This blog is concerned with the arrival of a significant new form of VOD advertising – ‘platform’ VOD. This is the VOD advertising format that is slowly emerging on TV set top boxes in the UK and other TV markets.
In the UK ‘platform VOD advertising has been taking some time to get established. On Virgin set top boxes in the UK there have been experiments with VOD advertising going for a few years, but only with the recent upgrade of its systems is it properly taking off. On Sky+ boxes (where until recently, it was impossible to insert adverts into VOD programmes) we are promised a summer roll out of ad insertion. On the Youview based boxes and the other free-to-air platforms, platform VOD has been treated as an extension of ‘player’ VOD – formats delivered through a broadcaster app like ITV Player or 4OD. It has been bundled and sold within the broader VOD advertising deals, and has not been broken out for reporting or measurement purposes. more “VOD Ads On TV Are Different to VOD Ads On The Web..and It Matters!”…
Decipher’s latest VOD Audit reveals YouView is now the largest catch-up TV provider in the UK, growing by 24% to offer 2,677 assets. This gives it the lead over Sky by 85 assets with the satellite provider’s catch-up service totaling 2,592 assets, reflecting 11% growth since June. Importantly however, Sky’s claims to having the largest catch-up service still have some grounds: Their service offers far more breadth, giving subscribers access to content from up to 32 channels compared to YouView’s 15.
Looking at total video on demand on services audited in this quarter (which excludes iTunes and Google Play until next quarter), the most on demand is available through Sony’s Playstation Store, accessed via the Playstation 3 games console; the Store offers access to over 24,100 episodes and movies. The Audit places Blinkbox in second (20,800 assets) with Microsoft’s Xbox Video in third place (20,400 assets). more “Decipher’s VOD Audit Q3 2013: YouView now provide more catch-up TV than Sky”…
Over 50% of UK households will have a connected STB by end of 2015 which is double the figure for last year. This will move TV on-demand mainstream. It will also move consumers’ default usage back to the digital TV platforms and dampen the growth of OTT providers (Netflix and Lovefilm) and standalone online players (iPlayer, ITV on demand and 4OD).
Set-top boxes in the UK are getting more connected. This means that more of them have access to broadband through either a cable into the back of them or, more likely, a wifi connection. The trend is prevalent at the moment driven by Sky who are currently connecting 50k HD boxes per week and will continue to for the next few years. Added acceleration to connectivity will come from YouView growth through BT and TalkTalk and also the connected version of Freesat (called <freetime>) which are both making the traditionally ‘free TV’ base more able to easily connect to broadband. more “UK Set Top Boxes Pass 50% Connected In Next Two Years.”…
Martin Johnson, the England rugby coach stood in front of the cameras after the England Scotland game at the weekend and said that he saw improvement in the England team. Like most of the English sporting audience, who had just watched a dire display of turgid rugby, I gulped in shock and stared at the screen feeling very uncomfortable.
My discomfort came from the fact that Martin Johnson should be able to do no wrong in my eyes. He is someone I revere, and for whom I desire success in a very difficult job. But he was talking rubbish. What I couldn’t work out was whether he knew he was but was fronting up, or whether he actually believed the stuff he was saying. It is discomforting when people I like, and want to succeed, spout stuff that is not believable. Particularly if I am not sure that they believe it either. I am beginning to feel this way about a whole host of new media initiatives that are currently underway.
I received a flyer in the post from the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) the other day, outlining the curriculum of their ‘Complete Digital Marketing Course’. What was remarkable about this flyer and its grandiose claim, was just how incomplete the course was. In a week when AudiTV launched an on-demand service on Virgin cable’s Showcase, and Honda’s webTV service moved to the front page of the BT Vision EPG, there was nothing about breakthrough digital TV marketing in it at all. With Sky launching green button advertising on the satellite platforms, there was nothing about interactive television formats; and with both Sky and Virgin developing targeted broadcast and targeted on-demand mechanisms, there was nothing about converged marketing principles, bringing together internet techniques with broadcast content. And it wasn’t just TV that was ignored.
See Decipher discuss the Susan Boyle case on Channel 4 news here
Much was made in the press about ITV not earning any revenue from all the people watching the clip of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube. This has been described by various commentators as a missed revenue opportunity, and a commercial failure for ITV. This completely misses the point. Over 50 million people tuned into watch the Susan Boyle clip on YouTube. It was the best two minute ad for a TV programme that has ever been distributed and ITV didn’t pay a penny for the privilege. You have to ask how many posters a TV company would have to buy to get an equivalent, media impact. The only statistic of interest should have been the uplift in audience, from the episode before to the episode after the YouTube explosion of Miss Boyles version of Les Miserables. There was a 2 million uplift.
Commercial TV funded by advertising is an astonishingly scalable business. You can look at the richest territories in the world such as the USA and note that when it is fuelled by $70bn in TV advertising, the TV industry can produce a service that occupies 34 hours a week of leisure time for the average adult. Then look at Serbia, with a TV ad spend that is about 1% of the USA and, you guessed it, they keep the average Serbian adult busy 34 hours a week. I know this ignores other revenue like subscription but you get the point. With a business model that scalable you’d have thought the UK TV industry could absorb a reduction in advertising revenue of a few percent without all the talk of the sky falling-in.
There is a rule in life that if something walks like a duck and talks like a duck it must be a duck. It is a good rule, but we have been struggling this week with a slight variation to it. How about if someone really big and important repeatedly tells you something is a duck, and has gone to the trouble of painting the thing to look like a duck, but every time you look at it, it still doesn’t walk or talk like a duck?
The duck in question is the TV version of iPlayer that is available on Virgin cable. The BBC and Virgin have made a great fuss over the fact that ‘iPlayer is now available on Virgin’. But however much we have tried, we can’t make it quack or waddle.
Writing in this month’s Television Magazine, Nigel Walley writes: If you live in a reasonably advanced TV household, the number of ways to get hold of a TV show have multiplied in the last couple of years. If you want to watch tonight’s Hollyoaks and can’t get back in time, you can record it on your PVR, get it via ‘Catch-Up’ on the TV or stream it from the PC. At some point in the near future, you will be able to download it directly to your iPod or your PSP. In last month’s Television Roger Graef made the leap to suggest that, because of these technologies we won’t need broadcasters and ‘as more content becomes available online, schedules will go to pot’.
Now I spend my life examining these technologies for clients. I have had access to both a PVR and on-demand programmes on my home telly for at least five years, and am a big consumer of online video.So as I read Roger’s piece, I felt the nagging question ‘if this is the case, why do I still watch so much broadcast TV?’