‘Stranger Things 3’ breaks Netflix record, Amazon and Google streaming feud officially ends and other top news

Few key things that happened around the Ad Tech & Media Tech world this week.

‘Stranger Things 3’ breaks Netflix record

The latest installment of the hit series has been viewed more times than any other film or series on Netflix in the first four days since it was released, the company said. The streaming giant said late Monday that 40.7 million households have been watching the third season of the sci-fi show since it hit the streaming platform on July 4, while 18.2 million have completed the entire season. Created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, “Stranger Things” centers on four male friends who revel in playing the fantasy role-playing game “Dungeons and Dragons,” and their encounters with a girl with telekinetic powers, an alternate dimension and the horrifying monsters that have seeped out of it. Raymond James analyst Justin Patterson said the record viewership implies the show’s new season has reached 26% of Netflix’s global paid subscriber base, based on the 154 million subscribers the company was forecast to have by the second quarter. 

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Amazon and Google streaming feud officially ends

It was announced a few months ago, but today actually makes things official: Amazon and Google streaming apps are finally available on each others’ platforms again starting today, putting to rest a spat between them that did little more than disadvantage customers after an escalating series of disagreements got out of hand. Starting Tuesday, as was hinted at a few months ago without either company giving a specific date at the time, the official YouTube app is available again on Amazon Fire TV devices (YouTube Kids and YouTube TV are both coming “later this year,” according to a Google spokesman). Also starting Tuesday, as part of this same announcement, users can watch Amazon Prime Video content on Chromecast and Android TV devices. This all become necessary in the first place because both companies had soured on each other to the point that Google was ticked off about Amazon not offering some of its products for sale. Amazon likewise blasted Google for yanking the YouTube app from Fire TV devices by arguing Google was “selectively blocking” access.

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Tencent-Backed Game Streaming Platform Aims to Raise $944 Million in U.S. IPO

Chinese live-streaming platform Douyu International Holdings Ltd. aims to raise up to $944 million in a Nasdaq IPO, the company announced Monday. Douyu will offer 44.9 million American depositary shares, with current shareholders selling an additional 22.4 million shares, a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing shows. The company estimates the IPO price at between $11.50 to $14.00 per share. The Twitch-like live-streaming platform, which focuses on esports, previously filed with the SEC to raise up to $500 million on the New York Stock Exchange in April, before the plan was called off due to market jitters in May. Douyu hit 1.5 billion yuan ($221.9 million) in quarterly net revenue for the three months ended March 31, a significant increase from 666 million yuan for the same period in 2018. Douyu’s IPO follows that of its rival — Huya Inc., which is also backed by Tencent — on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. Douyu had over 6 million paying users in the first quarter of 2019, compared to Huya’s 5.4 million.

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Inside Roku’s Enormous Bet On AVOD

Roku’s go-to-market strategy is simple: Get as many streaming devices into as many homes as cheaply as possible, and monetize them through advertising. That makes the growth of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) viewing a “huge” bet for Roku, said director of international ad sales and strategy Tariq Mahmoud. Roku, which has 29.1 million active accounts, has become one of the front-running ad-supported OTT offerings in the market. Through rev-share deals, Roku aggregates inventory from content providers across its platform, on which buyers can overlay its unique first-party data set of registered, logged-in users. Roku is going after both TV and digital budgets as they converge in the OTT space. In March the platform inked a preferred partnership with Adobe Ad Cloud, which allows programmatic buyers to on-board clients’ first-party data for a one-to-one customer match with Roku viewers. And in a push for TV budgets, Roku this year brought its ad-supported offering to the upfront, where linear investment teams are eager to offset declines in TV viewing. Roku sells 15- to 30-second video ads and larger custom sponsorship such as home screen takeovers, screen savers and branded content.

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Univision Sees Heavier Demand for Ads as Upfront Wraps

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision expects the volume of advance advertising commitments for its next programming cycle to rise after wrapping its negotiations in TV’s annual “upfront” market, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person says Univision saw its overall volume grow between 5% and 6% over last year’s efforts, driven in part by an influx of new advertisers and expanded budgets from current clients. The results represent Univision’s best from an upfront market in four years, this person said. The company’s ad-sales efforts come to light after it announced last week that its board of directors was exploring strategic options, which could include a potential sale, and hired Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Moelis & Company LLC, and LionTree LLC as financial advisors to assist with the process. Univision, like several other big TV networks, pressed for increases in the rates it charges to reach 1,000 consumers, a measure known as a CPM that is critical to these annual negotiations. Univision sought CPM increases in the mid-single-digit percentage range, according to the person familiar with the situation, double what it was able to secure in last year’s negotiations.

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