24 hours after launching Disney+, Disney issued a press release (link) indicating that they had already reached 10 million subscribers — a staggering number that illustrated the power of the Disney brand and a clear sign of pent-up demand for the product after the most aggressive marketing campaign we have witnessed in our 23 years covering The Walt Disney Company. Now, the far more important question is can Disney+ hold onto the huge number of early subscribers and continue to … Continue reading Burn and Churn: Why are Google Searches for Cancelling Disney Plus 4x Netflix?
While all eyes are on today’s launch of Disney+ (link), we are increasingly fixated on Disney’s decision last week to begin airing FX programming on Hulu in March 2020, just hours after it airs on linear television within the legacy multichannel bundle (with FX set to become the largest content supplier to Hulu, answering one of the key streaming strategy issues we had for Disney, see #3, link). Last week, Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger stated: “FX on Hulu … Continue reading Disney Acknowledges Legacy Bundle is Dead, and No, Not Talking Disney+
Yesterday afternoon, Netflix Founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, was interviewed by The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin at the 2019 Dealbook Conference. The entire 30-minute interview is embedded below (key moments of the interview pulled out below along with timestamps). We were able to ask Hastings a question during audience Q&A and took the opportunity to ask the #1 question we have been getting from investors: “There’s been several times throughout Netflix’s history where investors have feared that you … Continue reading Is Netflix Past Peak Global Net Adds or Can 2020 Hit a New High?
As we enter the #postbundle world with an increasing array of low-cost (or no incremental cost) direct-to-consumer streaming services, the legacy multichannel video bundle needs to move to an a la carte model or the price/value proposition will collapse on itself. We continue to believe that at best half of the current 85+ million US MVPD/vMVPD households have at least one diehard sports fan. With the overwhelming majority of non-sports fan households capable of being satisfied without a linear TV … Continue reading Dish Proves Dropping RSNs Can Be Very Profitable: “Stop Stuffing the Damn Bundle”
Disney is set to report fiscal Q4 (Sept) 2019 earnings tomorrow after the close, just four days before the launch of Disney+, with direct-to-consumer streaming now the company’s top priority. While investors will be eager to hear more about current theme park trends following Disney’s substantial investment in Star Wars lands at both domestic theme parks, as well as how ESPN is faring in the face of a dramatic acceleration in cord-cutting (total subs likely running down 4% year-over-year with calendar Q4 set to be down ~5%), everything is now secondary to the level of success across Disney’s streaming efforts. Continue reading
While WarnerMedia did not address all of our ten questions heading into their HBO Max Investor Day (see our list, link), we now have a far better understanding of the growth strategy and financial plan for HBO Max, in addition to a first-look at what the service actually looks like (HBO Max is taking technology and consumer interface far more seriously than the less than inspiring HBO Go and HBO Now). After sitting through the investor day, the most obvious … Continue reading Eight Reactions to HBO Max Investor Day
It has been nearly a year since the wheels came off at Activision Blizzard (ATVI). A company previously known for superior execution seemed to have lost its way in a hurry, not only to the detriment of investors, but also to ATVI’s relationship with its passionate player base. Since then, ATVI has moved quickly to execute a turnaround, and shares have moved well off their 52-week low with recent momentum from Modern Warfare (fastest selling CoD this generation), Call of Duty: Mobile and World of Warcraft Classic. However, as BlizzCon kicks … Continue reading BlizzCon Should Catalyze Recovery – Initiating Activision Blizzard with BUY, $68 Target
Later today, we will be attending WarnerMedia’s first ever analyst day where management will unveil details and strategy for the coming launch of HBO Max and how it fits into their larger WarnerMedia/AT&T strategy. The single biggest question heading into today’s event is what will HBO Max be priced at and how will that impact legacy HBO (with expectations ranging from sub $10, which requires repricing HBO’s existing sub base to a slight premium to HBO’s current $15 retail price) … Continue reading Handbook for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max Investor Day – Top Ten Questions Beyond Pricing
Following Snapchat’s Q3 2019 results, we are even more convinced that the stock can reach $20 over the coming year (link to our recent BUY rated initiation). Snapchat user growth continues to exceed investor expectations, with Snapchat giving its users more to do as it increasingly becomes a platform for the mobile generation leveraging Snapkit. More time spent on Snapchat leads to increased monetization. Investors are simply not paying enough attention to the potential of Snapkit. Snapchat as a platform … Continue reading Demo: TikTok is Friend, Not Foe to Snapchat – Boosting Time Spent on Snapchat Platform
At LightShed Partners, we are launching official coverage as opportunities arise, whether they be price dislocations or hard catalysts. Madison Square Garden has both right now, and we believe deserves immediate investor attention. We are initiating with a BUY rating and a $360 PT. Investors have acknowledged for some time that Madison Square Garden trades at a discount to the sum of its parts. The “stupid math” starts with the team values. Forbes alone values the Knicks and Rangers at … Continue reading As MSG Circles Catalysts, $360 In View: Initiating With BUY Rating