Digital Daily Dozen: 1/20/16

Netflix’s Total Subscriber Growth Exceeds Estimate as Costs and Competition Continue to Grow (Ad Age)    

Netflix reported that 74.76 million people subscribed to its streaming video service by the end of 2015, including 3.92 million people who had signed up for free trials and were still in that unpaid period. That’s slightly more people than the company had expected.    

Ugggh: The bot problem is getting worse (Media Life) 

Media buyers, media sellers and advertisers are well aware of the bot problem that has plagued online advertising for years. Advertisers will lose $7.2 billion to fraudulent online advertising this year, up from $6.2 billion in 2015, with no solution in sight. One problem: Bots are becoming smarter, thwarting prevention.   

Is OTT Destined to Replicate the Cable Bundle? (Broadcasting & Cable) 

The growing OTT marketplace increasingly resembles the linear TV space, for better and sometimes for worse, said panelists in the opening-day-capping NATPE session somewhat hazily titled “The Rise of New OTT Platforms.”  

Texas Attorney General Deems Daily Fantasy Sports Illegal (NY Times)  

With Ken Paxton’s opinion that daily fantasy sports constitute “prohibited gambling,” Texas became the latest state to say that FanDuel and DraftKings were running afoul of its laws.   

TechTank looks ahead to 2016 (Brookings) 

At the beginning of another year, TechTank looks ahead to the technology policy issues that will be important in 2016. Several fellows of the Center for Technology Innovation offer their insight into cybersecurity, health care data management, and the automation of public services.   

Nielsen brings Facebook buzz to its TV ratings (USA Today) 

Much of that chatting on Facebook about TV shows will soon be factored into Nielsen’s social TV rankings. The research firm’s social media unit is improving its current Twitter TV Ratings — started in 2013, as complementary to its traditional broadcast TV ratings — by adding Facebook activity to create new Social Content Ratings.   

MLB Settlement Gives Baseball Fans New Viewing Options (Bloomberg) 

Major League Baseball, Comcast Corp. and DirecTV agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by fans over how games are broadcast, a crack in the dam the league and pay TV have built against unrestrained viewing. The class action, filed in 2012, challenged baseball’s system for granting exclusive broadcast rights to regional networks.    

NBC vs. Netflix: Why a Ratings ‘Reveal’ Matters (Hollywood Reporter) 

Whose viewership data should Hollywood trust? A tech firm’s suspicious “outing” lays bare the anger and frustration of networks forced to compete with secrecy.   


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he doesn’t have a problem with T-Mobile’s controversial Binge On service — in fact, Netflix is actually a fan of it. “It’s voluntary to the customer. Every customer of T-Mobile can decide to turn it on or turn it off,” Hastings said. “They’re not charging any of the providers. It’s an open program.”      

Study: Pay TV Consumers Believe TV Everywhere Isn’t Free (Media Post) 

More than half of pay TV consumers that know about “TV Everywhere” believe it would be an additional cost from networks or pay TV providers. A study by Hub Entertainment Research says 54% believe that TV Everywhere isn’t free, and 53% say they never use it because they didn’t know the capability existed.    

Will Snapchat Matter To Political Advertisers?  (Campaigns and Elections)

Snapchat is touting its advertising potential in this year’s political campaigns, but the cycle is moving too fast for the company to capture a sizable share of campaigns budgets, digital consultants say. The company is searching for acquisitions while teasing new advertising features it hopes will match Facebook in targeting and verification.   

Facebook’s Regulatory Battle Over Free Basics in India Is Getting Feisty  (Recode)  

Facebook’s battle with Indian regulators is turning into a public he said, she said debate as the two sides continue to fight over Facebook’s Free Basics app, the social network’s effort to bring free Internet services — including Facebook — to emerging markets.  

PBS’s Kerger Worries About Auction Impact (Current) 

This year’s auction of broadcast spectrum could deprive viewers of access to public TV, a matter that concerns PBS President Paula Kerger. Kerger said that FCC rules preclude her from discussing individual stations. But she noted the threat of some stations going dark if their licensees choose to auction off their spectrum.