DISNEY+ losses grow in Q4, now at 59% of NETFLIX subscriber total
OSCARS not requiring proof of vaxx / IN STYLE, ENT WEEKLY end print versions / FUTURAMA revived
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY February 10, 2022.
Where The OSCARS are not requiring Covid vaxx for entry, just a negative rapid test the day of, or recent PCR test…. Which given the event is still 6 weeks away, one could either say “Oh cool, nice to see optimism that we’ll be in a much different phase of covid by then”… OR raise eyebrows about which not-on-the-vaxx-train OSCAR nominated talent they may be accommodating on March 27.
But I guess the SAG and CRITICS CHOICE awards will shed some light - they’re requiring proof of vaxx a month and 2 weeks prior respectively.
PLUS: Orlando authorities determined that Bob Saget died due to a head trauma, concluding he must have hit his head, didn’t realize how severly he did so, and and went to sleep.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
UNIVERSAL moves “Firestarter” remake to Theatrical + PEACOCK same day release
The Zac Efron movie will hit theaters and PEACOCK PREMIUM on Fri May 13. 🔥
New trailer for it down in the TRAILER HOUSE. /THR
STX buys Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” pic with Penelope Cruz, Adam Driver, and Shailene Woodley
Or at least whomever buys STX just bought the worldwide rights for it. Adam & Penelope play Enzo & Laura Ferrari (of those Ferrari’s). Shai plays his mistress Lina.
Set in the late 1950’s at a time of crisis for the FERRARI company, and will shoot this Summer in Canada. Oh wait no - they’re going with Modena. No price disclosed. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
SONY adds Russell Crowe to MARVEL pic “Kraven the Hunter” starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson about one of “Spider-Man”’s earliest enemies. JC Chandor (“Triple Frontier”) directing. /THR
WB adds America Ferrera to “Barbie” pic with Margot Robbie & Ryan Gosling. Greta Gerwig directing, no word on America’s role. /Deadline
APPLE TV adds Adrien Brody to Chris Evans / Ana de Armas romantic action-adventure pic “Ghosted”. From the“Deadpool” writers, Dexter Fletcher (“Rocketman”) directing, no plot details avail. /Deadline
SONY adds Zooey Dechanel to “Harold and the Purple Crayon” live-action pic with Zachary Levi and Lil Rel Howery. /THR
NETFLIX adds Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Honsou and more to Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon” sci-fi pic. /THR
AND OTHER NEWS
WB doing 350 IMAX theater sneak-screenings (mostly already sold out) of “The Batman” on Tue Mar 1. /THR
NETFLIX wins bidding war for short-story for Shawn Levy (“Free Guy”) to direct and produce. About a dying man who undergoes a de-aging process, where he begins to see where his life and family relationships took wrong turns. /Deadline
AMAZON PRIME sets Yara Shahidi (“Grown-ish”) to star in comedy “Sitting in Bars with Cake”, about a quiet woman who finds baking cakes and bringing them to bars is a great way to meet guys. Plus I’m sure the bar staff loves cleaning up all the crumbs and icing on the bar afterward. /THR
BLEECKER STREET buys US rights to Toni Collette-led “Mafia Mamma” pic, directed by Catherine Hardwicke. About an American woman who inherits her grandfather’s Italian mafia empire, and finds a liking to it. as ya do. Will shoot this Summer. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
HULU revives “Futurama” for 20 episode run
Will premiere in 2023, new episodes last aired on COMEDY CENTRAL in 2013.
Pretty much all voice cast returning… although the voice of “Bender” doesn’t sound like he’s signed and isn’t too crazy about that. /THR
PEACOCK orders limited series based on Liane Moriarty book “Apples Never Fall”
Liane also wrote the source material for “Big Little Lies” and “Nine Perfect Strangers”.
Melanie Marnich (writer on ”The Affair”) is writing, about a couple married for 50 years who sell off their tennis academy and plan a retirement… when the wife goes missing, raising flags amongst their 4 adult children. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
STAR WARS series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will hit DISNEY+ on May 25. /THR
OWN picks up a Season 3 of cancelled CBS series “All Rise”, Marg Helgenberger joins the cast. /Deadline
DISNEY+ adds Anthony Ramos to MARVEL series “Ironheart”. Role TBA. /Deadline
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
SHOWTIME VP of Publicity Amanda Cary upped to SVP, and SVP Dominic Pagone also given oversight of Paramount TV PR. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
DISNEY+ hits 130 Million global subscribers, but streaming $$ losses increase 27%
Ok fine… 129.8 Million. Even I’m not that big of a #MediaNerd🤓. They added 12 Million subscribers in Q4, vs 2 Million in Q3. Of note: No breakout of that 12 Million by global region.
DIS+ now at 59% of NETFLIX’s total, and basically 2X that of HBOMAX. At least in terms of subscribers - With $$… they’re way behind.
But first SUBSCRIBERS by region:
INDIA: 46 Million, the biggest annual growth region at 57% in a year, where it’s called DISNEY+ HOTSTAR
US & CAN: 43 Million, grew 18% vs Q4 last year
HBOMAX: 46.8 Million, NETFLIX: 75 Million
EUROPE & LATIN AMERICA: 41 Million, grew 40%
But LATAM was just added this year, so annual comps are useless
HOWEVER: In terms of ya know, REVENUE… #ARPU (Avg Rev Per User), per month:
INDIA: $1.03 (+5% vs a year ago)
US: $6.68 (+15%, thanks price increase!)
EUROPE + LATAM: $5.96 (+26%, price increase in EUR as well)
Which puts REVENUE BY REGION per month:
INDIA: $47 Million
US: $287 Million
EUROPE + LATAM: $244 Million
SO: DISNEY+’s hottest growth region in 2021 (by far) and largest subscriber region at 35%… brings in only about 16% of total DISNEY+ revenue.
WHAT NO ONE IS SAYING: DISNEY+ is a long, long way to making any money and keeps going further in the other direction. Granted - they’re not alone in this (Peacock just revealed the same thing, as PAR+ likely will too next week). But it doesn’t make the picture any better:
DISNEY’s streaming businesses lost $600 Million in Q4, a 27% increase from Q4 2020. And lost $630 Million in Q3.
Doing the math - if that pace continues and they’re on track to lose $2.5 Billion on Streaming in 2022. Granted this is all DISNEY Streaming, but largely driven by DISNEY+ investment (all due respect to the ESPN+ $$ Tom Brady got for his 🏈 docuseries).
Linear revenue is stagnant, and Profit is down 13% vs 4Q 2020. Sports rights costs are starting to really eat into the Linear profits that are offsetting those DISNEY+ losses (granted some of that profit loss is due to no political ads this year, but the primary reason listed was increased Sports Rights fees).
ESPN’s new NFL deal for MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL kicks in next year at a new far boosted rate which won’t help either.
DISNEY+ is adding the most subscribers in the region where it makes the least amount of money, and is facing stagnating growth in the (fast-maturing) US & EUROPE markets where they make the most money (just as NETFLIX is, but they are in a much better financial and subscriber diversification position).
While the DIS stock popped 7% after hours last night, as the 12 million total subscriber adds beat estimates, and made everyone forget about their dismal Q3… it’s tough to see how the “Direct to Consumer” (aka Streaming) division of DISNEY changes their fortunes in a dramatic way without:
A severe price increase, or
Expansion of DIS+ content outside of Family, Nature and Fantasy fare in the US to boost new subscriber appeal (or the assumption of HULU into the DIS+ product once they write COMCAST a huge check for their stake, but that’s still 2 years away).
FINAL NOTE: The Cricket League rights that DISNEY+HOTSTAR has built a big part of that 46 Million subscriber base on the back of… have just gone into negotiations this week for a new 5 year deal starting this Fall, with AMAZON, VIACOM18, and SONY-ZEE all bringing their checkbooks to the table.
And hey the Theme Parks are doing great!
ELSEWHERE at HULU & DISNEY+
HULU biz humming along, now at 41 Million subscribers, +1.8 Million in Q4.
So basically - HULU is almost as big as DISNEY+ in the US, but makes 2X as much Revenue
No breakout as to how many take the Ad-free vs. Ad-Supported versions
And HULU + LIVE TV finally grew again from 4 Million to 4.3 Million.
Granted a lot of this goes to pay the networks it carries, but a nice 16% increase in a year (due to a price increase up to $70 a month for the base offering).
But they’re making some real nice TV Ad sales revenue here and at HULU SVOD.
ESPN+ hit 21.3 Million subscribers, impressive 76% growth in a year… even if I really was not impressed with the technical aspects of the product when I tried it in January. Truly subpar.
#ARPU: $5.16, +15% in a year
TWITTER adds 6 Million Daily users, hits 217 Million
Still the smallest of the major social media platforms - about 100 Million less than SNAP, and… still nowhere near IG, FB, or TT.
But it is still growing: +13% in 2021. However being the broken record here… it’s mostly from International users where they make less money.
US: 38 Million, +1 Million in 2021 (all of that in Q4)
The US is 17% of TWITTER’s user base, but makes 56% of its revenue
INTL: 179 Million, +5 Million in Q4, +24 Million in 2021
However Revenue is going in the right direction:
$5.1 Billion in 2021, +37% vs the downer that was 2020 ad revenue.
Also noted that the APPLE iOS privacy changes proved to be less of a hit to their business as anticipated.
So FACEBOOK is really the only one that was really relying on overtly spying on your digital activity for their livelyhood and thusly is taking the biggest hit on revenue due to the tracking privacy change.
Management also feels the TWTR stock is undervalued fwiw, initiating a $4 Billion stock-buyback initiative. /CNBC
DOTDASH-MEREDITH shuts down Print editions of EW, IN STYLE, HEALTH, EATING WELL and PARENTS Magazines
Layoffs will be in the 200 range, and digital footprints of all brands will continue. /THR
* Disclaimer: I do work with DOTDASH-MEREDITH, this info is all public reporting on the matter.
ALSO IN MEDIA
ESPN renews MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL “Manningcast” thru 2024, extends overall production deal with Peyton. His OMAHA PRODUCTIONS will also produce “alt-casts” for UFC, Golf, and College Football with other host talent. /Deadline
US GOV’T clears WARNER DISCO deal as expected. Deal now expected to close likely in mid April. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC THEATERS +18% ($18.94)
CINEWORLD (Regal Cinemas) +13% ($0.53)
LIONSGATE +9% ($14.02)
ROBLOX +9% ($70.48)
SNAP +7% ($40.28)
FOX CORP +7% ($39.92)
ROKU +6% ($164.96)
SPOTIFY +6% ($175.49)
DISCOVERY +6% ($29.84)
TWITTER +5% ($37.83)
META +5% ($232.00)
ENDEAVOR +5% ($33.12)
And…. BUZZFEED -9% ($4.15)
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
HBOMAX “Kimi” - Zoe Kravitz, Soderbergh movie - STREAM HERE
HBOMAX “The Girl Before” limited series - STREAM HERE
PARAMOUNT+ “Star Trek: Lower Decks” - STREAM HERE
HULU “Spencer” Kristen Stewart pic is added - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
UNIVERSAL / PEACOCK “Firestarter” trailer - Pic hits streaming and theaters on May 13.
FX “Better Things” Season 5 (final season) trailer - Premieres Mon Feb 28
NETFLIX “The Weekend Away” movie trailer - Leighton Meester is a new mom who goes on a Euro weekend away with her friend who… doesn’t survive the weekend. Action, suspicion, mystery and passport removals ensue. Premieres Thu Mar 3.
HBO “Icahn: The Restless Billionaire” docu trailer - Premieres this Tuesday
STARZ “Shining Vale” series trailer - Horror-thriller with a splash of comedy series with Courtney Cox, Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino about a couple that moves into a haunted house of some sort. Premieres Sun Mar 6
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
ROYKSOPP & ALISON GOLDFRAPP “Impossible” - A bit of new slick trance for any respective Royksopp fans out there. Another thin venn diagram but ya never know.
If you need some new tunes:
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