Village Soapbox:, Leslie Jones, Oculus, Disney, A+E Networks, FreeWheel, NBCU and More

By Media Minute with Jeff Minsky Archives
Cover image for  article: Village Soapbox:, Leslie Jones, Oculus, Disney, A+E Networks, FreeWheel, NBCU and More

As fast as the color of the leaves are turning, so are the technology updates this week, and some of them are incredibly significant.

Most important to us at MediaVillage is our launch of our AI driven advertising and media information search tool, As part of our education pillar, is the fastest way for you to get up to speed on any topic in the media industry and “be the smartest person in the Zoom.” It allows you access to knowledge not only from MediaVillage's vast library of thought leadership, but an expanded platform of third party sources.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 bringing its first flagship 5G phone to market. A less talked about, yet very interesting feature of the iPhone 12 Pro version is that it includes a LiDAR scanner. A few of you may be scratching your heads asking, what the heck is LiDAR? LiDAR is a time of flight sensor that measures how long it takes for light to bounce off objects and get back to the sensor; a prerequisite for first rate Augmented Reality.

Google and Apple both introduced their latest Home Assistants to the market and it looks like cylinder speakers are out and round is in. With Apple HomePod Minis, you can place two of the devices in a room and they will automatically synch up to provide you a stereo experience.

The Oculus Quest 2 started to ship this week. I had a chance to test it and can vouch that there is significant visual improvement from the original, in addition to a lighter headset. The entry level model of the Quest 2 is $299.

Top Media News this Week:

Safe Harbor. Those two words have been the foundation stone of the digital media platform world since the America Online days. Simply put, it means that a technology platform cannot be held liable for the veracity of the content that flows through its systems. Safe Harbor has enabled social media to thrive and has brought us product and experiences that permeate our lives, for good and bad. It has been a third rail among web developers, digital innovators, and free speech advocates to change the 'status quo' on safe harbor. That may soon change. Following a tweet from President Trump, "REPEAL SECTION 230", which the President tweeted after Facebook and Twitter slowed the dissemination of an unverified report about Hunter Biden, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai announced that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret the Section 230 law that grants safe harbor to digital platforms. The FCC plans to move forward to implement new rules that will roll back some safe harbor protections and increase liability of social platforms Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others.

In a major shift, accelerated by at least a year, if not more, by COVID-19, Disney is reorganizing its entire business to focus on streaming. On Monday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that their media businesses, ads and distribution, and Disney+ will now all operate under the same business unit. The further delay in opening theaters, along with the limited attendance at theaters that are opened, made this inevitable. There is only so long that Disney can push the Marvel films release without impacting the entire plan for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Same for Pixar's release schedule. Pixar's new movie, Soul starring Jamie Foxx, which has received strong positive reviews, will now release on Disney+ on Christmas Day, at no additional charge.

On a similar note, Eddie Murphy's long awaited remake to Coming to America, aptly titled Coming 2 America, has been sold by Paramount to Amazon Studios for a rumored $125MM. The film will stream on Amazon Prime Video starting December 18.

The rapidly changing distribution models of Hollywood films and the subsequent domino effect that it will have on traditional Broadcast and Cable TV networks. was a significant part of this past week's Jack Myers Leadership Conference. Jack was joined by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson, the third in their conversations since the launch of the Leadership Conferences focusing on the impact 2020 will have on the 2021 Advertising ecosystem. If you missed the live event, you can read my summary, "Myers/Nathanson: How the Challenges of 2020 Will Inform Advertising and Media Trends in 2021" or watch the entire conversation between Myers and Nathanson here.

Stan Richards, founder of The Richards Group, fired himself as CEO after making racist remarks about an ad campaign for Motel 6. Creative Director Glenn Dady will assume his responsibilities.

The Week in MediaVillage:

Fox and Standard Media Index (SMI) recently conducted a study that looked at the three largest national ad spend verticals: Automotive, CPG, and QSR, and correlated almost $2.2 trillion dollars in sales with $48B in ad spend to analyze the ROI in TV and all digital media types. Bill Harvey shares the results of this study in a two-part story: "The Highest ROI Form of Digital Is.Premium OTT". Read Part One here and Part Two here.

FreeWheel's U.S. Video Marketplace Report has been required reading for anyone tracking the evolution of streaming since 2012. MediaVillage columnist, Charlene Weisler, interviewed FreeWheel's VP, Advisory Services, David Dworin, and discussed some of the surprising and not-so-surprising findings from this year's study. Read, "FreeWheel's David Dworin on the State of the Premium Video Marketplace". Download a free copy of the annual report here.

Addressable TV technology has been available for marketer use for almost a decade, but limited to local TV inventory. That may not be the case any longer as addressable tech company AdCuratio has created tech and mobilized the industry, including INVIDI, Dish Network, A+E Networks, Fox, and more to enable addressable TV spots on national broadcast and cable inventory. So what does the industry think of this? Read my commentary, "National Addressable TV has Arrived, but is it Ready for Primetime"

Steve Gidlow, our Hollywood Insider, speaks with Dancing with the Starsand co-host of The Talk,Carrie Ann Inaba, on the impact that COVID-19, along with casting changes in the production of both shows. Read Steve's interview, "Carrie Ann Inaba on Having Two Shows With Covid-19 Restrictions" only on MediaVillage.

Steve also had the opportunity to hear from comedian Leslie Jones, who returns to TV as host of ABC's Supermarket Sweep a revival of a grocery store based game show that first aired on ABC from 1965-1967. The pandemic has shown just how essential grocery store workers are and that they will be recognized in every episode. Read how in "Leslie Jones on Reviving "Supermarket Sweep" and Achieving Stardom in her 40s"

"In Terms of ROI" columnist Bill Harvey updates us on an accelerating movement to establish an Anonymous User ID (AUID) prior to the demise of third party cookies. Read Bill's article, "Step in the Right Direction on Quest for Anonymous Universal ID (AUID)"

"Audio InSites" columnist Alli Romano spoke with A+E Networks EVP of Human Resources, Karen Gray, about their strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, not only internally, but also in much of the content that they produce. Read this story and you may get some great ideas on how to further your own DEI initiatives. "At A+E Networks, Diversity Gets Prime Time Slot"

NBCUniversal's recent study, "One Audience Trends: Cross-Platform Consumption Report": Cross Platform Consumption Report confirmed that consumers program their own complete media playlists, but to their surprise, the study showed a return to the television set as the main viewing portal. Charlene Weisler speaks with NBCUniversal President of Ad Sales and Partnerships, Mark Marshall on how this study helps to inform many aspects of their business including scheduling, sales, and metrics and measurement.

"In the National Interest" columnist and former CIA officer Kent Harrington muses on how the media should cover leaders who are under suspicion of mental illness and that line where privacy laws give cover to misinformation. Read Kent's thoughts in "When the Media Covers Madness, Beware When Bizarre Becomes Banal."

"The Cog Blog's" Brian Jacobs recently published a column detailing the top things he's learned over his career. Response to the piece was so positive that Brian crowdsourced more learnings from the responses with his follow up, "Four 'Lessons Learned' Rules for Business, Plus Four More"

Peter Hubbell who pens "The Age of Aging" column for Mediavillage, has authored "Why Diversity Needs to Include Age Now!" making a strong argument on why this time of increased advertising and media industry introspection is opportune for tackling the ageism issue that has plagued the business for decades.

Wishing you all a healthy and fun weekend!

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