Listen In: Spotlight on Digital Video—Facebook's Fudged Metrics, Hulu Drops Free Service and More - eMarketer

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Listen In: Spotlight on Digital Video—Facebook's Fudged Metrics, Hulu Drops Free Service and More

Paul Verna and Monica Peart talk video

October 5, 2016 | Video

This latest episode of “Behind The Numbers” is all about digital video. Hosts Marcus Johnson and Bryan Yeager invite two eMarketer in-house experts to provide their insights on the latest digital video news and trends.

First up, senior analyst Paul Verna unpacks a recent burning issue in the advertising industry: Facebook overstating to marketers and advertisers the amount of time people spent watching video on its platform for two years. Though Verna doesn’t believe the revelation will cause brands to pull back their Facebook spending, expect a push for more rigorous third-party measurement of ad performance.

Forecasting director Monica Peart then goes into how streaming services are pursuing different ways to monetize their audiences, such as Hulu moving its free, ad-supported offering to Yahoo Screen and opting to sell subscription-only packages to consumers. Those Hulu subscriptions still contain ads, leading to the question of whether Netflix and Amazon Instant Video will eventually turn to advertising as a new source of revenue.

Peart believes such a move is within the realm of possibility, especially if subscriber growth slows. But Johnson was quick to point out an April 2016 study from IBM and Clearleap, where 27% of US video-on-demand (VOD) viewers cited too many ads as the primary factor that would motivate them to cancel their service. So if services do introduce ads, they need to tread carefully.

Primary Factor that Would Motivate US Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) Viewers to Cancel Their SVOD Service, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Digital video platforms are often discussed in competitive terms, like which one is growing the fastest or has the most market share. But Verna wraps the episode by presenting the marketer’s view on the medium. In many cases, the various platforms complement each other and can also be used to reach highly targeted audience or accomplish specific objectives. eMarketer PRO customers can read more about the latest on digital video by checking out Verna’s September 2016 report, “Q3 2016 Digital Video Trends: Monetization, Audience, Platforms and Content.”

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