Media & Entertainment


Early in 2020, as the pandemic was getting underway, Americans flocked to their TV sets at a rate unseen in years. Initially, US households were glued to the news, as uncertainty over the coronavirus drove viewership. In the following weeks, the TVs mostly stayed on, as the initial wave of lockdowns kept Americans stuck on the couch with lots of new time to kill.

In this episode, the 'Behind the Numbers' crew new and old—former eMarketer principal analyst and now vice president of content studio Paul Verna, former eMarketer senior analyst and now market strategy manager at Spotify Bryan Yeager, director of content studio Daniel Caridi, director of report editing Rahul Chadha, and podcast host Marcus Johnson tell the story of how and why 'Behind the Numbers' got started, our favorite episodes, and what we expect the future of podcasting to look like. We hope you enjoy. And thank you so much to everyone who's ever listened for helping to make this show what it is.

eMarketer principal analysts Jeremy Goldman and Jillian Ryan, along with junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch, discuss the work-from-anywhere future, how this years' Super Bowl will be unique, why some retailers are skipping returns, Spotify's emotion-based recommendations, what customers want from chatbots, the ideal length of time you should dunk your Oreo in milk, and more.

Spotify, SiriusXM grow their ad revenues in Q4: Their growth shows an increasing advertiser interest in digital audio, especially as both continue investing heavily in podcasts.

Earlier this week, Mars Wrigley’s M&M's brand gave fans a sneak peak of its Super Bowl ad via Zoom, its first-ever "virtual" debut. It’s just one of several efforts the company is working on leading up to Sunday’s big game.

You’ve got mail—from Facebook: The social giant is the second after Twitter to announce plans for a subscription newsletter service, but a lack of trust in the platforms could deter journalists.

Pushing it to the Max: AT&T reported that HBO Max activations nearly doubled in Q4, likely boosted by deals with CTV providers.

Facebook’s replication station: The company is reportedly developing a Clubhouse dupe for its own portfolio, attempting to cash in on the audio app’s nascent popularity.

New feud is brewing in the broadcast world: Dish’s Sling TV added new local channels through a deal with Locast in a step that goes against arguments the free over-the-air broadcaster has made for itself against TV networks in the past, all while the company is embroiled in a lawsuit with those very networks.

Magnite furthers its CTV plans: The company aims to become the largest independent connected TV (CTV) advertising platform through its Spot X acquisition.

The New York Times gets closer to its digital transformation goals: The company reported a big increase in digital-only subscriptions, an outlook indicating it’ll keep betting on that ringer.

Google Stadia gives up on game development: Original games were supposed to help the cloud gaming service get off the ground. But Stadia still has a chance to draw in gamers via its YouTube integration.

eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Zach Goldner and senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Oscar Orozco discuss how US media use will change in 2021: Are fewer Americans watching TV, which digital devices are being used more, and how much time is spent with TikTok and Disney+? They then talk about how much people are willing to pay for TV streaming, virtually co-viewing digital content, and whether video games have replaced music as the most important aspect of youth culture.

eMarketer principal analysts Mark Dolliver and Sara M. Watson, vice president of research Jennifer Pearson, and junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch discuss the pivotal decision of Facebook's Oversight Board to ban former President Donald Trump, private search engines making a push, whether social media damages teenagers' health, whether baby boomers will want to shop online post-pandemic, Apple's reported paywalled podcast platform, what happens to astronauts when they're in space, and more.

Amid the pandemic, US adults spent 1 hour more per day on digital activities (across all devices) than they did in 2019, according to eMarketer’s latest time spent forecast from Insider Intelligence. Total digital time is now on track to surpass 8 hours by the end of 2022.