THINGS TO KNOW IN MEDIA – March 2, 2018

Business of Media – Spotify
Spotify, the radio streaming service appealing to Millennials, filed for its IPO this week. What made the filing interesting was its lack of representation by an investment bank, which is the traditional protocol. It usually works this way…company X sells stocks to an investment bank, which, in turns, lists the stocks on a public exchange. But Spotify decided to eliminate the middle man, democratizing the process. In this age where startups raise capital via GoFundMe or even virtual currency, the Spotify stock listing makes sense. Frugal idea, but will it raise the money Spotify needs to scale, considering, to date, it has struggled to turn a profit?
Business of Media – Comcast
This week Comcast made a bold move to purchase British TV network, Sky. As you may recall, Fox had bid to buy Sky, but then Disney planned to buy Fox. Sky is the most popular girl in prom season. Why would Comcast offer $31 billion to top Disney’s bid for one piece of a portfolio? My guess is that it’s not really Sky that Comcast is after. Rather it’s an overall disruption to Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox that concerns Comcast. Because losing Sky in the portfolio will put a kink in Disney’s negotiation with Fox. Making this super complicated is the fact that Fox hasn’t even finalized its deal with Sky, although it’s been in play since at least 2011. Fox had hoped to complete the deal, before Disney’s takeover. If that doesn’t happen, then one can’t help but wonder if Disney and Fox will have to retake seats at the negotiation table.
Business of Media – iHeart
Liberty Media, owner or part-owner of several entertainment properties, including cable networks, Sirius XM Radio, Formula One, Starz, Live Nation and even the Weinstein Company, made an offer to add iHeart to the family this week. Trade reporters say the marriage is unlikely, since iHeart owners feel the Liberty offer undervalues iHeart assets. iHeart owes $20 billion in debt and skipped an interest payment in February. Hard to understand iHeart’s spurn of Liberty’s love, since what Liberty would offer post bankruptcy would be a much skinnier deal.
Olympics Ratings
Well, it wasn’t what they used to be, but neither was Lindsey Vonn. NBC wrapped the Winter Olympics with a 2.1 rating in linear TV viewers, age 18-49. In comparison, NBC earned a 3.3 rating in Sochi four years ago. Of course four years ago there wasn’t Snapchat to stream exclusive content and a flood of other video platforms. To that end, NBC’s new “Total Audience Delivery” metric, which considers VOD, OTT and mobile when reporting ratings, reports the network far exceeded guarantees that were made to sponsors.
Friday Freebie – The Need for Speed
We’ve reported before the need for speed in a marketer’s mobile site load. Check out this handy dandy interactive scorecard from Google. It allows you to compare the speed of your mobile site load in comparison to competitors. The only thing missing is a little race car emoji.
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