Why Netflix Isn't the Only Big Story in TV and Streaming Today
Business publications and ad trades are full of stories these days on Netflix’s announced intention to create a lower-cost, advertising-supported streaming service.
All this media attention is quite natural. Netflix has been the "bell cow" market leader in streaming, long trumpeting its advertising abstinence. So the changing strategy -- coinciding with its first quarter of subscription losses -- is very big news indeed.
However, as important as that story is, it’s not the most crucial in the world of TV and streaming advertising today. Here are five stories that are bigger:
Strong TV Upfronts
Many claim that TV is dead -- including Gary Vee on a Cannes stage -- but TV networks are posting record numbers this upfront, tying CTV inventory into many of the packages. Net-net, CPM rate increases are rising faster than total audience volume declines.
Alt Measurement Movement
Drumbeats continue from would-be usurpers to Nielsen’s throne as the king of premium video ad measurement. While most don’t expect a Nielsen dethroning, alternative measurement companies seem to be making real ground during this upfront, getting the chance to test their platforms in support of secondary promises on some of the deals.
Amazon Buys U.K. Streaming Rights to Champions League
In early July, Amazon bought rights to a number of Champions League games in the U.K. Put in context with its 11-year deal for the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football,” it’s clear that Amazon is going to be a really big player in streaming sports rights going forward. Can large TV broadcasters keep up with Amazon and its enormous cross-market subsidies from ecommerce and cloud storage?
OTA Networks Continue to Surge
Many call them “diginets.” They are the digital-tier stations controlled by local broadcasters that consumers are finally discovering as they buy smart TVs with digital tuners and learn that dozens of channels of news, entertainment and sports are available for free. These channels are twice as big as CTV in total audience ad delivery and are growing their audiences at double-digit levels. Macroeconomic headwinds can only help that growth.
Local Broadcaster Close to Buying a National Broadcast Network
First we had Discovery buying WarnerMedia. Now we have local broadcaster Nexstar close to a deal to buy The CW Network (currently co-owned by... Warner Bros. Discovery).
So again, Netflix is indeed a big story, but certainly not the only story in the world of TV and streaming -- a world that's going to continue to get more interesting and exciting in the months and years to come.
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An earlier version of this blog was originally published by MediaPost.