Bloomberg’s ‘TicToc’ News Service Launching OTT Video Platform

Bloomberg’s TicToc news platform reportedly plans to launch an over-the-top video news service later this year.

Bowed in 2017, TicToc features news on a 24-hour cycle via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Amazon Echo, podcast and newsletter. The platform has posted 17,000 additional video news spots thus far in 2019 than it did during the same period last year.

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TicToc

Bloomberg is opting for OTT after internal data suggested consumers who stream at least 10 hours of video weekly don’t like how news is delivered online, according to Jean Ellen Cowgill, managing director, TicToc.

“The mission is to live across all platforms that make up someone’s daily news diet,” Cowgill told Digiday. “If you look at the projection for the OTT ad market, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. There’s a lot of competition because it’s the next big explosion, we want to be part of that.”

As expected, the bulk of TicToc’s user demo skews from 21 to 44-years-old, the prime OTT video viewer – and a draw for advertisers, according to Ben Sinden, consultant at Sinden Media.

“If TicToc can establish its identity and grow a wider audience on existing platforms, an OTT product could be the logical next step,” Sinden said. “Given Bloomberg’s data, tech, scale and heritage, it has as good a chance to cut through to a streaming news audience as anything before it.”

Twitter Testing ‘Subscription’ Feature

President Trump’s favorite communication platform, Twitter, is reportedly testing a “subscription” option that would enable users to link to threads without commenting or adding a post.

The subscription option is similar to what YouTube and Instagram employ enabling users to keep track of third-party video posts without actively engaging directly or paying for them.

Twitter told DigitalTrends the test is part of the social media platform’s attempt to attract more casual users and entice advertisers.

The social media platform, which recently released an experimental app, Twttr, designed to offer more chat-like features, said it wants to make the service “more conversational.”

Separately, at last week’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, Twitter disclosed a new camera for the app affording users easier sharing of videos and photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Survey: YouTube and Instagram Gaining Ground Among Social Media Users

Most people are using YouTube and Instagram more in 2018 than in the year before, outperforming other channels such as Facebook, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website.

Nearly two-thirds of social media users report they are using YouTube (63%) and Instagram (61%) more in 2018 than in 2017, compared to 52% who say they are using Facebook more this year.

Also, women tend to use social media more frequently than men, according to the survey, with 75% of women saying they use social media multiple times per day, compared to 64% of men.

Although survey respondents report using YouTube and Instagram more often this year, most still use Facebook at least once a week. Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents say they use Facebook, compared to 75% who use YouTube and 53% who use Instagram.

Social media is part of most people’s everyday lives with 86% of those surveyed using it daily, and 72% using it multiple times per day.

People use multiple methods to access social media – mobile, computer, and tablet apps in addition to web browsers and smartwatches, but the most popular are mobile apps and computer web browsers, according to the survey. Most social media users access social media from mobile apps (67%) and computer web browsers (57%).

The Manifest’s 2018 Consumer Social Media Survey included 627 people in the United States who use social media at least once per week.

Ampere: Facebook Video Losing Traction Among Users

Despite a monthly global users base around 2 billion, Facebook users aren’t streaming much video, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm found that video streaming among Facebook users in the United States dropped to less than a quarter (23.7%) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to 35.5% in Q3 2016.

The social media platform also saw streaming video usage declines in Italy (down 6.7%) and Denmark (6%). In the U.K., which has seen ongoing video declines on Facebook since Q3 2017, reported a 1.6% uptick.

Google-owned YouTube remains the No. 1 (68.3% usage) video platform in the world catering to an endless supply of third-party user-generated content, in addition to commercial product. No. 2 is Netflix (35.4%), followed by Facebook, Instagram (17.8%) and Amazon ranked fifth with 11.7%.

“The apparent declining engagement with Facebook video is potentially symptomatic of some of the wider challenges Facebook is facing engaging younger audiences at the moment, and the impacts of the negative press surrounding the use of Facebook data in political campaign targeting,” Richard Broughton, director at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, video remains a priority for Facebook’s growth strategy, and recent investments in new video ad formats, as well as partnerships in the sports sector, highlight the forward-looking efforts that the social media giant is putting in to expanding this part of its business.”

Indeed, on-demand video service Facebook Watch launched Aug. 10, 2017 featuring ad-supported original and third-party content.

The service Oct. 16 bowed a new series from Whistle Sports, whose investors include NBC Sports and Sky Sports, dubbed “Famous Los and Filayyyy Show,” and featuring the two Instagram stars offering colorful insight on sports.

Other original Watch content includes “Bad Jokes,” “Whistle Worthy,” “The Loop,” “No Days Off,” and “Courtyard: Unstoppable.”

No Surprise: Millennials Love Netflix

At a time when media companies rapidly deploy over-the-top video platforms, and pay-TV operators scramble to embrace Netflix to appease cord-cutting Millennials (ages 18-34), new YouGov data finds the demo enthusiastically embraces the SVOD behemoth.

In a survey from September 2017 through August of this year, 75.6% of Millennials recalled both hearing something good about Netflix in the past two weeks and discussing the brand with friends or family members within the same time period.

Runner-up was Facebook, with 75.1% of respondents having both heard something positive about the social network and discussed the brand with friends or family members. Facebook-owned Instagram (69.0%) came in fifth place, with a slightly higher percentage than YouTube (68.9%) and Snapchat (68.8%), according to YouGov.

The Apple iPhone (71.1%) came in fourth place, behind retail behemoth Walmart (73.6%).

Three brands — Victoria’s Secret, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A — tied for eighth place, with 66.8% of young adults reporting they came across positive information pertaining to each one around the same time they discussed the particular brand.

Among consumer brands generating the most improvement among Millennials, Dunkin’ Donuts had the biggest rise, climbing from 53.7% in 2017 to 59.7% in 2018. The chain, which just announced it would drop “Donuts” from its brand name in 2019, offering customers the ability to place their order via smartphone.

 

Facebook-Owned Instagram Eyeing Original Video Content

Looking to compete in the long-form video space, social media photo app Instagram reportedly is eyeing third-party content deals.

In an attempt to supplement Facebook’s (which owns Instagram) Watch platform, while competing with Snapchat Discover and YouTube, Instagram is targeting music videos and other scripted programming for a platform launching sometime this month, according The Wall Street Journaland TechCrunch, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Launched in 2010, the photo and video-sharing social networking service claims to have more than 800 million users, including about 500 million daily users.

Original video content on Instagram would not rival Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, which collectively are spending billions of dollars generating TV shows and feature-length movies.

Instead, programming would follow the Watch strategy, which include just-announced news show launches from ABC, CNN, ABC and Fox.

“We have pushed intensely over the last six months to emphasize quality over quantity,” Campbell Brown, head of global news partnerships at Facebook, told CNNMoney. “This is another investment in quality news on Facebook.”

While current Watch programming include reality series, “Ball in the Family,” and comedies, “Strangers” and “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” among others, reports suggest questionable viewership despite Facebook’s 138 million daily users.

Notable exception: “Returning the Favor,” which follows Mike Rowe as he travels across the country in search of people who are giving back to their communities. The show reportedly generates 70 million views.

Rowe, who cut his teeth on Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs” and CNN series, “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” has more than 5 million Facebook “friends.”

 

 

Nielsen Using Instagram to Track Social TV Data

Nielsen Jan. 24 announced it is incorporating Instagram into its TV social content ratings (SCR) platform. This marks the first time Instagram will be measured by Nielsen. With the additions of Instagram and Facebook metrics, Nielsen now offers insight across three of the biggest social media platforms, including Twitter.

Since launching in 2016, SCR offers awareness into the engagement driven by owned accounts, those officially associated with the program, as well as organic activity that occurs between friends and fans.

By measuring these two types of activities, Nielsen believes media owners, agencies and advertisers can better monitor cross-publisher activity surrounding television programs, allowing them to maximize the impact of social strategies.

“Nielsen’s social content ratings will now reflect the ongoing conversation about TV happening on the platform,” Katie Faul, director, partnerships at Instagram, said in a statement.

Nielsen contends tracking social media is important as broadcast networks up invest in social strategies to drive awareness and engagement around programs.

“Being able to provide both owned and organic analysis now gives clients and the industry a trusted source of syndicated measurement to understand the return on those investments and how they play a role in driving the overall social conversation about television,” said Erika Faust, SVP client service at Nielsen.