by Dan Rayburn

The best news, podcasts, and events about the OTT video industry, curated daily by a team of trusted industry executives. A custom news experience – to help inform, educate and empower the streaming media industry.

The best news, podcasts, and events about the OTT video industry, curated daily by a team of trusted industry executives. A custom news experience – to help inform, educate and empower the streaming media industry.

Dan Rayburn


Research Report: OTT Account Borrowing Estimated at 70 Million Households Worldwide

Summary by Glenn Goldstein:

An Ampere Analysis report indicates that one in seven homes are sharing OTT login credentials, with the highest rates in India, Netherlands, and France. Highest account sharing growth rates found in China, Indonesia, and the UK. Interestingly, more than half the account borrowers have full time jobs, and household incomes on-par with the average consumer, meaning many of them have the ability to pay for these accounts.

YouTube’s Chase for Streaming-TV Ad Dollars Faces Hurdles

Summary by Jon Watts:

YouTube and YouTube TV are generating big numbers on connected TVs – but, according to one marketer quoted in the report, “Their soul is social media with user-generated video online. Becoming a TV platform requires a lot of field work in curating the content and really defining the audiences you’re curating this content for.”

With more and more streaming services on TVs and consumption growing rapidly, do we need to re-think the distinctions between TV and “online video”? The terminology seems terribly out of date – and has been for years.

What are Xumo, Pluto and Tubi?

Synamedia: Over Half of Sports Fans Watch Pirated Content Once a Month

Summary by Scott Favelle:

A new report looking at attitudes towards sports piracy has found that over 51 per cent of viewers admit to watching content from pirate services at least once a month. The Charting Global Sports Piracy report, commissioned by Synamedia and compiled by Ampere Analysis, draws on results from a 10-country study of over 6,000 sports fans.

Disney now selling Hulu as “integral part” of its ad video inventory

Summary by Andrew Rosen:

On October 1, Disney will release an advertising product it calls Disney Hulu XP, which will give advertisers a chance to place their commercials across both Hulu and Disney’s TV networks. In a challenging upfront market, Disney *needs* to show advertisers it has a firmer grasp on its broadening portfolio of video inventory, and that it also has advanced advertising capabilities.

Slowly But Surely, the TV Ad Market is Changing in Profound Ways

Summary by Scott Favelle:

For decades, TV’s annual upfront marketplace has been organized around a bargain of lower rates for locking in spend “upfront”. Now, driven by advertisers canceling portions of their upfront commitments and viewership going up, TV advertising’s supply-demand dynamic has in some cases flipped to the point that it has become cheaper for advertisers to buy some TV inventory outside of the upfront.

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As of now the NAB Show Streaming Summit is still being planned for October 21-22 – More details to come this summer.

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Recent News

Disney Injects Hulu And Even Disney+ Into Its Upfront Message To Advertisers

Summary by Jon Watts:

Unsurprisingly, Disney’s streaming portfolio is a big part of its upfront pitch. One big priority for media owners during the next few years will be the seamless integration of the full range of video offerings to support friction-free ad-buying against common attributes and datasets.

Sinclair’s surprisingly optimistic future for its Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

Summary by Andrew Rosen:

Sinclair Broadcast Group revealed some guideposts for the digital future of its RSNs last month. What makes those guideposts notable is how much they mirror the NBA & Microsoft’s guideposts for their partnership around Azure AI, and the one key way (advertising) they do not.

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Pixalate: Connected TV/OTT Ad Spend Bouncing Back

Summary by Scott Favelle:

Key Findings Include: All major OTT/CTV devices saw an increase in ad spend since April, including Roku (+44 per cent) and Apple (+40 per cent). Programmatic Connected TV/OTT ad spend bounces back 40%
OTT/CTV ad spend: Connected TV (CTV) / over-the-top (OTT) ad spend rose 40 per cent in the time period studied, bouncing back from a 14 per cent dip in March.

Google’s Leaked TV Dongle Looks Like a Merger of Android TV and Chromecast

Summary by Scott Favelle:

It looks like Google will finally sell an Android TV dongle to the masses. XDA Developers has leaked promo images of a device codenamed “Sabrina.” The device looks like a slightly bigger Chromecast with a remote control, and it runs Android TV. This would be Google’s first Android TV device in six years.

Global Video Ad Impressions Slip But Connected TV Soars, Up 36%

Summary by Scott Favelle:

Global video ad impressions slipped 8% in the most recent week due to lower mobile and PC video usage and continued overall automotive spend vs. the same week a year before. Innovid says video
impressions on mobile devices were down 26% and were 20% lower on PC/laptops, for the week of May 24-30.

CES 2021 to Be Held in Person in Las Vegas, Trade Group Says

Summary by Scott Favelle:

The Consumer Technology Association said next year’s CES, the world’s biggest technology trade show, will be held in person in early 2021 in Las Vegas. The CTA said CES 2021 is slated to run Jan. 6-9, 2021. The CTA hasn’t set dates for CES 2021 yet, saying it will announce those later this summer.

Is Reach On CTV Surpassing Linear TV?

Summary by Scott Favelle:

  American adults streamed almost 142 billion hours of content during the week of May 11, up roughly 43% from a year ago, according to Nielsen. And The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green predicted during the company’s Q1 earnings call that reach on CTV will “rival and even surpass” linear TV in the near future.

HBO Max Won’t Hit AT&T Data Caps, but Netflix and Disney Plus Will

Summary by Jon Watts:

HBO Max will use AT&T’s “sponsored data” system, which technically allows any company to pay to excuse its services from data caps. But since AT&T owns HBO Max, it’s just paying itself: the data fee shows up on the HBO Max books as an expense and on the AT&T Mobility books as revenue.

Telco OTT bundling has been a critical driver for OTT services – another new variant on the old pay-TV bundling model, although not really so new now …

In the Age of Quarantine, People are Turning to Twitter for Connections and Premium Content

Summary by Scott Favelle:

In this time of quarantine, the numbers make it clear that people on Twitter are engaging with more premium content, and in particular they’re selecting premium video content that helps close the gap between delayed productions, cancellations, and a general lack of fresh linear — and even connected — TV experiences.

Blockchain Video Encoding Arrives

Summary by Mark Donnigan:

The VideoCoin Network has launched a blockchain-powered video encoding service in conjunction with Live Planet. The promise is that video encoding costs will be significantly reduced by accessing “decentralized’ video processing infrastructure by tapping idle and under-utilized computing resources in data centers. Customers can pay with tokens or U.S. dollars.

Australia: Disney+ Hits 2m Subs in 4 months

Summary by Scott Favelle:

Data from Roy Morgan shows Disney+ continuing its stellar growth with over 2 million Australians now using the SVoD service after only launcing in the country four months ago. As a comparison, it took market leader Netflix six months from launching in Australia in March 2015 to attract over 2 million viewers.

JD Power Study Finds Netflix Users Have Fewest Technical Problems of Any Streaming Service

Summary by Scott Favelle:

Netflix users reported just 0.07 technical problems per hour of content streamed on average, according to a J.D. Power April survey of U.S. streaming users. That’s meaningfully lower than problem incidents reported for Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (0.11), Disney Plus (0.12) and YouTube TV (0.13). Technical problem rates were even higher among all other streaming services, at 0.17 per hour streamed. The study also asked which service they would pick if they could only pick one.

Video Streaming Is Bright Spot in Consumer Technology Spend Post-COVID

Summary by Scott Favelle:

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has updated its semiannual Industry Forecast, which shows declining sales in most home technology categories except for video streaming. It also​ published its 22 Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study, which acknowledges tenuous short-term technology spending but nonetheless concludes that “tech is indispensable in our lives,” pointing to “smart home” and wireless products that will thrive.

Blog Post: Netflix’s Sociotechnical Approach to Site Reliability Engineering

Summary by Glenn Goldstein:

This blog posting by a Netflix Senior Site Reliability Engineer provides interesting insight into how Netflix balances the Service Ownership Model (where teams operate what they’ve built) with a centralized team that looks at streaming reliability holistically across all Netflix services. Key insights here are their focus on the sociotechnical aspects of incident response and the socialization of learnings across the company.

HBO Max is Here, But You Can’t Watch on Roku or Amazon Fire TV

Summary by Dan Rayburn:

Despite being available on a host of platforms and devices — including iOS and Android, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and web browsers — HBO parent company AT&T has not yet reached an agreement with Roku or Amazon. This means that even if you have the HBO Go or HBO Now app on your Roku or Fire TV, or if your HBO subscription was upgraded to Max, you won’t be able to watch HBO Max on there.