Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

After more than six months of negotiations, Nexstar Media Group has struck a deal with Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery to acquire a 75 percent stake in The CW Network. Paramount and WBD will each continue to hold a 12.5 percent stake in The CW and will continue to provide scripted programming for it through the 2022-23 season after the deal closes, which Nexstar expects to happen in Q3. Financial terms were not disclosed, though Variety reports Nexstar is not paying cash, but rather assuming “a large chunk” of The CW’s “more than $100 million” in debt. Continue reading Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

Direct-to-Consumer Marketers Seek Social Media Alternatives

Direct-to-consumer startups that previously relied mainly on Facebook and Instagram to reach customers continue to adapt strategies more than a year after Apple’s privacy policy revisions forced massive change on the digital advertising sector. Brands that were marketing before Apple’s privacy changes took effect last year had an opportunity to build customer bases using the uniquely specific targeting opportunities once offered by social media. Newer entities, however, are struggling to get a toehold as they search for comparable tools, looking well beyond the traditional social platforms. Continue reading Direct-to-Consumer Marketers Seek Social Media Alternatives

Meta Adds Facebook Challenges and Expands Monetization

In an effort to expand payment opportunities for creators of popular original video content, Meta Platforms is updating its Reels Play bonus program, adding Facebook Challenges and rolling out new insights for Reels Play creators. Successful Facebook Challenge videos will enable creators to earn “up to $4,000 in a given month,” according to Meta, which says it will “also explore the ability for eligible creators to earn a share of revenue on crossposted Reels via overlay ads” from videos that appear on both Facebook and Instagram. Continue reading Meta Adds Facebook Challenges and Expands Monetization

Disney+ Service to Debut in 42 More Countries This Summer

The Disney+ streaming video service, which launched in November 2019 and is already available in 64 countries, plans to launch in 42 additional countries and 11 new territories sometime this summer. The announcement did not include exact release dates or regional pricing, but the scope of the expansion should help the platform jumpstart subscriber growth to better compete with other streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Max. The expansion plans should also steer Disney toward its previously predicted target of 230 million subscribers before the end of 2024. Disney+ already had 118 million global subscribers by the end of last year. Continue reading Disney+ Service to Debut in 42 More Countries This Summer

Facebook Adds a Professional Mode to Expand Creator Base

Select Facebook creators in the U.S. will have access to more data and revenue opportunities through the social platform’s new “Professional” mode. Previously exclusive to Facebook Pages, creators can now access audience analytics and, by invite-only for now, earn up to $35,000 per month with qualifying video content through a Reels Play bonus program. For creators who are already using Pages, Facebook is adding a Professional Dashboard to access more insights and productivity tools. The goal is to help creators track shares, reactions and comments to their posts in order to make more informed decisions and grow their audiences. Continue reading Facebook Adds a Professional Mode to Expand Creator Base

TikTok Debuts New Tools, Opportunities for Content Creators

TikTok has launched features that offer new ways for content creators to get direct support from their fans, rewards for their creativity, and possible business collaborations. The Creator Next portal enables eligible creators to monetize their content by receiving Video Gifts for their short videos and Tips processed by Stripe. The social platform has also decided to open its TikTok Creator Marketplace (TTCM), launched in 2019, to more creators. Now, TikTok creators with more than 10,000 followers can register in TTCM “to collaborate with brands on opportunities that fit their interests and creative style, opening up new ways to get paid.” Continue reading TikTok Debuts New Tools, Opportunities for Content Creators

Reddit Integrates Dubsmash Video Features into Its Own App

Reddit is shutting down its short-form video platform, Dubsmash, on February 22, 2022. As a result, Dubsmash will no longer be available to download from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store, and the downloaded app will cease to function. After acquiring Dubsmash in 2020, Reddit has been working on integrating its own video-sharing functions with Dubsmash. The integrated version will add several new features, including creative video editing, voice-over, and multiple filters for users to apply to their short clips. In addition, a new video streaming feature was added to the app exclusively for iOS users back in August. Continue reading Reddit Integrates Dubsmash Video Features into Its Own App

Amazon Prime Video Is First to Launch a Clip-Sharing Feature

Amazon is adding an interactive clip-sharing feature to its Prime Video streaming service that allows users to share short video clips from Amazon Originals via social media and direct message. The feature is available for Amazon series “The Boys,” “The Wilds,” “Invincible” and “Fairfax,” with plans to expand to other original TV shows and movies in the future. Users can click on the “Share a clip” button while watching the content, and the app will generate a 30-second clip. Amazon is the first major streaming platform to introduce such a video-sharing feature. For the initial rollout, the feature is only available for iOS users in the U.S. Continue reading Amazon Prime Video Is First to Launch a Clip-Sharing Feature

Universal Signs New Streaming Deals with Peacock, Amazon

Starting next year, Comcast’s streaming service Peacock will begin to show movies from sister company Universal Pictures, sidestepping a long-time deal with HBO for initial TV rights. The 2022 movies — which will reach Peacock no more than four months after theatrical release — include the next “Jurassic World” and the new “Halloween” movies. In addition, Amazon has signed a multiyear deal with Universal to bring the studio’s movies to Prime Video and IMDb TV following their four-month runs on Peacock. Under the new deal, Universal movies will be available on Amazon for 10 months and then return to Peacock for another four months. Continue reading Universal Signs New Streaming Deals with Peacock, Amazon

TikTok’s Three-Minute Videos Let Creators Expand, Monetize

ByteDance-owned TikTok revealed that over the coming weeks it would introduce the ability to share videos of up to three minutes on its platform. TikTok debuted with 15-second videos and later expanded to 60-second videos. TikTok product manager Drew Kirchhoff said the longer videos will give creators “the canvas to create new or expanded types of content … with the flexibility of a bit more space.” With 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., TikTok is now facing competition from Instagram Reels and Snapchat’s Spotlight in an evolving video landscape that could impact the streaming wars. Continue reading TikTok’s Three-Minute Videos Let Creators Expand, Monetize

Roku Expands Advertising, Charts Strategy for New Originals

When Netflix founder Reed Hastings spun out Roku, the streaming video box in development, in 2008 and then sold his Roku shares to Menlo Ventures, he had no idea that this stake today would be worth almost $7 billion. Roku grew exponentially during COVID-19, with its shares rising 480+ percent from March 17, 2020; its market capitalization is now $45+ billion. The company, which went public in 2017, has become the dominant “intermediary” for streaming video distribution, with distribution to 50+ million households. Roku is now focusing on original content while continuing to expand its advertising.

Continue reading Roku Expands Advertising, Charts Strategy for New Originals

Rotten Tomatoes to Debut Channel on Roku, Peacock, Xumo

Rotten Tomatoes has been synonymous with movie scores since it was cooked up by three UC Berkeley undergrads in 1998. The site aggregates reviews from professional critics and provides a “Tomatometer” that averages out the reviews with a Fresh rating when 60 percent or more are positive or Rotten if it goes below that threshold. It also provides an audience score, based on what Rotten Tomatoes users think. Now, the company is debuting an ad-supported OTT service called the Rotten Tomatoes Channel, currently on Roku, to offer nonstop content and a lifestyle brand. Continue reading Rotten Tomatoes to Debut Channel on Roku, Peacock, Xumo

YouTube to Reward Creators of Shorts with $100 Million Fund

YouTube unveiled its $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund, which rewards creators who post the most engaging clips on its new “TikTok-style” feature. The program will debut in Fall 2021 and continue into 2022. Shorts was introduced in India before debuting in the U.S. in March. Regarding monetization, YouTube plans to experiment, including testing ads, sometime this year. YouTube Shorts director of global partnership enablement Amy Singer said the company will “reach out” to thousands of creators every month. Continue reading YouTube to Reward Creators of Shorts with $100 Million Fund

ViacomCBS: Q1 Profit Jumps, More Content for Paramount+

ViacomCBS, owner of CBS, Showtimes and Nickelodeon, reported Q1 revenue surged 14 percent year-over-year to $7.41 billion, up from almost $6.5 billion. Its attributable net income also rose 79 percent to $899 million, compared with $501 in the same quarter last year, for $1.42 per share versus last year’s 81 cents a share. The company’s total streaming subscriber base is 36 million, an addition of 6 million global streaming subscribers, and, led by Paramount+, streaming revenue rose 65 percent to $816 million. Continue reading ViacomCBS: Q1 Profit Jumps, More Content for Paramount+

Roku Q1 Results Exceed Wall Street Expectation for Revenue

In Q1, Roku reported a 35 percent jump in active accounts, to 53.6 million, with revenue up 79 percent year-over-year to $574.2 million, beating Wall Street analysts’ expectation of $490.6 million. Those analysts also predicted that Roku would lose money in Q1 but instead it reaped an operating income of $75.8 million, up from $55.2 million in the red a year ago. Platform revenue increased 101 percent to $466.5 million. Total streaming hours on all Roku devices also reached 18.3 billion hours, a 49 percent YoY increase. Continue reading Roku Q1 Results Exceed Wall Street Expectation for Revenue