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Netflix versus Amazon Prime Video – depth versus breadth

TIM MULLIGAN | June 10, 2021

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The first half of 2021 has been a year of continued change and disruption for subscription video. The global incumbent subscription video on demand (SVOD) leaders, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have been busy signalling to the financial markets how they intend to entrench their market dominance in light of the ongoing market acquisition pushes unleashed by the D2C disruptors following the D2C ‘big bang’ moment of Q4 2019 – Q2 2021.

Netflix announced in January that it was no longer going to borrow on the financial markets to fund its day-to-day operations – specifically for its content acquisition budget, which is now driven predominately by commissioning original content for its service. This leaves the SVOD leader with $14.9 billion of outstanding long-term debt to service as it seeks to live within its means by commissioning future content from its ongoing cashflow. In Q1 2021 alone Netflix spent $500 million on servicing this debt pile versus $1.7 billion in net income generated over the same period.

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Rare Ltd

Midlands-based developer Rare has been making golden memories and redefining gaming genres since 1985, and exclusively on Microsoft platforms since joining Microsoft Studios in 2002. In that time, the studio's pursuit of innovation and quality has led to the creation of Xbox Avatars, the double BAFTA-winning Kinect Sports titles and new IP including Kameo and Viva Piñata – all added to a stable that already holds Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark.

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This time Amazon really does have Bond in its sights

Article | May 20, 2021

MGM, which holds the largest film and TV library in Hollywood, is finally in play – and likely to be acquired by tech major and video streaming behemoth Amazon. With a rumoured price tag of $9 billion, the deal, while substantial, is merely equivalent to 8.3% of Amazon’s Q1 2021 earnings of $108.5 billion. Indeed, the 44% year-on-year (YoY) increase for its Q1 results alone would pay for the deal more than four times over. When it comes to investment capital to deploy, the tech majors led by Amazon and Apple are in a financial class of their own. This is the kind of deal that helps to explain why AT&T was so keen cut its losses and incur a $66 billion loss on its Warner Media assets by merging the former Time Warner media major with Discovery for $43 billion in cash and receiving 71% in equity in the new combined entity in return. It also follows on from Amazon’s 15.4x increase in what it is willing to pay to secure exclusive NFL Thursday Night Football coverage for its US Amazon Prime customers.

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The rediscovered power of time-seasoned brand equity

Article | June 4, 2021

Discovery CEO David Zaslav has proposed that the new combined Discovery / Warner Media entity will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery. This is a recognition that leveraging brand equity will be crucial for the new-combined entity to successfully compete in the increasingly crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) video streaming landscape. Zaslav is successfully absorbing a key lesson from Disney+’s meteoric rise to 103.6 million subscribers in less than two years since its launch: leverage deep consumer brand equity for D2C success.

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Six Things Blockchain Can Do For Gaming

Article | April 14, 2020

Since their foundation in the 1970s and 80s, video games have moved from fringe interest to a major media staple. The industry has enjoyed huge revenues from dedicated fans, especially over the past few months, and the growth shows no sign of slowing down. Gaming is also an industry renowned for its commitment to innovation, adopting technological developments and spawning a fair few of its own. Chief amongst technological developments over the last decade has been blockchain technology, the new system of trading and ownership built on transparency and decentralization, the standard-bearer of which is the digital currency.

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4 Stocks To Buy To Invest in Virtual Reality

Article | June 13, 2020

The virtual reality market has been hailed as the "next big thing" for decades, but VR has repeatedly disappointed consumers with mediocre hardware products and software experiences. But in recent years, a wave of refined devices narrowed the gap between consumer expectations and reality. The VR market's future has yet to be written, but investors who believe in this budding market should consider buying these four tech stocks. Sony's PlayStation VR is the best-selling VR headset in the world with over 5 million shipments since its launch in October 2016. That only represents a sliver of Sony's installed base of 110 million PS4s, but that foothold has encouraged developers to produce more stand-alone VR games and add-on experiences for PS4 games.

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Spotlight

Rare Ltd

Midlands-based developer Rare has been making golden memories and redefining gaming genres since 1985, and exclusively on Microsoft platforms since joining Microsoft Studios in 2002. In that time, the studio's pursuit of innovation and quality has led to the creation of Xbox Avatars, the double BAFTA-winning Kinect Sports titles and new IP including Kameo and Viva Piñata – all added to a stable that already holds Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark.

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