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5 Cannes Lions Key Takeaways That Are Already Shaping Tomorrow’s Advertising

By Cassidy Clarke and Hanna Wu

This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity brought together leaders from across the advertising industry to celebrate last year’s achievements and explore where the industry is headed. It was the event’s first in-person awards since 2019, yet the week-long event demonstrated that creative ideas, innovative solutions, and collaborative partnerships are pushing the industry to even greater heights. To reflect on what we learned at this year’s festival, we collected a list of 5 key takeaways. 

  1. TV’s data players are advancing interoperability through collaboration and new technologies

Interoperability took centerstage as companies like Blockgraph, Experian, OpenAP, and TransUnion shared how they are partnering to enable better audience technologies for TV and other media channels. 

As brands demand greater connectivity between partners and suppliers, the industry at large will need to continue to work together for the benefit of advertisers and their consumers.

  1. Coinciding media and tech events highlight shifting trends  

In addition to the Cannes Lions, several other media-related events took place last week. VidCon and NFT.NYC showcased rising industry trends including video creators, social media influencers, NFTs and elements of Web3 technology. 

Companies such as DraftKings, Coach, and Wrangler decided to attend NFT.NYC, while companies like Chipotle, Nestle, and Tinder attended VidCon. Others, including Facebook and parent company Meta, decided to attend all three.

To have that many concurrent events – on opposite sides of the globe – with overlapping themes and stakeholders, it’s clear that the advertising landscape is about to get even more complicated. As new trends in social media, digital video, and crypto continue to emerge, it will be important to keep an eye on their evolution to determine how it will impact the future of media and advertising.

  1. Entertainment and advertising execs continue to push for true diversity, equity and inclusion 

Building on the highly-anticipated return of the Cannes Lions, several organizations used this as an opportunity to reinvigorate conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

During a panel regarding bias in the industry, Issa Rae, the Golden Globe-nominated star and creator of Insecure, challenged marketing and advertising personnel to not only have diversity in front of the camera but to focus on the diversity behind the camera as well. She also revealed that she mandates that all her sets are at least 60% diverse.

In addition to the talk tracks, the World Federation of Advertisers launched a Global DEI Charter for Change at Cannes that identifies 11 ‘main action areas’ that organizations need to take to ensure the marketing industry is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As the industry continues to address its’ shortcomings in DEI, accountability will be critical.

  1. Marketers are expanding their reach at Cannes using virtual experiences in the metaverse

While Cannes was in-person, brands looking to extend their impact beyond the yachts, beaches and villas decided to take things virtual – reality, that is.

Brands are using the meta verse to create captivating worlds, events, and activities to engage audiences like never before. In fact, McCann Worldgroup used Cannes as an opportunity to create the MWVERSE. Their gallery includes 10 rooms of past and present ad campaigns, with prerecorded discussions from leaders of their creative teams. Post-festival, McCann will be preserving many of these spaces preserved and eventually, plan to use the MWVERSE as a space for their clients to meet, build new campaigns, or host events. 

The Cannes Lions is a celebration of creativity, and now with the assistance of the metaverse, more people will be able to express, explore, and connect.

  1. Advertisers and agencies seek to address the global climate crisis with sustainability initiatives

Advocacy for sustainability held a firm presence at Cannes this year and a prominent theme among many of the festival’s events – as well as stunts pulled by activists – was the call for stronger climate action. 

In light of the global climate crisis, leading figures from the global advertising industry announced at their intent to echo and expand the U.K.’s Ad Net Zero objective internationally, with an immediate focus on the US and the EU. 

The Ad Net Zero initiative is committed to curtailing operational carbon emissions and using the power of advertising to accelerate the shift to more sustainable products and services in hopes of reducing the carbon emissions from advertising operations to net zero by 2030. 

The 2022 Cannes Lions served as a reminder of the resiliency of creativity. Despite the challenges of lockdowns, social distancing, and remote work, advertising and media continue to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. As we look to the months and year ahead, we expect collaboration, innovation, sustainability and DEI will remain a core focus for the industry.  

King Arthur Baking Company’s Pandemic Story and MLB’s Short Season

This week, we’re talking about Twitch’s boost in popularity, the IAB’s State of Data report, baseball’s short season and more.

Baseball’s short season is doing numbers. It’s no surprise that sports enthusiasts are excited to have live games back, and the short MLB season is setting TV ratings records for ESPN. The Yankees played the Nationals, and an audience of 4 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen, making it the largest audience for an opening night game on record. (The Hollywood Reporter)

The IAB 2020 data report. Get the download on advertising data trends this year, including the impact of COVID on marketing tactics, including data-driven ones. (IAB)

Twitch’s vloggers draw big audiences. With 5 billion hours streamed in Q2 this year, a 2,662% increase year-over-year, the platform known for gaming channels is growing in popularity. Its “Just Chatting” channels are the most-watched Q2, with 498 million hours streamed, a 175% upswing year-over-year. (Ad Age)

King Arthur Baking Company’s pandemic story. In an interview with AdExchanger, the brand’s marketing VP talks about a rebrand after 230 years; demand for flour this year; and an increase in content production for customers. (AdExchanger)

Read the most recent TV news

‘Hamilton’ and Mobile Shopping During the Pandemic

This week, we’re talking about a surge in mobile shopping app downloads, Broadway’s way forward through the pandemic hiatus and a pro-mask wearing ad campaign.

More people are shopping on their phones during the pandemic. Shopping apps for mobile had more than 14 million downloads in the U.S. between March 29 and April 4, a 20% increase from January, according to App Annie. Younger shoppers said mobile browsing was their preferred mode to shop, while respondents 55 and older were less likely to say they preferred mobile shopping. (eMarketer)

Live-capture TV specials could be the next big thing for Broadway. With live productions mostly shuttered for the time being, live-capture television could be what musicals and plays need to survive. The success of Disney’s “Hamilton,” for instance, shows that there is demand for live-capture content on streaming platforms. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Vistaprint’s campaign, “This is not a mask.” The online print brand launched a spot showing kids playing outdoors and adults visiting their local haunts and all wearing face masks. “This is not a mask,” the ad says. “This is a sign of love. This is solidarity.” Along with becoming a mask supplier, the brand has also donated $1 million to the Save Small Business fund it co-founded with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and $500,000 to the NAACP to support Black-owned small businesses. (Adweek)

A Les Misérables reunion. Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman reunited for a Zoom conversation focusing on their experience filming 2012’s “Les Misérables,” which brought him an Oscar nomination for best actor and her a win for supporting actress; Hathaway’s show “Modern Love” and Jackman’s movie “Bad Education”; as well as Jackman’s turn hosting the Oscars in 2009. (Variety)

Read the most recent TV news

Hyundai’s Road Trip Series and a Cable News Rating Record Quarter

This week, we’re talking about the TV and movies available to stream from comedy legend Carl Reiner; presidential TV ad spending and a road trip video series from Hyundai.

Stream Carl Reiner’s work. Reiner, TV and film performer, sitcom creator, comedian and filmmaker, passed away this week. His wide body of work included “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and Steve Martin vehicle “The Jerk.” Catch some of it on streaming services, rounded up in a list from The New York Times

Presidential TV ad spend heats up. The current presidential race has already been a remarkable one in terms of spend, with TV continuing to dominate. And this week, Ad Age reports that the advertising push before November continues to be a pricy one, with President Trump spending $100 million in TV ad buys in swing states Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona, airing Labor Day through Election Day, according to Ad Age’s Campaign Ad Scorecard analysis. (Ad Age)

Hyundai features zero-emission road trips in new series. A survey from the U.S. Travel Association found more than two-thirds of Americans feel safest traveling in their cars, meaning vacations and travel this year will look very different. Hyundai is seizing on the moment to feature its Kona Electric model zipping across beautiful sites including Death Valley and Big Sur. (Adweek)

Cable news hit record ratings in Q2. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC set ratings records in light of recent events, including protests and coronavirus coverage, seeing double-digit gains over the same period last year in total viewers and adults ages 25-54. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Read the most recent TV news

Dos Equis Makes a Social Distancing Cooler and Fornite Hosts Movie Nite

This week, we’re talking about the latest news from Baby Nut; Fortnite’s foray into live events; and Dos Equis’s genius solution to hanging out in the time of social distancing.

Baby Nut makes his debut on Planters packaging. Baby Nut, the Planters Peanut mascot that replaced Mr. Peanut, made its entrance to the world during a Super Bowl spot earlier this year. Now, the new character is appearing on Planters packaging in grocery stores. (Adweek)

Dos Equis comes up with a solution for socially-distant hangouts. It’s a six-foot cooler. The beverage brand’s latest ads feature a super long cooler, so long that you can put it between you and a buddy while you enjoy a beer and have the comfort of knowing you are following social distancing guidelines. Unfortunately, the cooler sold out very quickly. (Ad Age)

Fortnite hosts its first full-length movie. After hosting a series of concerts, the game will host its first “Movie Nite” featuring three films from Christopher Nolan. Taking place on Party Royale island within the game, players can watch “Batman Begins,” “Inception,” or “The Prestige” depending on where in the world they’re playing the game. (Polygon)

A comedy show that makes for excellent comfort viewing. Writer and TV critic Sean T. Collins explains why “Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job!” has held up almost a decade. (The New York Times)

Read the most recent TV news

Budweiser’s Father’s Day T-shirts and P&G Creative

This week, we’re talking about Budweiser’s Father’s Day swag campaign, brands committing to change and new creative from P&G.

Budweiser brings back a 1975 T-shirt for Father’s Day. The beverage brand originally rolled out its logo T-shirts in the 70s, passing the simple white Ts with a red trim around the neck to young people hanging out on the beaches of coastal towns. Now, the brand is reviving the design “to take Father’s Day back to the peak of when dads had the most swag—the 1970s,” said Budweiser Marketing VP Monica Rustgi. (Adweek)

P&G releases spots addressing biases. The CPG company’s latest creative addresses anti-LGBTQ bias in time for Pride. In a spot called “The Pause” from Grey New York, LGBTQ people talk about the moment when they meet someone and have to consider how they refer to their partners or present themselves. P&G recently ran an ad called “The Choice,” created by Grey and Cartwright and focusing on racism and white allyship that ran on a recent town hall on Oprah’s OWN network and Discovery channels. (Adweek)

Brands commit to change. In response to the racial justice movement, brands are committing to end racism through donations, diversity initiatives, and other commitments. Paypal, for example, is creating a $500 million fund to support black and minority businesses. Find out what Walmart, IBM and others have planned in The New York Times.

The Cannes Lions go virtual. Advertising’s biggest annual event, held in Cannes every year, will be held online June 22-26, and it’s free to sign up. Speakers include Endeavor’s Bozoma Saint John, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Pedro Earp, FCB’s Susan Credle, Adam & Eve/DDB’s Richard Brim, as well as author and educator Scott Galloway. (Cannes Lions)

Read the most recent TV news

Retail Foot Traffic Increases and Brands Get Involved in Social Justice

This week, we’re talking about a return to retail foot traffic in some states that have reopened businesses after pandemic shut-downs, and we’re talking about the racial justice movement, including anti-racism educational resources to stream, how brands are responding to the movement and what comes next for businesses wanting to promote diversity and inclusion.

Foot traffic to stores is returning in some states. Georgia, which was the first state to reopen on April 24, showed the highest gains of any reopened state, with 52.3% of its normal retail foot traffic, according to research from software platform Zenreach. Arizona, Texas and Florida also showed increasingly strong foot traffic as states balance reopening retail businesses with public health concerns. (Adweek)

Brand responses to the racial justice movement. As the Ad Age staff notes, brands and agencies often are silent on social justice issues, but now, many are speaking out. See what PayPal, Nascar, Reddit, Nike and others are doing to speak out and give back to racial justice causes. (Ad Age)

How will businesses promote social justice in the long-term? There’s an appetite for businesses to take actionable steps on promoting diversity and inclusion. With that in mind, the WSJ’s Sahil Patel takes a closer look at what comes next, after the initial outpouring of donations, social media posts and supportive ad campaigns. Doug Rozen, chief media officer of 360i says that beyond corporate social responsibility and diversity commitments, “brands need to be more proactive in the diversity conversation and not just reactive.” (The WSJ)

Anti-racism streaming resources. Vanity Fair rounded up a few movies and documentaries including “Just Mercy” and “I Am Not Your Negro,” available to stream free of charge. See the list here, and see a list of what Netflix has available in its Black Lives Matter collection here.

Read the most recent TV news

TikTok and a Lord of the Rings Reunion

This week, we’re talking about TikTok’s growing user base; another virtual reunion from Josh Gad; and the NHL’s original programming during the pandemic.

TikTok increases user base. The app generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 of this year, and among the 18+ set, TikTok garnered almost 29 million mobile unique visitors in March. In April, that number soared to 39.2 million, up from 12.6 million who used the app last April. (Adweek)

The NHL creates original show in lieu of live sporting events.  Until games return, the NHL is getting creative by producing a slate of original shows (produced remotely) accessible across both TV and digital. One example, “Hat Trick Trivia,” is uploaded simultaneously to the NHL’s site and its accounts on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Soon after, the show airs on TV, including on NBCSN and NHL Network. Content includes homemade videos with star players and classic game replays with the NHL’s interest “solely to keep the NHL front of mind,” says NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer.(Digiday)

Josh Gad reunites the Lord of the Rings cast.  In the latest episode of Josh Gad’s web series, Reunited Apart, Gad is bringing the fellowship back together, including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Sean Astin. The full episode premieres this Sunday. (AV Club)

The marketing trends to know now. Travis Scott’s performance on Fortnight attracted 12.3 million live viewers, and Charli XCX performed at a virtual music festival for Minecraft. Marketers are embracing more raw qualities of production and thinking in out-of-the-box ways with how they’re creating experiences. Read a breakdown of the trends from Adweek.

Read the most recent TV news

Why Uber Believes in the Power of Humanity in Marketing

Jamie Power, COO of Advanced TV, Cadent

Travis Freeman, Global Head of Media, Uber

Travis Freeman, Global Head of Media for Uber, and Jamie Power, COO of Advanced TV, Cadent, recently took part in a Brand Innovators Livecast Series, and their discussion touched upon several important aspects of marketing in an age of pandemic.

Read on for five thought-provoking takeaways from their chat.

The following has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Meet people wherever they’re watching content.

Jamie asserted that the current environment confirms the need for a responsive approach to marketing – simply put, brands must go where the audience is. “If this craziness has taught us anything, I think it’s that people need to work closer together and actually be more agile in their marketing,” Travis agreed. The pandemic has turned Uber’s channel mix a little bit on its head, Travis said. 

The company has previously focused on digital and out-of-home advertising, but now, it has started to lean into linear in a way that it hasn’t in the past because Uber’s research shows that’s where its audience is. “They’re watching cable news, they’re watching Prime, they’re looking for a space outside of only [thinking about COVID-19] every single day, all day long.”

Our first priority is making sure that people know that if they have to go out right now and if they have to use our services, we’re doing everything in our power to make it so that it’s a completely safe environment.”

Focus on informing and providing value to consumers.

Our first priority is making sure that people know that if they have to go out right now and if they have to use our services, we’re doing everything in our power to make it so that it’s a completely safe environment,” Travis explained. For instance, Uber is asking drivers to take a selfie before a ride starts to make sure that they’re wearing a mask.

Asked by Jamie whether a shift in messaging had been planned before the COVID-19 crisis or driven solely by it, Travis replied that both were correct. “We knew that we needed to create consistent narratives across everything that we’re doing,” he said. “We just might not have thought that we would be doing it in such an impactful way, and in such a loud way.”

Examine which KPIs are key.

Jamie looked ahead to a time when Uber could focus less on building the master brand and more on driving the actual business units. What metrics and KPIs would have the most impact on Uber’s RoAS goals as the company dives increasingly into full-funnel messaging?

“We’re starting to do a lot of work on that,” Travis explained. “Is it favorability? Is it consideration? Is it awareness? We’ve been a bit in the dark on that in the past, because a lot of it has been tied back purely to conversion lift and not necessarily correlated back to a lot of these brand KPIs. That’s the work that we’re doing now.”     

Speak to specific consumer need states, and measure effectiveness, not just efficiency. 

Jamie said that in this environment, it’s important to speak directly to consumers. With a medium like addressable, marketers can consider parameters like geography to make sure they’re speaking to specific audiences.

Travis agreed, adding, “At the end of the day, I’m fine to pay a CPM a bit more on the premium side than not if I know that I’m going to have the creative to speak to that different segment, and it’s going to outperform what I would be doing from a broad messaging and broad marketing perspective.” What’s important, Travis said, is ensuring that proper measurement is set up to evaluate effectiveness.

I think that’s what brands really need to do, is just act like humans and not like corporate brands.”

Preparing for a time after the crisis.

Jamie pointed out that what had happened at Uber within a very brief timeframe – the amazing pivot to connect with consumers, the drive for more thoughtful messaging – had actually helped accelerate the process of innovation. “It refocused what our priorities were, even what we were measuring,” Travis agreed. “This is a huge shift for us.”

And now, Jamie said, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, consumers are longing for a bit of normalcy—and even humor—in brand messaging. Travis agreed, adding, “I think that’s what brands really need to do, is just act like humans and not like corporate brands.”

Read more about Cadent’s mission to restore simplicity to TV and serve as trusted partners to brands, agencies and the broader TV ecosystem.

Cinematic Shows and John Krasinski’s Show

This week, we’re talking about John Krasinski’s YouTube show getting picked up by ViacomCBS; the best sketches from season 45 of SNL; and shows directed by movie directors.

The best sketches from the weirdest season of SNL. The season began normally with episodes filmed live at the studio, and as shelter-in-place rules were put in place, the show pivoted to pre-recorded shorts. Check out Vulture’s list of the best SNL sketches from this unusual time. (Vulture)

John Krasinski’s show will get the multiplatform treatment. The Office star’s show, Some Good News, is coming to ViacomCBS. The show, which focuses on positive news and anecdotes, got a ton of buzz following episodes featuring the likes of Krasinski’s Office castmates and the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. The YouTube channel for the show garnered 2.57 million subscribers, with the most-viewed episode getting 17 million views. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Shows with a cinematic quality. If you love movies, you might love these shows directed by film directors. The Times rounded up 12 series by directors, including Twin Peaks from David Lynch, which ran between ’90-91, and Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” from 2014-15. (The New York Times

The story of how Anheuser-Busch adapted its message to the pandemic. With bars and sports shutting indefinitely, the beverage brand had to shift more of its focus to e-commerce. DraftLine, the brand’s in-house agency, was built to “help AB-InBev understand consumers’ behaviors to make sure that the messaging used in old and new ads isn’t tone deaf,” according to reporting from Digiday. The brand took a few key steps, including listening very closely to what consumers were saying on social media, and of course, pressure-testing all its ideas during the pandemic. (Digiday)

Read the most recent TV news

This Week in TV News: Headspace Offers Free Resources and Brands Launch Virtual Proms

This week, we’re talking about time spent on social in light of the pandemic, virtual prom and graduation experiences, and a meditation app giving back to the unemployed.

Headspace airs its first TV ad.  Americans today are dealing with unprecedented unemployment and stress due to the pandemic, and Headspace, the app that offers guided meditation, has seen a sharp increase in interest and use of its product. The brand recently released a 30-second spot created with its agency, Gut, sharing the message that the app is free to anyone who’s unemployed. Headspace also offers resources for healthcare workers, as well as New York City and Los Angeles residents. (Ad Age)

Streaming for the Francophile. The Cannes Film Festival would’ve been happening this week if it weren’t for the pandemic, so the New York Times selected a few movies from 2014-2020 for you to get your French film fix. Among the genres included: Eccentric Postwar Extravaganza, Sociopolitical Intrigue and Bonkers Satire.

Time spent on social is way up. eMarketer estimates average time spent with social media this year will be one hour and 22 minutes per day, about seven minutes more than 2019. Prior to the pandemic, the increase from last year was forecasted to be six seconds. (Adweek)

After prom and graduation let-downs, brands create virtual experiences. Jack in the Box, Her Campus and Natural Light are some of the brands delivering virtual experiences to students who won’t get to enjoy the in-person events that usually cap off high school – prom and graduation. Jack in the Box hosted a star-studded virtual “Prom in the Box” for two California schools with Diplo DJing, along with public livestreams on its Instagram and Twitch accounts. Her Campus, a digital platform targeted toward female college students, is hosting a virtual graduation called #ImStillGraduating with speeches from celebrities like Margaret Cho, Tamron Hall, Billie Jean King, Eva Longoria and Andrew Yang. (Adweek)

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This Week in TV News: TV’s Zoom Reunions and Shows You Should Watch (According to Experts)

This week, we’re talking about new creative from insurance brand Progressive, the TV shows you should stream according to people who make and critique TV, and social distancing reunions to tune into.

Progressive’s Flo goes remote. A series of three new ds from Progressive and its agency Arnold focuses on the brand’s fictional team of insurance salespeople and their experiences working from home. Technical challenges are plentiful in the ads, which were filmed remotely by the actors on their iPhones. (Adweek)

What TV writers are streaming. With shelter-in-place orders and social distancing rules putting in-person production on hold for the foreseeable future, TV writers find themselves (like the rest of us) with more time to try shows. Here’s what 11 writers are watching, from a “Nashville” writer to a writer who worked on “Mad Men” and “Mrs. America.” (The New York Times)

What The New Yorker’s TV critics are streaming.  and 

Social distancing reunions on TV you shouldn’t miss. Vanity Fair rounded up the TV reunions you should check out, including “The Nanny,” “The Office” and “Mama Mia.” (Vanity Fair)

Read the most recent TV news

This Week in TV News: a Parks and Rec Reunion and the NFL Draft

This week, we’re talking about new posters from McCann Belgrade depicting medical workers in a new light; ratings from the recent NFL draft; and a beloved NBC show coming back for a reunion to raise money for COVID-19 relief. 

Doctors and nurses are the heroes. New creative from McCann Belgrade shows a familiar sight from the past few months, medical workers with marks on their faces from wearing masks, but with a twist – the marks look like they’re from Spider-Man, Iron Man and Batman masks. The ads are part of an outdoor campaign shown in cities across Europe. (Adweek)

The NFL draft scored big ratings. The 2020 NFL Draft’s first night drew a record 15.6 million viewers across ESPN, ABC, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes, a 37% increase over last year. More than 55 million total viewers tuned in to watch the NFL draft. Microsoft Teams served as the primary line of communication between the NFL and its franchises. (CNBC)

TV viewing time will grow by 19 minutes this year. Viewership will be up across demographics this year, with the biggest jump among adults 65 and older, which will grow by almost 5%. (Forbes)

Parks and Recreation is back for COVID-19 relief. The comedy is coming back for a reunion. How did they make it happen with social distancing rules? Each cast member recorded themselves with equipment sent via FedEx, acting as their own sound and camera people.  (LA Times)

Read the most recent TV news

This Week in TV News: Baby Nut Is Back and State Farm Premieres Deepfake Creative

This week, we’re talking about a “deepfake” ad from State Farm that’s getting buzz on social media, Budweiser brought back a creative favorite from 1999, and brands get creative to produce ads when in-person production isn’t possible.

Baby Nut is back. Mr. Peanut perished earlier this year, and Baby Nut was premiered to the world during a Super Bowl spot shortly after. Baby Nut has been on hiatus for a while, but the infant spokesnut is back and active on the @MrPeanut Twitter handle, recently tweeting: “I’ve got a lot to learn, but I look forward to growing back into the peanut you know and love. It’s what I was born to do. Twice, apparently. #BecomingMrPeanut.” (Adweek)

The future of ad creative when in-person isn’t possible. With on-set creative production on hiatus, brands have had to get resourceful with their marketing campaigns. State Farm in particular is getting buzz for its innovative spot that ran during ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance.” In the ad, veteran SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne says, “This is the kind of stuff that ESPN will eventually make a documentary about. They’ll call it something like ‘The Last Dance.’ They’ll make it a 10-part series and release it in the year 2020.” The ad, combining present-day Mayne’s mouth and voice and footage from 1998, was developed by ESPN CreativeWorks, Optimum Sports and Translation. Viewers were somewhat confused and mostly entertained, with someone tweeting, “That future/retro State Farm commercial was ingenious.”(The New York Times)

Budweiser asks “Whassup” once again. The beer brand brought back the beloved campaign that originally ran from 1999-2002, this time with Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Candace Parker, Chris Bosh and DJ D-Nice. The new ads remind viewers to check in with each other during the COVID-19 quarantine, with this message from the brand on Twitter: “Whasssuppppppppppp? That’s all it takes to check in. Staying connected matters now more than ever.” (USA Today)

Netflix adds 16M subscribers. The streaming service has a total of about 183 million global subscribers, bolstered in the past quarter. Two of the streamer’s series, “Tiger King” and “Money Heist,” are expected to garner more than 60 million member views respectively. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Read the most recent TV news

This Week in TV News: New Brand Creative from Potbelly, Busch and Burger King

This week, we’re talking about more brands using TV advertising to communicate to their audiences; the best brand creative that’s coming out of the quarantine; and a Busch sweepstakes aimed at couples who had to cancel their wedding plans this year.

Brands embracing creativity during quarantine. In-person production might not be possible right now, but that isn’t stopping brands from producing impactful creative. From Burger King’s “Stay Home of the Whopper” to Jeep’s “Same Day,” this period of time is anything but unproductive for brand marketing. Sandwich chain Potbelly posted a video showing their marketing team on a Zoom call, with a creative director “tossing” sandwiches to his colleagues on the call. (Adweek)

About 26% more brands are using TV than a year ago. In fact, 1,247 more brand marketers are advertising on TV this year, according to data company iSpot.tv. Data used in the study looked at 6,126 different brands using national TV advertising between March 14- April 12. (Ad Age)

Sports viewers go elsewhere for content. What are sports fans watching with all the major sporting events cancelled or postponed? Nielsen data found they’re watching more movies, news and SVOD content. Heavy sports viewers are watching a lot of movies, growing from about 12.5% of total time spent watching TV in early March to 17% in the following weekends. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Busch offers sweepstakes to couples with cancelled weddings. The beer brand launched its #BuschWeddingGift sweepstakes with a video from its spokesperson, Busch Guy, who says that despite a grim-looking wedding season, “As someone with unlimited access to unlimited beer, there might be one way I can try to help.” Two-hundred and fifty winners will get $300 prepaid debit cards to buy Busch beer for up to one year. Friends and family of couples are encouraged to participate in the social campaign as well. (Adweek)

Read the most recent TV news

This Week in TV News: SNL Is Back and DTC Brands Give Back

This week, we’re talking about SNL coming back with a remotely taped show; Netflix’s huge hit “Tiger King”; and the list of DTC brands simultaneously offering customers discounts and giving to charities during the pandemic.

SNL is back, remotely. SNL is going the way of other live show tapings (Conan, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Jon Oliver) with a remotely produced episode. The show will air during its normal time this Saturday. On Twitter, a screenshot of the cast on a Zoom call was shared. (Vulture)

DTC brands come together to offer COVID-19 relief. The Brands x Better initiative is raising money during the pandemic with a commitment of giving “a minimum of 2% of sales or 10% of proceeds to nonprofits helping support COVID-19 efforts.” Brands include Rhone, Knot Standard, M. Gemi and Faherty. (Adweek)

“Tiger King” continues to dominate streaming. The Netflix series is a runaway hit, with about 34 million unique viewers streaming it in its first ten days being released, according to Nielsen. In total views, the show comes in behind “Stranger Things” season three, which took in 36 million US viewers in its first 10 days, also according to Nielsen. (CNN Business)

Movies that’ll make you feel like you’re outside. Just what you needed during quarantine: a list of 16 movies that’ll give you a dose of the outdoors, from the Austrian alps in The Sound of Music to misty mountainsides in Arrival. Get inspiration for your weekend movie pick and enjoy stills from the films chosen on Vanity Fair.

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This Week in TV News: Video Fitness Classes and the Best Creative of the Moment

This week, we’re talking about your favorite sitcom characters’ reactions to the pandemic; the best PSAs and brand creative of the moment and how people are hitting the gym online.

Video is the future of fitness. With unable to get to the gym during the pandemic, the $94 billion industry is changing its reliance on physical, in-person programs. Among those making changes Classpass – more than 500 studios have added live classes to the platform, with proceeds going directly to the studios. (CNN)

Surf your coach; visit your houseplant. Adweek featured social distancing posters from NASA designer Jennifer Baer, who styled the message like bright, colorful vintage travel posters. “Take a trip to your own bathroom” reads one. (Adweek)

If your favorite sitcoms had coronavirus episodes. What would Liz Lemon do during the pandemic? Would Leslie Knope have a binder full of ideas to unify her community? Vulture asked Tina Fey, Mike Schur, and 35 other TV writers to come up with scenes and synopses showing how famous characters would react during the pandemic. For “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fans, there’s no surprise how the TV show version of Larry David would react to a social distancing advisory: “Isolated in his house, Larry doesn’t feel imprisoned. He feels relief.” (Vulture)

The best brand creative of the moment. From the BBC’s social distancing PSAs with clips from “I’m Alan Partridge” and “The Mighty Boosh” to Budweiser and David Miami’s campaign featuring doctors, nurses, teachers and others fighting the pandemic, Ad Age rounded up who is coming up with the most creative ads right now. (Ad Age)

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This Week in TV News: TV Shows to Binge and Coke’s Times Square Ad

This week, we’re talking about Jimmy Kimmel’s show resuming production (from his house to maintain social distancing), a Times Square OOH ad from Coca-Cola and the list of TV shows you should consult if you find yourself at home with lots of time on your hands.

The TV binging list you need right now. The LA Times rounded up 51 TV shows, so you can responsibly practice social distancing while settled comfortably on your couch with great and/or binge-able television. The list has something for everyone, from “Call the Midwife” (on PBS and Netflix) to “Cheers” (available on Netflix, Hulu and CBS All Access). (LA Times)

Coke’s Times Square message. Coca-Cola changed the kerning on its famous script logo with a message: “Staying apart is the best way to stay united.” The lettering reflects social distancing, the practice of preventing the spread of coronavirus by staying 6 feet or more away from others. A coke spokesperson told Ad Age the ad is one of the brand’s “most iconic pieces of out-of-home that we could turn over to help get the message out.” (Ad Age)

If alcohol labels made hand sanitizer lines. What would it look like if White Claw manufactured hand sanitizer in its beloved black cherry flavor? A freelance creative director and founder of the Denver Ad School decided to find out, mocking up designs of hand sanitizer bottles in the styles of famous alcohol brands including Bud Light, Boulevard and Fat Tire. (In reality, Anheuser-Busch has shifted some production capacity to creating hand sanitizer for the American Red Cross.) (Adweek)

Jimmy Kimmel Live and Desus and Mero return to production. Filmed remotely from the hosts’ homes, of course. Kimmel’s guests for next week include Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Aniston and Jeff Tweedy. (Variety)

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This Week in TV News: Late-Night Shows Go Audience-Free

TV viewership is up this week as people practice social distancing to prevent rapid spread of COVID-19. This week, we’re talking about a programming refresh from ESPN, Hallmark and others; TV consumption is generally up; and the Democratic debate goes without an audience.

ESPN, Hallmark and others adapt programming. While live sports are on a hiatus, ESPN is bringing back “The Ocho,” a compilation of random sports including Stupid Robot Fighting League, cherry pit spitting, sign spinning, the 2007 World Sport Stacking Championships and the 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship. Hallmark Channel is airing a special called, “We Need a Little Christmas,” a marathon of fan favorite holiday movies. Streaming services adjusted programming, with Disney+ offering Frozen 2 three months earlier than planned, and NBCUniversal’s Universal Pictures offering upcoming film releases on their streaming service, including The Invisible Man, Emma and the upcoming Trolls World Tour. (Adweek)

TV consumption spikes this week. Nielsen found total TV usage increase by about 60% this week, based on data from prior major crises in recent U.S. history that forced consumers to stay home like Hurricane Harvey and the snowstorm that hit New York in 2016. “Total TV” includes traditional live TV, DVR recordings, video-on-demand and streaming services or other content through any TV set, game console or connected device. (TechCrunch)

Live linear TV gets a boost, too. Primetime PUT (People Using Television) levels were up every day last week, according to Deadline. “The Voice” saw a 38% increase (five tenths of a rating point) week-to-week among adults 18-49, and CBS’ “Bull” and “Bob Hearts Abishola” experienced season highs.

Live programs forego live audiences . Forget about going host-free. With social distancing, more programs are going audience-free, including late night talk shows. The latest Democratic presidential debate also went audience-free. The program, airing on CNN, brought in 10.8 million linear viewers and 3.9 million live streams. Overall, linear viewership wasn’t as good as the previous debates in Nevada and South Carolina, but the televised event was received as having more focus and solemnity with a national crisis as the backdrop. (NYT)

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This Week in TV News: the Koolaid Man Goes MIA and VW Premieres an Ad Series

This week we’re talking about the disappearance of the Koolaid Man, why data used correctly can change businesses and a new VW ad with famous TV stars.

Koolaid Man is MIA. “KOOL-AID MAN IS MISSING” tweeted @koolaid. This comes a month after Mr. Peanut died in a Super Bowl commercial, reborn as Baby Nut. Never fear – the big pitcher isn’t in danger. He’s just traveling the world looking for the next big Koolaid flavor. See more atkoolaidmystery.com. (Adweek)

How marketers are responding to coronavirus. The novel coronavirus is impacting the global economy, including businesses all over the world. Along with work-from-home policies and event cancellations, many brands are reaching out to customers to communicate their virus prevention practices and plans. Read how brands and agencies are responding to the pandemic via Ad Age.

Data really is the new oil. It’s all about how it’s being used, says a new study from Enterprise Strategy Group and Splunk. In fact, an organization’s profitability can increase by an average of $38 million, or about 13% of a business’s total gross profit, the study found. How a business uses its data impacts not just the ability to “glean insights from its data, but to convert these insights into concrete, data-driven decision-making and real-time action,” a release from Splunk stated. Survey responses came from 1,350 senior business and IT execs across industries in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US. (MediaPost)

Billions and Succession stars in a new VW ad. Paul Giamatti from Showtime’s Billions and Kieran Culkin from HBO’s Succession both appear in a string of Volkswagen ads playing characters somewhat similar to their current roles on their respective TV shows. Giamatti plays an accountant to the celebs, constantly talking clients down from ridiculous purchases and tax strategies. Culkin, like his Succession character, plays the wealthy, somewhat out-of-touch character who finally makes a sound choice: buying the Atlas Cross Sport crossover. (Ad Age)

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This Week in TV News: TikTok Users and Jif’s GIF Peanut Butter

This week we’re talking about presidential campaign ad spend insights, explosive TikTok user growth and the news medium U.S. consumers trust most.

Jif takes on the pronunciation of GIF. The peanut butter brand released a special jar in partnership with GIF site Giphy. Created with Publicis’ PSOne agency in New York, the word GIF got the Jif logo treatment in an effort to spread awareness that GIF is actually pronounced with a hard G, setting it apart from the peanut butter brand pronunciation. (Adweek)

Presidential advertising spend, explained. Ad Age writer Simon Dumenco sums up nine insights into the presidential campaign advertising competition. Bloomberg is in a league of his own, and if he were to be added to the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers ranking, Dumenco says, “he’d land at No. 118—above Heineken, Kraft Heinz Co. and Hershey Co.” Dumenco also suspects Bernie is faring well on Reddit, which has 430 million active users and hasn’t shared political ad spending yet. (Ad Age)

TikTok users quickly growing in the U.S. After growing 97.5% in 2019, TikTok’s user base will grow 21.9% to 45.4 million by the end of this year, eMarketer says. eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said some users, primarily young people, are spending multiple hours on the app, but it hasn’t caught on with older people yet. (Adweek)

Local broadcast TV is the most trusted news source in U.S. According to a study from GfK and TVB, 75% of adults 18 and older agree that local broadcast is the medium they trust most for new info, compared to local TV news websites/apps (64%), radio (68%), cable TV (56%) and social media (25%). Another key finding: consumers spend more time with TV than any other ad-supported media platforms. (Press release)

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This Week in TV News: A Moldy Whopper and the Brands Gen Z Likes Best

This week we’re talking about the brands that Gen Z and millennials love the most; Mike Bloomberg’s TV advertising efforts; and Burger King’s moldy Whopper ad.

Democratic political ad spend. The former New York City mayor and current candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mike Bloomberg, is outspending all the other Democratic candidates combined on both TV and digital media. Bloomberg is also using advertising formats that other candidates aren’t, including influencer advertising. Generally, political candidates lean on digital advertising less than TV and other tried-and-true ad formats, with Google and Facebook will account for almost 78% of the total spend, compared to about 61% for the general market, eMarketer predicts. eMarketer also forecasts that the total U.S. political ad spend for 2019 and 2020 combined will be $6.9 billion, up 63% from the previous presidential cycle. (AdExchanger)

Burger King ad demonstrates what preservative-free food looks like. And it’s another viral hit. “The Moldy Whopper” campaign, which includes a time lapse video of a burger growing green-gray mold for a month, is the latest effort led by Fernando Machado, Restaurant Brands International’s global chief marketing officer. Machado told USA Today that instead of showing the burger in “the classic flawless and often too perfect photographic style typically used in fast food advertising,” they wanted to “showcase something real, honest and that only Burger King could do.” (Ad Age)

The brands Gen Z and millennials like most. Which brands do young people care about the most? Agency MBLM took a close look in a new report on brand intimacy, defined as the relationship between people and a brand that “transcends purchase, usage and loyalty,” according to Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM. When it comes to video game consoles, Gen Z prefers Xbox, and millennials are partial to Playstation. Gen Z is all about Sephora, H&M, Spotify, Venmo and Louis Vuitton, according to the report, and millennials are into Nintendo, Amazon, Ford, Jeep, Apple, Target, YouTube and Xbox. (Adweek

The Democratic debate crushes ratings record. About 20 million people tuned into the debate Wednesday night, setting a new record for Democratic primary debate viewership, according to Nielsen Media Research. The second-most watched Democratic primary debate was in June 2019, when about 18.1 million viewers watched night two of a debate series on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. The next debate will air February 25 on CBS. (CNN Business)

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This Week in TV News: The Oscars Viewership and Sprite Ginger

This week we’re talking about the IAB’s new project in response to Google’s news that it would end third-party cookies; who tuned in to watch the Oscars; and the rising number of people who stream their TV.

The IAB Introduces Project Rearc. At the IAB Annual Meeting, the organization introduced Project Rearc, which will “bring together IAB, IAB Tech Lab, governmental, and other industry/consumer organizations with the goal of creating standards of behavior, codes of conduct, legal agreements, and enabling technologies to address consumer demands for personalization, and privacy.” The group is being formed in response to Google’s announcement that third-party cookies are ending. (AdExchanger

The streaming age. A fifth of the time consumers spent watching TV in OTT-capable homes in the fourth quarter of 2019 was spent on streaming, whether it was ad-supported or paid subscription services, according to a new report from Nielsen. (CNBC)

Oscars viewership hits record low. Last Sunday, the Oscars drew 23.6 million total viewers and a 5.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, a 20% decrease in total viewers and a 31% demo drop from last year’s ceremony, according to Nielsen. The awards show didn’t have a host this year, its second year of going MC-less. (Adweek)

Sprite’s new flavor. Coca-Cola launched a new flavor of Sprite with a ginger flavor combined with its familiar lemon-lime flavor. It’s one of 20 product launches from Coca-Cola in 2020. There’s a new TV ad from Wieden & Kennedy New York and fashion designer Jeff Staple has created a new fashion line, “Sprite Ginger Collection,” for the soda.

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This Week in TV News: Top Super Bowl Ads and Planters’ Baby Nut

This week we’re talking about a Valentine’s Day parody site, Planters’ Baby Nut campaign and the latest in streaming news, including Disney+’s subscriber count.

The best spots from the Big Game. Super Bowl LIV drew about 100 million viewers, up from last year. Ad Age reviewed all the ads from the game, which you can watch here, concluding that “there was an exhausting number of movie flashbacks, remakes and references.” Nostalgia is a powerful thing. MC Hammer, Winona Ryder and Molly Ringwald all made appearances in ads. Adweek writes that Amazon’s “#BeforeAlexa,” Google’s “Loretta” and Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” are the three best spots of the night. “Groundhog Day,” which took Adweeks No. 1 spot, is a revival of the 90s movie. Read the story behind the spot here

A Valentine’s Day parody site goes viral. Conceptual artist and director Ani Acopian and music producer and writer Suzy Shinn created a pop-up site featuring dating profiles in Amazon’s UI. You can scan a page of headshots and click on one to find more information (J, 29, “have never lost their AirPod Pros”) and cryptic reviews (“The product is like new and I have had no issues with it. Glad I was able to save a few bucks and still get a quality product. Thanks!”). Since the parody launched, the site has gotten over 10,000 applications by people wanting to be featured on it. (Fast Company)

A Close-Up of Planters’ Baby Nut. After killing off the beloved monocled character in its Super Bowl spot, Planters brought us Baby Nut, an infant version of Mr. Peanut. Planters’ brand manager said inspiration came from Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, who demonstrated “this renewed appreciation for these fictional characters after their death.” Read more about the campaign’s success on Adweek

The latest in streaming news. Disney+ launched in November and already has 26.5 million subscribers, the company said during its earnings call on Tuesday. HBO Max, launching in May, is also launching a label with Warner Bros. to make movies for the streaming service. Mobile streaming service Quibi will launch April 6 with content featuring Will Forte, Kiefer Sutherland and Chance The Rapper. See ads for the shows premiering on the new service.

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This Week in TV News: Ryan Reynolds’ Ad Agency and the Cost of Streaming

This week we’re talking about more new Super Bowl ads, Ryan Reynolds and sports fans’ viewership habits.

More Super Bowl ad highlights. Super Bowl ads are already upon us, and this year’s spots are proving to funny, emotionally stirring, bizarre and more. A Mountain Dew spot features Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross recreating The Shining’s “Here’s Johnny” scene. Snickers’ spot is a parody of Coca-Cola’s 1971 Super Bowl ad, “Hilltop.” Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are starring in an Amazon Alexa ad, going back – far back – before the technology existed, making stops in Victorian England and the Old West. See a complete list of Super Bowl ads via Ad Age.

How much are you spending on streaming? MarketWatch has a calculator to help provide the costs of signing up for streaming services in the long run, plus how much you would spend on cable, should you cut the cord or decide to keep your subscription and get streaming services on top. You can select each of your streaming service subscriptions down to the tier, then see that total cost compared to if you, say, invested the money in the stock market. MarketWatch 

Ryan Reynolds has an ad agency. Reynolds and ex-McCann creative George Dewey founded Maximum Effort Productions, a “thoroughly modern creative partnership, where ideas are largely exchanged and developed over text message.” He owns the agency’s biggest clients, Mint Mobile and Aviation Gin. The latter scored a lot of positive attention for its quickly produced ad in response to Peleton’s recent controversial holiday ad. (The Drum)

Sports fans are homebodies. You might assume people want the live, in-the-stadium experience of a sporting event instead of watching a game at home. Nothing compares to the energy and buzz of a big venue on game day, right? Research from the VAB and research company Dynata says otherwise – in fact, nearly three quarters of sports fans prefer to watch sports at home, with 19% preferring a stadium or arena. The study also found sports fans are 24% more likely to visit a site for something they saw in a TV ad versus one seen at a stadium or an arena. (MediaPost)

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This Week in TV News: Megxit and Mr. Peanut

This week we’re talking about Megan and Harry’s exit from the British royal family; Mr. Peanut unexpectedly passed away; and some Super Bowl ads embrace diversity.

Harry and Meghan’s brand. What will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex focus on post-Megxit? It’s all up in the air. Adweek focuses on the couple’s brand presence and potential for future deals. Read more in Adweek. In other news, HBO Max greenlit an animated satire on the British royal family, with Orlando Bloom among the voice actors involved in the project. 

RIP Mr. Peanut. The beloved snack mascot was killed with a car crash and an explosion, and his funeral will air in a spot during the Super Bowl. Brands mourned the Kraft-Heinz brand character on Twitter. Oreo tweeted, “Help us give a 21 dunk salute to our nutty and sweet friend #RIPeanut.” Mr. Clean tweeted, “Always classy, always crunchy, always cleaned up nicely. We’ll miss him! #RIPeanut.” See more brand engagement with the news via Ad Age.

Representation in the Super Bowl. Nearly half (39.5 million or 46%) of Super Bowl viewers last year were women. With that in mind, Ad Age writes that some brands are looking to represent more diversity in their Super Bowl ads. For example, Olay’s ad, “Make Space for Women,” will feature Lilly Singh, Busy Philipps, Taraji P. Henson, Katie Couric and retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott. In terms of LGBTQ representation, Lil Nas X will be featured in Doritos’ commercial, and “Queer Eye’s” Jonathan Van Ness will star in a Pop-Tarts spot.

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This Week in TV News: Academy Awards and Presidential Campaign Ad Spend

Academy Award nominations are out. A slew of Super Bowl ads are getting buzz ahead of the Feb. 2 game. 

Oscar nominations are up. The nominees for this year’s Academy Awards show were published this week, with some saying the snubbery was off the charts. Adam Sandler’s performance in “Uncut Gems,” Jennifer Lopez’s performance in “Hustlers,” and Greta Gerwig’s direction of “Little Women” were all buzzed about prior to the nomination announcement, but they didn’t make the cut. Read Esquire’s wrap-up of who was overlooked

Super Bowl ad mania begins. A new Planters spot from VaynerMedia features “Veep” star Matt Walsh alongside with the brand’s character (spokesnut?) Mr. Peanut. Hyundai spots feature Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and David Ortiz. There’s a Bud Light Seltzer commercial, and Jonathan Van Ness is starring in Pop-Tarts’ first Super Bowl spot ever. Read The Drum’s roundup of returning Super Bowl advertisers and who’s new to the game this year. 

Marketing trends driving innovation this year. From voice technology and 5G to experiential marketing, find out what the brightest marketers think will be the most important trends in 2020. (Adweek)

Presidential campaign ad spend heats up. Led by Michael Bloomberg, who has spent $217 million or about 75% of what the other candidates have spent combined, ad spending is accelerating like never before. Bloomberg is No. 9 on Forbes’ list of the world’s top ten richest people. Other candidates’ spend totals $143 million for Steyer, $50 million for Trump, $26 million for Sanders, $24 million for Buttigieg, $20 million for Warren and $12 million for Biden. Other candidates spend totals $33 million. (WSJ)

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This Week in TV News: Jeopardy! and CES Trends

This week we’re talking about what makes Jeopardy! a show you should tune into in 2020, the latest innovations in TV technology and the beginning of awards season.

Award season kicks off with The Golden Globes. The show drew a little over 18 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49, according to Live+same day data from Nielsen. Last year’s show, hosted by Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, had 2% more total viewers and a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+Same Day. (Deadline)

Why Jeopardy! is great. E! writer Billy Nilles praises the show, now in its 36th season, for exhibiting its unique characters, serialized storylines and “revolutionary and flashy game play.” Most recently, host Alex Trebek decided to share his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, inspiring viewers with his dedication not to miss a show. Nilles writes, “The last year has taken a game that was once written off as robotic and boring and revealed it to be perhaps the most human thing unfolding on the small screen on any given night. And because of it, we simply can’t look away.” (E!)

CES trends. This year, CES is bringing us a mobile temporary tattoo printer, an emotional support robot that nods when you speak to it and Samsung’s Ballie, the closest thing you can buy to Star Wars’ beloved robot sidekick BB-8. There’s also some TV news. Available on select TVs from Vizio, Panasonic, Samsung and LG, there will be a “filmmaker mode” setting that disables post-processing like motion-smoothing or automatic color boosting so people see content as filmmakers intended them to. (Paul Thomas Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Patty Jenkins, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan were among supporters.) Samsung premieried a TV called Sero that toggles between horizontal and vertical orientations, and LG is releasing 8K TVs this year. (Washington Post)

The Oscars this year won’t be hosted by anybody (again). Just like last year, this year’s Academy Awards won’t have a host. Last year, Kevin Hart was slated to take the role of central entertainer (who also is somewhat responsible for keeping the show on schedule), but after he dropped out in light of a controversy, the show had a rise in ratings, up 12% to nearly 30 million viewers. (CNN)

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This Week in TV News: The Witcher and a New Spot from TurboTax

This week we’re talking about Netflix’s Witcher show, Instagram growth and rising NFL ratings.

TurboTax ad campaign. It’s a new year and that means it’s time to starting anticipating spring, warmer weather and… taxes. TurboTax is on it with a new campaign from Wieden + Kennedy. One spot, “All People Are Tax People,” demonstrates the crazy things people are capable of – including riding a mechanical bull, bodybuilding, splitting checks and removing tattoos – to prove successfully doing your taxes is achievable. A spot from the campaign will air during the Super Bowl. (Adweek)

NFL ratings on the rise. The NFL’s regular-season games averaged nearly 17 million viewers, up 5% from 2018. The highest viewer count for the past 10 years was the 2015 season, when the NFL regular season averaged almost 19 million viewers. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Witcher show gives The Witcher game a boost. Netflix shared a list of its most popular titles of 2019. The Witcher, a show based on a series of books by the same name, was No. 6 out of the top 10 shows and movies. “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” a video game also based on the book, has enjoyed a boost in popularity from the show, with 94,000 people playing the game on Steam, 93% more players than the previous month, according to Kotaku. The game came out four years ago. (The Verge)

Instagram will grow at 4.5% in 2020. Last year’s growth rate was 6.7%. According to eMarketer, the reason for the growth slow-down could be that older age groups aren’t joining as fast as expected. Younger demo growth for the visual-heavy app faces competition from TikTok and Snapchat. (eMarketer)

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This Week in TV News: Best Shows of the Decade and TV Execs’ 2020 Priorities

This week we’re talking about the best shows of the decade, the fate of HBO’s “Watchmen” and Facebook’s foray into the Super Bowl ad mix.

The decade’s best shows. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter’s chief TV critic, selected his favorites with episodes airing between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2019. On the list: Pamela Adlon’s FX drama “Better Things,” the story of a single mom trying to make it as an actor. Donald Glover’s “Atlanta,” a drama/comedy with a touch of surreal. AMC hits “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” made the top five. See the rest of the list on THR

Who’s watching “Watchmen”? Will the show get a second season? The show’s creator, Damon Lindelof, hinted that if there is another season, he might pass the director spot to someone else. The season finale, which aired Tuesday, got nearly a million viewers at 9 p.m. and 1.6 million across platforms, according to Nielsen and HBO ratings data. It was the most-watched first season of an original show since “Big Little Lies.” (Vulture

TV execs’ top priorities for 2020. Adweek spoke with 18 TV industry execs about their biggest priorities next year, plus the obstacles that could prevent them from their goals. (Adweek)

Facebook has a Super Bowl ad in the works. And it will feature Sylvester Stallone running up the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art steps in a reprise of his “Rocky” role.  It’s a Wieden & Kennedy spot, directed by Megaforce, the French collective behind famous work including Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner.” Read more about the ad and see an on-set moment shared by Stallone himself at Ad Age.

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This Week in TV News: Best Ads of the Year and Baby Yoda

This week we’re talking about the best shows and ads of 2019, plus Baby Yoda merch.

The best ads of the year. “It was a year of craft, biting humor and visceral surprises,” says Adweek reporter David Griner. The list includes Aviation Gin’s “Gift Responsibly,” which played off of the controversy of a Peleton ad; another gin maker, Sipsmith Gin, with a stylish animated ad from the “Isle of Dogs” animators; an IKEA ad showing the recreation of famous TV show living rooms; a Microsoft ad called “Changing the Game” that featured gamers of different ages and abilities; and in the top spot, HBO and Bud Light’s “Joust,” which both teased the final season of “Game of Thrones” and showcased the beer brand. Read more on Adweek.

Caffeinated cola is coming. Arriving this April, Pepsi Café will have twice as much caffeine as a regular Pepsi. Coca-Cola has a similar product called Coke Plus Coffee, sold in international markets for the past few years, and the brand is considering bringing it to the U.S. (Fortune)

The best shows of the year. The Hollywood Reporter rounded up the top shows that came out this year. For anyone who follows TV show buzz, the list shouldn’t have many surprises, with certified critical and audience hits including “Fleabag,” “Derry Girls,” and “Succession.” Before the decade ends, check out this list. (Hollywood Reporter)

Baby Yoda holiday gifts. The big star of Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” is, as we all know, Baby Yoda, who takes over the Internet with new gifs when the show comes out each Friday. As people search for holiday presents, Hasbro has responded to the mania with a line of infant Yoda-inspired toys, as has Disney.

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This Week in TV News: Cyber Monday and a Peloton Ad

This week we’re talking about the rise of OTT advertising in the presidential election, specifically with Joe Biden’s campaign; a record new spend for Cyber Monday; and Netflix and YouTube’s streaming platform domination this year and next year.

Joe Biden embraces OTT. The presidential candidate is investing in OTT as part of a larger ad buy in early-voting states, according to reporting from Adweek. The Biden campaign director of digital advertising for Biden’s campaign said the team recognizes “the growth of non-linear TV and will continue to invest in it as part of the paid media campaign.” The Biden campaign is spending $6 million for TV and digital ads in early-voting states. (Adweek)

Cyber Monday gets a new record spend. An estimated $9.2 billion, an increase of 16.9%, according to Adobe Analytics. The online shopping day is supposed to be a record day for smartphone spending, with over $3 billion, spent in 24 hours. (CNBC)

Netflix and YouTube are the top-watched platforms for video. And that won’t change in 2020, but they might lose some share given the intensifying competition including Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+. Read more from eMarketer. (Variety)

That Peloton holiday ad. Some people really hated it, saying it was sexist and out of touch. Others really, really liked it. Read why the ad resonated with some people, including a woman recovering from brain surgery and another who belongs to a Facebook group for “Peloton moms.” (CNBC)

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This Week in TV News: Friendsgiving and Super Bowl Ads

This week we’re talking about Friendsgiving, influencer marketing during the holidays and Super Bowl ads.

Snapchat user growth. The ephemeral social app is growing 14% year over year, and by the end of this year, it should have 293 million global users, according to eMarketer. eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson says new features plus a redesigned Android app could explain the increase. By 2023, Snapchat is on track to total about 356 million users. (eMarketer)

Friendsgiving offers more opportunities to engage consumers. Friends are celebrating Thanksgiving together, and brands including Google, Grey Goose, Sabra and Taco Bell are taking advantage of the cultural phenom to engage with consumers. Taco Bell holds an annual Friendsgiving program in 2013, which involves a dinner hosted at the brand’s headquarters in California, and it releases a new recipe on its website each year for fans who can’t attend the gathering. Friendsgiving events have grown an average of 34.8% year-over-year for the last five years, according to research from Evite. (Adweek)

Super Bowl ads sell out. For the first time in five years, Fox Sports sold all its commercial inventory in Super Bowl LIV, which will air February 2, 2020. This implies, according to reporting from Variety, that advertisers are flocking for the live element in the era of mostly on-demand viewership. (Variety)

Holiday influencing is in demand. Marketers are upping their spend on influencers during the holiday season. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 21 last year, influencers using influencer marketing platform Fohr ran sponsored posts at a rate 30% higher than the average over the previous year and a half. Total influencer spend was between $4 billion and $8 billion in 2019, up from $500 million in 2015, according to influencer marketing agency Mediakix. (WSJ)

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This Week in TV News: the Spanish Christmas Lottery Ad and Disney Plus

This week we’re talking about impeachment ratings again, plus the launch of Disney Plus and changes to political advertising on major digital platforms.

Disney Plus has a big launch. The streaming service premiered Nov. 12 in the U.S, Canada and the Netherlands. In its first day or so, more than 10 million people registered for an account. The service has a huge content library with Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney Channel properties. Exclusive shows include “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Series,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” (CNET)

The Spanish Christmas lottery wins Christmas again. Sorry John Lewis – with four new Christmas ads created by Madrid agency Contrapunto BBDO, the Spanish Christmas lottery wins the best holiday creative for 2019 (not an official thing). The four 90-second spots star famous Spanish actors all have a sentimental tone. The Spanish Christmas lottery winnings can be split among a few people, so the ads focus on people sharing their odds with family, friends and acquaintances. (Adweek

Google and Facebook consider changes to political ads. After Twitter’s announcement that it would stop all political advertising on the platform globally, Google and Facebook are announcing changes in their political ad policies. Google will accept political ads but with limited targeting options, and Facebook is reportedly considering doing the same. (CNBC)

Impeachment hearing ratings are down. On the fourth day of impeachment hearings, 11.4 million viewers tuned in, down from 12 million on day 3. Similarly, last night’s Democratic debate took a hit in the ratings, bringing in a total viewership of 6.5 million, down 29% in overall audience from the low of the previous debate. (Variety)

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This Week in TV News: A New Star Wars Xbox Ad and Spongebob Gets a New Series

This week we’re talking about impeachment ratings, Ciara’s new hosting gig and a new “Star Wars” inspired ad.

Impeachment hearings get solid ratings. Thirteen million people tuned in for the opening of the House Select Committee on Intelligence questioning on Wednesday. Fox News led the pack with about 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen, with MSNBC closely behind at 2.7 million viewers. The hearings were held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., outside of primetime hours. (WSJ)

Spongebob is back. Nickelodeon is making a “SpongeBob SquarePants” spinoff for Netflix, part of a deal in which Nickelodeon will create and produce original animated feature films and television series based on its characters. (The New York Times

Musicians tapped to host music awards. Specifically, Alicia Keys will host the 62nd Grammy Awards, and Ciara will host the 2019 American Music Awards. Keys hosted the Grammys this year and brought friends on stage with her throughout the night, including Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Lady Gaga. She was the first woman to host since 2005. (CBS News)

215 McCann’s new ad for a “Star Wars” Xbox game. The Xbox One edition of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has a new live-action spot, “Become a Jedi,” which tells the story of a teen hanging out at her dad’s construction site and imagining that she’s a jedi. See the ad on Adweek). The newest installment of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars movies, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” comes out next month. 

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This Week in TV News: New Holiday Creative and Apple TV Plus Shows

This week we’re talking about new holiday creative making buzz and renewals for four Apple TV Plus shows.

Automation will “transform” agency jobs in the next decade. Eighty percent of agency jobs will be transformed by automation and learning technologies by 2030, forecasts Forrester. A spokesperson told Ad Age that “automation will enhance the agency workforce, not replace it. We’re very much advocating for humans + machines.”  Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall wrote that we can “expect creative leaders of global creative agencies to drop the data dissonance and incorporate data-driven, tech-fueled approaches and platforms into the creative process and toolkit.” Read more on Forrester’s blog

The ANA releases a diversity report. The report found ethnic diversity is poor from the senior level on down, especially for African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino marketers. A small 12% of CMOs and equivalent positions are held by ethnically diverse marketers, down from 13% last year. (Radio + Television Business Report

Holiday ads are here, and they’re cute. And as usual, British brands are bringing their A-game, including catalog retailer Argos, which produced an “instant classic” by Adweek’s standards. The three-minute spot, running on TV and digital, features a dad and daughter playing Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” on drums together. See the ad in its full cutest on Adweek

Four Apple TV Plus shows get a second season. “See,” “For All Mankind,” “Dickinson” and “The Morning Show” are all getting a sophomore season from Apple, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston vehicle “Morning Show” is already filming its next set of 10 episodes. (Variety)

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This Week in TV News: Halloween Pizza Ads and Game of Thrones

This week we’re talking about the best Halloween marketing, Game of Thrones and the Halloween pizza ads.

PlayStation Vue shuts down. Sony is shutting down its live TV streaming service PlayStation Vue on January 30th, 2020, the company announced today. The service launched four years ago as an early competitor in the pay-TV market. Competitors included Amazon and Netflix. That includes Disney with Disney+, Apple with Apple TV Plus, AT&T with HBO Max, and NBCUniversal with Peacock, among others. (The Verge

GoT creators aren’t going to work on Star Wars. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss aren’t going to work with Disney’s Lucasfilm to launch a feature film trilogy in 2022. Citing their Netflix deal, the pair won’t be working on an installment of Star Wars. (Deadline

Halloween pizza ad wars. Halloween happens to be one of the most popular pizza-ordering days of the year, according to industry group American Pizza Community. October is national pizza month, and in celebration, Pizza Hut is giving out $20 gift cards on Reddit; Domino’s is offering $50 gift cards for people who retweet a post about the celebratory month; and Papa John’s is offering an $11 jack-o-lantern pizza with a smiley face made of pepperoni. (Ad Age)  

Spooky good Halloween creative. Read The Drum‘s roundup of Halloween coverage. See a psychic perform a spiritual taste test for Burger King, a haunted rum ad from Bacardi, and for Progressive, couples experience the greatest spook of all: becoming their parents.

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This Week in TV News: Video Ad Growth and Beverage Innovation

This week we’re talking about the growing video advertising market, compliance framework for CCPA provided by the IAB and IAB Tech Lab, and how Anheuser-Busch InBev is thinking about its portfolio in light of changing consumer behavior. 

Video advertising is growing fast. A report from the IAB and PwC U.S. found that U.S. digital advertising spend for the first half of this year came to nearly $58 billion, an all-time high for the first six months of a year. Video advertising saw the fastest level of year-over-year growth at 36%, totaling $9.5 billion. (The Drum)

CCPA compliance framework is open for comment. In another IAB-related news, the organization and the IAB Tech Lab released a first draft of a compliance framework for the The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The draft is open to public comment through Nov. 5. The IAB Compliance & Privacy Unit will provide “information, solutions, and resources to get ready for CCPA,” according to its site, which has a clock counting down (to the second) how long until the legislation takes effect. (AdExchanger)

Rethinking the role of the beer giant. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s innovation arm ZX Ventures, with acquisitions like Babe Wine, is “focused on finding the new big thing before it becomes a thing,” according to Pedro Earp, the group’s global CMO. In an interview with Adweek, Earp talks about building on the beverage giant’s portfolio of brands to “drive increased sales uplift, efficiencies and simplification.” Read more in Adweek.

Spooky shows you shouldn’t watch alone. Or should you? If you’re brave and very into Halloween, Screenrant made a list of scary TV shows, with “Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story” on the list. “The Twilight Zone” is the oldest show on the list, as did newcomers “Into the Dark,” “The Terror” and “Black Summer.”

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This Week in TV News: Jen Aniston Joins Instagram and Syfy Fan-Submitted Spots

This week we’re talking about the “Friends” cast member making waves on Instagram, the most-watch Netflix movies and TV shows from the past year, Syfy fan-submitted creative inspired by classic horror scenes and more.

Jen Aniston joins Instagram. Right before the November launch of her new Apple + show, “The Morning Show,” Jen has decided to join Instagram. Soon after joining, her account crashed because so many people rushed to follow her. Her first post was a 25th anniversary reunion of her Friends castmates. As of Thursday, Jen has 12.3 million followers on the social platform. She broke the world record for reaching one million followers on Instagram, clocking in at 5 hours. (CNN)

The best Halloween TV episodes. What’s scary is that there are only about two weeks left of October to watch a lot of Halloween-themed TV. On Esquire’s list: an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in which the characters unknowingly buy cursed Halloween costumes; an episode of “The Office” where Michael procrastinates firing an employee; and a “Freaks and Geeks” episode called “Tricks and Treats,” in which Bill dresses up bionic woman. (Esquire)

Syfy fans create Halloween spots. New promos pay respect to classic horror movie moments, including scenes from Annabelle, The Blair Witch Project and Halloween. Syfy created the promotion with Tongal, a content creation platform, asking for text, treatment, links, storyboards and a pitch video, and Syfy decided which submissions to fund from there. (Adweek)

Netflix’s top movies, as revealed by Netflix. Netflix decided to share its viewership data for a year’s worth of its most-watched original movies and TV shows, from October 2018 through this month. Sandra Bullock vehicle “Bird Box” came in as the top-watched original movie, with 80 million views. “Murder Mystery” came in second with 73 million viewers. Top TV shows included “Stranger Things” with 63 million viewers; “The Umbrella Academy” with 45 million viewers; and “La Casa de Papel” with 44 million viewers. Viewers who watched 70% or more of a title were counted. (The New York Times)

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This Week in TV News: a Walter White Pop-Up and an Increase in OTT Subscriptions

This week we’re talking about “Breaking Bad,” the NFL streaming to more countries through OverTier and an increase in household OTT subscriptions.

Get the full Walter White experience. Well, not the full experience of Walter White, but a “Breaking Bad” experience, complete with set recreations from the show and a themed bar and snacks. Servers will wear  hazmat suits, and fans will get to make their own cocktails during what Vince Gilligan calls “the chance to experience Walt’s world firsthand.” (Adweek)

The NFL is streaming to more countries. In fact, 181 countries and territories will be able to stream NFL games, thanks to the NFL and streamer OverTier. OverTier has held rights to operate NFL Game Pass in Europe since 2017. Now, only three countries (the U.S., Canada and China) will not be served by NFL Game Pass through OverTier. (Variety)

Households are subscribing to more OTT subs. A survey from Parks Associates found the number of households with multiple OTT subs has increased by 130% since 2014, with 46% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to two or more services. The number of OTT services available for subscriptions has gone up 140% in the past five years, according to senior analyst Steve Nason, who added, “consumers are finding they can’t fulfill all their interests through a single service.” (FierceVideo)

CMOs are feeling good about budgets. Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey found that overall marketing budgets were down from about 11% of overall company revenue in 2018 to 10.5% this year, six out of ten CMOs believe budgets are set to tick upward in 2020. Marketing technology investments dropped by 3% year over year, falling to 26% of marketing budgets in 2019. (BusinessWire)

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This Week in TV News: 2020 Presidential Election TV Ad Spending and In-Store Shopping

This week we’re talking about 2020 election TV ad spending, in-store shopping by Gen Z and millennials (yes, they shop in physical stores) and Premiere Week ratings.

Young people are shopping in-store, actually. The natural assumption would be that younger consumers (millennials and Gen Z) prefer to shop digitally because they’re digital natives who prefer the speed and ease of online shopping. Not so, according to a recent study from Oracle NetSuite, Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor. Forty-three percent of millennials and Gen Z are likely to increase their in-store shopping this year. The reason may be that they’re shopping for necessities they want immediately, says a senior commerce marketing analyst at NetSuite. (Adweek)

2020 presidential candidate TV spending thus far. FiveThirtyEight is tracking TV ad data for the 2020 presidential election, finding that most candidates haven’t started spending much on TV ads yet. As of late September, the philanthropist Tom Steyer has used TV most, accounting for $12 million of the estimated $15.4 million that had been spent on presidential TV ads. To date, most candidates have been focusing spending on Facebook and Google ads. In 2016, campaigns and organizations were spent $2.4 billion on broadcast TV ads. (FiveThirtyEight)

Broadcast TV ratings for Premiere Week are weak. According to live-plus-same-day data, ratings for adults 18-49, fell 12% year-over-year. On average, the Big Four networks drew 1.75 million members of the demo per night. And our of the 13 new series that aired episodes last week, just one (Fox’s “Prodigal Son”) got a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo. (Ad Age)

“Stranger Things” gets a fourth season. Netflix agreed to make another installment of the 80s nostalgia-infused TV show, signing on show creators the Duffer Brothers to a multiyear film and series deal. Netflix said nearly 41 million household accounts watched the show’s July 2019 third-season premiere within four days of it being released. (Adweek)

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This Week in TV News: New Fall Shows and Phoebe Waller-Bridge

This week we’re talking about an Amazon deal for new content from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, new fall TV that premiered this week, falling Emmy Awards viewership and more. 

It’s premiere week. Fall TV is in full swing, with “The Good Doctor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Empire,” “This Is Us’ and “New Amsterdam” all airing episodes this week. Netflix made “The Politician,” starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange, available to streamers today. Amazon released a one-episode, two-hour musical series finale of “Transparent,” with lead character Moira’s death as the focus. (Newsweek

Emmy viewership drops by a third. Emmy Awards viewership dropped to about 6.9 million viewers, down 32% from last year, according to Nielsen data shared by Fox. This is the first time less than 10 million people have tuned in. Last year, 10.2 million viewers tuned in for the Emmys, which were hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che. (NBC News)

J. Lo and Shakira will play the halftime show at the Super Bowl. This February, the two pop stars will take the stage in Miami, Pepsi announced with Roc Nation. This is the first time the two singers will perform together, and it marks the NFL’s 100th anniversary. (Ad Age)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets Amazon deal. The writer and star of “Fleabag” won six Emmys for the show and signed an Amazon Studios deal for about $20 million per year, according to Variety. Waller-Bridge, also the writer and show-runner for the award-winning Killing Eve,”  will create and produce new shows available through Amazon Prime Video. In a statement, Waller-Bridge said working with the team on “Fleabag” was “the creative partnership dreams are made of.”

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This Week in TV News: Tinder’s Streaming Series and a Cheez-It and Pizza Hut Collab

This week we’re talking about a new choose-your-own-adventure video series premiering on Tinder, a collaboration between Pizza Hut and Cheez-It, and a proposal for new consumer privacy standards from the IAB Tech Lab. 

Tinder gets into original content. The dating app is releasing six episodes of a choose-your-own-adventure series next month. App users will be able to swipe left or right to advance the story, which takes place during an apocalypse. The director, Karena Evans, is behind hits like Drake’s “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What” music videos. (Variety)

Pizza Hut and Cheez-It release an iconic, cheesy collaboration. Who knew the pizza restaurant chain and the snack cracker would be a match made in snacker heaven? “The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza,” available for a limited time and priced at $6.49, is basically a pizza pocket with a layer of Cheez-Its, shaped like a large Cheez-It. (Food and Wine)

IAB Tech Lab proposes new consumer privacy standards. “ Proposal for Enhanced Accountability,” the IAB Tech Lab’s new set of technical solutions and standards, aim at address concerns around privacy, data sharing, and security while “retaining the value of open standards, is to work towards enhanced accountability to consumer privacy across our industry.” Read more about the proposal on the IAB Tech Lab’s blog.

“Friends” turns 25. More than two decades later, the show (which leaves Netflix next year) is still popular and drawing new audiences to its story of a few twenty-somethings living in New York. The Hollywood Reporter ranked the show’s top 25 episodes in honor of its 25th birthday. 

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This Week in TV News: Customer Trust and Historic Emmy Nominations

This week we’re talking about Apple TV+’s premiere date, historic nominations for the Emmys, including a possibly record-breaking win for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, people’s feelings on personal data safety and three new S.N.L cast members.

Apple TV+ has a launch date. The streaming service will debut Nov. 1 at $4.99 per month and a free year sub for anyone who buys a new Apple device. At an Apple event, Tim Cook announced plans for the launch of several original shows. There’s no word yet on whether there will be licensed shows and movies, bundles, which devices it will stream to and more. Read other unresolved Apple TV+ questions on CNET

Salesforce CMO talks customer trust at Dmexco. In her Dmexco speech, Stephanie Buscemi outlined why consumers are wary. Almost 60% of consumers fear their personal data is vulnerable to hackers, and 54% think companies don’t operate with their customers’ best interests in mind. On the bright side, 91% of customers are likely to trust a company that’s transparent about how personal data is used. (Adweek)

Historic Emmy noms. To add some weight and drama to the awards show this year, a few nominated shows aired their final seasons, including “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.” If Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins a ninth award, she’ll break Cloris Leachman’s record for most overall acting wins. Other history-making nominations include Ted Danson, who’s been nominated for leading actor in a comedy series 13 times, capping off with this year’s nomination for “The Good Place.” Likewise, Peter Dinklage has made history playing Tyrion Lannister on GoT, with eight best supporting actor nominations for the character and the most nominations for a single performer in a drama, male or female. (Hollywood Reporter

S.N.L. adds three new cast members. “Saturday Night Live” is adding three new comedians to its lineup for its upcoming 45th season: Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis and Bowen Yang. Yang, currently a writer on S.N.L., will be the show’s first Asian cast member. In August, Leslie Jones announced her exit from the show. (Variety)

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This Week in TV News: New Standards from the MRC and Heinz Creative

This week we’re talking about a design solution to ketchup bottle woes, the fall TV shows you will probably hear about and maybe watch, and new cross-screen measurement standards from the MRC.

The MRC’s cross-screen measurement standards. The Media Rating Council issued a final version of its provisions for measuring video advertising and content delivered through television, OTT and digital, both desktop and mobile. The standards “mark a consensus” across 175 companies have support from the ANA, 4A’s and IAB, per reporting from Adweek. MRC CEO George W. Ivie said the idea was to “make these measurements fair and on an apples-to-apples basis across all these video platforms” and that by “reining things in,” media buyers will get a better idea of campaign reach. (Adweek)

Tfw the ketchup won’t come out. Heinz Canada released new creative focused on that classic challenge of getting ketchup out of the bottle. A new “Pour Perfect” bottle shows an askew label when the glass ketchup bottle is set down. The label appears upright only when you pick the bottle up and hold it at the right angle for pouring. The project is from Rethink Canada. (Ad Age)

What will be big in fall TV. Vulture goes through upcoming TV shows, including offerings from Apple and Disney+, and gives its take on which shows will be biggest. Among them: a new Jen Aniston-led morning show series; a Netflix fantasy based on a video game called “The Witcher,” billed as the next “Game of Thrones”; and a Star Wars series from Disney+ called “The Mandalorian.” (Vulture

Why a TV critic cut the cord. Tim Goodman talks about his journey from cable to OTT services. He starts by identifying what he wants (“I definitely wanted live sports and the local network affiliates that carry them,” he says) and what he needed for sports viewing (he doesn’t care about ESPN, but needs the NBC Sports Network for Giants, A’s and Sharks games). Read his account on The Hollywood Reporter.

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This Week in TV News: Sandwich Wars and Leslie Jones

This week we’re talking about what Leslie Jones is doing after “Saturday Night Live,” the fried chicken sandwich war between Chick-fil A and Popeye’s, the growing number of SVOD subscriptions and HBO’s early streaming release of episodes airing on Sunday.

Popeye’s sandwich goes viral. The restaurant announced it sold its entire launch inventory of chicken sandwiches, which was supposed to be last through September. The sandwiches launched on August 12, and the “Great Chicken Sandwich Twitter War of 2019” began. Twitter users began debating which brand has the better sandwich: Popeye’s or Chick-fil-A. The marketer behind the sandwich launch? Fernando Machado, global CMO of Burger King. Read more about the launch and why it wouldn’t have been a success without Black Twitter. (Adweek

More and more people use SVOD services. About 75% of U.S. homes subscribe to at least one of the top SVOD services, including Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix, according to research from Leichtman Research Group. That’s an increase from 64% in 2017 and 52% in 2015. About 27% of respondents said they shared their Netflix login with someone outside their home, respectively 19% of Hulu users and 10% of Amazon users. (Light Reading)

HBO gets a jump on LBD weekend. If you have plans Sunday and were going to miss your Sunday evening shows, you’re in luck. Episodes of HBO’s “Succession,” “Ballers” and “The Righteous Gemstones” that normally air Sunday night will be available to stream today via HBO Go, HBO Now and its on-demand platforms. (The Wrap

Leslie Jones announces she’s leaving “S.N.L.” Jones is leaving the storied sketch show after five seasons to pursue film and TV projects, including a gameshow reboot called “Supermarket Sweep,” which Jones will host and executive produce. Check out The Times’ roundup of Jones’ funniest S.N.L. moments, including “Upper East Side” and her many appearances on “Weekend Update” with Colin Jost. (Deadline

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This Week in TV News: Fall TV, ‘Morning Show’ and Bill Gates

This week we’re talking about a new show from Apple chronicling a fictional drama happening behind-the-scenes of morning television, upcoming shows premiering this fall, and a docuseries on Bill Gates. 

Apple’s “Morning Show” gets a trailer. Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon play morning news hosts in “Morning Show,” a drama inspired by Jamie Stelter’s book “Top of the Morning.” Apple ordered two seasons of the show, which aill air exclusively on Apple TV Plus. The premiere date hasn’t been announced yet. (The Hollywood Reporter)

New episodes of “The Proud Family” to show on Disney +.  Actor Tommy Davidson, who voiced Oscar Proud, said Disney will be producing new episodes to be released on Disney +. Kids’ show “The Proud Family” premiered in 2001 and hasn’t produced a new episode since 2005. Viewers are curious if the show pick up where it left off or skip forward a few years in its timeline. (Vice)

Fall TV heats up. “There is literally not enough time to watch it all,” The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon declares in a guide to new fall TV options. Among the top-talked about titles: Kirsten Dunst’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”; a Michael Schur-exec produced show called “Sunnyside”; and “Modern Love,” a romantic show based on the New York Times column of the same name. (The Daily Beast

Netflix gets a Bill Gates doc series. “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates,” a three-part docuseries will premiere September 20. This series will focus on the Microsoft founder, his business leadership and philanthropy. It’s directed by Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim, who also directed “An Inconvenient Truth” and “He Named Me Malala.” (Deadline)

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This Week in TV News: Hemingway Gets the TV Treatment and ‘Succession’ Scores Big Ratings

This week we’re talking about a TV adaptation of Ernst Hemingway’s memoir, upcoming NBA programming and the return of a classic TV show.

HBO’s “Succession” returns. The family drama is back for season two, and last Sunday’s episode marked a series high of 1.2 million viewers across HBO’s linear network and digital platforms, up 32% from last year’s premiere episode and up 22% from the season one finale. (Deadline

Ernest Hemingway gets the television treatment. Hemingway’s memoir “A Moveable Feast” is projected to become a TV series with Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. The story follows Hemingway’s early years in Paris in the ‘20s, where he encountered F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Producers for the series include John Goldstone, Marc Rosen and Mariet Hemingway, the granddaughter of the author, who says the series’ aim is to “reveal on film the coming-of-age story that has captivated readers and burgeoning writers for several decades.” The producers are still in search of a writer. (Deadline)

NBA programming is out. The NBA released its upcoming season game schedule, saying it’s been working closely with their broadcast partners to ensure doubleheaders will be covered. Upcoming notable player appearances include Kawhi Leonard in Toronto on Dec. 11 for an LA Clippers versus Raptors game; Celtics guard Kemba Walker will be in Charlotte on Nov. 7; and Jazz guard Mike Conley will be in Memphis on Nov. 15. The games air on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV. (ESPN)

“The Crown” and “The Flintstones” return. A third season of the British royal family drama and the classic stone-age cartoon series will soon be available on Netflix and broadcast network MeTV, respectively. After premiering 59 years ago, The Flintstones airs beginning September 30 at 6pm, Monday through Friday. (Cynopsis)

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This Week in TV News: Victoria’s Secret Show Is Cancelled and Coors Light Debuts New Creative

This week, we’re talking about Shark Week, Victoria’s Secret and Disney+. 

Shark Week scores high ad impression counts, ratings. Shark Week came to an end on Sunday, and Discovery Channel reported a 109% increase in primetime TV ad impressions compared to the previous year, with nearly one billion TV ad impressions during primetime. Even with that jump in impressions, there were actually fewer primetime commercials airing during Shark Week compared to the previous week. Last year, “Shark Week” brought in nearly 35 million total viewers. Top-performing “Shark Week” content this year included “Andrew Mayne: Ghost Diver” and “I Was Prey.” (Broadcasting and Cable

Disney bundles up. On Tuesday, Disney announced a bundle plan of Disney+, Hulu basic on-demand, and ESPN+ for $12.99. This price will parallel the competitive streaming services, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Rather than purchasing these OTT services separately, this bundle will save consumers $5 per month and provide them with three unique services, including live sports. (Cynopsis)

Victoria’s Secret cancels annual fashion show. As the fashion show has always been surrounded by controversy, Victoria’s Secret decided to pull it from television because they are trying to take their brand in a new direction by “taking a fresh look in every aspect of our business.” The brand no longer saw television as the right fit as they are trying to grow and evolve.  Instead of putting focus on the fashion show, they are developing “exciting and dynamic content and a new kind of event.” (CBS News)

The Official Beer of… Coors Light released a series of commercials, with two displaying comedic daily moments for young adults including “… Being Done with my Bra” and “…Drinking in the Shower.’ The aim of the campaign is to target Gen Z and millennials and be their beer of choice for these small celebratory moments throughout the day. (Adweek)

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This Week in TV News: Smart Diapers and Monthly Streaming Services Budgets

We’re talking about how much people are willing to spend on streaming services, ratings for “Big Little Lies,” and new creative from P&G and Liberty Mutual.

Streaming service budgets hit a ceiling. Most U.S. households want to pay $21 a month for all their streaming services, a new Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll finds. Many streamers pay for three services for a total of $37 per month. (Hollywood Reporter

“Big Little Lies” gets big, not little, ratings. According to Nielsen, encore showings and early streaming data shows the season two finale of the HBO drama clocked in at 3.1 million viewers the night it aired, or 2 million viewers for the linear premiere and a little over one million for two same-day reruns and early HBO GO or HBO NOW streams. (Vulture

Diapers get smart. P&G partnered with Google to create a smart diaper. The system, Lumi, will alert parents via app when diapers need changing; it will also use a Logitech video camera for two-way audio, which will help track room humidity, movement, and sleep. (Ad Age) 

Liberty Mutual’s wacky ads are working. The car insurance brand’s campaign, “Truth Tellers,” has resulted in a strong increase in ad awareness, with a year-over-year lift in unaided awareness of 25%. The campaign has been around for a few years and originally received mixed feedback, but after switching agencies and going through a reboot, the new creative is its “oddest and most compelling yet,” according to Adweek. One ad features the fortune-telling “Zoltar” machine from the 1988 Tom Hanks movie “Big.” (Adweek)

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This Week in TV News: Emmy Nominations and a ‘Gossip Girl’ Reboot

We’re talking about (yet another) series reboot, Emmy nominations and snubs and cable’s economic impact in the U.S.

Emmy nominations are out. As usual, there are plenty of surprise nominees (including Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” and Eugene and Dan Levy’s “Schitt’s Creek”) and surprise snubs (including Julia Roberts in “Homecoming,” the movie star’s first TV show and Kieran Culkin in “Succession”). Check out Vulture’s entire list of shocking snubs and nominees. (Vulture)

Gen X shop on social and mobile. Xers use mobile apps for a variety of shopping purposes. More than half of U.S. smartphone/tablet owners from 35 to 54 said they had used a mobile retail app to seek out info about a product or service (61%) or to transact a purchase (54%), according to eMarketer/Bizrate Insights. But the generation doesn’t want to be inundated with ads on social or mobile. More than half (56%) of respondents for a separate poll from Morning Consult said there is too much advertising on the social platforms they use. (eMarketer)

Xoxo, Gossip Girl. Seven years after the ending of the hit show “Gossip Girl” last aired, WarnerMedia plans to recreate the show with a new plot and cast. The 10 episodes will take place eight years after the original Gossip Girl website shutdown and will dive into how social media and New York itself has changed throughout the past seven years. (Deadline)

Cable’s $450 billion economic impact. The cable industry, including broadband and phone businesses and programmers, accounted for $450 billion of the American economic impact for 2018, up $29 billion over last year, according to a Bortz Media & Sports Group report. The number counts the three million U.S. jobs the industry provides, as well as investments in services. Over the last 20 years, Bortz found, the industry has invested $290 billion in infrastructure and networks. (Multichannel News).

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Experiential Marketing and an Ad Featuring Megan Rapinoe

This week, we’re talking about U.S. women in the World Cup, “Stranger Things” season three, and new ads from Amazon and Apple. 

U.S. women win the World Cup. The Women’s National Soccer Team brought home a victory against the Netherlands in Lyon, France, last weekend. Soon after, Nike released an inspirational ad called “Never Stop Winning,” heavily featuring star forward Megan Rapinoe. Up next: player endorsements. Keep an eye out for brands partnering with fan favorites including Rapinoe and her teammate Alex Morgan, who currently promotes Secret deodorant, FabFitFun subscription boxes and Molecule mattresses on her Instagram account. (MarketWatch)

World Cup stats. The Women’s World Cup final brought in 14 million viewers on Fox, making it the most watched soccer game since the final in 2015 when the U.S. beat Japan. Nearly 300,000 people streamed the game. This final game had 22% more viewers than the men’s World Cup final last year between France and Croatia, and it was also the most watched World Cup game on a Spanish-language channel, with 1.6 million Telemundo views. (NBC News)

“Stranger Things” and experiential marketing. The third season of Netflix’s hit show was released last week, with 40.7 million U.S. households viewing it in its first four days. Netflix is amping up the buzz with entertainment-linked merchandise and a slew of pop-ups, including a Hawkins fair on Santa Monica Beach and a Scoops Ahoy in Burbank. (Bloomberg)

Apple and Amazon release new ads. On Wednesday, Apple premiered their new humorous ad “Nap” featuring a man utilizing Face ID while relaxing, and Amazon premiered a heartfelt ad titled “Sisterhood” highlighting the sibling connection with an Amazon Echo. (Ad Age)

Read last week’s trends.

This Week in TV News: ‘Stranger Things’ Returns and the Women’s World Cup

This week, we’re talking about a new IAB Tech Lab transparency standard, summer TV watching habits and the new season of “Stranger Things,” which premieres July 4.

New data transparency standard from the IAB Tech Lab. The standard is aimed at establishing :minimum disclosure and transparency standards for any company that collects audience data for targeting, personalization, or measurement of digital advertising, and ultimately to encourage more informed data usage,” according to the IAB. The new standard allows for more clarity by allowing buyers to receive information regarding “the date the user ID was collected, the URL, location data, and if the segment includes lookalike modeling.” (AdExchanger)

People prefer TV to the beach. According to the VAB,  95% of P18+ watch ad-supported TV during summer months. Last year’s trends show that TV watching rises during summer holidays; P35-49 watched 24 more minutes of TV on the 4th of July in 2018. We can expect a similar trend for July 4 of this year. The report also said TV’s popularity goes beyond the TV screen with 68% of the top 10 trending Twitter conversations revolving around ad-supported TV accounts.  (The VAB)

“Stranger Things” is coming back. Netflix’s hit show returns tomorrow. If you forgot where we left off almost two years ago with season two, the Times has a handy guide to catch you up. (The New York Times)

U.S. Women move on to Finals in World Cup. The U.S. Women beat England 2-1 in the semifinals on Tuesday. They will continue to the finals on Sunday against either the Netherlands or Sweden, depending on today’s game. The U.S. is the first team to make it to the finals three years in a row.  (ESPN)

This Week in TV News: Boomers’ Shopping Habits and ‘American Horror Story’

This week, we’re talking about baby boomers’ purchasing habits, the “American Horror Story” season 9 premiere, and growing use of AI in TV.

Boomers’ digital shopping lags behind other generations. eMarketer found nearly 60% of baby boomers will buy something digitally this year, via a browser, phone or tablet. For millennials, that number is about 85%, and 78% of Gen Xers have purchased something digitally. eMarketer principal analyst Mark Dolliver said that for boomers who are retirees, “the time-saving features of digital shopping are somewhat irrelevant” compared to young people who are in the middle of their careers or raising families. (eMarketer

“American Horror Story 1984” premieres this September. Set to haunt the houses of America Sept. 18th, this season will be a throwback to 80s thriller movies such as Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Children of the Corn. The complete cast hasn’t been announced yet, but we do know that Emma Roberts will be returning and AHS star Evan Peters will take a break for this season. Fans are eagerly waiting to hear if Sarah Paulson will be returning. (Deadline)

AI use is growing in TV and movies. Fox Sports is incorporating IBM’s Watson technology into the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Commentators will host “Player Spotlight,” supported byWatson tech, which creates stat analyses in real time with goal, pass, and kick data from Opta. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Women’s U.S. soccer advances to quarterfinals. The U.S. beat Spain 2-1 on Monday; Megan Rapinoe scored the winning penalty kick with nine minutes left. More than 600,000 streamers watched the game, a 277% jump up from the 2015 World Cup. The U.S. will advance to the quarterfinals and play against France on Friday at 3pm. (Washington Post)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Apple’s Award Ambitions and a Netflix Murder Mystery

This week, we’re talking about the “Games of Thrones” prequel, Netflix’s murder mystery starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, and Apple’s award season ambitions.

HBO hits big ratings. The network recently started airing “Euphoria,” a new series, and it premiered its second episode from season two of “Big Little Lies.” “Euphoria” captured around one million viewers from cable, HBO GO and HBO NOW. Episode two of “Big Little Lies” had a 7% rise in viewership from the first episode (1.5 million, up front 1.4 million viewers). (Variety)

Apple looks for awards season winners. This fall, Apple is launching Apple TV+, and the company wants the highest industry accolades to prove its quality and is looking to make six small-budget movies a year “with an eye toward stories that could win Academy Awards.” (IndieWire)

Netflix’s murder mystery is killing it. Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler star in Netflix’s newest original film, “Murder Mystery.” In its first three days, 30.87 million accounts watched it. This is the most successful opening weekend for a Netflix film. In the movie, a cop (Sandler) and his wife (Aniston) attempt to solve a perplexing murder aboard a yacht in Europe. (Variety)

Winter is coming, again. The as-of-now untitled “Game of Thrones” prequel began filming in Northern Ireland, a main production location for the original series. The prequel hasn’t officially gotten picked up as a series by HBO yet. HBO may be cautious considering the original series famously reshot its entire pilot after casting concerns. (TV Guide)

This Week in TV News: BET’s Streaming Service and the Blues Win the Stanley Cup

This week, we’re talking about connected TV inventory growth, the Stanley Cup and BET’s new streaming service.

Connected TV inventory is growing. Connected TV inventory is growing, according to eMarketer, which expects 57.2% of the US population will watch connected TV this year, up from 51.7% in 2017. As time spent watching increases, inventory will increase, too. (eMarketer)

The Blues win and the Stanley Cup scores big ratings. The St. Louis Blues scored a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The game was watched by 8.2 million total viewers, up 24% on the rating for Game 6 and up 26% on the second-last game’s total viewership, with 6.1 million viewers. (Variety)

BET is the latest to launch a streaming service. The new streaming service from BET, launching later this year, will host content from the BET channel and other channels owned by parent company Viacom. Shows on the service include “First Wives Club,” a series based on the 1996 movie of the same name, as well as original content from Tyler Perry. (Engadget)

People prefer phones. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults say they rely on their smartphone the most for accessing the internet, an increase from 19% of respondents in 2013, according to Pew Research. What’s more, 17% of respondents said smartphones are the only device they use to get online. In part, this is probably due to better device quality, including larger, better screens, more memory and storage, faster processors. (MediaPost and Quartz)

This Week in TV News: Mobile Surpasses Traditional TV Time and the LeBron Effect

This week, we’re talking about mobile phone use surpassing traditional TV broadcasts, the LeBron James effect on ratings and which shows to watch, now that “Game of Thrones” is no more.

We’re living in a mobile world. People are spending more time on their phones than they are watching traditional TV broadcasts, according to eMarketer. This year, American adults will spend nearly three hours and forty-five minutes on mobile devices daily versus three hours and thirty-five minutes spent watching TV. But, eMarketer notes, mobile time isn’t supplanting TV content altogether, especially with the rise of OTT services. Since 2014, OTT viewers have increased by 34 million people, while traditional TV viewers have declined by 12 million people, according to research from eMarketer. (NBC News)

Ratings without LeBron. The Toronto Raptors played the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA finals, and ratings were low – a 3.7 in the 18-49 demo with 10.4 million total viewers. Variety cites two factors behind the decline: the lack of LeBron James and a Canadian team in the finals. (Variety)

What to watch after GoT. “Game of Thrones” is over. What should a dedicated TV superfan watch next? Quartz has a guide for a variety of Thrones fans, from those who like mythology to sweeping historical drama with high production values. (Quartz)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: a Preview of ‘Shark Week’ and an IAB Advanced TV Matrix

This week, we’re talking about a new IAB advanced TV matrix, The New York Times new foray into TV and Shark Week.

Tech is changing things for the better, most say. Most adults see technology as the biggest driver of change and think that’s a good thing, according a trends report from Ford. However, 70% of millennials would like to undo behavioral changes caused by technology. (MediaPost)

The IAB clears up advanced TV confusion. The IAB Video Center of Excellence released a matrix “through which to view the Advanced TV landscape” this week. Enjoy the matrix and references to “The Matrix” (Remember this line from Morpheus? “Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”) on the IAB’s site. (IAB)

Shark Week is here for its 31st season. Shark Week, TV’s longest running event, is back on The Discovery Channel July 28-August 4. Last year, the show turned 30, and it garnered 48 million views from users across Facebook and Instagram. See a new preview and get pumped for the upcoming installment on Deadline.

The NYT does TV.  Read why The New York Times is expanding into television with a 30-episode docuseries on FX called “The Weekly.” Stories will include a closer look at the Times’ reporting on Louisiana’s T.M. Landry College Prep and NYC’s yellow cab industry, among many other topics. According to Times’ assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick, after the news outlet evolved to a digital platform and audio powerhouse, “TV was the next frontier.” (Adweek).

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: What to Stream this Weekend and New Coke

This week, we’re talking about the summer movies you should stream this weekend, the return of New Coke in a bid for nostalgia and the impact of GDPR on marketers’ data initiatives.

MDW streaming faves. Vanity Fair has the most important part of Memorial Day Weekend covered – which summer movies to watch this weekend when you’re not barbecuing. On the list: “Dirty Dancing,” “A League of Their Own” and Call Me by Your Name.”

GDPR’s impact on marketers. One year after the General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, how are marketers feeling about the EU law? A survey from Winterberry Group and the IAB found US marketers are still worried about the impact government regulation will have on their work with data. Organizational silos and difficult proving ROI of data programs are other anxieties marketers have related to their data-driven projects. (eMarketer)

Game of Thrones wins ratings record. The final episode of “Game of Thrones” brought in a series record of 19.3 million viewers. The finale topped last week’s episode, “The Bells,” with 18.4 million viewers. (CNN Business)

“Stranger Things” brings back New Coke. In 1985, Coke launched “New Coke,” a new formulation of the beverage that had a largely negative reception. But for the third season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” New Coke is coming back. The New Coke campaign is aimed at reaching people in the evolving media landscape, according to Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke’s sparkling business unit and SVP-marketing for Coca-Cola North America, adding, “It’s important for us to make sure that we are where our consumers’ eyeballs and hearts and spirits are.” (WSJ and CNN)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Batwoman, TikTok and ‘Big Bang Theory’

This week, we’re looking at the new broadcast TV shows announced during the Upfronts, including a new Batwoman show that’s getting buzz, and we’re talking about how TikTok continues to be one of the most popular apps young people use.

Time to download this app. Short video mobile app TikTok was the most downloaded app in in the Apple App Store in the first quarter of 2019, with more than 33 million downloads. This is the app’s fifth straight quarter in the number one spot. This quarter, YouTube and Instagram took the second and third spots, respectively. For Android, the top three downloaded apps were WhatsApp, followed by Messenger, then TikTok. (TechCrunch)

Upfronts’ TV offerings. The annual weeks of presentations are over, and now we can reflect on the new TV coming out. Check out all of THR’s 2019 Upfronts coverage, as well as their roundup of broadcast shows coming out. On the list: a New Orleans-set dramedy starring Kim Cattrall from Fox; a CW take on Batwoman, starring Ruby Rose; “Next,” a Fox AI thriller starring John Slattery; and “Mixed-ish,” a “Black-ish” prequel from ABC. (The Hollywood Reporter)

“Big Bang” ends with a bang. After 12 years and 279 episodes, “Big Bang Theory” drew to a close on Thursday. One of the longest running TV comedies ever, the show’s finale scored big ratings according to preliminary Nielsen estimates: a 12.2 household rating and 22 share. (CBS)

“Game of Thrones” wins game of ratings. The final season of the epic HBO show has received mixed reviews, with some saying there are too many storylines to tie up in the finale airing this Sunday, but criticism hasn’t affected how many people are tuning in for the show. The final season has seen an average of 11.6 million live viewers, up from the previous season’s average of 10.2 million. All signs point to a strong, possibly record-breaking finish this Sunday. (Observer)

This Week in TV News: Purpose-Driven Marketing and ‘Avengers’

This week, we’re talking about “Game of Thrones” again – this time about how they show is dominating buzz on social media, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone watching the series on Sunday nights.

The impact of streaming on movie theaters. Is streaming content ruining the in-theater experience? Sony Pictures Classics co-founder and co-president Tom Bernard said there’s no issue and that “if the movies are good and they’re on the screen, people are going to go.” CNN took a closer look at the debate with opinions from Stephen Spielberg and Robert De Niro. “Avengers: Endgame,” which took in more than $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide so far and unseated “Titanic” as the most popular movie of all time, is seen by some as evidence that theatrical releases are still stronger than ever. (Variety)

Purpose-driven marketing has to stretch. It can’t just last for one campaign, according to a study from social impact consultancy DoSomething Strategic. Sixty-six percent of consumers said a brand’s association with a social cause would positively influence their overall impression of the brand, and 58% said the association “will affect their likelihood of purchasing that brand.” Read more on Adweek.

Cool ad, bro. A report from RevJet found younger people pay closer attention to digital ads than older people. For people between the ages of 18 and 44, there was a 47% increase in attention compared to 2018 and a 7% for those 45 and older. (Marketing Dive)

‘Thrones’ gets the #1 social spot. “Game of Thrones” has fans buzzing on social media platforms about its eighth and final season, with a quarter-over-quarter change of 119%. Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” and “You” took second and third in the rankings, respectively. (Variety) In more “Thrones” news, a Starbucks coffee cup made its way onto a table in last week’s episode, offering the brand free exposure. Read more on CNBC

This Week in TV News: the NewFronts, IAB Tech Labs and an Ad Fraud Report

This week, we’re talking about the Digital Content NewFronts, “Game of Thrones” (again) and a report from the ANA and White Ops that says ad fraud is declining.

‘Thrones’ breaks its own viewership record. Last Sunday’s epic battle episode of Game of Thrones garnered 12 million linear viewers and nearly 17.8 million viewers across platforms, breaking the season premiere episode’s viewership (17.4 million). The episode, “The Long Night” ran 82 minutes long and took 11 weeks of shooting. (CNN)

IAB Tech Lab replaces VPAID with SIMID. The IAB Technology Laboratory released SIMID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition), a specification designed to increase transparency and an “interactivity solution that should become a critical part of the video supply chain and will promote transparency and security,” said Dennis Buchheim, SVP and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. (AdExchanger)

ANA and White Ops say fraud is down. And spending on digital advertising is going up. The report, “Bot Baseline,” estimates advertisers will lose $5.8 billion due to ad fraud globally this year, down from $6.5 billion two years ago, an 11% decline. (Ad Age)

Newfronts concludes. The Digital Content NewFronts wrapped after presentations from 14 companies including Digitas, Target, Vice Media, Verizon, YouTube, Conde Nast and Viacom. Celebrity appearances included Alicia Keys, Tiffany Haddish, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Margot Robbie and Mindy Kaling. To sum it up, IAB President & CEO Randall Rothenberg tweeted that this was “the year the entire world – brands, agencies, publishers, creators, influencers, consumers – recognized en masse that #avod, #ott, #streaming IS television, and it’s here and now.” (Digiday)

This Week in TV News: ‘The Office’ and Streaming Subscriptions

This week, we’re talking about why “The Office” is still incredibly popular even though it’s off the air, and we’re reading about how TV preferences could be linked to political leanings.

Why “The Office” still works. “The Office” has been off the air since 2013, but it’s still one of the most-watched shows on Netflix. Why? “Office” creator Mike Schur explains: “I think Steve Carell is a genius, and the fact that he never won an Emmy for that performance should be a source of national shame forever,” adding, “I think the cast was incredible. I think the idea behind it was amazing.” (Adweek)

Adults over 50 feel overlooked by brands. The VAB released a report on adults 50 and over, finding that most of the age groups feels ignored by brands, and nearly half would avoid a brand that ignores their cohort. There are 114 million adults 50 and older in the U.S., and they spend more than 7 hours per day viewing video. (VAB)

You are what you watch. A study found a correlation between political leanings and TV preferences. The report, from The Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg and the futurePerfect Lab, used statistical clustering analysis to identify those who lean liberal or conservative, and those who swing. The research found the swing group consumed the most TV and like shows like “The Voice” and “Dancing with the Stars.” The shows that “unite” audiences included “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Bones” and “Criminal Minds.” (Deadline)

Streaming subs are sometimes driven by just one show. A study from PwC found 36% of viewers have subscribed to a streaming service just to access one show. Among 18 to 29-year-olds, 46% said they had subscribed for one title. (MediaPost)

This Week in TV News: GoT, Beyoncé and ‘Jeopardy!’

Beyoncé’s new documentary hit Netflix this week, and a Las Vegas man is attracting a younger demo to “Jeopardy!” Read the latest in TV news.

Winter is here, and so are big ratings. “Game of Thrones” is officially HBO’s most popular show. The final season’s premiere episode came in with 17 million views last Sunday, not even taking in account views from digital video recorders and on-demand as well as catch-up viewing on HBO. (WSJ)

Beyoncé doc comes to Netflix.  Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” premiered at 3 am Wednesday morning. The documentary chronicles the pop star’s 2018 Coachella performances, which were “designed to bring a specifically African American feel and experience to the world, basing the whole show in her love for the culture of historically black colleges and universities,” according to Variety. Netflix acquired the doc for an unspecified amount. (Variety)

Las Vegas man’s “Jeopardy!” winning streak boosts ratings. Game show contestant James Holzhauer’s two-week streak (in which he won about $700,000) brought in a 7.7 household rating on Monday, up 15% from a week earlier. Notably, Holzhauer has outperformed prime-time broadcast programs among adults under 35 for six out of ten nights of his run. (Vulture)

Consumers are interested in ad-supported OTT. An OpenX survey found 54% of respondents said they preferr a “cheaper or free service that was supported by ads, compared to a more expensive ad-free service.” (MediaPost)

This Week in TV News: DTC Shoppers’ Streaming Habits and Disney+

How many people will tune into “Game of Thrones” this Sunday, and what content will appear on Disney+? Let’s explore these questions, plus a study around DTC shopper streaming habits and a secret Donald Glover movie on Amazon.

“Game of Thrones” viewership predictions. It’s likely Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere to its biggest ratings ever. The show trounces its own ratings every season, so the last season will be big. How big? The record holder is 2017’s penultimate season, with 12 million viewers in the overnight Nielsens, up 36% from the season 6 finale. (Entertainment Tonight)

A whole new world… of Disney streaming. The long-awaited streaming service was announced Thursday afternoon. Content from Disney’s vast repository will include titles from Disney-owned brands (Pixar, Star Wars, the Disney Channel, Marvel and National Geographic) and 21st Century Fox properties. Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger said the company is “putting forward an aggressive strategy” during the investor day event. (AdExchanger)

DTC shoppers stream, a lot. Research from Telaria and Hulu found DTC shoppers spend 13 hours watching live or on-demand streaming TV every week, 20% more time than they spend watching cable TV. What’s more, DTC shoppers who watch both streaming and linear TV were twice as likely to buy a product after seeing an ad that those consumers that only saw on linear TV. (MediaPost)

Amazon’s secret Rihanna and Donald Glover movie. Amazon is streaming “Guava Island,” both starring and produced by Glover. In its first 18 hours, the movie will be free. After that window, it will only be available for Amazon Prime subscribers. The streaming service is betting that the film will bring in a new audience, who might decide to sample other Prime content. (Adweek)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: ‘Game of Thrones’ and OTT ad spend

This week, we’re talking about “Game of Thrones,” OTT revenue next year and a more automated future for TV advertising.

TV ads get more automated, easier. A Videa study of more than 200 marketing and ad professionals found 52% of respondents strongly agree that TV buying is transforming. More than 50% of survey respondents said they see money moving from digital to TV with easier, more automated buying. (RBR)

It’s a streaming world. Seventy percent of U.S. households have at least one streaming service subscription, compared with 40 percent of U.K. homes, according to a study from nScreenMedia’s Vindicia. The average American subscriber watches 3.4 services, at an average of $8.53 per month. (Forbes)

OTT ad revenue to double by 2020, Magna says. The agency predicts  OTT ad spend will see 39% growth to $3.8 billion in 2019 and 31% growth to $5 billion by 2020. (AdExchanger

“Game of Thrones” finale approaches. Beginning April 14, the final season of the epic HBO show will air. Time breaks down the season teasers, photos from the set and cast tweets to try to decipher what happens in the last episodes of the show. (Time)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Consumer Privacy and ‘Sex and the City’

This week, we’re talking about Apple’s streaming service announcement, consumer feelings about privacy and #MarchMadness.

Apple is set to stream. Launching in 100 countries in the fall, Apple TV Plus will feature a slate of original content. Stars who made the trip to Cupertino to speak at the event include Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Jason Momoa, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon. The service will be ad-free. (The Verge)

Three out of four people are “alarmed” about privacy. But most said they aren’t willing to pay to protect their personal information, according to Norton Lifelock’s Cyber Safety Insights Report. A third of respondents ages 18-38 deleted their social media accounts in the past year because of privacy concerns, compared to a fifth of those who are 54 and older. (MarketWatch)

March Madness viewing is up. Nielsen Media Research found TV ratings for the tournament’s first weekend were the second-highest since 1991. Additionally, Conviva data found that live streams and live hours of consumption for the first week of March Madness were up 25% over last year. (Forbes)

‘Sex and the City’ gets another spinoff. After two movies and a show about Carrie’s younger years, there’s another installment of the hit show, this one coming from Paramount Television. The show will focus on characters in their 50s and 60s and topics including marriage, divorce, grief and children, according to Deadline.

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: ‘Seinfeld’ Streaming and Brexit’s Marketing Impact

This week, we’re talking about “Schitt’s Creek,” global streaming growth and Brexit.

“Friends,” “Seinfeld,” etc. According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, Americans spend more than 10 hours a day on their phones. Additionally, the report looked into factors that influence streaming choices, with the most influential one being “existing shows I used to watch on broadcast media being available for streaming.” Coming in a close second was recommendations from family and friends. (Hollywood Reporter)

“Schitt’s Creek” to end after 6 seasons. On the heels of CBS taking full ownership of the Pop TV, the creators of one of the network’s most successful shows announced its next season would be its last. “Schitt’s Creek” Co-creators Eugene Levy and his son Daniel Levy issued a joint statement saying they had envisioned how the story would conclude from the beginning. (CBC)

Streaming services add more than 100M subscribers globally. The new global subscriber total is 613 million, according to data from the MPAA. Cable subscriptions are down 2% for a total of 556 million. (Hollywood Reporter)

Execs talk about Brexit’s impact on marketing. The Drum collected perspectives from UK and Ireland ad industry execs about the potential impact of Brexit on advertising and marketing. Top brass from WPP, Sky, Ebiquity and more talk about access to talent, consumer confidence, taxation and more. Jellyfish CFO Chris Lee said of the uncertainty, “As a business, the only thing we can do is base our decisions on the information that we have available.” (The Drum)

See last week’s TV news.

This Week in TV News: ‘One Day at a Time’ and U.S. Smartphone Use

This week, we’re talking about March Madness ad spend, Netflix’s cancellation of a small show with a devoted fanbase and Theranos.

Netflix cancels “One Day at a Time.” After three seasons, Netflix cancelled the comedy about a Latinx family with Justina Machado and Rita Moreno. Netflix said it was a “very difficult decision” and that it’s disappointing that more viewers didn’t discover the show. This week at INTV, Netflix head of original content Cindy Holland said the company is “about stretching investment dollars as far as we can; making good investments of our members’ money.” (Deadline)

March Madness TV ad spend. Last year, the men’s college basketball tournament generated about $1.3 billion in ad revenue. Kantar found that ad spend during the tournament has grown 3.4% annually since 2013. (MediaPost)

A deep dive into Theranos’ marketing. Health tech startup Theranos was once valued at $10 billion, and Founder Elizabeth Holmes was once hailed as the woman who “invented a way to run 30 lab tests on only one drop of blood,” Then it all came crashing down when it became public that the company was using traditional blood testing machines instead of its supposedly cutting-edge technology. Read Adweek’s take on the story, “Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes: the Marketing of Silicon Valley’s Favorite Villain.”

U.S. smartphone use will rise 3%. This year, 232.8 million people or 70% of the U.S. population will use smartphones, according to eMarketer research. By 2022, nearly half of U.S. media ad spending will be on mobile platforms. (Mobile Marketer)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: SXSW and Brands’ Audience Data Spend

This week, we’re talking about SXSW, a Netflix Thai cave rescue series and brands spending more on audience data this year.

Brands will spend more on audience data this year. In a survey from the IAB 69% of respondents said they increased the amount spent on audience data and related solutions last year versus 2017.  Seventy-eight percent say they’ll invest more in 2019, and 15% expect to invest the same amount. Half of respondents said data regulation is the “main potential threat” to getting value from data. (MediaPost)

Netflix will co-produce a Thai cave rescue series. The streamer is making a miniseries about the dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a cave for 18 days last year. Production company SK Global Entertainment, which brought us “Crazy Rich Asians,” will partner with the streaming service on the project. A few weeks after the rescue last year, about five separate movie adaptations were discussed, prompting the Thai government to set up an entity to help the boys manage interest in their story. (Hollywood Reporter)

“Office” creator sticks with Universal Television. Michael Schur made a multi-year deal to stay with Universal Television, according to Deadline. Schur co-created/executive produced some of biggest comedies in the past decide, including “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “Brooklyn 99” and “The Good Place.”

Buzzworthy SXSW movies. Jordan Peele’s latest movie, “Us,” will show at the festival. It’s his first movie after Oscar-winning “Get Out.” Other talked about titles include Harmony Korine’s Matthew McConaughey vehicle “The Beach Bum” and “Long Shot,” in which Charlize Theron is playing a secretary of state running for president. See more on Variety.

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Oscars Ratings Improve and Nike Dreams Crazier

This week, we’re talking about Oscars viewership, Nike’s latest creative and addressable TV ad spend.

The Oscars gets more viewers. After a record low in viewership last year, the televised awards ceremony drew 29.6 million viewers, a 12% increase over 2018’s 26.5 million viewers. The show didn’t have a host, which probably accounted for a faster clip – this year’s ceremony ran about an hour shorter than last year. (Fortune)

Nike dreams crazier. During the Oscars, Nike premiered an ad narrated by Serena Williams, with video clips featuring Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Chloe Kim and more. Williams posted the ad on her Instagram account, captioning it, “If they think your dreams are crazy, show them what crazy dreams can do.” It’s a follow-up to “Dream Crazy,” the viral ad with Colin Kaepernick. (Washington Post)

Netflix promotes an inclusion message. The streaming service came out with an ad called “Make Room,” featuring actor Uzo Aduba, comedian Hannah Gadsby and Mexican actor Yalitza Aparicio. Mira Kaddoura, executive creative director of Red & Co, the agency behind the brand campaign and its strategy, said the aim was to make a case for and tell the story of “the opportunity that diversity offers all of us when we make creative and economic space for talented artists, actors, writers, comedians, producers, directors and composers who don’t have a guaranteed seat at the table.” See the ad on Adweek.

Addressable TV ramps up, eMarketer says. About $2.5 billion will be spent on addressable TV ads this year in the U.S., accounting for 3.7% of total TV ad spend, according to an eMarketer report. Total U.S. addressable TV spend is expected to grow to $3.37 billion and overall TV ad spend is expected to rise .5% in 2020. (eMarketer)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Oscars Creative, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’

This week, we’re talking about the 91st Academy Awards ceremony and the creative that will air during the show. We’re also looking at eMarketer’s prediction that digital ad spend will overtake traditional ad spend this year. 

Oscars Sunday is upon us. And in its 91st year, the ceremony will have no host. This year’s show will air all categories (best editing, cinematography and a few others used to be presented during commercial breaks) but now will be shown live after some public pressure. Last year, Oscars viewership fell 19% from 2017. See the full list of nominees this year, via The Hollywood Reporter. And read how Oscar wins and nominations can impact on-demand rental revenue from SVP of Cadent entertainment Karen Abram.

Take a look at Oscars commercials. This year, Budweiser, Cadillac, Google, Hennessy, IBM, Marriott, McDonald’s, Microsoft and more have committed to advertising during the event. Get a preview of the spots on Ad Age.

Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham gets big-time cast. The animated 13-part series, which has been in the works for three years, announced the stars who will voice its characters. Talent includes Diane Keaton, Michael Douglas, Adam DeVine, Ilana Glazer, Eddie Izzard, Tracy Morgan, John Turturro, Keegan-Michael Key and Jeffrey Wright. The show will premiere next fall. (Eater)

Digital spend>traditional. eMarketer says digital ad spend will overtake traditional ad spend this year. eMarketer notes that the traditional category includes radio, print, directories, TV and out-of-home advertising. Digital ad spend includes desktop, laptop, mobile, tablets and other internet-connected devices and more. (eMarketer)

See last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Howard the Duck and Jesse Pinkman Return

This week, we’re talking about Howard the Duck, the ad guy responsible for Apple’s “Think Different” campaign and new Mattel shows.

Howard the Duck returns. It’s true. Hulu and Marvel Television are partnering on four adult animated shows, including one with Howard the Duck. The George Lucas “Howard the Duck” film of the 80s was widely panned (the Chicago Tribune said Howard was about as lovable as a dishwasher) eventually reaching cult status. (Variety)

Lee Clow, ad legend, retires. And he announced it with a “love note to advertising” on Valentine’s Day. Clow is responsible for Apple’s “Think Different” and Adidas’ “Impossible is Nothing.” He joined Chiat/Day in its early days and was most recently chairman at TBWA/Media Arts Lab and director of Media Arts at TBWA/Worldwide. Read the love note in Ad Age.

The “Breaking Bad” movie is on its way to Netflix and AMC. Aaron Paul will come back as Jesse Pinkman, and as we talked about before, Vince Gilligan will be involved. The film will “follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie is the first part of Gilligan’s deal he signed with Sony TV last year.

Mattel has 22 original TV shows in the works. The shows will include action-adventure, humor, game shows, and music shows (both animated and live-action) made for multi-platform distribution. The toy and entertainment company, whose brands include Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High, is also said to be making an American Doll movie with MGM. Mattel’s chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz said the content creation is an important step in the company becoming “an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Read last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: Super Bowl Ads and a final season of ‘Modern Family’

This week, we’re talking about “Modern Family,” Netflix viewership and the egg that made waves on Instagram.

Super Bowl sees big ad spend. Ad Age editor Brian Braiker reviewed each of the big Super Bowl ads, doling out judgments to the brands who advertised during the big game. Research firm Kantar Media estimated in-game ad spending was $382 million, the third-largest after 2017 and 2018. Anheuser-Busch Inbev was the biggest spender. (Ad Age)

Modern Family gets one last season. The show, ABC’s top rated comedy and second highest rated series on the network behind Grey’s Anatomy, was signed for an eleventh season. (Deadline)

Netflix numbers. The streaming service said its viewing in the U.S. was down about 32% compared to a normal Sunday. FX CEO John Landgraf said Netflix “is not telling you the whole story” about ratings during remarks at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, saying the streaming service doesn’t follow accepted TV viewership metrics. (Get the full breakdown from Variety.)

Hulu’s Insta-famous egg. You might’ve heard an egg recently unseated Kylie Jenner’s baby as the most-liked Instagram post of all time. After a record 52 million likes, the egg, named Eugene, made another appearance in a 30-second commercial that aired on Hulu around the Super Bowl. The spot from Mental Health America (produced with Hulu) is about the effects social media has on health. The creators of the egg said though they have gotten plenty of interest in collaboration, they’re “less interested in money than promoting positivity.” And they’re looking for more causes for Eugene to promote. (NYT)

See last week’s trends in TV.

This Week in TV News: the Criterion Channel and Pause Screen Ads

This week, we’re talking about the Criterion Channel, Hulu’s new pause screen ads and the future of Super Bowl advertising.

Global streaming set to grow. A report from Morgan Stanley analysts found Netflix will account for 20% of U.S. online video consumption by 2023. The report found the biggest video growth will come from video services other than Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, including international streaming platforms. (Business Insider)

Stream classics this April. Movie lovers rejoice: the Criterion Channel will launch April 8 in the U.S. and Canada. The channel is the successor to FilmStruck, the now-defunct streaming service that showcased classic movies, along with arthouse, indie and foreign films. The new Criterion Channel will offer more than 1,000 movies and be available on desktop, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS and Android. (Variety)

And now, a pause from one of our sponsors. In Q2, Hulu will roll out static ads that come up when viewers press pause on a program. Charmin and Coke will be the inaugural brands to try the ad format, part of Hulu’s effort at reducing commercial breaks. Jeremy Helfand, Hulu’s VP and Head of Ad Platforms, said the company is aiming for half of its ad revenue to come from “non-disruptive” ad formats within three years. (Digiday)

The future of Super Bowl Ads. A feature from Wired dives into Super Bowl ads, starting with Skittles’ ad this year, which isn’t actually an ad; it’s a musical. And it won’t air during the game; it’ll be performed live at Town Hall in Manhattan on gameday. And it won’t be broadcast. Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet redefined what viral, mass-audience advertising six years ago. Where will Super Bowl ads go from here? (Wired)

See last week’s TV news.

This Week in TV News: Sundance, Oscars and Super Bowl Creative

This week, we’re talking about one of our favorite topics, big-budget TV ads that captivate audiences. We’re also looking at Sundance films with buzz and Netflix’s Academy Awards nominations.

Netflix’s “Roma” gets Best Picture Oscar nod. The streaming service’s nominated films include Alfonso Cuaron‘s “Roma” and the Coen brothers’ “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” “Roma” garnered 10 nominations total, including Best Picture, which is a huge get for Netflix as it faces obstacles on the awards circuit. (CNN)

Sundance is here. The annual film fest attracted 14,259 film submissions from 152 countries. Of those, 112 feature-length films were selected, representing 33 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. Buzzy titles include “Late Night,” a comedy written, produced and starring Mindy Kaling, documentaries about Harvey Weinstein and Michael Jackson, and Netflix’s “Velvet Buzzsaw,” a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. (Vulture)

“Taste the feeling” before the big game. Coca-Cola won’t air an ad during the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years, opting for a 60-second spot before the National Anthem. Coke’s SVP-marketing for North America and president of its sparkling beverages business unit said the anthem timing is intentional, aimed at reminding remind everyone that “together is beautiful.” (Variety)

Spot these celebs in Super Bowl LIII. Celebrity cameos are a staple of big-budget ad creative. This year, Pepsi’s Super Bowl commercial will borrow the star power of Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B (who wears bejeweled Pepsi-colored nails). Kristin Chenoweth teaches dogs to sing in Avocados From Mexico’s ad, Luke Wilson will appear in a Colgate ad called “Close Talker,” and dating app Bumble will air a spot featuring Serena Williams as a part of its #InHerCourt campaign. Keep an eye out for Budweiser’s spot, which borrows Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” for its a message that the beer is “now brewed with wind power,” promoting the brewers’ goal to be powered by renewable sources by 2025.

See last week’s TV news covering the Fyre Festival documentary wars and the Oscars going hostless.

How Oscar Wins Give In-home Entertainment the Golden Seal of Approval

Congrats to all the newly announced Oscar nominees! We are especially excited for our clients and their titles, including Best Picture nominees “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Vice” and “The Favourite.”

Let’s take a closer look at how the awards will impact the in-home rental window.

It seems intuitive that box office performance would generally be a stellar predictor of in-home rental success. For instance, “A Star Is Born,” achieved blockbuster status in theaters, so you’d expect it to do similarly well as a VOD rental. Viewers who couldn’t get enough of the chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will naturally want to revisit the star-crossed pair again, and those who missed the theatrical release might want to see what all that enthusiastic chatter from fans was about. By the same token, a film that doesn’t generate excitement on the big screen could reasonably be expected to get a lackluster response as an in-home rental.

While box office figures undeniably provide some of the strongest indicators of rental success, they’re not the only factor studios should consider, especially as the excitement of Academy Awards season ramps up. one2one Entertainment has analyzed more than 20 additional variables that can organically affect a film’s rental success, and we discovered that strength in those other areas–most notably Oscar buzz–can lessen the importance and impact of unimpressive box office receipts.

The graph below provides an eye-opening example. Last year, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a difficult-to-categorize film starring Frances McDormand, couldn’t be described as a hit when it was released in theaters. Thanks to the boost from its many Academy Award nominations – including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor – the picture attracted a new wave of attention from potential viewers and has performed just as well in the home market as “Jurassic World” (which had 670% higher box office revenue). Award recognition, especially in significant categories like Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director, can double rental demand. (It’s also interesting to note that while the Oscars has been slipping in viewership, it was still one of only two shows that year without a sports tie-in to make the top-10 in Nielsen ratings.)

It’s important to keep in mind that a film enjoying a second wave of awareness with the public will have a very different spend and strategy than if it were simply released in September with no award recognition. Leveraging the timing of the Oscars becomes paramount. This is one period in the year when the slate is wiped clean; ticket sales aren’t automatically mirrored by rentals; and little-seen but deserving, well-made, culturally relevant movies get a chance to find an audience. It’s no coincidence that most nominated movies make their debut in the VOD window just prior to the awards or right after.

If you’d like a deeper understanding of the variables that impact in-home entertainment and how the Oscars will affect the movie-rental window, reach out to us.

This Week in TV News: a Hostless Oscars and Fyre Fever

We’re watching Oscars news to see if the big show will have a host, and we’re talking about yet another streaming service.

Oscars goes host-less. The surest way to avoid controversy with the Academy Awards host pick, it seems, is to go with no host at all. After Kevin Hart was supposed to host the show, then dropped out after old controversial tweets resurfaced, the Oscars appears to be foregoing an MC. Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross will present nominations on Jan. 22. (NYT)

The newest streamer in the game. NBCUniversal plans to launch a streaming service next year. According to Variety, NBCU will be an ad-supported, free service to U.S. NBCU pay-cable subscribers. Rumor has it that NBCUniversal, which owns “The Office,” may pull the popular program from Netflix. (Variety)

Fyre fever hits the streaming services. Famously, the Fyre Festival – marketed as a lux “Coachella in the Bahamas” – was a giant disaster that stranded attendees without much in the way of food or lodging. (You’re probably familiar with the viral photo of a Fyre sandwich, two sad slices of wheat bread, a tomato slice, cheese and past-due greens.) Now, Netflix and Hulu both are releasing documentaries about the failed festival. Check out Vulture’s guide to which doc is right for you.

Netflix hikes subscription price 18%. The streaming service’s most popular plan, one that offers high-def streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices at the same time, will go from from $11 to $13 per month. As of last September, Netflix reported $8B in long-term debt, up 71% from about $5B the year before. The company proposed another $2B in debt last October to fund more original content. (Chicago Tribune)

See last week’s TV news blog on “Bird Box” and the Golden Globes.

This Week in TV News: ‘Bird Box’ and an IMDB Streaming Service

This week, we’re talking about Netflix’s latest thriller, a viral movie starring Sandra Bullock. We’re also talking about the Golden Globes because we’re in the thick of #awardseason and the newest streaming service offering (because you didn’t have enough options).

“Bird Box” gets big views. Twenty-six million people streamed the thriller in its first week, according to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings. Nielsen said that of Netflix’s original programming, the much-memed about movie comes in right behind Stranger Things Season 2 by less than one million viewers. Dec. 28 saw the most views, with an average minute audience of about 4 million U.S. viewers. (Hollywood Reporter)

Alexa, let’s binge ‘Scandal.’ Viewers who use Alexa to tune in to shows watch 50% more TV than those who don’t use the AI-enabled device, Hulu CMO Kelly Campbell said at CES. “I think there’s a lot more to unlock in the voice category,” Kelly continued. (Deadline)

The Golden Globes stay golden. The awards show on NBC brought in 18.6 million viewers, down 19.1 million from last year. Viewership among adults 18-49 increased 4%. The event, hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, was the most-watched non-sports or news event on TV since the Oscars aired on ABC last March. (Vulture)

Another streaming service for you. IMDB now joins the lineup of streaming services available to consumers. The service is called Freedive, a free ad-supported platform that offers IMDb or Amazon users and Amazon Fire TV owners access to TV and movies. (The Verge)

See last week’s TV news.

This Week in TV News: The Oscars, Roku and Bob Einstein

It’s 2019, and we’re back with more TV news. The Academy Awards are still looking for a host; Roku makes subscribing to premium streaming services easier within their channel; and a star from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” passed away this week. 

And the Oscar host job goes to… No one. After Kevin Hart’s ouster from the role, there are still no firm takers for the award show job next month. Apparently the Academy is looking for someone who doesn’t speak about politics and has appeal beyond older audiences who can be counted on to tune in regardless of the host. (THR)

Roku adds streaming channel subs, all in one interface. The Roku Channel will offer subscriptions to more than 20 premium channels including Showtime, Epix and Starz, all in one bill. A caveat: you won’t be able to find HBO, Netflix and Hulu through The Roku Channel. Apple and Facebook are said to be considering a similar offering. (CNBC)

Hackers expose smart device vulnerabilities. This week, hackers forced almost 3,000 Google Chromecast streaming adapters, Google Home smart speakers and smart TVs to display a message promoting controversial YouTuber PewDiePie. Variety reports that the hackers took advantage of “badly configured routers” and technically didn’t hack the devices to pull the stunt. (Variety)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor Bob Einstein dies at 76. Einstein, who won two Emmy awards for his writing, was well known for his “Curb” role Marty Funkhouser and his bumbling daredevil character Super Dave Osborne, which he used on multiple television shows including “Bizarre,” “Super Dave” and “Super Dave’s SpikeTacular.” (Deadline)

See the previous TV recap covering 2018’s top-viewed ads on Youtube and how Netflix finds rom coms that resonate with viewers.

This Week in TV News: Charlie Brown and “Die Hard”

This will be our final entry for 2018. Thanks for reading the TV news of the week with us – see you in 2019 with more news on streaming, entertainment, TV advertising, the latest data on media consumption and technology and features we’re reading. For now, enjoy more trends from 2018:

It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas. Well, not necessarily. But Apple now has the rights to the Peanuts brand and is rumored to be working on specials and animated shorts, exclusive to Apple TV. (Hollywood Reporter)

How Netflix gave CPR to rom-coms. Matt Brodlie and Ian Bricke, both directors of acquisitions at Netflix, did a Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter about their approach to finding good romantic comedies. From building fanbases to targeting demographics, the pair dives into their approach to finding the next “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Regarding targeting, what matters most is what you’ve watched before, Brodlie said. (Hollywood Reporter)

See 2018’s top-viewed ads on Youtube.  Nike ’s “Dream Crazy” featuring Colin Kaepernick, ranked fourth on YouTube’s annual ranking of ads, with 27 million views. Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” garnered 50 million YouTube views since its Super Bowl debut, getting the top spot. Second and third place went to YouTube Music’s “Open the World of Music. It’s All Here,” with 40 million views and Oppo F7’s “Real Support Makes Real Hero,” with 32 million views, respectively. (Wall Street Journal)

Roku’s top-searched Christmas movies. The Home Alone franchise took two of the top ten spots (No. 1 and 5), and “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “The Polar Express” made the list of popular holiday movies. “Die Hard” came in at No. 10, maybe settling the argument once-and-for-all of whether the first entry in the John McClane saga is or isn’t a Christmas film. (Cord Cutters News)

See last week’s TV recap.

This Week in TV News: ‘Today,’ Selena Quintanilla and Streaming

This week, we’re talking about Kathie Lee Gifford, frustrations while streaming and a new Netflix show about Selena.

Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving “Today.” Well, not quite today. She’s leaving her morning TV show next April. Gifford co-hosted the “Today” show with Hoda Kotb since 2008. (CNN)

Nielsen report shows adults spend 10+ hours daily with media. What’s more, adults between the ages of 50 and 64 spend more time per day on media than any other age group, and people 65 and older watch almost 7 hours of live and time-shifted TV daily. The latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen also found 45% of survey respondents use a digital device often or always while watching TV. (Hollywood Reporter)

Netflix is creating a scripted show about Selena. Netflix ordered a scripted series based on the life of Selena Quintanilla, singer of hits including “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “I Could Fall in Love.” The series, which doesn’t have a release date yet, will be executive produced by the Quintanilla family. (Vice)

Streaming TV on a phone is still frustrating. Penthera released its 2018 International Streaming Behavior Survey, finding that 88% of survey respondents experienced some level of frustration streaming video like buffering, annoying advertisements and increased monthly data costs. Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy were surveyed. (Penthera)

See last week’s TV recap.

This Week in TV News: Ad Fraud, Award Show Season and ‘Friends’

This week, we’re looking at ad fraud during the holidays, “Friends,” upcoming award show hosts and the origin story of Gritty, the mascot that broke the internet.  

Ad fraudsters don’t take holiday breaks. According to Fraudlogix, the average percentage of fraudulent global programmatic ad traffic grew from 11.6% in October to 14.2% in November for all device types. The company’s data showed an increase in fraudulent ad traffic leading up to Thanksgiving and holiday shopping. (MediaPost)

The one with the Netflix deal. Netflix will continue licensing “Friends” from WarnerMedia through next year. The show hasn’t been on the air for fourteen years, but it still draws significant viewership. Syndicated reruns of the show draw 16 million viewers per week. (NYT)

Awards shows pick their hosts. Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg have been tapped to host the Golden Globes after presenting an award this year at the Primetime Emmy Awards. On Wednesday, Kevin Hart was announced as a show host for this year’s Oscars, but he stepped down from the role after an outcry over past controversial tweets came to light. (Variety)

The origins of Gritty. This isn’t a TV trend, per say, but the story of how and why the Philadelphia Flyers created their giant muppet mascot is a fascinating one, as told by Adweek. The Flyers spokesperson said the first month of Gritty coverage reached 70 million people on TV, with a local audience of more than 16 million people. The mascot garnered nearly 5 billion impressions online.

Read last week’s TV trends.

This Week in TV News: NFL Ratings, YouTube Originals and Consumer Trust

This week we’re recapping mobile shopping data, NFL Turkey Day ratings, YouTube news and more.

Mobile shopping accounts for almost half of online holiday shopping. According to Adobe Analytics, phones garner 48% of holiday traffic to retail sites, compared to 44% on desktop and 8% on tablet. Desktops make up 44% of visits; tablets, 8.2%. On Cyber Monday, total phone sales hit $2.2 billion. (CNET)

NFL Thanksgiving Day game viewership is up. All three of the NFL games that aired on Turkey Day last week brought in bigger ratings than last year’s games. Fox’s broadcasts averaged more than 30 million viewers. (Variety)

YouTube’s original programming is now free of charge. YouTube made original shows and movies free and ad-supported. YouTube originals used to only be available to subscribers of ad-free service YouTube Premium. (The Verge)

Data breaches shake consumer trust. A July 2018 survey by Mobile Ecosystem Forum showed about a third of people feel they have some control over how their personal data is used by mobile apps and services. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they felt they didn’t have a choice in how apps could use their data. (eMarketer)

Read last week’s TV news recap.

This Week in TV News: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and A24

This week, we’re talking about the annual #MacysParade on Sixth Avenue in New York City, “House of Cards” and indie movie studio A24.

How to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker will host coverage of the parade on NBC. Cord-cutters and cord-nevers can watch NBC’s coverage on Verizon’s YouTube channel, log into nbc.com/live or take in the floats on the Watch NBC app.

Post-Kevin Spacey, more women than men watch House of Cards. A Kevin Spacey-free season of House of Cards premiered on Netflix in early November. According to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, the audience is now 54% female. When Kevin Spacey played the president, the show skewed 56% male. (Hollywood Reporter)

A new way to stream old movies. After FilmStruck closes down at the end of this month, classic movie fans may be looking for an alternative way to watch their favorite old films. They’re in luck – WarnerMedia will launch the Criterion Channel in Spring 2019. In a blog post, the Criterion Collection said it will pick up where the old service left off. (The Criterion Collection blog)

Indie Studio hitmaker A24 will make Apple movies. A24 signed on to a “multiyear agreement” to make movies with Apple. The studio is responsible for critically acclaimed hits like “Moonlight,” “Big Sick,” “Lady Bird,” “Ex Machina” and “The Florida Project.” (Variety)

See last week’s edition of This Week in TV News.

This Week in #TVNews: Elton John, Smart TVs and Mobile Ad Spend

This week, we’re taking a look at John Lewis’ annual holiday ad, a Netflix and Paramount deal and an IAB report on 2018 digital ad spend.

John Lewis’ Christmas ad celebrates… Elton John. If you love advertising, you know that every year, John Lewis offers up two minutes of warm-and-fuzzy British holiday perfection that moves many to tears and some to buy a new appliance from the retailer. This year, the department store took a different approach, showing an emotional reverse-chronological depiction of Elton John’s career. At the very end of the ad, toddler Elton unwraps a piano and a tagline: “Some gifts are more than just a gift.” Not everyone is happy with the ad, with some saying it’s blatant promotion for Elton’s new film. (Sky)

Smart TV adoption is on the rise. eMarketer says 46 million US households will use a smart TV at least monthly this year, up 16% increase from last year. In the past, just because someone has a smart TV doesn’t mean they use its internet-connected capabilities. That’s changing with improved user interfaces in newer smart TVs, eMarketer says, offering more access to apps and streaming services than yesterday’s smart TVs. (eMarketer)

Nearly two-thirds of digital ad dollars go to mobile. Marketers spent about $31 billion on mobile advertising in the first half of 2018, about 63% of total digital ad spend, up from 54% of total digital spending last year. Nearly 75% of time spent on the internet is through a mobile device, the report from the IAB found. Digital ad spend totaled nearly $50 billion in the first half of 2018, a 23% year-over-year increase, according to the IAB. (WSJ)

Netflix and Paramount team up to make movies. Paramount Pictures signed a deal to make movies with Netflix, according to Deadline. On an earnings call, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos said the agreement represents an evolution from the days when studios were making MOWs (movies of the week) for networks. The difference now, he said is that “the quality of some of these films is much higher, making these relationships even more valuable. And it plays to the strength of a large, well-established studio like Paramount.”

See last week’s edition of This Week in TV News.

This Week in #TVNews: the Midterms, ‘Breaking Bad’ and Ed Norton

The big news for us this week – the launch of Cadent Advanced TV Platform – made headlines in AdExchanger, Broadcasting & Cable, MediaPost, VideoNuze and more. Read more about our platform from one2one Addressable COO Jamie Power here, and check out TV news from this week, below.

Political TV ad spend and ratings soar. A record $2.9 billion was spent on political ads for the midterms, according to Advertising Analytics, and broadcast TV brought in nearly $2.4 billion. Additionally, about 32 million viewers tuned in to election results across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and broadcast nets NBC, ABC and CBS, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data. The coverage overall was the year’s sixth most-watched program. (Ad Age)

‘Breaking Bad’ gets another spinoff. “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad” lovers rejoice: we’re getting another installment in Vince Gilligan’s meth empire universe. This one is a Jesse Pinkman story set after the series conclusion. (The Verge)

The first rule of TV analytics is don’t talk about TV analytics. Just kidding – discussing TV analytics and return on ad spend is important. “Fight Club” actor Ed Norton is raised $12 million in Series A funding for a data-analytics startup he cofounded that measures how effective TV ads are at driving outcomes. The startup, EDO, works with ESPN, Turner, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Paramount. (Variety)

Disney names its new family streaming channel. Disney+ is coming next year with content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Original content, including a Star Wars show, will premiere on the streaming service which Bob Iger said would be “very elegant and very brand-centric” with “navigational features that don’t exist on other platforms.” (Washington Post)

See TV news from last week.

This Week in #TVNews: Attribution, FilmStruck and Political TV Ads

This week, we’re looking at a wide breadth of TV news, from the demise of a classic movie streaming channel to new guidelines for attribution in advanced TV. Read the latest:

IAB lifts the haze around advanced TV attribution. The IAB released an Advanced TV guide on attribution in the realm of Advanced TV. Topics in the ebook include single-touch versus multi-touch attribution, data collection methods, what to look for an in attribution partner and operating in a cookie-less environment (which Addressable TV and OTT/CTV do). (IAB)

The latest streaming numbers. Streaming TV services, like Hulu Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue, have seen a 292% increase in plays and a 212% increase in viewing hours. (TechCrunch) Consumers will be happy to hear that streaming quality is improving, with a 22% decrease in video start failures, a 7% shorter wait time for video to start playing and 25% higher picture quality, according to Conviva.

Classic movie streamer is set to shut down. FilmStruck, the classic movie streaming channel from Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection library, closes shop at the end of November. The service offered almost 2,000 classic movies. Check out The New York Times’ list of titles to watch before the channel retires, including Czech comedy “Daisies” and dark comedy “Withnail and I.”

Get out the vote (to people over 37). According to an Adobe survey of 2,000 Americans, many voters younger than 38 aren’t seeing political TV ads. Almost half of likely voters 18-37 said they hadn’t seen a political ad leading up to the midterms, compared to 5% of respondents 73 or older who said they hadn’t seen any political ads. (Adweek)

See TV news from last week.

This Week in #TVNews: Jamie Lee Curtis, Apple and What Young People Watch

We’ve got the latest in TV news for you, including original content from Apple, a refresh of “Halloween” and the two platforms teens are watching most.

“Halloween” dominates the box office. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode in the latest chapter of the “Halloween” saga. The horror movie, helmed by three women (including everyone’s favorite character actor Judy Greer), made a $78 million debut at the box office last weekend.

Young people love Netflix and YouTube. You’ve heard about cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Did you know that since 2015, cable’s share of the daily video consumption among teens has been nearly cut in half? Netflix is most-watched platform by teens, and the runner up is YouTube, with the percentage of teen viewership rising from 21.4% to 33.1% in the last three years. (Business Insider)

Apple’s original content gets the global stage. Apple is reportedly gearing up for a global rollout of its original content, which they allotted more than $1 billion for production. Stars signed on for original content include Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Kristen Wiig and Chris Evans. (The Information)

Tim Cook calls for EU-style privacy laws for the U.S. The Apple CEO said it’s time for the U.S. to follow the EU’s lead when it comes to data regulation. Cook spoke at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Brussels, laying out what he considers the four priorities for privacy law, including transparency and security. (TechCrunch)

See last week’s news roundup here.

This Week in #TVNews: Spotify, Netflix and Halloween TV Recommendations

Every week, we recap the best in TV news for you. This week the news has a slight Halloween theme, from creepy retargeting to a Spotify ad deemed too scary for kids.

Your Halloween TV lineup. If you love TV as much as we do, and you love Halloween as much as we do, then you’re probably looking for the best new scary shows to fill your autumn evenings. For those who loved the witches of “Hocus Pocus,” we recommend “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” If you were into the remake of “It,” we think you’ll like “Castle Rock,” a Stephen King story from Hulu (with “It” actor Bill Skarsgård playing another terrifying King character). For those who like your scary TV with a side of drama, we recommend Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” which The Verge said was basically “This Is Us” wrapped in a ghost story.

Netflix gets scary-good subscriber bump. With about 7 million new subscribers for the quarter, the streaming company beat analyst expectations, and it’s on track for 9 million new subscribers in Q4. Netflix said it now has 137 million total global subscribers. Amazon Prime has about 100 million global subscribers, as of April earlier this year. Hulu said it has 20 million subscribers (U.S. only) in May.

Ad tracking is spooky to some. About 19% of Janrain survey respondents said digital ads “understand my interests and needs, but that’s creepy.” Forty-two percent of respondents said digital ads were too aggressive in following them around to different devices and browsers. (eMarketer)

Sinister Spotify ad gets banned in the U.K. Back in June, Spotify launched an ad featuring a weird doll with an egg-shaped head that appears when people play Camila Cabello’s “Havana.” The ad, which Spotify said was intended as a parody of a horror movie trailer, was banned by UK ad watchdog group the Advertising Standards Authority for being too scary for kids. The group concluded that the ad was “likely to cause undue distress to children.” See the full ad here.

See last week’s news roundup here.

This Week in #TVNews: Lady Gaga, Tom Hardy and Streaming Platforms

Streaming platforms continue springing up; digital video spend is growing as marketers aim to reach people wherever they’re consuming content; and Lady Gaga and Tom Hardy break an October box office record with two very different movies. Read on for our round-up of TV news:

  • A content stream becomes a river. WarnerMedia, Microsoft and Snapchat made streaming service announcements this week. A mobile-focused streaming service called Quibi, backed by Disney, Fox, NBC Universal and Alibaba, gets our pick for best new streaming service name. (Quibi is a combination of the words “quick” and “bite.”) Quibi already tapped “Shape of Water” director Guillermo del Toro to produce a zombie show.
  • Digital video is on the up-and-up. Video ad spend is set to grow 30% this year to a total of nearly $28 billion. Twitter will get 55% of its total U.S. ad revenue from video this year. For YouTube and Snapchat, that figure is 73 and 60%, respectively. (eMarketer)
  • I spot interest in measurement. Analytics startup iSpot.tv raised $30 million in Series C funding as it doubles-down on finding new ways to measure and evaluate TV ads.
  • “Venom” and “A Star is Born” score a record October box office opening. You could say two stars were born: the Tom Hardy vehicle “Venom,” which made $80 million last weekend, and Lady Gaga’s “A Star is Born” remake, which brought in $43 million. Both films are expected to score another $30 million this weekend. And “A Star” isn’t just bringing in the big bucks in theater; music industry analysts estimate 200,000 sales of the movie’s soundtrack since its Oct. 5 release.

See highlights from last week here, and check back next week for more.

This Week in #TVNews: Ad Week, Nintendo and Will Smith

Here’s the TV news we followed this week, from Advertising Week to Netflix’s choose your own adventure episode of “Black Mirror.”

    • Will Smith weighs in on data. This year, Will Smith, TI, Adrian Grenier and Bethenny Frankel were a few of the celebrity gets for Ad Week. The Prince of Bel-Air himself (and recently minted YouTube star) reminded us that we can’t forget the importance of human creativity: “Nothing is more valuable than your gut,” Smith says. “The metrics are there to help you train your gut because at the end of the day you have to make the call on the extraordinary.”
    • Does your brand have a purpose? After Nike’s successful campaign with NFL player Colin Kaepernick (the brand’s stock price reached an all-time high last month), other brands are interested in taking their own stand. As David Gaines of Wavemaker said during an Ad Week panel: “Be polarizing… People are more inclined to side with a team that has a point of view these days.” (See Land O’Lakes “feminist” take on “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”)
    • Choose your own Netflix adventure. The streaming company announced a foray into interactive TV, starting with an episode of “Black Mirror” will let viewers choose to follow a particular storyline. 
    • Gaming on your phone is going to get easier. Nintendo patented a phone case that basically turns your phone into a Game Boy. Polygon reports that “pressing a button on the cover results in contact with a touch panel beneath it, which is then translated into an action on the screen.” Nintendo also announced that it will release a new Switch model next year.

See highlights from last week here, and check back next week for more.

This Week in #TVNews: Gritty, Burger King Ads and Social Video Spend

Here’s the TV news we followed this week, from the introduction of the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot to Burger King’s AI-inspired spots. 

    • Digital video and social video spend expected to rocket. eMarketer forecasted that U.S. digital video ad spending will exceed $50B in 2022, and social video ad revenue will reach nearly $12B in 2020, more than double what it was in 2017. What’s unsurprising is that Facebook will bring in the most social video dollars, followed by Twitter and Snapchat. Facebook, with its recently introduced mid-roll video format, says that more than 100 million hours of video are watched daily on its platform.
    • Fall brings cooler temps, PSLs and, of course, new TV. “The Good Place” continues to be one of the smartest-written and heartfelt shows on TV. Amazon premiered “King Lear” starring Anthony Hopkins and the other A-list Brit actors (hi Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Jim Broadbent). If remakes are your thing, “Murphy Brown,” “Magnum PI,” “Last Man Standing,” and “Charmed” were all revived.
    • The Flyers’ new mascot gets mixed reactions. The Philadelphia Flyers have a new mascot, Gritty, a hairy orange creature that “looks like a Muppet who fell into a vat of radioactive materials and clawed his way out.” In his (its?) first week, Gritty appeared on “The Tonight Show,” inspired a beer called “Nightmare Fuel,” and gained nearly 100,000 Twitter followers.
    • “Flame grilled, just like you,” says a robot voiceover during one of Burger King’s new AI-inspired spots. Remarkably, AI isn’t behind the funny ads; credit goes to ad agency David Miami. As Burger King’s Marcelo Pascoa told Adweek, “Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a great creative idea coming from a real person.”

See highlights from last week here, and check back next week for more.

This Week in #TVNews: the Emmys, Fire TV Recast and OTT Revenue

At Cadent, we love TV. We’re big believers in the “lean-back” experience of television – taking in high-quality storytelling for an hour with minimal distractions and a big bowl of popcorn. As such, we’re always looking for information on exciting projects and relevant industry news.

Here are the TV trends we’re focused on this week, from an awards show to Jordan Peele’s revival of a TV classic. 

  1. The Emmys served some highs and lows. Viewership for the event went down 11% in the past two years, according to Nielsen data, with this year’s show garnering a little more than 10M viewers. (It hasn’t been a banner year for awards shows; the Oscars attracted 27M viewers this year, a fifth less than last year.) Still, the Emmys delivered some great live TV moments, including a marriage proposal. And, maybe more importantly, Leslie Jones’ reaction to the marriage proposal.
  2. ESPN + hits the one million subscriber mark. The streaming service just reached a paid subscriber milestone, a big win in light of industry challenges like cord cutting and competition for game-airing rights from social giants.
  3. Amazon launched Fire TV Recast, a DVR that wirelessly pairs with a TV antenna to show over-the-air television on an Echo Show or a Fire TV. Users can record 2-4 shows simultaneously and stream content on multiple devices. Amazon launched 13 devices at their event, including an Alexa-connected microwave. 
  4. Jordan Peele’s next project is out of this world. Peele will produce, host and narrate a reboot of “The Twilight Zone.” The show will appear on CBS All Access, the network’s on-demand streaming platform.
  5. OTT ad revenue is up 40% over last year. Over-the-top ad dollars will reach $2B this year, according to a Magna report. Addressable TV spending will reach $800M this year, as marketers start shifting more budget to finding the audiences relevant to them on TV.

Check back next week for more highlights.