Each week, we break down the most impactful news, insights, and analysis in the OTT video industry.

Is Engagement More Valuable Than Subscribers?

In a world where all streaming services have some sort of ad-supported option, engagement, or, more accurately, time spent is an equally, if not more, valuable metric than subscribers. Link

Q&A: CEO Serves Up Online Strategy for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

The CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, William Rouhana, sat down with Media Play News to share his long term strategy for the company. Link

Canal+ reportedly in talks to buy OCS and Orange Studio

The pair could enter exclusive discussions as early as September over the acquisition. Canal+ parent Vivendi already owns a one third stake in OCS, Orange’s pay TV arm. Variety reports that an agreement could also cover the acquisition of Orange’s production arm, Orange Studio. Link

Viaplay buys Premier Sports, hires DAZN exec

Nordic SVOD Viaplay has struck a deal to buy UK streamer Premier Sports and hired DAZN exec Edward Breeze to run its operations in the country. Link

Spanish-language SVoD platform ViX+ launches in US, Mexico, LatAm

ViX+, the premium tier Spanish-language streaming platform from TelevisaUnivision, launched in the US, Mexico and Spanish-speaking Latin America. Link

Should Netflix Create New Franchise IP In A Streaming Market Already Littered With It?

In an ideal world, Netflix is creating lower-cost IP around reality TV, behind-the-scenes and emerging sitcoms/dramas. There are wins to be had around action and superhero content, sure. And Netflix can take occasional swings on that front. But it may be better off imitating more easily attainable IP models like Shondaland (already in progress) and Real Housewives-style of reality (which Bravo continues to find creative ways to build on) than trying to mimic more expensive fare to see what sticks. Link

Tubi Partners with Shaw in Canada

Tubi, Fox Entertainment’s free ad-supported streaming service, July 20 announced it has partnered with Canada’s Shaw Communications, to make its service available to Shaw’s 7+ million customers. Link

4 Things We Learned About Netflix’s New Advertising Strategy

During Netflix’s second quarter earnings announcement Tuesday evening, the streaming service didn’t fully take the wraps off its upcoming ad-supported tier, but the company did share more details with investors about its new advertising strategy. Link

Parks: 25% of Internet Homes Would Try Co-Viewing Feature if Offered by Video Streaming Service

During the pandemic many streaming services bowed so-called virtual “watch parties” that enables users to watch select content with their friends remotely. Parks Associates contends streaming your favorite movie with others in the same room is just as popular. Link

Netflix Acquires Animation Studio Animal Logic; Has the Streamer Found Its Pixar?

with all of the discussion of subscriber totals and ad-integration, one announcement that has gone a bit under the radar is that Netflix has begun the process to acquire animation and visual effects studio Animal Logic. Link

PTO to launch streaming service

PTO+ will be available for free, and will provide coverage for the PTO’s flagship events this summer, starting with the inaugural PTO Canadian Open in Edmonton, 23-24 July 2022, the new PTO Tour’s first event. The streamer will primarily operate outside of Europe and the Indian Subcontinent, where Warner Bros. Discovery recently picked up the PTO’s rights. Upcoming coverage will include the PTO Canadian Open, the second edition of the Collins Cup and the PTO US Open along with documentary and magazine content. Link

Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings Projects ‘End of Linear TV’ No Later Than 2032

Netflix is back to making bold claims about the future of entertainment. Co-CEO Reed Hastings kicked off the streaming service’s pre-recorded Q2 earnings interview on Tuesday, declaring the death of cable and satellite TV within the next decade. Link

Netflix Content Spend Set To Plateau At $17B For Next Few Years

It’s the latest shift for the company that’s always been gung-ho about spending and was seen as nosing up to the $20 billion range. But as part of an overall industry rethink — and its own — CFO Spencer Neumann said, “We are expecting to spend about $17 billion this year, and we are in the right ZIP code.” Link

Netflix Sheds Fewer Than 1M Subscribers In Q2, Exceeding Expectations

Netflix beat expectations for the second quarter, reporting a decline of about 970,000 subscribers to end the period with a global total of 220.67 million. Link

U.S. Military to Launch Streaming Service ‘AFN Now’ for Service Members Worldwide

The American Forces Network announced this week that it will be launching a new global video-on-demand (VOD) and live streaming service called AFN Now later this year. Link

Analysis: Netflix to Add $4 Billion in U.S. Advertising Revenue

If analysts are correct, Netflix should be rolling in advertising revenue once its ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) subscription tier goes public. According to a new study by LightShed Partners, the streamer may be looking at upwards of $4 billion in ad revenue thanks to “time spent” watching its service. Link

GumGum and JW Player Partner to Integrate Viewability and

GumGum announced a partnership with JW Player to leverage Verity™ when placing contextually relevant and brand safe video ads. Link

Google will let Android developers use rival payments systems in Europe

It’s a change that the company has resisted in the past and so far is not extending beyond Europe. The move comes after the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, passed the Digital Markets Act, a broad set of rules that aim to curb the market power of so-called digital gatekeepers. Link

Hasbro Q2 Entertainment Revenue Declines Due to TV Series, Movie Delivery Schedules

Hasbro July 19 said second quarter (ended June 26) entertainment business segment revenue decreased 18% to $185.2 million from $226.7 million in the previous-year period. The segment’s revenue is largely based on Canadian-based movie and TV show producer/distributor Entertainment One, which Hasbro acquired for $3.8 billion in 2019. Link

ESPN Plus price increase could cause a revenue drop

Disney justifies the huge increase in ESPN Plus cost, saying it provides more sports. However, the increase could backfire, causing subscriber and ARPU declines and a revenue drop. Link

Netflix’s latest anti-password sharing test lets users ‘buy’ additional homes

According to Netflix, in the test areas, subscriber accounts have one primary “home” where they can access Netflix across any devices in the home, as well as travel and use Netflix on laptops and mobile devices elsewhere without the extra step. The test will allow users to purchase additional “homes,” which they choose to add or skip to use the service on TV screens. Link

Netflix’s Purge Problem

There’s arguably way too much content on Netflix, which creates a sort of hyper acute paradox of choice — but because there are so many shows which I’ve started on Netflix over the years which are now gone. Link

Disney Closes Strongest Upfront Ever With $9 Billion in Commitments

Disney closed its strongest upfront ever, reporting $9 billion in advertiser commitments from every major holding company and key deals across entertainment, streaming, sports and inclusion. Link

Amazon Prime Video Gets a Makeover: Interfaced Now Designed to Be More ‘Cinematic’

In a much needed update, the new UI prioritizes simplification. Various buttons and menu items have been removed to make it easier to navigate, and new carousels are designed to make the experience more “cinematic.” Link

Netflix’s Ad Agency Palisades Media Suddenly Closes Up Shop

Palisades Media Group, an ad agency that represents a roster of clients including Netflix, suddenly informed staff Friday the company would be closed permanently at day’s end. Link