YouTube CBO Robert Kyncl Exiting, Mary Ellen Coe Steps Up

After a 12-year run that saw YouTube emerge as the dominant U.S. social video platform, chief business officer Robert Kyncl announced he is stepping aside. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that Google president of global customer solutions Mary Ellen Coe will assume the role of CBO, effective October 3, with Kyncl continuing as part of YouTube’s executive team until early 2023 during the transition. Known as YouTube’s Hollywood connection, Kyncl was ultimately unable to transition YouTube into the long-form streaming platform Google once envisioned, but he oversaw its rise to short-form video powerhouse. Continue reading YouTube CBO Robert Kyncl Exiting, Mary Ellen Coe Steps Up

Peacock Offers Shows for Next-Day Streaming at New Price

Peacock is having a sale for new customers in September. As part of “a special Fall celebratory offer,” the rate for a Premium plan will be reduced from $4.99 a month to “just $1.99 a month,” or $19.99 for the year. Premium subscribers see up to 5 minutes of ads per hour and can stream news and first-run entertainment content next-day. Peacock also offers an ad-free Premium Plus plan for $9.99 per month and a free Basic plan that has ads but no next-day streaming. September will also be the month Peacock adds current NBC and Bravo shows for next-day streaming. Continue reading Peacock Offers Shows for Next-Day Streaming at New Price

‘Fortnite’ Metaverse Build-Out Gets iHeartLand Music Venue

Epic Games is getting another major venue in its “Fortnite” metaverse with an iHeartMedia digital headquarters. The complex, iHeartLand, includes a main stage, recording studio and game park. An interesting example of how virtual reality is mapping IRL commercially, the concert venue struck a naming rights deal with insurance company State Farm. In addition to avatar concerts, State Farm Park features a large screen that can display 2D performances, the format chosen by inaugural guest Charlie Puth for his September 9 show. Continue reading ‘Fortnite’ Metaverse Build-Out Gets iHeartLand Music Venue

Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

July was the first month in which streaming has overtaken cable viewing, according to Nielsen’s monthly snapshot The Gauge, which reports streaming captured a record 34.8 percent share of total U.S. TV viewership, cable 34.4 percent and broadcast 21.6 percent. While streaming has exceeded broadcast’s viewing share before, this is the first time it also exceeded cable, said Nielsen Global Media’s Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy and thought leadership. Audiences spent 23 percent more time streaming content than they did in July 2021, 9 percent less time watching cable and 10 percent less time watching broadcast television. Continue reading Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

Apple Pursues Podcasts as Subjects for Streaming TV Series

Apple is making a big push for original podcasts that have the potential to be turned into shows for Apple TV+. The company has signed a deal with Futuro, producer of the criminal-justice podcast “Suave,” and has already spent about $10 million on the push, led by Apple TV Studios. Apple recently announced original podcasts with companies including Pineapple Street Studios, Campside Media, Jigsaw Productions and At Will Media. Apple TV+ has already adapted existing podcasts including Wondery’s “The Shrink Next Door” (starring Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell) and “WeCrashed” (with Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway). Continue reading Apple Pursues Podcasts as Subjects for Streaming TV Series

Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

It was a successful fiscal third quarter for The Walt Disney Company, which saw revenue jump 26 percent and profits up 54 percent compared to the same period in 2021. The company, celebrating its centenary, had revenue of $21.5 billion and profits of $1.41 billion (77 cents a share) for the three months ending July 2. Theme park revenue was up more than 70 percent, to $7.4 billion, as the company continued to shake COVID-19 contractions. For an added flourish, Disney+ grew a whopping 31 percent worldwide, adding 14.4 million subscribers to top out at 152 million. Continue reading Record $7.4B in Theme Parks Propels Profit Surge for Disney

Warner Bros. Discovery Explores Adding a New FAST Service

Warner Bros. Discovery reported Thursday that the number of direct-to-consumer subscribers to HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+ was up 1.7 million since the close of Q1, for a total of 92.1 million subs. As part of its effort to reach a broader streaming audience, the company plans to launch a combined subscription version of HBO Max and Discovery+ in summer of 2023. CEO David Zaslav revealed that the company is also exploring a free ad-supported TV service. “We see potential,” Zaslav said of launching a discrete FAST service, one that may offer different content from what is currently available on the premium VOD platforms. Continue reading Warner Bros. Discovery Explores Adding a New FAST Service

Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Amazon is rolling out a redesigned Prime Video app for Android and connected living room devices, including Fire TV for customers worldwide, with iOS and web to follow. The company says the new interface will make discovery and navigation much easier. Among the visual enhancements are a Top 10 Chart showcasing trending Prime Video content and “Super Carousel” displays with “poster-style artwork” for Amazon Originals. Also emphasized is graphical distinction between content included with Prime memberships versus that which is available for general purchase. Continue reading Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Disney Enters a Cross-Platform Ad Deal with The Trade Desk

Disney Advertising has entered into a deal with global ad tech firm The Trade Desk that will allow advertisers “to buy once to deliver everywhere across Disney.” Rita Ferro, president of ad sales, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said the pact leverages years Disney has spent “investing in our data and technology” to create solutions that use precision targeting “in a privacy-focused way.” The Trade Desk will utilize data from the Disney Clean Room, a repository of first-party data Disney has collected from customers combining it with consumer data produced by the Unified ID 2.0 industry framework. Continue reading Disney Enters a Cross-Platform Ad Deal with The Trade Desk

Peacock and Paramount+ Generate Bulk of Q1 SVOD Growth

Those who thought Netflix’s losses in Q1 meant consumers were falling out of love with premium SVOD subscriptions overall are wrong, according to research firm Antenna, which has issued a new report indicating the streaming category continues to grow, up 4 percent in Q1 compared to Q4 2021, with a 24.7 percent jump compared to the same period the prior year. The growth the first quarter of 2022 “was largely driven by Peacock and Paramount+,” according to Antenna, which says the “two services combined to add over 6.1 million U.S. subscribers,” 80 percent of category growth. Continue reading Peacock and Paramount+ Generate Bulk of Q1 SVOD Growth

Upfronts: YouTube Promotes Talent, Google Advertising Tech

YouTube’s Brandcast presentation at the TV upfronts focused on the platform’s massive consumer reach, popular influencers and technology solutions. In a Tuesday evening presentation at New York’s Imperial Theatre, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki messaged that now “YouTube is the mainstream,” a contention supported by Nielsen findings that in October the video streamer reached about 230 million U.S. viewers 18 and older. Leveraging sisterly synergy, the company unveiled a new ad frequency cap that lets marketers use Google Ads to set limits on how often ads will stream to specific IP addresses, which has ramifications for services beyond YouTube. Continue reading Upfronts: YouTube Promotes Talent, Google Advertising Tech

Disney Reports Strong Revenue and Subscriber Growth for Q2

Disney+ outperformed its subscriber goals, helping The Walt Disney Company to 23 percent revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter, ended April 2. “Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services — with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million — once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek summarized for investors. Disney+ now reaches 137.7 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney Reports Strong Revenue and Subscriber Growth for Q2

Peacock Announces Next-Day Bravo Shows, Lionsgate Films

Peacock premium subscribers will have streaming access to Bravo shows the day after they air on the NBCUniversal sister service, which has also secured a multiyear output deal with Lionsgate for movies that will begin streaming in 2024. “Bravo fans have another reason to celebrate” in addition to the recent news that BravoCon is returning to New York City this October, NBCUniversal touted. Starting this week, new seasons of Bravo hits “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Top Chef” and “Below Deck” will be available on Peacock the day after air. Continue reading Peacock Announces Next-Day Bravo Shows, Lionsgate Films

Hot Topics at SXSW: NFTs and a Possibility of Ads on Netflix

Having risen to the position of world’s largest television network largely on the strength of its ad-free programming, there are now predictions that Netflix will over the next few years begin streaming advertisements. Fueled by a perceived softening in tone toward commercials by Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann at a recent investor conference, an analyst at the Variety Intelligence Platform’s “Future of Content” event at SXSW told festival attendees the change would come due to competition from so-called FAST channels — “free ad-supported streaming television.” Continue reading Hot Topics at SXSW: NFTs and a Possibility of Ads on Netflix

CNN Readies Launch of Subscription Streaming News Outlet

WarnerMedia’s CNN is expected to charge $5.99 per month for its subscription-video streaming news outlet, CNN+, when it rolls out this spring. Early subscribers who sign up for CNN+ during the initial four-week promotion will pay $2.99 and have the option of CNN+ for life at 50 percent off the regular price, as long as the subscription is kept active. While many TV news networks have been launching free, ad-supported streaming outlets, CNN+ will reportedly run the same price as Fox Nation. The news network hopes that CNN+ will attract consumers growing up without cable and help the brand transition to a post-pay TV world. Continue reading CNN Readies Launch of Subscription Streaming News Outlet