Online video platform provider Ooyala has released its Q1 '13 Global Video Index, showing, among other things, that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) accounted for more than 10% of online video views in the quarter, a new record. The total share of tablet video viewing alone grew by 33% in Q1.
It's not just the number of views that are up for mobile, but also time spent: watching long-form video (10 minutes or longer) on mobile devices grew from 41% of all time watched in Q1 '12 to 53% of all time watched in Q1 '13, an increase of 29%. Digging in deeper, for tablets, 25% of all viewing time was for content 60 minutes or longer.
Periodically someone asks me how I think of the relative level of social networking use vs. video consumption. Of course they have both have been huge trends over the past 5 years, and they are very complimentary to each other. But, at least when it comes to mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) social dominates video in terms of time spent according to Nielsen's Q1 Cross-Platform Report, released late last week.
Looking at app-only usage on smartphones, social networking notched 9 hours, 6 minutes per person per month, nearly 8x as much as the 1 hour, 15 minutes of video viewed per person per month. For iPads, the range is tighter, with app-only social networking racking up 3 hours, 41 minutes per person per month, just over twice as much as the 1 hour, 48 minutes of video viewed per person per month. This makes sense to me because the iPad is more of a "personal TV" and therefore prone to longer-form viewing.
I'm pleased to present the 180th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. There was a rush of interest around live streaming this week. Among the news items: ABC,TNT and TBS announced live streaming of their linear feeds; YouTube expanded its live feature and Brightcove launched a new live module, which followed thePlatform doing the same last week.
For live streaming TV, neither Colin nor I believe it will have broad appeal, with the possible exception of sports and maybe certain breaking news/events. It's no secret that on-demand, time-shifted viewing has surged in popularity, due to DVR penetration above 50% of U.S. homes and the widespread availability of TV programs online for on-demand use. So in a way live streaming TV is trying to put the genie back in the bottle - getting on-demand viewers to go back to linear.
The fundamental inconsistency to me in this is that if you're tech-savvy enough to be drawn to live streaming on an iOS device, you're even more likely to now be a mainly on-demand viewer. And for those not tech-savvy, who still do enjoy linear viewing, well, why do you need an live streaming app when you can just watch on your TV as you always have? Even the sports use case is a bit thin as watching out-of-home for most will be very expensive given mobile data rates, and most mobile device viewing happens in the home anyway.
Nonetheless, Colin and I describe all the reasons we think other TV networks are likely to roll out live streaming in the coming months as well. Maybe we're missing something, but it strikes us that these will have more to do with PR (countering Aereo for example) and supporting TV Everywhere/retransmission consent negotiations and won't end up resonating broadly with users. More interesting I think is the CW's move to make its shows available free next day on-demand via Apple TV and other devices which seems in synch with users' expectations.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 17 seconds)
Near the top of my personal list of confusing industry terms is "mobile video." Does it mean watching on a smartphone? A tablet? Both? Does it mean using a wireless carrier's network (e.g. Verizon, AT&T) or a WiFi network or both for access? Does it mean watching while out of home (and if so, where?) or at home? And what content is watched - live? on-demand? short-form? long-form? genre? The list goes on and on. Mobile video is truly one of the most confusing and misunderstood industry terms around.
And that's why recent data from Leichtman Research Group, a well-respected media research firm founded by a former colleague of mine, Bruce Leichtman, really caught my eye. In its 7th annual "Emerging Video Services" survey, of 1,240 adults age 18+, LRG found that of those who said they watched video on their mobile phone in the past month, 63% said they usually watch at home. More striking, of those who watched video on their iPad, tablet or eReader in the past month, 89% of them said they usually watch at home.
Topics: Leichtman Research Group
ABC will enable live-streaming of its programs through its iOS app, moving beyond an on-demand only programming model for the first time. The "Watch ABC" live feature will no doubt please a subset of the people who have downloaded the ABC app 10 million times to date and who still value live viewing. But Watch ABC will also likely puzzle and irk some users when they discover they must be authenticated as a pay-TV subscriber in order to access the live stream.
In fact, requiring authentication for Watch ABC is just the latest evidence of TV Everywhere's tightening grip on broadcast TV. Another recent example was NBC making large portions of last summer's Olympics available only to authenticated pay-TV subscribers. In addition, Fox has maintained an 8-day exclusive window for pay-TV subscribers for almost 2 years.
Following is a contributed post by Frank Sinton who is the CEO and founder of Beachfront Media, a video solutions platform for publishers, advertisers, and enterprises. Previously, he worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment as executive director of architecture.
Video Apps, Devices, and Fragmentation: How to Navigate the Maze
by Frank Sinton
Fragmentation has long been an issue in the mobile industry. Even with the advent of the smartphone era, it’s still a problem. Take these stats from a recent report by app analytics company Flurry:
"Suppose you’re an app developer who wants to ensure that your app is optimized to function well on 80% of the individual connected devices currently in use (e.g., my iPad, your Windows phone). How many different device models (e.g., Kindle Fire HD 8.9" Wi-Fi, Galaxy S III) do you think you need to support? 156. Maybe you’re okay with having your app optimized for only 60% of active devices. That still means that you need to support 37 different devices. Even getting to 50% means supporting 18 devices, as shown below. If you’re a large or particularly thorough app developer, reaching 90% of active devices will require supporting 331 different models."
Topics: Beachfront Builder
LiveU, which pioneered the bonding of cellular broadband cards to enable flexible live mobile broadcasting, has gained a huge following among TV networks and stations. Now it has introduced a new, even lighter-weight backpack unit that enables any content provider - no matter how small - to affordably become a live mobile broadcaster.
At the recent NABShow, Ken Zamkow, director of sales and marketing for LiveU, brought one of the new backpacks, the LU40-2 ("LU40 squared") by the VideoNuze booth and showed it off. It weighs less than 10 pounds and is very compact, allowing up to 13 cellular channels and controllable through a smartphone interface.
Video ad tech providers FreeWheel and Mixpo have collaborated with Discovery Communications to deliver the first VPAID 2.0-enabled video ad campaign across desktop and mobile. The interactive in-stream ads are running on Discovery's Animal Planet online and mobile properties.
VPAID 2.0 is an IAB standard that defines a common interface between video players and ad units, enabling in-stream interactivity. It obviates the need for advertisers to create custom code in order for an interactive campaign to work across multiple video players. As a result, interactive campaigns can be deployed across desktop and mobile far quicker and more cost-effectively, while using common ad serving/decisioning. (Mixpo created a short video explaining all this).
Video management platform provider Ooyala is introducing several new features today to make online and mobile video more accessible and pervasive across devices. The new features include Hook (a mobile video playback app for Android), XTV Connect (to bridge mobile video to any connected TV) and Ooyala Discovery Guide (to create live/VOD program guides). Below I describe each in more detail and explain their respective importance.
Here's an eye-popping data point from last week's comScore online video rankings report for Feb. '13: YouTube's total of 11.3 billion monthly views were down 32% vs. Feb. '12 when it had 16.7 billion views (see chart below). But lest you think viewers are fleeing YouTube, the perennial 800-pound gorilla of the online video market, what really appears to be happening is that a sizable chunk of viewers are shifting their viewing to mobile devices, which as I understand it, is not counted in comScore's data.
TubeMogul announced today that it will be offering real-time buying for mobile video ads on smartphones and tablets across public and private exchanges that generated over 94 million daily streams in February. TubeMogul believes this is the greatest reach of mobile video streams assembled to date, enabling buyers to centrally tap into the exploding world of mobile video usage. Top sites are routinely citing mobile usage as now accounting for between 25-50% of their video streams.
Fire up a video on your mobile device and you'll almost certainly observe how social media is playing a bigger role in the ad creative before or during the content. Underscoring this, the latest Social & Mobile Insights Report for Q4 '12 from Rhythm NewMedia shows that 30% of the in-stream mobile video ads carried across its network of 200+ mobile media properties in Q4 '12 included social media buttons like Facebook "Like" and Twitter "share."
Those buttons are there for a good reason: Rhythm found average engagement increased by 36% - from 1.6% to 2.1% - when social media buttons were included. According to Rhythm, that means advertisers that integrate social elements get more value for their campaign budgets.
Topics: Rhythm NewMedia
I'm pleased to present the 166th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week Cisco released its VNI Mobile Data Forecast, which Colin and I both wrote about (here and here). Each of us was particularly focused on the role of mobile video, which Cisco forecasts will account for 66% of all mobile data by '17.
Colin and I discuss the critical role of wireless carriers' tiered data plans as the big driver of what happens with mobile video adoption. To the extent that caps remain relatively low and plans quite expensive, video usage on carrier networks will be suppressed. However, users are already savvy about moving video usage to WiFi networks, typically within the home. As a result, "portable" video (as we think of it) - is soaring.
Both of us share a number of specific data points we're seeing and hearing about which support the shift to video viewing on smartphones and tablets. Although we agree it's still a bit of a murky picture, we both believe strongly that consumer behavior is clearly shifting to watching video on smartphones and tablets. Over which types of networks they will do so going forward is an issue to be tracked closely.
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 49 seconds)
Cisco has released its 6th annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, for 2012-2017, with heady growth predictions, including a 13x increase in mobile data traffic from .9 exabytes/mo in 2012 to 11.2 exabytes/mo in 2017. Cisco points to 4 key growth drivers over the forecast period: more mobile users (5.2B, up from 4.3B), more mobile devices/connections (10B, up from 7B), faster average mobile speeds (3.9 mbps, up from .5 mbps) and more mobile video (66% of mobile traffic, up from 55%).
Most intriguing from my perspective is the mobile video forecast. With the proliferation of tablets and smartphones, "mobile" video has become a huge topic of interest in the industry, even though the term still means different things to different people. For example, while some loosely lump viewing video on an iPad within the home over a WiFi network as "mobile" video, I've thought of this as more "portable" video over an extended fixed network. Cisco defines mobile video as carrier-based, which I believe is more accurate.
AOL has announced this morning new iOS and Android apps that provide access to over 420K curated videos from its AOL On Network. AOL is including videos from its owned properties such as Engadget, TechCrunch, HuffPo Live and partners like Martha Stewart, Travel Channel and E!.
I've been playing around with the app a bit on my iPad this morning and it's a strong user experience. Upon launch, a set of highlight videos moves across the screen, with others displayed below. At left there's an icon which allows the user to pick videos from among 14 channels like Business, Food or Parenting. At right there's an icon that allows the user to go directly to certain content properties and/or search within them. The videos can then be sorted A-Z, by date, or by number of views. I only have one nit which is that there's no persistent "home" icon to get back to the starting point (you have to navigate to "Top Picks").
Innovid is announcing this morning that its iRoll interactive video ad format is now also available for delivery in mobile to smartphones and tablets. This means that the same iRoll ad can be used online and in mobile, from the same ad server providing unified cross-platform analytics. Innovid's CEO Zvika Netter told me he believes this is a first for in-stream video ads. Innovid is also announcing that BrightRoll has become the first network to adopt the mobile iRoll and that several multi-screen campaigns are already live.
Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group and I are back for the 147th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast. This week we start with Colin sharing his observations on a session that he attended at IBC in Amsterdam last week, "The Great Connected Television Debate: Will the Internet be the End of Television As We Know It." Colin comes down on the side that "yes, it will," and articulates how the conventional definition of television is melting away as behaviors shift and technology further develops.
Speaking of technology, we then discuss the impact of the iPhone 5 on mobile video. I argued yesterday that it will have a big impact, and although Colin believes iPhone 5 is a bit of a yawn, he agrees that it will push mobile video adoption and usage forward.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 17 seconds)
No doubt you've already read a lot about the new iPhone 5. It's hard to add anything material to the conversation, except that, at the risk of stating the obvious, it sure feels like it's going to have a significant impact on mobile video. The combination of a bigger, higher resolution display, support for faster, 4G LTE wireless networks, longer battery life, a more powerful processor, 720p HD FaceTime and better video recording, and importantly a new and improved YouTube app are key ingredients for fueling a better mobile video experience, and therefore more use.
And with 45-50 million units projected to be shipped in Q4 alone, iPhone 5's impact on mobile video could be felt very quickly and broadly. It's going to be fun to watch (and yes, if you were curious, I'm planning to drop my Droid and get the iPhone 5).
Categories: Mobile Video
YouTube's new app for the iPhone and iPod touch is now live and available for download. The news comes a month after Apple said it wouldn't include its own YouTube app in the next version of iOS, thereby paving the way for YouTube to build and deploy its own.
In a blog post, YouTube described some of the key benefits of the new app: tens of thousands more videos, a channel guide with swipe navigation, enhanced search tools and the ability to share videos via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, email and text. I'm not an iPhone user (though plan to be shortly), so I haven't been able to test the new app. However, the description suggests a lot of commonality with the Android app I'm accustomed to, though the UI does seem a bit different.
No doubt you've already heard that Apple will not be including its native YouTube app in the next version of iOS that will officially launch this fall. Apple said its license for YouTube, which it held since 2007, when the iPhone launched, has expired. From my vantage point, this seems like a rare win for all stakeholders: YouTube, Apple, iOS users, YouTube's content partners, advertisers and even other video content providers.