It's the beginning of a new era at The New York Times, as Arthur Gregg (A.G.) Sulzberger, son of the now-retired New York Times Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr, has started as publisher of The Gray Lady. Read his first public memo as publisher.
David Bohrman, former Current TV President and former CNN Washington bureau chief and chief innovation officer at CNN Worldwide, is launching a new over-the-top (OTT) video service that will cater to progressive Americans, called the Political Voices Network (PVN).
Why it matters: Bohrman argues there has been a vacancy of progressive voices in the video space compared to the right. On the "left" he sees only The Young Turks as being a viable competitor, compared to many more consumer options for video streaming on the right, like Glenn Beck's The Blaze, One American News Network (OANN), Newsmax, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin's CRTV, and more.
From a business perspective, more consumers are looking to streaming options for news and sports, two topics that are mostly still watched live. Bohrman says he is interested in expanding to sports in the future.
Microsoft, along with a slew of smaller telecom companies, is launching a new issue advocacy coalition that aims to eliminate the digital divide is rural America. Connect Americans Now is part of a greater push by the company and others to close the broadband gap by using TV "white spaces" spectrum – or vacant airwaves between TV stations that are generally cheaper than fiber optic cable.
Most of the major advertising holding companies — like WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, IPG, Dentsu Aegis Network and Havas — posted little to no growth in 2017, AdExchanger reports.
The pain points:
The bright side:
Our thought bubble: Ad agencies, which bill a significant amount of their time to digital services, are facing the same pain on the media buying side as publishers are on the selling side. Tech has gobbled up the once-lucrative margins from traditional advertising, like print and TV, on all sides.
Sunday Night Football was still the number one show in prime time this fall, despite total viewership dropping 10% year-over-year and viewership in the key advertising demo dropping 13% year-over-year. However, NBC cancelled its last Sunday Night game of the season this past weekend, which was probably a smart move considering the last time it aired a New Years Eve game, it saw a 25% audience drop.
Facebook and Universal Music struck a multi-year licensing deal just before the holiday to let users across all Facebook media properties use recorded music and publishing catalogs for video across Facebook.
Just days before, YouTube and Universal Music Group announced a "global, multi-year agreement," and Bloomberg reported that the tech giant also struck a deal with Sony Music giving YouTube music licenses from three of the biggest record labels: Universal, Sony and Warner.
Why it matters: The negotiations are a sign of improving relations between the music industry and tech giants. Labels have argued for years that YouTube in particular did not offer strict copyright protections or pay music creators fairly.
There's a bright spot for labels and music creators in the quest to monetize their music. More music is increasingly being streamed from audio services with less copyright problems, like Spotify and Apple Music, than video that's often user-generated, per Nielsen's 2017 Mid-Year Music report.
A lot of that video streaming presumably comes from YouTube. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the global trade group that represents the recording industry, says in its latest Music Consumer Insights report that user-upload services are the dominant form of music streaming. It says YouTube alone accounts for 46% of all time spent listening to on-demand music.
CNN aired its first live TV commercial during its annual New Year's Eve telecast on Sunday night. Per AdAge, "Live commercials have been gaining traction as TV networks look for ways to attract marketers frustrated with consumers' tendency to tune out standard ads."
Why it matters: "Live ads present the opportunity for brands to create context, not just buy it," says Laura Correnti, executive vice president and managing director of Giant Spoon, the agency that executed the ad placement.