In the news | 27 January 2021

Quibi wind-up continues

Quibi, which raised $1.75 billion in venture investment, is expected to return about $350 million to investors. Quibi sold many of its original shows to Roku, which developed digital media players with Netflix, for what is believed to be less than $100 million.

The series acquired by Roku will not be aided by the innovative Turnstyle technology which switches from portrait to landscape viewing, depending upon how the smartphone is held. The Turnstyle technology is reportedly subject to legal dispute.

Fragmentation to standalone streaming properties continues

African-American TV network Revolt joined the streaming push by TV conglomerates, Discovery, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia. Revolt plans to launch a free, ad-supported direct-to-consumer streaming app on connected TV platforms, including those of Apple and Roku. The shift beyond traditional TV is aimed at reducing its reliance on pay-TV providers, the businesses of which face uncertainty as the pay-TV subscriber base shrinks, digiday reported.

Revolt’s linear TV channel launched in October 2013 as a music-oriented network, but since the killing of George Floyd, has pivoted to social justice in its editorial strategy.

Motley Fool backs Netflix investment

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) spent around $15 billion on content in 2019, with the bulk of it on original programs. Netflix has been spending more than the online video streaming pioneer earned over the past few years. While the company needs to spend up front during the content creation process, in the long run, creating its own content is less expensive, as the company works directly with the creators and saves on overhead.

Netflix mainly owns the rights to the content produced. However, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) now pose a serious challenge. Motley Fool, reporting on the NASDAQ, asserts Netflix’s big and growing subscriber base should continue to help it in improving revenues as well as margins.


In the news 25 Nov, 2020

YouTube TV, Google’s live streaming TV service, finished the third quarter with over 3 million subscribers. The new total suggests that YouTube TV added 500,000 subscribers during the quarter, Fierce Video reports.

Quibi is an expensive outlier, not the norm, according to research by Parks Associates. Over-the-top video services in the U.S. now number nearly 300, with those platforms shuttering actually declining.

The narrative for why Quibi failed from founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was that the shortform platform was designed for an on-the-go mobile market, which plummeted during pandemic characterized by shelter-in-place at home. Indeed, Quibi launched on the back of a robust national advertising campaign, including a multi-million-dollar Super Bowl commercial, and record-high audience levels for streaming video, Next TV reports.

Streaming Wars
Major subscription VOD services now number seven, counting the rebranding of ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access into Paramount+ early next year. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu represent the established streamers with healthy track records and steady growth. Disney+, which launched in November 2019, leads four newcomers, Apple TV+, HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and soon Paramount+, all contending for a share of the attention and revenue from the streaming wars. Source: Media Play News.

Word-of-mouth still rules
Word-of-mouth and advertising dominate the mechanisms used to attract and retain the attention of streaming viewers to shows, Media Play News reports. When asked how they first found out about their favorite online show, the largest percentage of respondents, 33 per cent, said they heard through word-of-mouth. For favorites watched through pay-TV, advertising was the top discovery source at 30 per cent.

Physical formats continue sharp decline
Streaming is becoming so dominant a viewing mechanism that it has undermined the disc business. Disc sales declined 34.3% in the quarter to $434 million, while DVD and Blu-ray rentals fell 34.4% to $225 million, Next TV reports.



In the news (25 October)

#hulu #disney
Disney has apparently scaled back its plans for Hulu to avoid raising the value of the company and incurring a larger buyout payment to Comcast.


#hbomax #netflix
Reelgood evaluated its 2 million users’ activity and determined the top five SVoD platforms for the third quarter of 2020.

YouTube is the top platform for user generated content, with 50% of those surveyed using it, followed by 22% for Facebook. TikTok was preferred by 13% of viewers 18 to 25 years old, but just 8% overall.

Boosted by cord-cutting and the growth of premium video streaming, advertising-supported video-on-demand networks (AVOD) are estimated to climb 32% to $898 million in advertising revenues — largely attributable to Hulu, with growth of 15% to $592 million, and Roku, expected to rise 40% to $138 million in the period.

Sharply higher overall TV and media marketing spend for premium streaming video services shows Amazon Prime Video placing the most TV commercials of all platforms in the first half of the year — $169.8 million, according to eMarketer. Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+ were right behind Prime Video at $144.6 million, $135.3 million and $104.7 million, respectively. By contrast, Quibi — which just pulled the plug on its operations, was sharply lower — at $40.8 million.


In the news (14 October)

#PlutoTV coming to Spain
“Pluto claims that it will be the first free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service on the Spanish market, and added that Telefónica’s Movistar+ will handle ad sales. The company also said that it will work with over 20 content partners in Spain including All3Media, Endemol Shine, Fremantle and Lionsgate.

#Streaming overtaking #PayTV
“…a new report from the Consumer Technology Association indicates that for the first time more people are paying for a streaming service than they are for traditional pay-TV.”

#Streaming revenues overtake #cinema revenues
“For the first time ever, revenues from global premium streaming platforms are set to soar past worldwide box-office revenues in 2020 — and will maintain that revenue lead for the next five years.”

Study finds #SVOD and #OTT platforms are their own worst enemy when it comes to subscriber loyalty
“From its new ‘Psychology of a Subscriber’ research, the company found that many respondents felt “rejected and ignored by OTT brands,” and that they feel these brands avoid consumer communication altogether in favour of winning new customers. This lack of communication is considered by many as “fear of alerting consumers to the fact they are being billed for a service they may have grown tired of, and that futile efforts to retain customers only truly start when they request to cancel.”

Corona Life: A #quarantine #webserie from Ghana
Corona Life follows a husband and wife who are isolating at home, and who have been following the impending danger with differing attitudes.

#AVOD – About AVOD status
In this year’s third quarter, 17% — or nearly one in five — U.S. internet users watched one or more ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services in the previous month — up from 13% in Q3 2019, according to the latest research from Ampere Analysis.

#Shudder turns 5
The AMC-owned subscription VOD platform passed 1 million subscribers last month as it continues to build on its original programming portfolio that includes such scripted series as Creepshow and Cursed Films.

In the news (7 October)

#VideoElephant: new #shortform platform
VideoElephant was founded in 2012 and focused on aggregating video content from publishers and content providers and then licensing that content to online publishers, mobile apps, streaming services and digital signage companies globally.

#SVOD on a sharp rise in Africa
South Africa will be the largest single market, adding 3 million subs to a total of 4.3 million by 2025. Nigeria meanwhile will also see significant growth, adding 2.1 million to total 2.73 million by the decade’s mid-point.

Is there really a “streaming war”?
“Investors and the press would lead one to believe that there was an intense streaming war underway with the new entrants utilizing their vast libraries of content, lower prices (sometimes even free with ads) and cross-marketing scale leveraging their other portfolio assets to take share from streaming incumbents,” LightShed said in a note to investors. “Yet, streaming share of time spent tells a very different story.”

#AVOD market share on the rise amid tightening household budgets
Use of ad-supported streaming services continues to grow as consumers’ appetite for content remains unabated, even as their budgets for such entertainment hit their upper limits, a just-released study from VAB confirms.

#Quibi in dire need of capital injection
… Katzenberg is going to need to come up with another $1.8 billion by 2024 to keep his platform alive. At the current trajectory, Quibi will come up about $6 billion short by 2030.

#AVOD #SVOD – A point of view on AVOD vs SVOD
“It’s not one or the other — it’s a continuum,” said Mark DeBevoise, chief digital officer, ViacomCBS and CEO and president of ViacomCBS Digital, during this week’s virtual Fall TV 2020 conference. “When you think about the history of TV, it’s always been a continuum,” he added, noting that cable and premium cable had been coexisting with broadcast for decades prior to the advent of OTT.

#TV is losing its historical income as digital advertising charges ahead
Digital advertising will rise by $94 billion through 2023, with TV slipping $5 billion and other media — print, radio, outdoor — collectively losing $14 billion, according to MoffettNathanson Research

In the news (17 September)

Report finds streaming services lead the way on #gender #diversity
“The report from San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film examined over 4,100 television characters and more than 4,200 behind-the-scenes credits. They found that programs appearing on streaming services like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+ offer more quality roles for women.”

#AVOD platforms’ increasing appeal during #covid19
“San Francisco-based Tubi, which Fox acquired earlier this year for $440 million, said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused financial difficulties resulting in 33% of respondents reevaluating their subscription streaming services. To save money, 25% started a free trial and canceled it before paying the subscription fee, with the average person who employs this tactic doing so three times.”

US #cordcutting accelerated by tightening household budgets caused by #Covid19
“Given the economic headwinds of the first half, U.S. households likely were looking to cut back on discretionary spending, including entertainment,” said Kagan senior research analyst  Tony Lenoir. At a monthly $100-plus average, traditional multichannel services stand out in budgeting decisions, particularly in the era of streaming video proliferation.”

#Mipcom: #MIPmarkets go online (again)
“Reed Midem said MIPCOM Warm Up sessions, which begin 5 October, will offer “early access” to market intelligence sessions, content & finance briefings and the MIPJunior screenings platform, as well as use of the MIPCOM digital hub to plan meetings for the MIPCOM week.

Organisers added that a fully digital ‘Main Stage Cannes’ conference and screenings programme would be on offer between 12-16 October…”

#IGN questions report estimating astronomical #Disney+ earnings from release #Mulan
It turns out Yahoo! got the math very wrong in recently claiming Mulan earned $261 million in 12 days from Disney+ alone. While Disney has not officially shared numbers on Mulan’s performance, the analytics firm used by Yahoo! misinterpreted the data and now says Mulan only made between $60-$90 million from its digital-only domestic debut.”

Global #videogame markets to exceed $200bn in three years
The global video game industry will exceed $200 billion in value by 2023 — up from a projected $155 billion in 2020, according to Juniper Research. Mobile and cloud gaming will lead the growth, as the business continues to shift toward recurring revenue.