Apple Music Streaming Service Replaces Pepsi as Super Bowl Halftime Show Sponsor

The NFL announced that the Apple Music streaming service is the professional football league’s new partner for this season’s 15-minute Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, replacing longtime sponsor Pepsi. Singer Rhianna will headline the performance, Feb. 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The five-year deal brings together the most-watched live musical performance of the year, with Apple Music, which offers subscribers access to more than 90 million songs.

Rhianna

“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner … than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires and motivates millions of people through the intersection of music and technology,” Nana-Yaw Asamoah, SVP of partner strategy for the NFL, said in a statement.

More than 120 million people watched The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show live earlier this year, according to the NFL. The show featured a lineup of trailblazing rap musicians, including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, and marked the first time these five multi-award-winning artists performed together on stage. The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show earned three Creative Emmy awards.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Music and sports hold a special place in our hearts, so we’re very excited Apple Music will be part of music and football’s biggest stage,” said Oliver Schusser, VP of Apple Music and Beats.

Past Super Bowl Halftime Show performances include The Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince, Tom Petty, Michael Jackson and Madonna, among others.

Craig and the Camel May Be Gone, But Transactional Marketing Still Going Strong

For me, the pinnacle of marketing at the height of the DVD era was Craig Kornblau on a camel.

It was the heyday of event marketing. DVD had become such a monstrous success that disc revenues were outpacing theatrical. DVD potential was even a factor in deciding whether to greenlight movies.

No wonder, then, that at a time when a hot new DVD release could sell 20 million copies or more, just in the first week, the release of a big theatrical film on disc was hailed as a big event — and marketed accordingly.

I remember Disney’s gala launch party for the Ratatouille DVD, with more than a thousand guests crowding a ballroom at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel for a gastronomical feast.

I remember flying to London for a party to celebrate New Line Home Video’s release of the Lost in Space movie.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

I remember Warner Home Video’s Superman party, where I joked to then-president Ron Sanders that the shindig probably cost the studio more than they were spending on advertising with Home Media Magazine all year.

I remember being flown to London by PolyGram to celebrate the DVD release of Phantom of the Opera, as well as three Super Bowls (thanks, Bill Sondheim!) to drum up excitement for the subsequent NFL Super Bowl DVD.

And then there was Craig Kornblau and the camel. The “event” was the 2002 DVD release of The Scorpion King, and amid a throng of beefy warriors, belly dancers and flame explosions I remember looking up and seeing Kornblau, at the time president of Universal Studios Home Video, and his top marketing executive, Ken Graffeo, riding down Sunset Boulevard on a pair of massive dromedaries. A Los Angeles Times article from October 2002 picks up the story from there: “Moments later, the entire caravan, writhing women, camels and all, crossed Sunset Boulevard to the Virgin Megastore across the street, where confused shoppers were rapidly overrun by belly dancers, snake handlers and jugglers.”

The reporter quoted Kornblau as saying the studio hoped to generate earn more than $36 million in the first week of sales, more than the first week of box office for the film’s theatrical release.

These days, physical and digital sales of movies, even combined, area fraction of DVD sales 20 years ago, due to the rise and domination of subscription streaming.

And yet studio marketers continue to “eventize” new transactional releases, although invariably some, if not most, of a campaign’s components take place virtually, often through tie-ins with social media influencers.

In this year’s Power Marketing report, our fourth annual look at the top marketing campaigns of the past year, we profile nearly a dozen standouts from the major studios — and as you’ll see, creativity and ingenuity are certainly not in short supply. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, for example, launched F9 into the home market by getting stars Vin Diesel and Ludacris to share custom content on their Instagram accounts, followed by F9 Fest, a huge press and social media influencer event with interviews, a rooftop zipline stunt experience and even an F9 museum, featuring vehicles from the film.

And Paramount celebrated the 50thanniversary of The Godfather, and the landmark film’s 4K Ultra HD debut, with all sorts of creative executions, strategic partnerships and publicity events. A press screening on the studio lot was preceded by a panel discussion with director Francis Ford Coppola and stars James Caan and Talia Shire — along with a street-naming celebration and the presentation of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to Coppola.

Craig and his camel may be long gone, but “eventizing” home releases is certainly still a “thing.

Super Bowl LVI TV Viewership Projected to Barely Top Digital Streamers

About 49% of viewers for the pending Feb. 13 Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will use digital media, while 51% will watch the game on linear television, according to new data from Adtaxi, a digital marketing agency. Citing a Jan. 14 survey of 1,127 adults across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age, 64% of respondents chose streaming as their preferred method of content consumption.

Additionally, 46% of respondents said they will interact with various forms of digital media while watching the game: 31% state they will be using social media, 15% will be on a sporting website, and 8% will be using online forums.

Similarly to 2021, the majority of survey respondents said they would be skipping larger social gatherings. Another 43% plan to watch the Super Bowl either alone or with family at home, while 11% plan to throw a watch party, and an additional 11% plan to attend one. The survey also found that only 3% of consumers plan to watch the game from a bar or restaurant. In total, only 25% of Americans plan to watch the Super Bowl outside of their homes.

“With nearly half of Americans (46%) utilizing digital media while watching the big game, it will be important for marketers to prioritize multiple platforms,” Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi, said in a statement. “The key to resonating on these social and streaming platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The survey found that the percentage of Americans still paying for cable services has fallen below 40%. Cable penetration was over 50% just three years ago. Not only is cable losing penetration, but the survey also found that less than half (36%) of respondents turn to cable when they turn on the TV.

In 2022, 33% of respondents said they plan to cancel their cable subscription, up from 31% in 2021 and 28% in 2020. For those wanting to move away from cable, 22% claim they like the option of “binge watching” shows on streaming services, and 27% want to watch content on their own time schedule.

“We can anticipate continued declines due to viewing preferences and cost, the multitude of streaming-capable devices over TV sets in the home, and increased competition directly from streaming services,” said Murry Woronoff, director of research at Adtaxi. “Comcast alone lost 1.5 million TV subscribers in 2021.”

The survey found that 92% of respondents stream some form of video content. The majority do so through either connected TV (64%), followed by smartphone/mobile device (54%) and/or laptop (38%).

According to the survey, two-thirds (64%) of consumers make streaming their default setting — the first thing they check for content. One-third of TV streamers obtain 100% of their video content from such services and 77% of TV streamers get the majority (over 50%) of their content via streaming services.

Notably, due to the pandemic, over two thirds (69%) of respondents said they do not plan to go back to the movie theater if new movies are available via streaming.

When asked what streaming services respondents had used in the past 30 days, 71% had used Netflix, 63% used Amazon Prime Video, 53% used YouTube TV, 44% used Hulu and Disney+, and 32% used HBO Max. Out of all the services listed (30), the majority of respondents (38%) said Netflix was the outlet they use most often followed by YouTube (14%).

ViacomCBS Eyes Super Bowl LV as Major Paramount+ Marketing Tool

Ahead of Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, in Tampa Bay, Fla., ViacomCBS is expanding the big game’s streaming reach across its digital properties. While the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports, it will also be available on CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app, in addition to Yahoo Sports, and ESPN digital properties.

The game, which will feature the first-ever female official (Down Judge Sarah Thomas), will also be live-streamed on CBS All Access, the SVOD platform that is rebranding to Paramount+ on March 4. As such, expect to see multiple tie-ins across ViacomCBS properties marketing the pending change, including AVOD platform Pluto TV.

Separate data from digital marketing agency Adtaxi found that 68% of survey respondents said they would forgo attending a Super Bowl party to watch the game at home alone.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Last year’s Super Bowl LIV contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers saw 3.4 million people live-stream the game per minute, which was 30% more than the 2.6 million per minute who live-streamed Super Bowl LIII in 2019; and 103% more than the 1.7 million per minute who live-streamed Super Bowl LI in 2017.

“We’re excited to broaden the availability of our Super Bowl LV stream this year, and we look forward to building on the incredibly strong momentum NFL football is driving on CBS All Access as a cornerstone of the extensive live sports offerings available on the service,” Jeff Gerttula, EVP and GM, CBS Sports Digital, said in a statement.

Regardless, the Super Bowl remains a broadcast TV mainstay. The annual broadcast remains the single-day highest rated TV program with more than 100 million people tuning in.

Roku, Fox in Carriage Dispute Entering Super Bowl Weekend

In a first, Roku has notified its 32.3 million platform users that it might pull the Fox Channel app ahead of the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, which will be broadcast on Fox.

“Roku’s distribution agreement with Fox Corp. is set to expire on Jan. 31,” the streaming device pioneer said in a statement. “We offered Fox an extension so that Roku can continue to bring a large and valuable audience to Fox. If an agreement is not reached, we will be forced to remove Fox channels from the Roku platform.”

Follow us on Instagram

Last-minute TV carriage disputes among pay-TV distributors and content holders have become customary, especially ahead of a marquee events such as the Super Bowl or NCAA March Madness. Roku has now brought the negotiation tactic to streaming video.

Fox said Roku’s last-minute strategy was a “poorly timed negotiating ploy” aimed at driving more favorable contract leverage.

“Roku’s threat to delete Fox apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns,” Fox said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

On its Twitter social media app, Roku said people could still stream Fox programming through Fubo TV, Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV, and YouTube TV, among others.

“Many of these services offer a free trial,” Roku tweeted.

Roku, which ranks as the No. 1 streaming device ahead of Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, reported $179 million in ad-generated platform revenue in the most-recent fiscal period.

 

Hulu Unveils Super Bowl Spot for Series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King

Hulu has unveiled its Super Bowl commercial for upcoming original series “Castle Rock” from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. The series premieres this summer exclusively on Hulu.

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, “Castle Rock” stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Sissy Spacek, Billy Skarsgård, Jane Levy and Scott Glenn.

The “Castle Rock” Super Bowl spot can be seen here: https://youtu.be/fwmhiqUPa28

Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason developed the project for television and serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer. “Castle Rock” is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.