In a year, Netflix’s competition shifted from Hulu to HBO to everything

Netflix recently updated its “long-term view,” the company’s refreshingly candid assessment of its place within the internet video industry. Which means, if you care about Netflix, you should go read it now. Or better yet, read BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield’s assessment of what has changed from th…

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 digital No Comments

70% of Streaming Video Viewers “Very Picky” About What They Watch


HarrisInteractive-Viewers-Attitudes-to-Streaming-Video-Aug201335% of American adults often or sometimes watch streaming video through a subscription service such as Netflix of Hulu Plus, according to new survey results from Harris Interactive. For what it’s worth (and the comparison is a curious one), the same survey question finds that 23% of adults buy magazines at a physical place of purchase (such as a newsstand or bookstore) with that regularity. Comparisons aside, the researchers examine what streamers’ viewing habits look like, and whether channel surfing is a part of their behavior.

According to the results, streamed videos have a short amount of time to make an impact. Among those who sometimes or often watch streaming video through a subscription service:

  • 70% agreed that they’re very picky about what they watch through a subscription streaming service;
  • About 1 in 4 only give a video a few minutes to catch their interest before deciding whether to stop or continue watching, and another one-third only go one-quarter of the way before making their decision;
  • 6 in 10 agree that checking out the beginnings of several videos is “the new channel surfing;”

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Thursday, August 29th, 2013 news No Comments

Netflix Users Say They’re Watching Less Premium Cable


GfK-Streaming-Subscription-Negative-Effect-Premium-Cable-VOD-July2013Subscription streaming service viewing may be eroding consumption of premium cable channels such as HBO and Starz, according to details from a new report released by GfK. The report asked users of Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon who previously used premium cable channel or pay-TV service video-on-demand (VOD) services if their consumption of those services had declined as a result of their subscriptions.

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 news No Comments

Blu Ray Already Declining

People learned to spell Blu Ray correctly (without the “e”) but this media format is already in decline, being replaced by video streaming through services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, etc.
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Saturday, July 20th, 2013 news No Comments

Paid subscriptions have doubled to four million in past year


Hulu Paid subscriptions have doubled to four million in past year

Hulu’s future ownership may be in question, but the video streaming site is apparently doing fairly brisk business on the paid subscription front. During an advertiser event this morning, the site announced that it has managed to double its Hulu Plus accounts in the past year, up to four million. The site’s revenue also hit a record for the first quarter of the year, though Hulu’s not giving out any numbers. As with rivals Netflix and Amazon, the company’s making a big bet on original programming, with a number of exclusive series, including the animated The Awesomes and western Quick Draw.

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Source: Hulu Blog

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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 digital No Comments

CBS tries multi-stage syndication for The Good Wife on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and TV


CBS tries multiplatform syndication for The Good Wife on Amazon, Hulu Plus and TV

Almost by definition, TV syndication in the modern era leads us to wonder just where and when we’ll get to see a show online. For CBS’ The Good Wife, streaming on third-party services will be a cornerstone of an uncommon, multi-step syndication strategy that puts the internet first. The drama will be available for Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers starting March 14th, expanding beyond its existing availability for purchase. Hulu Plus members, meanwhile, will get their own turn at streaming in September. Traditional TV will still be around, but it’s notably pushed to the back of the queue — Hallmark won’t have airing rights until January 2014, and most other broadcasters will be denied until a year after Hulu. The new approach another sign that CBS’ one-time cold shoulder to some forms of digital distribution is growing warmer and warmer.

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013 news No Comments

Nielsen ratings expand definition of TV households to include internet-only viewers


The Nielsen Company has monitored TV audiences since 1950, but soon it will expand that definition from solely households with antenna, cable or satellite access, but also those that have dropped those options but still get video over the internet. Reflecting the changing times, the move was first noted by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed later by company executives to the New York Times and LA Times. Nielsen hinted at changes two years ago when TV ownership dropped for the first time in decades, which may turn around since the new definition includes viewers with internet-connected TVs, and could go further to include viewers with just a tablet or laptop. According to senior VP Pat McDonough, that means views over services like Aereo can be counted, since they still contain advertisements, which is what broadcasters rely on the ratings for, unlike ad-free Netflix or Hulu streams with different ads. Because of that, it seems unlikely the change will boost the numbers of internet darlings like Community or Arrested Development, but we can dream, right?

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, NYT

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Friday, February 22nd, 2013 news No Comments

It’s Time To Admit That Hulu Is A Failure (DIS, NWS)


Jason Kilar

This morning, a Wall Street Journal story by

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Friday, December 21st, 2012 news No Comments

The Argument Against CEO Marissa Mayer’s Alleged Plot To Go After Google And Facebook (GOOG, YHOO, FB)


Marissa Mayer

Yahoo’s board hired Marissa Mayer to be its CEO because board members want the company to embrace a “products” strategy instead of the “media” strategy that interim CEO Ross Levinsohn would have gone with if he had gotten the full time job.

A “products” strategy is one where Yahoo competes with the likes of Google and Facebook on the strength of software tools built for consumers.

What kind of software tools?

Google products include Google News, Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Docs. Facebook products include Events, Photos, and News Feed. Yahoo’s top products are email, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo fantasy sports.

It’s obvious why this strategy is appealing to Yahoo’s board. All you have to do is look at the size of Google, a $200 billlion company, and Facebook, a $65 billion company.

One reason they are so big (other than lots of growth) is because they have wonderful margins typical of the Internet software business, where raw materials and freight are cheap. Also, you can build Gmail once and then move most of the engineers who built it onto something else, leaving only a few behind to maintain and upgrade it.

Margins aren’t as lovely in the media business. If your business is to create content, you have a recurring cost the software business does not have; you have to pay people to create it over and over. If you depend on these people too much, they ask for too much money. Likewise, if your business is in the distribution of content, the people who make it will do their best to figure out, and then cut into your margins. (This is why Hulu and Spotify are longshot bets to take over the world.)

So, focusing on a “products” strategy seems like a smart, no-brainer, right?

Not so fast, says one long-time Yahoo-watcher we recently spoke to.

This person says that the conventional wisdom about the software business’s excellent margins, outlined above, is outdated and that Google is to blame.

He told us:

“12 years ago, engineering and helpful tools were such an incredible change in lifestyle so that if you were good at it, you could make a lot of moeny. Software was a crazy high margin business. But here’s what’s changed: Google and companies worth $100 billion and $200 billion have brought software innovation to a zero margin business. They don’t charge for software. They don’t charge for ad serving. They don’t charge for reporting. Google makes all their money on a monopolistic position in advertising. There are no software businesses anymore. The software business is dead. The people who are making their money there are doing it because Google hasn’t killed them yet.”

Translation: Google can afford to make software tools for consumers free to use because it’s search business makes so much money, so Yahoo would be nuts to go out and try making a Yahoo Docs, Yahoo Maps, or Yahoo mobile operating system.

Hopefully, that’s not Mayer’s plan for Yahoo.

Hopefully, the plan is to bring “product” features to Yahoo’s powerful media brands, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, and Yahoo Finance. 

That’s our sneaking suspicion, which we elaborate on here >

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 news No Comments

The Average Length Of Online Videos Is Rising Rapidly


Americans are watching longer and longer online videos, according to comScore’s monthly online video stats. The average length of online videos viewed has risen a minute and five seconds since September alone. This is good news for video advertisers, as viewers tend to see more ads when they watch longer shows.

This is primarily the result of Americans watching more longer-form content on the web, like TV shows on Hulu. It is important though because longer videos generally include more advertising. Hulu, for example, is the largest server of online video ads, but only shows about 5 percent as many videos as YouTube.

The number of ads per mid length video—defined as 5 to 20 minutes long—rose 63 percent last year, according to FreeWheel. For videos longer than 20 minutes, the number of ads served more than doubled.

Online Video Average Length

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Friday, May 25th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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