Tuesday September 20
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The calls from Activist investor Dan Loeb to have Disney sell ESPN seems to have triggered lots of calls from potential buyers. Which has convinced Disney that they should hold on to such a sought after asset. And Loeb has backed off;
“We have a better understanding of ESPN’s potential as a stand-alone business and another vertical for [Disney] to reach a global audience to generate ad and subscriber revenues,” Mr. Loeb wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “We look forward to seeing [ESPN chief James] Pitaro execute on the growth and innovation plans, generating considerable synergies as part of The Walt Disney company.”
Axios make a sensible point on Streaming and Ads - will the numbers add up? A new revenue stream is great but the costs of building out these new businesses is significant.
The FT report that Netflix have relaxed their previously strict attitude on securing complete rights for the content they buy. They used to stipulate universal rights rather than global ones and have them apply to all media “now known or discovered in the future”. Traditionally producers retained a share of rights and hence participated in the success of their work. But the cheques from Netflix were big enough to change this.
Now there is so much competition Netflix are doing more traditional deals - causing the FT to say Netflix is starting to look more like traditional TV
I think that observation applies to other parts of the Netflix business too. The addition of advertising brings a whole new industry of people wanting to tinker with the Netflix way of doing things. We keep hearing the ad industry is struggling with some aspects of the Netflix way - primarily measurement and costs.
Because most TV spend is still managed by traditional TV teams, there is a lot of learning to be done - on both sides. So the advice from measurement firm Audience Project that digital natives should learn the language of TV makes some sense. Given most Superbowl spots have been sold, the old way of doing things is looking pretty resilient. 
Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Draws More Than 25 Million Viewers - WSJ
I have been talking about the inevitability of Apple entering the ad market for years and now we can see it happening - with the FT spotting lots of job ads - leaving them to suggest Apple plans to double its digital advertising business workforce
CNBC cover the story too seeing that Apple is gaining on Facebook and Google in online ads after iOS privacy change
Google are having other problems too, with long standing regulation issues starting to come to a head with courts this week upholding a decision against Google -- with a $4billion + fine for using Android to thwart rivals. And an EU investigation into their ad business has expanded to include a Portuguese probe
And two new suits have been filed by publishers in the UK and Netherlands claiming damages of €25bn.
They are actively cleaning house - now rejecting ads that leads to pages with intrusive advertising. Hello Taboola and Outbrain.
There is still lots going on outside of the walled gardens. Our friends at Blis are managing the dramatic decline in addressable audiences for their clients with an innovative privacy first approach - explained well in this excellent white board session
Another London based adtech firm MIQ has raised money from a PE firm, valuing them close to $1 billion.
Ronan Shields at Digiday has shared The definitive guide to what’s in and out in ad tech in 2022
The pressure on TikTok seems to be rising - at least in the US. One of their top execs repeatedly declined to commit to US lawmakers on Wednesday that the short-form video app will cut off flows of US user data to China. There is quite a lot of nuance in her response but the headlines were all negative.
Scott Galloway put the boot in too on a TV talk show - `It should be banned. Full. Stop.
Snap founder Evan Spiegel pointed out their success was due to the multi billion $ TikTok spent on user acquisition, which enabled their algorithm to get so good, so quickly. Spiegel was speaking at the Code conference and a number of other Tech CEOs were talking about TikTok too.
The FT have a piece on the TikTok algorithm and how to retrain yours
Internal documents suggest Reels is struggling to get traction and is still a long way behind TikTok. TikTok are copying Meta in one  way - taking inspiration from BeHere to launch their own version - TikTokNow
This weeks Fix Insider deep dive was on Merchant and one topic was livestreaming - with a good Amazon case study. Also the morphing of Fast Last Mile as more goods are added to delivery.
The FT look at how GAFA is breaking into the livestream shopping market
2PM have a good take on RokuMart, building on the collaboration between Walmart and Roku
We are starting to see real work on web3. Proper businesses solving business problems using web3 tech. 
Starbucks reinvent their loyalty programme avoiding using confusing jargon.
Starbucks details its blockchain-based loyalty platform and NFT community, Starbucks Odyssey - Techcrunch. And some smart thoughts on this move
Sports has been quick to try new approaches and rights holders have been in the vanguard.
How Will Metaverse Transform Sports Industry?
FIFA launch their own digital collectibles with ‘FIFA+ Collect’
Has FIFA Kicked Its Biggest Goal Yet? How NFTs Drive Sports Fan Loyalty | The Chainsaw
How Australian Open combine art with real-time court data in the form of an NFT
Sorare teams up with NBA for a new NFT fantasy basketball game - Techcrunch
Much of the metaverse activity sits on Roblox and the platform is looking to age up their user base and attract more ad revenue. The two are clearly linked.
Roblox is ready to grow up - The Verge
Roblox jumps into online advertising as revenue growth slows
And Epic see how Roblox has commercialised and want to apply the learnings to Fortnite
The Future of Fortnite Is in the Hands of Its Players
Andreessen Horowitz wants to fix NFT copyright with its 'Can't Be Evil' license
Disney+ releases its first AR-enabled short film, ‘Remembering,’ starring Brie Larson | TechCrunch
(You can watch the actual video here)
Pinduoduo Emerges as Big Winner in Covid-Zero China - Bloomberg
Runway - another AI driven video tool - described as Dall-E-2 on steroids
Advertising agencies ask ‘where are all the people?’ in battle for talent - FT
Google canceled its next Pixelbook and shut down the team building it
Apple Watch’s Evolving Pillars
Apple overtakes Android to pass 50% share of smartphones used in US 
Blank Street Coffee, the V.C.-Funded Chain Taking Over NYC - Air Mail

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