% faster with Instant On.

The Instant On fea­ture of TVSDK 2.0 improved star­tup time for pre­mium pro­gram­ming play­back by over 3000% in tests

Slide1

Four use cases for Instant On

There are four key ways that TV and video app devel­op­ers can use Instant On.

  1. Keep two streams ready for instant play­back
    Devel­op­ers can make it pain­less for view­ers to switch between two streams. For exam­ple, if a viewer is watch­ing two sport­ing events at the same time, he or she would not want to expe­ri­ence buffer­ing at each tran­si­tion from one sport­ing event to the other. Instant On can be used to keep both streams ready for instant play­back.
  2. Pre-fetch videos while view­ers browse
    As view­ers browse the options for what they could watch, devel­op­ers can pre-fetch 3–6 of the most likely selec­tions. Any viewer that picks one of the pre-fetched options will have a fast star­tup expe­ri­ence.
  3. Pre-fetch the next video com­ing up
    For view­ers watch­ing a pro­grammed chan­nel or playlist, Instant On can be used to pre-fetch the next video com­ing up. This pro­vides a much more TV-like expe­ri­ence than one where every new show goes through a period of buffer­ing.
  4. Pre-fetch paused videos
    Instant On also makes the view­ing expe­ri­ence smoother for view­ers that pause a stream. When they come back to the stream, Instant On can be used to start it right back up with­out any wait­ing.

Instant On pow­ers a bet­ter viewer expe­ri­ence

Over­all, Instant On makes the expe­ri­ence of watch­ing pre­mium pro­gram­ming over the inter­net more sim­i­lar to watch­ing TV. It does this by mak­ing star­tup times faster for instant play­back includ­ing switch­ing from one stream to another, mak­ing the first choice to play a video, tran­si­tion­ing from one show to the next episode, and return­ing to a show after paus­ing it. We’re excited to see devel­op­ers take advan­tage of Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0’s new Instant On fea­ture.

Adobe Primetime is at IBC 2015 — Now faster in playing back premium experiences across OTT and TV-E

We’re attend­ing the IBC con­fer­ence and exhi­bi­tion this week in Ams­ter­dam, and excited about being part of an event that is focused on the lat­est tech­nolo­gies and busi­ness mod­els pow­er­ing the cre­ation, man­age­ment, and deliv­ery of dig­i­tal con­tent to con­sumers. Check out our press release on how Adobe con­tin­ues to advance video from con­tent cre­ation through deliv­ery, includ­ing high­lights from Adobe’s Cre­ative and Mar­ket­ing Cloud.

At IBC, we are pre­view­ing the new and improved Adobe Prime­time stack, which includes faster play­back with the instant-on capa­bil­ity of our lat­est TVSDK, more mobile-friendly, fric­tion­less authen­ti­ca­tion with OAUTH 2.0, and new sup­port for OTT and TV Every­where mea­sure­ment in Adobe Ana­lyt­ics.  Stop by the Adobe booth in G27 in Hall 7 if you are attend­ing the event to learn more!

TVSDK 2.0 Improves Engagement and Monetization Across Devices

Start­ing today, Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers can deploy the lat­est TVSDK across devices with ease. Our goal with Adobe Prime­time TVSDK has always been to help TV providers and media com­pa­nies build and deliver pre­mium video expe­ri­ences across IP-con­nected screens. This upgrade con­tin­ues to serve this goal by help­ing devel­op­ers achieve greater per­for­mance for their TV expe­ri­ences, deploy with greater con­sis­tency to all the dif­fer­ent screens and reach more screens in total.

Key improve­ments include:

  • Faster star­tup time for live streams by up to 500%
  • A uni­fied archi­tec­ture that will enable faster deploy­ments to new devices and more syn­chro­nized access to new fea­tures across devices
  • Extended deliv­ery to new OTT devices includ­ing Xbox One.

TVSDK 2.0 improvements

As a result of these improve­ments, Adobe Prime­time cus­tomers are more equipped than ever to engage and mon­e­tize audi­ences across devices.

Achieve greater per­for­mance

Video apps and expe­ri­ences must quickly respond to increase viewer engage­ment. To meet this expec­ta­tion, Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 includes many new fea­tures that are designed to speed up response times. One excit­ing fea­ture called Instant On allows app devel­op­ers to pre-fetch video con­tent in order to start its play­back in under a sec­ond.

In tests, Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 sped up a wide range of per­for­mance mea­sures. In com­par­ison to TVSDK 1.3, it had star­tup times for pre­mium VOD con­tent that were 3000% faster, star­tup times for pre­mium live con­tent that were 500% faster, a 300% improve­ment on the time it takes to insert ad breaks and a 250% improve­ment to the fast-for­ward and fast-rewind func­tion­al­i­ties.

Deploy with greater con­sis­tency across more devices

Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 has a new, uni­fied archi­tec­ture that makes it eas­ier for TV and video app devel­op­ers to deploy pre­mium video expe­ri­ences con­sis­tently across devices. The archi­tec­ture includes a C++ core with a thin, plat­form-speci­fic API sur­face that talks directly to the core. That API sur­face is con­sis­tent across devices. The archi­tec­ture also includes a sin­gle JavaScript inter­face for talk­ing to browsers.

This uni­fied archi­tec­ture offers two key ben­e­fits. First, it makes port­ing Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 to new devices faster. Already, this ease of port­ing has extended the reach of Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 to Xbox One devices. Sec­ond, it makes the release of new fea­tures more syn­chro­nized across devices. Together, these ben­e­fits provide faster access to new devices and new fea­tures for Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 users.

Fig­ure 2. Uni­fied archi­tec­ture of Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0

TVSDK 2.0 devices

Pre­pare to deploy to HTML5 envi­ron­ments

Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 paves the way to deploy­ing pre­mium TV expe­ri­ences across HTML5 envi­ron­ments because it will serve as the fall­back solu­tion to TVSDK for HTML5. For exam­ple, if a cus­tomer deploys to desk­top browsers with Adobe Prime­time TVSDK for HTML5 but a viewer accesses it from a browser that does not sup­port HTML5, TVSDK 2.0 will come in and provide the pre­mium expe­ri­ence that the viewer expects to see.

Get­ting started

We’re excited to see Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 improve reach and mon­e­ti­za­tion across devices. We’d like to help all our exist­ing cus­tomers upgrade to Adobe Prime­time TVSDK 2.0 as soon as pos­si­ble. To get started, reach out to your Adobe Prime­time account man­ager.

Adobe Primetime Nominated for Six Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards

Pub­lic vot­ing is now open for the 9th annual Stream­ing Media Read­ers’ Choice Awards – where end users (you) choose the win­ners hon­or­ing the best online video tech­nolo­gies. We’re pleased to have Adobe Prime­time nom­i­nated again for help­ing broad­cast­ers, cable net­works and ser­vice providers deliver and mon­e­tize engag­ing and per­son­al­ized TV and film expe­ri­ences across screens.

Adobe Prime­time has been nom­i­nated in six cat­e­gories – Closed Cap­tion­ing Solu­tion, DRM/Access Con­trol Solu­tion, Media & Enter­tain­ment Video Plat­form, OTT Plat­form for MSO and MVPD, Report­ing & Ana­lyt­ics Plat­form (with Adobe Ana­lyt­ics), and Video Adver­tis­ing Solu­tion.

Please visit http://www.streamingmedia.com/ReadersChoice/2015/Vote.aspx by Oct. 1 to see all nom­i­nees and cast your votes across 29 cat­e­gories. All vot­ers will receive a con­fir­ma­tion e-mail after vot­ing closes. The top three final­ists in each cat­e­gory will be announced on Oct. 15 and win­ners will be named on Nov. 18 at Stream­ing Media West. We hope to see you there and thanks for help­ing get out the vote for the Stream­ing Media Read­ers’ Choice Awards.

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Video: Strategies to Deploy Multiscreen TV Experiences

Fol­low­ing our Dig­i­tal Video Fore­cast pre­sen­ta­tion at the TV of Tomor­row (TVOT) Show in SF, the Head of Dig­i­tal Prod­ucts for Pac-12 Net­works, Ryan Cur­rier, and the Senior Man­ager Dig­i­tal Research and Ana­lyt­ics at Shaw Media, Chris Hop­kins, answered some key ques­tions about deploy­ing mul­ti­screen TV expe­ri­ences.

Watch a record­ing of the panel dis­cus­sion to hear directly from Ryan and Chris their answers to ques­tions includ­ing:

  • With the device land­scape chang­ing so rapidly, how do you pri­or­i­tize get­ting onto all the dif­fer­ent devices?
  • Every­one is talk­ing about data. What is Shaw Media doing with audi­ence data?
  • Which rev­enue mod­els are impor­tant to Shaw Media and Pac-12 Net­works?
  • How does view­er­ship across devices vary by demo?
  • How are you think­ing about pro­gram­matic?
  • Are buy­ers clam­ber­ing for a new cur­rency?
  • What does the TV of tomor­row look like?


The dis­cus­sion hit on a few key take­aways. First, that qual­ity is an essen­tial con­sid­er­a­tion when rolling out TV expe­ri­ences across devices. Sec­ond, that data went from a value add to table stakes. Third, that mul­ti­screen expe­ri­ences mat­ter to all demos, not just Mil­len­ni­als. Be sure to watch the whole panel dis­cus­sion in the video above.

Presenting our Digital Video Forecast from TVOT SF

In June, Adobe’s Joe Mar­tin, Man­ager, Dig­i­tal Index, pre­sented a Dig­i­tal Video Fore­cast pre­sen­ta­tion at The TV of Tomor­row (TVOT) Show in SF. This show is a global gath­er­ing for exec­u­tives, tech­nol­o­gists and cre­atives work­ing in the inter­ac­tive and mul­ti­plat­form tele­vi­sion indus­try. Joe shared a detailed analy­sis of trends impact­ing the indus­try, cov­er­ing top­ics rang­ing from TV Every­where to live stream­ing video apps.

Watch Joe’s full pre­sen­ta­tion in the video below and view the accom­pa­ny­ing pre­sen­ta­tion slides.

Here are a few of the insights included in Joe’s pre­sen­ta­tion:

1. Over 13% of pay-TV sub­scribers were active monthly users f TV Every­where in Q1 2015. That’s over 14 mil­lion peo­ple that are actively view­ing TV Every­where con­tent.

TVOTSF 1

2. There was a 4x growth in con­nected TV usage between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. This indi­cates that view­ers are mov­ing back into the liv­ing room now that the tech­nol­ogy is there to sup­port their view­ing pref­er­ences.

TVOTSF 2

3. The num­ber of ad starts per video start is grow­ing the fastest on tablets and smart­phones. This indi­cates the grow­ing impor­tance of mobile in video adver­tis­ing.

TVOTSF 3

For more insights like these, be sure to watch Joe’s full pre­sen­ta­tion in the video above.

The $18B Conundrum: Adblocking Goes Mobile and Mainstream

Accord­ing to research from Parks Assoc­iates, pass­word-shar­ing is cost­ing sub­scrip­tion video-on-demand sVOD ser­vices north of $500MM per year. Com­pare that with adblock­ing, which is cost­ing ad-sup­ported con­tent providers $18B a year accord­ing to a new report from Adobe and Dublin-based Page­Fair.

$18B. With a “B.” That’s 36x the amount of eco­nomic dam­age inflicted by pass­word-shar­ing. Let that sink in. Now take a deep breath, and let’s look at the prob­lem.

Cause for Con­cern

His­tor­i­cally, the chal­lenges posed by adblock­ing have been lim­ited to the desk­top. How­ever, as con­sump­tion of tele­vi­sion and film con­tent have shifted to con­nected and mobile devices, the threat of adblock­ing has abated, or at least become less dire. Two major fac­tors are now caus­ing grave con­cern among con­tent pro­duc­ers who rely on adver­tis­ing as their pri­mary rev­enue source:

  1. Apple’s iOS 9 will likely include adblock­ing fea­tures in Safari by default.
  2. Adblock plus is now avail­able in lim­ited beta for Android.

Safari on desk­top main­tains a pal­try 3% mar­ket share, but it is by far the most widely used mobile web browser due the iPhone’s dom­i­nance (and Google’s unusual reluc­tance to end-of-life the native Android browser in favor of Chrome for Android, a deci­sion that would nar­row the gap with Safari mobile). If Apple extends its Con­tent Block­ing API to native mobile app devel­op­ers for iOS, and if Adblock Plus for Android gains trac­tion, the results could wreak longer-term havoc for ad-sup­ported broad­cast­ers and cable net­works who mon­e­tize dis­tri­b­u­tion to mobile devices.

Cur­rently, mea­sure­ment is one of the key fac­tors lim­it­ing uptake in lin­ear broad­cast to mobile and con­nected devices within the tra­di­tional C3 and C7 win­dows. But as Nielsen and other mea­sure­ment ser­vices improve their abil­ity to eval­u­ate audi­ence com­po­si­tion across screens, and as address­abil­ity and pro­gram­matic improve and become more wide­spread, more dol­lars will flow from tra­di­tional lin­ear to OTT and TV Every­where. Adblock­ing on mobile devices, how­ever, has the poten­tial to slow this move­ment to a trickle. Why exe­cute a mul­ti­screen TV buy if view­ers on half the screens can’t see the ad?

The Way For­ward

There are no easy or obvi­ous solu­tions to the prob­lem of adblock­ing. We agree with Univision’s Kevin Con­roy, who argued com­pellingly that mar­keters play a vital role in mak­ing dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing bet­ter. Mar­keters need to con­tinue telling the right story to the right per­son at the right time, of course, but they also need to do it in a way that delights, or enter­tains, or informs the viewer.

For agen­cies and adver­tis­ers, Adobe offers Cre­ative Cloud, a com­plete suite of tools for effec­tive sto­ry­telling, and Adobe Mar­ket­ing cloud, a solu­tion that deliv­ers the mes­sage. And for broad­cast­ers, cable net­works and dis­trib­u­tors who sell adver­tis­ing, we offer Adobe Prime­time, a mul­ti­screen TV solu­tion for cre­at­ing and mon­e­tiz­ing live, lin­ear and VOD pro­gram­ming in both over-the-top (OTT) and TV Every­where ser­vices. Our goal is to help cus­tomers lever­age these solu­tions to deliver bet­ter con­sumer expe­ri­ences and obvi­ate the con­sumer desire to install adblock­ers in the first place.

This post was orig­i­nally pub­lished on CMO.com, August 10, 2015.