☀️ 'No Hard Feelings' sets NETFLIX / SONY pic viewership record
CONDE laying off 5% of staff / World Series striking out in ratings for FOX / FREEVEE series coming to linear TV
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY Nov. 1, 2023.
Where… yeah, it’s November 🤯, and for an industry that’s getting an increasing amount of “Grow the ad-tier!” conversation around it as we hit the heart of Q4… I was intrigued to get two messages within the past week from MAX asking me to get off of theirs. 🤔
AND: SAG & AMPTP will meet again today, so all “Deal done by end of Oct.” bets are dead.
THEN: If you thought nepo babies were just a Hollywood thing - they have nothing on the ones in the energy drink business… 31-year-old Austrian Mark Mateschitz just got his annual payout of $615 million 🤯 after inheriting 49% of the RED BULL empire from his father, following his death last year. The company threw off over $1.6 Billion in profit in its latest FY.
PLUS: The S&P 500 has now fallen for three months straight - the first time that’s happened since the pandemic started in March 2020.
OH: WeWork is likely going bankrupt next week. It missed interest payments to bondholders on Oct. 2, and had a 30-day grace period which… apparently hasn’t been satisfied as of today, Nov. 1.
ALSO: The URBANWORLD Film Fest begins in NYC.
UM: NETFLIX says it now has “15 Million monthly active users” of its ad-tier globally on its one-year anniversary… but still won’t say how many, ya know, actual paying subscribers it has. Either the business is meaningful enough to report real numbers NETFLIX, or it isn’t. This continues to be a bad look.
A #GOODREAD RECO
As we enter the heart of Q3 #EarningsSeason, and ENDEAVOR contemplates a future going from a public company to one owned by private equity - this was a great read in The Atlantic on the state of PE in our culture, sent to me by a subscriber this week.
Yes, if financial troubles arise with PE businesses like CANDLE MEDIA - America will be fine. Reese’s Book Club will live on. But PE has permeated so many industries due to 1990s deregulation…
Public companies in 1996: 8,000 roughly
Public companies in 2023: less than 4,000
And you know what public companies have to do every three months? Tell you how their business is doing (or at least their version of it), show you their books, and legally lay out what risks they see ahead.
PE companies have to do none of this, and now manage about 20% of U.S. corporate equity, up from… 4% about 20 years ago.
A pretty fascinating read, especially as studios try to figure out what to do with their linear TV assets in secular decline - a classic PE investment category (👋 newspapers - that worked out well right?). Then again - most seem pretty happy with the way the KKR + SIMON & SCHUSTER deal worked out… definitely not a one-size-fits-all sector.
IN TODAY’S EDITION
What’s driving the new layoffs at CONDE NAST, and how it is not a great sign for the TV business.
While yes, strike-affected… look no further at my TV Ad rates breakdown from yesterday to understand this.
NETFLIX shows the power of theatrical and R-rated comedy in this week’s Film chart, plus that the return of windows can work for all parties! Perish the thought…