Good morning from Long Beach, where media and marketing execs are gathered for the annual WORLDZ summit.
Today's Media Trends is 1,875 words, a 7 minute read.
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Snapchat is creating a dedicated news channel specifically for the 2020 debates, and working with candidates to increase their visibility on Snapchat through efforts with augmented reality and even merchandise sales.
Why it matters: The company is doing more to increase civic and political engagement on its platform as it readies a more aggressive push into news, sources tell Axios.
Details: The curated "Democratic Primary Debate Channel" will be live on September 12 during the debate, as well as the following morning, targeted to select users who are interested in news and political content.
Be smart: Sources tell Axios that part of Snap's pitch for politicians to get more involved in the platform around debates is that the debate channel will increase their exposure to a key voting demographic, elevating their stories and content for youngsters who don't necessarily opt-in to receive political content.
Snapchat is also investing more in political news programming. It recently moved its political news show "Good Luck America," hosted by Peter Hamby, from weekly to daily, upon seeing that political news consumption is becoming more of a daily habit of Snapchat users.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Senior executives from 8 major newspaper publishing companies will head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to convince lawmakers to do something about the dominance of tech companies over content creators, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: This will be just the 2nd time that the newspaper industry has sent members to formally lobby members of Congress. It speaks to the major increase in lobbying efforts that the newspaper industry has used in recent years to combat the economic decline of its industry.
"Our challenge is that this industry has no history of publishers talking to members about their businesses because there weren’t really any federal issues for them to lobby for a long time."— David Chavern, President and CEO News Media Alliance
Details: Leaders from The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, Tribune Publishing Company, News Corps, Star Tribune, Gannett, The Post and Courier in Charleston and Philadelphia Media Network will meet with lawmakers one-on-one to rally support for their anti-trust safe harbor bill and to educate them about the economic plight of the newspaper industry.
Despite economic hardships, newspapers are still the most frequent producers of original local stories, according to a new report from researchers at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy.
Why it matters: Newspapers are often relied on in local markets to help break local stories that are then elevated by local television and radio. Because local newspaper closures are outpacing their local broadcast and radio counterparts, one can expect less original reporting to flow through the entire local news ecosystem.
Beginning this week, all NBC and Telemundo-owned local TV stations will use impressions instead of traditional ratings points to measure an ad campaign’s effectiveness, according to an agency pitch document obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: Local TV and radio are the last forms of media to still rely on traditional ratings points to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Nearly every other type of media uses the cost per impression (CPM) to measure an ad's effectiveness.
Be smart: Most local TV stations have websites and apps that distribute content on multiple platforms besides live, linear broadcast, but an antiquated ratings system has made it hard for them to sell against any kind of digital viewership.
How it works: Broadly, by switching from ratings to impression-based measurement, media buyers can target more people. That's because there are a number of areas that are too small to create a ratings point, so agencies couldn't target long-tail TV audiences in more remote communities.
The big picture: Most agencies don't transact on impressions at the local broadcast level, says Kathy Doyle, EVP of Local Investment at MAGNA Global. "We were the first ones, and as far as I know. The other media agencies I've spoken to were talking about putting it in place for 2020, last I heard."
What's next: Expect other local television groups to move to impressions quickly. Once agencies begin transacting at the local level for one group via impressions, the entire ecosystem will follow.
The bottom line: "This is a game-changer for local," says Frank Comerford, the chief revenue officer and president of commercial operations for NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.
In today's over-saturated media world, Hollywood executives and rising stars know they've made it big when they're able to sell out live events, not just create a hit TV show, podcast or video channel.
What's new: New data from Vivid Seats shows that the amount of live events based off TV dramas and characters has increased dramatically, allowing big media companies and stars to make loads of cash off the small screen.
The big picture: A similar event is happening across all mediums. As Axios noted last month, podcast events are making a killing from live events.
Some fun surprises from the data:
Our thought bubble: Before the era of smartphones and TV everywhere, celebrities would know they made it big if they got picked up on television or radio. Now, they know they've made it big if they can sell out a live show.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T yesterday, setting up a battle to oust CEO Randall Stephenson, Axios' Dan Primack writes.
Why it matters: Elliott believes that AT&T shares have underperformed for the past decade and pins much of the blame on its strategy of building a conglomerate in an age of vertical focus. This includes criticism of its deals for:
Almost immediately after the news broke, analysts began speculating whether a merger between DirecTV and Dish, the other largest U.S. satellite business, is possible, or if it was worth it for AT&T to spin out the business.
Be smart: This might be a decision AT&T already agrees with, as we've been hearing divestiture rumblings (perhaps reflected by AT&T switching the name of its skinny bundle from DirecTV Now to AT&T Now).
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook, as well as newer direct-to-consumer (DTC) tech upstarts like Away and Peloton, are driving advertising growth for legacy industries like traditional TV and out-of-home (billboard) companies.
Why it matters: The very industry that's upending legacy media companies is also the one keeping their ad businesses afloat.
Flashback: In the late '90s, spending by dotcom-era tech companies flooded print outlets, particularly magazines and newspapers, with cash. When that market collapsed at the turn of the millennium, print began a long decline that hasn't yet ended.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
As Netflix continues to expand its presence around the globe, it is increasingly investing in the production and distribution of localized, foreign-language content designed to woo international audiences, Axios' Shane Savitsky writes.
Why it matters: Hollywood has long been seen as the global cultural force, shipping both American values and the English language worldwide.