Nielsen: Physical, Digital Acquisitions Strong in Streaming Video Age

It may be an over-the-top video market, but consumers apparently still like to buy movies and TV shows on disc and digital formats, according to Nielsen.

In its “Video 360” report, Nielsen found that 51% of the general population bought long-form physical video in the past year, compared to 48% in 2016. Digital download purchases grew from 35% in 2016 to 42% in 2018.

Nielsen said a significant factor among consumers acquiring long-form video is the desire to build a collection, in either physical or digital format. In 2016 only 23% cited collection building as an important factor in their purchase decisions, compared to 30% who said so this year.

Notably, family franchise movies appear to be the most desired digital titles (68%) for purchase, followed by superhero franchises (52%). In packaged media (DVD, Blu-ray Disc), 78% of purchases targeted family franchise titles, followed by superhero titles (62%).

Nielsen found that 25% of home entertainment viewers downloaded or streamed a movie before it was available on DVD or Blu-ray disc. About the same leveraged online platforms to watch movies that were released while still being shown in theaters.

Once again, franchise family movie fans (47%) outpaced superhero franchise fans (33%) and the general population (25%) in consuming video content in this manner. Notably, nearly twice as many family franchise fans as the general population, said they’d downloaded or streamed content before it became available on disc.


DVD/Blu-ray Disc Player Ownership Continues to Decline

DVD/Blu-ray Disc player use remains in decline, with household penetration dropping to 67% in the first quarter of 2018 from 73% at the end of 2017, according to new data from Nielsen.

The drop underscores ongoing changes in consumer home entertainment behavior as fewer people watch, purchase and rent packaged media. Indeed, DVD players could be found in nearly 90% of U.S. households in 2008, despite the fact overall unit sales of DVD players actually declined 25% in the first half of that year, according to The NPD Group.

Among the coveted 18-34-year-old demo in 2018, DVD/Blu-ray player ownership has shrunk to 57.8%, compared to 69% among 30-49-year-olds and 58.6% among 50-64-year-olds, according to

Nielsen contends the average time an adult spent per day using a DVD/Blu-ray player was six minutes in Q1. That compared to 14 minutes with a video game console and 26 minutes with an Internet-connected device.

By comparison, live-TV viewing topped four hours daily, followed by the smart phone (2 hours, 22 minutes) and radio (1:46 hours).

Nine out of 10 U.S. adults use linear platforms in the average week. Live + time-shifted TV viewing reached 88% of persons in the first quarter of 2018, while radio had the largest reach across platforms at 92%.

A silver lining in the trends is that most Blu-ray players are connected to the Internet, thereby enabling access to over-the-top video and subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Indeed, Nielsen found that many households have access to more than one of the aforementioned SVOD services. Across the total U.S., 27% of TV households have access to only one service and 37% to more than one service. Eleven percent have access to all three.

Meanwhile, Nielsen reported that DVR penetration, which only a few years ago was rapidly expanding in U.S. homes, has seen its growth slow but is still present in 55% of TV households. Newer media, such as Internet connected devices and smart TVs, that enable streaming of content to the TV set, are showing strong year-over-year increases. Both device types are now in 37% and 38% of TV households, respectively.

Nielsen’s Gracenote Bows New Mobile Video Analytics Measurement Solution

Gracenote, a Nielsen company, Aug. 16 announced its Mobile Video Analytics Solution aimed at providing visibility into the quality and performance of mobile video streaming applications.

The analytics solution will provide mobile operators, MVPDs, video streaming services and hardware manufacturers a means to better understand how mobile app performance impacts user behavior and attitudes as well as engagement with their platforms and those of their competitors, according to a company press release.

The solution provides insights into how users interact and engage with mobile video streaming services, according to the release. It reports key performance metrics by wireless/internet service provider and content type, among other measures, to assist in product development and marketing as well as user performance and pricing.

The Mobile Video Analytics Solution focuses on three primary performance categories: consumer experience, offering insight into video resolution, start-up times and buffering; consumer engagement, finding out how, when and where viewers tune-in, average viewing time, as well as payload, stickiness, network access and speed; and consumer attitudes, looking into reasons mobile users choose to subscribe to or disengage from specific streaming services, including their intention to switch and feedback on pricing.

With the new analytics, streaming video services can learn how performance impacts engagement on their platforms compared to those of their competitors, according to the release.  Gracenote can use passive video tests and survey responses to map user behavior and identify the cause of disengagement and churn, according to the company. Gracenote also can help wireless providers detect areas of network congestion and determine whether they need to add capacity to improve the user experience.

“Nielsen has been at the forefront of measuring television and digital video content for decades and the new Gracenote Mobile Video Analytics solution extends our market-leadership position in the mobile streaming space,” said Mike Greenawald, SVP, connectivity, for Gracenote in a statement.  “In a hotly-contested marketplace for subscribers, it is critical to understand the factors that drive engagement and retention. Gracenote Mobile Video Analytics identifies the key video performance factors that enable our customers to gain a competitive edge and make more informed business decisions.”

Mobile Video Analytics solution uses a combination of proprietary video quality and performance testing with real-time usage data from thousands of mobile consumers in over 125 national markets, according to the release.

Hulu to Offer Ad-Supported Content Downloads

Hulu May 2 announced it is making available select content for download, enabling subscribers the ability to watch content when offline. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have featured offline viewing since 2016.

Hulu’s offline viewing will be ad-supported, which it said offers marketers an alternative opportunity to reach consumers. Netflix and Prime Video are ad-free.

“Our launch of the industry’s first ad-supported downloadable content experience is yet another example of how Hulu is innovating viewer-first ad solutions to drive powerful results for brands” Peter Naylor, SVP of advertising sales at Hulu, said in the presentation at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York. “With downloadable content, we’re offering brands more ways to connect with engaged viewers who love the experience of watching television, wherever they may be.”

Hulu also disclosed that Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) for OTT is now its go-to media measurement tool. Advertisers can use DAR to measure, guarantee and report campaign audience delivery across all desktop, mobile and connected devices, providing vital insight into viewership on the platform. With 78% of Hulu viewing taking place in the living room, Hulu claims DAR provides accurate, holistic measurement for everyone watching.

Hulu announced it has expanded its suite of “sales effectiveness” tools with four new partnerships. It will now offer attribution across the auto and retail categories, working with IHS Markit for Polk Campaign Measurement Solutions and Nielsen Buyer Insights, respectively.

In addition, Hulu announced an expanded offering for CPG brands with the help of IRI’s attribution solution. And in partnership with Experian, Hulu will offer advertisers the ability to enhance their CRM data with Hulu’s first-party data to deliver better insight into sales growth on the platform.



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.