Minsky Media Minute

By Media Minute with Jeff Minsky Archives
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Happy Monday MediaVillagers! Welcome to the Minsky Media Minute where each week I'll provide you with my take on the top media news (all opinions expressed herein are mine and not those of MediaVillage). Here is the catch … you have to engage. Please e-mail all thoughts and comments to mediaminute@mediavillage.com and I'll reply in the following week's edition.

What a week in the media world! NewFronts. Epilogues to epic tales of digital media. Reshuffling of local broadcast. Changes at major agencies. Even for our crazy dynamic industry, it was a busy week.

If you missed any of the NewFronts, I highly encourage you to read Simon Applebaum's coverage in MediaVillage: There was a massive amount of knowledge and insights conveyed over the week, and Simon did a great job of capturing the highlights. A ten-minute read of Simon's Upfront coverage will prepare you to discuss them as if you were there yourself if you weren't.

NewFronts Day One: Tubi, Roku, Samsung, Fubo TV, Vizio, IMDb TV and More

NewFronts Day Two: YouTube, Vevo, Verizon Media, Spectrum Reach, MAGNA and More

NewFronts Day Three: Snapchat, Twitter, Vice Media Group, BuzzFeed, Estrella and More

NewFronts Day Four: TikTok, Peacock, Open AP, Ellen Digital Ventures, Reese Witherspoon and More

I do want to point out one very important thing from the NewFronts. Kudos to the IAB for an incredibly professional job. The technology and format for the most part was seamless and very high-quality production. The chats going on at the side brought that "class reunion" feeling that you get when you bump into former clients and colleagues at the actual physical event; even as we all eagerly anticipate getting back to the face to face next year. Most importantly, what an absolutely incredible job Maria Menounos did hosting the event. Many of you may know, or maybe not, that Menounos lost her mother to brain cancer just last weekend, making her attendance and professionalism heroic. Our greatest sympathies go out to Maria, her family and loved ones on their loss.

Verizon Media has been sold to Private Equity group Apollo Funds for $5B. The once mighty digital titans AOL & Yahoo that ruled the early Internet Advertising world, are a pale shadow of their old selves. While there are still some valuable elements to the companies, this should serve as a warning to anyone who believes that constant change and evolution; especially in this world of exponential change, cannot impact them.

Verizon Media is enhancing its DSP with Vizio's Inscape data, and Vizio will be able to offer audience extension campaigns through Verizon Media.

Meredith exited the local TV business as it sold 17 television stations to Gray Television for $2.7B in cash.

It's way early, but in news that illustrate while there has been a whole lot of angst around Apple's privacy changes, app analytics firm, Flurry, is reporting that 96% of iPhone users in the United States have opted out of app tracking on iOS 14.5. This makes the already difficult job of tracking ad impressions delivered within mobile apps, even more difficult.

A number of media companies held their quarterly earnings calls this week. Here are some highlights:


  • Roku now counts 53.6mm active accounts adding 2.4mm incremental accounts in Q1 2021 (+35% YoY)
  • Roku total streaming hours now stands at 18.3B, increasing 1.4B hours in Q1 2021. (+49% YoY)
  • Roku ARPU was up 32% YoY to $32.14
  • In their investor letter, Roku stated that the "media and entertainment advertising" sector grew faster than the overall platform in Q1 with many SVOD services launching and promoting new programming.
  • Scott Rosenberg, senior vice president/general manager Platform Business, stated during their investor call that ad spending by major holding companies on Roku has doubled. He also offered up a case study from DTC company Home Chef that calculated a 2.4x ROAS and increased their Roku investment.


  • NewsCorp closed a threeyear deal with Google that will result in the creation of a subscription platform, ad revenue sharing and partnerships in audio journalism as well as video journalism on YouTube.
  • Average monthly views on Realtor.com were up 44% YoY in March alone and uniques were up 60% in March over the prior year to 108mm.
  • Digital subscriptions at Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal increased by 29%
  • The acquisition of Investor's Business Daily is complete.


  • The big news of the quarter was the launch on March 4 of Paramount+. As the end of March, the rebranded and much enhanced CBS All-Access counted 39.5mm subscribers +6mm YoY.
  • The launch of Paramount+ has lowered the average age of new signups by six years vs. 2020.
  • In a bit of a switch in direction, ViacomCBS indicated that they would hold back more of their original productions for their own services vs. selling them to other streaming services.
  • Pluto TV added an additional 6.4mm monthly active users to reach 49.5mm viewers, globally.
  • Pluto TV launched in France in Q1 and is now available in 25 markets around the world.
  • In the U.S., Pluto TV view time increased by 28% YoY.

AMC Networks

  • AMC Networks reported a 7% drop in U.S. advertising revenue.
  • However, U.S. subscription revenue increased by 14% They are on track to reach at least 9mm paid subscribers to AMC+ by years end.

Comings and Goings

  • Lauren Crampsie, executive partner and president of Ogilvy, New York is leaving. She has been in her current role since 2019 but had been part of WPP for 17 years. We wish her well.
  • Ivan Pollard, global CMO of General Mills is leaving. Pollard has been with the organization since 2017.
  • Matthew Kramer, formerly head of advanced TV & video at Omnicom Media Group has joined dynamic video creative platform ConnectedStories as chief revenue officer.
  • Denise Zaraya has joined The Trade Desk as general manager, agency development
  • Debra Meyer has also joined The Trade Desk as general manager, business development
  • Scott Saperstein has joined Taboola as head of agency development
  • Matthew Schulte has joined Brit + Co as chief operating officer and chief revenue officer
  • Andrew Corry has joined MAGNA Global as vice president, group director strategic investment

Oh...Happy Mother's Day-After Mom! (and to all you Moms out there.)

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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.


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