May 5, 2022
Hello, and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your guide to the business of the gaming and media industries. This Thursday, we’re taking a closer look at a recent Disney+ survey on password sharing, and what it may mean for the company’s take on the problem. Also: NewFronts, new numbers. And: CNN+ will never die!
Following Netflix’s announcement that it wants to monetize the long-tolerated practice of people sharing their passwords, it looks like Disney+ may be getting ready to do the same.
Disney recently sent out a questionnaire to subscribers in Spain, asking them why they are sharing their Disney+ passwords with people outside of their own household. The survey was first posted to Twitter, and subsequently written up by the Spanish tech news site Genbeta. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.
Disney hasn’t made password sharing a priority in the past. Executives told reporters when Disney+ launched that they trusted consumers to do the right thing.
How the industry responds to this could be crucial. Simply blocking streams from out-of-home IP addresses could lead to a massive backlash, and potentially increase churn.
— Janko Roettgers
This week marked the beginning of the NewFronts and Upfronts season, when TV networks and their new media counterparts are talking up their respective channels and shows to advertisers. It’s one of those rare times when you get to see celebrities and ad tech geeks sharing the same stage, and it’s also a good time to take stock of an industry in transition. Here are some of the data points, both shared at and on the sidelines of the NewFronts, that stood out this week.
— Janko Roettgers
100% of C-suite staff surveyed by Workplace by Meta said that frontline workers were a strategic priority for their business in 2022, but nearly two in three of them said that keeping their frontline staff, who bear the brunt of the stresses of the workplace most acutely, had only become a priority since the pandemic hit.
Bungie voices support for Roe v. Wade. The Destiny developer voiced public support for reproductive rights in light of this week’s leaked Supreme Court opinion, making it the only game-maker of its size to do so across the entire industry.
Wordle brought tens of millions to the New York Times. The acquisition of the popular word game seems to have paid off for the newspaper.
Intel CEO says the chip shortage is far from over. The PlayStation 5 might continue eluding buyers until at least 2024, according to comments from Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger in an interview with CNBC.
SoundCloud acquires AI music startup. Musiio’s machine-learning technology is supposed to help SoundCloud “identify talent and trends ahead of anybody else,” the company said.
Reggie Fils-Aimé addresses Nintendo contractor controversy. During a press tour for his new book, the former Nintendo president answered questions about Nintendo’s treatment of contractors following a NLRB complaint against the company. “This isn’t the Nintendo I left,” Fils-Aimé told The Washington Post.
Roku reportedly wants to buy a stake in Starz. The streaming company is said to be working with Apollo Global to acquire a 20% stake, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook is pulling the plug on podcasts. The social network will remove podcasts from its site and apps next month. Maybe beating Apple and Spotify isn’t that easy after all.
YouTube is sunsetting its YouTube Go app. Is the era of lightweight app alternatives for low-end phones officially over?
CNN+ went offline a week ago, but don’t expect people to stop talking about it anytime soon. Take Trevor Noah, for example, who used a good chunk of his White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech to roast the service. This included the suggestion that celebrity chef José Andrés, whose World Central Kitchen nonprofit has been doling out meals to people in need around the world, should sit at the CNN table if he was looking for a new disaster zone.I know what you’re thinking: We shouldn’t make fun of journalists losing their jobs, and I truly feel bad for everyone involved in a venture that never really got a chance to prove itself. Somehow, that memo didn’t make it to CNN though, which this week — and that’s no joke — announced it would sell CNN+ “moments” as NFTs. To which media writer Evan DeSimone responded: “Well, there’s definitely a limited supply …
— Janko Roettgers
Businesses are starting to turn to workplace communication tools. Such tools enable frontline workers to feel more connected to the rest of their business, to raise concerns and to provide feedback on potential pain points or points of improvement. By bridging that divide, companies can unlock new savings and efficiencies, and build a business that can last for the long run.
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