It’s really all about talking about stuff, and right now a big part of the ad business is paying attention to all that Internet-enabled chatter. Talk isn't cheap; it's gold.
The watercooler moments of the TV season, as demonstrated by Twitter and tabulated by Nielsen, were topped by the Super Bowl, which had 16.1 million Twitter watchers, who read 25.1 million tweets.
The Grammy Awards had 13.3 million Twitter users and produced 13.4 million tweets and “The SNL 40th Anniversary Special” had 9.1 million Twitter followers, and encouraged 1.3 million tweets, according to a new Nielsen report.
None of that seems very surprising. This is more interesting. Among series, “The Walking Dead” premiere episode this season had 1.3 million tweets and a Twitter audience of 7.4 million. And the March 18 telecast of Fox’s “Empire” was probably most remarkable--a Twitter audience of 5.9 million and an impressive 2.4 million tweets. It also took the prize for top TV drama minute: 51,000 tweets at 10 p.m., at the very end of the season finale.
Nielsen hopes to begin following online video-related tweets later this year, a research project that will be a lot more challenging because videos aren’t “on” at a certain time.
At the same time, YouTube’s AdWords agency released results of a users’ vote of the best ads of the past decade, topped by “Kobi vs. Messi Selfie Shoot-Out” the Volkswagen ad, “The Force,” “Always #Like A Girl,” VanDamme’s "Epic Split” for Volvo and the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches.” It’s a good list even if it seems to be say that nothing very interesting happened on YouTube, ad-wise, before 2011. (I’ll have more about YouTube ads soon.)
STREAMING TAKES A STEP: This means something. While awards shows in and of themselves are usually horrible to watch, it’s significant that the 5th Annual Streamy Awards, which honors video streamers, will, for the first time be telecast. VH1 will carry the show on Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. from Los Angeles. (I'm sure this doesn't mean that video streamers actually want to be on TV.)
"Our partnership with VH1 is not only a huge milestone for the Streamy Awards, but also a triumph for the entire creator community," said Streamy Awards Creator Drew Baldwin, in a statement, who also said it “validates” online video. Dick Clark Productions (which doesn’t like to capitalize its name, but I do) will produce it with, with an assist from Tubefilter.com.
SPORTS APPITUDE: Sports may be a powerful lure, and sports apps and mobile viewing may seem like earth-changing advances, but a study by Clearleap shows many sports fans like things pretty much the way they are. The study says 87% of fans preferred to watch sports via a traditional broadcast/cable connection,and nearly half (45%) never downloaded a sports app. (Ask that one again next year.) The rest of the Clearlap study of 435 consumers weren’t that surprising; Among all viewers, 67% said sports wasn’t the reason they kept a cable subscription--that’s not a surprise, is it?-- and among sports fans, almost half had other non-sports attractions that made the cable deal worth it.
A few other conclusions are interesting: Fans of the “big three” of sports--baseball, basketball and football--are far less likely to use streaming devices than fans of less network-saturated sports. And 46% of sports fans don’t use authenticated services at all because they don’t know about them, or don’t know how.
Finally, 87% watch sports via TV, traditional cable or broadcast, not through devices like Roku or Apple TV. Just 2.2% watch via smartphones. That’s not that surprising. Most people will watch the biggest screen available; watching entire games via smartphones on a regular basis is not for (almost) anyone.
VIDEOBLOCKS GETS A ROUND: VideoBlocks, the interesting video clip art Website profiled here a couple months ago, just closed a new $8 million funding round led by North Atlantic Capital. The infusion of funds will allow VideoBlocks to continue to grow its Marketplace concept, that gives videographers a 100% commission on its sales, and a 40% discount to users compared to what they would have paid if they purchased the clip elsewhere. (Since that program started, 2,000 videographers have added 300,000 clips to the library, founder Joel Holland says.) VideoBlocks operates by selling $99-a-year subscriptions allowing users unlimited access to video, a disruptive approach that goes counter to the typical piecemeal approach other stock video sites employ.