OTT Provided a Q4 Boost for Viacom

November 16, 2018

The strong performance of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” combined with growth in revenue from over-the-top (OTT) streaming and other digital services, helped Viacom report stronger quarter in its fourth quarter (ended Sept. 30) than it did a year earlier, according to the company.Paramount Pictures growth has brought the film studio “within striking distance of break-even for the full year,” Viacom CFO Wade Davis said Nov. 16 on an earnings call. “Growth in the quarter was driven by” the virtual multichannel program distribution (VMPD) contribution, growth in digital and OTT revenue, and rate increases, while Viacom also benefited from the multi-platform expansion of products tied to its intellectual property, he said.Paramount has a “diverse slate” of 13 theatrical releases planned for fiscal 2019, up from nine this year, and will include the latest “Transformers” movie (“Bumblebee”) and a live-action “Dora the Explorer” film, James Gianopulos, CEO and chairman of Paramount Pictures, said on the call. Five of the 13 movies will be co-branded Paramount and Viacom, while the rest will be from its main production division alone, he noted.

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The Box Plus Network

The Box Plus Network is the UK’s biggest youth focused music and entertainment network, running six of the biggest music TV channels alongside our entertainment channel; 4Music. Our channels are available across digital platforms via Box Plus (website and app) and we run a host of engaging social media channels, all focused on music, pop-culture and youth entertainment. We also have a growing international business with channel distribution across Africa and Europe.

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TECHNOLOGIES

Ongoing transitions in gaming industry

Article | January 19, 2021

The gaming industry is continuously evolving with current transitions derived from VR/AR, blockchain, 5G and cloud computing. The aim of this transition is to fulfill requirements of gamers such as reducing the cost of gaming, developing more immersive experience, converting tools bought in games as transferable assets, enabling gamers to play graphic intensive games on low cost devices. Currently popular games are on the go to create augmented reality versions to be played on AR headsets with their mobile phones. The google stadia platform(a platform where graphic intensive games run in data centers and gamers can play them via web browsers) has also enabled the gaming industry to eliminate the computing limitations imposed by running games in mobile devices. The only barrier in coupling both technologies to have the best of both worlds is low bandwidth of 4G which will soon be expanded when 5G rolls out in the market. TRANSITIONS IN GAMING INDUSTRY The real time game play is currently not possible for games running in data centers and being rendered on web browsers of a gamer’s device as there is latency in reflecting the character’s action on the press of a button. Such a transition will eliminate the need for highly expensive gaming consoles which has been curbing the growth rate of the gaming industry. One more concern from gamers that’s being a barrier in revenue generation for the gaming industry is that the weapons, power packs, kits and tool kits bought in any game are simply virtual and become useless when they are done with the game. The idea to buy such time bound utility becomes insensible for players. So, now the gaming industry is evaluating the option to register these buyouts in games on blockchain which can later be used as a non tangible asset by players to trade easily. The gaming theory that’s getting popularised these days will eventually leverage the AR and VR technology to transform the education industry. The idea to provide customers with user manuals running in augmented reality that can enable a non trained worker to operate the machine is also booming. Solidworks by 3Dplm is one such tool that’s heading in this direction. The transitions mentioned above are quite exciting and the way gaming industry and mentioned technologies are evolving we can expect to get our hands on such exciting gaming technology soon too at a fraction of current costs.

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VIRTUALIZATION

Netflix versus Amazon Prime Video – depth versus breadth

Article | June 10, 2021

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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VR Headsets of the Future Might Be Made With Mirrors?

Article | June 4, 2020

Do you get headaches or feel nauseous while using VR headsets? About 20% of people do. Even if VR headsets don’t cause you physical discomfort, you might feel that your virtual worlds seem flat..That’s because they are flat. VR headsets using close-to-eye displays rely on lenses. While a lot of cool technology goes into them, they really work a lot like television or computer screens. Advancements like eye-tracking and autofocus try to fix these problems. But, they’ll never work. At least not according to Doug Magyari. Magyari and Immy, his company based in Troy, Michigan, believe that they have the solution: VR headsets that don’t use lenses.

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VIRTUALIZATION

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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Spotlight

The Box Plus Network

The Box Plus Network is the UK’s biggest youth focused music and entertainment network, running six of the biggest music TV channels alongside our entertainment channel; 4Music. Our channels are available across digital platforms via Box Plus (website and app) and we run a host of engaging social media channels, all focused on music, pop-culture and youth entertainment. We also have a growing international business with channel distribution across Africa and Europe.

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