Sports Media Rights Predictions, How Netflix Calculates Subscribers and Disney Life
|Oct 7 at 11:01 pm||Public post|
Welcome to the EntStrategyGuy Newsletter! My favorite reads, listens, socials and more to keep you informed on the business of entertainment, with links to my recent writing on my website and elsewhere.
I’m still getting the hang of putting this out early on Monday morning as promised. I’m working on it. In the meantime, I should have some data-intensive articles for other outlets this week. And subscribers to this newsletter may get a treat.
The Best of the Entertainment Strategy Guy
As part of my series on the Bass Diffusion Model, I looked into Netflix’s subscribers over time. While this seems simple—Google Netflix subscribers and download what you find—to do it right meant combing through every Netflix annual report going back to 1999. It turns out finding “streaming subscribers” isn’t a simple task, and that’s why most Netflix charts start in 2012. That and an ode to government regulation creating value for finance and the difference between gross and net ads in my latest.
“What Will The Next Round of Sports Media Rights Deals Look Like?” at Athletic Director U.
Consider this article “Part III” of my series on the Pac-12’s decision to not launch with a strategic partner. However, it stands on its own as it answers what I consider one of the more fascinating questions of the streaming wars: what will sports media rights look like in 2020 and beyond? I’d seen estimates before, but I wanted to collect the data myself and I’m both more bullish and bearish now.
And here’s a fun bonus! For the first time, I’m making my Excel database available for download on my website. I already have a few ideas for how to analyze the data set further and apply it to the Pac-12 specifically.
In honor of Halloween season, I look at the frightening state of broadcast television. But not just broadcast, but how the streamers faired in the series they launched. (Mainly The Politician on Netflix.) In short, can everyone lose the streaming wars simultaneously? Those stories plus how content quotas hurt global buyers, M&A hits a 3 year low, and some not ridiculous esports data.
I’ve been a bit light on Twitter threads with a few very data intensive articles taking my time, but here were my two pithiest comments of the last week:
Variety@VarietyEnd of an Era: PR Chief Nancy Lesser to Leave HBO After 35 Years https://t.co/E3WC8IKhpN
Todd Spangler@xpanglerAn Apple spokeswoman referred an inquiry about this to Amazon PR, declining further comment. Amazon hasn’t responded yet. https://t.co/hQWhZ17CEz
The Best of The Rest
(These are the best reads, listens, newsletters, or social conversations I came across last week.)
Long Read of the Week - “Disney’s Next Big Remake: Itself” by Erich Schwartzel in The Wall Street Journal
I don’t read as much of the WSJ as I’d like because I currently pay for another business subscription. (I’m limited in my media budget as a freelance/indie writer.) However, a few folks have told me to look up more about “Disney Life”, which was Disney’s first foray into subscription video. Essentially it acted as the test lab for Disney about their content, and it’s probably one of the reasons the price is going to be $7 in the US. This Wall Street Journal story by Schwartzel tells that story about midway through and it made me a bit more bullish on Disney’s digital effort.
Other Long Read - “Box Office: The Ridiculously Early 2020 Summer Movie Preview” by Scott Mendelson in Forbes
Mendelson is my go to for box office coverage. A lot of folks do it, some do it really well, but his larger looks at box office performance cut through the noise for the signal best, in my opinion. So get ready for next summer with his too early deep dive. Overall, Disney’s dominance isn’t quite as guaranteed as years passed. Plus, he ends with a good Independence Day reference.
Non-Entertainment Read - “The Ash era is over, but Rutgers’ pain is not, sports business professor says” by Karen Weaver in NJ.com
Given that I’ve been writing about college athletics for a website, clearly it’s a subject I’m fascinated by. In particular, the gap between the haves and the have nots, along with who actually makes money in this ecosystem. As well as some conferences are doing with huge media rights deals (see my article above), that doesn’t necessarily make it down to the colleges themselves. Dr. Weaver—who is a good follow on Twitter too if you like college sports—looked at the finances of Rutgers athletics since they joined the Big10 in this excellent op-ed.
Switched on Pop normally explains how pop music works—I’m still hoping they do Disney songs in an episode—but in this one they team up with the Off Book podcast to create an improv musical that explains how musicals work. I don’t really love musicals as a rule, but this is an impressive episode of podcasting that is both entertaining and will teach you some things.
(If this email was forwarded to you, and you’re wondering who I am, The Entertainment Strategy Guy writes under this pseudonym at his eponymous website. A former exec at a streaming company, he prefers writing to sending emails/attending meetings, so he launched his own website.)