Digiday DealBook: Walmart’s new advertisement deals, Twitch’s change to streamer revenue, Equal Entertainment Acquiring Pride Media, and more

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Welcome to Digiday’s DealBook. Our focus is to create a quick and easy rundown of the deals acquisitions and hires taking place the previous week. The goal is to inform and update you on the latest happenings in the industry at the top of your inbox each Monday.  — Carly Weihe

—Walmart Connect, Walmart’s DSP, and Omnicom announced its partnership at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last week. This partnership will give Omnicom and its clients access to Walmart’s audience and is an ongoing example of the retail industry’s influence on media and tech. This announcement follows Walmart and Roku’s partnership to bring shoppable ads to Roku. That deal, announced two weeks ago, will allow consumers to purchase Walmart products while the content is on pause and buy directly from the advertisements on the streaming platform.

—Twitch has changed how it pays creators who participate in its Ads Incentives Program, although the update has left streamers confused about what it means for their paychecks. Previously, Twitch paid its creators based on the number of ad views during a livestream. Now, it will change to a percentage-based model which shares revenue for each ad that runs during a livestream. Under this model, streamers will get 55% of the revenue generated from the ads on their streams. However, not all streamers report that this change, which went into effect on June 14, has made their posts more profitable. Ad availability, audience size, and location all factor in what kind of ads and, therefore, profits each streamer will make.

—Equal Entertainment acquired Pride Media, which will rebrand the company as Equal Pride. Pride Media, the parent company of Out Magazine, Advocate Magazine, and Pride.com, will now be rebranded as Equal Pride under the new deal. With this acquisition, Equal Pride will become the largest owned LGBTQ+ company, spanning digital, media, and entertainment. In addition, Equal Pride has tapped Mark Berryhill as CEO. He was formerly the president at Celebrity Page TV and Network, another arm under Pride Media.

In other news…

  • Twitter’s board voted unanimously this past Tuesday to approve Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company for $44 billion. This vote comes after Musk had an all-hands call with Twitter employees, mapping his vision for the company.
  • Facebook agreed to change its algorithm for housing ads in the U.S. to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that accused the social media platform of a discriminatory algorithm this past Tuesday. According to the agreement, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, will also have to pay a penalty of $115,000.
  • Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s media company Higher Ground signed a multi-year deal with audiobook platform Audible, owned by Amazon. The announcement this past Tuesday officially signifies the end of Higher Ground’s exclusive deal with Spotify, although the split was finalized in April of this past year.
  • Last Tuesday, The Metaverse Standards Forum announced it would bring together the leaders of the metaverse with a commitment to an open and safe metaverse. The forum will host various events to make it easier to build and connect across platforms. Meta, Microsoft, IKEA, and more are among the founding members.
  • WPP partnered with the Ukrainian government in a new campaign to support economic recovery for the country and highlight its commercial potential. 
  • Reddit acquired Spell, a listening tool that can help Reddit with engagement and customize ad placements. This deal is essential to engaging Reddit users after the rise of other social media platforms has taken hold.
  • eBay acquired KnownOrigin this past week, which will allow artists the opportunity to create, buy, and sell their own NFTs with KnownOrigin on the platform. This deal enables both companies to access new audiences and further eBay’s efforts to branch into digital technology commerce. 
  • Blockchain company Roxy announced it will go public in a $3.6 billion merger with blank check company Goldenstone Acquisition. Goldstone will be renamed “Roxe Holding Group Inc.”, with the deal expected to close in Q1 of 2023.
  • Airship, a mobile app experience company, acquired Gummicube, the innovator of App Store Optimization. This acquisition will create a comprehensive mobile app experience management solution for clients. 

Additionally, below is a list of industry leader hires

  • Disney hired Erin Green as vp, communications, next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences
    • She was formerly senior communications director at Meta
  • VaynerMedia hired Marc Langenfeld as Head of Media, APAC
    • He was formerly the APEX Regional Lead, APAC at Publicis Media
  • Dubit, a creator of Metaverse experiences, hired Jon Vlassopulos as Senior Advisor
    • He was formerly the vp, global head of music at Roblox
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