Advertisers rate ad-supported HBO Max — new holding company challenger — Providence Equity's top media bets

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Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of the Insider Advertising newsletter. I'm Lucia Moses, deputy editor, and this week in advertising and media news:

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wonder woman 1984

Advertisers rate HBO Max's ad-supported tier

The streaming services are in a race for subscribers, and WarnerMedia is counting on a new lower-cost, ad-supported tier to drive signups for HBO Max, which is among the more pricey of the streaming services.

But as Lindsay Rittenhouse and Patrick Coffee report, HBO Max is getting some blowback from advertisers who complain the rate is twice that of other leading streamers.

Those high ad prices could limit its revenue growth — but since the product is new, prices can change during negotiations, and WarnerMedia is already thinking of lowering its rates for larger ad buys, sources said.

Read the article: WarnerMedia is pitching an ad-supported HBO Max tier, but some advertisers say the rates are too expensive and are skeptical of the value

Barbara Bates, global CEO of Hotwire

A new PR rival emerges

PR has been a sleepy cousin of advertising, but investors and marketing companies are discovering newfound value in the industry.

Sean Czarnecki took a look at how one of them, Australian holding company Enero, is plotting an expansion to double its PR business through its flagship PR agency, Hotwire.

Enero is a fraction of the size of the big ad holding companies like WPP, Omnicom, and Interpublic Group, but it hopes to steal market share from their PR agencies.

Hiring tech-focused staff is hard, though, and other small to mid-sized players are equally eyeing expansion.

Read the rest: Marketing services group Enero just tapped a top exec to hunt for PR acquisitions as it tries to grab share from holding companies like WPP and Omnicom

Jonathan Nelson at work

What's next for Hollywood

The media industry is being upended by mega-deals, from Warner Bros. Discovery to Amazon buying MGM.

Legendary media investor Jonathan Nelson broke them down in a conversation with Claire Atkinson and laid out where he's placing his bets these days.

Nelson explained why he thinks Hollywood is over, how the Amazon deal was a game-changer, and why WarnerMedia's Jason Kilar's controversial decision to release movies straight to streaming actually made sense.

Read the full story: A legendary media investor who was an early Hulu backer shares where he's placing his next big bets and why he thinks Hollywood is over

Other stories we're reading:

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to sign up for this newsletter here!

— Lucia


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