Clooney / Roberts rom-com adds Kaitlyn Dever
YOUTUBE now close to NETFLIX revenues / THE METS get ESPN docuseries / DISCOVERY+ & SPOTIFY subscriber # updates
Mornin! I’m Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY April 28, 2021.
Where GOOGLE parent company ALPHABET made $50 Billion in the first three months of 2021, and $18 Billion in profit. Well, ya know, before taxes. If they paid taxes.
Subsidiary YOUTUBE made $6 Billion in the first quarter (NETFLIX made $7.1 Billion), although to note - that $$ does not include YOUTUBE TV revenue.
So how will ALPHABET spend their $18 Billion in profits you ask? They’re offering to cover food program costs at 5000 schools in economically challenged areas…. oh no wait - they’re gonna buy back GOOGLE stock to the tune of $50 Billion. Nice to see them buying themselves something nice.
Although the stock was up 5% in after hours trading last night so maybe they should hold off a bit and watch some YOUTUBE instead - People watch over 1 Billion hours of video there… every day.
And just putting this handy button here in case helpful:
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Called “Ticket to Paradise” - divorced couple George Clooney and Julia Roberts (don’t worry their “Oceans 11” couple is still together) travel to Thailand to stop their lovestruck daughter from making the wrong life decision. Eh come on, bad decisions never happen in Thailand.
Movie has Sept 2022 release date. /THR
Called “National Champions” - college football star QB ignites a strike right before their biggest game of the year, looking for players to get compensated.
Ric Roman Waugh (“Greenland”, “Angel Has Fallen”) directing. Will shoot next month, STX took global rights but no price indicated. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
📺 THE TV SET
Woody Harrelson & Justin Theroux already cast in the 5 episode project called “The White House Plumbers”. Centers on the planning and orchestration of the coverup that eventually doomed Nixon.
Harrelson as E. Howard Hunt, Theroux as G. Gordon Liddy and Domhnall will play John Dean. /Variety
Set in 2024 UK, a team at the UK equivalent of the NSA (the GCHQ) tries to stop a cybersecurity threat on the upcoming election.
The UK’s CHANNEL 4 co-producing, NBCU handling global sales. /Deadline
4 Million added in the past 2 months-ish. No breakdown of how many pay for the ad-free version vs ad-supported, or how many are in the US.
US Advertising revenue at DISCOVERY overall was down in Q1, thanks to… well general cable business trends (ie cord cutting) and not the greatest 3 months for hit programming on their networks.
DISCOVERY stock down 7% in pre-market trading. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
ESPN sets 4 part docuseries on the 1980’s New York Mets called “Once Upon a Time in Queens”. The Bulls got 10 episodes, the Mets get 4… that sounds about right. Jimmy Kimmel among Exec Producers, will premiere later this year TBD under the “30 for 30” banner. /Variety
Here are your BAFTA TV AWARD nominees if of use. (lotta “The Crown” and “Small Axe”)
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
The former ESPN personality formed MEADOWLARK production company with former ESPN & DAZN head John Skipper last year.
DRAFT KINGS gambling site/app will sell advertising in the podcasts, and sub-license to radio stations and other audio services for $$, and Dan will integrate DRAFT KINGS betting odds/trends/fantasy info into his podcasts.
Similar approach to how PENN GAMBLING bought sports content brand BARSTOOL early last year for $450 Million, but on a much smaller scale. /WSJ
7 years, $200+ Million/year starting this Fall (ESPN is paying $400 Million/year for their 7 year NHL deal, but gets more games + 4 Stanley Cups).
For comparison, CBS will be paying $2.1 Billion a year for NFL rights in their new deal.
Hockey games will air on TNT and TBS. Deal appears to include streaming for HBOMAX… but Jeff Zucker said that won’t happen this year and gave a very vague answer on the matter 🤔.
As expected, TURNER gets 3 Stanley Cup Finals over the 7 year deal, all WINTER CLASSIC New Years Day outdoor games, plus 72 Regular Season games a year.
WARNER MEDIA digital properties BLEACHER REPORT and HOUSE OF HIGHLIGHTS also get official rights to NHL clips and highlights. /Variety
SPOTIFY officially announces Podcast Subscriptions ability: Podcasters keep all $$ for first 2 years
SPOTIFY will then take just 5% of revenue starting in 2023. But… SPOTIFY is setting the prices that podcasters can charge - only providing $3, $5, or $8/month options. Still a better than APPLE taking 30% of your subscription income, a company with $200 Billion just sitting in the bank alone.
But… podcasters must use SPOTIFY-owned ANCHOR to host their subscription podcast content (ANCHOR is and will remain free to use). But essentially this “let podcasters keep all their revenue” is a loss leader marketing cost for SPOTIFY to grow use of ANCHOR amongst podcasters.
Listeners will also have to subscribe to each podcast individually thru the SPOTIFY/ANCHOR website - no one-click to subscribe in the SPOTIFY App like people will be able to do in APPLE PODCASTS (SPOTIFY does this is so APPLE doesn’t get a 30% cut of the revenue per their App store rules).
And… subscriptions are only launching with some “select partners” (👋 NPR) and is US only to start. Going forward, they will onboard additional podcasters based on a “waitlist” 🙄, so sign up now. /TheVerge
ALSO AT SPOTIFY:
Total Monthly Active SPOTIFY users as of the end of March: 356 Million, +24% growth from March 2020, but only up 3% from January - on the low end of expectations. Stock was -8% in pre-opening trading today.
They added 3 Million paying subscribers globally from Jan to March to hit 158 Million.
Avg Revenue Per User dropped to $4.98 as they add new users in markets like India & Russia where SPOTIFY is sold at cheaper prices. SPOTIFY now in 178 countries.
A FINAL NOTE ON SPOTIFY PODCASTS… Joe Rogan shared that he’s against young people getting Covid vaccines on the podcast SPOTIFY pays him tens of millions of dollars for, and basically demonstrates he has no idea why vaccines are important. Thanks Joe. Have fun with this one SPOTIFY on any press interviews around your earnings call this morning. /Variety
ALSO IN MEDIA
SIRIUS XM crosses 31 Million paid subscriber mark, added 126k paying subscribers in the first Quarter. Now stands at 34.5 Million total users when you factor in their 3.5 Million free/trial subscribers. Continues to be the gold standard for slow but steady growth in the media subscription business. /THR
PINTEREST US growth plateauing at 98 Million Monthly users; Global Monthly user count stands at 478 Million, +30% vs this time last year. No Daily User #s given.
Avg Revenue Per User each month: $4 (+33% vs last year), although 80% of their $485 Million quarterly revenue still comes from the US.
PEACOCK installs a Global Chief Product Officer, former TIVO and HULU exec Jim Denney. Will set strategy for PEACOCK and all NBCU streaming properties, reports into President of DtoC Gideon Katz. Note the “Global” in the title… /Variety
VICE hires ABC NEWS’s Van Scott to lead their Comms group in the US. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Thankfully a quiet day here yesterday.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBOMAX “That Damn Michael Che” trailer - 6 Episode sketch show, Premieres Thur May 6
APPLE TV+ “Physical” series teaser trailer - Rose Byrne as an 80’s housewife who apparently gets quite into the Jane Fonda-esque workout culture phenomenon . Premieres Fri June 18
NETFLIX “Vivo” teaser trailer - Lin-Manuel Miranda animated movie they just bought from SONY. “Coming Soon”.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
President Biden gives first address to Congress on the eve of his 100th day in office. 9pm all broadcast networks. While our previous President… spent his time yesterday throwing shade at The OSCARS.
HULU “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 4 - The first 3 episodes hit HULU today. Watch or add to your list here.
ABC “Jimmy Kimmel Live” - Jimmy welcomes MY PILLOW guy Mike Lindell for a bed based interview.
APPLE and FACEBOOK report 1st Quarter earnings after the bell this afternoon. So expect another busy MEDIA BIZ day tomorrow.
AND…. Britney will address the court in her conservatorship hearing on June 23. /CNN
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
YOLA - “Diamond Studded Shoes” - Kinda jam band/Fleetwood Mac vibes meets 70’s Soul. Pretty cool.
If you need new tunes:
Enjoy your Summer Weather preview fellow Queens residents! 😎 Manhattan folks… ah you people still haven’t come back yet, who are we kidding.
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