A record 1.7 million people live-streamed for free on YouTube Germany’s Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix auto race on Oct. 11. across Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It marked the first time a F1 race had been streamed live on Google-owned YouTube.
F1, which is owned by Liberty Media, attributed the streaming increase in part to viewer interest in British driver Lewis Hamilton equaling Michael Schumacher’s record 91 F1 wins. About 31% of streamers were under the age of 25, while 68% were under 35. More than 33 % streamed on mobile phones, and 30% streamed on smart TVs.
“It’s clear to see that younger fans are more engaged with live streaming than ever before,” Adam Crothers, head of Digital Media Rights, Formula 1, said in a statement.
Crothers said the partnership with YouTube affords viewers unable or unwilling to pay for F1 televised access with a means to engage with the sport. Indeed, F1 drivers for the first time appeared on Google Cameos — the app that enables public figures to record video responses to frequently asked questions in Google searches.
“It’s incredible to see how far Formula 1 has come on the platform in the past few years and continues to position us as one of the strongest sports brands on YouTube,” Crothers said.
The YouTube F1 channel has has generated 40 million viewers in the past 90 days, with 800 million views this year. The channel is one of the largest on YouTube, with a larger user base than any other sports brand, according to data from Shareablee (Jan 1st – Oct. 12th 2020).
Nielsen Oct. 15 announced it would begin tracking YouTube’s streaming TV inventory will be measured through its “Digital Ad Ratings” and “Total Ad Ratings” software to help media buyers and sellers better understand and verify audiences on Google-owned YouTube and YouTube TV apps on connected TVs. CTV refers to any TV that can be connected to the Internet and access content beyond what is available from a pay-TV provider.
More than 100 million people in the U.S. watch YouTube and subscription-based YouTube TV on connected TVs every month, according to Comscore.
Nielsen will now track YouTube beyond computer and mobile devices and expand “Advanced TV” product suite that includes its legacy TV viewership measurement. Nielsen’s first phase of YouTube TV tracking begin in the first half of 2021, and extending to the YouTube app on connected TVs in the U.S. shortly thereafter, ahead of the 2021-2022 industry upfronts.
“As streaming through connected devices surges, measuring the audience is critical as the industry demands a currency grade solution that provides marketers and publishers holistic, cross-platform metrics about advanced TV campaigns,” Scott Brown, GM of Audience Measurement at Nielsen, said in a statement.
With more than three quarters of U.S. homes owning one or more connected devices and streaming accounting for 25% of total TV usage, Nielsen contends the value to media marketers and advertisers to account for audiences across all platforms, including connected TV, has skyrocketed.
The CTV space continues to experience fragmentation as more players launch new services, causing data to be siloed within different platforms, according to Nielsen. The company said YouTube accounts for 20% of all streaming usage in the U.S., and through its tracking software, marketers will have increased confidence in their investments and the ability to better measure the success of their campaigns across platforms.
“Advertisers are asking for third-party measurement partners to provide a complete view of YouTube and YouTube TV audiences, so they can better understand the scale of the audience they’re able to reach through CTV campaigns,” said Debbie Weinstein, VP, Global Solutions, at YouTube.
In support of National Voter Registration Day Sept. 22, Prime Video will stream the Amazon Original movie All In: The Fight for Democracy featuring Stacey Abrams to audiences globally, without needing a Prime membership.
The voting rights documentary will be in front of the Prime Video paywall for 24 hours. The film will also be available on Twitch, YouTube and Twitter.
In anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, All In: The Fight for Democracy examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States. The film interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning. With the perspective and expertise of Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know are threats to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.
“Voting is fundamental for our country and democracy, and should be accessible and available to Americans everywhere,” Abrams said in a statement. “All In: The Fight for Democracy will be accessible on multiple platforms in support of voter awareness and registration for all Americans.”
As previously announced, the filmmakers with support from foundations, private funders and Amazon Studios launched #AllInForVoting, a non-partisan social impact campaign aimed at educating and registering first-time voters, mobilizing communities to turn out to vote and training citizens to know their rights and report voter suppression. As part of the impact campaign, the 50 State Ambassador initiative brought together a team of influential actors, artists, musicians, athletes and newsmakers to use their platforms to educate voters and mobilize participation in the upcoming national and regional elections. The Ambassadors include Taraji P. Henson, Connie Britton, Tyler Blackburn, Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle, Gabrielle Union, Seth MacFarlane, Padma Lakshmi, Melissa Ethridge, Zach LaVine, Viola Davis and Janelle Monáe.
The impact campaign is in partnership with Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action and other leading civic engagement organizations including: Advancement Project, Alliance for Youth Action, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, All Voting Is Local, Black Voters Matter, BLOC, Campus Voter Project, Community Change, Election Protection, Equality NC, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, GenEquality, HeadCount, Higher Heights for America, Indivisible, Jewish Women International, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, League of Women Voters and National Organization for Women (NOW), LUCHA, Movement Voter Project, National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), New Virginia Majority, People for the American Way, Rock the Vote, Spread the Vote, Southern Poverty Law Center, Voto Latino Foundation and When We All Vote. Users are encouraged to join the movement by posting with “#AllInForVoting.” More information on activations and programming can be found at AllInForVoting.com.
All In: The Fight for Democracy is directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus and Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Cortés, and produced by Garbus, Cortés, Academy Award-winning producer Dan Cogan and Abrams. Amazon Studios acquired worldwide rights to All In: The Fight for Democracy from production company Story Syndicate.
YouTube’s “Cobra Kai” was the top rising show, while Netflix’s “Lucifer” was again the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Aug. 30.
Sony Pictures Television-produced “Cobra Kai,” which moved to Netflix from YouTube Premium, is a continuation of the “Karate Kid” franchise that began in 1984 and spawned three sequels and a remake. The show is set 35 years after the All Valley Karate Tournament that saw Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) defeat Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and finds down-on-his-luck Johnny seeking redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. The raises the ire of Daniel, who now runs a successful car dealership but struggles to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of Mr. Miyagi.
Season five of top binge “Lucifer” hit Netflix Aug. 21. The fantasy series follows Lucifer’s exploits on Earth.
Taking the silver on both charts was Netflix’s “Trinkets,” season two of which debuted Aug. 25. It follows three teenage girls who find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifters Anonymous meeting and form an unlikely friendship. The series is based on the young adult novel by screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man), who serves as creator and executive producer.
“The Umbrella Academy,” the second season of which hit screens July 31, dropped to No. 3 (from No. 2) on the binge chart for the week. The series, based on the comic books of the same name, follows a group of superheroes adopted at birth by a mysterious billionaire who face the end of the world. As season two begins, the time jump scatters the siblings in time in and around Dallas over a three-year period starting in 1960.
Taking the bronze on the rising show chart was Netflix’s anime series “Aggretsuko” from global lifestyle brand Sanrio. Season three debuted Aug. 27. Frustrated with her thankless office job, the 25-year-old red panda copes with her daily struggles by belting out heavy metal karaoke after work. After overcoming lots of challenges in the previous seasons, Retsuko encounters an indie girl group “OTM Girls” and the group’s manager “Hyodo.”
TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).
Comscore on July 6 released new data that found five streaming video services (Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, Netfli and YouTube) collectively represent more than 80% of all OTT streaming hours in the United States.
Since the report is co-partnered with YouTube, much attention is given to the Google-owned social media platform, including increased (by 13%) household penetration in 2020, and 34% uptick since March 2019.
“We uncovered recent, rapid changes in the industry due to the growth of OTT services, content and devices, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on consumer behavior,” Comscore’s Alison Robart and Kim Gardner wrote in a post.
They wrote that since January, while all streaming services have increased their reach, most of the growth came from services that reached ad-supported households. Overall, ad-supported video-on-demand services have extended their reach at a faster pace than non-ad-supported services (+9% growth in reach vs. +5%, respectively, between January and April).
“This is good news for advertisers, as it means their content is getting in front of more viewers,” Robart and Gardner wrote.
While traditional devices such as desktops/laptops, phones and tablets have the largest reach across U.S. wireless households, Internet-connected TVs reached more than 70% of domestic households.
In addition to the growing reach of connected TVs, the amount of time spent watching content has increased as well. Time spent on YouTube increased 22% for total hours streamed (March 2019 vs. March 2020).
Notably, with audiences home more than ever, ComScore found that more than 60% of signed-in viewers of YouTube on TV watched a videos featuring titles that contain “Home Workout” (+340%), “Cooking/Recipes” (+45%), and “Meditation Videos” (+45%) and “Self-Care” (up +100%).
YouTube TV has raised its membership price to $64.99.
The new price takes effect June 30 for new members, with existing subscribers seeing the change reflected in their subsequent billing cycle on or after July 30, according to the official YouTube blog.
“We don’t take these decisions lightly, and realize how hard this is for our members,” read the blog. “That said, this new price reflects the rising cost of content and we also believe it reflects the complete value of YouTube TV, from our breadth of content to the features that are changing how we watch live TV. YouTube TV is the only streaming service that includes a DVR with unlimited storage space, plus 6 accounts per household each with its own unique recommendations, and 3 concurrent streams. It’s all included in the base cost of YouTube TV, with no contract and no hidden fees.”
The blog noted the addition of new features to the service and new content from such sources as PBS, Discovery Network, and ViacomCBS, including eight channels, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1, launching June 30.
“That means you can follow the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture with ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’; catch up with Catelynn, Cheyenne, Maci, Mackenzie and Amber on ‘Teen Mom OG’; join the search for America’s next drag superstar with ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’; go on an adventure with ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’; and follow the fictional lives of the Dutton family on the new season of ‘Yellowstone,’” the blog noted.
YouTube TV is among the virtual MVPD services aiming to re-create the offerings of traditional pay-TV.
Kids YouTube channel CoComelon is now available on The Roku Channel, Roku and Treasure Studio announced.
The channel offers a selection of children’s songs and videos that help preschoolers learn letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors and more. Available through the Kids & Family experience on The Roku Channel, the launch marks the first time CoComelon programming will be available outside of YouTube.
“At CoComelon, we’re driven by being able to engage families with entertaining and educational content that makes universally relatable preschool moments fun,” Jay Jeon, creator/founder of Treasure Studio, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to launch with Roku today to make our popular programming available to Roku fans everywhere. Roku shares our deep commitment to creating positive content environments for children and brings a unique ability to engage and promote programming to audiences especially within The Roku Channel. This partnership is an important component of our strategy to be everywhere our audience is today.”
“CoComelon is beloved by tens of millions of children around the world and is a natural fit for our growing selection of content available to the millions of families who are increasingly turning to The Roku Channel every day for both entertainment and educational content,” Rob Holmes, Roku VP of programming and engagement, said in a statement. “CoComelon joins a robust line-up of children’s programming within our Kids & Family experience and we could not be more excited to welcome their incredible streaming content to The Roku Channel.”
Google-owned YouTube continues to reign as the Internet’s top over-the-top video platform, generating more than $4 billion in first-quarter (ended March 31) ad-revenue. The tally topped the previous-year period that generated more than $3 billion.
YouTube revenue does not include the brand’s $50 monthly online TV platform, YouTube TV.
Overall, Google parent Alphabet reported revenue of more than $41.15 billion, compared with revenue of $36.33 billion in the previous-year period.
Regardless, CFO Ruth Porat cautioned that while the company’s performance was strong during the first two months of the quarter, March experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenue due in large part to COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities,” Porat said in an April 28 statement.
Lionsgate is presenting “Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies,” a program of four Fridays of free movies streaming live on YouTube hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis, to help benefit theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis.
The studio is mounting the campaign to “honor the communal experience of watching movies in movie theaters and support the people who make those places great with a special program that reminds everyone how much we love going to the cinema,” according to a Lionsgate press release.
Beginning Friday, April 17, and continuing every Friday spanning four consecutive weeks, the studio will team with Fandango and YouTube to livestream four of Lionsgate’s most popular library titles — The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, La La Land and John Wick — on Lionsgate’s YouTube page and Fandango’s Movieclips YouTube page.
Host Curtis will share her own movie memories as she is joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities, according to the release. Each week’s night at the movies will feature programming and interactive opportunities for fans, such as real-time fan chats via YouTube Live, live tweeting @Lionsgate and partners, and shared fan engagement opportunities in-show, including movie trivia and movie-themed challenges.
Lionsgate’s initial donation as well as audience and partner donations throughout the event will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping workers throughout the motion picture industry. The event will link to the Foundation’s charitable page so that viewers can donate. The Will Rogers Foundation is currently providing financial assistance to theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis.
The schedule of free movies that will livestream Fridays at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST is as follows: The Hunger Games April 17, Dirty Dancing April 24, La La Land May 1 and John Wick (age registration required) May 8.
To present the live movie event, in addition to Fandango Lionsgate is joining with exhibition partners such as the National Association of Theatre Owners, AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres, among other regional circuits.
Popcornopolis, purveyors of gourmet popcorn, will support the event with a consumer movie night offer, with 10% of sales donated to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. SnackNation will curate a movie-themed snack box with a special price and free shipping.
“There’s nothing that will replace the magic of seeing a movie together with your fellow moviegoers in a theater on a big screen, but this is a chance for America to come together to recreate the experience,” said Joe Drake, chairman, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “This is a great chance to show the country’s theatrical employees how much we miss going to their theaters and how much we support them. Jamie Lee Curtis — a woman who literally grew up with the movies and movie theaters — is one of the world’s biggest movie fans, so it’s a real thrill that she’ll be our host for this event. Let’s have some fun watching some classic movies together at home while celebrating moviegoing!”
“Throughout the 125-year history of the cinema, this is the first time that movie theaters have been shut down across the country,” said John Fithian, president and CEO, National Association of Theatre Owners, in a statement. “Whether it was the Depression, wars, disasters, or local calamities, movie theaters have always been a gathering place where audiences can come together to laugh and be moved, reacting as one, to put their troubles behind them or forget about their hard week at work, and just get lost in the amazing stories on the big screen. Until we can gather again in our nation’s theaters, we’re grateful to Lionsgate for honoring the theatrical moviegoing experience and we are thrilled to join together with them over these next four Fridays, not only to see four classic movies for free, but also to allow fans and celebrities to share their own moviegoing memories. We love that so many people will be talking about what makes going to the movies so unique and memorable.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) April 7 announced launch of a new YouTube Channel, Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone, with a variety of interactive fun, physical movement, learning, and hands-on activities.
Sony Pictures says its Kids Zone is curated with a wide range of activities that will support families coping with school closures, new work-from-home routines and social distancing.
“A significant portion of Sony Pictures’ workforce is made up of working parents,” said Lexine Wong, senior EVP of worldwide marketing. “The idea of Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone was born from parents on our own team adjusting to working from home and managing home schooling.
“We are proud to offer this resource to help families navigate these new and challenging circumstances, while hopefully having a little fun in the process.”
Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone will feature content from Sony Pictures Animation as well as SPE’s catalog of live-action programming. Viewers can enjoy content from movies such as Peter Rabbit, “The Angry Birds Movie” series, the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise, Center Stage: On Pointe, the “Swan Princess” series and more.