August 7, 2015

...AND CHEAPER...:

A 'media meltdown'? Disney remark on TV viewing sends industry into tailspin (MEG JAMES, 8/07/15, LA Times)

"One sentence from Disney and nearly $60 billion in market value gets wiped out," Doug Creutz, media analyst with Cowen & Co., said Thursday. "Can you say panic?"

It may have been panic, but signs of trouble have been building for more than a decade as the longtime American tradition of gathering in the living room after dinner to watch TV seems to be going the way of bowling leagues and barn dances.

Viewership changes are most dramatic among younger people, the most coveted audience for advertisers. Many are watching TV shows on their tablets and smartphones or recording them for viewing later (and skipping the commercials). That is, if they watch television at all. Sitcoms and police dramas face increased competition from video games, YouTube videos, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media.

Some investors have concluded that owning media stocks is too risky amid dramatic changes in how viewers consume entertainment, analysts said. Viewership changes are beginning to prompt studio chiefs to reassess how they manage their businesses and even which shows and movies get the green light.

"This is exactly what happened to the music industry," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. "If you liked two songs you had to spend $16 on a CD. And if you liked three TV channels, you would have to subscribe to more than 100 channels -- but now you don't."

Posted by at August 7, 2015 7:34 AM
  

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