Village Soapbox: Google Anti-Trust, Quibi Quits, SNAP Soars, Discovery, Kal Penn, UPtv, AAF, OOH

By Media Minute with Jeff Minsky Archives
Cover image for  article: Village Soapbox: Google Anti-Trust, Quibi Quits, SNAP Soars, Discovery, Kal Penn, UPtv, AAF, OOH

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What an incredible week in the advertising and media world!

The Justice Department, joined by eleven state Attorneys General, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google going so far as to blatantly call Google a “Monopolist” in their press release on the action. Among the charges filed against Google:

  • Entering into exclusivity agreements that forbid preinstallation of a competing service.
  • Entering into tying and other arrangements that force preinstallation of its search applications in prime locations on mobile devices and make them undeletable, regardless of consumer preference.
  • Entering into longterm agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default – and de facto exclusive – general search engine on Apple’s popular Safari browser and other Apple search tools.
  • Generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers and other search access points, creating a continuous and selfreinforcing cycle of monopolization.

Less than a year since its official launch, snackable video content company Quibi has shut down. This one will be a Harvard Business School case study for years. Was it simply a bad idea to begin with? How much of a role did the pandemic have in its demise by damaging its core proposition that it was a great alternative medium for commuters? Was it always pure Hollywood hubris? Steven Spielberg once declared that his content was meant for big screens, not 6-inch mobile phones. Do consumers prefer UGC and lower production quality to high end to view? Was it just bad marketing and a fairly terrible brand name? Whatever it was, Quibi is gone and a lot of investors lost a lot of money based on the rumored $2B it took to launch the company.

Well, that was depressing so let’s relay some good news; especially if you are a SNAP shareholder. SNAP reported quarterly earnings and they blew past estimates pushing the stock up more than 30% the day following the release. SNAP reported Daily Active Users has grown 18% from a year ago to 249 million, much higher than the expected 243 million by analysts. Revenue was up 52% from a year ago. Congrats to Peter Naylor and the entire ad sales team at SNAP.

AT&T reported their quarterly earnings and it was a mixed bag. Continued bad news for DirecTV and some positive news on the HBO Max front. DirecTV lost 627,000 subscribers, which is actually an improvement on their loss rate. AT&T did pick up 158,000 broadband subs. The company took a massive hit with Warner Bros. Revenue was down 28% due to theater closures and major releases pushed to 2021. HBO Max currently has 28.7 million customers who have access to the service (as they are HBO subscribers). To date, 12.7 million have actually activated. HBO Max has yet to complete a distribution deal with Amazon Fire Stick and Roku which is creating a real barrier to adoption.

Netflix has seen strong growth throughout the pandemic, in part because their massive investment in content production allowed them to continually release new content that they had at the ready, while other networks struggled with anything fresh due to the lockdowns. According to a comment made by Netflix content head Ted Sarandos during their Q3 Earnings call, Netflix may feel a bit of the production challenge in 2021. "I think we're looking at the '21 slate, everything that we forecast for '21, we expect to hit in '21 with a few minor exceptions and some maybe a little more back-weighted than we had planned for earlier -- last year," he said. As of September 30, Netflix has 195.15 million paying subscribers globally, up 23.3% vs. year ago.

Finally, in a true sign-of-the-times moment, for the first time in 54 years It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will not be telecast anywhere on broadcast TV. It will only be available on Apple TV+!

This Week in MediaVillage

Did you know that Discovery’s most-watched series of 2020 features essential workers? Yes, gold mining is considered essential given the need for the element in critical electronics. Something else that makes this group even more essential and special is that many are former military who proudly served. You’ll find this and more "nuggets" in Discovery’s Gold Rush Hits the Audience Motherlode by Jacqueline Cutler.

MediaVillage columnist and auto expert Jim Motavalli reports back from the DPAA’s Video Everywhere Summit where Angela Zepeda, CMO of Hyundai and Chris Jeyes, senior media specialist at Jaguar Land Rover shared their thoughts and bullish expectations for digital OOH. Read Jim’s report Can OOH Reach $35 Billion by 2025? The DPAA Summit’s Auto Marketers are Bullish only at MediaVillage.

Bill Harvey, our In Terms of ROIcolumnist, shares his thoughts on a groundbreaking (and long-overdue) survey conducted by three of the top advertising data attribution companies in the business, CIMM, Sequent Partners and Janus Strategy and Insights. Bill finds that the challenges in the most basic foundational numbers around ad occurrence in this cross-platform world require the immediate implementation of Ad-ID technology. Read more in CIMM Sequent Janus Study: Implications for Smart TV Data and Ad ID.

Ainsley Andrade reviews Freeform's Kal Penn Approves This Message and finds tremendous educational value in the way it fills the gaps of traditional teaching. Kal Penn Approves This Message Takes a New Approach to Advancing Education.

UPtv’s Christmas Movie Slate and GilMORE the Merrier Binge-a-thon to Bring Families Together this Holiday Season by Oriana Schwindt

Our Raquelle Zuzarte clues us in on how the American Advertising Federation's leader Steve Pacheco is helping to bring underserved talent into the Advertising industry via the AAF’s four-day immersive experiential event, AdCamp. AAF’s Steve Pacheco: Empathy, Empowerment, Energy Drive Diversity Activism by Raquelle Zuzarte.

Coca-Cola advertising is simply iconic. From teaching the world to sing to the seasonal tradition of the polar bears, Coke has always been "the real thing." Learn about the history of Coca-Cola advertising in this week’s HISTORY’s Moments in Media: "It’s the Real Thing" from A+E Networks.

The work of the non-profit group Ad Council allows our industry to give back and impact social change. We welcome the new members to their Board of Directors. Ad Council Announces New Members to its Board of Directors.

Columnist and editor Ed Martin has found a necessary escape from the stress of the pandemic through nostalgia in the form of classic TV shows. In this column, Ed reflects on the idealistic views of motherhood and fatherhood in the '50s that still give us comfort today. That Time Mother Knew Better on Father Knows Best by Ed Martin.

There are some of us who remember the rollicking sci-fi days of Mikkos Cassadine trying to freeze Port Charles, and the highest-rated soap opera episode ever, Luke and Laura’s wedding. But over the years, ABC’s General Hospital has pivoted to stories with tremendous social impact. Ed Martin gives his perspective on the heart-wrenching Alzheimer's storyline that recently reached its conclusion. Don’t miss General Hospital Alzheimer’s Story was Daytime Drama at Its Best.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe and healthy weekend!

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