ViacomCBS Wants To Raise $3B For Streaming; Roku Builds Brand Advertising Studio

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Mountain Of Money

When ViacomCBS promoted Paramount Plus ahead of its launch, subscribers were promised “a mountain of entertainment.” And the company is continuing to put a mountain of money behind that tagline. The company said Monday that it’s looking to raise $3 billion to fuel its investments in streaming and develop content for Paramount Plus and other streaming properties, per Variety and SEC filings (although they’re using the dough for other general corporate purposes as well). As a late entrant into the streaming wars, ViacomCBS is leaning heavily on Paramount Plus to give it a competitive edge, and said during its investor event last month that it is investing aggressively in content to support the growth of its streaming services. ViacomCBS invested $15 billion on content last year, and streaming content expenses will increase to at least $5 billion by 2024. ViacomCBS has a goal of reaching 65 million to 75 million global streaming subscribers – mainly through Paramount Plus – and more than $7 billion in streaming revenue by 2024. [Related in AdExchanger: ViacomCBS Setting Itself Apart With Paramount Plus And Pluto TV]

Roku Upfront

Roku is seriously upping its game as it makes a bigger push for ad dollars. The streaming giant is getting into the branded content business with the launch of the Roku advertising brand studio ahead of the TV upfronts and IAB NewFronts. The new studio will "produce new creative ad formats and programming, full-fledged TV programming for marketers who want to go beyond that traditional 30 second ad unit," Roku VP of ad marketing Dan Robbins told the Hollywood Reporter. "This might be advertiser-commissioned TV programs, interactive video ads, new ad units and more," Robbins said. "This might be Roku filming and producing a cooking show for a grocery brand, or an adventure documentary for an outdoor brand that wants to reach cord-cutters." Roku, which now has over 50 million active accounts, is bringing on Funny Or Die’s branded content team to jumpstart the advertising brand studio, which will help marketers go beyond traditional 30-second TV ad spots and includes short-form TV programs, interactive video ads, and other branded content on The Roku Channel. Roku, of course, has been ramping up its original content pipeline, which includes the recent acquisition of Quibi programming. Related in AdExchanger: Roku Has Strongest Quarter Ever As Viewers Flock To Streaming]

Brand Safe

Facebook wants to let advertisers know it’s a safe place to do business. The social platform expanded its brand safety controls and updated its Commerce & Ads IP Tool, “which helps rights holders protect their intellectual property,” Adweek reports. According to a Facebook blog post, “Expansion of this ability gives publishing pages the opportunity to use content owned by someone else in a video they upload without it being taken down, while also expanding inventory for advertisers and providing people with compelling content that might otherwise be blocked due to copyright issues.” Also, if advertisers want to ensure their ads don’t run alongside video claimed by someone other than the uploader, Facebook now offers suitability controls. Read on

But Wait, There’s More!

ActionIQ has extended its Series C funding, bringing the round to a total size of $100 million. [TechCrunch]

Programmatic video platform Tremor Video is set to launch a data-driven TV Intelligence offering. [Street Insider]

Even large agencies that spend millions of dollars each year with Google say they only have limited knowledge of how the company’s Privacy Sandbox methods replacing third-party cookies will work. So, what can advertisers actually do with first-party data? [Digiday]

Reporters Without Borders has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in France, accusing the platform of failing to provide a "safe" environment for users in violation of its own terms and conditions. [CNN]

First-party data lake startup Blotout, founded by a former Brave exec, is taking an investment from Y Combinator as part of the YC Winter 2021 group to help enable analytics, marketing attribution, BI and other applications in a privacy-safe way. [blog post]

Following its acquisitions of Pepperjam and BrandVerity last year, Partnerize is launching the next generation of its comprehensive partnership automation solution. [release]

It’s been a year since COVID grounded the travel industry. Now, with optimism and vaccinations both on the rise, people are more interested in travel than ever before. [Pinterest Business]

You’re Hired 

Criteo has appointed Rachel Scheel as its first SVP of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. [Martech Series

DNA has tapped Wieden + Kennedy veteran Alex Dobson for a new media role. [MediaPost]

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