Campaign US The Media Fix
April 20, 2021

Welcome to The Campaign US Media Fix, a bi-weekly newsletter where we break down all the latest in media.  

Sign up for the Mar Tech Fix, our companion newsletter covering all things marketing technology.  

For your entertainment: The streaming wars keep heating up. Over the past few weeks Univision launched PrendeTV, its ad-supported streaming service for U.S. Hispanics; Vizio went public as its streaming ad sales business grows; and ViacomCBS plans to sell $3 billion worth of stock to fund its streaming ambitions.  

Pulling the plug: The skinny bundle, however, is a tougher business. T-Mobile’s TVision is the latest live streaming service to shut down, just five months after its debut. Instead, T-Mobile will partner with Philo and YouTube TV on streaming and offer $10 discounts. But not everybody wants to play nice. NBCUniversal may pull its movies from HBO Max and Netflix and keep future film releases exclusively on Peacock, Bloomberg reported.  

Above and abroad: Some things just don’t translate. NBCUniversal is considering rebranding Peacock as ‘Universal Stream’ internationally as streaming services struggle to make a splash overseas. ViacomCBS renamed CBS All Access Paramount+ to break into the international market, and Disney+ repackaged international service Star to expand overseas. But some companies have bigger problems. HBO Max can’t launch in the U.K., Germany and Italy due to licensing deals with broadcasters, including NBCU-owned Sky. 

All ears: Spotify acquired Betty Labs, the creator of live audio app and Clubhouse competitor Locker Room, as live audio chatting heats up. And podcast hosting service Acast launched Acast+, a subscription service to support podcasters across listening platforms. 

Safe space: The latest brand safety crisis: animal abuse videos. YouTube will ban staged animal rescue videos following an investigation that revealed major brands were unknowingly running ads alongside the controversial content, Insider reported. Facebook had a similar issue. Twitter, meanwhile, launched a new category called “light-hearted content” where brands can feel safe to advertise. 

ICYMI

  • ABC is charging $2 million for a 30-second spot at the Oscars (Variety)
  • Facebook glitch shorted creators thousands of dollars in ad revenue (The Verge)
  • The FCC will loosen local media ownership restrictions, making room for consolidation (NBC News)
  • Advertisers are putting more focus on Hollywood-level branded content (NYT)
  • Dollar Shave Club laid off entire staff of men’s lifestyle site MEL (BI)
  • Axios and The Athletic are reportedly in talks for a merger (WSJ) and Vice Media is in talks to merge with SPAC 7GC & Co Holdings (The Information)
  • NBCUniversal is removing racist scenes from WWE for Peacock (New York Post)
  • Streaming TV is exempt from the CALM Act, which bans loud commercials (BI)
  • Substack is raising $65 million (Axios)
  • Bloomberg is developing an advertising platform called Bloomberg Iris (Ad Age)
  • Instagram rips off TikTok duets feature with Remix on Reels (TechCrunch)
  • Pinterest had strong revenue gains in Q4 (Adweek
  • Check out the IAB NewFronts schedule (Adweek)
  • Roku to debut sponsored videos on Roku Recommends platform (Digiday)
 
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