Netflix beat its forecast for overall subscriber additions for the fourth quarter of 2019, while it brought in fewer than expected U.S. streaming customers. “Our low membership growth in [the U.S. and Canada] is probably due to our recent price changes and to U.S. competitive launches,” the company said in its quarterly shareholder letter.
U.S. media and entertainment companies spent over $120 billion on original content, including movies and TV shows, in 2019, per an analysis conducted by Variety Intelligence Platform. It’s a whopping sum fueled by the increasing investment of players including AT&T’s HBO, which expanded its production of original content by 50%, to 150 hours.
When looking at the implications of this deal, it is clear to both investors and industry insiders that the big winner here, long term, is Tencent. Tencent and its investors know the global recorded music business has been on an upward trajectory thanks to the adoption of streaming and better digital connectivity in emerging territories.
Tencent Holdings Ltd has today (December 31) informed its shareholders that a Tencent-led Consortium has signed a share purchase agreement with Vivendi to acquire 10% of Universal Music Group. The deal has been struck with UMG holding an enterprise value of €30bn ($33.6bn), meaning that over $3bn will land in Vivendi’s coffers as a result of the acquisition.
The private equity firm KKR has signed a definitive agreement to acquire OverDrive in a deal announced on Christmas Eve. KKR bought the leading digital platform that delivers e-books and digital audio to libraries and schools from Rakuten USA, a subsidiary of Japan’s Rakuten Inc. Rakuten bought OverDrive in April 2015 from founder Steve Potash for $410 million.
The use of blockchain to prove the provenance of artworks and enhance their worth has grown worldwide. It has also made acquiring fine art for buildings even more attractive for owners and developers looking to add this rarefied amenity to their properties.
The artist, songwriter, producer, actor and activist is using financing from Sound Royalties to back his music publishing and distribution company focused on creative talent in Africa and other emerging markets. Wyclef Jean’s new company, Carnival World Music Group, provides creative artists with music publishing and distribution resources.
Having named the team spearheading its worldwide podcast strategy at the start of the month, Sony Music Entertainment has made another big podcast-related announcement. The company has made a strategic investment in podcast production house Neon Hum, forming a new creative partnership between the two companies to expand their development of original podcast content.
Warner Music Group and Providence Equity Partners today announced plans to invest in world-class recorded music and music publishing catalogs via a newly established platform, Tempo Music Investments, that has raised $650 million. The move is similar in some ways to the launch of Hipgnosis, which launched last year and has raised more than $800 million to acquire full or partial stakes in the catalogs of many songwriters who have enjoyed multiple global hits.
A federal judge in California has ordered Universal Music Group (UMG) to provide discovery evidence requested by litigating artists. The order is the latest development in a class action lawsuit filed by artists in response to the fire at the Universal Studios backlot in 2008.