Apple to Expand Hollywood Ambitions with Regional Campus

Apple is expanding its Los Angeles footprint, building new regional headquarters in the northern part of Culver City. Construction is in progress on two adjacent buildings comprising more than 550,000 square feet on a lot flanked by National, Venice and Washington boulevards. Apple says the complex will house teams working on Apple TV+, Apple Music, engineering and artificial intelligence at a site near the new Ivy Station development and Metro Expo Line stop. Apple already has more than 1,500 employees working in a leased 128,000-square-foot Culver City office.  Continue reading Apple to Expand Hollywood Ambitions with Regional Campus

Nielsen Claims New Suite Captures 100 Percent of Streaming

Nielsen is relaunching its streaming measurement solutions as a single suite of ad-supported and subscription-based services that now captures 100 percent of activity across content, ads and platforms, the New York-based ratings and analytics firm says. Embattled of late after decades as measurement’s gold standard, Nielsen says its new emphasis on one-stop streaming measurement comes as U.S. consumers “now spend over a quarter of their total TV time” streaming. The new suite aims to give content creators, platforms, studios and advertisers a detailed look at who is streaming, what they’re watching, when and for how long. Continue reading Nielsen Claims New Suite Captures 100 Percent of Streaming

Disney+ Leverages Social Platforms to Draw Streaming Subs

After analyzing hundreds of social media ad campaigns by the top streaming ad platforms, BrandTotal has found that Disney+ is leading in paid share-of-voice, with 30 percent of all impressions. HBO Max is next with 23 percent, with Hulu in third place at 21 percent. The top-five included Peacock with 16 percent and Paramount+ at 7 percent. Meanwhile, the report found Apple TV+ and Netflix to be the least active social media advertisers, with 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively. BrandTotal’s report — Social Intelligence Competitive Snapshot: The Streaming Wars — analyzed paid social advertising campaigns over 90 days beginning June 23, 2021. Continue reading Disney+ Leverages Social Platforms to Draw Streaming Subs

Hollywood Is Hiring Social Media Stars for Film and Television

The clout of social media in traditional entertainment is recognized with coverage in The Wall Street Journal, which reports Netflix paid 20-year-old TikTok star Addison Rae more than $20 million as a lead in the romantic comedy “He’s All That,” the top U.S. performer on the streaming service upon its August premiere. A documentary series featuring TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio launched on Disney’s Hulu service this month, while producer Brent Montgomery, with credits including reality TV hits such as “Duck Dynasty” and “Pawn Stars” has sold Netflix “The Hype House,” about influencer roomies. Continue reading Hollywood Is Hiring Social Media Stars for Film and Television

YouTube TV Carries Networks for Spanish-Language Market

YouTube TV is expanding its Spanish-language programming, adding Univision, UniMás and Galavisión to its base membership. The YouTube TV lineup will now include sports programming like the Campeones Cup championship between the top U.S. and Mexico soccer leagues and the Latin Grammy Awards along with a panoply of telenovelas. Subscribers in top Hispanic markets will also have access to Spanish-language local news and weather. An upgrade package that offers more Spanish-language content is coming soon. In May, Google-owned YouTube TV was reported to have more than 3 million U.S. subscribers. Continue reading YouTube TV Carries Networks for Spanish-Language Market

More Americans Now Subscribing to Multiple SVOD Services

According to Leichtman Research Group, the number of U.S. consumers subscribing to more than one of the big three SVOD services — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu — more than doubled to 58 percent in 2021, up from 28 percent 2016. Overall, 78 percent of U.S. households now subscribe to one of the three, compared to 59 percent in 2016. Among those that have any of the three top-tier SVOD services, 74 percent also pay for a second service of some sort, versus 47 percent in 2016. Findings from LRG’s Emerging Video Services study are based on a survey of 2,000 households nationwide. Continue reading More Americans Now Subscribing to Multiple SVOD Services

Disney: Streaming Subscription Growth, Theme Parks Reopen

At the end of Q3, Disney+ had 116 million subscribers, exceeding the 112-115 million analysts had predicted. The most popular content included the Pixar animated feature “Luca,” superhero series “Loki” and live-action film “Cruella.” Meanwhile, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products earned a profit of $356 million. Disneyland in California reopened with limited capacity on April 30 after being closed for 14 months. Disney chief executive Bob Chapek said that park bookings are “really strong” despite the surge of COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant.  Continue reading Disney: Streaming Subscription Growth, Theme Parks Reopen

Sony’s Funimation Pursues Anime with Crunchyroll Purchase

AT&T closed the sale of its anime streamer Crunchyroll to Sony’s Funimation Global Group for $1.175 billion in cash. Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment subsidiary Aniplex. According to Sony Pictures chair and chief executive Tony Vinciquerra, the goal is to “create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.” The two services will remain separate initially. Crunchyroll currently has 5+ million paying subscribers globally and 120 million registered users in 200+ countries. Continue reading Sony’s Funimation Pursues Anime with Crunchyroll Purchase

Roku Has Plans to Offer More Quibi Shows as Roku Originals

On August 13, Roku will debut 23 new Roku Originals, acquired from Quibi’s library, which will have an exclusive, ad-free run on the Roku Channel. Roku premiered 30 Quibi shorts in May. Among the new series are “Mapleworth Murders,” a “Murder She Wrote” spoof that earned three 2021 Emmy acting nominations. Roku head of original scripted programming Colin Davis, previously a Quibi exec, noted that, “the investment in Roku Originals is already paying dividends.” Roku has “about two dozen” more Quibi shows to roll out this year. Continue reading Roku Has Plans to Offer More Quibi Shows as Roku Originals

Hello Sunshine Sold to New Media Company for $900 Million

Reese Witherspoon’s media business, Hello Sunshine, valued at about $900 million, has sold to a unnamed firm supported by Blackstone Group, which is spending $500+ million in cash to purchase shares from existing investors, including AT&T and Emerson Collective. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs will run the unnamed media company backed by Blackstone, while Witherspoon and chief executive Sarah Harden will join the board of the new venture and continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Hello Sunshine. Continue reading Hello Sunshine Sold to New Media Company for $900 Million

HBO to Stream Episodes, Enable Watch Parties on Snapchat

Thanks to a new partnership between WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and social messaging platform Snapchat, up to 64 Snapchatters will be able to co-watch full-length episodes of HBO series via the HBO Max Mini, part of the Snap Minis feature, which debuted last year to host third-party experiences through the social app. With Minis, the user can access Headspace to meditate, buy movie tickets with friends via Atom and, now, watch entire HBO episodes including pilots of “Lovecraft Country” and “Game of Thrones.” Viewers will be able to synchronize playback and watch the same title together. Continue reading HBO to Stream Episodes, Enable Watch Parties on Snapchat

Nielsen Unveils The Gauge, a Metric for Streaming Platforms

Global research firm Nielsen has unveiled The Gauge, a new metric for measuring monthly total TV and streaming audiences. The company revealed that, in May 2021, 64 percent of the time U.S. viewers watched content via network and cable TV and 26 percent of the time watched via streaming services. Another 9 percent of the time, they used their TV screens for content recorded on DVRs or playing video games. Nielsen added that streaming was at 20 percent last year and 14 percent in 2019 and that its share could go up to 33 percent by the end of 2021. Continue reading Nielsen Unveils The Gauge, a Metric for Streaming Platforms

Apple’s SharePlay to Power Watch Parties for FaceTime Users

As part of iOS 15, Apple will debut SharePlay to allow FaceTime users to stream online videos, movies and music from Apple TV or an iPad, iPhone or Mac and watch with friends while chatting — similarly to Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Houseparty. During COVID-19, the watch party feature was also adopted by Disney+, Hulu and Prime Video. SharePlay is ideally aimed at teens who are more likely to watch videos on their phones and chat. A Pew Research study showed that 59 percent of U.S. teens video-chat with friends. Continue reading Apple’s SharePlay to Power Watch Parties for FaceTime Users

Amazon to Acquire MGM in Deal Valued at Nearly $8.5 Billion

Amazon announced this morning that it will purchase MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, signaling the tech giant’s serious intent to expand its entertainment ambitions by beefing up its Prime Video content library to better compete with Netflix, Hulu and the growing collection of streaming video services. The deal marks the second largest acquisition for Amazon; the company paid $13.7 billion for Whole Foods in 2017. Amazon plans to leverage MGM’s significant catalog of 4,000 movies and 17,000 television shows to help strengthen its film and TV unit Amazon Studios. Continue reading Amazon to Acquire MGM in Deal Valued at Nearly $8.5 Billion

AT&T Creates Media Giant: Merges WarnerMedia, Discovery

AT&T announced today that it plans to combine WarnerMedia with Discovery. The deal, expected to to take effect in mid-2022 subject to regulatory approval, is a significant move for one of Hollywood’s largest studios to compete with top streaming players such as Netflix and Disney since it would combine the HBO Max and discovery+ streaming services. Under the agreement, WarnerMedia will be spun off and merged with Discovery as a new media company separate from AT&T, which could be valued as high as $150 billion. Discovery chief exec David Zaslav will run the combined business, which will be named shortly. Continue reading AT&T Creates Media Giant: Merges WarnerMedia, Discovery