Protocol - The streaming wars get political

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By Aisha Counts, Sarah Roach and Nat Rubio-Licht
September 8, 2022


Good morning! Election season is upon us, and campaigns are turning their attention to a new avenue for getting voters out to the polls: streaming services.

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Get ready for the (ad) streaming wars


Ads for the fall election are about to appear in every nook and cranny of the internet. And this election season, campaigns are increasingly looking to streaming services to advertise, my colleague Janko Roettgers reports.

Spending on streaming ads was up 15x during the first half of 2022 compared to the same time span in 2020, according to marketing software company Basis Technologies.

  • “Connected TV is really the big story in political advertising this year,” Basis Technologies SVP Grace Briscoe told Janko.
  • The news is great for streaming services, which could see their ad revenue increase after a rough few months of supply chain woes and soaring inflation.

But why is this happening now? Political advertisers have historically avoided streaming services, but now they’re too big to ignore. And it’s become increasingly clear that candidates need to reach younger voters.

  • Samba TV’s Dallas Lawrence told Janko that during the 2020 election, key political TV ads reached the same 55% of voters, missing those who don’t watch broadcast or cable shows. That would include Gen Z adults, who are heading to the polls in droves.
  • “[Streaming] is really the only way to reach [Gen Z],” Lawrence said.

More streaming providers now support ads, which means there’s more inventory for candidates and a bigger opportunity to target constituents. Should platforms like Netflix and Disney+ start accepting political ads, too, Lawrence said, “it will kick off a land grab unlike anything we have seen in more than a generation of political TV advertising.”

— Sarah Roach
Open URL

The legacy of Steve Jobs


After Tuesday’s light-hearted introduction, Wednesday evening at the Code Conference was a somber affair. Journalist Kara Swisher interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook, designer Jony Ive and Emerson Collective founder Laurene Powell Jobs about the legacy of Steve Jobs.

Tim Cook had a pretty busy day, having announced a new slate of Apple products in the morning.

  • Not a ton to report there, of course: mainly incremental product improvements for phones, watches and AirPods, including an $800 extreme sports watch and satellite connectivity for phones.
  • Most notable was that iPhone prices didn’t increase in the U.S.

At Code, Cook, Ive and Powell Jobs reminisced about Jobs over the years, from his disciplined thinking, to his passion for design and openness to debate. As they spoke, the reverence in the crowd was palpable. “He was a once in a century plus kind of person,” said Cook.

Ive and Powell Jobs reflected on Jobs’ commitment to design. “Steve early on in his life developed out a very full aesthetic sense,” said Powell Jobs.

  • That sense was so astute that the couple didn’t have a couch or chairs for years because the couple couldn’t agree on the design language, she shared.
  • “His curiosity wasn’t passive or casual, it was furious, it was restless,” reflected Ive, who talked at length about Job’s respect for the creative process during the years Ive helped Jobs and Apple create some of the world’s most-known products.

Cook discussed Jobs’ commitment to user privacy and open debate.

  • “I know there was a folklore that you didn’t debate him, that isn’t true,” said Cook.
  • He also shared the biggest debate he had with Jobs: whether or not to sell the original iPhone under a revenue share agreement with wireless carriers, or through a carrier-subsidized model. (Jobs won that initial argument, but Apple later shifted course.)
  • Mostly, Cook spoke about what Jobs taught him, and how those lessons live on at Apple.

Powell Jobs also spoke about the Steve Jobs Archive, a new project developed in conjunction with Ive and Cook, as well as a historian and archivist.

  • The project houses artifacts, including emails that Jobs sent himself, quotes from various speeches, and other items.
  • Although there are artifacts and real materials, “the archive is much more about ideas,” said Powell Jobs.

Swisher ended the evening by reading Jobs' own words about death. “You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart,” he told graduates of Stanford University in 2005. The reading brought Swisher to tears, and the crowd to a standing ovation.

— Aisha Counts

​Heat waves been freakin’ me out


California approved a variety of aggressive climate measures last week. Immediately after, as if to underscore the importance — and challenge — of decarbonizing, the state faced record-smashing heat that strained the power grid near its breaking point.

California needs a grid upgrade. The load on the grid is only going to increase in the coming years, especially as the state gets gung-ho on EVs; it’s made a ban on sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

  • Luckily, the state’s historic climate legislation includes $8 billion for strengthening the grid. And with the right action, the grid could be ready in the future for more EVs and more heat.

Utilities-scale battery storage could offer some help. Because while meeting climate targets will require more renewables, the problem is that they’re intermittent.

  • Rather than relying on natural gas to power the grid, batteries could store massive amounts of energy from solar or wind power to deploy to the grid when needed.
  • Major utilities like Southern California Edison have already made huge purchases in battery storage, and the Biden administration has made big investments in improving the battery supply chain, investing in energy storage and getting utilities to install them.

But you can’t count out small actions and creative thinking either. Things like home energy efficiency or using EVs to put power back onto the grid — they’re just batteries on wheels, after all — might go a long way, Protocol Climate editor Brian Kahn told me. “It’s not just less fossil fuels, more of the good stuff. It's all the other little pieces that can help in that transition,” he said.

— Nat Rubio-Licht


Capital One’s adoption of modern cloud and data capabilities led us to create tools to operate at scale in the cloud. Capital One Software is bringing these solutions to market to help you accelerate your cloud and data journey. Get started with Slingshot, a data management solution for Snowflake customers.

Learn more

​Modernizing payments


NACHA and other industry groups and regulators are pushing for big changes. In this virtual event, we'll speak with a panel of payment experts and regulators to discuss how banks can stay ahead of the curve and ensure the U.S. can catch up with innovation overseas.

RSVP here

People are talking


Spotify's Daniel Ek wants European regulators to speed up their antitrust case against Apple:

  • “It’s a picture of a company that keeps zigging and zagging to avoid doing anything."

Andy Jassy said he has no immediate plans to make Amazon employees return to the office:

  • “But we’re going to proceed adaptively as we learn.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul wants Mastercard and other fintech companies to “do their part to combat gun violence”:

  • “@AmericanExpress, @Mastercard & @Visa should categorize firearm purchases & flag suspicious activity – just like they do for millions of other transactions."

Making moves


Jason Lee is Splunk’s new CISO. He most recently worked in the same role at Zoom.

Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia joined Cohesity’s board and now leads the company’s new security advisory council.

Meghan Dorn joined TechNet as federal policy manager. Dorn is from Argo AI.

Shane Evans joined Talkdesk as CRO. Evans was previously the interim CEO at MX and worked at Qualtrics before that.

GameStop announced a new partnership with FTX after reporting widening losses in the recent quarter.

Thoma Bravo won't buy Darktrace after all. The cybersecurity firm's shares plummeted on the news.

In other news


Amazon and Google employees are holding protests in San Francisco, New York and other cities to pressure both companies to scrap their controversial cloud computing contracts with the Israeli government.

Snap has a turnaround plan. In a leaked memo, CEO Evan Spiegel detailed plans to increase Snap’s user base 30% and pump revenue to $6 billion in 2023, betting big on its paid subscriptions.

Twitter is letting more people use Birdwatch, its community fact-checking project, in a push to improve its content moderation.

Voyager Digital is going up for auction on Sept. 13. This could be a win for the bankrupt crypto exchange’s customers: A high price tag could result in better recoveries.

Kim Kardashian is getting into private equity. But if you're looking for an investment from SKKY Partners, make sure to heed her advice before taking a meeting.

Netflix is looking to cut costs as streaming growth stalls out. It’s cutting costs on real estate and cloud computing as well as limiting corporate swag as it seeks to increase subscriber numbers to 500 million customers over the next few years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google and Meta are going where TikTok is not: India. The two are offering creators big incentives in the country, where there’s an opportunity to become a leading short-form video platform.


Capital One’s adoption of modern cloud and data capabilities led us to create tools to operate at scale in the cloud. Capital One Software is bringing these solutions to market to help you accelerate your cloud and data journey. Get started with Slingshot, a data management solution for Snowflake customers.

Learn more

Instacart keeps winning 


Instacart has added another startup to its roster: Rosie Applications, a grocery delivery startup for local retailers and wholesalers. The purchase is its second acquisition this past week, and another sign that the company is dominating the grocery delivery game at a time when others are floundering. The company accounts for 47% of the total grocery delivery market according to analysis by YipitData — more than Walmart, Amazon or Kroger. The question now remains: When will it finally go public?


Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to, or our tips line, Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.


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