December 31, 2019
As we put a wrap on 2019, I want to send my thanks to all of our loyal readers for your support of Media Play News — and our mission to cover the at-home and direct-to-consumer sector of the entertainment business, from transactional to streaming.
Thanks to you — and, of course, to our team of editors, writers, and designers — our online readership has nearly doubled over the last year. Comparing November 2019 to November 2018, our unique visitor count was up 85%, while our total monthly visits rose 99%, according to our hosting service, Haus Interactive.
Our monthly print and digital magazine, meanwhile, continues to serve as a curated collection of the month’s biggest stories — and an archival record of a business that remains resilient and vibrant more than 40 years after it was birthed by Andre Blay and a collection of 50 leased titles from Fox that he issued on videocassette.
Two years ago, we set out to redefine the concept of home entertainment, broadening the definition to include any filmed content available for on-demand viewing by the consumer — regardless of whether it was bought or rented on Blu-ray Disc, DVD or digital, or streamed via Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.
Since then, the disc market has been revitalized by 4K Ultra HD. Digital distribution has posted impressive growth numbers as consumers realize the latest theatrical blockbusters simply aren’t available on Netflix. And the subscription streaming market, which Netflix pioneered more than a decade ago, this year saw the launch of two other high-profile services, Disney+ and Apple TV+ — with more on the way in 2020.
Mega-mergers saw AT&T buy Warner Bros. and Disney purchase, and then absorb, the venerable 20th Century Fox film studio.
And original content, made expressly for the small screen that is the focus of Media Play News’ coverage, was the darling of the year, with Apple TV+ earning Golden Globe nominations out of the gate and Redbox launching a new content acquisition and production division to further its transformation into a multi-channel content provider and programmer.
Here at Media Play News, we scored a number of high points. Our Fast Forward awards honored four key digital retailers at a sold-out luncheon. Our second annual Women in Home Entertainment issue shone the spotlight one some of the brightest minds in our business, from Andrea Downing of PBS to Netflix’s Cindy Holland. Our 40 Under 40 issue, also in its second year, gave well-deserved recognition to the leaders of tomorrow. And at the end of summer we brought onboard a razor-sharp social media marketer and our Instagram posts are now generating hundreds, if not thousands, of likes.
I wish you all a prosperous, healthy and happy new year — and, again, thanks for your support.
Thomas K. Arnold, Publisher and Editorial Director, Media Play News