WarnerMedia Considers Ad Free Package; Maine Signs Strict Data Privacy Law

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Caught Midstream

AT&T’s WarnerMedia is considering a $16-$17 per month ad-free streaming package comprising HBO, Cinemax and the Warner Bros. movie and TV library, reports The Wall Street Journal. This new proposal, backed by WarnerMedia chief John Stankey, comes in addition to AT&T’s initial three tiers streaming plan because the telco needs to get into the market before new players drive up acquisition costs and flatten subscriber growth. There are tremendous challenges. For instance, this new package could cannibalize HBO subscribers. And WarnerMedia also must negotiate with cable companies like Comcast and Charter, which sometimes charge linear customers as much as $12.99 for channels like HBO or Cinemax, and have deals that prevent AT&T from undercutting their price. More.

Maine For Privacy

Maine is the latest state to sign a strict data privacy bill into law. The Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Consumer Information restricts ISPs from using, selling or distributing data without explicit consumer consent. It also prohibits ISPs from penalizing consumers or offering discounts to allow for data collection. “With this common-sense law, Maine people can access the internet with the knowledge and comfort that their personal information cannot be bought or sold by their ISPs without their express approval,” said Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills, in a statement. While the law only targets ISPs and does not address the power of online tech platforms like Facebook and Google, it’s stricter than the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Maine’s law, for instance, asks for explicit consumer consent to sell data, whereas the CCPA lets consumers ask their data not be collected, The Hill reports. More.   

Unsettling The Score

Comscore is still in turmoil, with two more senior executives following former CEO Bryan Wiener and president Sarah Hofstetter out the door. Chief Operating Officer Kathryn Bachmann left at the end of May, after less than two months on the job, and product chief Dan Hess is on his way out, according to Ad Age. Interim CEO Dale Fuller said he’s focused on getting Comscore’s digital audience ratings solution back on track, but industry executives believe the company has fallen too far behind firms like Moat, Oracle and DoubleVerify to catch up. Meanwhile, Comscore’s stock has dropped as low as 70% since being relisted on the Nasdaq in 2017, fueling speculation of a potential takeover. More.

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