Morning Consult Brands: Warner Bros. Discovery to Combine HBO Max and Discovery+, Launch Ad-Supported Streaming Options Next Year
 

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August 5, 2022
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  • Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. will merge its HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services into a single platform and offer ad-supported versions of the new product in 2023, the entertainment giant announced on its second-quarter earnings call. Executives did not reveal a unified brand name for the service, though Warner Bros. Discovery streaming head JB Perrette did say that HBO remains “the ultimate brand that stands for television quality,” easing concerns that the company was planning to gut HBO Max in the wake of the merger. (Variety)
  • Twitter Inc. announced that brick-and-mortar businesses will now be able to display their addresses, hours of operation and methods of contact at the top of their profiles, as part of an effort to strengthen brands’ presence on the app. Twitter will also soon roll out Professional Home, a central hub where businesses can track performance. (Adweek)
  • 7-Eleven Inc. has acquired the food delivery startup Skipcart, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. The Texas-based startup, which was reportedly valued at $65 million in 2020 and counts Applebee’s and Red Lobster among the retailers for which its network of drivers delivers goods, could alter 7-Eleven’s existing relationship with DoorDash Inc. (The Information)
 

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What Else You Need to Know

Advertising
 

Warner Bros. Discovery Closes Upfront With Nearly $6 Billion in Commitments

Bill Bradley, Adweek

The company also reported low- to mid-teen CPM increases.

 

How Criteo handled Apple data limits and Google’s post-cookie chaos

Garrett Sloane, Ad Age

Ad tech firm is a case study for programmatic ad companies that are dealing with an industry in flux.

 
Media and Entertainment
 

CNN Originals Hub to Debut on Discovery+ in August

Brian Steinberg, Variety

Warner Bros. Discovery, which shut down the nascent CNN+ streaming hub in April just weeks after it debuted, will launch a CNN Originals section on the subscription-video hub Discovery+, creating a new venue for CNN series and documentary films, as well as original programs from sister cable network HLN, which focuses largely on true-crime content.

 

Paramount CEO: Advertising Market “Headwinds” Are “Short-Term” Problem

Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

Bob Bakish said auto ad spending has been hit by supply-chain problems but travel and political ads are showing strength.

 

Video game giants see hundred million dollar dip in revenue amid recession fears

Shannon Liao, The Washington Post

Supply chain issues were also widely cited in recent video game company earnings calls.

 

WGA Wins $42 Million “Self-Dealing” Arbitration Against Netflix

David Robb, Deadline

The WGA said today that it has prevailed in a huge “self-dealing” arbitration against Netflix that it says will result in hundreds of writers on more than 100 Netflix theatrical films receiving an additional $42 million in unpaid residuals.

 
Social Media and Technology
 

Intro is the latest app to directly connect celebrities with consumers

Lina Abascal, Fast Company

You may never have a mansion like Oprah, but you can now chat with her favorite interior designer, Nate Berkus—for a fee, of course.

 

Instagram is expanding NFT features to more than 100 countries

K. Holt, Engadget

As of today, Instagram now supports third-party wallets from Coinbase and Dapper, in addition to Rainbow, MetaMask and Trust Wallet.

 

Why Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai Are Worried About Productivity

Stephen Council, The Information

Executives at Facebook parent Meta Platforms and Google parent Alphabet are feeling the pressure, so they’re giving employees a kick in the pants. After years of rapid hiring, productivity at the tech giants is suffering, as revenue and free cash flow per employee decline.

 

Heartbroken? TikTok breakup influencers are here to help.

Jessica Lucas, Input

Clark is one of several influencers — predominantly white women — who are part of breakup TikTok, a space full of tears, sad music, and “healing journeys.” Content creators in this space spurn the traditionally upbeat or glamorized format of social media, favoring videos that are raw, open, and often heart-wrenching.

 

CAA Hires a Chief Metaverse Officer

J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter

At CAA, Popper will be responsible for overseeing a team of executives focused on the agency’s metaverse strategy, both internally and for clients. She will work closely with Alexandra Shannon, CAA’s head of strategic development, and Adam Friedman, an executive guiding agents across departments who work with NFTs.

 
PR and Marketing
 

Amazon to acquire maker of Roomba vacuum for roughly $1.7 billion

Annie Palmer, CNBC

Amazon is acquiring iRobot for $61 a share, an all-cash deal that values the Roomba maker at $1.7 billion, the companies announced Friday.

 

Wayfair’s Sales Drop as It Loses Customers

Alex Harring, The Wall Street Journal

Active customer numbers have dropped about 24% as shoppers shift spending away from big-ticket items.

 

Companies hoarding workers could keep the labor market strong

Courtenay Brown and Neil Irwin, Axios

In recent earnings calls, some employers have said they are hesitant to reduce headcount, even as growth deteriorates.

 

The women calling out Apple’s handling of misconduct claims

Patrick McGee, Financial Times

More than a dozen employees past and present say Apple’s HR team puts the company’s reputation ahead of worker welfare.

 

Tiffany & Co. Releases $50K Necklace Replicas of NFT Collectibles, Which, Naturally, Are NFTiffs

Patrick Kulp, Adweek

Tiffany & Co. is taking non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into the physical realm with a pricey new necklace offered exclusively to holders of CryptoPunks art, a set of pixelated-looking avatars that have become popular in cryptocurrency-adjacent circles.

 

DoorDash Soars as Robust Delivery Demand Drives Sales Beat

Jackie Davalos, Bloomberg

DoorDash Inc. soared after the company reported revenue that beat analysts’ expectations, boosted by a record number of orders, showing customers’ appetite for takeout isn’t waning despite rising inflation.

 

Swag season is over: The days of free t-shirts have ended as execs crack down spending on perks

Chloe Berger, Fortune

As the office version of the Braveheart saying goes, “They may take away our jobs, but they’ll never take away our swag.” Turns out, that’s not necessarily true.

 

The Affordable Brand Gigi Hadid Is Wearing on Repeat

Alexis Bennett, Vogue

If you’re paying close attention to Gigi Hadid’s best summer looks, you might have noticed a trend emerging. In addition to showing us how to fabulously style jorts, the 27-year-old model has quietly dropped hints on a need-to-know affordable brand: Storets.

 

LVMH, China and Exotic Skins in Focus at Ralph Lauren Annual Meeting

Evan Clark, WWD

Shareholders peppered executives on hot topic issues.

 

Zillow Sees Slowing Demand for Ads in Housing Downturn

Patrick Clark, Bloomberg

Zillow Group Inc. shares fell as much as 11% after the company’s third-quarter outlook came in below expectations as a slowing US housing market looks poised to reduce demand for real estate advertising.

 

Class-action suit filed against Equifax after millions of scores were affected by glitch

Rob Wile, NBC News

The credit bureau said it had unintentionally sent faulty scores to lenders, resulting in higher interest rates and application denials for some consumers.

 

Beer falling flat over shortage of carbon dioxide

Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post

A nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide that became dire after a Mississippi supplier of the vital gas shut down in July is threatening beer-makers around the country.

 

McDonald’s and Burger King Tussle for Loyalty

Rebecca Stewart, Adweek

It’s all about digital as the fast-food chains expand their reward programs into new territories.

 

Beyond Meat Falls After Slashing Sales Outlook as Demand Wanes

Deena Shanker, Bloomberg

Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat Inc. plunged in late trading after the company slashed its revenue outlook for the full year — a sign that interest in its products is slipping amid heightened competition and high inflation.

 

The Hot New Trend for Gucci and Chanel: Middle America

Trefor Moss, The Wall Street Journal

Soaring demand for luxury goods is prompting high-end brands to open boutiques in new parts of the U.S.

 
Morning Consult