APPS + PLATFORMS
Facebook has been testing Bonfire, a standalone group video chat that allows as many as eight friends to interact at once. The app also includes special effects features, similar to those in apps such as Snapchat and Facebook’s Instagram. The Next Web’s Matt Navarra was the first to spot Bonfire, which he found in Denmark’s App Store. (The Verge reported on the App’s development as early as July.) Through hands-on testing, TechCrunch learned that Bonfire will let participants join chats directly from Facebook’s Messenger, without needing to download the Bonfire app itself. As some have noted, Bonfire is highly similar to Houseparty, a teen-oriented group video chat that launched last year. Facebook confirmed that it’s been testing Bonfire in Denmark, but has offered no other details.
OTT + SVOD
Cord-cutting is accelerating. According to the newest estimate from eMarketer, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have canceled their traditional pay TV subscriptions by the end of 2017. That would mark a 16% increase over 2016, when the number was 16.7 million. EMarketer also projects a 5.8% increase in “cord-nevers” this year, hitting 34.4 million. Meanwhile, an estimated 196.3 million U.S. adults will hold a traditional pay TV subscription this year, a 2.4% drop from 2016. Moreover, eMarketer projects that, by 2012, the number will have dropped to 181.7 million. Not surprisingly, eMarketer projects that TV ad spending will plateau over the next five years. In 2017, for instance, TV spending is expected to hit $71.65 billion – just a 0.5% increase over last year.
Sports-oriented OTT TV service fuboTV announced that it has expanded its cloud DVR capabilities. Users can now save up to 30 hours of programming, or up to 500 hours for an additional $9.99 per month. The service will also now allow viewers to pause and un-pause live-streams while using desktop, the mobile web and iOS devices. Finally, features that allow viewers to use their personal storage to jump from a paused stream to live TV, and to rewind back to where they began watching, are now available for both the mobile web and desktop. FuboTV is ramping up efforts to compete with rival services from bigger-named companies like YouTube and Hulu; just this week, the service launched a major multi-platform ad campaign, including 15-second spots that will air on Fox, CBS and NBC during the NFL season.
It’s no secret: People are streaming a lot of mobile video these days. App Annie is out to quantify the growth: The app analytics specialists examined the top ten streaming video apps on Android, looking at the 12 months ending in July 2017. App Annie found that, during those months, Americans streamed over 12 billion hours of mobile video on those apps alone. That’s a 45% year-over-year increase. Americans spent more time on YouTube than any other video streaming app, and it wasn’t close; 80 percent of those 12 billion came from YouTube viewing. In addition, App Annie finds that YouTube’s install base on Android is twice that of Netflix, which was viewed second most of any streaming app. (Apps including Hulu, Twitch, and Amazon Video also made the list, along with TV apps like Fox News, CNN News and ESPN.) One other notable tidbit from the App Annie report: A growing number of Americans are using their phones to pay for video subscriptions. During the 12 months ending in July, App Annie finds that Android and iOS users spent $570 million on streaming apps.
TiVo’s research unit took a look the latest video trends. In an online survey, the company interviewed 8,500 pay TV and OTT subscribers across seven different countries (including 2,500 in the U.S.). TiVo found that the average respondent consumes 4.4 hours of video content every day, whether via traditional or OTT sources. But what’s particularly notable is the high rate of dissatisfaction amongst traditional pay TV subs. Of the respondents who had only had pay TV services for 12 months or less, 25% said they are extremely likely to cut or shave the cord within six months. Only half of U.S. pay TV subs said they’d been subscribing to the same provider for at least four years. (For Western Europeans it was 42%, and for Latin Americans it was 32%.) As one might expect, baby boomers were more likely than millennials to be longer-term pay TV subs.
Tubular Top Ten Global Sponsored Videos Monday, September 4, 2017 – Sunday, September 10, 2017. Based on Tubular Video Ratings measuring 8 million video publishers, 3 billion videos, and 400 million viewers. Sponsored videos are ranked by V3, total views in the first three days after upload.
Tweet of the week: @Ron_n_tellThat: #NFL is back!! #GoPats #OnePride
Canvs, the emotion analytics company, analyzed tweets about TV and streaming programming from Sept. 6-12 using Twitter data from Nielsen. Insights from the 2,455,717 tweets expressing a specific Emotional Reaction (ER) include:
– NFL fans exploded with excitement as another season kicked off with an opening game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots on NBC.
– Viewers talked about how beautiful the simulcast Hand in Hand benefit for hurricane relief was.
– The congratulatory messages flowed freely during ABC’s broadcast of the 2018 Miss American Competition, with Miss North Dakota Cara Mund taking the crown.
– Fans of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood were laughing hard during the most recent episode on VH1, with Zell provoking a good chunk of the chuckles.
You.i TV, a software company that lets users build cross-platform video apps, has made a few new hires. Perry Weinstein, formerly of Accedo, will serve as You.i TV’s VP of Sales and International Development. He’ll oversee initiatives for the company’s entry into new markets. Andrew Leighton, previously of thePlatform, will serve as VP for the Eastern Region. And Peter Goldstein, who also most recently worked at thePlatform, will serve as You.i TV’s Senior Director of West Coast Sales.
Entertainment research firm Screen Engine/ASI has named a new Chief Revenue Officer. The newly created role goes to Holly Leff-Pressman, who previously served as EVP of Business Development and Client Service at Nielsen. Leff-Pressman started at Nielsen in 2004, working to drive the growth of the company’s custom research group, Nielsen Content. At Screen Engine/ASI, she’ll report directly to founder and CEO Kevin Goetz.
Our Last Trivia Question: Writer/Director/Producer Steven Conrad created which streaming series? Answer: Amazon’s Patriot. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Andrew Bellamy-Producers Guild of America/NY, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment, David Westberg-SAG-AFFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, and Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA
Follow-up: Patriot actor Kurtwood Smith appeared in what Fox sitcom from 1998-2006? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)