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 report is now available and with 84% of data collection automated, it provides the biggest and most robust picture of the UK video on demand landscape yet. It dissects the biggest 20 video on demand services in the UK giving an unrivalled overview of all VOD in the UK.
The new expanded report reveals that Apple’s iTunes service comprehensively trounces the competition by offering a total of 65,063 video assets, 193% larger than the next largest service Xbox Video, and 275% larger than the largest TV VOD service BT TV/YouView. The biggest growth overall in VOD was seen in Sky’s NowTV service which is 208% larger than in September’s Q3 report. Other providers who grew strongly include Xbox Video (87%), Sky TV (+35%) and Netflix (+26%).more “Decipher’s VOD Audit Q4 ’13: iTunes dominate total VOD size; but Sky lead catch-up”…
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”…
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.
Ok, a strangely detailed and techie post, from us (who always claim to be marketers and not techies). There seems to be a wave of confusion over the difference between the ‘Internet’ and the ‘Web’ (No they are not the same thing! An Englishman – Sir Tim Berners Lee – invented the web, but he most certainly did not invent the Internet, which had been around for years before Sir Tim started fiddling with it.)
This distinction doesn’t really matter until we start thinking about how this impacts the TV area. There are actually three levels of internet connectivity that you can get into a TV set and the article needs to be clear about the distinction:
I recently challenged myself to work-out why I still watch so much ‘live’ TV. I don’t mean news or sport because I can rationalise those genres quite easily. I mean bread and butter programming.
The challenge came about because I was debating just how much more damage all the VOD services and PVRs will do to live TV viewing figures in the long-run. This is important because it is those live viewing figures that contribute the vast bulk of advertising impacts. VOD currently delivers far, fewer impacts per hour of viewing than live TV, so the ‘end game’ for advertising funded TV programming is defined by this question. My guess was that live TV won’t drop more than perhaps 25%, no matter how many VOD and time shifting gadgets like Sky+ launch, but I could not say why. I suspect I’m making the mistake of confusing the technology with the benefits.
VOD and the PVR are the rational way to consume all but the livest of live TV events. So, when VOD has all the content you want and it is available on every screen in the house, why would you want to watch ordinary old broadcast TV at all?
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 currently a huge fuss over the regulatory demise of Kangaroo (the online TV joint venture betbetween channel 4, ITV and BBC Worldwide! But there is a school of thought which says it might have been a complete irrelevance. Two reasons: 80% of VOD use at the moment is catch-up (ie programmes from the last seven days) and, apart from Channel 4, the broadcasters were keeping catch up for their own sites. This position was further undermined in the last few months by the BBC iPlayer team’s decision to also ‘series stack’ (God this industry is full of jargon!!) . This means, as an example, if they have a 6 part drama being broadcast, then they will keep all six episodes available in iPlayer catch-up for thirty days after the last episode has been transmitted. This robbed the concept of some of its most attractive catch-up content. Without catch up, you are left with lots and lots of archive TV, whose relevance and attractivness has yet to be proven apart from some very niche audiences. (Yes there will always be a tiny number of wombats who want to watch all those old Red Dwarf episodes).