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  • Apple’s Product Placements in Its Originals Reveal Commerce Agenda and Shifting Industry Leverage

    Ever since Apple started ramping up its investments in original programming there has been lots of speculation about the company’s true motivation for the initiative. Keep up with the competition? Drive more “services” revenues? Burnish its brand? Ensure executives have tickets to award shows and after parties? All of the above? None of the above? Something else?

    The most accurate motivation is likely to keep viewers loyal to Apple’s ecosystem and thereby sell more Apple products to them. That’s the conclusion from a compelling new analysis by Kenny Wassus, senior video journalist at the Wall Street Journal, explained in a 7 minute video (see embedded below). Wassus studied which Apple products appeared and how often in five Apple originals, “Defending Jacob,” “The Morning Show,” “Mythic Quest,” “Ted Lasso” and “Trying.” He watched a total of 74 episodes, totaling over 2,600 minutes, logging every Apple product placement.

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Interview With Alan Wolk About His New Smart TV Report

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    This week we’re pleased to have as our guest Alan Wolk, who is the Co-Founder and Chief Analyst at TV[R]EV and who is well-known to all of us in the industry. Alan has released a new report, “The Emerging Smart TV Ecosystem,” which is available for complimentary download and was underwritten by LG Ads, Samsung Ads and VIZIO.

    In a nutshell, Alan believes smart TV makers “are having a moment.” A key part of our discussion is whether and how quickly smart TVs will supplant streaming sticks and boxes as the primary connected TV device. Alan also shares his predictions and assumptions for how quickly smart TV advertising will grow over the next several years. We also get into the crucial role of improved user interfaces, how the big 3 work with FAST services to attract and retain viewers, and where Amazon’s new Omnia smart TV fits in.

    Smart TVs are helping reinvent the living room experience; hopefully our interview provides new insights for how they’re doing so and over what time period their impact will be felt.

    Listen to the podcast (36 minutes, 32 seconds)
     


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  • How CTV Advertising Can Drive Super Bowl Ads Above $10 Million Per Spot

    News yesterday that NBC has certain advertisers willing to pay a record price of up to $6.5 million for a 2022 Super Bowl spot, 18% higher than this year, and that it has fewer than five unsold 30-second spots remaining for February’s big game, brought to mind a newsletter I wrote way back in February, 2006 entitled “The $10 Million Super Bowl Ad?” (Unfortunately link no longer available). In it I asserted that Super Bowl ads would eventually command $10 million.

    For reference, back in 2007 NBC sold spots in Super Bowl LXI for $2.5 million apiece. That means the price per spot has grown by an annual compounded rate of approximately 6.5%. That is 3.5x the rate of inflation over that 15 year period, which was approximately 1.9%. If Super Bowl ad rates continue to increase at an average of 6.5% per year, then the price will hit $10 million per spot in about 7 years, for the 2029 big game.

    (Note, back in 2015, when NBC was charging $4.5 million per Super Bowl spot, NBC Sports Group’s EVP of Sales and Marketing Seth Winter said “$4.5 million is a steal. We think the Super Bowl is worth closer to $10 million in incremental exposure for marketers.” Worth it or not, 6 years later NBC believes a spot is now valued by the market at $6.5 million and to be fair some of the ads’ value is tied to a packaging approach NBC is taking with the 2022 Winter Olympics).

    What’s going on here?

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  • Inside the Stream Podcast: Does it Really Make Sense for AMC+ to Partner With Amazon Channels?

    Welcome to this week’s edition of Inside the Stream, the podcast where nScreenMedia’s Chief Analyst Colin Dixon and I take listeners inside the world of streaming video.

    On this week’s podcast we dig into my post from earlier this week about my experience starting a 7-day free trial to the SVOD service AMC+ using Amazon Channels. I did this in order to watch the movie “A Few Good Men” with extended family last weekend.

    While the sign-up process was very easy, the issue is that neither AMC+ nor Amazon has done anything to try converting me from trial to paid subscriber by explaining the service’s content value. In fact, when I tried cancelling the first time, they did the opposite, offering me a new discount if I stayed on for another two months.

    Colin and I explore the bind that small to mid-size SVOD services find themselves in with Amazon Channels and other big platforms. On the one hand, the platforms are huge potential sources of trial subscribers. On the other hand, if the SVOD service has virtually no insight about their trial subscribers, can’t connect with them to directly promote content and the platform itself does nothing to convert subscribers from trial, is there really any long-term value being created for the SVOD service, or is it just churning through viewers?

    These are tricky questions without clear answers. But they have huge implications for SVOD services and the platforms going forward. Learn more now!

    Listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 10 seconds)




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