The Big Story: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, It Will Be Streamed

The Big Story podcast

The TV revolution is in full swing, as ratings decline, prices increase, viewers leave for non-ad supported services and new entrants offer video inventory.

This week on The Big Story, we look at recent ad forecasts showing that the ratings decline is catching up to the TV market. In other words, the high prices broadcasters charge can no longer prop up the industry – and some TV buyers are getting priced out.

But content companies such as Disney and NBCU are well aware that this shift is underway. Disney is working overtime to drive more subscribership to Disney Plus – new bounties for the Mandalorian. Disney also signed onto the Google stack a few months ago with an eye on possibly combining its digital audiences with its OTT and TV audiences. Similarly, NBCU also hopes to combine digital and linear by pushing open source measurement metric CFlight.

Meanwhile, TV manufacturer Vizio has stepped into ad sales. Vizio already sells data via Inscape, and now it has media to offer. This week we look at Vizio’s new offering, as well as the somewhat odd phenomenon of device manufacturers – including Roku and Samsung – branching out into ad sales.

Although TV margins are razor thin, Roku, for one, has been incredibly successful with its ad biz. But how does ad sales fit into each company’s strategic thinking?

And, finally, we’ll examine how Netflix works with brands to strike tie-in partnerships and product placement deals. There’s no advertising on Netflix, and there likely won’t be for a long time, if ever. But there’s still an opportunity for brands to get their products in front of a Netflix audience – though it’s usually a case of Netflix going to them, rather than the other way around.

Despite the fact that certain Netflix shows can feel like glorified commercials (see: “Like Father” or season three of “Stranger Things”), the way Netflix works with brands actually underscores its resistance to monetizing through advertising.

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