Netflix’s ‘Emily in Paris’ Renewed for Seasons Three and Four

Netflix has renewed “Emily in Paris” for seasons three and four.

Season two of the series about a young American woman in Paris was released on Dec. 22. It debuted on the global Netflix top 10 and topped the list across 94 countries with 107.6 million hours viewed (Dec 22-26), according to Netflix. Season one also made the global top 10, reemerging on the list across 53 countries.

Created, executive produced and written by  Darren Star, the series follows Chicago marketing exec Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), who lands her dream job in Paris and embraces her adventurous new life while juggling work, friends and romance.

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JustWatch: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife,’ ‘Yellowstone’ Top Weekly Streamed Movie, TV Show

Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” were the top movie and TV show streamed in the United States for the week ended Jan. 9, according to new data from JustWatch. The content recommendation website tracks more than 20 million users’ monthly streaming decisions across 54 countries.

Afterlife, which tracked more than $191 million at the global box office, including $125 million in North America, was made available on digital retail platforms Jan. 4.

Among episodic programming, Montana-based drama “Yellowstone” again led all shows. Indeed, the series, which is in its fourth season, bested Showtime OTT’s “Yellowjackets,” followed by Disney+ original series “The Book of Boba Fett.

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‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Conjures Up Top Spot on Weekly Vudu Chart

Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife conjured up the top spot on the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended Jan. 9.

The franchise reboot from director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman became available for digital purchase Jan. 4. A sequel to the two 1980s “Ghostbusters” movies, the film follows a single mom and her two kids who arrive in a small town and begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather, an original Ghostbuster, left behind.

Universal Pictures’ Illumination animated sequel Sing 2, which became available for premium digital rental Jan. 7, took the No. 2 spot on the chart. In the film, the animal singers plan a new show, but must persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Callaway (voice of Bono), to join them. It also features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.

Landing at No. 3 was the Marvel Comics-based sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, available for digital purchase and rental. It stars Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, who interviews a serial killer (Woody Harrelson) who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage.

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King Richard, with new Golden Globe Best Actor winner Will Smith — available for premium rental and purchase Jan. 4 — landed at No. 7 on the chart, while the horror film Antlers, newly available to rent, landed at No. 8.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Jan. 9, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  2. Sing 2
  3. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
  4. No Time to Die
  5. The Last Duel
  6. Clifford the Big Red Dog
  7. King Richard
  8. Antlers
  9. Yellowstone: Season 4
  10. Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City

Chizicks Exit Genius Brands, ChizComm Companies

ChizComm Ltd. and ChizComm Beacon Media founders Harold and Jennifer Chizick have left Genius Brands, ChizComm and ChizComm Beacon Media.

“We are extremely disappointed to be leaving Genius Brands and ChizComm after less than a year of being with Genius Brands,” they said in a statement. “However, our vision on how to best grow the company does not align well with Genius Brands.

“Last week, Genius Brands imposed organizational changes that reduced our role in the company and was a breach of our agreement with Genius Brands. Efforts to resolve this matter in an amicable fashion have been unsuccessful. We believe that we have been terminated on a without cause basis and now have no choice but to depart the company and explore options for how to recoup the considerable sums remaining due to us.

“ChizComm staff is at the heart of everything we do. We want to thank this phenomenal team — past and present — that have contributed to building a great organization that prioritizes integrity, drive and passion. And to the ChizComm client base, it has been an honor working in partnership to unlock opportunities and drive growth. Stay tuned for what we do next.”

Genius Brands International issued a statement in response: “Harold Chizick and Jennifer Chizick, employees of the company’s ChizComm subsidiary, have been terminated for cause. The company believes this decision to be in the best interest of its shareholders and customers. Business will continue as usual under current management, with Donna MacNeil as President of ChizComm and Kathleen Campisano as Global Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of ChizComm Beacon Media subsidiaries. The company is fully invested in the success of these subsidiaries and believes it will be more fully realized under Ms. MacNeil’s and Ms. Campisano’s leadership.”

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Harold and Jennifer Chizick in 2013 founded ChizComm Ltd., a marketing communications and media buying agency in the lifestyle, family, entertainment, toy and gaming spaces.

In February 2021, ChizComm Ltd. and ChizComm Beacon Media were acquired by Genius Brands. Harold Chizick served as CEO of both companies and Jennifer Chizick as COO of ChizComm Ltd. Additionally, Harold Chizick was named president of marketing, content sales and consumer products for Genius Brands.

In the past year working with Genius Brands, Harold Chizick secured a master toy partner for “Rainbow Rangers,” led the partnership to have Kartoon Channel! stream on Pluto TV, and led the marketing to deliver over 70 million views on “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” according to a statement from the Chizicks.

Ampere: SVOD Seeks International Growth to Offset Domestic Saturation

With subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu and Disney+ having reached market saturation in the United States, the need to expand internationally is driving services to focus on niche foreign territories.

While SVOD pioneer Netflix is available globally, except in China, and Prime Video, and Disney+ have a strong presence in select European markets, with Disney also enjoying market leadership in India thanks to the acquisition of streaming service Hotstar in the 20th Century Fox merger.

Ampere Analysis finds that a key theme in 2022 will be the continued rollout of the international OTT services beyond the launch markets of the U.S. and Western Europe. Specifically, Disney+ is looking to launch in the greater Europe, Middle East and African regions in the summer, while HBO Max eyes Eastern Europe. Paramount+ and NBC Universal’s Peacock are working together to also establish a foothold in Eastern Europe.

“As of the end of 2021, Netflix will be present in over [33%] of Western European homes, and Amazon Prime Video in over [20%],” analyst Tony Maroulis said on a webcast. “Having two strong established players in the market puts new entrants in a very difficult position as they’re competing for the lower-down places.”

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Ampere contends that streaming services are able to grow regional subscriber bases through the investment of localized content. Although there is high engagement with Hollywood movies, there’s actually higher engagement for local TV shows and films, according to analyst Minal Modha.

“Netflix and Prime Video are beginning to tap into this in order to grow their subscriber bases in these countries,” Modha said.

Lottie Towler, research manager at London-based Ampere, contends that with the availability of international content growing, user demand for the content is increasing as well.

“Netflix Top 10s show that the worldwide success of a [French series] like “Lupin,” which did very well in Western Europe, also resonated with audiences further afield, in markets in Latin American and Asia Pacific,” Towler said.

Modha says that a deeper dive into Netflix and Prime Video subscribers finds that their local content interest is reflected at the macro level.

“What this means is that by tapping into local content production hubs, Netflix and Amazon will not only be able to attract new subscribers, they’ll also be able to satisfy the desires of their current subscriber base,” she said.

As streaming platforms diversify their content offerings targeting different markets, consumers are likely to see more partnerships with local production companies, according to Towler.

“We’re also likely to see more acquisitions, particularly as the pool of available studio titles to license gets smaller and smaller,” she said.

Jason Monteiro Named GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia

Jason Monteiro is the new GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia. Monteiro’s hiring comes a week after Amit Malhotra exited the managing director position just seven months after taking on the job.

Monteiro will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer business, brand, marketing, subscriber management, digital partnerships and data analytics. Based in Singapore, Monteiro will oversee the existing HBO Go streaming service, which will soon convert to HBO Max.

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Jason Monteiro

Monteiro most recently served as GM of the AVOD tier of Arabic content streaming service Shahid. Prior to Shahid, he was GM of iflix in Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to handling the platform’s marketing duties.

“Jason arrives at Max with a proven track record of building and growing subscription services across Asia and other important global markets,” Johannes Larcher, head of Max International, said in a statement.

Monteiro reports to Larcher until a new managing director for Max’s India, Southeast Asia and Korea territories is found.

“[Monteiro] is a passionate leader known for building and inspiring high-performing teams, and I’m eager to see his leadership in action as he steps into his new role,” Larcher said.

Hub: Consumers Ended 2021 Using Almost Six TV Content Sources

The avalanche of linear and online TV, coupled with subscription streaming VOD, AVOD and FAST channels, resulted in the average consumer accessing almost six different sources for TV content, according to new year-end data from Hub Entertainment Research. That’s double the TV access points used in 2018.

Hub attributes the increase to the launch of new streaming platforms; billions being spent on original content; and an enduring pandemic that continues to keep many viewers at housebound.

The report found that with the surge in streaming services available, 40% of consumers today use three or more of the five biggest SVOD services, which include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max. That’s up from 28% just a year ago.

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While each of these platforms offers thousands of titles to select from — more TV shows and movies than the average person could watch even if they did nothing else — the fact that many people are using so many streaming platforms underscores just how tight the competition for viewers’ attention and time has become.

“As the TV experience evolves, SVOD ‘stacking’ has more impact than perhaps anything else,” Jon Giegengack, founder of Hub, said in a statement. “Viewers are excited about the vast amount of content to choose from. But they need an efficient way to manage all those platforms, which creates an opportunity for aggregators. And for those creating and marketing shows, the competition for each slice of disposable time is tighter than ever.”

FuboTV Says It Ended 2021 With 1.1 Million Subscribers

Sports-themed online TV service FuboTV Jan. 10 announced preliminary fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2021) financial results, including revenue and subscriber growth, ahead of its participation at this week’s 24th Annual Needham Virtual Growth Conference investor event.

Both revenue and subscriber metrics are projected to exceed previously issued guidance resulting in a record quarter and year for FuboTV.

Total Q4 revenue is expected to be between $215 million — $220 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was from $205 million to 210 million for the quarter.

Full-year 2021 total revenue is expected to be between $622 million and 627 million, an increase of more than 138%. Prior guidance was from $612 million to $617 million.

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Advertising revenue topped $25 million, an increase in excess of 90%, crossing an annual run rate of $100 million. Paid subscribers at year’s end are expected to exceed 1.1 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was around 1 million. FuboTV expects to end the quarter with more than $375 million of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash.

“[Our] strong preliminary fourth-quarter results close out a pivotal year where we made meaningful advancements against our mission to define a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television,” co-founder/CEO David Gandler said in a statement.

Gandler cited improvements in subscriber churn for generating “triple-digit” revenue growth, increased operating leverage and efficiencies.

“This wraps up a phenomenal year,” he said.

Gandler added that the company remains “very pleased” with the ongoing integration of Molotov, the Paris-based live TV streaming platform acquired in December.

“While still early, our progress to date continues to reinforce our belief that the synergies of the combined companies will give us operating leverage to build a scalable global platform with minimal incremental spend,” he said.

‘Grand Theft Auto’ Owner Take-Two Acquires Zynga for $12.7 Billion in Video Game Mega-Merger

Take-Two Interactive and Zynga, two prominent video game publishers in interactive and mobile gaming, Jan. 10 announced that they have entered into a merger agreement, under which Take-Two will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Zynga in a cash and stock transaction valued at about $12.7 billion.

The merger unifies two global leaders in the interactive entertainment business and makes Take-Two one of the largest mobile game publishers in the industry, with $6.1 billion in pro-forma revenue for the trailing 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2021.

The merger is expected to create $100 million in annual cost synergies within the first two years post-closing, and at least $500 million of annual
net bookings opportunities over time, according to Take-Two chairman/CEO Strauss Zelnick.

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“[This deal] significantly diversifies our business and establishes our leadership position in mobile, the fastest growing segment of the interactive entertainment industry,” Zelnick said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zynga stockholders will receive $3.50 in cash per share, and $6.361 in shares of Take-Two common stock for each share of Zynga outstanding common stock. The purchase price represents a premium of 64% to Zynga’s closing share price on Jan. 7.

“With this transaction, we begin a new journey, which will allow us to create even better games, reach larger audiences and achieve significant growth as a leader in the next era of gaming,” said Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau.

Indeed, both companies have created and expanded some of the biggest-selling game franchises. Take-Two properties include Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, NBA 2K, BioShock, Borderlands, Civilization, Mafia, and Kerbal Space Program. Zynga’s portfolio includes CSR Racing, Empires & Puzzles, FarmVille, Golf Rival, Hair Challenge, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, High Heels!, Merge Dragons!, Toon Blast, Toy Blast, Words With Friends and Zynga Poker.

“This strategic combination brings together our best-in-class console and PC franchises … that has a rich history of innovation and creativity,” Zelnick said. “Zynga also has a highly talented and deeply experienced team, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Take-Two family in the coming months.”

‘Cobra Kai’ Jumps Back to No. 1 on Parrot’s TV Series Demand Chart

Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” rose to No. 1 on both Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings and the data firm’s list of all TV shows the week ended Jan. 7. In the week following the Dec. 31 premiere of its fourth season, the “Karate Kid” sequel series had 87.8 times the demand of the average series with another 99.1% increase in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity.

Netflix’s fantasy series “The Witcher” slipped to No. 2 on the digital originals chart after two weeks in the top spot, with 65.4 times the demand of an average series during the week after a 12.3% drop in demand expressions. “The Witcher” was No. 3 on the list of overall TV shows.

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” rose two spots to No. 3 on the digital originals chart with a 3.6% rise in demand expressions to give it 40.6 times the demand of an average series. “The Mandalorian” was No. 10 on the list of overall TV shows.

“Mandalorian” spin-off “The Book of Boba Fett” rose two spots to No. 4, with its second of seven episodes bowing during the week following the “Star Wars” show’s Dec. 29 premiere. It had 39.5 times the demand of an average series following a 54.9% rise in demand expressions.

The Disney+ Marvel series “Hawkeye” slipped a spot to No. 5 on the digital originals list. It had a 9.8% drop in demand expressions to give it 36.1 times average demand.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The No. 2 overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 72.9 times average demand. It had been No. 1 the previous week.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.