HBOMAX tops NETFLIX Q4 US growth; NETFLIX still 2X's HBOMAX US revenue
CARELL re-teams with KRASINSKI for PAR pic / SONY buys WAHLBERG pic / PEACOCK expands in Europe
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY January 26, 2022.
Where ADELE’s sets are being loaded out of CAESARS in Vegas… so looks like this residency thing ain’t happening anytime soon, and casts some doubt on the covid-rationale for the cancellation which would have been temporary at best.
KEITH URBAN is picking up some of the now-open dates in late March as CAESARS tries to find acts to fill the dates. 🤠
NOTE: Tomorrow’s newsletter will also be a little late as COMCAST has their earnings call at 830a
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
SONY buys Mark Wahlberg boxing movie “Father Stu”, sets Easter wknd release
Co-stars with Mel Gibson and Jackie Weaver, and they just shot the movie in the Fall.
Written & directed by Mel’s girlfriend Rosalind Ross, based on a true story of a boxer who later became a Priest as he goes from self-destruction to redemption.
Will hit theaters GOOD FRIDAY April 15, no price disclosed. /Variety
Steve Carell re-teams with John Krasinski for “IF”, his next movie at PARAMOUNT
Krasinski directing, writing & co-starring with Ryan Reynolds and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Only plot detail is it’s about “a child’s journey to rediscover their imagination”. Has a Nov 2023 release date. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
ASC Awards reveal Cinematography nominees for Film & TV. /Deadline
SONY PICS CLASSICS buys SUNDANCE movie “Living” starring Bill Nighy. It’s a “re-imagning” of a Kurosawa film called “Ikiru” - a guy in 1953 London gets a fatal medical diagnosis and tries to find fulfillment in life.
$5 Million for North America and select Int’l territories. /Deadline
🎤 IN OTHER WORDS
“We are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production…”
- DISNEY corporate responding to Peter Dinklage’s criticisms of their upcoming “Snow White & the Seven Dwarves” project (which will have a different name.
📺 THE TV SET
NFL Playoffs averaged 37 Million viewers last weekend
The bonkers CHIEFS vs BILLS game was tops at 43 Million, the most watched Division playoff game in 5 years. 🏟 /THR
ALSO: NBC & FOX will both air the USFL premiere game on Sat April 16 in primetime: NJ Generals at Birmingham Stallions. Same commercials will run on both networks so… I’m not really sure what the point of all of this is. Well I mean overall here - but especially this. The 2 networks are splitting the games otherwise, but schedule / further details TBA. /Variety
DISNEY+ orders “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series
This one’s gonna stick closer to the source books than the 2 FOX films in the early 2010’s - author Rick Riordan is co-writing the pilot, James Bobin (“The Muppets”) is directing the pilot. /THR
“Euphoria” grew to 3.6 Million viewers across platforms on Sunday, +41% from previous week. The S2 premiere is up to 11 Million viewers across all platforms and linear re-airings.
“The Gilded Age” debuted to 1 Million viewers on Monday night across platforms.
ALSO IN TV
SHOWTIME cancels Jeff Daniels series “American Rust” after its inaugural season. /Variety
HBO renews “The Righteous Gemstones” for Season 3. /THR
BLUMHOUSE sets limited series based on Stephen King 2021 novel “Later”, to star Lucy Liu. Involves a kid who can talk to the dead and… well, sounds like that’s used for purposes other than the hilarious party trick potential I’m thinking of - detailed description in the link for the inclined. No word on a streaming or TV home for it as of yet. /Deadline
Jorja Fox not returning for “CSI: Vegas” Season 2. /Deadline
“White Lotus” star Murray Bartlett (played “Armond”) books 2nd big role - will play Rose Byrne’s rival in APPLE TV+ 80s aerobics series “Physical”. He also has a large role in this 👇. /Variety
HULU adds Annaleigh Ashford (“B Positive”) to CHIPPENDALES limited series “Immigrant” starring Kumail Nanjiani. She’ll play the wife of Nanjiani’s CHIPPENDALES founder Steve Banerjee. /THR
SONY names Dr. Jennifer Turner as the new head of TRI-STAR TV. She was previously SVP of Scripted shows at sister division SONY TV, replaces Kathy Busby who left in Nov to go to STARZ. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
HBOMAX adds 1.6 Million US subscribers in Q4, tops NETFLIX’s 1.2 Million
HBOMAX now has 46.8 Million US Subscribers, and as previously announced, 73.8 Million globally.
Roughly 1/3 of the NETFLIX total, and 2/3 of DISNEY+ (ish).
Q4 HBOMAX Subscriber growth, 4.4 Million total:
US: 1.6 Million
International: 2.8 Million (NETFLIX was 7.1 Million)
HBOMAX 2021 US subscriber adds: 5.3 Million, down from 7 Million in 2020.
However with Avg Revenue Per User #ARPU:
NETFLIX Q4 US ARPU: $14.78 ($3.3 Billion)
This was +10 cents from Q3, and up from $13.51 a year ago. The new US price hikes will only keep this moving up in 2022.
HBOMAX Q4 US ARPU: $11.15 ($1.6 Billion)
This is down noticeably from $11.82 just one quarter ago - effects of wider adoption of the Ad-Supported subscription tier, although no breakdown given between the $10 and $15 tiers. And given things like the recent sales discount promo… and likely continued Ad-Supported tier growth, expect ARPU to fall.
NOTE: No ARPU or Subscriber count breakdowns given for specific International regions.
TOTAL REVENUE Comparisons:
NETFLIX overall Q4 revenue: $7.7 Billion
WARNER MEDIA overall Q4 revenue: $9.9 Billion
Of note: WM Advertising revenue was -13% vs Q4 2022, citing smaller audiences and lack of political race ad spending.
But 2020 was also a crap year for advertising spends so… this is interesting, likely due in large part to cable ratings sinking, and potentially ramifications of spinning of DIRECTV. So HBOMAX ad-supported version growth can’t come fast enough for the WM Ad group.
WARNER DISCO deal expected to close in Q2, there will be an early March (public) meeting to discuss it.
AT&T made $5 Billion in Net Profit in Q4, $21 Billion for 2021 overall. DEBT still stands at $152 Billion, down from… $153 Billion in 2020.
As you’ll infer from all of the above comparisons - HBOMAX is continuing to emerge as the major competitor to NETFLIX in the US.
DISNEY+ has never broken out US subscribers… but even if they finally do - their ARPU doesn’t compare to NETFLIX or HBOMAX.
HULU is stronger… but will always be just a US company, and is still behind HBOMAX.
APPLE TV and AMAZON never break out numbers so they don’t get to play, and PEACOCK and PAR+ still have a long way to go.
HOWEVER: International HBOMAX growth will still be challenged somewhat until the HBO output deal with SKY in the biggest European markets ends in 2024, and of note - WARNER MEDIA doesn’t break out HBOMAX subs by global regions.
And… HBOMAX did not give a Q1 subscriber growth projection, which is what caused the NETFLIX dive so we’ll see how Wall Street takes that today, although AT&T stock is generally not hit by this kinda stuff, esp as they’re offloading WARNER MEDIA.
PEACOCK extends distro to GERMANY & AUSTRIA via COMCAST-owned SKY
SKY customers there will get free access to PEACOCK ORIGINALS and some NBC library content - as SKY UK customers already do.
Will launch for SKY ITALY and SWITZERLAND customers later in 2022.
This gives PEACOCK Originals access / presence in 20 Million SKY households total by end of year.
PEACOCK content will get to other, mostly Eastern European countries via pending SKY SHOWTIME streaming service launch TBD. /BroadbandTV News
ALSO IN MEDIA
DISNEY+ entering 42 countries this Summer - list of countries in the list (lotta AFRICA and EASTERN EUROPE). No specific dates… or pricing info given. /THR
CHEDDAR founder Jon Steinberg departs the millenial financial news network. He sold it to cable company ALTICE in 2019, no immediate plans indicated for what’s next. /Variety
NETFLIX adds an Asian Pacific Islander-focused social media brand Golden, to their unique-in-class porfolio of social brands focused on specific audiences:
Con Todo (Latino), Most (LGTBQ+) and Strong Black Lead… in addition to those focused on genres (Geeked, Netflix is a Joke). /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
NETFLIX -5% ($366.42)
SPOTIFY -5% ($184.04)
BUZZFEED -7% ($3.86)
ROBLOX -8% ($65.20) - Now below its pre-November user-growth news surge price, nearing its 52 week low.
PINTEREST -8% ($28.46) - This piece in THE INFORMATION on how 7 high level execs have departed in recent weeks, incl heads of Product and Marketing… probably not helping.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
I’ll probably stream some Hockey while I write this thing but ya’ll do ya’lls.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
No new TV, no new trailers. But here’s a clip of the “Jackass” guys taking shots to the groin from their upcoming movie if that helps?
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
No new songs either… So, just a classic 80’s Jam from the New Jack era. I mean Al B. Sure! is certainly one of the best stage names of all time. Well. except for that exclamation point… not sure what the thinking was there.
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