Netflix Worth More Than Comcast, Disney on Wall Street

Thanks to a record stock price, subscription streaming video behemoth Netflix quietly ended May 23 with a market value exceeding Comcast for the first time.

The same Comcast that owns NBC Universal, DreamWorks Animation and wants to own 20th Century Fox Film and British satellite TV operator Sky.

Netflix ended the day with market capitalization of $149 billion, which bested Comcast’s $147 billion market cap. Netflix opened May 24 up to $151.8 billion, which passed Disney’s $151.7 billion market cap.

With more than 125 million subscribers globally, Netflix continues to grow. The service expects to add 6.2 million subs in the second quarter ending June 30.

The service also continues to expand its creative product with the bow of “Dear White People,” “The Break with Michelle Wolf” on May 27, and announcement of future projects with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The latter drew some pushback on social media, with several subscribers saying on Twitter they would cancel their service, according to Fortune.

Apparently, President Obama’s desire to “cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples and help them share their stories with the entire world,” being an affront to some.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the Obamas are “uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better.”

And Wall Street agrees — for now.

Disney, Twitter Expand Original Content Deal

The Walt Disney Co. and Twitter April 30 announced a new agreement to create live content and advertising opportunities across the entire Disney portfolio on the Twitter platform. The pact includes more than 30 new collaborations and renewals across entertainment, news, sports, and gaming – nearly doubling the number of programs created in the first deal in 2017.

Twitter, which claims to have 328 million monthly users, is looking to expand original content to mobile users. The social media platform earlier this year inked a deal with Major League Baseball to live-stream a weekly afternoon game each week. Twitter also streams NFL Monday Night Football games.

Disney subsidiaries creating content for Twitter, include ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform, Disney Digital Network, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Radio Disney and Marvel.

Live content launching on Twitter from these entities under the new agreement will be announced at a later date.

“Through this new agreement, participants from across the company will have the opportunity to create experiences unique to Twitter that will extend their brands in meaningful ways,” Justin Connolly, EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, said in a statement.

Travis Howe, SVP, platform ad sales strategy and global operations at Disney-owned ESPN, said social media has become the new primary vehicle to grow and engage audiences. ESPN, which launched standalone over-the-top video platform, ESPN+, is unveiling content agreements with Twitter in May.

“The insights to be gained will be invaluable as we continue to serve the right content and the right ads to the right people,” Howe said.

“To innovate at this scale with The Walt Disney Co. is a huge step forward in expanding the depth and breadth of video content we offer to leaned in, engaged consumers on Twitter,” said Matthew Derella, global VP of revenue and content partnerships, at Twitter.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sat on Disney’s board from 2013 until early this year when he resigned along with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.

Twitter, Major League Baseball Renew Streaming License

Social media giant Twitter, beginning April 5, will live-stream one Major League Baseball game on a weekly basis through the 2018 season. The free, ad-supported, non-exclusive webcast between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics begins at 3:35 PM ET at live.twitter.com/MLB.

The stream-cast is part of a renewed license agreement between the MLB and Twitter, as the national pastime seeks alternative distribution models.

Previously, Facebook announced an exclusive deal to live-stream 25 afternoon MLB games. YouTube is a presenting sponsor of the World Series. And ESPN+, Disney’s first standalone SVOD service, will live-stream more than 180 MLB games.

Indeed, MLB is no stranger to over-the-top distribution. It has been offering live-streaming access to out-of-market games through MLB.tv since 2012.

‘Bad Samaritan’ Turns to Twitter to Announce Date Change

With windows a hot issue on both the home entertainment side and the theatrical side, it’s interesting to note the frenzy that developed among theatrical distributors when Walt Disney Studios moved up the domestic release date of Avengers: Infinity War by one week, from May 4 to April 27, so it opens theatrically on the same day around the world.
 
Marvel went to Twitter to break the news, through a thread with star Robert Downey Jr.
 
Distributors of other films promptly moved their dates, because in the world of theatrical distribution — much like home entertainment — no one wants to go head-to-head with the big guns.
 
Among those who changed their opening date in response to the “Avengers” shift were the producers of Bad Samaritan, an upcoming crime thriller  written by Brandon Boyce about a poor restaurant valet who uses the cars entrusted to him by the restaurant clientele to break into their homes. One night, he finds more than he bargained for when breaking into one house only to discover a woman imprisoned there. Frightened of going to jail, he abandons her and calls the police, only to find himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with the psychotic home owner.
And, like Disney, director Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment turned to Twitter to break the news.
 
They created a Twitter account for Cale Erendreich, the psychopathic killer portrayed by David Tennant (“Dr. Who,” “Broadchurch”).
The tweet exchange, with Devlin, goes like this:
CALE ERENDREICH:
Mr Devlin, I am deeply disturbed to see we are being challenged by #TheAvengers. This is causing disorder. You know how I HATE disorder. Do I need to correct you? #BadSamaritan
DEAN DEVLIN:
Yes, of course. We can move the movie’s release date. How’s May 4th? #BadSamaritan
CALE ENRENDEICH:
May 4th is much better. We will KILL on that date. Well, I will, at least (insert link to new trailer with new release date) #BadSamaritan
Along with Tennant, the Bad Samaritan cast includes Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Jacqueline Byers, Carlito Olivero, and Lisa Brenner.

Survey: Facebook Losing Favor Among Millennials?

The average millennial reportedly checks their phone more than 150 times per day. But where (i.e. Facebook) this demo (18-38) checks on favorite brands is changing, according to new data from Moosylvania, a 40-person marketing agency based in St. Louis.

“We know they are on the channels talking with their friends. What we want to know is how and where they are connecting with their favorite brands,” said CEO Norty Cohen.

In a January mobile-only survey, respondents were asked how they connected with their favorite brands on their smartphone. The survey compared responses from 2017 to 2018.

Respondents that used Facebook declined from 52% to 40% among younger millennials (17-27) and from 48% to 33% among older (28-38) millennials.

Despite the drop, Facebook remained the largest go-to platform among respondents.

“[It] can’t be overlooked,” said Cohen.

Indeed, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Statista.com. Facebook says 1.40 billion people on average logged on daily in December 2016, which represented a 14% increase from the previous-year period.

Meanwhile, Instagram use remained steady at 33% for younger respondents and up 5% to 24% among older millennials, according to the survey.

Twitter fell from 28% to 16% among younger millennials, and down 4% to 17% for older millennials.

Snapchat use increased from 20% to 24% among younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen attributed the changes to increased efficiencies of branded emails and websites.

Brand website use among respondents increased 1% to 20% with younger millennials and went from 20% to 25% with older millennials. Email use increased from 17% to 18% with younger millennials and up 4% to 22% with older millennials.

“Personalization and customized experiences [online] are easier to create than ever,” Cohen said.

YouTube gained from 22% to 23% among younger millennials and decreased 1% to 17% with older millennials.

Pinterest was down from 4% to 7% of younger millennials and down 5% to 6% with older millennials.

Text messaging was flat at 9% for younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen, who has written a book on brand connectivity in the Internet age – says brands need to develop two-way conversations to better connect with their consumers.

“Channels that can personalize and get there quickly are going to do better in the long run,” he said.

Amazon’s IMDb.com Live-Streaming Academy Awards Companion Show

Amazon-owned website Internet Movie Database Feb. 28 announced it will for the second year offer a live streaming companion show to the 90th Annual Academy Awards, dubbed “IMDb Live Viewing Party.”

The live 4:30 pm (Pacific) event March 4 at the former CBS Radio Studio in Los Angeles will be available on IMDb.com, the IMDb mobile app, Twitter and Twitch.

The event will feature conversations with celebrity guests, past nominees, experts and industry insiders, along with IMDb data and information.

In addition to “The IMDb Show” co-hosts Tim Kash and Kerri Doherty, celebrities slated to appear include Aisha Tyler (“Criminal Minds,” “Archer”), Anne Heche (“The Brave”), Lea Thompson (“Switched At Birth”), past winner Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon), two-time nominee Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), longtime Academy head writer Bruce Vilanch, IMDb’s founder and CEO Col Needham, Clifton Collins Jr. (“Westworld”), Tamara Taylor (“Altered Carbon”), and Boots Riley (“Sorry To Bother You”), among others.

“Our goal is to produce a multi-hour, live Academy Awards companion show that is worthy of Hollywood’s biggest night,” Needham said in a statement.

“Twitter is the place to see and join the real-time Oscars conversation,” added Kay Madati, global head of content partnerships. “We’re excited to collaborate with IMDb to bring fans this behind-the-scenes broadcast alongside the real-time commentary from experts and fans during one of Hollywood’s biggest nights.”

The Oscars will be broadcast on ABC at 5 pm (Pacific), and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Snapchat Loses $1.3 Billion Market Value After Kylie Jenner Tweet

The power of the Kardashians cannot be understated (or understood). Shares of Snap, parent of social media app, Snapchat, fell 6% Feb. 22 reportedly after reality TV personality Kylie Jenner tweeted she no longer used the platform.

The share price drop saw Snap’s market valuation plunge $1.3 billion.

Jenner, who is a member of the Kardashian clan and has almost 25 million followers on Twitter, was reacting to Snap’s recent decision to redesign its flagship app, including separating professional content from friend groups and omnipotent chat messages.

“Sooo does anyone not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me … ugh this is so sad,” Jenner tweeted Feb. 21.

Snap said the redesign is intended to separate user-generated content from professional while maintaining its trademark platform enabling users to post pictures and video that disappear after 24 hours. The company says it generates 3.5 billion snaps daily.

An online petition asking Snap to reconsider the redesign generated 1.2 million signatures. Snap said the redesign would remain in effect.

Regardless, research firm MoffettNathanson, in a note, attributed the stock decline to ongoing corrections on Wall Street.

“Snap and Twitter have likely run too much on already stretched multiples,” it wrote. “As the market, fresh from all-time highs, recovers from a massive correction, we think the premium placed on owning strong businesses increases, while the risk of owning those with zero valuation support becomes even more pronounced.”

Of course, market reaction could also be following disclosure Snap CEO Evan Spiegel earned $638 million in total compensation in 2017 – the third-highest ever recorded for a chief executive.

Dotcom Pioneers All in for NFL Thursday Night Football

The National Football League suffered through a controversy-plagued season, underscored by declining attendance and slipping TV ratings – down 13%.

But that isn’t stopping Twitter, Amazon, Google-owned YouTube and Verizon from upping bids for first-time multiyear streaming rights to the 2018/19 season of NFL Thursday Night Football, according to Recode.net.

With Fox Sports securing exclusive Thursday Night Football broadcast rights over the next five years for $3.3 billion – nearly 50% more than what NBC and CBS paid to split rights to 10 games last season, expect online properties to dig deep into the wallet as well.

Indeed, Twitter secured rights in 2016 for $10 million, a figure that ballooned to $50 million in 2017 for Amazon Prime Video.

While Verizon has select mobile streaming rights along with Fox, it could seek to expand them for its fledgling Oath platform. And YouTube, which is shipping the YouTube Red brand internationally, in addition to upping content selection (and pricing) for YouTube TV, is interested, CEO Susan Wojcicki told Recode’s Code Media confab this week in Huntington Beach, Calif.

But without deep-pocket market leader Netflix, which steadfastly declines any interest in live sports, dramatically up the bidding price, streaming rights should remain reasonably priced considering online viewership to Thursday Night Football pales in comparison to broadcast. An early season game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers generated 373,000 viewers on Prime Video, compared to 14.6 million for broadcast.

 

 

 

 

Fox Partners with Snapchat, Twitter for World Cup Soccer

Seeking to further embed social media with live sports, Fox Sports is working with Twitter and Snapchat for this summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Twitter will showcase every goal scored from all 64 matches seconds after they occur. Snapchat will produce “Our Stories” video segments featuring behind-the-scenes video from the quadrennial competition taking place June 14 – July 15.

Fos, which paid a reported $400 million for the U.S. broadcast/streaming rights to the World Cup, will produce a daily live show with host Rachel Bonnetta (@rachelbonnetta), streaming on Twitter from Moscow’s Red Square.

Featured guests include Fox Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup on-air hots Rob Stone (@RobStoneONFOX), Landon Donovan (@landondonovan), Kate Abdo (@kate_abdo), Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas), and Fernando Fiore (@FernandoFiore), among others.

“We’ll immerse fans in the ‘beautiful game’ even further through expert analysis and fun, creative content from Moscow,” Alexis Ginas, SVP of cross-platform solutions, Fox Sports, said in a statement.

Snapchat, which is creating original content for A+E Networks, Discovery, ESPN, NBC Universal and Turner, seeks to replicate exclusive content with “Publisher Story” showcasing the daily “drama” from the international event.

“What makes the tournament so exciting for us is that we are going to be able to deliver our community a perspective of the global game that brings them not only into the roaring stadiums in Russia, but also to those celebrating in cities around the world,” said Ben Schwerin, VP of partnerships at Snap Inc.

While soccer remains the world’s most popular sport, World Cup interest among casual viewers in the United States remains to be seen considering Team USA is not participating for the first time since 1986.