Media snippets of the week – The end of low-cost streaming

The decline of linear TV is nothing new, but this week for the first time since it has been tracking the data, Nielsen reported linear TV viewing in the US had dipped below 50% of total TV consumption. Broadcasters accounted for only 20% of the total, whilst cable (pay TV) comprised the remaining c.30%. Kantar estimated that at the end of 2022, almost 90% of American households were using streaming services, with the average household juggling at least five different platforms. Given its widespread adoption, it is unsurprising that Nielsen's latest data reveals a notable surge in streaming usage — a 48% increase since 2021 — with streaming now representing 39% of total screen time. As the number of streaming services continues to grow, companies are in a constant battle for subscribers (or online users). But, like most things these days, streaming isn't getting any cheaper. Prices are rising across the board as companies strive to recover the escalating costs of content and production. A recent study by the FT found that a selection of top US streaming services will set you back $87 this autumn, marking a nearly 20% price hike from a year ago. This begs the question if this is the beginning of the end of the low-cost streaming era. It is no surprise that some companies, like Netflix, have expanded their offerings into AVOD, to attract a larger consumer base and provide a more affordable alternative. Also this week, Amazon has extended its sponsored listings offering outside its platform, YouGov has clarified that a US listing is a long-term consideration and DMGT declared interest in the Telegraph. 


News of the week

US linear TV viewing share falls below 50%
Nielsen's monthly streaming report for July reveals US linear TV viewing time has dropped below 50% of total TV usage for the first time since Nielsen began tracking viewing by platform in 2021. This is broken down into 20% for broadcast networks and approximately 30% for cable (or Pay TV). The updated numbers represents a 22% decline from 2021. It will not come as a surprise that streaming has seen a substantial increase, up 48% and now making up 39% of total viewing - a new record. YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video all reached unprecedented shares of TV usage in July. Despite the decline in traditional TV viewing, sports content remains a key draw, generating nearly 25bn viewing minutes for broadcasters in July, even in a slow month for sports. Variety, WARC

Amazon’s sponsored ad product expanding to the wider web
Amazon sponsored ads, ie the advertisements that appear in its search results, is a foundational advertising offering launched a decade ago. The group is now looking at ways to increase its inventory by expanding out to the wider web. Initially these ads, which are cost-per-click campaigns, will only appear amongst a small list of publishers currently using its demand-side platform. This includes Pinterest, BuzzFeed, and Hearst Newspapers. The expansion enables advertisers to broaden their campaigns beyond Amazon, while still monitoring performance and business impact through Amazon's store. Amazon's comprehensive ad services also encompass Amazon Publisher Services, which helps websites make money by taking in bids from advertisers using Amazon’s DSP, and Amazon Marketing Cloud, a platform for advertisers to evaluate the efficacy of their campaigns via Amazon Ads. Amazon's ad business recently posted a 22% YoY growth, with revenues reaching US$11bn in the second quarter. AdAge

A US listing on the cards for YouGov in the medium term
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Stephan Shakespeare, the founder of YouGov who has recently assumed the role of chair, hinted at the possibility of a US listing. However, the company later clarified that while all listing options are routinely considered, a US listing is not on the immediate horizon. Shakespeare expressed his belief that US markets are more supportive of companies like YouGov. The US is YouGov's largest market, where it partners with tech groups, consumer brands, and offers political coverage. As the region with the highest expenditure on marketing data, it serves as a natural base for YouGov’s operations. Shakespeare also pointed out that the recent acquisition of the consumer panel business of the German market research group GfK for €315m, which expanded YouGov's size by 50%, has made a move to the US more feasible. FT

DMGT declares interest in The Telegraph
The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), owner of the Daily Mail, has confirmed its interest in acquiring the Telegraph Media Group. This comes a week after National World also declared interest in the asset. The formal auction is expected to start next month and will be run by Goldman Sachs. The Telegraph Group recently celebrated reaching its target of one million subscriptions ahead of its end of 2023 deadline, making it the third UK newspaper company to achieve this feat, following The Guardian and Financial Times. Over 70% of these subscriptions are digital, with around 300,000 subscribers using the TMG app daily. The acquisition of Chelsea Magazine Company in March helped bolster these numbers. The figures are being audited by PwC and will be officially released in October. FT, PressGazette


Other news

  • Ascential acquires Contagious, a creative and strategic intelligence service. Ascential
  • DAZN struck deal to acquire ata football. Sky News
  • London’s Maida Vale’s music studio sold to a consortium. FT
  • New York City bans TikTok on governmental devices. Reuters 
  • Threads' user engagement plummets close to 80% The Drum

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