Media Companies Should be Afraid, Very Afraid… of the TikTok Rabbit Hole

Investors are obsessed with TikTok’s growing cannibalization of Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat time spent. While Meta has copied TikTok’s mechanic with Reels, YouTube with Shorts and Snap with Spotlight, none of them have recreated the magic of TikTok that occurs through hashtag challenges, viral sounds, duets, etc. TikTok is simply more fun. The slowing global economy has caused overall digital advertising growth to slow dramatically throughout 2022. To make matters far worse for mobile ad companies, TikTok’s explosive growth … Continue reading Media Companies Should be Afraid, Very Afraid… of the TikTok Rabbit Hole

Spectrum T-Mobile Should Buy

Spectrum is the lifeblood of a wireless network and T-Mobile has a ton of it, in large part due to its acquisition of Sprint. But there is even more spectrum available for purchase that would enable T-Mobile to both complete its spectrum puzzle and prevent competitors from adding this important asset. More spectrum could also ensure greater market share and revenue growth opportunities in wireless home broadband. We believe T-Mobile has attractive spectrum acquisition opportunities in low-band (600 MHz) and … Continue reading Spectrum T-Mobile Should Buy

Does Netflix Have a Content Problem or a Monetization Problem?

Virtually everyone we talk to in Hollywood, outside of Netflix employees, is taking great pleasure in Netflix’s stock price collapse over the past nine months, as well as Netflix’s loss of religion around advertising (which many see as a desperate attempt to “save” Netflix). With subscribers declining, revenue growth slowing and meaningful cost cutting in-process, Hollywood and investors finally see Netflix as vulnerable and are attacking every aspect of Netflix’s strategy. 10 Netflix Attacks We Hear Repeatedly: Netflix way over … Continue reading Does Netflix Have a Content Problem or a Monetization Problem?

Roblox Following Netflix and Disney into Ads – The Investor Day Questions to Ask

Roblox hosted its first investor day as a public company just ten months ago. That represented the peak of fervor around RBLX.  Roblox reached its all-time high the next week of $141.59.  Today the stock is ~70% lower. While the company dramatically outperformed its initial 2021 estimates and Roblox has been able to age up and become far more global than investors expected, the bounce back from the pandemic finally caught up. US DAU declined in Q4 and company-wide bookings … Continue reading Roblox Following Netflix and Disney into Ads – The Investor Day Questions to Ask

11 Topics We Are Thinking About Coming Out of Summer 2022

With summer 2022 now in the rearview mirror, we thought it would be useful to lay out the 11 topics/issues we are thinking about. From the collapse of linear TV to why Comcast is so desperate to buy something, is Disney+ pricing aggressive or a bundling ploy, how Netflix and Disney’s advertising plans differ, Zuckerberg’s vision will make us less present (not more), is WWE for sale, how many fans will watch the NFL on Amazon, why Elon Musk will … Continue reading 11 Topics We Are Thinking About Coming Out of Summer 2022

iPhones, SpaceX, eSIM and Cogent

There was a lot of news yesterday from Apple, T-Mobile, Cogent and Kabletown. Here’s an attempt at some quick takes. iPhone promotions US operator promotions are generally equivalent to last year, offering up to $1,000 for trade-ins. AT&T remains the most aggressive, Verizon the least. Verizon reduced its switcher credit to $200 from $500. (Update: Verizon is effectively offering up to $1,200 for new subs and $800 for existing. That’s down from $1,500 and $1,000 last year.) We predict it … Continue reading iPhones, SpaceX, eSIM and Cogent

T-Mobile’s SpaceX Odyssey

With media attention that only Elon Musk can attract, T-Mobile and SpaceX announced “a plan” to deploy a sliver of T-Mobile’s spectrum on future launches of Generation 2 Starlink satellites. If approved by the FCC, it might initially “provide near complete coverage in most places in the US” every 30 minutes. We discuss some implications. SpaceX implications SpaceX’s Starlink constellation currently operates with 2,800 Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites spinning around the globe. None of them are capable of using … Continue reading T-Mobile’s SpaceX Odyssey

Warner Bros. Discovery’s “No Mas” as Cash Outweighs Streaming

The more things change in legacy media, the more they stay the same. After HBO Now launched under Jeff Bewkes’ reign atop Time Warner, he was forced to make strategic trade-offs to bolster EBITDA in hopes of selling the company before the core cable network business entered secular decline (it worked). HBO Now transformed into HBO Max under AT&T’s John Stankey and WarnerMedia’s Jason Kilar. While Stankey and Kilar’s “north star” was a DTC HBO Max, even they were forced … Continue reading Warner Bros. Discovery’s “No Mas” as Cash Outweighs Streaming

Are Zaslav, Chapek, Roberts, Redstone and Murdoch Prepared to Take Evasive Action?

“Houston we have a problem” from the Apollo 13 successful failed mission in 1970 (and the 1995 movie) reminds us that NASA astronauts are trained and prepare extensively for worst case scenarios, whereas legacy media executives have not even acknowledged the dangerous situation they are entering, let alone operationally prepared to take evasive action as cable network revenues appear set to turn negative. Legacy media is facing a crisis they have never faced before: Cord-Cutting accelerating rapidly as consumers abandon … Continue reading Are Zaslav, Chapek, Roberts, Redstone and Murdoch Prepared to Take Evasive Action?

AT&T’s Q2 Was Actually Good. Here’s Why

I know the LightShed mantra is to not publish Earnings previews or reviews, but the move in AT&T’s stock today compelled us to provide our views on the free cash flow debate.  We believe AT&T’s stock was down today primarily on bad forecasting of its working capital. Yes, we needed to cut our estimates on government and business wireline, but the increases to our wireless and fiber estimates largely offset that. It’s startling that the stock would sell off this … Continue reading AT&T’s Q2 Was Actually Good. Here’s Why