Netflix Slips On Subs; Outbrain Files For IPO

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Streaming giant Netflix slipped a bit after riding high when demand surged at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. CNBC reports that Netflix shares dropped more than 10% in after-hours trading on Tuesday night following an earnings report with fewer-than-expected subscribers. Netflix gained 4 million subs during Q1, missing its forecast of 6 million. Guidance was also a bit light, with Netflix saying it expects just 1 million paid net additions in the second quarter. That’s a lot less than the 10 million subscribers Netflix garnered during the same period a year ago … but, then again, this time last year most people were barely leaving their homes. Netflix’s conservative outlook is a reflection of a gradual (thank goodness) return to post-pandemic life. But don’t count out Netflix. It’s planning to spend $17 billion on content during its 2021 fiscal year, which is a heck of a lot more than its competitors – and content spend is directly tied to subscriber boosts and subscriber stickiness. 

IPOs On The Brain

Adweek reports that Outbrain is pursuing an initial public offering and seeking a $2 billion valuation. The move comes after the content recommendation company abandoned an earlier attempt to merge with rival Taboola, which announced plans of its own in January to go public through a SPAC. [Here’s a refresher on the Outbrain/Taboola merger breakdown.] Specific details are scarce but, according to Forbes, Outbrain has confidentially filed paperwork with the SEC related to its proposed IPO. There’s been a surge of public listings from companies in the ad tech sector over the past 12 months. DoubleVerify was the latest ad tech company to go public on Wednesday, preceded by PubMatic, Viant and AppLovin. IronSource is on deck.

Mr. Clean Room

Habu, which is sort of a CDP,  is seeing a big uptick in the number of brands using its data clean room technology across industries and sectors. Read the release. Clients including Activision, ASICS and Insider are all tapping into Habu’s clean room software, which enables privacy-safe data collaboration (a fancy way of saying second-party data relationships) for measurement, insights and targeting. Interest in clean rooms is skyrocketing as advertisers prepare, or at least try to prepare, for privacy-related changes to device IDs and third-party cookies. Activision, for example, is using Habu’s clean room tech as a core component of its “next generation advertising and measurement strategy,” said Tim Cook (no, not that Tim Cook!), Activision’s director of global marketing analytics and audience development. [Related in AdExchanger: “Data Clean Rooms Will Play A Key Role In A Cookieless World.”]

But Wait, There’s More!

P&G saw a 50% jump in year-on-year ecommerce sales on the back of the “strength of its brands” in a chest-beating financial filing for its third quarter. [The Drum]

You & Mr Jones has formed a new media division led by former Mindshare CEO Nick Emery. [WSJ]

Facebook has kept mostly quiet about its plans to build a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, but the company is willing to proclaim that the already-controversial app will not carry ads. [Digiday]

Facebook and Google are reaping the benefits from advertising’s pandemic hot streak. [CNBC]

At least 45 Amazon executives have left the company since 2020 amid a historic leadership turnover. [Business Insider]

In an effort to fend off competition from rivals, like Spotify, Apple is planning to launch Apple Podcast subscriptions, which will let users pay to unlock new content and additional benefits, including ad-free listening. [Reuters]

You’re Hired!

IPG’s Black Glass Consulting has appointed Jason Moyer as a partner to lead the firm’s marketing strategy and organization design teams. [MediaPost]

Streetwear brand Vans has tapped Dollar Shave Club’s Kristin Harrer as CMO. [Adweek]

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