Each day, a firehose of data related to online video pours through the inboxes and social media touch points media observers rely on to not only keep abreast of trends, but also to gaze into the near future of the industry. The trick, as I have come to learn over the years, is the fine art of synthesis which ties information together into a logical structure.
But then there are frustrations in this imperfect world where the data dominoes refuse to neatly line up to the satisfy advertisers, content creators and… analysts.
As a long-time follower of Ooyala (yes, I remember their launch), I enjoy reading its quarterly Global Video Index as it is chock full of information nicely teed up for contemplation and visioneering. From its most recent report, there are a number of interesting facts that emerge:
- Mobile video continues to rule with a CAGR of more than 111% since the same quarter in 2012.
- Nearly half of all video plays globally in Q2 were on a mobile device.
- Broadcasters streaming long-form premium content saw ad completion rates at and above 90% depending on the screen.
- For content over 30 minutes in length, connected TVs at 52% were the top choice.
Taking liberties with the evasive definition of connected TV, I view that to include smart TVs (with web access built in), as well as those connected to a IP-powered set top box such as Amazon Fire, Roku, various game consoles and Apple TV.
Recalling one of my favorite phrases (the origin of which escapes me), that last data point about viewing of “TV-like” content (over 30 minutes) is “like running 99 yards of the 100 yard dash.” It’s also a fact that is important especially as we enter yet another Fall TV season — a trend that is still alive, but just barely. If I am on the money end of the business, which primarily includes advertisers and marketers, or am a subscriber to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, I am interested in digging deeper into the data around those 30-minute-plus programs. To
this point, Netflix and Hulu have been unwilling to reveal the drill-down numbers of how many people watched any given program. And while interested parties probably don’t care about how many people viewed the 2001 film “Hardball,” it would be nice to know how such shows as “Longmire” and “The Mindy Project” fared.
Beyond curiosity, viewing data reveals what sort of content consumers are interested in — information that could be used to power native advertising efforts. For content creators, it too would be useful to focus on buzzy programming trends. It also would help put a lid on third parties who use all sorts of methods to estimate audience totals for shows on Netflix, Hulu and others.
Believe me, I tried, with no success, to gather data across social media (Tweets, re-Tweets, etc.) to get a handle on how many people watched the Hulu debut of “The Mindy Project,” which the streaming network revived from the prime time dumpster. The same goes for a personal favorite, “Longmire.” I tried counting the number of viewers who watched any or all of the 10 episodes of season four of the former A&E show. I stopped after two — me and my wife.