The video landscape is undergoing sea changes, and a lot of major players with deep pockets are trying to figure out how to compete. It's easy for us media industry folk to lose sight of the fact that roughly half of all TV households across the country have no DVR and half have no streaming services. And the number who have top-tier cable packages is declining. CBS All Access, Disney/ABC, and others are putting down markers, trying to gain a foothold into this new media world. There's more room for them to thrive than many seem to think.
My wife found it infuriating that CBS' new "Star Trek: Discovery" is so good. Having recently seen the series premiere on CBS, we can't watch subsequent episodes unless we subscribe to the CBS All Access streaming service.
On the cusp of the 2017-18 television season, Nielsen released an analysis indicating most of the video ad marketplace growth is coming not from linear TV, but from digital video ad spending. There's a 3.6% increase from the $59.0 billion advertisers spent on TV during the 2015-16 season, while digital video ad spending, by contrast, has expanded 26%, to $9.3 billion during the first half of 2017.
One reason Netflix continues to grow and thrive, aside from spending a significant amount on programming, is that it does not have the same constraints as ad-supported networks. It does not need to worry about average minute ratings, audience flow or demographics.
The media-buying industry has historically been described as one that "buys time and space." Ironically, neither is the norm. And that's not likely to change any time soon, if your believe what readers like you tell us about the future of audience metrics. Take a moment and dwell on that.
In late July YouTube, already the 800-lb. gorilla in video, raised its ambitions even more by offering its YouTube TV streaming service in another 10 U.S. markets. That makes a total of 15 YouTube TV markets. But with so much competition, will YouTube be the leader in attracting new and younger subscribers?
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. Beyond live streams, the digital video sandbox is getting crowded as Facebook, Snap, and Google have designs on the living room. Will Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix move out of the way? Doubtful.
The solar eclipse was a boon to The Weather Channel's digital properties, which racked up 12 million total solar eclipse views, including 8 million via video-on-demand and 4 million related to its live coverage, "Chasing Eclipse 2017. Weather said it racked up the most video views in a single hour, exceeding those of a previous live "viewing" event: last October's Hurricane Matthew.
An eMarketer forecast estimates that U.S. digital video ad spending outside of social platforms will reach $13.23 billion this year, up 23.7% from 2016. By 2021, that spending is estimated to reach $22.18 billion.
Popular culture -- and the advertising world -- is obsessed with the upcoming solar eclipse. On Aug. 21, whoever happens to be in the moon's 70-mile-wide path will get to experience a few minutes of darkness when the moon blocks the sun. While many brands have tried to find a link between their products and the solar eclipse, at least one seems to have found a slender thread of connection: Chiquita.