In case you missed it, this week’s Streaming Buzz: the merger of AT&T and Time Warner revives targeted adverting hopes once again, Netflix raises millions more for content and weighs in on said big merger, Martha Stewart is killin’ it on Facebook Live, and Apple makes a move to make cord cutting easier.
There’s more, so read on…
How the AT&T Time Warner Merger Could Change Streaming TV Advertising
Most expect the process to thumbs up or thumbs down the proposed $85 billion dollar merger between the two conglomerates to take a long time, but if AT&T were to get the green light on pulling in Time Warner, Inc. into its fold, the prospects of getting closer to targeted addressable TV advertising may brighten.
According to the New York Times, the efforts to get closer to the digital advertising target model, one that can tap many points of data to serve the right ad to the right audience versus linear TV’s spray-and-pray approach, goes back more than ten years.
Speaking at the WSJD technology conference, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, stated that in combination with AT&T’s vast troves of data and Time Warner’s wealth of content, they could become a powerhouse in the space of enabling viewers to enjoy fewer interruptions and see ads for “the products you’re interested in, not the ones you don’t need to see.”
This could put their entity (what is it going to be called…AT&T&TW?) in a position to be a viable alternative to ad spending on Google and Facebook, or on other streaming services like YouTube and Hulu who are already practicing addressable targeting, although, as a user of both, it really doesn’t seem like it (Hulu, please stop playing the same Coffee Mate commercial “every time” during the break). And if only news websites like Fortune, Huffington Post, and Macworld could use their troves of data in the way that Facebook and AdWords do. Maybe my MacBook wouldn’t act like it’s going to seize up and die from ad overload.
While this merger and the potential of addressable advertising is going to take a while, the entertainment and advertising industries as a whole STILL need to rethink the ad asset for both their advertisers and the audience. Even if a Macy’s ad is delivered to me based on data insights, if it’s yelling at me about their big Super Saturday sale using an in-your-face model that hasn’t changed in YEARS, those annoying 30 seconds are going to be muted. If, on the other hand, advertisers and their agencies consistently create content that draws in someone’s attention with value, entertainment, and/or information, that addressable advertising model will have added power in making both advertisers and audiences happier.
This point seems to be missing from the ad conversation.
And if we could actually enjoy ads like this one from Macy’s last year, which to date has almost 9 million YouTube views, “what a wonderful world it could be.”
Which brings me to the next story…
YouTube’s Success Contributing to an Advertising Shift Away from Traditional Network TV
ABC reported that because of YouTube’s success over the years, the online video site that “upstages cable television for a younger generation of viewers,” Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet Inc.’s third-quarter earnings revealed a 27 percent increase in year-over-year ad revenue, reaching $5.1 billion.
This substantial uptick in ad budgets porting over to YouTube is seen as “contributing to an advertising shift away from traditional network television programming to the more eclectic and diversified mix of clips.”
Additionally, with this infusion of dollars Google has the budget to increase their competitive edge against other streaming TV services by “buying the rights to stream cable networks’ shows on YouTube.”
So will Google’s YouTube Red content reps also start showing up at film festivals to out bid Netflix and Amazon? It would be interesting to see that played out. The teaser video for their newly released Red Originals alone, which promotes “Broke” by Buzzfeed, “Single By 30” by Wong Fu Productions, and “Escape the Night” by Joey Graceffa, has over half a million views. Now, they just need to find themselves another Ted Sarandos or Lisa Nishimura.
Flipping the channel to Bloomberg live streaming on Twitter…
Why Twitter’s Future Lies in Feeding Its Flock with Live Streaming Goodies
Now, Twitter Needs to Be the One to Reinvent Device-based Advertising
Early Thursday morning Twitter released their Q3 Earnings Report, confirming the expected layoffs along with announcing a few surprises, including their six-second video Vine app getting the end-of-life pink slip.
Twitter’s earning statement included a quote from Anthony Noto, Twitter’s CFO, “We intend to fully invest in our highest priorities and are de-prioritizing certain initiatives and simplifying how we operate in other areas.”
This hits on both the reduction of staff, which is expected to amount to 350 employees across sales, partnerships and marketing efforts, and pulling the plug on Vine.
“Double down on the product, focus on that engineering talent that you’ve got, shore up the core services and ad products. That sounds like the right way to go to me,” said Melissa Parrish, Forrester analyst, during her interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang.
Read more here
Martha Stewart Adds Another Title to Her Long Repertoire: The Queen of Facebook Live
Martha Stewart is the queen of traditions, from sharing seasonal recipes that go back generations to harvesting her massive garden (or is it ‘gardens’?). When it comes to adopting new ways to connect directly with her devoted fans, only the latest technology tactics and tools will do. Even when they goof up a bit, as they do with all of us.
“Hi, we had a false start. Sorry! Technology…” Stewart said at the opening of her Facebook live video stream, which was full of ideas for throwing a fall harvest party. That paritular 22-minute video has over 550 thousand views. She’s also known to make appearances with the live video plan in tow, including a recent show with a feature guest, Geoffrey Zakarian, a chef and TV host who joined Stewart on stage during the American Made Summit, said to be “the Comic-Con for homemakers.”
According to AdWeek, Facebook live videos are “shot on a smartphone, with the handy dexterity of Samantha Schutz, senior producer and videographer of Martha Stewart Living.” The conversations she has while whipping up this and that happen not only with her guests, but also with both the studio audience and those tuning in live on Facebook, enabling both audience and host to have candid chats about a variety of topics.
During the Summit she announced that she was voting for Hillary Clinton. AdWeek reported that “when Zakarian said he doesn’t discuss politics, or religion, Stewart replied: ‘This year, I think you have to.’”
For Schutz, one of the key factors that make Facebook Live such a viable, vaulable tool for the Living team is, it “reaches everyone, no matter where they live or what time it is, they can watch it by just logging on,” she told AdWeek. “It make me feel like we’re all connected and appreciative of this creative process.”
In Other Live Streaming News…
Apple’s New TV App Isn’t ‘Reinventing” Television, But It Makes Cord-Cutting Easier – Apple held their next-big-product announcement event last week, which mostly focused on their MacBook plans, but also made some room for forth-generation Apple TV news. Along with hardware introductions, like the Siri remote, the new simply TV app (available in December) will emulate other streaming experiences like Netflix that present the latest shows you’ve watched “so you can pick up where you left off in the middle of a binge-watching session or see when your favorite show adds a new episode,” Macworld reported.
In essence it is catching up to interfaces like Netflix, but at the moment, neither Netflix nor Amazon Prime Video are included within simply TV’s app offerings. Another key convenience feature is Apple’s single sign-in ability that “eliminates the need to sign into each Apple TV app using your cable TV subscription account details. Instead, your credentials are stored in your Apple TV account.”
Netflix Invests Even More in Original Content, Considers AT&T Time Warner Merger – Netflix has opened up “$800 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes” with the money going into “content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.” Content and other “potential” acquisitions…interesting.
Reed Hastings also attended the WSJD conference, and as expected, the AT&T Time Warner merger came up in conversation. While prefacing his response with the “under consideration” premise, Reed stated that the starting point would be ensuring Netflix’s streaming content is given equal internet speed and data treatment as HBO’s and other Time Warner streaming content. “We really want to make sure that to the consumer, to the system, it doesn’t give an unfair advantage to HBO over Netflix. If it’s open competition we love that,” he said.
Side note: I have some live streaming appearances coming up in the months ahead, including the moderation of the XLIVE session on December 6, “We’ll Do It Live — Challenges and Opportunities in Festival Live Streaming,” and a SXSW 2017 “Livetreaming Music and Amplification Workshop” (dates, times TBA) with John Petrocelli of Bulldog Digital Media. If you’d like more information on what to expect from these events, get in touch at kowens-at-kaffeinebuzz-dot-com, or find me on Twitter @Kaffeinebuzz.