100% Media Roundup: 30 August- 2 September

100% Media Roundup: 30 August- 2 September

This is a daily digest of news stories from around the media world, updated by The Media Leader team, to ensure you’re 100% up-to-date.

Friday, 2 September

Nielsen officially goes private

The acquisition of Nielsen Holdings by a private equity consortium has been approved in a court meeting and special meeting of shareholders.

The measurement, data and analytics specialist will be acquired by both Evergreen Coast Capital Corp, an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. together as institutional partners.

Shareholders approved $28 per share in an all-cash transaction of approximately $16bn, including assumption of debt. This transaction is expected to close in October 2022 subject to customary closing conditions.

Once completed Nielsen will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Read more on Nielsen here: 

Dips in TV and radio show ‘more challenging times ahead’

Nielsen reports 2.4% revenue growth, says its on track to deliver Nielsen ONE

Explained: why Nielsen says 50% of media plans are underspending

Will a new Nielsen emerge after selling to private equity?

BT Sport and Eurosport UK complete merger

Warner Bros. Discovery and BT Group have completed a merger of BT Sport and Eurosport UK.

The 50:50 joint venture has united the sports channels under one common brand which now comprises live sport coverage for viewers in the UK & Ireland of the Olympic Games, the Premier League, UEFA Champions LEague, UEFA Europa LEague, Premiership Rugby, MotoGP, UFC, boxing, WWE, tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours and winter sports World Cup season.

For now BT Sport and Eurosport UK customers can continue to watch sport in the same way as the changes are only at management level.

Read more on live sport, BT Sport, and Warner Discovery merger here:

The high price of Amazon and Apple’s entry into live sports

BT and Warner Bros Discovery confirm terms for joint TV venture

BT and Discovery agree to merge BT Sport and Eurosport

Reach plans Express and Mirror online US editions

The Daily Express and Daily Mirror are planning to launch online US editions, according to a report in The Guardian.

Sources at national and regional publisher Reach have told The Guardian this has been the subject of “internal discussions for some time” and the project would look to hire dozens of staff to work on the US version of each title.

This comes as union member UK staff at Reach went on strike this week over pay disputes.

Reach declined to comment on these plans when contacted by The Media Leader.

Dentsu Intl. CEO Wendy Clark ‘exits, leadership to restructure’

Global CEO of Dentsu International Wendy Clark has left the company and will be replaced by a “restructured leadership” apparatus, according to reports.

A spokesman for Dentsu told The Media Leader: “A cross-functional global team of our Executive leaders has been working on our long-term roadmap for dentsu. We have strong confidence that this will continue our progress in driving growth and making client impact. We expect to communicate more fully as we finalize this planning process.”

Dentsu International, previously Dentsu Aegis Network, is the international division of Japanese marketing services giant Dentsu. Its holdings include the media agencies Carat and iProspect.

Clark (pictured, main) joined the business in September 2020.

Before coming to Dentsu International, she worked as CEO of Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide.

She also previously served as SVP of global advertising for AT&T, and SVP of integrated marketing communications & capabilities and later president of sparkling brands & strategic marketing at The Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola launches FIFA World Cup ad campaign

Coca-Cola launched its “Believing is Magic” global ad campaign for the FIFA World Cup this week.

The brand kicked off an “integrated, digital-driven campaign”, which will unfold over the coming months, with a series of digital films depicting fans’ devotion to their national teams.

The “Believing is Magic” campaign will also include the creation of a digital social hub, an exclusive partnership with Panini to create 14 exclusive player stickers for fans to collect and trade both physically and digitally, and a continuation of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour.

Google shares plan for 2022 midterm elections

Google has shared its plans for the 2022 midterm elections, highlighting several recurring features to make accurate election information easily accessible to users.

Google Search will connect users with information about voter registration and how to vote, in partnership with nonpartisan and nonprofit data provider Democracy Works.

The tech company is also continuing to highlight its recent push to support local and regional news outlets, launching a new feature (pictured, below) to “find authoritative news coverage on local elections from a range of sources” in the coming weeks.

As with previous elections, Google is also working with The Associated Press “to present authoritative election results on Google”, and instituting ad policies that restrict the ways in which advertisers can target political ads

On YouTube, Google promises its “systems are prominently recommending content from authoritative news sources, while limiting the spread of harmful election misinformation”, and the video company will also show relevant election information panels at the top of YouTube search results and underneath videos related to election content.

Thursday, 1 September

Gannett has ‘laid off around 400 employees’

Gannett has laid off around 3% of its workforce—roughly 400 employees—and has cut an additional 400 job openings, according to a report by Poynter.

The mass media company, which owns USA Today and several local newspapers across the country, reportedly began laying off employees across its portfolio in mid-August, but did not disclose details to staff until this week.

Poynter independently found at least 68 impacted newsrooms, including USA Today.

In its Q2 earnings, the company reported a 56.1% year-over-year decline in adjusted Ebitda (the company’s measure of profit) and a 6.9% year-over-year decrease in total revenues.

recent report from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism showed that since 2019, the US has been losing newspapers at a rate of two per week, with local newspapers being hit particularly hard.

Medill highlighted that the largest news chains that control many of the country’s surviving newspapers, including Gannett, are continuing to close or divest, rather than invest in, underperformers.

Twitter begins testing edit button

Twitter has officially begun testing an edit feature, the social media company revealed in a blog post.

Edit Tweet is currently being tested internally, but will roll out to Twitter Blue users “in the coming weeks”.

Twitter Blue is Twitter’s paid subscription service that offers additional premium features like bookmark folders, custom navigation, and Undo Tweet.

For the test, tweets are only able to be edited “a few times” in the 30 minutes following a tweet’s publication, and edited tweets will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label “so it’s clear to readers that the original tweet has been modified”.

Tapping the label will take users to the tweet’s edit history, where they can see past versions of the tweet.

An edit button has been the most-requested feature, according to Twitter, with figures such as Elon Musk lobbying for its inclusion before he began attempting to back out of his deal to purchase the company.

Disney ‘exploring membership program’

Disney is exploring a membership program similar to Amazon Prime that would bundle discounts between its various streaming services, parks, resorts, and merchandise, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The effort is reportedly supported by Disney CEO Bob Chapek.

The Journal writes that Disney’s has been referring to the development, which is still in “early stages”, as “Disney Prime”, though that will not be the name of the eventual program.

Other media companies are also seeking bundle opportunities with existing membership programs, such as Paramount+, which was added to Walmart+ last month.

Roku launches Roku TV in Germany

Roku has launched Roku TV in Germany, with Metz blue and TCL as the first partners to launch Roku TV models in the market beginning in October.

The smart TVs operate Roku’s streaming software and allow users to access the Roku Channel Store, which offers thousands of pay and free, ad-supported channels.

Roku TV models from Metz blue and TCL will come in sizes varying between 32 inches and 65 inches in HD, 4K and 4K QLED.

Roku first entered the German market in September 2021.

JML appoints Wavemaker UK to handle £11m media account

Wavemaker UK has won JML’s UK media account following a competitive pitch.

JML sells consumer products through video marketing.

The WPP agency will handle all media strategy and planning across the UK and will work on three briefs including digital, ecommerce and short-form (standard) TV.

This appointment follows an existing relationship with Wavemaker’s Ireland office but previously JML blended media planning and buying internally and recruited specialist agencies as necessary. All Response Media previously worked on JML’s media from 1997.

Havas Entertainment wins Rémy Cointreau UK media

Havas Entertainment has become Rémy Cointreau UK’s media agency of record for the UK and Ireland following a three-way competitive pitch.

The French spirits group has appointed Havas Entertainment to develop and execute a media strategy to engage with an “audience of exceptional spirits drinkers”, while recruiting a new generation of “discerning consumers”.

The brief covers brands such as Rémy Martin, Louis XIII cognacs, the Cointreau liqueur as well as the Botanist, Mount Gay, St-Rémy, Westland, Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, and Octomore spirits, and Telmont Champagne.

The incumbent agency was UM.

WPP acquires ecommerce consultancy

Agency group WPP has acquired Newcraft, a data-first European ecommerce consultancy.

The business will join the Wunderman Thompson global network and strengthen digital commerce capabilities in Northern Europe, combining transformation strategy with operational commerce expertise.

Newcraft was founded in 2007, has 155 employees and is based in the Netherlands.

Netflix ad tier ‘launch moved to November, will not include 3rd party measurement’

Netflix’s ad tier will launch 1 November, ahead of Disney+’s ad tier launch date of 8 December, according to a report by Ad Age.

Netflix had previously signaled in the company’s Q2 earnings call that it would launch its ad tier in early 2023.

Other reported details of Netflix’s plan are that it will include limited targeting, no third-party measurement, and Netflix is guaranteeing 500,000 ad tier subscribers by the end of the year.

The streaming company is targeting a CPM of $65, according to Digiday— more than last year’s Super Bowl.

Recent rumors have also suggested that Netflix may disallow downloads and advertisements on kids programs and new films on its ad tier.

Yesterday, Netflix announced it had hired two former Snap executives—Jerami Gorman and Peter Naylor—to lead its ad sales team.

Google keeps Trump’s Truth Social off its app store

Google has not approved Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social for distribution in its Google Play Store because of content moderation concerns.

A Google spokesperson said on Tuesday: “On August 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play.”

This means Truth Social is not available on Android phones, or to 40% of the US market.

Truth Social first launched on the Apple App Store on 21 February.

Dentsu names Essence’s Jill Metcalf as chief of business strategy & transformation, Americas

Dentsu Media this week named Jill Metcalf as its new chief of business strategy and transformation for the Americas.

Before coming to Dentsu Media, Metcalf spent eight years at Essence, most recently working as SVP of client operations, Americas.

Essence is expected to complete its merger with MediaCom to become EssenceMediacom in 2023.

Wednesday, 31 August 

Twitter is testing customisable ‘Tweet Tiles’ with NYT, WSJ, The Guardian

Twitter is testing a new customisable tweeting feature known as Tweet Tiles with The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian.

Using Tiles will allow the publications to trial new formats for increasing engagement with hyperlinks.

One example promoted by Twitter sees a new button added underneath a Guardian hyperlink that prompts users to: “Read on The Guardian”.

Facebook Gaming app to shut down

Meta’s Twitch-esque gaming livestreaming app Facebook Gaming is being shut down on October 28.

The app was originally launched in 2020.

Facebook Gaming was created in 2018 to compete with YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch.

A web-based version of the livestreaming platform will continue to exist on Facebook.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has in recent years primarily sought inroads into gaming through developing its Horizon Worlds metaverse.

California passes bill that would fine digital platforms for violating child safety standards

California’s state legislature has passed a bill that would force digital platforms to increase standards for child safety or else be subject to fines per affected child.

The sweeping legislation is the first of its kind in the US and will force digital platforms, such as social media companies, to create and enforce guardrails to protect children and teens.

Content that could be restricted from young users if deemed harmful includes advertisements marketed to children.

The bill authorizes California’s Attorney General to seek an injunction or civil penalty against any business that violates its provisions. The bill would hold violators liable for a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per affected child for each negligent violation or not more than $7,500 per affected child for each intentional violation.

If signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill would come into effect on June 1, 2024, giving digital platforms time to institute child safety policies and procedures.

Some social media companies have already begun doing so; just last week, Instagram made changes to its Sensitive Content Control policy to show under-16s less content it deems “potentially sensitive”.

Netflix ‘hires Snap executives’ for ad sales leadership

Netflix has hired two executives from Snap to build out its ad sales leadership team, according to reports.

Snap’s chief business officer Jerami Gorman and Snap’s VP of ad sales, Americas Peter Naylor will both be making the move over to Netflix; the former will serve as its new president of worldwide advertising, according to Reuters.

The streaming giant plans to launch its ad tier early next year.

Before coming to Snap in 2018, Gorman worked as ad sales director for Variety, Yahoo, and Amazon.

Naylor previously worked in ad sales for NBCUniversal and Hulu before joining Snap in 2020.

Sky Sports reports ‘strongest month on YouTube’

Sky Sports has reported August was its strongest month on YouTube with 163 million global views.

The previous record was in December 2021 with 156 million global views.

The strongest seven days was between 14 and 20 August with 59 million global views.

Sky Sports attributed many of these views to the fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk as well as the Premier League match between Tottenham and Chelsea which saw a face-off between managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel.

Snap ‘planning to lay off 20% of staff’

Snap is planning to lay off roughly a fifth of its staff following consecutive quarters of disappointing financial performance, according to a report by The Verge.

Snap currently employs around 6,400 people.

The cuts are reported to be broad, but are expected to hone in on Snap’s hardware division, which has built Snap’s augmented reality Spectacles and recently scrapped Pixy drone, as well as developer teams for its Minis feature and at Snap-owned Zenly.

Snap’s stock has declined over 78% year-to-date as the company underperformed revenue expectations in H1, and is down a further 6.7% in pre-market trading following the news.

The Washington Post ‘on track to lose money this year’

The Washington Post is on track to lose money this year, according to a report by The New York Times.

The Post has shed subscribers since 2020, according to the report, and now has fewer than three million paid digital subscribers.

Subscription services have generally seen cutbacks across markets, such as TV streaming, throughout the year as inflation causes households to tighten their belts.

As a result, The Post also reportedly saw a roughly 15% decrease in digital ad revenue between H1 2021 and H1 2022.

The New York Times writes that The Post is contemplating whether to institute hiring freezes as a result of the disappointing metrics.

InfoSum partners global gaming platform

InfoSum has announced a partnership with competitive gaming platform FACEIT.

The partnership will allow clients to use their own first-party data to target in-platform ads at FACEIT users “without having to risk data leakage or data sharing”.

FACEIT has more than 26 million players worldwide of mostly Gen Z and Y demographic.

Tuesday, 30 August 

HBO renews House of Dragon for another series

House of Dragon will return for another series after its premiere last Sunday was watched by 10 million viewers.

In its first week, HBO reported the first episode of the Game of Thrones prequel spinoff series has garnered 20 million viewers in the US across linear, on-demand and HBO Max platforms.

Twitter launches Twitter Circle, allowing users to tweet to small groups

Twitter has launched Twitter Circle, a new feature that allows users to be selective in who can see a given tweet.

Users may up to 150 accounts to their Circle, through which only those users can access, reply, and interact with tweets shared within the Circle.

Of course, Twitter Circle members will still be capable of taking screenshots or downloading content shared via the Circle, so it’s not a foolproof way to tweet privately.

Elon Musk subpoenas Twitter whistleblower

Lawyers for Elon Musk have subpoenaed Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko over documents relating to his allegations of “egregious” negligence over the social media company’s cybersecurity policies.

Zatko will also testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 13.

Among his allegations: that Twitter does not have the capacity to adequately measure its fake account problem.

If true, it would be a boon to Musk’s case; the billionaire has sought to exit his deal to buy Twitter citing the fact that he was misled by the company over the number of bot accounts on its platform.

Last week Musk also subpoenaed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

The highly anticipated trial is scheduled for October 17.

Meta’s Horizon metaverse VP ‘leaving company’

Meta VP Vivek Sharma, who heads the Horizon metaverse platform, is leaving the company for another undisclosed opportunity, according to a report by Reuters.

Meta has invested significantly in developing its VR platform, despite criticism over its graphical fidelity.

Reach journalists set to strike this week

After delaying a strike slated for last Friday, journalists at Reach are instead set to strike on Wednesday.

Further discussions over a pay settlement over the weekend between the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Reach ended in a stalemate.

NUJ members at national titles including the Daily Mirror and Daily Express and regional titles including Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo also voted to strike on 14 and 15 September.

There was a 70% turnout, with 79% in favour of strikes and 88% for other forms of industrial action.

Cinemas launch cheap tickets for National Cinema Day

Participating cinemas in the UK and US will sell tickets for less than half price on for National Cinema Day.

Ticket prices at cinema chains including AMC Theatres in the US alongside Odeon and Vue in the UK will be $3 and £3 respectively on Saturday 3 September to entice viewers back to the silver screen.

Read more on cinema here: 

July cinema admissions lag behind pre-pandemic levels

FTC sues data broker Kochava for collecting and selling sensitive geolocation data

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued data broker Kochava over allegedly acquiring consumers’ precise geolocation data and selling the data in a way that allows entities to track their movements to and from sensitive locations.

Sensitive locations include those associated with: medical care, reproductive health, religious worship, mental healthcare, and temporary shelters such as for the homeless, domestic violence survivors, addiction recovery, and other at-risk populations.

The issue of geolocation privacy is a particularly fraught issue after the overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this summer, which prompted the FTC to state it would crack down on the sharing of sensitive data.

The FTC alleges that data collected and sold by Kochava is not properly anonymized and could be used, for example, to identify abortion-seekers.

In a statement provided to news outlets, Kochava’s general manager, Brian Cox, disputed the allegation, saying it “operates consistently and proactively in compliance with all rules and laws, including those specific to privacy”.

Snap introduces dual camera feature

Snap has introduced a dual camera feature so users can create content using the front and back-facing cameras simultaneously.

The feature has vertical, horizontal, picture in picture and cutout layouts and can be used with music, stickers and lenses.

It was made available earlier this year as part of “Director Mode” but is now available globally on iOS devices XS/XR or above, with Android to follow soon.

This follows social media company BeReal which uses dual camera features topping app charts over the summer.

Read more here: 

BeReal: the latest fad or the next big thing?

Liz Truss pulls out of BBC One interview

Conservative leadership candidate, Liz Truss, has cancelled her one-on-one primetime interview with BBC presenter Nick Robinson due to air tonight at 7pm.

The One Show will air instead in the 7pm timeslot on BBC One.

This means Truss has not participated in a one-on-one broadcast interview in the leadership race but has appeared in hustings debates around the UK with Rishi Sunak, the other candidate running to be the next UK Prime Minister who has already given an interview with Nick Robinson.

WATCH more on Liz Truss: Why Liz Truss’s attacks on the media will get worse when she’s Prime Minister 

In case you missed it last week:

Google adds digital out-of-home ads to Display & Video 360

Podcasts ‘are coming’ to Twitter

July cinema admissions lag behind pre-pandemic levels

Guardian Media Group appoints Anna Bateson as chief executive

Little Moons wants to be ‘inescapable’ to two target audiences

WARC global adspend growth downgraded for next two years

Kantar: in-content ads amplify TV spots and compete against global channels

the7stars launches addressable data offering

The high price of Amazon and Apple’s entry into live sports

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