Google and Facebook are headed toward a regulatory battle, Netflix may have peaked, and Gen Z doesn’t mind ads or paying for content provided it’s great content. All upsides for the likes of Disney, NBCU, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, according to trade organization Digital Content Next.
The caveat is that DCN is in the pay of those companies (and many more, including A+E Networks, AP, News Corp and Bloomberg) which may give its findings a bias.
Not that DCN shies away from this. DCN CEO Jason Kint explains that the organization’s job is “to promote the value of quality and trusted media brands and to call out those who seek to disintermediate them.”
In a new blog post, Kint calls out four trends to watch in the second half of 2021.
Noting that Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 is the first major operating platform to require consumers to grant companies permission to track them, Kint reckons 2021 “will be the year that killed tracking.”
“Apple will continue to distance itself from Google in an effort to position itself as the consumer champion by carrying the privacy torch.”
News to watch in this regard is the California Attorney General’s decision to send out warning letters to companies that aren’t properly honoring consumers’ opt-out of tracking requests via the Global Privacy Control.
“This should send fear through Google and Facebook as California law has defined tracking consumers as a ‘sale of data,’” says Kint. “That definition will be mighty uncomfortable for two empires built on exactly that. All of this has forced industry to accelerate its reality check.”
A large part of DCN’s advocacy for Big Media is in market research. Its latest annual benchmark suggests year on year growth is strong in advertising on digital platforms. CPMs have also strengthened.
“The largest challenge to the premium publisher business is keeping pace with the massive consumption in the back-half of 2020 due to a record convergence of captive audiences and riveting news cycles.”
“America can’t seem to get enough to watch from trusted brands [like] Disney Plus, HBO Max, Peacock, Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus, and the many other services that have gone direct to the consumer and are reaping the rewards,” he says.
Related is research from the lobby group that consumers continue to demonstrate an “insatiable appetite for quality programming.” It’s so strong it seems to be nullifying subscription fatigue.
“It doesn’t hurt that making a purchase is now as easy as a thumbprint on mobile.”
In what Kint calls a “surprise twist,” Gen Z doesn’t seem to mind advertising. DCN will be releasing research in September that shows that Gen Zers (16-24) actually have something in common with Gen Y (25-40). Both groups are very open to advertising in their programming. Whether they pay or opt for a free service, the existence of advertising doesn’t seem to be a major factor for younger media consumers.
Seizing on Netflix missed earnings in Q2, Kint says its metrics looked more like a traditional cable TV company.
“Maybe it’s a momentary lapse from last year’s stay-at-home streamers. But it could be a sign of migration to the newest competitors.”