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Matthew Ball
1/ I'm stunned, but not surprised by AT&T's decision to extended their licensing deal with Netflix through 2019. A perfect example of, despite saying they were committed to winning in SVOD, Big Media wants to have their cake, eat it to - and then hope they get a 3rd cake
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
2/ is one of Netflix's most valuable titles. It's one of the most celebrated sitcoms, one of Netflix's most popular series, and has a whopping 236 episodes of tonnage - and a fervent fanbase
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
3/ AT&T could (and should) have simply moved to HBO, their leading SVOD asset. Imagine the impact on customer acquisition - all of a sudden the press coverage inundates all Friends fans to get HBO, if they haven't already! Related:
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
4/ Or, AT&T could have kept the rights on hold for 9-11 months until their much-touted new Warner SVOD service comes out. There would be a year of pent up demand, a burst of free advertising and a strong reason for fans to do free trial signups
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
5/ Instead, AT&T took the cheque (undoubtedly a huge one) to keep the series on Netflix, their largest competitor. And AT&T is saying that while the series will move to the Warner SVOD, it may stay non-exclusive and thus still be on Netflix post-launch
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
6/ This'd eviscerate the value of this series on Warner SVOD. 100% of their customers (and potentials) will have Netflix. They'll use Netflix more. They'll already be mid-way in Friends there. You can't share rights with the biggest video service on earth + still hope for views
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
7/ AT&T knows this, but sometime over the weekend Netflix emailed their offer. AT&T said "Yep. That'll do". This should alarm the Street; there're far more of these decisions to come (+ on less valuable content) The narrative big media is ready to fight back is just not yet true
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Emerson Bluhm Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
Any idea how important back-end shares to talent are in figuring out these economics? Does AT&T/Warner/whoever need to make them whole at the Netflix market value?
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @efbluhm
Maybe, but a Netflix bid provided the perfect mark-to-market, which AT&T could have fairly used to compensate talent. No difference in net
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Andre Kenji de Sousa🇧🇷🌐 Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
I think that more than anything else "content is the king" in streaming. If people are watching Friends on Netflix its Warner, not Netflix, that has all the cards.
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @andkenbr
Exactly backwards. Netflix owns the customer, owns the perfect pricing, owns both parts of the value chain, and most importantly, Warner has a ton of content and very few Friends. Netflix puts out very popular mediocre content - TWX can't
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Erick Opeka Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
Friends is not a decision WarnerMedia could make in a vaccuum - I'm sure Bright/Kaufman/Crane Productions didn't want to forego their share of $100M+ license fees, nor would any talent participants. Warner would have to pay full freight or risk a self-dealing lawsuit.
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Erick Opeka Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
But if you are implying that WarnerMedia should bite the bullet, take some of that newly allocated content spend for HBO and make a defensive play to take a critical piece of IP of the table, I would wholeheartedly agree.
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ErickOpeka
OK, so pay them the marked-to-market approved sum, which would be 7-15mm, and they'll need to pay it next year anyway. These solutions have precedent
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @ErickOpeka
Hence they want three cakes!
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Michael Hughes Dec 4
In the context of HBO, Friends is "shit" in the elitist dismissive sense of the word, absolutely. The HBO brand and the "Friends" brand are oil and water. It may seem silly, but the gradual down-market move of the HBO brand will hopefully be managed carefully.
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
You know Dude Where's My Car, Batman vs Superman, Sharkboy and Lava Girl, and How to Make it in America are on HBO
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Paul Rehrig Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
If AT&T’s SVOD service won’t be available until Q4 2019 (at the earliest) anyway, what’s wrong with eating cake???
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Paul Rehrig Dec 4
Replying to @ballmatthew
And putting aside the obvious programming strategy problems, there’s no room on the HBO multiplex for 236 episodes of FRIENDS.
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Matthew Ball Dec 4
Replying to @PaulRehrig
Read the thread Paul!
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