25 -29 Nov: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
CBS and Viacom deal to close on 4 December
CBS and Viacom are set to officially complete a merger next Wednesday under a rebranded company ViacomCBS Inc., TVB Europe reported.
The news of the official merger date follows after it was announced in August that they would be going ahead with the merger. The two companies are rejoining forces after previously splitting in 2006.
Bob Bakish will reportedly be the president and CEO of ViacomCBS Inc. Joe Ianniello will now serve as chairman and CEO of CBS, overseeing CBS-branded content.
Vivendi and Mediaset given another week amidst dispute
In the latest development in the legal battle between Vivendi and Mediaset, the Italian court has adjourned a hearing between the two companies that was supposed to take place this week until next Friday.
Digital TV Europe reported that Mediaset’s board has called for an EGM on 10 January to approve changes the article suggested by the court, however, Vivendi object, saying it is still not clear that it will be able to exercise the right to vote its Mediaset shares at the EGM
- Read more: Vivendi set to reduce Mediaset stake
YouTube creates new adult-only ad category
YouTube will now allow advertisers to run ads for mature audiences next to adult content on the platform in an attempt to address brand safety issues. The Verge reported that the new feature has been trialled and is scheduled to launch next year.
CEO Susan Wojcicki said it is running experiments to help match content that could be considered “edgy with advertising” that fits the brand – such as a marketer looking to promote an R-rated movie.
- Watch: Video: Protecting users is “number one priority” for YouTube
- Read more: YouTube launches new ad service using AI to simplify video marketing
Starz rolls out standalone Starzplay app
Cable channel Starz has launched a direct-to-consumer app in five countries including the UK and France.
Television Business International reported that the app called Starzplay will also launch in Brazil, Germany and Mexico, with plans to launch in an additional 20 countries next year. According to Starz CEO Jeffrey A. Hirsch, the app has seen success domestically, with steady growth in numbers.
The app will be priced at $5 per month.
Quibi’s head of content operations steps down
Quibi’s head of content operations Diane Nelson has departed the short-form video streaming company, Television Business International reported.
Nelson, who joined Quibi in 2018 from DC Entertainment is said to be leaving the company, which is yet to launch, for personal reasons.
Her exit is the third high-profile departure from Quibi, following that of content executive Janice Min and head of partnerships and advertising Tim Connolly.
- Read more: Can Quibi crack the short form market?
- Read more: Quibi partners with NBC News to target millennials