5 Stories In The World Of TV, Streaming More Important Than Netflix

Business publications and ad trades are full of stories these days on Netflix’s announced intention to create a lower cost, advertising-supported streaming service.

All this media attention is quite natural. Netflix has been the bell cow market leader in streaming, long trumpeting its advertising abstinence. So, the changing strategy coincident with its first quarter of subscription losses is very big news indeed.

However, as important as that story is, it’s not the most crucial in the world of TV and streaming advertising today. Here are five stories that are bigger:

Strong TV upfronts. Many claim that TV is dead -- including Gary V on a Cannes stage -- but TV networks are posting record numbers this upfront, tying CTV inventory into many of the packages. Net-net, CPM rate increases are rising faster than total audience volume declines.

Alt measurement movement. Drumbeats continue from would-be usurpers to Nielsen’s throne as the king of premium video ad measurement. While most don’t expect a Nielsen dethroning, alternative measurement companies seem to be making real ground during this upfront, getting the chance to test their platforms in support of secondary promises on some of the deals.



Amazon buys streaming rights to Champions League games in the U.K. Late last week, Amazon bought rights to a number of Champions League games in the U.K. Put in context with its 11-year deal for the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” it’s clear Amazon is going to be a really big player in streaming sports rights going forward. Can large TV broadcasters keep up with Amazon and its enormous cross-market subsidies from ecommerce and cloud storage?

OTA networks continue to surge. Many call them “diginets.” They are the digital tier stations controlled by local broadcasters that consumers are finally discovering as they buy smart TVs with digital tuners and learn that dozens of channels of news, entertainment and sports are available for free. These channels are twice as big as CTV in total audience ad delivery and are growing their audiences at double-digit levels. Macroeconomic headwinds can only help that growth.

Local broadcaster about to buy a national broadcast network. Yep, first we had Discovery buying Warner Media. Now we have local broadcaster Nexstar close to a deal to buy The CW Network.

Netflix is a big story, but certainly not the only story in the TV and streaming world. What do you think?

3 comments about "5 Stories In The World Of TV, Streaming More Important Than Netflix".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 7, 2022 at 4:02 p.m.

    Dave, I think that two of the developments you cited are a bit overblown as to their significance.

    For example, The CW broadcast TV "network" is not much more than a national prime time  program syndication operation which offers only two hours of content per night----nothing more. That's a much smaller scale  than a real broadcast TV network like NBC which programs the entire day and whose parent also owns very profitable major market TV stations as well as national cable channels and is now growing an AVOD streaming service. Now  that's a real broadcast TV network.

    Also, the supposed "alternatives" to Nielsen regarding "audience measurement" are mainly being considered by various sellers as ways to go beyond "audience counting" with other metrics, not as replacements for Nielsen. And" testing" is really the right word for most of these machinations---though I wish all of those involved well.

    Once Nielsen's new "big data" system gets accredited by the MRC and users  become accustomed to  whatever differences it shows compared to the old  service, I assume that Nielsen will retain its dominance as national TV's  supplier of basic  "audience" data---barring some really huge screw up. Beyond that, there will, no doubt, be a major shakeout of the many "TV rating" wannabies, especially as savvy  major agencies, such as Group M, get a good look at exactly what each has to offer and what, if anything, it brings to the table.

     Sadly, what gets lost in the shuffle is what is really needed to improve our understanding of TV's impact upon its audience--attentiveness.  Measuring whether "viewers" actually watch program and commercial content is a no no for the TV time sellers---who rule ---so attentiveness loses to "impressions----" leaving us with  much larger samples but not very much else.

  2. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, July 8, 2022 at 11:29 a.m.

    Ed, very good points. For sure, buying CW isn't like buying CBS in its headday, but I do think that its a big step as we see the local broadcast companies build out national programming brands and national distribution.
    I very much agree on the 'alt measurement movement' function, though not because it's newsworthy, but because I, like you, see Nielsen holding their dominant position as the core premium video currency once NielsenOne is in full release. However, I do think that the 'alt' players will build some very interesting businesses in deeper measurement of audiences, attribution, attentiveness, etc.
    And yes, we need much more talk about the unique effectiveness of TV. It is the story that is not in the press, but should be.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 8, 2022 at 4:55 p.m.

    Dave, The CW is a broadcast TV network in name only-- compared to any of the big three today to say nothing of the networks' heyday many years ago. I assume that it is not a very profitable operation----or worse---which is why it would be for sale.

    However I think that its acquisition by a large TV station group isn't a bad idea as the station group suddnely gets prime time entertainment programming it could ill-afford to obtain on its own---plus the stations can meld in their local news---extended to a national level of reporting--- plus their syndicated fare to create an all-daypart hybrid "network" that advertisners might find attractive.

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