Updates to both the local and national media landscape can help shape our marketing strategies and ongoing recommendations for our clients. Take a look at this month’s Trends & Insights as we explore growing and changing media partners, the takeoff of the cable hit “Fear the Walking Dead,” new consumer offerings from Hulu, and a creative launch from our very own MGM National Harbor.

LAS VEGAS MEDIA PARTNER UPDATES

What’s On Magazine Launches Bilingual Format

What’s On magazine, a bimonthly reference guide providing the latest travel information for Las Vegas visitors, has launched a new bilingual format in both its print publication and website.

The bilingual print format features a high-gloss cover with content covering entertainment, dining, shopping, city highlights and snapshots of celebrities. The content and redesign include a long-form cover story, larger imagery and a new type font. Major features in the publication will now be in both English and Spanish.

What’s On additonally overhauled its website, relaunching with bilingual content under the new domain whatsonlv.com on Sept. 14.

With a circulation of 100,000, What’s On magazine is a free publication distributed via magazine racks and bell desks in the major hotels/casinos on the Strip, as well as in select hotels along Paradise and Flamingo roads. The publication is additionally placed inside Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty rental cars and within locations along the I-15 between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas.

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Source: Notified by What’s On via email Sept. 1

iHeartRadio Introduces Las Vegas Hip Hop Station

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Real 103.9-FM was introduced to the Las Vegas market in early September. iHeartRadio’s newest hip-hop and R&B station is available on-air and online through the iHeartRadio app and website.

Artists featured on the station include Drake, Fetty Wap, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, YG, J Cole, Kid Ink and more.

NATIONAL MEDIA PARTNER UPDATE

Media General to acquire Meredith Corp.

Traditional media giants Media General and Meredith Corp. announced an agreement to merge into a new, even more giant entity that will be known as Meredith Media General. While Meredith, with some of the best-known consumer publishing brands, gets top billing in the agreement, Media General is effectively acquiring Meredith via a cash and stock deal, putting its outstanding common stock value at $2.4 billion.

Media General is one of the nation’s largest cross-screen, multimedia companies that operates or services 71 television stations in 48 markets, including KRON-MY San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and KXAN-NBC, KNVA-CW and KBVO-MNT in Austin.

Meredith Corp., a publicly held media and marketing services company, operates national media publication such as: EatingWell, Parents, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Allrecipes. On a local level, the corporation includes broadcast stations such as Fox 5 Las Vegas.

NATIONAL INDUSTRY UPDATES

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Pulls Largest Audience Ever for a Cable Premiere

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The Aug. 23 premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead,” the spin-off prequel of cable’s top-rated series, drew 10.1 million viewers, becoming the top cable premiere of all time. The 90-minute episode also drew 6.3 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18 to 49 demographic—surpassing “Better Call Saul,” the “Breaking Bad” spin-off that debuted earlier this year with 4.4 million—to rank as the top cable premiere in that demo as well.

The flagship “The Walking Dead” premiere drew 5.4 million total viewers in 2010. It has since gobbled up considerably more viewers, ranking as the most viewed series on cable and the most viewed in the 18-to-49 demo in all of TV.

“Fear the Walking Dead” will run for five more episodes leading into the Season 6 premiere of “The Walking Dead” in October. AMC has already ordered a 15-episode second season.

Hulu Announces Ad-Free Service

On Sept. 1, Hulu announced that it will open an ad-free version of its service. At a monthly price of $11.99, users will have the ability to view 99-percent-plus of the service’s content ad-free.

The ad-free tier, however, will still include 15-second pre-roll and 30-second post-roll on shows, including Fox’s “New Girl,” NBC’s “Grimm,” ABC’s “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

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The move should boost Hulu’s competitiveness among consumers picking streaming video services as it tries to expand its subscriber rolls beyond the nearly 9 million people in the U.S. who currently pay for its $7.99-per-month, ad-supported service.

Neither Netflix, which seems to dominate the binge-watching market, nor Amazon’s Prime Instant Video interrupt paying customers’ viewing with ads.

 Hulu expects “a significant majority” of the nearly 9 million people who currently subscribe to Hulu will remain on the paid, ad-supported service, according to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.

“People who avoid ads at all costs were never going to do business with Hulu to begin with, so now we have an entry point to them,” Hulu’s Senior VP of Advertising Peter Naylor said. And it can now sell advertisers on the notion that the people who access its ad-supported service will typically be more receptive to their ads—because those less tolerant of ads have filtered themselves out.