PEACOCK adds 4 Million subscribers, loses half a Billion $$ in Q1 2022
MGM Film leadership out / TWITTER's solid Q1... Internationally / Pete Davidson show goes to PEACOCK
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY April 28, 2022.
Where David Zaslav boosted morale at WARNER MEDIA by… buying $1 Million worth of shares in WBD stock this week. I mean that’s one way to do it - not exactly the Reed Hastings $20 Million NFLX buy from Jan, but then again Zaz already lost around $35k on the move in 2 days as of market close yesterday so… maybe that was for the best.
In case there was any doubt - any stock primarily having to do with streaming is definitely in the dog house on Wall Street.
NFLX now at $188 a share (was at $375 a month ago)
ROKU $84.76 (was $135 a month ago)
SPOTIFY $96.67 (was $150 a month ago)
We’ll see how DISNEY positions themselves on May 11. At least they’ll have a smokeshow of the “Doctor Strange” opening weekend still in the air at the time.
ALSO: TRAVIS SCOTT is returning to the festival circuit in South America in late October, playing PRIMAVERA in BRAZIL and CHILE.
PLUS: LADY GAGA did a new song for “Top Gun: Maverick” called “Hold My Hand”… which I’m thinking sounds more “Take My Breath Away” than “Danger Zone”? Will drop on Wednesday.
AND: As expected, today is one of the busiest days of the year for #MediaNerd so break out the glasses if that’s also your thing.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX gets Alejandro Innaratu’s next pic
He co-wrote the pic called “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”, which is his first since 2015’s “The Revenant”.
About a Mexican journalist and docu filmmaker, who returns home to work through a crisis and grapple with his country’s past.
Pic is already shot and should get a year-end release (tbd), but will definitely hit select theaters first. No word on an acquisition price. /THR
AMAZON MGM ousts studio leaders Mike DeLuca and Pam Abdy
In case there was any question if AMAZON had an interest in making cool, original filmmaker-driven movies for the theatrical business… we now have our answer.
The duo had built an ambitious lineup, with recent pics like “House of Gucci”, “Licorice Pizza” and “Dog”, and projects in the works from filmmakers like Luca Guadagnino, Zach Braff, George Clooney, and George Miller. So… we thinking APPLE TV+ for their next stop?
No new leaders announced, but AMAZON STUDIOS & PRIME VIDEO SVP Mike Hopkins is clearly asserting control, and did express a commitment to the theatrical business… but likely with bigger IP driven projects vs auteur projects.
No word what the story is on the TV side re: chairman Mark Burnett. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
Olivia Wilde was served a child custody legal agreement on stage at CINEMACON as she was talking to exhibitors about her new WB movie with Harry Styles… although it sounds like a zealous doc server that made said decision 100% independently / Sudeikis was not involved which certainly tracks. CINEMACON is “re-evaluating” their security protocols. /Variety
“Avatar 2” will be called “Avatar: The Way of Water”. The 3D pic set 10 years after the original will hit theaters this Dec 16. /Variety
WB moves “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” a few days later to Dec 21 as a result.
David O. Russell’s next DISNEYFOX pic with Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington will be called “Amsterdam”, an “original crime epic” centered around “one of the most shocking secret plots in American history.” In theaters Nov 4. /THR
APPLE TV+ doing docu on Michael J. Fox, directed by Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”). Currently shooting. /THR
Here is the NETFLIX Summer Film release schedule. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
PEACOCK orders Pete Davidson series “Bupkis”
It’ll be a “heightened, fictionalized version of Pete Davidson’s real life” but no specific details avail, other than Lorne is producing of course, and Pete is writing with his usual collaborators. /THR
Melissa McBride departs AMC’s “Walking Dead” spinoff set around her character “Carol” and Norman Reedus’s “Daryl”
Was to shoot this Summer in EUROPE, but she can no longer do that.
It sounds like the show is still moving forward for a 2023 premiere but… AMC was a bit light on the details there. /THR
ALSO IN TV
Suzanna Son (“Red Rocket”) is out of the cast on HBO’s “The Idol” series. She was playing a member of the cult that The Weeknd’s character leads. /Deadline
APPLE TV+ re-enlists Sam Richardson & Zoe Chao for Season 2 of “The Afterparty” alongside Tiffany Haddish. Zack Woods, Anna Konkle, Paul Walter Hauser and Elizabeth Perkins among the new names added to round out the new cast. This season will be around a murder at a wedding, and have 10 episodes. /THR
“Chernobyl” director Johan Renck will lead the first 2 episodes of the “Dune” prequel series on HBOMAX. /Variety
TBS cancels Tracy Morgan’s “The Last OG”, although apparently the decision was made way before the WARNER DISCO deal closed. /Deadline
HBOMAX orders animated “Harley Quinn” series spinoff called “Noonan’s”, 10 episode order. /THR
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
No exec moves, but Kim Masters at THR has an interesting read on the evolution of the exec culture at NETFLIX in recent years (with particular emphasis on the departure of Cindy Holland). And the tidbit that Bela Bajaria & Scott Stuber pocket somewhere between $16 Million to $18 Million a year.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
#medianerd on fire. or at least my brain is this morning
PEACOCK adds 4 Million paid subscribers in Q1, now at 13 Million
No breakdown on Ad Supported ($5/month) vs Ad Free ($10/month) subscribers.
No breakdown of how many came from people signing up at large, vs. as part of new COMCAST, CHARTER or COX subscribers (who get PEACOCK included with some tiers).
But that’s a solid subscriber add either way. But but… PEACOCK lost $456 Million from Jan thru March.
They had 15 Million Monthly free users, to hit a total of 28 Million MAU in the US.
This means Free users actually dipped a bit in Q1, although presumably a good deal of Q4 2021’s freeloaders converted to paid which is a positive.
However, COMCAST said Q2… will be soft for PEACOCK adds. Instead, they were emphasizing Q4 as the big growth period.
Man Q2 is gonna be dark…
At parent company COMCAST
Q1 REVENUE: $31 Billion (+14 vs a year ago)
Q1 PROFIT: $3.5 Billion (+6.6% vs a year ago)
VIDEO: Lost 512k video customers, now at 17.6 Million
Lost 1.7 Million in the past year as this business continues to hemorrhage
Revenue -1.5% vs a year ago, now 5% less than BROADBAND revenue
BROADBAND: +262k, now at 32.1 Million
MOBILE: Had best quarter yet at +317k new customers, now at 4.3 Million
Revenue here should overtake their LANDLINE revenue this year, despite only having roughly half of the customer base size.
ACROSS THE POND: SKY revenue is down 4.5% in a year.
Lost 106k customers, mainly in ITALY where they lost the TV rights to their main Soccer league.
TWITTER adds 12 Million Daily Active Users in Q1
Now up to 229 Million DAUs. New users were pretty much all International:
US: 39.6 Million use it daily, +1.6 Million in Q1, +6% in a year
INTL: 189.4 Million use it daily, +10.4 Million in Q1, +18% in a year
Q1 REVENUE: $1.2 Billion, +16% vs a year ago
US: Represents 17% of DAUs, but 56% of Revenue
INTL: Represents 83% of DAUs, but 44% of Revenue. This is actually a decrease from 46% a year ago.
So… like most social media companies, TWITTER user growth continues to come from the sector where it makes the least amount of money from its users.
Q1 PROFIT: $513 Million
Pretty much all Revenue is from Advertising.
“Subscription” revenue (presumably TWITTER BLUE) brought in 94 Million, or 8% of Revenue, but this was down 31% in a year.
Depending on your POV, Elon either has a lot of runway here to build this business… or a long way to go.
TWITTER has successfully jumpstarted user growth in the past few years after a tough time of stagnation and a period of miscounting that data.
And the company has generally been profitable (save for one quarter last year with a huge lawsuit loss payment), although this quarter was particularly robust.
However if Elon makes the platform less “brand safe”… all TWITTER revenue is Advertising based, so he will have to build one hell of a Subscription business to make up for that if he removes some of those Brand Safety guardrails.
His public roasting of employees yesterday (See below) is not helping. Of note - there was no accompanying call with analysts.
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FACEBOOK Q1 revenue comes in below expectations, but tops earnings-per-share
So yeah the share price popped 18% last night. Wall Street gonna Wall Street.
DAILY ACTIVE USERS: 1.96 Billion globally, +4% vs a year ago, +about 10 Million people from December.
MONTHLY ACTIVE USERS: 2.94 Billion globally, +3% vs a year ago, +about 30 Million from December
Almost all user gains were from ASIA and “rest of world”. EUROPE was down in both metrics, US had very slight gains. Also the only territories where they still have any ad revenue growth
$27.9 Billion (or… 4X what NETFLIX brought in).
But even FACEBOOK doesn’t really deserve to be in FAANG anymore as their revenue is maybe 40% of GOOGLE’s. AGA anyone?
Revenue was about 97% Advertising revenue… and down about $8 Billion from Q4, it’s largest quarterly drop in recent times. Ad revenue per user was down 8% vs a year ago.
Profit was $7.4 Billion for Jan thru March, FB’s smallest quarterly profit since Q2 2020.
Staff size increased 28% vs a year ago, at around 78k.
Obviously WALL STREET was a fan, but FB had its lowest rate of Revenue growth in recent history, and that huge fall from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 is eye opening.
FACEBOOK’s user base doesn’t really fluctuate too much despite any negative headlines that come out about the company. However the lower revenue suggests that perhaps those DAUs and MAUs are not using it as much in a given month. And that APPLE’s iOS privacy changes are as expected, having a material affect on the company.
As is TIKTOK, even if not explicitly named (FB never breaks out any specific INSTA data in a sign of total confidence).
SIRIUSXM cites supply chain issues affecting car sales, thus affecting their subscriber growth
Thus putting a question mark on immediate subscriber growth prospects, with any growth in 2022 coming in the 2nd half of the year.
Q1 SUBSCRIBERS: Essentially flat at 32 Million. 34 Million if you count free trials.
That’s out of 146 Million cars who are pre-wired/installed for the product (roughly 23% penetration)
Digital / App subscriptions are still not yet “meaningful”
Churn is at a record low 1.6%
Q1 REVENUE was $2.2 Billion, +6% vs a year ago, with $309 Million in Profit.
#ARPU is +9% vs a year ago at $15.53
Lost 5 Million Monthly users in a year, incl 2 Million since January - now at 50.6 Million
Paid subscribers were basically flat, at 6.3 Million.
Ad revenue +8% at $336 Million.
So - fewer listeners, but able to raise Ad rates to increase revenue.
ALSO IN MEDIA
D’OH: The usually rock-solid FLORIDA State Legislature didn’t check their own laws before passing the DISNEY tax zone bill. Looks like there’s something on the books from 1967 that says the state would have to pay off all outstanding debts (ie bonds in this case) in DISNEY’s jurisdiction before they can dissolve DISNEY’s special district. Your move Ron. /Miami Herald
NIELSEN challenger ISPOT TV gets $325 Million investment from GOLDMAN SACHS. NBCU has been increasingly working with the company, and WB and PAR also worked with them on MARCH MADNESS. /Deadline
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IN SO MANY WORDS…
Someone’s having a bit too much fun with their new toy…
Someone’s also being a dick and disparaging TWITTER company employees publicly, resulting in extreme trolling for people just trying to do their jobs and keep their company legally compliant.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
PARAMOUNT+ “The Offer” - STREAM HERE
HBOMAX “Made for Love” Season 2 - STREAM HERE
FX ON HULU ”Under the Banner of Heaven” - Andrew Garfield limited series - STREAM HERE
NFL DRAFT begins on ABC at 8p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “The Circle” Season 4. Premieres May 11
ANNAPURNA “On the Count of 3” movie trailer. Jerrod Carmichael’s directorial debut from SUNDANCE, a dark comedy about a suicide pact. In limited Theaters and PVOD May 13
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
After analyzing 3 major earnings calls in one morning… I’m beat, so you’ll have to see yourselves out today. Plenty of songs here to nose through tho:
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