OTT 2022: Welcome

Tania Missad of Warner Bros. Discovery introduced the audience to their Video Now study, a 10-year project investigating the evolution of the viewing landscape, which includes the growth of streaming and further erosion of linear TV. The study found that people are now less willing to spend on streaming apps and other options due to frustration with rising costs. They also feel overwhelmed by the number of services. This is causing low and no cost options such as AVOD and FAST to flourish. Besides cost savings, viewers like that AVOD and FAST have large libraries of content to explore. What consumers want now is bundling discounts, improved content discovery including aggregating desirable content across different apps and more personalized recommendations. There’s also a growing interest in more diverse stories and international content.

OTT 2022: Conference Highlights

On October 25, 2022, media and measurement experts shared the latest research-based insights about today’s media landscape at OTT 2022 held on the Warner Bros. Discovery Studio Lot in Burbank, CA. Attendees learned more about what viewers really want when it comes to FAST, AVOD and SVOD, and whether there are viable solutions for cross-platform measurement.

Streaming Index 2.0: Retention Rules

Justin Evans of Samsung Ads uncovered findings from The Streaming Index, a bi-annual white paper Samsung Ads puts out for the marketers of TV apps. The report got its data from its universe of 45 million opted-in U.S. smart TVs, supplemented with an attitudinal survey of 1,000 Samsung smart TV owners from Q4 of 2022. While most studies focus on subscription data, this focused on usage. The number of people streaming TV apps and the time spent watching them has significantly increased year-over-year (Q3 2021-Q3 2022), and yet competition among platforms has grown fiercer. The reason, the churn rate has increased over the past two years. Such a landscape perpetuates a winner-take-most paradigm. TV app marketers should be thinking about ways to acquire a greater share of time and TV app platform providers should focus on loyalty and offering less expensive tiered options, as retained users over-index on time on such apps.

Ten Things to Know about Viewing

Yes, there is upheaval in the media industry. The press paints a dire picture of viewing, yet Radha Subramanyam (CBS), focuses on growth. Total viewing is up 2% year over year, broadcast share of total viewing up 2%. CBS viewing also is up 2% year over year—across entertainment, news and sports, 8-10 shows averaging over 10 million viewers nightly. When it comes to reach and “unique,” it’s an even bigger number in streaming, particularly entertainment. There’s great momentum in sports and women in sports.

Crisis and Opportunity – The Future of Media for Research and Measurement

Brian Wieser’s keynote address covered four trends that are affecting the media and advertising industries: industry consolidation, the rise of ad-free TV, the emergence of new e-commerce marketers and procurement. After his presentation, Scott McDonald probed him further about his observations about the state of the media and advertising marketplace in 2023. His key points on these four trends and highlights of Brian’s conversation with Scott appear below.

The New State of TV

Fifty years ago, defining TV was pretty simple but the video landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Video is growing today, and this is driven by CTV. TV formats have their own personalities and content to define them. TV should not be approached in isolation because that is not how consumers approach it.

If an Ad Plays When the TV is Off, Did Anyone See It?

Mike Fisher of GroupM shared findings from an eye-opening study conducted with, investigating continuous play scenarios. It revealed a viewability issue with external, third-party, streaming devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV and gaming consoles Xbox and PlayStation. Such devices make the verification of ad delivery via TV apps more difficult. While such a device may signal that an ad was delivered, the TV screen itself may be off. Since external devices and the TVs they are attached to do not talk to each other, and so the message is lost. Fisher urged this as an industry-wide issue that multiple parties: manufacturers, publishers, agencies and advertisers, need to come together to fix.

The Challenge of Churn

Media use has been changing rapidly and that requires paying constant attention to how viewers use services, for example, which streaming services they subscribe to and which they cancel. Churn among streaming service subscribers is typically seen as a negative: Providers try to minimize churn, maximize retention. Based on analyses of their Subscriber Science Monitor data, Magid researchers Mike Bloxham and Tony Cardinale offered a fresh perspective on the drivers of churn as well as on the implications of churn for content providers. They conclude that churn is inevitable—and that some churn is correlated to growth and cultural relevance. The key to their insights was a segmentation analysis that focused on viewers’ propensity to churn.

DASH: Building a New Standard in TV

In 2021, the ARF launched DASH in response to today’s overwhelming complexity in measurement due to the digitization of TV, which has made user-level data especially challenging. In this panel discussion, the speakers provide an overview of DASH, including its methodology, use cases, key findings and opportunities. DASH has evolved to set a new standard in the media industry and serves as a perfect example of how cross-industry collaborations can happen.

Building a Multi-Currency Future

This dialog between Scott McDonald and Colleen Fahey Rush (Paramount) covered the rebranding of Colleen’s company and three broader issues facing the television industry—the rise of streaming services, her perceptions of the currency environment and the upcoming upfronts.