Posts tagged "OTT"

Quickening Pace of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Launches

The industry is abuzz about direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming video services, which give consumers programming choices that fall outside of traditional pay-TV packages.

Early entrants to the D2C streaming video market, such as MLB.tv and Netflix, have proven it’s possible to attract a large audience with a D2C offering. For example, Netflix has over 66 million paid members around the world and MLB.tv has 3.5 million paid subscribers. Now, the question is whether or not others will follow in their footsteps and also go direct to consumer.

Two views on the future of D2C

D2C is heading in one of two directions. Consumers could favor centralized access to streaming video content. This consumer preference could make it difficult for niche streaming video providers to secure the subscribers they need to sustain their offerings. It would allow players like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video and MVPD apps to capture the bulk of time and budgets that consumers are willing to spend on streaming video. 

On the other hand, consumers could embrace the ability to curate their own collection of content. It’s cumbersome to manage today, but search and discovery innovations could easily improve the curated experience in the near future. With this, any streaming video provider with a loyal audience could thrive going D2C.

2015 was a big year for D2C launches

Whatever the future of D2C holds, one thing is for certain. There’s a quickening pace of new D2C launches. Together, 2014 and 2015 had eighteen major launches. This is more than all prior years combined. And even more D2C streaming video services are set to launch in 2016. AMC Networks is in beta with a horror-themed offering called Shudder and Bell Media’s CraveTV plans to go direct to consumer on January 1st.

Sources: Launch dates announced in industry press. Data compiled November 2015.

Programmers future-proofing their business

The main impetus for going D2C is to find another path to viewers who are watching less traditional TV. A MarketingCharts.com analysis of Nielsen data reports, “Between 2011 and Q2 2015, TV viewing by 18–24-year-olds dropped by almost 8 hours per week, or by more than an hour a day. Tellingly, the largest decline (in absolute time) occurred within the past year, between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015.”

Source: MarketingCharts.com analysis of Nielsen data

Over-the-top (OTT) devices make going D2C easy

Another impetus for going D2C is the ease and range of options for getting premium streaming video content onto TVs. D2C streaming video services can provide a viewing experience that’s as good or better than traditional TV by going over-the-top (OTT) to TV screens via set-top like Apple TV and Roku, streaming media sticks like Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick, and gaming platforms like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

Who else will go D2C?

Existing entrants in the D2C space have proved that OTT can be leveraged at the same time as traditional TV distribution deals and that it can grow the pie of viewers beyond what traditional TV can reach. However, subscriber acquisition can be difficult and nobody wants to launch a service that can’t gain traction. Expect ad technology and marketing automation partners to ease this difficulty for new and existing D2C players.

TDG Research’s Joel Espelien on OTT and the Future of Media

This week we spoke with Joel Espelien, Senior Analyst at TDG Research, a boutique market research and strategy consulting firm focused exclusively on the future of TV. Joel covers corporate strategy and positioning for companies across the OTT landscape. TDG Research is known for being ahead of the curve, so we used this talk with Joel to learn 7 insights that will help you be ahead of the curve, too.

Here are 7 insights directly from Joel:

1. OTT is evolving to be a synonym for broadband video. Sometimes terms evolve and you can’t control them. OTT is one of those terms. It’s evolving to refer to video that is delivered over the public internet, regardless of screen or whether it’s authenticated.

2. Broadcasters, MVPDs and pay-TV channels must consider consumer’s changing behaviors around when consumption occurs. It may be hard to embrace the fact that consumer participation in appointment viewing is fading. Younger generations won’t have any tendency to gather in front of a screen with other people between 8 pm and 11 pm on a Thursday night. The whole idea of being in front of a screen on anyone’s timetable other than the viewer’s own timetable is becoming laughable.

Furthermore, industry efforts to assign a timeframe to when viewing counts will continue to be arbitrary. The industry has C3 ratings to measure commercials viewed live and on DVR for three days beyond the airdate. C7 ratings extend the window to seven days beyond the airdate. Some in the industry want even longer windows, like C14 or C21. Each definition will capture part of a curve, but there’s always going to be a long tail that’s simply not captured by an arbitrary window. It’s silly to transact around the idea that all the views that matter for a new show will happen in the first 72 hours it’s available. Viewership is far more scattered than many may care to admit, and will only become more scattered as OTT grows. As a result, things like C3 and C7 measurement will carry less weight in the future.

3. More people are watching TV alone. The TV industry is in the early phases of addressing the need to program for an audience of one. There’s a big cultural shift moving people away from doing things as a family or as a group and toward doing things as individuals. With all the screens to watch from and all the choices about what to watch, it’s far less necessary for viewers to compromise with others about what to watch than it’s ever been before.

Individual viewing will become the new normal. This is a big contrast to the picture of a family in the ‘50s all huddled around the TV watching the same thing. And, it puts purely panel-based measurement into question because in panel households, there may be multiple people in a room, but probably only one person is really watching the show on TV. Everyone else could be doing their own thing.

This solo viewing trend suggests that content and advertising will become edgier, more particularized and even more incomprehensible to people outside the group consuming it.

4. Legacy pay-TV providers need to know more about the viewing behavior of those they serve. They need to have much more of a clue about what’s going on than they do today by studying engagement patterns across real people in real households. The majority of what they know about linear TV viewers is limited to what Nielsen provides. If a customer decides one day to stop watching linear TV entirely, but keeps paying his or her bill, the provider simply wouldn’t know. And that’s not a very good place to be in terms of making the right decisions on behalf of customers.

Compare the lack of data of a legacy pay-TV provider to a TV app like Netflix. Netflix knows everything its viewers watch down to the second, and they know which of their viewers hasn’t watched anything lately. This kind of customer feedback loop can be used to develop a re-engagement strategy, decide which programming to invest in, or to inform any number of other decisions. It’s the kind of feedback loop that legacy pay-TV providers should have.

5. The future of TV is an app. The genesis of this idea was inspired by the venture capitalist’s view, as expressed by Mark Andreessen, that software is eating the world. Software is eating transportation with Uber, and eating banking with mobile payments, and eating book sales with Amazon. But in TV, people were saying that people love it and that it’ll never change. And they’re wrong. Software eating TV looks like an app, and as the software component of TV, TV apps are going to grow substantially. Imagine offering 100 people a simple choice between HBO on a linear channel on a set top box or HBO GO on an iPad, Apple TV, or computer. Everyone that chooses HBO GO is proof that software will eat TV, too. It turns out that content is not king. Instead, the overall experience is king and people want a software-mediated experience because it’s fundamentally better.

6. Every meaningful TV brand will have its own app. Expect to see a lot more of the single-tenant app model where each TV brand has its own TV app. Ask any TV brand with its own app today if they are content or discontent with the model of having a dedicated app. The overwhelming answer would be, “I like my app just fine, thank you.”

One key benefit of the single-tenant app model is that the content provider gets to really understand the viewing behavior of the people it serves. It gets to look at every single button press, every single view of every screen. It can really look at usage and make the viewer experience even better. This is a huge incentive for every brand to have an app versus choosing to participate in one generic app that carries everything.

7. Broadcasters, pay-TV providers and pay-TV channels need a whole garden of viewer screens and viewers. There’s a healthy mix to be had across screens for broadcasters, providers and channels. It would be a big mistake to prioritize any one screen over all the others. Smartphones and tablets may have been the Trojan horse that allowed TV as an app to get started in the legacy world in the first place. Now, those permissions have to extend out further to allow TV apps to run on other devices too, whether it’s Apple TV, Roku, a smart TV or a gaming platform. People expect to see TV apps on every platform where apps can run and on every platform where Netflix is. TV brands with success on just one screen have to wonder, “Hey, why are we not able to engage people anywhere else in their lives?”

Where to find more from Joel

That’s a wrap on 7 insights that will help you get ahead of the curve. To explore these topics in more detail, check out Joel’s latest reports: “El Futuro de TV – OTT Video in Latin America 2015–2025,” “TV Gets Personal – Trends in Mobile Video Viewing 2015 – 2025,” and “Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015–2025. Joel is already working on some intriguing new topics including what the high-end of the pay-TV market is going to look like and the interplay between virtual reality and video. Thanks Joel for sharing your insights with us!

Major League Baseball and “Over-The-Top” Content Providers Adopt Adobe Primetime

Next week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, Adobe is showcasing the latest innovations in Adobe Primetime and Creative Cloud video tools. Adobe Primetime is unveiling enhancements in video delivery, monetization and personalization to enable new over-the-top (OTT) business models for content owners, programmers and pay-TV providers.

Advancing TV delivery and monetization — Launch video- up to four times faster!

The latest version of Adobe Primetime helps broadcasters and pay-TV providers scale video delivery across screens with closed captioning, robust content protection, and ad insertion instantly across TV apps and operating systems. The platform can now authenticate 2.25 million viewers per minute, three times more than just a year ago, and deliver dramatic performance improvements with videos launching instantly — up to four times faster than before. Additionally, Adobe Primetime now supports all major third-party digital rights management (DRM) technologies to address the challenge of content protection in closed playback environments.

Innovative OTT programming — Partnering with MLBAM and Turner Broadcasting

Adobe is partnering with service solution providers, including industry pioneer MLBAM, to offer innovative OTT programming for live, linear and video-on-demand services across TVs and screens everywhere. MLBAM achieved its pioneer status by releasing the Internet’s first OTT product in 2002, MLB.TV, which is now delivering a record number of streams. Today, MLBAM provides everything from vast backend infrastructure to the development and operational management of custom, multi-platform applications. Several of MLBAM’s sports, news and entertainment partners have introduced their first direct-to-consumer TV apps leveraging Adobe Primetime technologies. Adobe is also working with MLBAM to power live streaming of the Major League Baseball season, providing playback and delivery capabilities for all games. Additionally, Turner Broadcasting is using Adobe Primetime for ad insertion on Apple TV and other OTT devices.

Joe Inzerillo, executive vice president and CTO at MLBAM says, “Since MLB.TV was born as the internet’s first OTT product 13 years ago, we have remained focused on building reliable, highly engaging live TV viewing experiences at true broadcast scale. Adobe Primetime, with its support for DRM, the industry-standard authentication capability and robust HD video playback allows us to offer consistent video experiences across more than 400 devices, including the latest breed of OTT products.”

We’re excited to be working with leaders like MLBAM and Turner Broadcasting to deliver a rapid pace of innovation in video delivery, monetization and personalization. We hope to see you at the NAB Show next week!

Highlights from Adobe Digital Index’s U.S. Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report

Adobe Digital Index’s U.S. Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report report is now available. This report helps broadcasters, cable networks, and distributors anticipate and plan for the changes taking place in how consumers view video. The report covers TV Everywhere and online video viewership trends.

Key points include:

  • TV Everywhere grew significantly in 2014. Unique viewers increased 117% YOY and authenticated video starts increased 266% YOY.
  • As of Q4 2014, gaming consoles and OTT devices now make up 16% of TV Everywhere authentications.
  • Video viewing on mobile devices will overtake desktop video viewing by Q4 2016.

Net/Net: In 2015, consider optimizing the TV Everywhere experience for gaming console and OTT devices and the online video experience for mobile.

Read on for more details from the U.S. Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report.

TV Everywhere highlights

2014 was the year that TV Everywhere was picked up by the early adopters; in 2015 it could “Cross the Chasm” to the early majority stage. The following key TV Everywhere highlights show you just how big TV Everywhere has become and highlight areas of further growth.

  1. There’s more people watching more content than ever before via TV Everywhere. On average, 13 million viewers tuned into TV Everywhere services in 2014, up 117% from 6 million in 2013. 2014 saw 2.1 billion authenticated video starts, up 266% from 574 million in 2013.
  2. Graph-2lGraph-2kGaming console and over-the-top (OTT) devices are taking a bite out of the iOS share of TV Everywhere authentications. Gaming console and OTT device share of authentications rose 50% YOY from 11% in Q4 2013 to 16% in Q4 2014. iOS share of authentications dropped 21% YOY from 57% in Q4 2013 to 45% in Q4 2014.
  3. Graph-2eSports content has the most unique visitors in TV Everywhere with 3.2 times as many unique visitors as movie content. However, movie content has the fastest rate of unique visitor growth at a 216% YOY rate of growth.

Graph-2n

Online video highlights

The biggest trend in online video is mobile video viewing. The following key online video highlights predict when mobile video viewing will be bigger than desktop video viewing and highlight related video viewing metrics.

  1. Mobile device video viewing may overtake desktop video viewing by Q4 2016. In Q4 2014, 15% of online video starts took place on smart phones and 12% took place on tablets for a total of 27% of online video starts taking place in mobile. In just two years, this could increase to 50.2%.
  2. Graph-2bSmartphone completion rates are up. The new, larger-screen iPhone release in Q4 2014 gave smart phone video completion rates a slight boost with the percent of videos reaching the “50% complete” point on smart phones increasing 7% over the Q3 2014 video completion rates.
  3. Graph-2cTime spent metrics are up for online video across all devices. Time spent viewing video on a smart phone is up to 24% QoQ. Time spent viewing video on a tablet is up to 16% QoQ. Desktop average video view time is now 16 times longer than the average smart phone video view time, versus the 17 times difference in Q3.

Graph-2d

Get the rest of the insights from the U.S. Digital Video 2014 Inaugural Report via the free download here.

Adobe Primetime 1.4 TVSDK Ready for iOS 8 and Android L

Adobe Primetime always ensures the greatest reach and coverage across all devices so that operators and programmers can reach the largest audiences with television and premium movie content. The latest Adobe Primetime 1.4 TVSDK supports superior playback quality and performance on devices running on the latest Android and iOS operating systems, Android L and iOS 8.

New-Primetime-Logo

Integrate Nielsen data to measure audiences on iOS and Android:

As you may have heard, Adobe has struck a strategic alliance with Nielsen that will provide broadcasters, cable networks and MVPDs with comparable metrics in Adobe Analytics to measure audiences accurately across IP-connected screens, including desktops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and over-the-top (OTT) devices. As part of the initial phases of this effort, the Nielsen SDK is now available within Adobe Primetime TVSDK for iOS and Android.

Dynamically insert ads for a targeted ad experience once the C3 window has expired:

With Adobe Primetime’s latest TVSDK, new ads can be dynamically inserted to replace linear ads already baked into a C3/C7 VOD asset.  This reduces the time to deliver engaging and relevant ads online that can be effectively monetized.

Air alternative content during blackouts for seamless viewing experience:

Adobe Primetime continues to build a robust offering to support regional blackouts. Adobe Primetime’s TVSDK now allows viewers to watch alternative programming if there is content that is blacked out in that region for that particular time frame. Once the blackout has ended, the viewer will return to original scheduled programming to ensure no disruption to their viewing experience.

 Optimized ABR for reduced buffering on Desktop and Android:

Adobe Primetime has optimized ABR logic within the latest TVSDK to reduce buffering and disruption while viewing content. If a viewer is experiencing buffering during a particular variant of ABR, Adobe Primetime’s TVSDK will no longer ramp back up to that variant during that playback session in order to sustain viewer engagement.

Stay tuned for Adobe Primetime’s deployment across even more devices in the New Year to ensure that we reach the broadest audience, whenever and wherever they want to consume content.

 

Rick Wisher is a senior product manager for Adobe Primetime

Online TV Consumption Hits New Record, Up 246% YoY

We’ve said it before, but the days of watching TV on a television in the living room are long gone. To meet rapidly evolving consumer expectations for the TV content they want, the TV industry is finding new ways to bring their content to whatever screen audiences want to watch. Given the deluge of connected devices from tablets and smartphones to game consoles and over-the-top (OTT) devices, easy access to content is taking TV Everywhere consumption to new heights.

Today, we released our Q1 2014 U.S. Video Benchmark Report which examines TV Everywhere and non-authenticated online video trends. The findings were staggering with online TV consumption reaching an all-time high – up 246% year-over-year (YoY). Our analysis is based on aggregated and anonymous data from 1300+ media/entertainment sites between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014. It includes 151 billion total online video starts and 1.3 billion TV Everywhere authentications across 250 pay-TV service providers covering 99% of pay-TV households in the U.S. A few other key findings:

  • Game consoles and OTT devices saw the strongest market share growth increasing 539% YoY.
  • iOS apps surpassed browsers for the first time as the most popular access point for online TV achieving a 43% market share (compared to a 36% market share for browsers)
  • More U.S. pay-TV households (21%) accessed TV Everywhere content across devices in Q1 than ever before (compared to 16% six months ago)
  • Unique TV Everywhere visitors to websites and apps per month increased by 157% YoY, while the number of TV Everywhere streams (live, VOD and linear) watched per visitor each month rose 133% YoY.
  • Using a sample size of 1300+ Adobe Marketing Cloud customers, 35.6 billion online videos including user-generated content were viewed worldwide – an unprecedented amount, up 43% YoY.

di_tv-e_video_growth          di_share_pay-tv

TV truly is everywhere now – with more than one fifth of all pay-TV households in the U.S. watching TV online across screens. Check out our full report for the complete findings and methodology. The New York Times also covered our report. We’ll be presenting these findings and discussing industry trends at The TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco, June 11–12, so hope to see you there.

Stay tuned for more news and industry insights coming soon. For the latest Adobe Primetime updates, subscribe to our blog updates, follow us on Twitter, and check out our website.

 

Streaming Media Readers Recognize Adobe Primetime’s Industry Contributions

It’s been a busy week for us. At Streaming Media West in Southern California, Adobe Primetime team members Campbell Foster and Joel Huff spoke on panels about the state of TV Everywhere. At the OTTtv World Summit and AdMonsters Screens events in London, our own Steve Allison spoke with M6 about IP broadcasting trends in Europe. And we’re continuing our hard work with partners to bring major sporting events across screens in 2014. It’s clear that the future of TV is bright and Adobe Primetime is playing an integral role in taking TV beyond the living room and making any IP-connected screen a TV.

We’re excited to announce that Adobe Primetime was recognized today as a winner of the 7th annual Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards in three categories – DRM/Access Control Solution, Media & Entertainment Video Platform, and Video Advertising Management Platform. The awards honor the best online video technologies based on public voting. According to Streaming Media, more than 300 nominations were submitted across 26 categories. It’s always exciting to see our efforts recognized, but we’re especially pleased that this award recognition is based on voting by Streaming Media’s readers. Thank you to the Streaming Media staff for hosting this award and the readers who voted for Adobe Primetime. We appreciate the honor and we have some exciting innovations around Adobe Primetime coming in 2014 – along with continuing our hard work with partners to deliver major sporting events across screens – so stay tuned.

SM-RCA-Winner

And congratulations to our fellow Adobe Creative Cloud team who were also honored with a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Adobe Premiere Pro CC in the “Desktop Video Editing Software” category.

UPDATE (11/25/13): Don’t miss our Streaming Media webinar on MPEG-DASH & HTTP Adaptive Streaming on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET. Register today and join our expert panel of speakers from Adobe, DASH Industry Forum, Microsoft and Dolby.

Adobe's Joel Huff (center, right) accepting a Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award for Adobe Primetime from Streaming Media's Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (center, left)

Adobe’s Joel Huff (center, right) accepting a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for Adobe Primetime from Streaming Media’s Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (center, left)