Although it’s too early to determine whether Sony (or Amazon, for that matter) will adopt a freemium model with the option to upgrade to a paid subscription for more premium access (or perhaps less ads), Hulu’s founding CEO Jason Kilar has committed to that approach with the launch of new online video service “Vessel," which will run ads both in free and paid tiers.
Advertisers and agencies are chomping at the bit to reach connected audiences who’ve cut the cord with traditional cable.
“If it’s all IP-served, it’s all addressable,” said Tracey Sheppach, EVP and head of Precision Video at Starcom MediaVest recently at an Advanced Ads summit at New York City TV Week. “I’m interested in buying quality audiences around premium content. If that’s what Sony is offering, that’s what I want to buy.”
But, as Starcom’s Sheppach points out, the agency’s role is to cut through the clutter of growing inventory “because we’re aggregating now from all of these disparate sources.”
New devices and streaming options mean new addressable opportunities for advertisers, but reaching critical mass on each service or device is necessary to attract greater investment. So is measurability, which spurred Nielsen to test panel-based measurement for Amazon and Netflix as an impetus to help “quantify” the streaming-video space, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The challenge is, while providers like Apple TV may have 20 million devices in market, determining household uniques is important for marketers and app developers, argued Dan Rayburn, a principal analyst at technology research firm Frost & Sullivan and EVP of StreamingMedia.com.
“How many ‘uniques’ does Apple TV reach?” he added. “My guess is around 10 million.”
There are even more questions about Amazon’s rumored streaming-video service.
“This is speculation only, but (I want to know) who are they targeting, how much content is available and will it be like Hulu and focus on TV or more like Netflix and focus on TV and movies?” he added. “What devices will it be available on? If it’s ad-supported, that could take away from Prime. There are too many unknowns.”