Архив метки: ads

Disney+ and Hulu content to combine into one streaming app

In a significant move made by Disney, the company announced Wednesday that U.S. customers are getting a new app that combines Disney+ and Hulu content.
The company also announced that it is raising the price of the Disney+ ad-free tier later in the year.
During Disney’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Bob Iger revealed that the new streaming option will launch later this year. However, the company also plans to keep Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone platforms.
The news comes after Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2023. Hulu gained 200,000 subs.
“While we continue to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ as standalone options, this is a logical progression of our [direct-to-consumer] offerings that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers while giving subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content, resulting in greater audience engagement and ultimately leading to a more unified streaming experience,” Iger stated during the earnings call.
Many of us saw this announcement coming since former Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted at the plans in September 2022.
“Right now, if you want to go from Hulu to ESPN+ to Disney+, you have to go out of one app to another app. In the future, we may have less friction,” Chapek told Variety in an interview last year.
This also appears to support the reports that Disney is planning to buy Comcast’s stake in Hulu by 2024. Currently, Comcast owns 33% and Disney owns 66%.
The integration follows other moves made by competitors, such as Paramount+ combining with Showtime, as well as Warner Bros. Discovery announcing its new streaming service, Max, which merges HBO Max and Discovery+ into one platform.
Subscribers in select countries outside of the U.S. already have Hulu content bundled with Disney+.
When the streamer launched its ad-supported plan in December, the cost of its premium tier went up to $10.99/month, compared to $7.99. Disney+ will get yet another price hike for its ad-free subscription. Soon, subscribers will have to pay even more to get content with no ads.
“The pricing changes we’ve already implemented [have] proven successful, and we plan to set a higher price for our ad-free tier later this year to better reflect the value of our content offerings,” Iger added. “As we look to the future, we will continue optimizing our pricing model to reward loyalty and reduce churn to increase subscriber revenue for the premium ad-free tier and drive growth of subscribers…”

Disney+ loses subscribers for second quarter in a row, drops 4M subs

Disney+ and Hulu content to combine into one streaming app by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch
Disney+ and Hulu content to combine into one streaming app

Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments

In Roku’s recent quarter, the company posted better-than-expected revenue of $741 million, but worried investors with its warning of an uncertain ad market and declining average revenue per user. Today, at the IAB NewFronts, the streaming media company introduced its latest ad products to potentially help it address the latter, at least. These included new opportunities to advertise on Roku’s Home Screen, within its original content, and even in its screensaver, among other things. It also hyped its use of contextual AI for automatically running ads right next to the most relevant moments in shows and movies on The Roku Channel.
The company explained that its new artificial intelligence capability searches across the Roku library for “iconic plot moments” that would match a brand’s message and place their ads in real time. To work, marketers will first tell Roku their campaign’s theme. The AI searches the library to match the campaign with key moments. For example, when Tim Gunn says “make it work” in “Project Runway,” an apparel brand could insert its message.
Roku also announced a new slate of Roku Originals, which will include an entrepreneurship docuseries, “Side Hustlers,” produced by Hello Sunshine — Reese Witherspoon’s media company that sold in 2021 for $900 million to Candle Media, the company run by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, which now has its hand in numerous pies across the streaming landscape. Digital bank Ally was also involved in this production that focuses on people turning their side hustle into their main business.
Image Credits: Roku
Other new Originals arriving this year include “Celebrity Family Cook Off,” a series executive produced by Sofia Vergara and hosted by Manolo Gonzalez Vergara and “Carpe DM with Juanpa,” which will feature social media star Juanpa Zurita, among others.  Roku said it’s also renewing “The Great American Baking Show,” featuring Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry and “Honest Renovations,” featuring Jessica Alba and Lizzy Mathis.
The company claimed its Originals were delivering better than cable, and even better than broadcast audiences every day. 
The streaming company additionally used its time to pitch marketers about how to reach its now 71.6 million active accounts on its service via new ad products and placements.
The pitch, delivered by Roku Media President Charlie Collier, touted Roku’s reach in the U.S.
“Americans spend more time on Roku than any other TV platform, which means they spend more time here with Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and even more time streaming CBS, NBC ABC, and Fox,” Collier told the audience. “Think about this: 50% of all Super Bowl streaming took place on Roku this year,” he added.
Image Credits: Roku
During the event, Roku shared some of its latest ad deals. It noted that its screensaver “Roku City,” which floats a cityscape on the TV screen while the TV is idle, will open up to brands. While before, the city screensaver would point users to suggested content to stream, it will now be able to feature other brands, as well. This summer, it will feature McDonald’s brand as part of the artwork, for instance, as its first brand partner on the new ad offering. The screensaver is used by nearly 40 million homes, Roku said.
The company also introduced new discovery experiences that allow brands to host content in areas like Home & Garden and Sports experiences that curate content from across TV on the Roku Home Screen. Now, when users turn to Roku search, they may see a featured collection that’s “presented by” an ad partner — for example, Walmart was shown “presenting” the Home & Garden collection.
Image Credits: Roku
Image Credits: Roku
Roku also shared that Instacart was its latest Commerce+ partner, joining others like Walmart, Best Buy, Cox Automotive, DoorDash, Kroger and more on its shoppable ads and other retailer-focused initiatives.
Commerce+ is designed to shorten the path to purchase for consumers, Roku explained.
For example, Wendy’s offered Roku users $5 off powered by DoorDash via a Home Screen ad, then used DoorDash data to help measure the impact of their ad spend. The campaign grew Wendy’s order size mainly among new and lapsed users and delivered a positive return on investment many times over, the company said.
Other news for marketers included Roku’s introduction of a Primetime Reach Guarantee, which it claimed to be a “first” in streaming. Essentially, the guarantee commits to brands they’ll be able to reach more TV households in primetime than the average program airing on a top-five cable channel on traditional TV.
“We’re uniquely positioned to make brands unmissable in TV because Roku is not fighting for turf in streaming—we are the turf,” said Alison Levin, Roku’s vice president of Ad Revenue and Marketing Solutions, in a press release. “We’re bringing the entire power of the platform, not just the pieces, to give marketers more of the scale, delight, and flexibility that they love in TV.”
Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch
Roku touts its new ad products, including an AI that matches campaigns to TV moments

YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY

Alphabet reported Tuesday its latest earnings, citing that YouTube saw ad revenue fall 2.6% year over year as advertisers pulled back from the platform due to economic uncertainty. YouTube only raked in $6.69 billion in advertising revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2023 compared to the $6.87 billion during the same period last year.
Despite the disappointing number, YouTube managed to slightly beat analysts’ expectations of $6.6 billion.
This is the third quarter in a row that YouTube’s ad revenue decreased. The downward sliding figures are a cause of concern for content creators, who look to ad revenue to earn income.
The company attempted to offer reassurance during Tuesday’s earnings call, choosing to focus on its success with the short-form video feature Shorts.
“Last year the number of channels that uploaded to Shorts daily grew over 80%. Those posting weekly on Shorts saw the majority of new channel subscribers coming from their Shorts posts,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet said.
As the platform experiences intense competition from rivals like TikTok, the company continues to focus on the Shorts to boost its growth. In November 2022, YouTube rolled out Shorts to smart TVs. Google announced in February that Shorts has reached 50 billion daily views.
“We’re seeing strong watch time, growth… monetization is also progressing nicely. People are engaging and converting on ads across Shorts at increasing rates,” added Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer.
YouTube also reiterated plans to ramp up its efforts to make YouTube more shoppable. The company partnered with Shopify last year to enable YouTubers and merchants to feature products on their channels.
“Shopping on YouTube… It’s still super early days. One highlight last year, we brought shopping to more creators and brands by partnering with commerce platforms like Shopify. Now more than 100,000 creators, artists and brands have connected their own stores to their YouTube channels to sell their products. We’re excited about the potential ahead,” Schindler said.
The company confirmed to TechCrunch in November that it plans to add shopping features to Shorts.
Overall, parent company Alphabet reported $69.8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2023, a 3% increase from the same year-ago period.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stepped down from her role in February, taking on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet. Neal Mohan, chief product officer, is the new CEO.
In January, Alphabet cut 6% of its workforce, which affected 12,000 employees.

YouTube Shorts begins testing shopping features and affiliate marketing

YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch
YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY

YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash

YouTube announced today that it’s relaxing the controversial profanity rules that it introduced toward the end of last year. The company says the new rules ended up creating a “stricter approach” than it had intended. The new update to the policy allows creators to use moderate and strong profanity without risking demonetization.
The original policy that was introduced back in November would flag any video that used profanity in the first 15 seconds of the video and make it ineligible for monetization, which meant that YouTube wouldn’t run ads on such videos. The change was retroactive and some creators said they had lost their monetization status as a result.
YouTube said back in January that it planned to modify the new rules.
Although the new relaxed rules don’t revert these changes back to the platform’s old policy, YouTube is making some changes that will allow creators to be eligible for limited ads if they use strong profanity within the first few seconds of a video. Under the November update, such videos would have received no ad revenue. The company also notes that video content using profanity, moderate or strong, after the first 7 seconds will be eligible for monetization, unless used repetitively throughout the majority of the video. Once again, such videos would have received no ad revenue under the November update.
YouTube said that it will re-review videos from creators who had their monetization affected by the November policy.
The company also clarified how profanity in music is treated, and noted that moderate or strong profanity used in background music, backing tracks, intro/outro music can now earn full ad revenue. Previously, such content would have received no ad revenue. In addition, the use of any profanity in titles and thumbnails will still be demonetized and cannot run ads, as was the case before the update in November.
The new policy goes into effect starting today. It’s worth noting that although the new policy doesn’t address all of the concerns that creators had and is still somewhat vague, it should make it easier for a big chunk of creators to continue monetizing their videos without having to make major changes.
It’s clear that YouTube is trying to make its massive trove of videos more age appropriate and advertiser friendly, but retrofitting new monetization rules onto a platform like YouTube is a delicate balance, as the past few months have shown.

YouTube plans to modify profanity rules that prompted creator backlash

YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash by Aisha Malik originally published on TechCrunch
YouTube relaxes controversial profanity and monetization rules following creator backlash