Monday, March 4, 2013

Ooyala's 2012 Global Video Index is Great News for Online Video Publishers

According to Ooyala's Global Video Index, "2012 was another historic year in online television," and by 2016, 1.5 billion people will watch online video. Ooyala released its 2012 Q4 video index report last week, which measures the monthly viewing habits of nearly 200 million unique viewers in 130 countries. The report found several key trends of its video publishers reflects the overall state of online video, such as live video matters, premium content matters on all screens, larger the screen = higher engagement, branded video viewing and conversion rates surged during the holiday season, mobile and tablet share doubles, and iPhone users watch twice as much video than Android users.

via Ooyala

Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher says that three key themes stood out in the report.
 "First, live streaming is the new norm. Online viewers tuned in to the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the U.S. Presidential debates right as they happened, and the data shows viewers watch live video longer on all devices. Second, Tablet TV is surging. The share of tablet video viewing more than doubled last year, as mobile, social and video converged on a single device. And Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles continue to change the way people watch TV. New findings in this Video Index show how viewing patterns change seasonally."

The Lines are Officially Blurred

"One of the most important takeaway of 2012, is that the lines between traditional media and streaming media are really starting to blur," says Ooyala Co-Founder and President of Products Bismarck Lepe. 
It's not just about media being consumed across all devices, Lepe emphasizes, business models are also starting to blur. For example, Netflix is now going direct to consumers with original streaming content, and also going the traditional route by licensing its content to television companies in markets where it doesn't have a streaming business.
"We're probably going to see that 2013 and 2014 are going to be the tipping point period for this industry," says Lepe. "As technology improves and business models catch up to where consumers are obviously headed."

Video Consumption Trends Shift

Lepe says that for online video, we're in the middle of phase one and phase two. Distribution platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Hulu Plus have expanded their selection and made it easier to find and view premium content, replacing Torrent sites and the need for DVDs and physical media. The majority of streaming content is still consumed on smaller screens, but as more connected TVs make it into the home, people will move into the third phase of wanting to see streaming content on bigger screens, which is more of the traditional living room lean-back experience. 

Ooyala sees a spike in mobile video in places where public transportation is more prevalent, for instance, in Japan video consumption on mobile and tablets is more than double of that of the U.S. Viewers are watching video on the screens that are most convenient to them based on the availability of content and quality of service. 

Lepe also predicts that the smartphones war, between iOS and Android will shift over the next year to favor Android platform by 50%.

There's Still Work to Do

"There’s still a lot of work to do," Lepe says. "The industry has yet to agree on standards for online video ad measurement, making it difficult to demonstrate the efficacy of paid streaming content. Network speeds and data-caps also create institutional barriers between viewers and videos. In order for “online video” to fully transition to “online television,” media and technology companies must work together to find common ground in this new media landscape." 

Lepe's view of the online video industry, and specifically, the online video platform market, is that we'll continue to see the cookie-cutter, templated video platforms trying to compete with YouTube for free.
"We're very focused on the top end of the market," says Lepe, "where half a trillion dollars changes hands every year, either with episodic television content or theatrical content – and these companies have historically worked with large systems integrators and consultants to build the spoke systems. But the problem with the spoke systems is that they solve the immediate problem, because there isn't a roadmap that supports the long-term trajectory of a particular industry."

Lepe says Ooyala remains committed to its primary mission, to provide value to its customers with video analytics and monetization tools to help them personalize the video viewing experience across all screens, maximize audience engagement and increase revenue.

Key findings from Ooyala’s 2012 Global Video Index

Live Matters
  • In Q4 2012, viewers watched live video 18X longer than VOD on desktops, 5X longer on tablets and 4X longer on mobile. 

Premium Matters on All Screens
  • About one third of the total time spent watching tablet video last quarter was with premium, long form content running more than 60 minutes. 
  • The percentage of time spent watching long-form video (over 10 minutes) on tablets increased 37% from Q1 to Q4 in 2012. 
  • Publishers are fueling the growth trend by making more premium long form content available to consumers
Branded Video Consumption Surges Between Black Friday and Christmas Day
  • Conversion rates for branded videos jumped 91% from the start of the quarter to their peak in mid-December. 
  • There’s a huge opportunity for retailers, e-tailers and consumer brands to connect with online audiences between Black Friday and Christmas Day. 
Mobile and Tablet Share Doubles
  • Measured together, the share of all hours spent watching streaming video on tablets and mobile hones increased 100% in 2012. 
 Home (and Online) For the Holidays
  • Short-form video* viewing spikes on Black Friday and Christmas, presumably because people are unpacking and tinkering with new connected devices.
  •  The amount of time people spent watching short-form video on Connected TVs & Gaming Consoles increased 500% in the two days following Christmas. 
  • The share of time spent watching online video on tablets jumped 73% on Christmas
Phone Wars: iOS vs. Android
  • Although Android phones are outselling iPhones globally, last year Apple users watched twice as much online video on their mobile phones.