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Three questions on Facebook, Amazon, and fall’s TV season

1. The question: Can broadcasters take on streamers this fall?

What’s at stake: Apple’s new privacy rules are making it difficult to tie Facebook data to actions that consumers take after viewing ads on the platform, which could have long-term effects on ad revenues.

How we got here: In April, Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) update came into effect, where users were asked if they wanted their activity in certain apps to be tracked. Only 23% of worldwide iOS users have opted in to being tracked, according to app analytics provider Flurry. That means Facebook, which attracts the most ad spend of any platform, is hard-pressed to track conversions.

What’s next: To get around the issue, Facebook is leaning on statistical modeling instead of Apple data—and for some advertisers, that may not be good enough.

2. The question: Is Amazon facing a “brain drain”?

What’s at stake: Amid the most significant leadership transition since its founding, Amazon is facing questions about its continued growth trajectory.

Who’s on the move: There’s been some concern about "brain drain" (i.e., valuable talent moving to other firms.

  • New CEO Andy Jassy took over for founder Jeff Bezos on July 5, raising the inevitable questions as to whether Jassy can lead the company as successfully as his predecessor. Jassy had run AWS, Amazon’s highly profitable cloud-computing division, since it was first launched in 2006.
  • Twenty-three-year Amazon veteran Charlie Bell, who was a potential candidate to replace Jassy at AWS, departed for Microsoft’s cloud division.
  • Amazon faced a turnover rate of 12.9% at the vice president level and above, per a 15-month analysis by Insider that concluded in April.

3. The question: Can broadcasters take on streamers this fall?

What’s at stake: After the amount of new content and ad spending on TV slowed in 2020, networks are putting their best foot forward this fall to fight for viewer and advertiser attention, and to see which pandemic trends will stick around.

According to new data from Variety Intelligence Platform’s “The Demographic Divide” report, network TV viewership is still within the purview of older generations, but time spent with entertainment overall goes up among younger cohorts.

According to survey findings, viewers ages 60 and up said they spend 29% of their time with entertainment watching network TV. On the other hand, viewers ages 45–59, 30–44, and 15–29 said network TV makes up 20%, 11%, and 8% of their entertainment time, respectively.

The coast isn’t clear for streaming services either, as newer competitors, or those without highly popular programs, may have a hard time gaining subscribers due to pricing concerns and service oversaturation.

Some 66% of respondents ages 15–29, 64% of those 30–59, and 59% of those 60 and older said they are now paying more attention to how much they spend on streaming services.