Will Publishers Benefit From Media Consumption Spike?; Disney Could Sell TrueX Ad Platform

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Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Pains

Media consumption is spiking almost as fast as the coronavirus is spreading, with people locked in their homes. But TV networks may only see short-term gains as the world faces a recession and production crews are forced to halt filming, The New York Times reports. Audience gains “will be replaced pretty quickly by the necessity of reducing monthly bills, when people will have to deal with the financial impacts of a recession,” said Craig Moffett, of the research firm MoffettNathanson. “Cord cutting will accelerate with a vengeance.” TV networks have already lost their crown jewel, live sports, which brings in billions of dollars in ad revenue and is the main cost in cable subscriptions. Advertisers spend more than $2 billion on live games and tournaments in the spring, all of which have been canceled, according to Kantar Media. ESPN is projected to lose $481 million and Turner $210 million in NBA advertising, MoffetNathanson predicts. And if Tokyo cancels the 2020 Olympics, NBCU stands to lose $1.25 billion in advertising commitments. More.

Big If True

Disney is shopping TrueX, an ad tech company it acquired with its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox last year. TrueX serves reward-based interactive ad units that allow people to watch an ad before content in exchange for fewer commercials over the course of an episode. Its technology has been used by broadcasters such as Fox and WarnerMedia, as well as streaming platforms including Pandora and Hulu. Fox acquired TrueX in 2014 for $200 million to reduce ad load and create a better user experience. But Disney didn’t see TrueX as a core asset and hasn’t invested in the company or integrated it into its sales or technology organizations, The Wall Street Journal reports. It’s unclear what price Disney is hoping to get for TrueX, but its ability to get a deal done may be hampered by the public health crisis and economic collapse. However, TrueX co-founder Joe Marchese, who now heads Attention Capital, may be interested in buying the firm back, according to WSJ sources. More.

Breaking The Mold

A wave of customization has swept through apparel and retail industries. “Aside from shopping apps and smartphone scanners, several other technologies – 3-D printing, networked production and high-speed data transmission – are enabling mass customization,” reports The New York Times. Within five years, most major consumer brands will have their own “customization operation,” according to Dr. Jagjit Singh Srai, head of the Centre for International Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. Made-to-order footwear is booming, with technology that makes it easy to scale manufacturing options for individualized insoles, laces or any other part of the shoe. More.

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