Future of TV
Sky have teamed up with Fitbit to create the second series of 'Fit in 5', a short-form series, that encourages people to get fit in five minutes a day. It's the first time Sky have worked with a partner to create a short-form funded content series. The series is exclusively available to Sky customers on On Demand, Sky Go and Now TV.
At Rerun, we think this collaboration highlights the potential for interactivity. Fitbit provides a range of watch style products that help users track sleep, weight and exercise. If a user's Fitbit could interact with a fitness regime as performed on screen, the user could be prompted to exercise harder or slower, or the show could capture data on its audience to improve its fitness plans. Interactivity such as this, would bring a new and exciting dynamic to fitness shows.
Some YouTubers are seeing big drops in their ad revenue. For example, Tim Wood, who has half a million subscribers to his paranormal ghost hunting channel. Last year he earned ~$6k/month in ad revenue. This year so far has seen it drop sharply to $1.6k/month.
Some creators are “looking at a video saying, ‘It got a million views, but I only got $700 — I used to get $2,500,’” - Krishna Subramanian, a founder of Captiv8
It's evident that YouTube has made changes to satisfy advertisers in recent months, but perhaps are struggling to fine tune the system.
“While many creators are seeing revenue improvements, some continue to be impacted. We’ll continue to work closely with both advertisers and creators to get things right.” - YouTube statement
Bloomberg has updated its Apple TV app with a focus on adding relevant data to its video content. It works in a similar way to the recently released Bloomberg Lens, which surfaces relevant information on the web page you're currently reading. It's part of a broader focus at Bloomberg to bring more of its data and information to whatever screen you may be on.
“This is the advantage of OTT, in that it’s not just TV but TV connected to the internet. So we can provide dynamic context because we understand what you’re watching and what you’re interested in.” - Ambika Nigam, Bloomberg’s head of mobile apps
Hulu has recently joined Sling, Sony, DirecTV and YouTube in the internet TV market. Each provider package has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each makes different trade-offs in trying to achieve a target pricetag of $35 per month for the cord-cutter.
In the following piece from Jon Dawson he highlights the need for local TV stations to be included in bundles these companies offer. This is a huge challenge for the providers due to the structure of the U.S. market and its affiliate system for TV stations.
Because many local stations aren’t owned by the broadcasters, the latter have little control over getting those stations on board as part of a national rollout.
At Rerun, we think overcoming this may be key to success in the skinny bundle market. But for now, as Jon Dawson highlights, 'would-be cord-cutters are often left choosing the best of a set of bad options, or even combining several of these to get what they really want'. For large broadcasters like AMC and Discovery planning is well under way for a future in which the bundle has all but disappeared, and is replaced by direct to consumer platforms.
At Rerun we think Tubi TV's subscription model is interesting because it's free..! While there is no fee, the service requires registration and users are fed 4 to 5 minutes of commercials for every 30 minutes viewed.
In a fresh round of funding, 4 investors have bet $20 million that more and more viewers will be willing to sit through ads, in exchange for access to free premium movies and TV shows. Tubi TV counts Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures and Starz among its 200 content partners. In its vast library Tubi TV even has a category for titles 'Not on Netflix'.
While Tubi TV is free, we do wonder how user friendly it actually might be. Adverts are scheduled to play every 30 minutes, and play during movies. Tubi TV's future success may depend on how intuitive these ad placements are. No one wants to have a key moment or story climax interrupted by an ad for air freshener.
There’s no doubting Facebook’s impact on the culture, but when it comes to power in the OTT sector of tech, the social networking giant’s clout has hit a wall.
Garett Sloane of Advertising Age opines that “Facebook has come in to give the ad tech pitch, but at the end of the day they want us to dump our ad tech and back-end system for theirs”. He might be onto something.
Sloane also recognises the complex hurdles for Facebook in selling ads through OTT platforms such as tvOS and Roku. Facebook is in an apparent struggle to sign up channel partners due a perceived lack of trust from the studios and networks. Again, Sloane picks on the fact that "many of the studios and networks are reluctant to hand over any bit of their video ad business to the increasingly powerful player."