nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Yahoo Finance takes on CNBC through connected TVs

Yahoo Finance splash

Yahoo Finance is gearing up to take on TV channels like CNBC. However, the service doesn’t need a cable channel to do it. It can reach most people on the big screen through connected TV devices. A new Apple TV app helps it along the way.

Yahoo Finance reaches for the television

Yahoo Finance continues its push toward the television screen. Earlier this year the service announced a distribution partnership withYahoo Finance full screen The Roku Channel. Today, the service becomes available on the Apple TV in a standalone app. It provides free access to live-streamed market coverage and a mix of on-demand content and exclusive content.

The Yahoo Finance press release says the service already reaches five million unique users each week. Viewers to shows like Market Movers and The Final Round have attracted an audience of 400,000, up 50% over last year.

Yahoo Finance is increasing the amount of live daily programming to deliver bell-to-bell coverage starting in January 2019. Early next year, it will also introduce Yahoo Finance Premium, a paid subscription offering premium tools, proprietary data, and research.

As Yahoo Finance gears up to take on TV channels like CNBC, being on the television screen is important to success. However, the reasons for being there are much simpler than competing with a rival. The television delivers two critical things: reach and engagement.

TV homes inch up, penetration slides

According to Nielsen, the number of U.S. television homes in the 2018-19 season will reach 119.9 million, increasing a scant 0.3% from the previous year. The number of homes with a TV set has increased by 5.4 million, or 5%, over the last 11 years.

However, the penetration of TVs in U.S. homes has been losing ground. The US Census Bureau reports that there are 127.6 million occupied homes in the U.S. in 2018. In other words, TV penetration of all homes is 94%. In 2008, there were 117.2 million homes, and TV penetration stood at 97.7%.

US TV homes and Total homes

That said, the television is still the best way for Yahoo Finance to reach someone with the service’s shows and, most importantly, video ads. Moreover, Yahoo Finance does not need to part of the traditional TV ecosystem to do it.

Connected TVs are the norm in U.S. homes

According to data from Leichtman Research, three-quarters of U.S. TV households have at least one connected TV device. What’s more, almost half of TV homes have a standalone TV device, like a Roku or Apple TV. Smart TVs are present in 30% of TV homes.

The most important connected TV platform is Roku. The company’s players and Roku-powered smart TVs reach 24 million active users. According to Parks Research, Amazon Fire TV is close behind Roku in the player market, with Apple TV a close third.

Other important connected TV platforms include Samsung, LG, and Vizio. Game consoles are also present in 40% of Wi-Fi homes in the U.S., but these devices are unlikely to be important for Yahoo Finance.

Expect Yahoo Finance to deliver more apps for other top connected TV platforms soon.

Connected TV the place to be for engagement

Yahoo Finance is already available to most people through its apps in the Google Play and iTunes app stores. However, mobile screens can’t deliver engagement like the television. Average viewing sessions exceed 70 minutes for premium content on the connected TV. Tablet viewing delivers 42 minutes sessions, while the PC and smartphone can manage only half of TV’s session time.

For an ad-supported service like Yahoo Finance, viewing times are everything. Which explains why the service is so focused on the television screen.

Why it matters

Yahoo Finance is boosting live content to cover the whole trading day, bringing it into competition with TV channels like CNBC.

However, the service doesn’t need a cable TV channel to compete.

It can reach most people on the big screen through connected TV devices.

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