Turner made a splash this month in the already crowded SVOD field with their launch of FilmStruck; a collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection.
Research firm Parks Associates updated their list of top 10 OTT video services. They are ranked by number of paid subscribers, excluding transactional or ad-based services.
(Since not all subscriber numbers were provided in the press release I took a stab at some of them.)
Netflix kept the top spot with 46MM US subscribers. Amazon doesn’t release numbers so their subscription tally is a bit tricky to determine. It’s estimated that there are 56MM US customers paying for Prime, which technically puts them ahead of Netflix. However, not every one of these paying customers are doing so for the video service, since most are there for the Free 2 Day shipping – the main reason for signing up. According to a new CutCableToday survey, nearly 20% of all Prime subs don’t use the video service. So with that complicated triangulation it’s estimated that there are roughly 45MM Amazon Prime Video subscribers.
Turner was about to launch their first SVOD service tomorrow, called FilmStruck, but decided to push that till November. They cited the need to refine the registration process.
This delay is actually a good thing for the service. Here’s why
Below are my key takeaways from the Disney Q3 2016 Earnings Call on Aug 9:
Bob Iger, CEO, said “two things are clear: the multi-channel bundle delivers the most value to us, and remains a great value proposition to consumers. Therefore, our top priority is to support it, and to do what we can to maintain or enhance its value to customers. We also know that new platforms and new entrants in the digital video space are offering consumers more flexibility and variety, with exciting new products and impressive user experiences. And we must create or take advantage of these new opportunities, in ways that are complementary to the multi-channel offering.”
Total Revenue grew 9% in the quarter to $14,277MM. Net Income was up 5% YoY to $2,597MM resulting in a Diluted EPS of $1.59, compared to $1.45 a share last year.
Media Networks’ revenue of $5,906MM (made up of Cable Networks $4,200MM and Broadcasting $1,706MM) was 41% of the total and a 2% increase YoY. ESPN saw revenue growth due to contractual rate hikes and an increase in ad units sold thanks to an additional NBA finals game. ESPN programming costs went up because of renewals for The Masters and international soccer rights, along with contractual rate hikes for NBA and MLB. Disney Channel and Freeform (formerly Disney Family) gained from higher affiliate revenue, but were down overall because of a decrease in program sales.
Below are my key takeaways from the 21st Century Fox Q2 2016 Earnings Call on Aug 3:
Lachlan Murdoch, Co-Chairman, said “we have delivered a solid fiscal year performance driven by increases in affiliate revenues in both our domestic and international businesses as well as games and advertising revenue”.
Annual revenue (21st Century Fox ends their calendar year in Q2) was up 1.4% YoY to $27,326MM, due mainly to higher affiliate and advertising revenues at their Cable Network Programming and Television divisions, which was slightly offset by lower home entertainment and theatrical revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment.
In the quarter, revenue was $6,646MM, up 7.1% from last year time period, when excluding the $2,040MM sale of the DBS business in 2015.
Received 103 primetime Emmy nominations and 41 sports nominations.
Fox News Channel was the highest rated basic cable channel over the last 12 months and achieved its highest level of total day viewing in its history. Empire, The X-Files and Modern Family were 3 of the 4 top broadcast series.
Below are my key takeaways from the Time Warner Q2 2016 Earnings Call on Aug 3:
Jeff Bewkes, CEO, said ‘we are well on our way to exceeding 2016 goals’.
Total revenue fell 5% to $6,952MM, from $7,338MM in Q2 2015. Warner Brother’s 19% decline to $2,658MM was the main factor. Last year was hard to replicate with San Andreas and Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters, American Sniper and The Hobbit on DVD, Batman: Arkham Knight in gaming, and The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld in syndication. Turner increased 6% to $3,010MM due to increases in subscription and advertising revenues, and HBO grew 2% to $1,467MM.
Agreed to buy a 10% stake in Hulu, which will allow Turner cable networks to be shown on Hulu’s planned live and on demand video streaming service coming in 2017.
Received 148 Emmy nominations, more than any other company. HBO led the way with 94, the most for any network for the past 16 years. TNT and TBS finished as the two highest rated ad-supported cable networks in primetime among 18-49 year olds.
Below are my key takeaways from the Comcast Q2 2016 Earnings Call on July 27:
From Brian Roberts, CEO, “we have many positive trends in each part of the company”.
Total revenue for the quarter was $19,269MM, a 2.8% growth YoY. Operating Cash Flow was strong at $6,455MM, a 3.0% increase YoY.
In Cable, saw the best 2nd quarter Internet customer growth in 8 years and best 2nd quarter video customer results in over 10 years.
Broadcast saw growth in content licensing, retransmission and advertising revenues. Had best upfront ever with a 12.5% CPM increase for NBC primetime, a result of going to market as one company. NBC Nightly News, The Today Show and Meet the Press were #1 in key demo, and NBC in general is poised to finish #1 in broadcast.
Mr. Robot received 6 Emmy nominations, including outstanding drama series.
Theme Parks Operating Cash Flow increased 40.5%, largely due to inclusion of Universal Studios Japan and successfully opening The Wizardly World of Harry Potter theme park in Hollywood.
Will acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3,800MM, which will probably see Shrek and Kung Fu Panda incorporated into a Universal Theme Park attraction.