New players are taking on Google and Facebook in the ad-supported video space in an attempt to break down what has been an overwhelming dominance by those two companies.
Why it matters: "Video is the thing that will ultimately chip away at the duopoly," says Mike Kelly, former President of AOL Media Networks and current CEO of Kelly Newman Ventures. "Walled gardens are brought down by movements like this. Massive fragmentation in the digital video space has created an opportunity for other companies to take advantage of strong demand and lack of supply."
Sound smart: Google and Facebook's overwhelming grip on digital advertising won't be seriously threatened for a long time, but as video becomes more democratized, those companies will have to fend off competitors more aggressively than ever before.
Bloomberg's new Twitter network will launch on December 18th with six founding advertising partners: Goldman Sachs, Infiniti, TD Ameritrade, CA Technologies, AT&T and CME Group — and more are in the works.
Why it matters: The investment is a part of a major digital push by the company to stay competitive in an era where Google and Facebook have tightened their grip on the digital advertising market. "In this age of the Google/Facebook duopoly, a relentless focus on invention and innovation is the only way to succeed," says Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith. "The fruits of disruption don't and shouldn't only belong to the dominant tech (aka "Media") platforms."
More on Bloomberg's ad tech and data play in the Axios stream.
Coming off of a stellar first earnings report as a public company, Roku CEO Anthony Wood says the future of Roku is smart TV software, not its connected TV hardware product. Per eMarketer, more Americans use Roku's connected TV device than any other similar device, like Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV.
More from our interview can be found here.
Philo, the long-awaited entertainment skinny bundle with programming and investment from Viacom, AMC, A+E, Discovery, and Scripps, goes live today on Roku. The no-sports package includes 35+ channels for $16, or an additional 9 channels for $20. They have been operating in the college market for years and will launch on Roku/web/mobile today, and other OTT hardware in the future.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on Disney's earnings call last week that its new OTT entertainment product will be priced "significantly lower than Netflix." Iger says that the service will launch with less volume than Netflix but with quality content that centers around its top brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.
CBS announced on its earnings call last week that it plans to expand its entertainment skinny bundle, CBS All Access, into Canada next year, followed by Australia. It will also be launching a new comedy from and featuring Will Ferrell called No Activity and will be the future home of The Twilight Zone series. Executives told investors that revenue "sometimes tripled from what we get from traditional distributors" when subscribers switch to skinny bundles.
As more television becomes digital, the push to provide consumers with customized content discovery will only intensify. At least half of consumers (55%) look for a new content to watch at least once per week, and 83% look for it a few times per month, per PwC's new content discovery report. Content discovery is an integral part of the consumer experience: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers agree that they often struggle to find something to watch, despite there being many choices available to them. Consumers say it's much harder to find something to watch than read or listen to. If after only a few minutes a consumer can't figure out what to put on, PwC finds that one in every five people will resort to rewatching something they've already seen.PWC's data also suggests that content has a longer shelf life among consumers who rely exclusively on streaming. "Pay-TV subscribers favor shows released recently, while non-pay-TV streamers choose shows dispersed across several months or even years," according to the report. Why it matters: "Utilization of metadata and machine learning along with AI are crucial to maximizing returns on all of this investment in content," sys Greg Boyer, US Media & Entertainment Sector Advisory Leader at PwC. "User retention should grow as a recommendation becomes more intelligent and search function becomes more refined."
Tech companies are expected to begin to invest more heavily in sports distribution rights and sports content, hoping to win over rights from traditional providers as contracts begin to expire in the next few years.
GroupM's ESP Properties division has outlined the next big wave of distribution contract expirations, many they argue will be spliced and diced differently to include more digital distributors come the next round of negotiations.
Why it matters: The power is shifting to the sports rights holders, who now have the bargaining power to divide distribution contracts among many more players that reach different audiences.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said the media site is planning to go public. While the timing is uncertain, an IPO is the responsible course of action for a tech company to pursue, Huffman said while speaking at an Internet Association event in San Francisco.
More from Huffman, via Axios' Kim Hart:
Two big developments:
Why it matters: Regulators in Europe have been fighting Google's advertising and search dominance over the past year, so their efforts don't come as much of a surprise. But they are noteworthy given that the EU just fined Google $2.7 billion in June for antitrust violations.
Worth noting: The European Commission launched a series of steps to fight against fake news Monday. In doing so, it will set up a "High-Level Expert Group" and will welcome public input through February.
A handful of advertisers have pulled their ads from Fox News in response to Sean Hannity's coverage of the Roy Moore sexual harassment saga. Conservative audiences are crying foul, and bashing the products of the companies that pulled their ads, literally.
The controversy occurs just a week after Fox pulled ads from progressive mogul Tom Steyer that called for President Trump's impeachment, citing viewership complaints.
Why it matters: It's part of a growing trend where advertisers leverage their dollars to try to sway the hand of the media platform they're working with, a tactic that has picked up steam this year as advertisers have boycotted Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's shows, as well as Breitbart and YouTube.
Go deeper: A CMO Council and Dow Jones study last quarter found that 78% of the 300 senior marketers questioned believe that unintended associations with unsavory content, images, topics, audiences or conversations will hurt their brand's reputation, per Marketing Week.
Matt Drudge is blasting The Washington Post for reporting that he regularly linked to "Russian Propaganda." The conservative media tycoon has taken to his personal Twitter account to criticize the Post.
Why it's personal: Drudge is known for driving traffic to premium publishers in the digital ecosystem for years, and many publishers pitch Drudge daily on stories to put on his website.