The Olympics may be over, but its impact will be felt in the online video business for years to come. With 159 million streams delivered, the Games were a huge success digitally. Naturally, that means other live events will look to imitate the success.
Disney-ABC has been an online video leader since back in 2005 when it struck the first network deal with iTunes. Since then, ABC has continued to innovate with its video player, and has also won awards for the user experience, so I always pay extra attention to its online video initiatives. Just this week, ABC Family launched a weekly Web series for its hit show "Pretty Little Liars," and the first episode logged more than 250,000 views in less than 24 hours, the network said.
So you've sold all your pre-roll inventory. Or maybe your viewers are tired of pre-rolls. What's a Web publisher to do? Be like AdSense. Make the content the ads, and don't charge unless someone is into you. That's the premise of a new video monetization platform from analytics firm Visible Measures that the company has been quietly rolling out for a year, but just officially announced last week.
By many counts, mid-rolls are among the fastest-growing online video ad formats, but consumers might not be so fond of this style of marketing. Mid-rolls are increasing at a rate more than double a year ago, according to the latest quarterly report from online video technology provider FreeWheel, which analyzed billions of videos from premium programmers. But there's some evidence that viewers might not care for this ad format.
Who's going to be the next startup to succeed in online video? That's the big question, and I won't promise to have any answers, but I can share with you a video report from Beet.TV commentator Ashley Swartz that has me now keeping an eye on two companies in the metadata arena -- Veenome and Watchwith.
About 159 million homes will have smart TVs by the end of this year, but gaming consoles and set-top boxes are more likely to win the long-term connected TV battle than smart TVs themselves. That's the finding of a new report from The Diffusion Group predicting that TV set makers who eagerly showcased their new connected capabilities at the CES show will not be the ones to benefit from the money that's expected to flow through broadband connections to the TV.
Hulu has always done well at luring advertisers, and its new makeover may help bring in more money. The online video content site introduced a new look this week that features larger graphics, better visuals, easier browsing capabilities, more intuitive show pages and more personalized discovery tools. The site intends to surface more "hidden gems," it says, as well as deliver what each viewer wants -- like Amazon does with its personalized recommendation.
Ah, have the dog days of summer gotten online video ads down? ComScore's monthly report on online video viewing and advertising revealed that the number of video ads viewed in July dropped to 9.6 billion -- down from 11 billion in June, and the lowest amount of ads viewed since April.
Despite their relatively modest reach, connected TVs offer a highly engaged base of viewers, new research has found. Connected TVs are still a small portion of the ad marketplace, but they're growing quickly, and users seem to pay attention to the ad messages. Nearly 90% of connected TV users notice ads on the platform and half have interacted with the ad, according to research just released from video ad technology provider YuMe in partnership with research firm Frank N. Magid Associates.
Last week we talked about how online retailers can improve the view rates for their videos, as well as how some retailers are finding that online video is significantly boosting sales. To add to the conversation, here are some additional tidbits on how retailers can drive even more revenue using online video ads and content, according to a survey of online video viewers conducted by video ad technology company Videology.