Village Soapbox: Warner Bros., discovery+, FreeWheel, #AskGenZ, Post-COVID Forecast & More

By Village Soapbox Archives
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Here are the Top Media News Stories of the Week:

  • Warner Bros. shocked the entertainment world by announcing that all 17 of their major films in 2021, including The Matrix 4, Space Jam: A New Legacy,Lin Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, Godzilla vs. Kong and The Many Saints of Newark (The Sopranos prequel) will be released simultaneously intheater and on HBO Max. The announcement stressed that this is a one-year only strategy.
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to step down on January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day. His departure reopens the polarizing discussions around net-neutrality. Read the take on the implications by our columnist and founder of CableFax Paul Maxwell here.
  • Discovery Communications, Inc. announced their big jump into the direct to consumer, OTT world, discovery+. The service will come in two flavors: adfree for $6.99/mo or ad-lite (5 minutes of ads per hour) at $4.99/mo. The service will launch on January 4. Read more details about the launch in my article: "Now Every Week Can Be Shark Week! Discovery Inc. Launches Global OTT Platform"and Simon Applebaum's followup discovery+ Will Travel a Nonfiction Route 66.
  • Comcast's Freewheel is rolling out its AutoScheduler addecisioning technology across all NBCUniversal properties. This is a critical step in allowing buyers to reach and manage audience frequency across the NBCU universe. Read all about this important step here.
  • Women's marketing, media, and tech advocacy group, She Runs It, has announced that they will be merging with another women's organization MBolden. The new organization will be under the She Runs It name. You can read the details about the merger in MBoldened by the Future: She Runs It Doubles in Size.
  • Wieden+Kennedy has picked up global creative advertising duties for Visa. Publicis Group was awarded the media side. Congrats to both agencies!

This Week in MediaVillage

There is no question that the past nine months have tried all of our temperaments with the need to balance both the new requirements of work-from-home with the exponential familial demands that consistently having immediate family under one roof has created. However, business still demands that certain levels of respect be maintained. In episode four of his ThinkTank, Jack Myers, media ecologist & founder of MediaVillage and AdvancingDiversity.org, passionately advocates for a return to a level of respect that may have been unwittingly lost. Listen to Jack's thoughts in Jack Myers 3 Minute Podcast: On Respect and Disrespect.

#Ask-GenZ's Alex Keaton interviews The CW's Manager of Brand Entertainment, Sammy Yates about working at The CW and what tips she can give to people just starting out in their careers, especially in this unique moment of time. Watch Alex's interview The CW's Sammy Yates on Branded Entertainment, Escapist TV Content and Diversity on MediaVillage.

In the National Interest's Kent Harrington examines the market of disinformation that has redefined journalism in the U.S. and how the financial incentives that it brings is likely to continue to impact journalism far beyond the Trump years. Read The Disinformation Dynasty: The Elephant in the Newsroom.

Paul S. Maxwell issues a call-to-arms to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which required all over-the-air and broadcast licensees to present information in an "honest, equitable and balanced" manner.  Read Paul's thoughts in Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine Now, and Extend It to Cable and the Web!

Madison Avenue Makeover's Michael Farmer is optimistic that 2020 has acted as a catalyst to force agency leaders and marketers to take a hard look at the past 12 years since the downturn in 2008 and finally find a path forward to growth. This is a not to miss piece by Michael. Check out Post-COVID forecast: A Resurgence of Marketing and the Beginning of the End for Madison Avenue Manslaughter.

Dr. Christopher Boulton speaks with Dr. Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, associate professor at the University of Miami, about her recently released study on public advocacy issue networks focusing on how corporations negotiate controversial issues and consumer opinion when adopting corporate social responsibility. Learn some of the top insights from the study in Can Public Relations Help Bridge Our Partisan Divide.

Are you a marketer having nagging doubts on whether you've over invested in digital media based on more gut than science? In Terms of ROI columnist Bill Harvey proposes a scientifically valid method to provide C-Suite execs with a solid solution to determine their investment strategy. Learn all about 'Intent to Treat' experiments in Bill's How the C Suite Can Be Certain About Digital vs TV AOS.

With luxury auto sales outperforming mainstream autos in the U.S., many manufacturers are moving to emphasize that segment in 2021. Our auto-expert, Jim Motavalli spent some time with the team at Lincoln and learned how they are evolving some of their models to take advantage of this lean towards luxury. We invite you to read Jim's insightful piece, Lincoln Execs Comment on Pivot to Luxury with Nautilus and Vitrine Strategies.

Tamara Alesi dives deep into YouGov metrics and finds definite shifts in viewing habits; which may be stating the obvious, but there are some not-so-obvious nuances she highlights in YouGov Insights: COVID, Streaming and the Blurring of Dayparts.

Erich J. Prince goes behind the scenes of The National Desk, a new daily morning national news program from local TV giant Sinclair Broadcast Group. See what sets this news show apart in Sinclair Introduces 'The National Desk'.

I implore you to please read Brian Jacobs' latest edition of The Cog Blog, Seesaw Thinking and Unhealthy Obsessions in Media. It's a breath of fresh reality and a call for balance in a world that has forgotten that creative and media are co-dependent and not adversarial.

Jacqueline Cutler profiles The CW's MJ Pijanowski and gets tips on how to be successful in the role of account executive in these difficult and unusual times. Learn how MJ approaches some of the biggest clients in the industry, including P&G, in The CW's MJ Pijanowski on Getting Ahead in a More Complex World.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading!

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