April First No it’s not first thing Friday morning - this is an experiment where we share an additional midweek Fix, going deeper on our core topics. This week newTV, next week Merchants and we will alternate. We will get this onto a separate database so people can opt out of this if they want - but if you unsubscribe now you lose Fix Friday too. Would love your thoughts on how we make this better - hit reply.
The big streaming stories we have been covering reach a new chapter. Disney+ is live in Europe and QuiBi launches on Monday - in the US at least. The chart above shows how the current crisis has a silver lining for streaming firms. Even Netflix with their big installed base saw a spike. And I would guess we would see spikes from Xumi, Tubi and Pluto etc - see the Pluto CEO interview we had in Fix / Friday last week
The newTV businesses we cover here are clearly DTC brands and we can learn from them, just as we learn from more orthodox Merchants.
The shape of the streaming business is affected by issues like Covod but the architects of the space have the real influence and we will focus on the people driving this sector forward.
One of the early movers was Aswin Navin of Samba. Started back in 2011 Samba is an interesting double sided company. By analysing what people watch (and hence know what they enjoy) - using Automatic Content Recognition - they help people find new shows they will like. This permission data is clearly useful to advertisers so the other side of the business is a data platform that lets them see which channels and which shows get watched by who.
I see the discovery issue as a huge opportunity and anyone providing this service could do well - but i think it will be on the mobile, to sidestep the balkanisation of TV across devices and channels. The same applies with measurement, as everyone wants to get to a single view of video audiences - but vested interests are getting in the way.
TradeDesk have come to newTV more recently and this interview with Jeff Green builds on his comments at their last earnings call which we covered a few weeks ago. Asked to talk about The Trade Desk and connected TV, he says
The interview covers issues like ad load, privacy and the downturn in ad spend. The big question for Roku is who ends up buying them? With all the M&A going on Roku is too small to stay independent and would be really valuable to a big player who is lagging in their involvement in new TV. Hello Facebook, we’re looking at you.
There isn't really anyone around who gets the Entertainment business like Jeffrey Katzenberg (read his wikipedia entry) and his gamble on QuiBi has everyone transfixed - although a sizable group expects him to fail. Even the advantage of launching when a huge audience is sat at home with time on their hands is seen by some as a disadvantage; this is a mobile only service designed to be enjoyed on the go.
The absence of sports - and the consequent evaporation of all those sports focused ad budgets is causing nightmares for many. Old content is being used in some clever ways by rights owners. But the smartest idea may be from our current fascination MSCHF. They are Simulating The Lost Games As Hyper-realistic Audio Broadcasts on nba.fm. I have tweeted their founder Gabriel Whaley to ask if he will do the same for Leeds 9 outstanding games. This profile of him is good background on a very influential business
Mentioned this article on Ari Emanuel and talent agency WME on Friday and think it’s worth highlighting again. One of the interesting aspects of newTV is that it is a clash of cultures; TV vs Tech, Hollywood versus San Fran, Coders versus Creatives and Introverts versus Extroverts - and Talent Agencies feel like the front line. ( And it’s what Entourage is based on)
As ad budgets evaporate it’s tough times at ITV - amidst all the budget cuts can they really continue to support Britbox? I would play to their strengths - ad sales - and switch from the subs model asap.
newTV is an area i am really focused on - if there is value for you in this space lets talk about how I might help - hit reply