With Netflix and Hulu bringing in major sales numbers, companies in the media business aren't the only ones hurrying to implement a competitive streaming service and capitalize on video advertising online. While big networks like ABC have recently launched their own streaming apps to keep traditional television viewers hooked as they drift online, large American retailers are entering the playing field as well.
Amazon may have taken the lead among big names in the consumer retail industry to launch a streaming service, but Wal-Mart and most recently Target are not far behind.
According to Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Target is testing a streaming feature among its own employees. Like its eventual competitors, Target Ticker provides web access to television programming and movies.
The streaming service's website offers beta access to Target team members and claims to offer 15,000 titles, new releases, classic movies and next-day TV. In addition, Target Ticker has an iOS and Android app, also only available to company employees.
"At Target, we continually test new concepts with the goal of providing our guests with a convenient experience," spokesperson Erica Julkowski told the newspaper in an email. "We are currently testing a new online offering with Target team members only. During this phase, we are gathering valuable information that will help shape future plans. We will share additional details when they become available."
Whether Target will take the streaming service public anytime soon has yet to be disclosed. Another uncertainty is whether the company will charge a monthly subscription comparable to those required by Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and other services.
In addition to these big names in the streaming business, Target Ticker would also compete against long-time rival Wal-Mart, whose Vudu service allows users to rent content and access online versions of DVDs purchased at a retail location.
Posted on May 17, 2013 by YuMe
While 2012 may be considered the year of mobile, we're clearly in the midst of the golden age of mobile marketing. While smartphone and tablet advertising was once considered a marginal part of overall marketing campaigns, new platforms and capabilities are doing away with shoddy display ads and replacing them with video ads on mobile and other innovations. This is making mobile advertising a much greater playing field for brands, advertising agencies and content publishers alike.
Mobile marketing spending on the rise
On an U.S. economic scale, that spending translates to a $217 billion boost in sales in 2013, which is expected to hit $401 billion in 2015, eMarketer stated.
Mobile advertising leading the way
Mobile marketing increases brand lift
A separate study by InsightExpress found smartphone and tablet advertising is delivering strong results in terms of several branding metrics. These efforts boosted ad awareness by 41 percent among tablet users and 26 percent among smartphone owners. In addition, tablet consumers' message association increased 18 percent while smartphone's went up 15 percent. Other measures that saw positive results include purchase intent, brand favorability and unaided and aided awareness.
Ads on tablets were more effective in each category, potentially because the differences between how these devices and smartphones are used. While people are more active on their phones, they're more laid back on tablets.
"Thanks to a larger screen, tablet ad creative to date can offer more flexibility than just a logo but additional information in the form of images or text may compete with the brand's logo for the consumer's attention," InsightExpress stated.
Posted on May 14, 2013 by YuMe
While mounting gas prices, the expiration of the payroll tax cut and the effects of government sequestration may have slightly lowered consumer spending in several major industries, a recent report by Nielsen shows that many people in the U.S. haven't cut costs and are actually spending more time and money on one major area: entertainment.
"The U.S. Entertainment Consumer Report: State of the Media Spring 2013" sheds light on how the country's population reads, watches and listens to a variety of entertainment mediums. In addition, the report highlights an important consumer group – high entertainment spenders. As consumers use multiple screens to access a variety of content throughout the day, brands should understand who is seeing their video ads online and how these clips are being viewed.
High entertainment spenders
The report notes that those who shell out more for entertainment engage in more activities – like playing video games, watching video on-demand and watching mobile video – but spend less time on each when compared to moderate and low spenders.
Home entertainment gadgets
With more consumers opting for web content instead of a DVDs, video ads online is set to represent an even larger opportunity for internet video advertising.
Meanwhile, about 41 percent 45 percent of consumer households own DVRs and video game consoles, respectively.
When it comes to streaming services, men are only slightly more likely to purchase a subscription, which is most popular among 25- to 34-year-olds when compared to other age groups.
Video game consoles
In 2011, XBox 360 and Wii users spent the majority of their time gaming, Playstation 3 owners dedicated more time to using streaming services and watching video on-demand (VOD), according to Nielsen. Between 2011 and 2012, PS3 users increased the amount of time spent watching VOD and streaming XBox owners downloaded more movies, shows and other videos.
The report found 2012 represented the third year in a row of seventh generation consumers spent more of their time spent watching video overall using streaming services and VOD. In 2012, these activities accounted for 22 percent of all console time, up from 19 percent the previous year.
As the number of ways people access video increases, one thing is certain: internet video is here to stay. Consumers today watch content through gaming consoles, computers, mobile devices, internet-capable set box tops and Smart TVs. As the capabilities of each of these device categories grow more sophisticated and as the growing variety of gadgets makes them more affordable, brands and publishers are finding video advertising on the web and on mobile is are essential to effective multi-channel marketing efforts.
Last week, Bloomberg reported Amazon's labs are currently working on a television streaming box to be released later this year.
As consumers across demographic groups are accessing television-like content through free and subscription based streaming, many tech giants are nurturing the trend by investing in services like Netflix and Hulu Plus through devices like smart TVs and attachable consoles. Amazon, which in the past decade has sprouted from a virtual book marketplace to the biggest online retailer, the maker of a top-selling tablet and a streaming service provider with Amazon Instant Video, is reportedly poised to enter the set box-top market.
While the claim has yet to be confirmed by Amazon, the rumor is suggestive of the state of streaming and how people watch TV shows and movies, making video ads online a smart investment for consumer brands.
Amazon box set-top reportedly in the works
Jeff Bezos, the company's CEO, has been a driving force in Amazon's arrival on the hardware market. Amazon already has a variety of Kindles available for purchase and presumably more in the works. Recent rumors suggest Amazon is also creating a 4.7-inch screen smartphone to be released next year, according to DigiTimes.
Bloomberg explained an Amazon box would compete with existing Apple TV, Boxee and Roku devices, a new version of which was released last month.
Jason Krikirorian, a general partner at consulting firm DCM and the former co-founder of Sling Media, told the news source a set-top box would "certainly make sense."
"They have a ton of content, an existing billing relationship with millions of users," he said.
Details remain hazy
While live television still plays a major role in consumers' lives, U.S. audiences are no longer dependent on network scheduling to access programming. In today's digital world, people want to tune into their favorite shows and movies whenever they want, which has made streaming services extremely popular. Millions of viewers are contributing less than $10 a month to access seemingly limitless content, and millions more are using these services for free by relying on their family or friends' accounts. These services have become so popular in fact they've gone beyond content publishers and now produce original shows that have generally seen positive reviews. Netflix's "House of Cards", for example, now boasts more than 2 million viewers, contributing to the $2 million in revenue the company saw during Q1 2013.
A recently released report by Nielsen revealed demographic trends among subscription-based streaming audience members. While advertising opportunities with these services may not be plentiful, brands should understand the consumption habits of their target audiences. In today's digital and mobile environment, consumer products are challenges to reach people on multiple channels with social media marketing, video ads online, mobile site optimization and other strategies.
Who's paying for streaming services?
In addition, three in 10 users owned a tablet. Nielsen notes the relationship between tablets and televisions has flourished immensely over the past year. Whether tablet owners are streaming content or watching live programming on their television screen, they're often visiting a social media site, shopping or looking up information about the show on their mobile device simultaneously.
Which services are the most popular?
Unsurprisingly, free streaming services that feature advertising saw more than 100 million unique monthly visitors, suggesting video ads online are reaching important audience members. Nielsen notes, however, that the viewing experience provided by free services differs immensely from that subscribers receive.
While users look to free video publishers for shorter, often user-generated content, they turn to services like Netflix and Hulu for longer, TV-like videos. These streaming providers saw 10.8 million and 14.3 million unique monthly visitors, respectively.
Nielsen's viewership numbers hold well with recently released video consumption figures from comScore. The research company's findings reveals important trends for online content and video ads on the web.
March is a record month for video ads online
The average video watched was 5.6 minutes long and the average ad was 0.4 minutes. Ads accounted for 2.2 percent of all time spend watching online video last month.
Among the top U.S. online video ad properties, Hulu viewers watched 1,590,257 ads, totaling 612 minutes of commercial time. CBS Interactive, which owns several streaming publishers, featured 633,260 ads with 260 minutes of commercials.
While direct response advertising isn't losing steam, marketers and consumer product manufacturers are looking more toward social media, mobile and video ads online as platforms to introduce shoppers to the brand and strengthen the relationship between the company and its audience.
Consumer loyalty is extremely valuable, and a recent survey by Analytics Partners found nearly half of surveyed individuals between 18 and 44 said their continued interest or devotion to a brand depends on the experience the business creates for them in stores and online in the form of social networking, third-party reviews, internet video advertising and other channels.
The survey polled 1,000 consumers to determine their shopping behaviors and motivators.
"The general conclusion we can make from these findings is that people want to be loved by the brands that love them - loyalty has become a two way street," said Nancy Smith, founder and CEO of Analytic Partners. "No longer are the days when brands can advocate solely for themselves. In fact, the way brands spend their marketing dollars to interact with their consumers can ultimately have a real impact on profitability. "
What determines loyalty?
According to the survey, women tend to be more loyal to brands than men. In addition, Southerners are far more dedicated to their tried-and-true products than their counterparts on the West coast.
Meanwhile, the key to turning baby boomer shoppers into loyal customers is transparency, according to the survey results. Specifically, 80 percent of consumers 49 to 67 want to know how products are made.
Posted on Apr 22, 2013 by YuMe
As consumer focus shifts between a multitude of devices, so have ad dollars. Multiplatform content consumption takes place among millions of television viewers everyday as they use a smartphone while on the computer or engage with media on their tablet while in front the television screen. To ensure their tapping audience members effectively, brands have embraced the need for well-rounded multichannel advertising campaigns that incorporate internet marketing, video ads online and social media initiatives.
In a recent blog post, Standard Media Index revealed U.S. ad spending increased 4 percent during the first two months of 2013 from the same period last year. Among types of digital advertising investments, spending on ad networks increased a whopping 23 percent, suggesting brands are realizing the benefits of creating and distributing online video ads via a medium that can connect them with publishers.
While TV ad spending hasn't increased in recent months, budget money dedicated to digital soared 15 percent year-over-year in March and represented 24.6 percent – or one quarter of every dollar – of advertising purchases made buys made by major agencies, according to MediaPost.
"Television spend continues to slow – at a rate of –2 percent during the first quarter of 2013 – driven by March's year-over-year decline of 5 percent," explains SMI analyst Kristina Luland.
Within digital, some forms of advertising surged more than others. As of March 2013, mobile grew 92 percent from the previous year, representing the amazing progress publishers and brands have made in focusing on smartphone and tablet content consumers.
Even though television remains a significant outlet for advertisers and brands, they can no longer afford to not shift gears and focus on where consumers turn when television programming cuts to commercials: the internet, either via computers or mobile devices.
Posted on Apr 15, 2013 by YuMe
People rely heavily on multiple devices throughout the day to satisfy different needs. When it comes to consuming video content, television and laptop screens remain extremely popular platforms, while using mobile devices to watch short clips, programming and movies is becoming extremely significant, especially among tablet owners.
A recent study commissioned by BBC World News and bbc.com/news revealed how people around the world are accessing news. The research, which was conducted by InSites Consulting, revealed people rely on different devices at the same time and individually throughout the day to read and watch news, which means online video ads are a healthy component to any multichannel marketing campaign.
News consumption is an important advertising opportunity
When consumers aren't around their television set, they're quick to look for news content on their mobile devices. While many may believe the internet will one day wipe out television all together, the study's findings suggest that consumers are spending more time on each device and therefore can be reached via a larger variety of platforms at more times throughout the day than ever before. That makes video ads on mobile and the web a crucial part of the marketing strategy for companies that want to engage consumers in various ways.
"Avid news consumers are hungry for information wherever they are and expect to stay in touch on all the devices they now own," said Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News.
When it comes to seeking information on breaking news, 66 percent said they first turn to the internet and 42 percent listed the television as their primary platform. In terms of general use, smartphones and computers are more popular throughout the day, while television use increases significantly beginning at 5 p.m.
How consumers respond to ads on different platforms
Among mobile device users, one in seven said they responded to an on their phone or tablet in the past month. One-quarter of laptop users said the same. This demonstrates the need for brands to utilize multiple platforms if they want to reach their target audience.
Posted on Apr 12, 2013 by YuMe
As more consumers flock to the web to access short-form videos and television programming, videos ads online have proven successful investments for brands, advertisers and publishers.
Meanwhile, advertising on the web becomes more sophisticated and in-tune with viewer needs and expectations, completion rates for video ads placed online are growing.
Video ad completion rates surge
The study determined 80 percent of videos online are under one minute in length, with the average duration being 45 seconds. Television commercials and movie trailers had the highest chances of being seen completely. In addition, more than 14 percent of viewers interact with video ads, which is a 50 percent increase from the third quarter of 2012.
The case for mid-roll ads
These findings may have to do with the nature of the content where these ads appear. Pre- and post-roll ads only accompany shorter-form videos – or those lasting no more than five minutes. Mid-roll clips, however, only appear during longer videos, such as television shows. Many users of free long-form content providers, like Hulu, understand there is a tradeoff between watching content wherever and whenever they want at no cost. They've accepted the fact promotional content is part of their viewing experience, and therefore may more likely to watch ads through to the end.
In addition, people who stream television shows and watch other long-form video online tend to be more invested in this content than in short-form clips. Mid-roll ads work similarly to television commercials; users are used to breaks throughout programming dedicated to promotional content. However, because mid-roll ads are significantly shorter than commercial breaks, web users may be more likely to watch the former through completely, while traditional TV viewers can change the channel or walk away from the set. Unlike broadcast commercials and previews, video ads online don't give users enough time to avert their attention elsewhere without facing the risk of missing a part of the show.
Recent findings by eMarketer echoed the numbers reported in this study. The study determined more brands are incorporating investments in owned media channels into their overall content marketing strategy. In fact, quoting a study from a native ad platform, eMarketer reported roughly 73 percent of U.S. media agencies surveyed had used media channel to post brand videos.
Taking data with a grain of salt
Posted on Apr 11, 2013 by YuMe
Marketing efforts aimed at smartphone tablet users, especially in the form of video ads on mobile, is proving extremely beneficial for brands and video content publishers alike. As more people watch their favorite programming or short-form clips on mobile devices, advertisers are realizing the potential to interact with consumers on multiple channels by incorporating video and other ads on these gadgets into their overall marketing strategy.
While mobile ads were once a marginal part of brands' overall branding efforts, they're playing an increasingly important role and publishers are gaining significantly from brands' investments in these advertisements. MarketingLand recently reported the findings of a few mobile ad spending forecasts. In 2012, U.S. mobile advertising was worth $4.1 billion in 2012, according to eMarketer, while BIA/Kelsey stated the value was $3.2 billion. IDC stated the market's worth was $4.5 billion last year and will hit $7 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, eMarketer foresees mobile ads to reach $7.29 billion.
Among the top mobile ad publishers, IDC forecasts Facebook will reach $234 million in revenue, the highest among all smartphone and tablet sites. Pandora is expected to rake in $229 million and Twitter could see $117 million. These high numbers demonstrate how lucrative being able to support video and other ads on mobile sites can be for media outlets.
Capitalize on mobile video viewers
Because multi-screen content consumption is more important than ever before, advertisers need to find a way to successfully tap consumers via television, social media, online media and mobile.
"… Getting on the second screen bandwagon, no matter how you choose to do so, is only half the battle," Eckel wrote. "The manner in which you drive consumers to engage with it, the content you provide and your re-engagement strategy all play a role in sustaining second screen success."
Eckel offers the following tips to harness the attention of mobile consumers:
1. Understand what the audience needs: Work with followers' behavior rather than trying to enforce new habits upon them. Know where the most views or traffic is originating from and nurture that platform. Do viewers respond more to a certain type of ad? Great. Capitalize on it and don't force consumers to watch or interact with content that is too foreign.
2. Keep engagement intuitive: Avoid QR codes, unmemorable text codes and other forms of calls-to-action that aren't simple and user-friendly. Instead, rely on memorable hashtags and slogans and make sure links in video and other ads are short and relevant to the brand. On-the-go audience members aren't going to remember or even devote much attention to long, complicated directions or messages. It's important to make their brand interaction experience easy, fun and worth the effort even on a small screen
3. Don't relent on mobile engagement: After spending the time and effort on an effective second screen campaign, don't let the investment go to waste by halting initiatives once the brand receives a high number of mobile viewers and followers. Continue updating ads and providing viewers with fresh, intriguing clips.
Smartphones already dominate the majority of mobile device ownership in the U.S. and other countries and, while tablet popularity has mushroomed at an incredible rate in the past two years alone. As these devices become increasingly present in households around the world, brands and publishers can't afford to exclude them from their business model.