Roku Cuts Fox From Its Platform; Videa To Close March 31

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Roku’s Horse And Carriage

Roku temporarily removed Fox network apps from its OTT platform on Friday, bringing a new twist to TV carriage deals in streaming media. Fox’s distribution contract expired on Jan. 31, and the broadcaster didn’t close a new contract with Roku – though by Friday evening the two sides had come to a deal. Fox called Roku’s threats to black out its apps a “naked effort to use its customers as pawns” to extract better rates. Roku has been tactical about its carriage negotiations. OTT app publishers fork over up to 30% of their inventory to Roku, but broadcasters with clout negotiate one-off terms to keep a higher percentage for themselves. Roku is known for its short-term carriage deals with OTT publishers, forcing them to renegotiate regularly so it can take advantage of fast-moving streaming trends. More.

Videa Closing

Cox is shutting down its advanced advertising unit Videa on March 31. In a statement, Cox said: “Over the years, the company made significant progress in the programmatic television space, but it is no longer sustainable to continue operations.” Videa launched within Cox in 2014, and it officially launched its supply-side platform in 2015. At the time, Cox had partnered with other SSPs like Clypd (now owned by AT&T’s Xandr) and AudienceXpress (now rolled up somewhere in Comcast) to monetize its long-tail inventory. But Videa was designed for Cox to monetize its premium video. But Cox has been slowly divesting itself of some of its video-related assets. In October 2018, it closed its programmatic exchange. And as Broadcasting and Cable News noted, the broadcaster divested some of its TV and radio stations in December. It’s possible Cox no longer wants to support ad tech in-house. Cox is part of the sales consortium Ampersand, which has recently launched programmatic technology. More.

Rometty, Out

CEO and prominent female executive Ginni Rometty will step down from her post at IBM. Rometty, who has been with the company for 40 years and served as CEO since 2012, struggled to grow the legacy tech giant as it pivoted from hardware to AI and the cloud, The New York Times reports. Her replacement, Arvind Krishna, currently heads up IBM’s cloud computing business. Krishna’s appointment is a clear nod to where IBM realizes it needs to go. As Krishna ascends, so will James Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, the open-source cloud application software company IBM bought for $34 billion in August 2019. Whitehurst will become IBM’s president. Krishna will assume the CEO role in April, and Rometty remains on IBM’s board until the end of the year. “She came in at a particularly tough time, and that challenge was handed to her,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein Research, of Rometty. More.

When GDPR Met Brexit

The United Kingdom finally Brexited Europe on Friday – so do UK businesses still have to comply with GDPR? The answer is yes, for now. The United Kingdom is in a transition period through the end of the year so it can renegotiate its business policy arrangements with the EU. Until those negotiations are complete, it’s "business as usual for data protection,” says the Information Commissioner’s Office, the United Kingdom’s data protection authority. The United Kingdom was deeply involved in the creation of GDPR, and as part of its withdrawal agreement plans to include the regulation as domestic law. Even so, it’s all up in the air as talks go on. If the United Kingdom and EU don’t come to an agreement by the end of December, previous laws will govern data transfers out of the United Kingdom to countries in the European Economic Area, but not the other way around. “If a data transfer agreement is not formalized by the end of the transition period, then organizations relying on EEA data transfers may have to find alternative transfer mechanisms,” iNews UK reports. More.

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