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Remember when ads were going to go a away? Social Media was going to allow conversations with brands. TV was dead. Then Facebook realized that ads could make them a ton of dough. They started having Conversations all right, but with Media Buyers. Then TV wasn’t really dead but, certainly advertising on TV was. The “interruption model” was replaced with the great unbundling of that mean, nasty, hostile cable package and direct to consumer Video apps were to free them of advertising and the wasted channels they didn’t watch. Now, the growing concerns about the long term viability of streaming are changing the conversation once again. (sigh) Homeostasis in the Media world is as elusive as ever. As Streaming services hemorrhage money and find it hard to keep customers (none the less grow their subs) due to cost and complexity … witness the great re-bundling. They are partnering with competition and beginning to offer tiers with …… COMMERCIALS. Yep – those pesky ads just won’t go away.

According to the WSJ “Amazon is considering selling clusters of rival streaming services at a discount price through Prime Video Channels”, WB and Discovery has discussed participating in new bundles with rivals” and some are like Paramount + are “hoping to tack on their services to retail memberships” with the likes of Walmart. But that gets complicated too. Who’s responsible for marketing; The content provider, the platform or the partner? How do they split the ad revenue? How do they agree on what share of the sub fees go to who? There are over a dozen major streaming services, dozens more niche ones, and a nearly bottomless well of content – good luck. Maybe Jim Gaffigan was right … “They should bundle all the streaming services together and call it cable.”