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March Ten
Learning
 
Some interesting new research this week, which provides more evidence of the growth of newTV. A Magnite study of the UK and major European markets reveals how mainstream it now is — and the headroom in both revenue sources; advertising and subscription.
 
Comscore look at the behaviour of SmartTV owners in the UK and Germany - with few surprises. Most people watch both linear and OTT, and heavy TV viewers watch the most of both — with Linear talking about 80% of all viewing. It does reveal the need for hit shows — 90% of time spent viewing is on 25% of the programming available.
 
And we looked further at the new IPA research on media usage - and this quote jumped out.

The overall data on viewing obscures very different behaviours amongst the young and the old. I guess your view of the future comes down to whether you believe the young will come to emulate the behaviour of the old. Or — as the adoption of Zoom etc shows — does it tend to be the other way around?
 
ITV
 
The latest ITV results are interesting (PDF) - not least as they have finally revealed some figures for Britbox  Their streaming service has 2.6m subscribers globally, with 500k in the UK. 
 
Overall the ITV story is about dealing with the pandemic — ad demand plunged and their production business was halted. They are now recovering and most production projects have been resumed. Production has a new emphasis and ITV hope to double their revenue from sales to streaming services like Netflix.
 
Ad sales are forecast to surge — with April revenue expected to be up 70%+ year on year — but that really says more about the collapse last year.
 
The challenge for ITV is revealed by that quote from the IPA — their stable reach numbers mask the declining reach against the young. Strong programming like Love Island compensates, but they need to find more and different distribution for it. So we’ll be watching how they use TikTok and Snap in particular. And what is the BritBox strategy for Love Island?
 
But their strength in live audiences — witness the Oprah interview and the Euros this summer — gives them something no one else has. And brands will continue to pay well for these big, event audiences.
 
The FT think ITV has a decent strategy but is moving too slowly
 
Sports
 
As mentioned in our ITV piece audiences and advertisers still love events — live shows that are Must See. Some shows achieve this status but it’s a natural element of Sports.
 
In the Disney talk at the Morgan Stanley event, their CEO Bob Chapek talks of sports as key to their future plans and is very clear that, in any future sports deal, ESPN will play a major role. 
 
So is this the end of the cosy symbiosis where a legacy linear channel takes the majority of games, with a streaming service taking just a few matches? Whilst the broadcaster revenue is crucial, sponsors and the games stewards still like the big audiences that linear — still — delivers.
 
Disney have seemingly secured the Monday Night NFL games — paying around 30% more than the current deal. Part of the deal is the highlights package which forms the basis for  a lot of ESPN programming.
 
The other NFL negotiations are setting lots of precedents. NBC, Fox, and CBS are looking at paying as much as double their current fees, or about $2 billion each a year, for rights to the Sunday packages. But the streaming siblings of these networks (ESPN, Peacock Paramount+ and maybe Pluto) are all going to play a part. 
 
And the increased cost of the Sunday games may open the door for Amazon to take majority of the Thursday night games — as Fox look likely to drop their interest. Amazon would like to get the exclusive rights — and is hoping their willingness to spend as much as 10 times their current deal, will persuade the NFL to drop the NFL network. Amazon would still need a linear partner to show games in the teams local area.
 
Whilst the picture on football rights in Europe looks different — with big problems in France and broadcasters everywhere talking down prices — the games governing bodies will look at the US as great precedent.
 
More evidence of the shifting gears in Sport - former Disney big hitter Kevin Mayer has dusted himself down after his short stint at TikTok and taken the reins at Dazn as Chairman. He reiterated their emphasis on Europe and Asia, rather than the recent short lived strategy to grow in the US
 
Discovery
 
In another talk at the Morgan Stanley event Netflix COO Greg Peters talked about how they have shifted their marketing thinking, since they realised the power of the UI in helping people decide what to watch. 
 
As we keep sharing, lots of people are trying to solve for discovery and I was pointed to how Google are playing in this space. Just search what to watch — it’s quite a good resource.
 
Plus+
 
Netflix boss: Film fans want joint release dates for cinema and streaming
 
More thinking on Windowing here
 
The Remix app from the Arthouse Movie streaming service Mubi is great fun — send messages using clips from their fields
 
Flim is designed to help you find movie clips and is great fun — it feels like this could be evolved to aid discovery too — beyond the current link to IMDB. And it's irresistible as a tool for spicing up powerpoint decks.
 
Future Of Streaming Wars Comes Down To A Battle Over Content
 
Inside Disney's Plan To Automate Half Its Ad Business Within Five Years

Good Tubular Labs report Celebrating the Social Video Winners of 2020


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