Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

top us ad video content properties dec 2013

 

Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

top us video ad properties dec 2013

 

 

Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013

GSF_BANNER

Advertisements

Facebook’s Video Ads Risk Alienating Users

Facebook said it would begin selling video advertisements later this week, a move that may help the social-networking giant capture a share of the annual $66.4 billion TV advertising market.

Some advertisers rejoiced Tuesday when Facebook introduced long-awaited video advertisements. A bigger question is how users will react.

Marketers “have to be sensitive,” said Tony Pace, chief marketing officer for the Subway sandwich chain, which advertises on Facebook. “If someone said [this video ad] is going to run whether consumers want it or not, that would give me pause,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for the coming sci-fi film “Divergent,” would begin appearing Thursday, marking an effort by the world’s largest social network to grab a slice of the $66 billion annual U.S. TV advertising pie.

The video ads, which the company says are still being tested to a limited number of users, will start playing automatically as users scroll through their news feed, the central real estate in Facebook’s desktop and mobile platforms. They will initially play without sound; users can stop the ad by scrolling past it in the news feed.

Some users are wary. “This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Lee Kirschbrown, a senior citizen in Tampa, Fla., who is irked by existing Facebook ads. Video ads “will only make me madder,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for sci-fi film ‘Divergent,’ would begin appearing Thursday. Shown, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.Associated Press

In a November survey of 735 Facebook users by global marketing consultancy Analytic Partners, 83% of users said they would find video ads “intrusive” and would likely “ignore” them.

Marketers are more enthusiastic. “Video is really powerful,” said Shelby Saville, managing director at Spark, a media-buying unit of Publicis “Using sight, sound and motion is a way to get consumers to have an emotional connection to the brand, if it’s well done,” she added.

Video advertising isn’t available to all advertisers, and Facebook didn’t say when it would expand the offering.

Many advertisers will be priced out of the market. Facebook is charging around $2 million per day for the ability to reach its 140 million U.S. users aged 18 to 54, according to media buyers. Some media buyers said they found the price surprisingly high.

Facebook began pitching advertisers on video ads about a year ago, giving several advertisers and media buyers a sneak peek last January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, Facebook began quietly testing auto-play videos.

Subway was among the companies that placed ads containing video that users had to start manually. Mr. Pace of Subway said roughly 88 million people saw the ad and “millions” of people clicked on it. “It worked pretty darn well,” he added.

Media buyers said advertisers would be more interested in video ads if Facebook allowed them to better target specific sets of users. Facebook currently allows advertisers to target video ads by gender and age, but not by interests, as it does for traditional ads. “Advertisers always need more data than simply impressions and reach,” said Vik Kathuria, global head of digital investment at Mediacom, a media buying firm owned by WPP.

“This news further confirms that Facebook has abandoned social marketing in favor of standard push-style ads,” said Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott.

Ad experts say it is no surprise that a movie studio was the first video advertiser, since consumers typically are more interested in movie trailers than ads for more mundane products like soup or toilet paper.

“A movie is perfect for this,” said Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at Mindshare, the media buying agency that brokered the ad deal for Lions Gate Entertainment  “Americans love films and when you show a movie trailer there is always going to be a certain part of the audience that really likes it,” he added.

Facebook Launches Video Ad Format Option For Mobile News Feed

Facebook have announced that they will be supporting video in their mobile advertising slots, allowing marketers and publishers to target Android and iOS mobile viewers with video ad creative. The new ad type, aimed at companies who want to promote mobile apps, will provide consumers with the ability to watch a promotional video before deciding whether to go ahead and download the app. It’s not autoplay driven and viewers have to actively tap on the video to make it play. The upgrade, which will allow advertisers to promote their products using the mobile app ad follows on from the introduction of new deep linking features on mobile apps which Facebook introduced at the beginning of the month.

The new feature isn’t to be confused with the auto play video ads that are currently still on the backburner while user experience issues are being ironed out.

Facebook seem excited about the upgrade stating that “video creative has proven to be an effective way to drive engagement in News Feed”. John Clelland from DoubleDown Casino, one of the early testers of the video in mobile app ads said of the new format:

In our early tests, we found that using video in our mobile app ads resulted in increased install rates and decreased costs per install. We’ve seen tremendous success with mobile app ads and are looking forward to using video to make them even more engaging with rich media like video.

Facebook Launches Video Ad Format Option For Mobile News Feed
Facebook are also introducing a brand new ad pricing structure that allows advertisers to bid on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis. This means they can set their budget per install rather than by impressions or by clicks.

Facebook Launches Video Ad Format Option For Mobile News Feed

33% of tablet owners watch 1 Hour Of Video Content Per Day

In just a few short years the tablet has become a hugely popular second screen of choice for 33% of American adults, and while it may not be an essential item, its affordability means that it is within reach of an increasing number of users. New research from YuMe shows how we use our tablets and it’s no surprise to see that a third of of us devote an hour a day to them, with the minimum of distraction. As for video consumption, 100% of those tablet users surveyed confirmed that they watch videos at home, 66% watch videos on holiday, 22% watch videos while commuting or at work and 13% will watch video content while out drinking or dining.

33% of tablet owning adults will watch video for up to 1 hour a day on weekdays while 24% will watch up to two hours of content on the weekends. 8% of adults will watch around 4 hours of video content at the weekends, presumably due to less distractions.

Tablet use also lead to better recall of video ads, according to the report, with 57% of those asked able to recall a video ad without prompting. That compares favourably against the smartphone (49%) and the TV (45%). Advertisers that created mobile specific ad content were also perceived as being ‘cooler’.

tablet-viewing-tablets-2013-606x2084

Over the past four years, the percent of American adult internet users who upload or post videos online has doubled from 14% in 2009 to 31% today. That includes 18% of adult internet users who post videos they have created or recorded themselves—many of whom hope their creations go viral. The share of online adults who watch or download videos has also grown from 69% of internet users in 2009 to 78% today, and mobile phones have become a key part of the video viewing and creating experience.

The increasing popularity of social networking sites and the proliferation of cell phones have helped spur the growing online video culture
The growing popularity of posting and watching online videos is a natural byproduct of the increasing percent of adults who use social network sites such as Facebook, as well as the proliferation of cell phones which make it relatively easy to watch, record, and post videos online. Fully 72% of online adults now use social networking sites, which provide a venue for video sharing and watching. The current survey shows that:

  • 71% of adults who post videos online do so on social networking sites.
  • 58% of adults who watch online videos do so on social networking sites.

Similarly, as the percent of American adults who own a cell phone has reached 91%4 , it is not  uncommon for adults to use these devices to participate in the online video culture. Among adult cell phone owners:

  • 41% use their phones to watch video.
  •  40% use their phones to record video.
  • 20% use their phones to post videos online.

More recently, apps have emerged which bring the convenience of cell phones together with the
popularity of online video. In the current survey:

  • 23% of adults who post videos online do so using a mobile app such as Vine.
  • 17% of adults who watch videos online do so using a mobile app

Will Video Ads Sink Facebook? Social Media Giant Faces User Backlash

The video ad market is on the cusp of a multi-billion dollar expansion that could transform Facebook and Instagram into syndication platforms putting pressure on the existing TV model, but those users may not accept commercials as readily as major online video sites.

TV advertising is a big business, but online video ads are projected to grow even more rapidly. eMarketer says that advertisers in the U.S. will spend $66.4 billion on TV ads this year, compared to $4.1 billion online. However, it foresees 40 percent growth in video ads.

Facebook Has the Potential To Generate $1 Billion in Ad Revenue

Morgan Stanley financial analysts are predicting that Facebook could generate over $1 billion next year in video ad revenues and as much as $6.5 billion by 2020. Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to Facebook because its ability to reach the coveted 25-34 demographic can exceed TV networks’ reach, Nielsen has found.

Facebook is especially attractive to advertisers during primetime hours. Nielsen has found that it is “a strong driver of duplicated reach—meaning that a marketer could reach the same consumers online and on TV.” Facebook complements TV ads and is overturning the perception that the Internet is only for niche audiences by becoming a channel for “broadly messaged, brand advertising,” Nielsen said in a July report. What’s important to note is that Facebook has served as extension to the main TV experience by bringing value through second screen activities. The Nielsen report noted that: The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment.

Facebook User Attention Span Is An Issue

Facebook has the scale to do this with its 1.15 billion monthly active users, but actual consumer interactions with its video ads could deviate from what analysts are expecting. Consumers are willing to sit through 30 or 60-second advertisements on online video platforms like YouTube,Hulu and UVidi, because they want access to the content. The social consumer is different – they don’t have the same attention span.

Moreover, Facebook doesn’t have a content strategy to hold users’ attention. The majority of the content that it distributes is user-generated and short-form, thus greatly reducing the likelihood that anyone is going to want to sit through a commercial to watch their friend’s cat fall off a couch. As video consumption evolves, we are seeing that 15 and 30 second pre-rolls are effective when users want premium content. It’s likely you will see much shorter messaging on social platforms with pre-roll that is 5 to 8 seconds long. Early testers will try to create branded content and use Facebook as a distribution source, but currently it can’t compete with the big video platforms because it won’t deliver equivalent results with its existing videos.

That’s the challenge: Facebook offers a very different customer experience from other content distribution sites. A model that could work would be to complement a TV advertising package with a Facebook extension that includes video to target mobile devices. More than 40 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue and 68 percent of its traffic come from mobile customers, according to its Q2 earnings call in late July. That’s assuming users want ads.

Consumer sentiment could be why Facebook is moving so cautiously with video ads. It wants its ads to display in ways that aren’t distracting or alienating towards users the Wall Street Journal reports. “Striking that balance between consumer happiness and commercial opportunity has been a challenge for the young company, leading to delays and frustrations among the marketers it is trying to woo,” the report said.

While Facebook tinkers, established video platforms are better positioned to drawn display budget because of the duration of the videos. Morgan Stanley predicts that YouTube will generate $5.7 billion in video ad revenue next year, which is estimated to grow to approximately $17 billion by 2019.

Facebook could meet the street’s expectations, but that’s only true if consumers buy in. Content is king and will influence consumer interactions with video advertisements.

Think social media will drive viewers to TV programs? Think again

Content owners increasingly are turning to social media in hopes of being able to deepen relationships with regular viewers, and, perhaps more importantly, to attract new or occasional viewers to specific programming. But a new study suggests that while social media can help enhance existing relationships with viewers, if it’s used to often, it efficacy decreases. And, in the case of non- or infrequent  viewers, social media may have little–if any impact–on drawing them into the fold. The study, from the Council for Research Excellence, found that word-of-mouth is far more likely—five to 10 times more so–to attract new or infrequent viewers to a TV show than Facebook, Twitter, or other social apps.

“While our ‘Talking Social TV’ study found social media incrementally influential in drawing viewers to new shows as opposed to existing shows,” said Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources, of Discovery Communications, who chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee, “these latest findings suggest social media may have a stronger role in building relationships with a show for existing viewers than in drawing newer viewers to that show. If programmers already have a regular viewer watching their show, they can engage them further.”

The study helped the CRE identify two distinct types of viewers—the “repeaters” and the “infrequents,” Rockwood said. It also helped it “understand the relative roles of demographics and program genre in determining the impact of social media, and to observe the effects of different forms of communication on viewers.”

For instance, the study found that social media holds more sway with repeaters who are over 55 and white, and for infrequent viewers who are Hispanic, African American and male. It is also interesting to see the type of content that has most impact.

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 13.58.23

CRE said a second study into the relationship of social media and TV viewing, encompassing a lengthier survey of respondents using mobile apps as diaries, is expected to launch later this year.

The academic review of the study was conducted by a team including The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some other findings include:

  • For repeaters, the first encounters with offline word-of-mouth, or a one-to-one electronic communication such as an email or text, or a social-media communication, are related to higher viewing — while subsequent communications can have diminishing returns.
  • For repeaters, those receiving an initial social media message were found more likely to watch a show by one percentage point, with diminishing returns after each additional exposure to a social media message.
  • For infrequent viewers, social media and show promos were found to be less related to high viewing than offline word-of-mouth, which peaks at a four-percentage-point increase in the likelihood of sampling the show.  More than five social media exposures are needed to obtain the same one-percentage-point lift as one offline word-of-mouth exposure for these infrequent viewers. This suggests social media plays a role in encouraging sampling, but a smaller one;
  • Social media plays a stronger role for genres such as reality (a nearly four-percentage-point increase in likelihood of watching), sports (more than a two-percentage-point increase) and talk shows (approximately a one-percentage-point increase).

The CRE is an independent research group funded by Nielsen.

Click here for more details on the research.

Rich Mobile Ads More Engaging on Facebook, Twitter

Rich media ads running on social-networking sites in mobile tend to outperform the same ads on regular mobile sites.

The findings come from mobile rich media provider Celtra. It analyzed 32 different campaigns with the same or comparable creative elements delivered simultaneously to select mobile sites, as well as in the Facebook and Twitter apps. The ads, which were built and served using the company’s AdCreator platform, ran during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of this year.

Rich media ads running in the Facebook and Twitter apps had an interaction rate of 55.2%, four times that of the same ads on standard mobile sites. Time spent interacting with ads was nearly double in social media, with an average of 53 seconds versus 32 seconds on other sites.

The rich media units, which ran as Promoted Posts on Facebook and Promoted Tweets on Twitter, expanded full screen when tapped.

Celtra also compared the rate at which users completed a sequence of steps within an interactive ad. For example, one campaign asked users to create a drawing and post it to Facebook. That involved clicking on the ad, selecting a brand-related theme, drawing an image, previewing it, then posting it on the social network.

With an average completion rate of 15.9% to 1% for such ads, those displayed in social media proved much more effective than their standard rich media counterparts.

The video play rate was more than three times as high: 46.8% to 16.4%. The rate of social sharing through rich media ads was four times higher on Facebook and Twitter compared to non-social sites, at 27.2% to 7.1%.

“When it comes to engagement with mobile rich media ads, social media networks definitely have an upper hand,” said Matevz Klanjsek, Celtra co-founder and chief product officer, in releasing the study. He attributed the higher levels of ad interaction within social media to their focus on native ad formats designed to seamlessly incorporate ads into a user’s steam of updates.

Not all the findings favored rich media ads on Facebook and Twitter, however. When it came to engagement with location-based social features, standard rich media ads drive a much higher rate, at 11.3% to 2%. Interaction with photo galleries was also higher for ads outside social media, at 29% to 23%.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 15.08.23