Presented by 43Twenty
Epic Games challenged Apple by adding a new payment option skirting around Apple’s 30% platform tax, which set off a chain of epic (pun intended) events including Fortnite getting banned from both Apple and Google, trolling, and lawsuits.
ICYMI: Fortnite vs Apple vs Google: a brief and very incomplete timeline. Link
Although this drama is occurring in the gaming industry, it has entertainment implications as well. Epic Games is joined by a number of companies, including Netflix, YouTube TV, Spotify, The New York Times, and to an extent, HBO Max and Peacock on discontent for platform tax.
No taxation without representation
While everyone was talking about the coming streaming wars and all of the new services coming to market (Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Peacock), last year, I correctly predicted that there would be a war over platform tax in Streaming Wars Phase 2: There Will Be Blood?
ViacomCBS will reportedly have the first Apple TV+ bundle
Last year, I also wrote about how Apple TV was considering bundling TV+ with other Apple TV channels in What Bundling Services Means to Disney and Apple in the Frenemy Economy, and it appears that Apple is teaming with ViacomCBS for the first bundle, which would offer a steep discount of about 50% for customers who buy CBS All Access and Showtime together. Per a Bloomberg report, subscribers to Apple TV Plus (which costs $4.99) will be able to get both CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services for an additional $9.99 per month. That’s a bit less than half the price of subscribing to CBS All Access ($9.99 per month with no ads) and Showtime ($10.99 monthly) separately. For Apple TV+, the move is incredibly smart to drive TV+ subscriptions, generate first-party data, and get more people using the Apple TV App, which in my opinion, is Apple’s holy grail. For ViacomCBS, the move makes less sense as they’re giving away margin, direct-customer relationships, and first-party data, which is the holy grail for any OTT streaming service. Link
Which speaking of, Droga5 is tapped with rebranding CBS All Access.
After Netflix, streaming services went through the “Flix” phase; Pureflix, Popcornflix, Pantaflix, QuickFlix. And now, we’re on the “Plus” phase; Disney+, Apple TV+, Samsung TV+, ESPN+, and BET+. Presuming that ViacomCBS is ponying up decent coin to Droga5 for the rebrand, for the love of all things holy, let’s just hope they don’t stick a “+” on the end it and call it “All Access+.” Link
BET+ has crossed the 1 million subscriber mark
Launched on Sept. 19, BET+ features original films and TV series as well as programs from the BET library. The platform’s slate of original series includes shows from Perry, starting with drama Ruthless and comedy Bruh, as well as Tracy Oliver’s First Wives Club and the Will Packer-produced Bigger, both renewed for a second season. Link
But going back to Apple bundles, Apple’s again rumored to be creating its O&O entertainment mega-bundle
I wrote about the mega bundle last year in Apple's Quest For an Entertainment Mega-bundle with Apple Music and Apple TV+, and it appears this rumor may finally come true a year after I wrote the piece. Per Bloomberg, Apple is planning to roll out the bundle called “Apple One” as early as October. Link
The future of TV is DTC and Australia’s Foxtel shuffles management in response to the changed reality
A couple of weeks ago, NBC shifted resources from linear to streaming, which was followed by WarnerMedia’s massive restructuring. Now Foxtel’s following suite as OTT is creating new challenges and opportunities for legacy media companies. Link
AMC Networks’ SVOD service Shudder launches in Australia and New Zealand
It will be available in Australia and New Zealand on the web, iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Android TV, and also FireTV in Australia. Plans start at A$5.83 and NZ$6.67. Link
AT&T is letting non-subs stream NFL Sunday Ticket.
It applies only for viewers in certain ZIP codes in 29 U.S. markets, mostly corresponding with where NFL teams are based. NFL TV deals, which expire after the 2022 season, will be a major preoccupation of the media business in the rest of 2020 and into 2021. Top executives at the companies holding existing rights (NBCU, Disney, ViacomCBS, and Fox) have all expressed confidence in retaining them, though costs are likely to escalate. Tech powerhouses like Amazon and Google have shown an increasing appetite for major live sports and do not face the same financial constraints as traditional media companies. Link
And wants $1.5 Billion in Crunchyroll sale to Sony
AT&T is in discussions to sell WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll Japanese anime-streaming service to Sony. Just two weeks ago, we reported that Crunchyroll surpassed 3 million OTT subscriptions. Link
The Shepherds: A new class of executives take over to guide media industry's transformation. Link
While Everyone Zigs to SVOD, Discovery’s ‘Zaz’ Should Zag. Link
What Comes Next As The Paramount Consent Decrees End? Link
Streaming Surge Slows Post Lockdowns. Link
Introduction To TV Advertising: MVPDs, Local And Addressable TV. Link
Netflix Dominates YouTube, Hulu, and Disney+ With 34% of Total Streaming Time. Link
Viewers Returning to Live Sports, but Not Necessarily on Linear TV. Link
UX design without service design: The story half-told. Link
What marketers need to know about ad tech in 2020. Link
eMarketer: US B2B digital ad spend soars 22.6%. Link
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43Twenty is a strategic advisory, digital and lifecycle marketing firm dedicated to the business of OTT video. We help our media, entertainment, and technology clients unearth opportunities to boost customer growth and revenue.
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