The elaborate mating dance in the music industry is nearing a conclusion. We look briefly at the main participants in the game and conclude that the Warner/EMI combination still looks likely to happen.
Cross-party support for an 11th hour amendment to the Online Safety Bill’s Commons report stage has forced the Government to agree that a new criminal liability for tech executives will be added in the Bill’s passage through the Lords.
The proposed amendment cites faulty precedents, including in financial services, and a new, not yet established Irish online safety regime that is lengthy in procedural steps before criminal sanction.
The introduction of criminal liability will not strengthen the safety objectives of the bill. It is at odds with the approach of the wider regulation, and is practically unworkable.
As Reed Hastings stepped aside as co-CEO, Netflix beat its (last ever) subscriber add forecast—7.7 million v. 4.5 million—leading to a revenue boost, alongside a gradually-widening profit margin. Forecasts for 2023 are positive, with the company seemingly past much of the tumultuousness of 2022.
With no metrics volunteered by management, we can assume that take-up of Netflix's nascent ad-supported plan has been predictably modest. To scale, the company must overcome several structural inhibitors.
With Netflix foreseeing future strain on subscriber additions, in time revenue growth will have to increasingly be inspired by paid-sharing initiatives and advertising—this will be detrimental to local content spend in minor markets.
Structural shifts in the delivery of video are causing long-form viewing to coalesce around fewer programmes—this comes despite an explosion in the volume, spend and perceptual accessibility of content
For the time being this theoretically favours the largest of shows, along with the declining number of content providers that are able to create and distribute them at scale, forming critical masses of interest
Incoming technologies leveraging AI and virtual production will have the ability to drastically lower production costs. But until that happens the spend on most programming will become increasingly less efficient