If live streams like the recent Comey hearing -- which drew 2.7 million unique viewers globally, according to Bloomberg -- are any indication, real-time events in conjunction with the social aspect of Twitter have a potent appeal.
Separately, Richard Greenfield, BTIG Research's media/cable analyst, had a couple of interesting thoughts in a blog post about Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.
Notably, Greenfield asks why the total of time spent watching programming on Amazon and Hulu isn’t higher than it is. He estimates thatAmazon will spend $4 billion to $5 billion in 2017 on video programming, Hulu is likely to spend $1.5 billion -- which doesn’t include the broadcast network content it gets from corporate parents -- and Netflix will spend about $8 billion.
He points out that Netflix has more users than Amazon and Hulu and seems to have a good “picker,” meaning, it’s shrewd about scoping out programming that will become a hit.
Also, Greenfield says that Hulu may soon no longer be Hulu. What? Why?
Hulu, he writes, plans to have its three broadcast network owners (ABC, FOX, and NBC) stop supplying next-day content to its $7.99/$11.99 services sometime in 2018. At that point, the content would only be available via Hulu’s much higher-priced virtual multichannel video programming distributor service. The upshot, he says, is that Hulu will eventually become just a copy of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video: a combination of original programming and licensed content.
Despite the existing plethora of video programming, platforms, and subscription services, over-the-top TV (OTT) options, there’s every indication more content is coming from the likes of Facebook, Google, and Snap via connected TV, connected devices, and other technologies we probably don't even know about yet. These platforms are jumping from the desktop computer and mobile devices, into the living room, making hefty investments in OTT video streaming and connected TV devices. There's no reason to believe any of this will slow down.
ComScore recently analyzed the OTT viewing habits of households in its “Total Home” behavioral measurement panel, made up of those who previously subscribed to cable or satellite, but no longer do so.
The data offers an interesting look at how cord-cutters’ viewing patterns differ from other audiences. For example, the average OTT viewing home in the U.S. spends 49 hours a month viewing OTT content, while cord-cutter homes consume 79 hours of OTT content a month (2.5 hours per day). That's about 60% more than the average.
By comparison to traditional TV viewing, the average U.S. household watched 225 hours of linear TV content in March. The upshot is that cord-cutting households appear to have less of an appetite for TV content.
And without pay TV competing for cord-cutters' attention, they tend to watch quite a bit more OTT content: They spend 41% more time on Netflix, 47% more time on YouTube, 45% more time on Amazon Video, and 13% more time on Hulu compared to the average OTT viewer.
Google's YouTube attracts about half of consumers’ time spent watching digital video on connected TVs, which has made YouTube a formidable destination for eyeballs and marketers’ ad dollars.
Still, with all the competition from other providers and platforms, perhaps YouTube won't be king of the hill for that much longer. And given its brand-safety woes in recent months, there may be an opening for others to race to the top.