Susanne Daniels Departing as YouTube Exits Original Content Business

Susanne Daniels, the veteran global head of original content at Google-owned YouTube, is reportedly exiting the streamer in March after six years in the position. In a media statement, Daniels said she looked forward “new adventures ahead.”

Separately, YouTube announced it is exiting the original content business, continuing to fund original programming for Black Voices and children going forward, according to Robert Kyncl, chief business officer at YouTube.

“We will honor our commitment for already contracted shows in progress and creators who are involved with those shows should expect to hear from us directly in the coming days,” Kyncl said in a statement.

Susanne Daniels

Daniels is best known for shepherding the launch of The Karate Kid movie franchise series reboot “Cobra Kai” on YouTube in 2018. Netflix acquired the rights in 2020, later greenlighting a third and fourth season. It is now one of the streamer’s most-popular series in terms of hours streamed, with a combined 190+million hours viewed through Jan. 9.

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“YouTube’s the biggest and best video platform in the world and what an exciting and tremendous experience I’ve had working to create meaningful programming for global users of all ages and backgrounds,” Daniels said. “I’m so proud that our content could contribute to the ongoing growth and success of this remarkable platform.”

Roku, Google End Dispute, Ink New Carriage Agreement

Roku and Google have ended a reportedly contentious negotiation and signed a new multiyear carriage deal for distribution of the latter’s YouTube and YouTube TV properties on the Roku platform. The existing contract was set to expire Dec. 9.

Roku, with 56.4 million active accounts through Sept. 30, remains a vital conduit linking third-party streaming video services with consumers on their television. In exchange, Roku either collects percentage of the subscription fees and/or access to user data.

It is the latter that apparently irked Google, resulting in a yearlong war of words between the search behemoth and SVOD co-pioneer (with Netflix). While YouTube remains the largest social video platform in the world, YouTube TV relies on consumer awareness to grow its reported 3 million to 4 million subscriber base.

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“Roku and Google have agreed to a multiyear extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV. This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform,” a Roku spokesperson said in a statement.

Roku’s carriage terms have met resistance from other media companies, which resulted in both HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock SVOD service launching without Roku support. The lack of visibility on the platform hurt both services’ subscriber growth out of the gate, leading WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal to quietly iron out their differences and sign distribution deals.

Vudu Offering Gift Cards, Preorder Deal on ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’

Vudu has a deal for customers who preorder Venom: Let There Be Carnage, arriving Nov. 23 for digital purchase at $19.99.

Those who preorder the movie on the service by Nov. 22 get a $3 Vudu promo code to use toward additional movies. Details are here. 

Vudu is also offering a line of “Venom”-themed gift cards to gift the movie to friends and family.

The Marvel Comics-based superhero film, available in SD, HDX and 4K Ultra HD on Vudu, stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson. In the film, Eddie Brock (Hardy) interviews serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson), who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage.

Vudu’s YouTube channel features an exclusive clip of Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote Venom talking about their unique friendship on the beach.

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Spectrum Adds HBO Max, YouTube to Guide

Spectrum has launched HBO Max and YouTube within the Spectrum Guide on eligible devices across its service area, providing customers access to the streaming services directly from the Spectrum TV platform.

HBO Max and YouTube are now automatically available to customers with eligible devices and Spectrum Internet. Customers can tune directly to channel 2003 for YouTube or 2004 for HBO Max, use the guide’s search function, or look for the logos in the Apps menu within Spectrum Guide.

“As the video landscape continues to change, we are evolving our products and making it easier for our customers to watch what they want by providing access to streaming apps from convenient launch points within the Spectrum TV experience,” Elena Ritchie, group VP of video experience, said in a statement. “We look forward to growing this library and expect to launch more streaming video apps in the coming months.”

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HBO Max gives Spectrum customers more than 13,000 hours of content, featuring the brands HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and more. In order to access HBO Max content, customers can subscribe through Spectrum, another provider or directly through HBO Max.

Data: 60% of Connected-TV Households Stream Ad-Supported Content

Consumer interest in free ad-supported VOD (AVOD) content and live television (FAST) continues to proliferate. New data from The Diffusion Group suggests 60% of connected-TV households stream ad-supported content across myriad platforms — spearheaded by YouTube.

AVOD and FAST services driving the market include ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Fox Entertainment’s Tubi, Comcast-owned Xumo and Amazon’s IMDb TV, among others.

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TDG found that 24% of connected-TV households consume ad-supported streaming content on a daily basis, while 32% stream weekly. Among AVOD/FAST consumers, 76% stream YouTube, the longest-running streaming video platform, followed by Pluto TV, Tubi and Xumo.

“Clearly the effects of work-from-home and lack of traditional leisure options during the pandemic accelerated consumer use of free ad-supported streaming services,” Doug Montgomery, senior analyst and author of Back to the Future: The Rise of Ad-Supported Streaming Video, said in a statement. “Most major video providers have been preparing for this moment for years and thus able to quickly adapt to an accelerated timeline. It is a unique moment in the history of the entertainment business and those who move quickly and boldly will likely reap the benefits for years to come.”

YouTube and Google TV Using Parrot Analytics Data and Consulting

YouTube and Google TV are utilizing Parrot Analytics’ global audience demand data and entertainment consulting services, Parrot announced.

Parrot Analytics’ data products provide near real-time updates on the most in-demand TV series and streaming platforms in any market in the world, according to the company. The insights help inform YouTube and Google TV’s content programming decisions, Parrot announced.

“We are thrilled to be working with the world’s leading video entertainment and TV platform,” Parrot Analytics CEO Wared Seger said in a statement. “By sharing our expertise, data and consulting services in global audience demand, YouTube and Google TV will continue to evolve their content strategy based on the latest trends. We are excited to further our mission of helping more content owners and brands succeed on any screen, anywhere in the world.”

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Parrot Analytics is a global audience demand analytics company. The company helps clients with decisions in the areas of IP and content development, programming, distribution, audience and brand activation as well as global OTT strategy and operations.

Comscore to Provide Connected TV Measurement for YouTube and YouTube TV

Comscore Aug. 9 announced it will be including YouTube and YouTube TV measurement into its cross-platform service, Comscore Campaign Ratings. The pact with the Google-owned platforms will help Comscore provide marketers with a better understanding of how audiences are consuming content on YouTube and YouTube TV across desktop, mobile, and connected TVs.

Comscore data metrics provides advertisers and agencies with a deduplicated view of reach and frequency across linear TV, OTT/CTV, PC and mobile inventory. This includes measurement for co-viewers on OTT/CTV. The new capability will pave the way for advertisers and agencies to understand combined co-viewing for YouTube and YouTube TV across OTT/CTV as well as incremental reach to their linear TV buys, providing total cross-platform ad measurement.

“People are watching more YouTube than ever — on mobile, on laptops, and especially on our fastest growing screen, the TV, and we want to ensure advertisers can measure their reach across all devices with third-party partners like Comscore,” Debbie Weinstein, VP of global solutions for YouTube, said in a statement. “We also know people are choosing to watch their favorite YouTube content on connected TVs with others, and the inclusion of co-viewing in this new integration will allow advertisers to understand the full scale of the audience they’re able to reach through YouTube CTV campaigns.”

The rise of streaming on CTV devices continues to create new opportunities for advertisers to reach viewers. Amid such growth and with the proliferation of streaming video services, the addition of YouTube and YouTube TV to Comscore will enable one of the largest advertising sources for modern cross-platform measurement.  As previously published by Comscore, more than 80% of CTV reach in the U.S. falls on only five streaming services — and only two are ad-supported.

“This is a critical milestone for Comscore and for the industry,” said Comscore CEO Bill Livek. “Our clients are placing a large portion of their advertising spend with YouTube, and they need a holistic view of how that spend is performing relative to the entire media mix.”

Livek previously headed home entertainment distributor Rentrak, which was acquired by Comscore in 2016.

Google Services (i.e. YouTube) Ups Q2 Revenue 63% to $57 Billion

Google reported second-quarter (ended June 30) services revenue of $57 billion, an 63% increase from revenue of $35 billion in the previous-year period. Operating income skyrocketed 135% to $22.3 billion from $9.5 billion.

Google Services generates revenue primarily from advertising; sales of apps, in-app purchases, digital content products, and hardware; and fees received for subscription-based products such as YouTube Premium and online subscription-based YouTube TV — the No. 2 online TV platform behind Disney’s Hulu + Live TV.

Indeed, YouTube ad revenue alone topped $7 billion in the quarter.

Overall, Alphabet net income shot up 164% to $18.5 billion from $8.9 billion in the previous-year period. Revenue increased 62% to $61.9 billion, from $38.2 billion in the year-ago period.

“In Q2, there was a rising tide of online activity in many parts of the world, and we’re proud that our services helped so many consumers and businesses,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and corporate parent Alphabet, said in a statement.

Google to End ‘Play Movies & TV’ App Access on Myriad Devices

Google is planning to discontinue access to its “Google Play Movies & TV” app on Roku streaming devices and smart TVs, including connected Samsung, LG and Vizio models beginning June 15.

The pending action reportedly also involves Movie Anywhere, the industry-backed platform that lets consumers of digital and packaged-media movies access their content across compatible devices. Platform users will still be able to access their Google Play Movies & TV and Movies Anywhere content purchases on Google-owned YouTube.

“Movies Anywhere users can rest assured that their purchased content will still be available to them on the Movies Anywhere app,” read a Movies Anywhere statement. “Movies Anywhere will continue to provide streamlined access to movies purchased through connected digital retailers, allowing movie lovers to access their collection in more places than ever before.”

While the Google Play Movies & TV app still exists, it reportedly will soon meld with Google TV, the streaming app launched last September.

In a blog post from Google product manager Hanwook Kim, the search behemoth is instructing affected users going forward to access and/or share their purchased content through its YouTube subsidiary. Movies and TV shows purchased on YouTube cannot be shared with third parties.

“Starting 6/15/2021, the Google Play Movies & TV app will no longer be available on Roku, Samsung, LG and Vizio smart TVs,” he wrote.” “The YouTube app will be your new home for movies and shows. Just log in with your Google account in the YouTube app [and] you’ll have access to all of your past purchases, and will be able to browse, purchase, and rent new content.”

Among some of the changes cited in the post:

  • A consumers’ past purchases will still be available on YouTube;
  • Google Play credits can be used on YouTube to make purchases;
  • Play Family Library purchases can be viewed on YouTube but purchases made on YouTube do not support family sharing. Purchases made from the Google Play Movies & TV website or app will continue to support family sharing;
  • Watchlists are not available on YouTube, but viewers can set up playlists.

 

The YouTube app is available on devices that currently support the Google Play Movies & TV app, Kim noted. Content will not be viewable on LG NetCast and LG SimpleSmart devices.

Fitness Video Pioneer Leslie Sansone’s ‘Walk at Home’ Brand Launches Basketball-Inspired Walking Workout on YouTube

In time for March Madness, “Walk at Home,” a leading fitness walking brand, is releasing a new workout starring college basketball legend Taja Wilson that blends steps with hoops.

1 Mile “Sports-Inspired” Workout by Walk at Home and Taja Wilson officially launches at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, March 19, on the “Walk at Home” YouTube channel, which has more than 3 million subscribers. It’s the brand’s very first sports-inspired workout, with Wilson blending classic Walk at Home moves with her favorite basketball drills.

“We are thrilled to propel the ‘Walk at Home’ mission with incredible, new-generation instructors like Taja,” said Marie Bullano, VP of “Walk at Home.” “We are excited to incorporate more themes into our fitness offerings such as sports-inspired workouts, circuit training, and more. We are looking forward to creating fresh content to serve all walks of life.”

The 15-minute workout can be viewed for free on the “Walk at Home” YouTube channel as well as on the “Walk at Home” app.

Wilson is best known for her college basketball career at Michigan State University and Xavier University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Sports Business Administration and is a contributor to ESPN.

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 At the end of my college basketball journey, I suffered a career-ending injury and, unfortunately, my lifelong dream of pursuing a WNBA career ended,” Wilson said. “But with the end of that season, came the birth of a new dream! I ventured into programming fitness videos because I identified with Walk at Home’s incredible mission and I had a passion for introducing others to the world of fitness in exciting and accessible new ways!”

“Walk at Home” is a leading at-home fitness walking brand. Created by Leslie Sansone, “Walk at Home” is one of the top-selling fitness brands at mass retail, including Walmart, Target, and QVC. Walk at Home’s popular YouTube channel has over 3 million subscribers and is ranked as one of the top fitness channels on YouTube.

Sansone has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Woman’s World, Family Circle, Healthy Living, Vogue India, Glamour Magazine, and other top wellness publications as well as on CNN, “Today,” and “CBS This Morning.”