Home Daily News Roundup Netflix Already Won The Streaming Race; Can AI Help With That?

Netflix Already Won The Streaming Race; Can AI Help With That?

all that baggage

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Netflix And The Goldilocks Zone

After World War 2, Japanese soldiers held out for years – decades, actually – in the Philippines, believing news of peace to be enemy propaganda.

That’s the hardcore but perhaps justified metaphor selected by Eric Seufert of Mobile Dev Memo for the streaming services that don’t understand they’ve already lost to Netflix.

To be fair, Warner Bros. Discovery knows it’s lost. WBD ditched the HBO brand (its platform is called MAX) and shunted desirable titles to Netflix: “Band of Brothers,” “True Blood,” “Six Feet Under,” “Hacks” and “Sex and the City” soon.

Disney is relicensing to Netflix, as is NBCUniversal, which went on a walled garden binge before launching Peacock in 2020. (“30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Parks & Rec” were previously on Netflix.)

But Peacock, Disney+ and pretty much every other standalone streaming service is unprofitable – increasingly so.

Netflix, on the other hand, has returned to profitability and is growing average revenue per user. (Amazon Prime and Apple TV+, meanwhile, don’t need their streaming services to turn a profit.)

On Autopilot

When Meta laid off ad sales, engineering and customer support teams, it filled in the holes with more automated support software. And advertisers and agencies are feeling the pinch, with less consistent, helpful or timely support, The Information reports.

Smaller businesses are hit harder by the pullback in client services, as might be expected. Deep-pocketed accounts like Target have assigned client solutions managers, and mid-market brands work with account managers who are more likely overloaded.

Meanwhile, SMBs have only the self-service option, which could mean long delays in communication (or serious issues going unresolved, possibly indefinitely).

Despite restless clients, Meta’s ads business seems unaffected for now. In October, the social media giant predicted 25% ad revenue growth for the year, and its stock is up 164% in the past year.

Plus, Meta’s data advantage and vast user base make it practically impossible for advertisers to walk away.

As automation becomes the status quo throughout the industry, ad salespeople are continually under threat. Google laid off hundreds of ad sales reps in December as it invested in machine-learning-powered ad-buying tech, and TikTok eliminated dozens of advertising and sales employees last week.

Distributor Of Bads, More Like

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which establishes uniform safety standards, is mulling a rule that would designate Amazon a “distributor of goods,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

That’s a legal term, of course. Amazon obviously is a distributor of goods in the colloquial sense (which is probably part of the commission’s rationale). But assigning Amazon as a “distributor” for its online marketplace would make it legally responsible for the products, descriptions and practices of third-party sellers.

Amazon landed on the commission’s radar because of the proliferation of uncertified products, like unsafe children’s toys, hair dryers without shock protectors and carbon monoxide detectors that didn’t meet agency standards.

Amazon is adept at clearing third-party sellers of unwanted items – if the price is right. It wiped out third-party Apple product resellers after signing Apple to a massive first-party retail deal. (That’s why Amazon has exclusive discounts on Apple products for Black Friday or Prime Day, even though Apple doesn’t do discounts.)

But can the US Consumer Product Safety Commission extend Amazon’s effective third-party moderation of Apple products to all products?

But Wait, There’s More!

NP Digital acquires agency REBL House to merge creative and data capabilities. [Digiday]

Where (and when) is the Apple advertising takeoff? [Next in Media]

A rising tide of layoffs is causing unease among employees at ad agencies. [Ad Age]

Quotes and highlights (lowlights, rather) from Big Tech leaders’ Senate Judiciary Committee testimony this week. [Adweek]

You’re Hired!

Roku taps Jay Askinasi to lead its global media revenue business, filling Alison Levin’s role. [Business Insider]

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