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Situational awareness: The advertising world's annual Upfront presentations in New York City are beginning to fall victim to the coronavirus.
Quibi, the mobile video streaming service set to launch next month, has capped its ad partnerships for its first year, according to executives.
Details: The 10 exclusive partners include Progressive, Discover, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, AB InBev, Taco Bell, Pepsi, T-Mobile, Google and Walmart.
How it works: Companies can run a pre-roll ad of 6, 10 or 15 seconds before an episode of any show. Each brand will exclusively sponsor each episode of a show.
The big picture: All advertisers will be encouraged to leverage Quibi's "turnstyle" technology, which allows users to seamlessly switch between vertical and horizontal video on their phones.
Be smart: Whitman told Axios in an interview in January that she expects the majority of subscribers to Quibi's service to choose the ad-supported tier, which puts more pressure on the company to get the ad experience right.
Co-founders John Heilemann (left) and John Battelle (right). Photo: The Recount.
Recount Media, a short-form political video startup created by veteran journalists John Battelle and John Heilemann, has raised $13 million its Series A funding round, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: The round includes strategic media companies as partners, instead of just financial investors. "It's better to have big companies looking out for us and rooting for us than a bunch of purely financial investors around the table," Battelle tells Axios.
Details: The round is being led by Union Square Ventures.
Investors who participated in Recount’s seed round include Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures, Ron Conway’s SV Angel and Robert Wolf’s 32 Ventures.
The Recount is in talks with dozens of distribution channels, including tech companies like Google and Amazon, smart TV companies like Samsung and Roku, and streaming TV companies, like FuboTV and Quibi.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Pricey mergers are forcing some of the biggest media giants to shed assets that are no longer necessary to their core business, most of which are now streaming.
Driving the news: NBCUniversal quietly sold its entire $500 million stake in Snapchat earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Other media giants are shedding non-digital assets in efforts to alleviate debt.
The bottom line: Investments that were once the "shiny new media thing" have either become "big media" themselves or didn't turn out to be the jackpots their backers and acquirers desired.
Meanwhile, new upstarts are getting funding.
Go deeper: Media companies wrestle with high debt loads
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Vox Media, the parent company to brands like The Verge, SB Nation, GrubStreet and more, is partnering with Google to create a new local advertising network called "Concert Local."
Why it matters: The marketplace will bring together ad inventory from many local news publishers, making it easier for big, national advertisers to target local news audiences.
Be smart: The new marketplace is an extension of Vox Media's existing national ad marketplace, called Concert, and its existing software licensing business, Chorus and Coral.
The Washington Post is tripling investment in Zeus, its revenue technology arm, sources tell Axios. The Post licenses Zeus products to other media companies to help them drive more ad revenue and create better user experiences.
Why it matters: The ad tech ecosystem for publishers for so long has been dominated by tech companies that don't know a lot about journalism or media. Now, media companies are creating their own tech solutions to become less reliant on them.
Driving the news: The Post is planning to add 20 new people to its a team of ten Zeus staffers, according to sources familiar with The Post's plans.
The big picture: The first wave of publishing tech that came to market from media companies focused on content management systems. The second wave is focusing on revenue optimization tools.
Go deeper: More about Zeus.
Efforts from Vox Media and The Post are meant to put more dollars in the hands of local publishers, who are struggling to win dollars from big national brands.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The PGA Tour has struck a 9-year deal with CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN for around $680 million, Variety reports. That's up from roughly $400 million in the last TV distribution deal.
Why it matters: The value of distributing professional golf in the U.S. is increasing as more TV networks clamor to hold live sports rights. In the streaming era, live sports are keeping traditional TV alive.
The big picture: The PGA Tour, perhaps better than most leagues, has been finding ways to capitalize on the sports streaming rights frenzy in the U.S. and abroad.
Many of the coronavirus stories getting shared the most on social media are packaged to drive fear rather than build understanding about the illness, Axios' Neal Rothschild and I write from NewsWhip data.
Why it matters: Social media greases and amplifies dramatic headlines, while more functional or nuanced information gets squashed.
The big picture: New research from scientists at Northeastern University suggests that contagions can spread faster in some cases due to misinformation spreading online.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook have struggled with ways label misinformation without appearing biased or without baiting users to game the system.
Why it matters: It may seem obvious that tech companies should let users know when something is false, but sometimes, calling out false content can have unintended consequences.
Driving the news: Twitter on Sunday placed a "manipulated media" label on an edited video of 2020 candidate Joe Biden delivering a speech. It appeared to be the first time Twitter used that label to call out a visual that it considers to have been doctored with the intention of manipulating users.
Our thought bubble: Often when a platform labels something as manipulated or false, its label is weaponized or slammed for being used in a biased manner.