ViacomCBS Becomes Paramount; Why Bing Users Actually Use Bing

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Of Paramount Importance

​​ViacomCBS became “Paramount” on Wednesday, elevating the name of its core streaming service. Paramount Plus is not even a year old yet (it turns one in March), but its subscriber base totals 32.8 million.

The broadcaster netted 9.4 million total new streaming sign-ups in Q4. Three-quarters of those sign-ups (7.3 million) went to Paramount Plus. The company’s year-over-year increase in total subscription revenue was 84%.

The linear news is not so bright, as advertising revenue declined 1%. Paramount blamed lower political spending and fewer linear impressions as the reason, Deadline reports. 

Speaking of linear falling flat, most of the company’s revenue surge this quarter came from streaming. 

But Wall Street still isn’t impressed. The company’s stock dropped during after-hours trading after investors heard the entertainment giant missed its earnings forecast. Stock continued to drop on Wednesday – it closed at $29.58 a share, down from $35.99 at close on Tuesday.

Paramount (née ViacomCBS) made $8 billion in total Q4 revenue, a 16% increase year-over-year.

There Are Dozens Of Us!

In a recent podcast, The Verge senior editor Nilay Patel derided the idea of anyone choosing the search engine Bing. 

The Verge was then … not inundated, but politely notified that some people do prefer Bing, thank you very much. 

The biggest factor was Xbox, quietly an engine across categories for Microsoft – gaming, of course, but also ads, ecommerce, account-based IDs and, apparently, search. Xbox players who link their Bing account can get credits toward or even cover Xbox’s Game Pass subscription. There are other ways to redeem Bing rewards, including Amazon or Starbucks gift cards, Uber credits or cash back on purchases of partner brands.

“If a company is going to data mine me, I might as well get something out of it,” said one listener named Kaval. 

Another factor: Stick it to Google. 

“I know you were joking, but I wanted to reach out,” said Jimmy. “I didn’t want Google to have all my info any longer.” 

Others aren’t philosophical, but adopted Bing up as the default in Edge browsers and on Windows devices. A handful even cited Bing wallpaper, an app that cycles new daily background images for PCs or tablets. 

Hard Of Hearing

Most American adults probably heard about Spotify’s Joe Rogan podcast tiff – the “bro” in imbroglio, if you will – but relatively few listen to podcast news shows. 

Twenty three percent of adults aged 18 and up say they at least sometimes get news from podcasts, per a Pew Research Center survey taken last summer. A mere 7% say they often listen to podcast news, while 56% responded flat-out never. 

That’s a lot of runway, if podcasts manage to grow their core listenerships. 

And the stats can be spun optimistically. A third of Americans between 18 and 29 years old listen to podcast news, compared to 12% of those over 65. Podcast demos are young and diverse. White, Black, Hispanic and Asian respondents consumed podcast news at equal rates, around 22% to 24%. Men and women are fairly evenly spread, as are political affiliations for those who identify as Republican, independent and Democratic Party leaning.

The only major difference aside from the average age gap of podcast listeners is average education level. Adults with a college degree are 28% podcast news listeners, whereas only 17% of people with a high school diploma or less listen to podcast news. 

But Wait, There’s More!

Spotify acquires Podsights and Chartable. Both are podcast ad analytics startups. [Axios]

Fred Wilson: VC investments have reached a blistering – and alarming – high pace. [blog]

Joe Sweeny: Beehiiv raises $2.6 million to build a dynamic ad network for indie newsletters. [Twitter thread]

The CNIL, the French data regulator, publishes investigation priorities for 2022: commercial prospecting, cloud and telework monitoring. [release]

Google AdSense releases a new ad unit that links to related searches from within the publisher pages. [SE Roundtable]

Extreme Reach expands brand portfolio with acquisition of Syncro Services. [release]

IAB Tech Lab publishes its 2022 product road map and will continue its technical Programmatic Guides series. [blog]

You’re Hired!

Bed Bath & Beyond names new brand and digital marketing leaders. [release]

Consultancy Bounteous hires Raju Patel as managing director. [release]

Pete Stein is named president of Merkle Americas. [release]

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