AVOD Picks Up Steam; Oracle Kicks the Tires On TikTok

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Subscription video-on-demand services dominate the headlines, but time spent with ad-supported video is responsible for a significant slice of viewing. Year-over-year growth in minutes watched in Q2 among players aside from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus was more than 57%, according to Nielsen. Growth in AVOD viewing accounted for more than 12 billion minutes. SVOD is also growing like gangbusters, though. People spent 25% of their TV time streaming subscription content, up from 19% this time last year. It’s not surprising that people turned to streaming when stay-at-home orders were in place, but this behavior has continued to persist even as the weather warms, Nielsen found. At the same time, AVOD is particularly appealing to cash-strapped consumers dealing with growing unemployment and subscription fatigue, Nielsen says. Music to Jeff Green’s ears.

Ask The Oracle

Now also in the running for TikTik is … Oracle? CEO Larry Ellison reportedly held preliminary talks with ByteDance, pitting Oracle against Microsoft as a potential acquirer of TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Financial Times reports. It’s puzzling to contemplate what Oracle would do with TikTok, but the bid does give TikTok another credible buyer other than Microsoft (sorry, Twitter). TikTok now has 90 days to find itself a new home in one of those four Western markets after President Trump extended his 45-day deadline based on a recommendation from the US Committee on Foreign Investment. It’s not clear whether the White House supports Oracle or Microsoft as a buyer, (not that it should really have a say), but Ellison is an open Trump supporter and the president likes his loyalty.

Make Way For Another Streamer

ViacomCBS is in talks to sell the digital news site CNET to media holding company Red Ventures as it sheds assets that are not core to its video streaming strategy. The deal, reportedly for $500 million, is not final and talks could break down, The Wall Street Journal reports. CBS acquired CNET for $1.8 billion in 2008. ViacomCBS is also looking to sell book publishing company Simon & Schuster and to leave its $800 million historic headquarters in Manhattan. ViacomCBS plans to reinvest all that cash back in its video streaming efforts. Like everyone and their mother, ViacomCBS is building a streaming service of its own. The service will combine content from both Viacom and CBS and from Viacom-owned Paramount along with live news and sports programming.

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