Amazon Hires In OTT Advertising; Spotify’s COVID Pain Limited So Far

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Primed For TV 

Amazon beefed up its ad-supported OTT ranks with the hire of Maggie Zhang, former EVP of video research and insights at Dentsu Aegis Network. At Amazon, Zhang will develop reach and measurement products for Prime Video advertisers in a role that spans research, product, sales and marketing teams, according to a LinkedIn post. Zhang will work with advertisers and Amazon ad platform teams in the new role. Amazon has a unique opportunity to bring granular attribution to OTT by connecting viewership data with Amazon’s ecommerce sales data, and Zhang can help bridge that gap, Business Insider reports. “OTT measurement is a wide open space, and with Maggie, Amazon has the potential to develop standards,” said independent TV consultant Steven Golus.

Sounds Stable 

Spotify’s ad revenue grew just 17% YoY to $160 million in Q1, short of expectations due to COVID-19-related pauses and cancellations. Programmatic was hit hard, but Spotify did not break out the details. Advertising makes up about 10% of revenue, so “our business is less impacted than others,” said CEO Daniel Ek on the earnings call. Daily active user count grew 31% to 286 million, and overall revenues were up 22% to $2 billion. Spotify maintained its 2020 outlook but revised revenue guidance downward slightly. Read its investor letter.

Green Light

The FTC granted Verizon’s acquisition of the BlueJeans video conferencing app this week, earlier than people expected. Antitrust advocates are ticked about the merger being quietly approved during the coronavirus crisis, since it’s the kind of tech or telco deal they’ve been warning about. Verizon doesn’t have its own B2B video app, but it provides the streaming bandwidth that BlueJeans’ rivals also rely on. Verizon has been caught throttling Netflix and YouTube streams, and the concern here is a BlueJeans competitor such as Zoom might now face Verizon network issues.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

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