Report: Record 12.2 Billion Video Minutes Streamed in 2020

Thanks to the pandemic and home confinement, 2020 was the year of the streaming video — with video uploads in both marketing and entertainment skyrocketing 80% from 2019, according to new data from Wistia. The research firm analyzed more than 44 million videos uploaded from 2016 to 2020 across more than 500,000 registered users.

Though video volume is up across the board, long-form videos stole the spotlight in 2020 from a growth perspective. The number of videos in the 30 minute to 60 minute category grew 140% compared with 2019, and 446% compared with 2016. Wistia contends longer-form content is becoming a more popular option for businesses as more companies embrace video series and other long-form video content to entice consumers and viewers.

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Since 2016, time spent watching videos increased from 3.5 billion minutes to 12.2 billion minutes (or 23,211 years)  — a 249% increase. This increase is mostly attributed to a dramatic increase in video consumption at the onset of the pandemic. Indeed, the report found an 85% increase in minutes watched in 2020.

“There was once a time when video marketing may have fallen under the ‘nice-to-have’ category for most marketers,” read the report. “But if we look at the past five years as an indication of where we’re heading, video will continue to be considered an essential tool. The global pandemic only accelerated video content creation, so we predict that companies will continue to leverage these tools to grow their businesses.”

Verizon: Streaming Video Use Up 21% During Pandemic

Consumer habits during the ongoing pandemic have altered entertainment activities in the home. New data from Verizon found that traffic on major streaming video sites is currently 21% above pre-pandemic levels — supporting the notion that the nation has a larger appetite for streaming.

In a survey conducted by Morning Consult for Verizon, about 44% of respondents said the TV and streaming content has helped them connect with friends and family during the pandemic. Among those who currently stream content, 82% anticipate that they will be spending more or the same amount of time that they are now watching content through streaming services a year from now.

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Two-in-three U.S. adults (67%) said they have been spending at least three hours per week watching live TV. More than half (59%) said the same about watching content through a streaming service.

Nearly half of adults (47%) said they have subscribed to a new streaming service since the start of the pandemic. Most say they have binge watched shows at least once or twice (70%). While there is no final verdict on American’s preference to “binge watch” versus watch episodic content, 47% of younger respondents (Gen Z) said they prefer to binge.

Most U.S. adult households (62%) currently subscribe to a cable or satellite television service. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) said they’ve cut the cord. Among millennials, more than 21% said they have never subscribed to a cable or satellite television service.

“The pandemic has forced all of us to face challenges we never considered,” chief technical officer Kyle Malady said in a statement. “A year into the pandemic, data usage on Verizon networks remains at almost 31% above pre-pandemic levels, a clear indicator that Internet consumption and the acceleration of technology adoption are major byproducts of this moment. We’ve seen the shift to digital jump ahead five to seven years.”

Meanwhile, mobile gaming has really taken off during the pandemic. Nearly 50% of respondents report that they have purchased or downloaded a mobile game at least once since the pandemic started, while 36% reported doing the same for a computer or console game.

Nearly a third of respondents (31%) said that they spend three or more hours a week playing games on their mobile devices. About one-third of adults who’ve spent time online gaming (32%) and talking to friends or family via video calls (32%) said they were spending more time doing these activities in the early months of the pandemic than they are now, while nearly half say they were spending about the same amount of time as they are now (45% and 46%, respectively).

Report: Samsung Tizen Smart TVs Top Global Streaming Operating Systems

In a streaming ecosystem, connecting consumers with over-the-top video platforms is just as important having as a high-speed internet connection.

New data from Strategy Analytics found that among commercial operating systems, Samsung Tizen Smart TVs led the market in 2020 with 162.4 million units in use, followed by LG WebOS with 93.4 million units.

Samsung is projected to have 184 million TizenOS units in the market by the end of 2021. By comparison, Roku OS and Amazon FireOS systems each ended 2020 with 81.9 million units in use, up 40% and 35%, respectively. Google Android TV’s market share increased 42%.

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Roku, which co-created the subscription streaming VOD market with Netflix, remains the top streaming platform in the U.S., with about 20% market share. Strategy Analytics said TizenOS tops nearly 90% of the 25 countries surveyed, followed by WebOS with 52% market share.

“Samsung’s smart TV market leadership gives it a great foundation to sustain Tizen as the leading TV streaming platform for years to come,” David Watkins, director of TV streaming platforms, said in a statement. “However, several other major players are also growing rapidly, and many have the resources to build a serious challenge to Samsung if the strategic ambition is there.”

Data: It’s Not Just a Netflix World

Netflix has started 2021 the same way it ended 2020: On top of the over-the-top world. The latest Nielsen weekly Top 10 streaming VOD chart saw Netflix’s programming again dominating with 90% of the most-viewed programs on the television.

But new data from Reelgood finds Netflix isn’t alone when it comes to the Top 10 services offering original and catalog movies and TV shows. Indeed, among the top domestic streaming services based on total hours of content, Disney/Comcast-owned Hulu ranked No. 1, followed by Fox Entertainment’s AVOD platform Tubi and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix ranked fourth, ahead of online TV service Philo, ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Fubo TV, CBS All Access, Vudu and IMDb TV.

Reelgood scans data on movies TV shows across more than 150 SVOD, AVOD and TVOD platforms.

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Hulu also ranked No. 1 based on hours of exclusive content, followed by Netflix, Philo, Prime Video, Tubi, Fubo TV, CBS All Access, Pluto TV, IMDb TV and HBO Max.

Netflix ranked No. 1 based on hours of “fresh” and original content, ahead of Hulu and Philo, and HBO Max and Hulu, respectively.

In a move that likely comes as no surprise, many of the major SVOD services are steadily increasing their catalog of original TV shows at the expense of licensed content. Netflix is the biggest mover with original series making up 39% of its TV shows catalog through Jan. 15 — up 14 share points from the same period in 2019. While HBO Max does have 31% more originals this year than HBO Now did last January, the number of licensed TV shows on the service also went up to 330 from 40, hence the dramatic decline in catalog real estate occupied by its homegrown content.

“In an effort to retain and acquire new subscribers, the leading SVOD platforms are working to maintain a high percentage of content in their libraries that cannot be found elsewhere,” read the report.

Among content genres, Tubi and Hulu topped action/adventure and animation, respectively. Crunchyroll and Hulu topped anime and comedy, respectively, while Hulu and Philo topped crime and documentary, respectively, according to the report.

Netflix and Hulu ranked No.1 for family and drama, while Tubi and Hulu ranked firs for horror and romance. Netflix and Tubi were No. 1 for sci-fi and westerns, respectively.

South By Southwest Confab Going Virtual Only

The annual South By Southwest Conference and Festivals Feb. 1 announced that Brightcove has been chosen as the official video partner for the all-digital event, which, for the first time, will be completely virtual and streamed to attendees around the globe March 16 to 20.

In past years, Austin, Texas-based SXSW showcased Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, WarnerMedia and other Hollywood studios showcasing new content, including home entertainment. The event also provided an opportunity for local businesses, venues, theaters, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that relied on the increased business that 400,000 attendees generated.

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SXSW Online said it would bring together “creative thinkers” from all facets of the entertainment, media, and technology industries through a diverse combination of pre-recorded and live programming, providing up to 650 hours of content to online attendees. SXSW Online will span five different channels, emulating SXSW stages from years past, and give attendees the ability to switch channels for different content in real-time, one major benefit of at-home streaming.

“This has been such a time of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect with attendees,” Roland Swenson, CEO and co-founder of SXSW, said in a statement. “Given the obstacles faced in 2020 and beyond, there has never been a more critical time to come together to address some of the most important societal issues and challenges that lie ahead.

“We’re excited to work with Brightcove to bring everyone a seamless digital experience at SXSW Online this March. As a leader in the video industry, Brightcove will help us meet our goals while expanding the reach and capacity of SXSW’s programming.”


‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ to Debut on Paramount+, PVOD March 4; ‘SpongeBob’ Series to Bow on Streaming Service

Paramount Pictures’ animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will premiere on ViacomCBS’s streaming service Paramount+ and on PVOD as a $19.99 rental from Paramount Home Entertainment March 4.

The film was released theatrically during the summer.

“Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” (Paramount+ 2021 CBS Interactive)

The new Paramount+ original series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” also will debut on the service March 4, with the first six episodes available to subscribers in the United States. The rest of the season’s 13-episode order will roll out on the platform at later dates to be announced.

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In the CGI-animated Sponge on the Run, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing and a path of clues leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and his pals team up for a heroic and hilarious journey where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.

The Nickelodeon series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” is the first-ever “SpongeBob SquarePants” spinoff. The CGI-animated prequel series follows 10-year-old SpongeBob and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck in the kelp forest, Kamp Koral.

Post-Pandemic Blues: 61% of Survey Respondents Say They’re Not Returning to Movie Theaters

With several coronavirus vaccines coming to market, moviegoers should soon return to theaters in huge numbers, right? No so fast, according to new data from one research firm that found 61% of respondents plan on watching new movies via streaming services, rather than going to the cineplex post pandemic.

The survey was conducted Jan. 4 online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 867 adults, spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age.

“With mass vaccination on the horizon, it’s important to track which pandemic habits will become the new norm,” Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi, said in a statement. “The meteoric rise of streaming appears to be one clear case, with huge implications for the future of movie theaters, content production and digital marketing.”

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Among the survey’s findings related to broader streaming habits: When asked whether streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have made movie theaters obsolete, 49% of respondents said yes.

Streaming services were the No. 1 source for default TV viewing with 47% of respondents. Second place went to Cable TV (24%), followed by traditional TV (11%).  This year, 19% of respondents plan to add additional streaming services on top of their current subscriptions.

Another 28% of respondents say they canceled a cable subscription in favor of streaming in 2020, while 31% of those with cable say they plan to cut the cord in favor of streaming in 2021.

While 62% of respondents moving away from cable in favor of streaming are looking to save money, 48% say they want to watch on their own schedule, 41% say they like the option of binge watching and 30% say they want to avoid traditional TV commercials due to a lack of personal relevance.

“This data is a continuation of years-long consumer trends toward convenience, cost-efficiency and personalization in media consumption,” Loretto said. “Incidentally, the streaming platforms that are drawing in millions of consumers are also some of the most fertile ground for targeted and cost-efficient digital marketing. The key to resonating on these platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”

Nielsen Rebooting Media Measurement Tools

TV ratings pioneer Nielsen Dec. 8 announced plans to launch a single, cross-media data analysis to drive more comparable and comprehensive metrics across all distribution platforms. Called Nielsen ONE, the new analysis will evolve the current metrics that underpin the more than $100 billion video advertising ecosystem using a phased approach. The company plans to launch the single measurement platform beginning in Q4 2022 with the intention to fully transition the industry to cross-media metrics by the Fall 2024 season.

Nielsen data shows that between March and August 2020, U.S. adults spent 12.2 trillion minutes with digital, 11.1 trillion minutes with linear TV and 2.8 trillion minutes streaming video — and these numbers continue to grow exponentially. As audiences move between linear, streaming and digital, Nielsen contends advertisers are demanding a single, de-duplicated view of their audiences across all platforms and mediums. Concurrently, publishers want to provide more ad options for buyers and improve the overall viewer experience.

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“With Nielsen ONE, we are delivering a single, comparable metric for TV and digital that will provide video consumption across all platforms, services and devices,” COO Karthik Rao said in a statement. “For media buyers and sellers, this means better monetizing their assets and maximizing their investments. Today’s announcement marks a major milestone for Nielsen as we put our cross-media vision into motion.”

The new media measurement tool claims it will enable advertisers and publishers to transact using a single metric across linear and digital that is verifiable, independent and standardized across the industry. With a single number, marketers will have visibility into total video consumption regardless of platform or device. Marketers will also benefit from a better understanding of unique audiences, the ability to better understand frequency and reduce double counting, inflated metrics and advertising waste, according to Nielsen.

“Cross-media measurement is a generational opportunity and one of the hardest challenges that our industry has had to solve,” said Ben Jankowski, SVP of global media for Mastercard. “There are tough technology issues, but also a very real cultural shift that needs to happen that encourages broadcasters, platforms and marketers to work closely together to drive better productivity across the board.”

Nielsen has already begun transforming its audience measurement solutions to increase resilience and flexibility.  As previously announced, Nielsen said it is “future-proofing” its digital measurement, evolving its National TV charts to include addressable measurement and expanding Internet-connected TV coverage to include additional smart TV manufacturers and digital video platforms in 2021. Starting in Q4 2022, Nielsen will release cross-media ratings that it claims would deliver metrics at sub-minute intervals for individual ads and content. Nielsen expects this measurement will ultimately become the foundation of the cross-media buying and selling process, succeeding the current form of TV and digital measurement no later than the Fall 2024 season.

Report: Streaming Video Viewing Reaches All-Time High

Thanks to the coronavirus, online video is more popular than ever with the average global viewer watching nearly eight hours (seven hours, 55 minutes) per week, according to new data from Limelight Networks. With consumers homebound during the pandemic, video viewing increased 16% in the past year, according to the report commissioned to understand consumer perceptions and behaviors around online video.

The report — “State of Online Video 2020” — is based on online responses from 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, ages 18 and older, who watch one hour or more of online video content each week.

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Top trends include:

  • Staying home drove streaming subscriptions. Nearly half (47%) of people worldwide subscribed to a new streaming service in the past six months, with the primary reason being that people are spending more time at home due to COVID-19 (40%). The second-largest driver of new subscription purchases (25%) is availability of new content.
  • Consumers are price cautious. Almost half (47%) of global consumers will cancel a streaming subscription due to high prices. More than a third (37%) admit to sharing login information or using someone else’s account. Password sharing is highest in Indonesia, with 58% of people admitting to sharing credentials.
  • User-generated content viewing surges. Watching user-generated content has doubled over the past year to an average of four hours per week. Google-owned YouTube continues to dominate as the most-preferred platform for watching user-generated content (65%), followed by Facebook (16%).
  • Buffering delays are a deal-breaker. Most people (64%) say they would be more likely to stream a live event if it is not delayed from live broadcast.

“Online video demand has clearly accelerated around the world this year, especially with so many people looking for entertainment, information and communication as they have spent more time at home due to COVID-19,” Nigel Burmeister, VP at Limelight Networks, said in a statement. “Our research shows that with the rise in viewers and subscriptions, it is critical that content providers have the right combination of the content consumers want, the infrastructure to scale to meet demand and technology to give them the best possible online experiences.”

Parks: Consumers Spend Seven Hours Weekly Streaming Online Video

It’s an over-the-top video world. Parks Associates July 1 said new data showed the number of hours per week consumers spend watching online video has almost doubled from 3.6 hours per week in 2017 to nearly seven hours per week in 2020. Dallas-based Parks said at the same time traditional pay-TV service has declined from an adoption rate of 75% to 62% in U.S. broadband households between Q1 2017 and Q1 2020, which led a subsequent decline in set-top box adoption.

“Consumer surveys find that 74% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to at least one streaming service, and almost half of domestic broadband households subscribe to two or more services,” contributing analyst Dr. Kenneth Wacks said in a statement.

Wacks said the top three domestic OTT subscription services remain Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Newcomers Disney+ and Apple TV+ have grown quickly to round out the top five. Additional services of note include CBS All Access, Crackle, Fubo TV, BHO Not, Philo, Pluto TV, and Sling TV.

Parks said the OTT services allow households to access premium video content without a set-top box, forcing a change in the relationship between set-top box makers and cable/satellite operators. Content developers and networks are now streaming content directly to consumers or distributing through OTT service providers. In some cases, multiple-system operators (MSOs) are launching their own streaming devices or creating offerings similar to vMVPDs (virtual multichannel video programming distributors) with the goal of recapturing pay-TV cord-cutters or cord-nevers.

Parks contends the pay-TV set-top can remain viable if able to aggregate the variety of different streaming services coming into the households and present them in a personalized and attractive UI with voice and smart home controls for an improved consumer experience.

“The set-top box does have a role in this market, but it will have to adapt,” Wacks said.