Monday, September 14, 2015

UK Newspaper News

It's been a while, but there's been a flock of articles recently about the present and future of the newspaper business in the UK that deserves a post.

  • A ZenithOptimedia forecast predicts that mobile advertising expenditures will bypass newspaper advertising revenues in the UK this year.  The study shows a 38% growth in mobile, compared to a 4% decline in newspaper advertising.
  • The same report also shows mobile advertising surpassing newspapers on a global basis, based in part on the continuing decline in print advertising expenditures across most of the world. 
The worst part of the internet advertising boom for newspapers is the fact that not all digital sectors are reaping the benefits.  In particular, display advertising is lagging, and newspapers rely primarily on display advertising for their Internet and mobile sites as well as print editions. With the growth of ad-blocking on mobile devices, one analyst predicts that display ad revenues for mobile "are going to fall through the floor."

With predicted declines in revenues, many news outlets are looking for ways to trim already tight budgets further.  The National Union of Journalists  (UK's trade union for journalists) is warning that it's members are ready to strike if news outlets look to cut costs by shrinking newsrooms.

So the tough times for newspapers and other news outlets look to continue.

Sources - Mobile adspend in UK to overtake newspapers faster than expected, predicts report.  campaign

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Milestone: For music giant, streaming passes downloads

While discussing their Q1 2015 earnings report, Warner Music's CEO noted that streaming revenues passed digital downloads.  If you combine streaming with other rights/licensing, it suggests that the music giant is making more from music licensing than music sales.

Source:  Warner Music says streaming passed downloads for first time,

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Survey of Research Results - Evolution of Video Marketplace

Finals are over, and there have been several rounds of industry research results to post.

From the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a survey of online video viewers. An earlier study suggested more than 85% of Internet users report having watched online video, and this 2014 study reports 59 million U.S. adults (24%) report watching online videos at least once a month.

  • The means of access is expanding - those reporting access via desktop or laptop remains steady at 72%, but use of connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%), and tablets (48%) have doubled over the last two years.  ODV users who watch their programming on connected TVs primarily do so during Primetime hours, and half report watching considerably more ODV than they did last year.
  • Original Digital Video (ODV) is seen as having more original content, being more innovative, unique, edgy, and mobile than regular TV content, and the perception gap is increasing.  ODV is tied with Primetime TV as the preferred content type, and is significantly preferred over other regular TV genres (sports, news, daytime)
  • Young cord-cutters and cord-nevers say that having access to Original Digital Video (ODV) is an important factor in choosing not to have Pay TV. Most also report preferring ODV to conventional TV programming - including Primetime shows.
  • Social is increasingly integrated with Online Digital Video - use of social media to discover ODV has nearly doubled in the last 2 years (42% of ODV users), and ODV users are much more likely to have content-related social media interactions than Primetime viewers (55% vs. 39%).
Limelight Networks have released the 2015 edition of The State of Online Video.  Their key conclusion is that online video viewing is booming, and changing the television viewing experience. While there are a variety of demographic differences, younger viewers (Millennials) are driving the shift from traditional broadcast television to online video.
  • While most viewers report watching 4 hours or less of online video a week, the majority of Millennials watch 4 or more hours a week.
  • Cord-cutting is becoming a viable option.  Only 10% of those with a Pay service (Cable, DBS, Telco) say they'll stick with their service no matter what.  More than a third (38%), on the other hand, say that rising subscription prices could motivate them to cord-cut, and 30% indicated an interest in switching if the content they want becomes available online or over-the-air.
  • Variety in both content and viewing options are prime motivators for online video viewers. The increased availability (and use) of long-form video content online is a big factor in the increase in viewers and viewing time for online video.  Many online video users report owning and using multiple devices (beyond TV sets) for watching online videos.
  • Social media is facilitating and encouraging video sharing.  Some 15% of respondents report sharing video content via social media.

Sources -  2015 Original Digital Video Study, IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
The State of Online Video, CDN Limelight report (2015)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pew - State of Local TV News

Pew has just released its State of the News Media 2015 report, and I'll be sharing some results and comments.

2014 saw local TV station revenues increase (mostly from huge rise in political advertising), and some increased viewing for most local news programs.  Overall revenues increased 7% from the previous year, but still remained below 2012 numbers (when even more political advertising and the Presidential race helped spike local TV revenues).
The year also saw a continuation of the rise in the share of revenues coming from news programs, accounting for 84% of over-the-air revenues.  While good news for potential growth of local news programs and coverage, I'm not convinced that such a level of reliance on one programming source for station revenues is good for the long-term financial health of local broadcast TV.

The study also predicted a substantial growth in retransmission consent fees (from SNL Kagan numbers) over the next few years.  This comes with three big caveats, however;

  • Broadcast networks are demanding an increasing share of retransmission consent fees from local broadcasters, so it is unlikely that local stations will benefit that much from projected increases
  • It's starting to look like multichannel rights fees are starting to plateau.  Larger MSOs are starting to resist network demands for licensing fees, as the amounts are approaching audience perceptions of value.  This is contributing to cord-cutting and the push for a shift to "a la carte" pricing.
  • The economics of "a la carte" are likely to be substantially different than the existing business model, and are unlikely to sustain current revenue levels.  Particularly for local TV broadcasters, which must provide their primary service broadcasts free to the public (by FCC regulations)

As for local TV news, Pew notes that the number of hours of local TV news seems to have reached a plateau.  That's one factor contributing to limited growth in news staff salaries.

(I'm trying Pew's embed function for the graphics - my apologies if it's not working right)

Source - The State of the News Media 2015, Pew Research Center report

What's Your Plan for SportsDay (May 2)?

From Nielsen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

E-books Report

A new survey from Nielsen suggests that ebooks continue to make gains in book markets.  The bad news is that some of that seems to be coming from online sales.

The digital formats (ebooks, audiobooks) increased their share of book sales revenues, while traditional print markets saw their share decline to 70%.  The biggest decline was in trade paperbacks, which fell from a third of the market in 2013 to just above a quarter in 2014.  In terms of units sold, ebooks increased their share slightly, to 21% of the market for new books.
 Online retailers (for both print and ebooks) remained the dominant sales channel, although it's share of sales fell slightly, to 35%.  Brick and mortar outlets (bookstore chains, independent bookstores, and other outlets) mostly retained their market shares.  The only big decrease in market share was for bookstore chains.
Diffusion of ebook readers continued apace, with smartphone ownership around 75% of adults, and tablet ownership over 40%.  The graph to the right reports shows the percentage of ebook readers who indicated that they owned a particular device.  Two things are clear from the numbers -- first, that many ebook readers have multiple devices, and second, that market share is variable, and influenced by devices entering and leaving the field.  Last year, for example, saw large increases for Android OS devices (smartphones and tablets). Apple's mobile devices remain the most widely owned, while Amazon's various Kindle devices were the other big branded device.

Source -  E-books Gained, Online Retailers Slipped in 2014, Publishers Weekly

#utsmw15 Infographic: How Digital (& Social) Drive TV Viewing

From Google Insights, How Digital Drives Viewers to New Shows,