Due to the holiday weekend, you are receiving the Monday AM Briefing this morning.
There will be no essay today as I am currently writing tomorrow's Member Mailing. It's a longer essay on an angle I did not tease out in my recent opinion essay for The Information, The Upfronts Model Isn’t Dead Yet: we spend a lot of time discussing the supply-side challenges in advertising and the upfronts but very little discussing how advertising is evolving.
Specifically, the upfronts represent a long-standing tradition with a couple of hundred advertisers. But programmatic advertising from Google, Facebook and now Amazon has opened the advertising marketplace to 10MM advertisers. An interesting question now looming for ad-supported version of legacy media streaming services and Netflix is, are they willing to open inventory up beyond the exclusive upfronts crowd of a few hundred in order to succeed?
* Recently laid-off Netflix staffers spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and shed light on the cultural changes within the company at a difficult time.
* Wired’s Lily Hay Newman argues one basic thing Netflix could do to reduce password sharing is “to add a list in Settings of all the devices an account is active on, with the ability to select which to keep and which to cut”.
* Netflix VP of Standup and Comedy Formats Robbie Praw explained to Vulture his approach to buying stand-up specials for the streamer.
* Cannes highlighted how private equity, or PE, firms are pumping money into the entertainment content, financing independent production.
* MobileDevMemo’s Eric Seufert offered two plausible explanations why Snap would likely see revenue and EBITDA in Q2 fall lower than the range provided in earnings just last month.
* Actor and producer Seth Green was robbed of several NFTs this month after succumbing to a phishing scam, and “that inadvertently threw a monkey wrench” into the plan for a new Bored Ape animated series.
* A good overview of perspectives on marketing in the media landscape of 2022 at the Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit, including marketing executives from Snap, HBO and the Los Angeles Rams.
* Epic CEO Tim Sweeney told the FT he would continue his fight against Apple and Google “to keep the metaverse open” (NOTE: as I’ve argued before, I think Sweeney’s campaign is more about ruthless self-interest than about the law or moral altruism ) ($ - paywalled)
* Netflix is adding another four mobile games to its roster, including three available last week and a fourth -- its previously announced Exploding Kittens game -- arriving this week.
* Conan O’Brien sold his hit podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” to the satellite-radio company SiriusXM for a reported $150MM. ($ - paywalled).
* An overview from Digiday of what went down at the IAB Podcast Upfronts.
* Former Disney exec David Levine is exiting kids entertainment powerhouse Moonbug Entertainment, owned by Blackstone-backed Candle Media. Moonbug also acquired One Animation, a Singapore-based media company and production studio, and signed a deal with,Disney Branded Television for 52 episodes of 7-minute CG series, “Morphle,” based on the YouTube short-form hit My Magic Pet Morphle.
* Forbes’ Paul Tassi outlines how Disney+’s “Star Wars” slate “keeps getting bigger”. Disney+ revealed three dramas, four documentaries and two lifestyle/general factual entertainment series for Disney+’s debut slate in Australia and New Zealand.
* Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have partnered with Sony for TV shows based on the studios’ video games, with its Horizon franchise the latest set for adaptation.
* The Los Angeles Times’ Ryan Faughnder dove into MTV Entertainment’s bet on scripted shows.
* Joe Earley, the president of Hulu, predicted to Variety’s Cynthia Littleton that “We’re going to enter a new age of serial churning or certainly increased churn.”
* Netflix has greenlighted at least six TV shows in southern Indian languages this year, aggressively chasing deals in Tollywood as the Telugu film and TV industry is known, as well as in the Tamil film and TV industry, six people with knowledge of the company's plans told Reuters.
* Lawmakers in Denmark have agreed global TV streaming services must pay a levy of 6% of their revenue in the country to support local TV production.
* You may not always notice good film editing in shows and movies, but you will often notice bad editing, and that seems to be a somewhat persistent problem” in Disney+’s “Obi-Wan”.
* Ampere Analysis reported that of all VOD renewals in the UK and United States announced during 2021, 51% were in their fourth or later season, a 6% increase in comparison to 2020.
* Digiday’s Tim Peterson reports that Disney’s initial pitch to advertisers “is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives”, and Disney is seeing TV’s “upfront” ad-sales market is “starting to move — and earlier than expected.”
* “If Netflix gets it right, selling ads on a new tier of service could lift its revenue just in the U.S. by 21% a year, or $2.5 billion annually, The Information estimates.” ($ - paywalled). Ampere Analysis projects advertising revenue per subscriber of around $13.30 per month from a possible 19 million U.S. subscribers. ($ - paywalled).
* Netflix is already outlining its advertising plans to senior ad industry executives, telling them that viewers won't see ads in the middle of programming, at least initially. ($ - paywalled). Executives shared their reactions with Insider Premium ($ - paywalled).
* According to research company Morning Consult, adults from all generations across every major race and ethnic background prefer the free or lower-cost, ad-supported streaming plans to the higher-priced ad-free versions.
* Independent CTV advertising and measurement platform has a good blog post on the competitive dynamics between Netflix and FASTs.
* The New York Times’ Ben Mullin spoke with Paramount Global executives about its road ahead, including Chair Shari Redstone Mullin that “Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Paramount took her by surprise” (which I don’t believe).
* The BBC set out a blueprint to build a digital-first public service media organisation.
* More Broadway shows are leveraging digital captures to bring theater performances to screen.
* CuriosityStream has 24MM subscribers and a new CFO.