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Nickelodeon to Offer Streaming Service as Viacom Steps Up Digital Efforts (NYT)
Nickelodeon, the entertainment group focused on children’s programming, said on Thursday that it would start a new subscription streaming service in March that will be available outside traditional cable or satellite television packages. Reuters Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman did not offer much detail, including pricing, about the subscription offering, but said more information will be revealed next month. Deadline It won’t carry the Nickelodeon brand name, and most of the details of the mostly mobile service will have to wait until the channel’s upfront presentation to advertisers in the spring, Dauman told analysts Thursday morning. Although it will be introduced there, he declined to say whether it would include advertising. THR The decision to offer a way to see the popular kids network without cable or satellite TV subscriptions follows a trend in the entertainment industry. In recent months, HBO, CBS and other networks have announced similar plans. WSJ There are roughly 10 million broadband-only homes that don’t subscribe to pay television, according to some industry estimates. The challenge for traditional media companies will be to attract those customers without cannibalizing their lucrative existing businesses based on cable and satellite TV subscriptions.
Amazon’s Net Sales Up 20 Percent in 2014 (GalleyCat)
Amazon’s fourth quarter 2014 net sales reached $29.33 billion, a 15 percent increase compared to the $25.59 billion net sales the company reported in the fourth quarter 2013. THR The Seattle-based tech giant has announced adjusted earnings per share of 45 cents, a significant amount higher than the 18 cents per share that analysts had been expecting. For the full year, Amazon reported a 20 percent increase in revenue to $88.99 billion and a loss of 52 cents per share. Mashable The company’s Prime service grew its membership by 53 percent worldwide off a base of “tens of millions” in 2014. The profit is good news for Amazon, which had recently seen its shares dip as the company announced continued losses in previous quarters. For 2014, Amazon still lost $241 million after logging a profit of $274 million in 2013. Variety Amazon, which is gunning for Netflix in the subscription-video space, invested $1.3 billion in its Prime Instant Video last year, according to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Netflix, by contrast, spent $3.8 billion in 2014 on additions to its streaming-content library globally, up from $3 billion the year prior.
‘Sorry, Joe’: CNN’s New Day Brags About Winning Streak (TVNewser)
CNN’s New Day has momentum, and the network is ready to brag about it. In a full-page ad in The New York Times Thursday, CNN teased MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, saying \»Sorry, Joe, while you were leaning forward, we were moving ahead.\» Variety The ad then goes on to detail how New Day has beaten Morning Joe for the fourth consecutive month in snaring the most viewers and for the seventh consecutive month in capturing viewers between 25 and 54 — the demographic most favored by advertisers in news programming. Mediaite HLN’s Morning Express has also overtaken Joe, beating the MSNBC show in the demo for nine straight months. What makes this ad particularly incisive is that when New Day began to outpace Morning Joe last spring, Scarborough chalked it up to MH370 coverage.
Viacom Net Earnings Drop, U.S. Ad Sales Fall 6 Percent (THR)
Viacom on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter financials affected by currency fluctuations and ratings challenges. Deadline For the quarter that ended in December, Viacom reported net income of $500 million, down 8.6 percent from the period in 2013, on revenues of $3.34 billion, up 4.6 percent. The revenue number was short of the $3.41 billion that analysts anticipated. Not including a charge for a pension settlement and a one-time tax expense, earnings came in at $1.29 a share, a penny ahead of consensus. B&C Operating income for Viacom’s Media Networks unit, which includes Nickelodeon and MTV, was down 1 percent to $1.104 billion in the quarter. Revenues were up 4 percent. The company said domestic affiliate revenue rose 8 percent and worldwide affiliate revenues were up 6 percent. Domestic advertising revenues were down 6 percent. Worldwide advertising revenue was up 3 percent, with the acquisition of Channel 5 in London creating a 60 percent increase in international advertising revenues.
Univision Extends CEO Randy Falco’s Contract Through Early 2018 (THR)
Univision Communications said Thursday that it has extended the employment agreement of president and CEO Randy Falco through January 2018. Variety Under Falco, Univision has invested in bringing its content to new and nontraditional audiences. The company, the largest Spanish-media operation in the U.S., has helped to launch El Rey Network, a new English-language cable outlet led by director Robert Rodriguez; Fusion, a news-and-entertainment cable network jointly owned with ABC News; and streaming-video hub UVideos. Univision has also grown more aggressive under Falco’s aegis, making the case to advertisers that a growing audience of Spanish-speaking Americans deserves more consideration — and ad dollars. Deadline Univision now has 16 broadcast, cable and digital networks as well as 61 TV stations, 61 radio stations, and multiple online products. Falco’s also credited for helping to forge the company’s Fusion joint venture with ABC, investing in El Rey, and creating bilingual digital video network UVideos.
Showtime Inks Exclusive Licensing Deal With Canada’s Bell Media (THR)
Canadian broadcaster Bell Media has signed a long-term licensing deal with U.S. cable channel Showtime to raise its game against Netflix Canada. Bell’s pact with Showtime parent CBS will see the Canadian broadcaster bring the Showtime brand and exclusive access to hit shows to pay TV service The Movie Network and Bell’s newly launched SVOD CraveTV. Deadline Over the course of the new pact, both of those outlets will become Canada’s exclusive home of Showtime-owned first-run programming along with the majority of its catalog of scripted and unscripted series, documentaries and specials. Variety In the past, Showtime had licensed individual shows to Bell Media outlets, just as it does with foreign TV outlets around the world. But the Showtime-branded blocks are a first for CBS Corp.’s pay TV service, which has grown dramatically in stature in the U.S. but has virtually no international presence as a brand unto itself.
Al Jazeera Wants This Memo Leaked (TVNewser)
Salah Negm, the director of news for Al Jazeera English, is grateful that an internal memo outlining style guidelines was leaked this week. In fact, he sent a memo to staff calling the leak a \»blessing\» and thanking whoever leaked the information. Poynter / MediaWire Negm sent a memo to employees Thursday with the subject line \»TO BE LEAKED.\» In it, Negm thanks the employee or employees who have leaked memos about the news organization’s attitude toward events such as the Charlie Hebdo shooting and decisions not to use the words \»terrorist\» and \»Islamist.\»
Google Misses Its Q4 And Wall Street Is Fine With That (Re/code)
Somebody else might see their stock tank if they missed their revenue and earnings goals, but Google did just that, and now its stock is headed up, a couple percent in after-hours trading. THR Google Inc. reported higher revenues for fiscal 2014 of $66 billion, an increase of 19 percent over the prior year, on Thursday. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $18.1 billion, an increase of 15 percent over the same quarter a year earlier. That was a bit below Wall Street analyst estimates of $18.7 billion for the quarter.
The FCC Wants Your Broadband Internet to Be Faster, So It Changed The Definition (Mashable)
Internet service providers will now need to offer faster service if they want to label their products as “broadband.” The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to change the minimum speeds for what can be considered broadband Internet. WSJ Additionally, the FCC’s biggest ever auction of wireless spectrum closed Thursday and drew a record $44.9 billion in bids, a boon for taxpayers and a sign of the growing cost of supporting Americans’ smartphone habit.
National Journal Magazine Hires John B. Judis as Senior Writer (FishbowlDC)
National Journal magazine has hired John B. Judis as a senior writer, announced Richard Just, editor of NJ magazine, Thursday afternoon. Judis, author and former senior editor for The New Republic, will write feature stories for the magazine in his new role — including the next issue’s cover story, \»The Emerging Republican Advantage.\»
Major Changes Coming to InStyle, StyleWatch (FishbowlNY)
Time Inc. has made some major changes involving the InStyle and People StyleWatch leadership teams. For starters, Ariel Foxman — currently InStyle’s editor — has been promoted to editorial director of both brands, a new role at the company.
Spotify Seeks to Raise About $500 Million (WSJ)
Music streaming service Spotify AB is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a new round of private fundraising, potentially putting off an initial public stock offering for another year, said people familiar with the matter.
Obama to House Dems: Don’t Read Huffington Post (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
President Barack Obama warned House Democrats on Thursday not to read the Huffington Post if they want to be informed on trade issues. \»Get informed, not by reading the Huffington Post,\» Obama said at the House Democratic retreat in Philadelphia, according to a source in the room.
Modern Farmer Lives (Capital New York)
Observers sounded the death knell for Modern Farmer, the food and culture magazine, when The New York Times reported that it had ceased publication Friday. But it isn’t dead yet: the magazine has hired Sarah Gray Miller to oversee its operations on an interim basis, it announced Thursday.
Warner Bros., Sony to Launch Streaming Video Service in SE Asia (Variety)
Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Television are teaming up with Singapore’s Singtel to launch a streaming video service in South East Asia. The companies have formed HOOQ to offer more than 10,000 Hollywood films and TV shows, as well as local-language content via streams or downloads on a variety of platforms.
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