We discuss four topics this week. Facebook announced very good 2015 results this week. We discuss the prominent role Facebook video now plays. New Nielsen numbers show the extent to which we have become a multiscreen society. Sundance is seeing SVOD bidding hard for content against traditional media distributors. Netflix runs afoul of country decency laws.
Facebook says the service is seeing 1.5B monthly accesses, and this activity is helping drive the 100m hours of video watched each day. This sounds impressive, but the way Facebook counts a view may be pumping up that number. Not only do videos automatically start playing, but also the company counts a view after just 3 seconds have elapsed. That said, there have been some notable successful campaigns. For example, Microsoft launched a campaign for Halo 5 through Facebook, and received 380M impressions and 49M video views. Will detailed data from Visible Measures which says that 56% of viewership of the top 10 branded digital campaigns occurred on Facebook, ahead of YouTube at 42%.
I pointed out that reusing 30 seconds spots was important. Twitter has been using 6 second ads for its Amplify Ad solution, but has had trouble getting ads of that length. To rectify the problem it introduced 30 second ad slots this week, allowing advertisers to reuse television creative already on hand.
Nielsen released new data detailing the country’s move toward multiscreen viewing. Smartphone penetration has reached 82% with some regional variation. Smartphone video usage is also becoming increasingly common with 40% of owners in Washington DC watching content on their devices. Tablet penetration of 56% is not as high as the smartphone, but length of usage is higher on the tablet. Enabled Smart TVs are in 20% of US households, though 56% of homes have a connected televisions. Most people are using a secondary device, like a Roku or Xbox, to the connect their TV to the Internet, not a smart TV
Netflix and Amazon were both at Sundance bidding lavishly for movies this week. For example, it was reported that Netflix bid $20M for Birth of Nation. This is the highest bid ever for a movie at any film festival in history. Notwithstanding the high bid, the movie producers decided to go with Fox Searchlight as the safer option.
This week Netflix was blocked by Indonesia’s biggest Telco, PT Telekomunikasi. The telco thinks Netflix is in violation of the countries decency laws. Kenya is similarly upset with Netflix and may ban it. Netflix has not made any provision for flexing the service to meet local decency standards. Apparently, the executive team doesn’t think the company is subject to the laws that cover traditional media. Unfortunately. The countries involved seem to disagree, and care very little about Netflix thinks. I expect many more countries to baulk and block the service in the coming weeks and months.
Chapter 1: Facebook reports record earnings (1:30)
Chapter 2: US becomes a multiscreen nation (9:15)
Chapter 3: SVOD activity at Sundance Film Festival (15:50)
Chapter 4: Netflix blocked in Indonesia (18:45)