This Isn’t Even My Final Form
Will Sony acquire anime streaming service Crunchyroll from AT&T and pair it with its existing service Funimation? According to The Information, the big sticking point keeping that dream from happening is the price: AT&T reportedly wants $1.5 billion. While the initial move to offload Crunchyroll began in May, it stalled temporarily to allow new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar time to evaluate the streaming service and its business model. Anime, after all, is hot content, and Crunchyroll featured heavily in HBO Max promotions. But now it seems AT&T is willing to let it go – for a big enough sack of cash, of course. AT&T has $151 billion in debt, and its desire to sell Crunchyroll demonstrates the telco giant’s urgent need to bring that number down.
With people getting laid off left and right, it’s nice to know you can still make a buck somewhere. Business Insider sifted through data from the Department of Labor to see how much ad tech firms have been paying during the pandemic. Senior technology, engineering and product roles pay the prettiest penny, with Roku and The Trade Desk shelling out the most. Roku, for example, paid a senior software designer for its ad platform around $350,000, while a TTD senior software engineer earned up to $265,000. Xandr pays its director of engineering $237,000 annually. MediaMath’s VP of product management makes between $200,000 and $250,000 per year, while the same role at Magnite pulls in $196,000. Account executives are paid better at The Trade Desk ($79,000) than MediaMath ($70,000), but the best at Amobee ($125,000). Roku pays the best across the board, with its lowest salary at $110,000 for inventory management analyst.
Small But Mighty
It continues to be a rough ride for SMBs, but there is cause for cautious optimism. SMB closure rates fell from 26% in May to 18% in late June. Although the proportion of SMBs that reported a YoY sales decline remains a scary 57%, that number actually decreased by 5% over the same time period, according to Facebook’s State of Small Business report. But that’s where the (sort of) good news ends. Roughly one-third of SMBs have laid people off in response to the pandemic, and 41% of SMBs in the United States expect cash flow to be a challenge in the next few months … which might make advertising on Facebook less of a priority. Although based on Facebook’s most recent earnings, it’s ad business continues to gather no moss. Facebook now has more than 9 million paying advertisers.
About That Executive Order …
Tencent’s revenue grew 29% to $16.53 billion in Q2, the fastest growth since Q2 2018, CNBC reports. Online game revenue, one of the jewels in Tencent’s crown, grew 40% YoY to more than $5.5 billion. But advertising revenue dipped 25%, driven by lower advertising revenues from Tencent Video as a result of anemic brand advertising demand. And, oh yes: President Trump’s executive order to effectively ban WeChat in the United States starting in September. Tencent executives said they wouldn’t take any questions from investors about the order because they were still “seeking further clarification.” But analysts don’t seem too bothered by Washington’s move, and James Mitchell, Tencent’s chief strategy officer, said that the United States represents less than 2% of the company’s global revenue and less than 1% of its total ad revenue.
But Wait, There’s More!