Home Ad Exchange News Streamwork Makes The Dream Work; Tumblr Tries To Make A Comeback

Streamwork Makes The Dream Work; Tumblr Tries To Make A Comeback

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Pass Me The Ball

Verizon is making a play for a distribution partnership with Disney as the entertainment behemoth transitions ESPN from a cable channel to a streaming service, The Information reports. 

If chosen as a partner, Verizon could roll out a streaming ESPN offering to its nearly 100 million wireless subscribers. Perhaps the telecom titan would dust off its old Disney playbook: It previously granted certain customers a free year of Disney+ when the service launched in 2019. And it currently bundles streaming services including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ (an ESPN streaming service that features some live sports coverage but not heavy hitters like the NFL and NBA) with its wireless service for a discount.

Why would Disney and Verizon team up? Both companies have fallen on tough times. Disney’s staring down subscriber and revenue losses in both linear and streaming. Verizon’s sweating a subscriber slump in a competitive wireless market and trying to coax consumers to sign up. Streaming add-ons are one way in.

Rising From The Ashes?

Tumblr is no longer just tumbleweeds.

Last week, the social media platform launched a new web interface that looks a lot like X, formerly Twitter. 

Turns out, many users who ditched X after Elon Musk bought it in October started using Tumblr instead. Tumblr had 880,000 app installs between iOS and Android in November, about twice as much as its monthly norm (400,000 to 500,000), TechCrunch reports. (Tumblr’s website login has a link that says: “Coming from Twitter? Sign up.”)

But app install rates have since leveled out to what they were, and Tumblr is spending $30 million more than it makes each year, according to its CEO. It has ways to raise its revenue per user – it copied paid verification with blue checks from X – but it’s not enough to break even. Tumblr needs organic account growth beyond just poaching from its competition. It also needs advertisers, which haven’t forgotten about the porn scandal that made Apple temporarily remove the app from the iOS app store in 2018.

Godspeed, Tumblr.

Z It To Believe It

Brands pour money into social media platforms because user-generated content feels “authentic” to younger audiences. But what happens when that “authenticity” is a fake or misleading slant on the news?

Answer: misinformation.

Social media has radically complicated the news environment, The Verge reports. A recent study says that influencers are overtaking journalists as the primary news source for young people. (Ad tech influencers, anyone?) Nearly a quarter of US adults under 30 regularly get their news fill from TikTok, according to Pew Research Center. (Yikes.)

“To a lot of Gen Z, corporations equal bad or untrustworthy,” says Lucy Blakiston, co-founder of Gen Z media company Sh*t You Should Care About.

But when Gen Z relies on social media as a news source, misinformation abounds.

One viral example is the reported death of the influencer Lil Tay. Earlier this month, a post on the influencer’s Instagram account reported the death of Lil Tay and her brother, which spurred headlines on major news sources. Turns out, the Instagram account was hacked, and Lil Tay is very much alive.

Social media is great for sharing information, but maybe not as a primary source.

But Wait, There’s More!

CEOs of the major studios game plan their next move in strike negotiations. [Variety]

A deep dive into Bob Iger’s plans to shrink Disney. [Insider]

Influencers are lol’ing at Amazon’s $25/video offer to promote Inspire, its TikTok-esque shopping feed. [Bloomberg

Companies are modifying their terms of service so they (but not outsiders) can scrape user data to train their AI systems. [Axios]

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