Happening today: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces off with the EU Parliament this morning about data privacy and Cambridge Analytica.
Calendar alert: Europe's GDPR privacy rules go into effect on Friday.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios
American consumers are increasingly picky, impatient, distracted and demanding — and their media diets are changing so fast that most traditional industries can no longer keep up.
At the heart of the on-demand economy is a user that wants choice:
This has made users so impatient and distracted that an estimated 177.7 million U.S. adults —or 70.3% of the total population — will regularly use another digital device while watching TV this year, up 5.1% from 2016, per eMarketer.
Distracted consumers no longer tolerate commercials, which is completely upending the advertising industry. We've become accustomed to on-demand viewing where there are no ads, or digital ads that are highly relevant.
We have begun to tune out live programming, forcing leagues and entertainment groups to divvy up broadcast rights to social media and streaming companies:
The TV guide no longer cuts it: Users want recommendations and content discovery to be baked into their consumer experience, because there's more good content out there than ever before.
Roku user interface Credit: Roku
Roku, the connected TV hardware company, is quietly building a large software business, driven mostly by advertising revenue.
Why it matters: For the first time in its history, Roku says it made more money from its platform business, which includes TV software and advertising, last quarter than from hardware through sales of its connected TV device.
“Ad-supported viewing is the fastest growing segment on our platform."— Scott Rosenberg, GM/SVP Platform Business at Roku
The software play: Just as mobile hardware companies like LG and Samsung eventually migrated off of their own software platforms to market leaders' like Android and iOS, Roku CEO Anthony Wood argues that the smart TV industry is going through the same evolution.
Worth noting: Despite its push to software, Roku continues to beat out rivals Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV is connected TV device market share, according to eMarketer.
Tech companies that don't have storytelling at their core are recruiting their way into the future of TV by poaching high-end names from TV networks or household names that they know will lure viewers.
The latest: Netflix announced Monday after months of speculation that Barack and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series for Netflix.
The bigger picture: Most of the big tech companies have the scale to buy content companies, but have shied away from acquiring TV networks, and have opted instead to invest in either talent or franchises.
"People are trying to pull out the parts of the body without having to buy the whole body."— Ross Gerber, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management
Po.et, a media blockchain company, is launching partner program, and with it its first company on its blockchain called Inkrypt.
The bigger picture: While the use of blockchain is far from widespread for publishing, this is one example of how the technology could be used to solve some of journalism's greatest challenges.
How it works: The company, called Inkrypt, is a service that allows journalists (through a plugin) to store and distribute their content across several personal devices around the world instead of a single server.
What's next: Inkrypt is the first partner of a new program called Po.et Development Labs, where Po.et will encourage other companies to build publishing apps on its blockchain platform.
Stories, the tap-and-swipe vertical format for sharing pictures and videos, are poised to dominate the social web's next era — and Facebook now has the lead, even though it was Snapchat that invented and popularized them, Axios Tech Editor Scott Rosenberg writes.
Why it matters: Each generation of digital media brings new voices and firms to the fore. But right now, Facebook appears to have surmounted the Snapchat challenge — thanks to smart acquisitions, speedy product development, and the power of incumbency with billions of users.
By the numbers: Snapchat has a total of 191 million daily active users — whereas Facebook's platforms have close to a billion users just for its stories. That breaks down to:
Yes, but: Snapchat launched Stories four years ago, so it's taken Facebook some time to get to this point and inevitably, there's bound to be some overlap in the usage, so the numbers aren't mutually exclusive.
Go Deeper: Why stories have taken off
An overwhelming majority of music revenues come from subscription streaming services, and everyone wants a piece of the pie.
The bigger picture: Despite some industry cohesion around modernizing copyright laws, artists still feel disproportionately burned by the streaming economy — and those economic disincentives are causing the entire music culture to change.
"Many of my label friends aren't going to produce albums anymore, they're just releasing one song at a time. Album listening days are over. Live performances are now where all the money's being made."— Ross Gerber, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management and music artist
Meanwhile, Japanese entertainment giant Sony plans to purchase 60% of music publishing firm and record label EMI for about $2 billion, per Bloomberg, bolstering Sony’s current position as the world's largest music publisher.
Despite a huge expected increase in ad spend on local digital media, it's not enough to offset the net loss of ad dollars going to all local media — TV, radio, newspapers, out of home, etc. — which is expected to drop by roughly 27% between 2010 and 2022, according to the latest estimates from Pivotal Research.
Why it matters; Of course, the decline of local media is a factor in this, but tech firms have something to do with it, too. Ad dollars are increasingly going to tech platforms that offer better hyper-local targeting for cheaper rates.
Billboard Music Awards. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Viewership of Sunday's 2018 Billboard Music Awards hit an all-time low in the key 24-to-54-year-old demographic, according to Sunday's overnight numbers, per Variety:
Golden Globes ratings fell to a 6-year low in the prized advertising demo, per Deadline.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards, despite being simulcasted on TNT and TBS from its host network NBC in January, saw a dramatic drop in 2018. (It did compete with the NFC Championship Game, which was wrapping up when the show began.) Per TVLine:
The Grammy's had its least-watched show in the demo this past January in nine years, with 19 million viewers, per Deadline.
The Oscars: hit a new viewership low in January with 26.5 million viewers, per TVLine.
#MDWDTS = Memorial Day Weekend Down The Shore
As we approach the kick-off to summer, here's something my fellow New Jersey natives will appreciate: Why people from New Jersey go "down the shore," not "to the shore"