|I. CONSOLIDATION NATION
Once there were six great studios that together ran the entertainment industry and brought magic to the world.
And then there were five.
Now, thinking about Bob Bakish and Kazuo Hirai, neither of whom has show any particular fondness for the game of manufacturing entertainment…as they gaze upon the news of the past month, would you imagine they are saying:
A. What was Rupert thinking cashing out just as Hollywood’s about to take off!
B. 50 Billion big ones! Yoweeee! Where’s mine!?
If it’s hard to picture right now who the buyers would be for Sony and Paramounts’ entertainment interests, it’s not hard to imagine who the sellers are.
Hollywood is pursuing the notion that all entertainment will come to the people via a limited number of apps in their homes, and that the rush to be one of those limited number means building an enormous stockpile of entertainments, made with total disregard to any known laws of entertainment.
Given that, why wouldn’t Sony and Paramount, the next two least positioned to challenge Netflix for the Entertainment World Championship, also get rolled up under one of the semi-finalists?
At the beginning of 2017, the reign of The Six was as permanent and immutable as the 405. People had whispered that in these crazy times, maybe a studio could go away, but when the news first came out, the initial reaction was still disbelief. As we roll into 2018, who wants to bet how many will be left when the year’s over? Nothing is unthinkable now. Minus Sony and Paramount to take us down to three? Not impossible.
And while we’re at it, one of those remaining three has a little takeover deal that seems snakebit from the get go. Should the Telephone People vanish from the Warners’ horizons, there’s chatter than Comcast could take a – what with the Potterland at the theme parks, and their own IP machines needing to be fed…
So who is to say we’re not on the brink of a two studio world?
And then really, does anyone really need two of anything? If you break the first one, you can always find a replacement somewhere on sale…