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   Technology StocksNetflix (NFLX) and the Streaming Wars


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From: Glenn Petersen8/13/2021 5:39:33 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2087
 
Disney wins this round: Here’s where the streaming giants stand at the end of earnings season

PUBLISHED FRI, AUG 13 202112:35 PM EDT
UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO
Alex Sherman @SHERMAN4949
Samantha Subin @SAMANTHA_SUBIN
CNBC.com

KEY POINTS

-- Disney took home the prize as this earnings season’s big winner with strong Disney+ growth.

-- Netflix added just 1 million global subscribers but hopes for a rebound next quarter.

-- NBCUniversal added 12 million new Peacock sign-ups on the strength of the Tokyo Olympics.

This round, Disney beat Netflix.

Disney’s continued growth, juxtaposed with a disappointing quarter for Netflix, was the big story of this quarter’s earnings season.

Disney benefited from a handful of popular movies, including “Cruella” and “Luca,” that it placed directly on its Disney+ service in the quarter ended June 30, while Netflix is banking on a return to growth next quarter, when hit originals such as “Sex Education” and “Money Heist” return to the service.

Disney+ and Hotstar, Disney’s Indian streaming service, added 12.4 million new subscribers since last quarter, while Netflix added just 1 million new customers. Last quarter, Disney added almost 9 million new Disney+ subscribers and Netflix added about 4 million new customers.

“Last quarter, we had a little bit of weakness in streaming subs both at Netflix and Disney. The weakness continued for Netflix, but it didn’t for Disney,” Mark Zgutowicz, an analyst at Rosenblatt Equity Research, said in a CNBC interview. “Disney+ is about 90 million subs behind Netflix globally now. With this number today, it’s tracking toward a 20 million net add gain on Netflix this year.”

All of the big streaming video players have reported earnings this quarter. The following is a rundown of where all the major streaming services stand:

Netflix

209 million global paying subscribers (up 1 million from last quarter)

73.95 million subscribers in U.S. and Canada

Average revenue per unit, or ARPU, for U.S. and Canada: $14.54

Disney

Disney+, including Hotstar: 116 million subscribers, $4.16 global ARPU (up 12.4 million from last quarter)

Hulu subscription video on demand, or SVOD, only: 39.1 million subscribers, $13.15 ARPU

Hulu SVOD+Live TV: 3.7 million subscribers, $84.09 ARPUESPN+: 14.9 million subscribers, $4.47 ARPU

Amazon Prime Video

More than 175 million Amazon Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year. No updates were given during second-quarter earnings.

Prime memberships cost $12.99 a month or $119 a year but offer many benefits other than streaming video — including free one-day or two-day shipping on most Amazon packages. Amazon does not break out ARPU by Prime members.

Apple

Apple TV+ subscribers: ? (No updates given during second-quarter earnings)

ARPU: ?

Apple’s free one-year trials to Apple TV+, which it gives away with new hardware such as iPhones, are now starting to expire for many customers, which could spur the company to offer an update on its next earnings call.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock

54 million “sign-ups” (up 12 million from last quarter)

More than 20 million monthly active accounts

ARPU: ?

Three tiers: Free with commercials, $4.99 a month for fewer ads and more content, $9.99 a month ad-free

Comcast’s NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC, successfully used the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo to push Peacock subscriptions. NBCUniversal will likely add more Olympics-related sign-ups next quarter, as it reported Peacock statistics only about halfway through the Games.

While the company has not released an official figure for ARPU yet, NBCUniversal estimated in January that Peacock would deliver $6 to $7 a month across its three tiers.

WarnerMedia’s HBO and HBO Max

67.5 million global subscribers (up 3.6 million)

47 million domestic subscribers (up 2.8 million)

ARPU: $11.90 domestically

AT&T raised its year-end global subscriber forecast for HBO Max to 73 million from 70 million in its second-quarter earnings statement. As of March, it expects 120 million to 150 million subscribers by the end of 2025.

ViacomCBS

More than 42 million subscribers across Paramount+, Showtime, Noggin, BET+ and other platforms (up about 6.5 million, the “overwhelming majority” of which came from Paramount+)

Over 52 million monthly average Pluto TV users (up 2 million)ARPU: ?

Average revenue per user remains a question mark for ViacomCBS, which has still chosen not to reveal the statistic.

“We’ve been on a journey of increased disclosure over time,” ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told CNBC. “We will continue to evolve disclosure.”

Discovery
18 million direct-to-consumer subscribers as of Aug. 3 (up 3 million)

Overall ARPU: about $7 per month ARPU for ad-supported Discovery+: more than $10 per month

Starz
28.9 million global subscribers (down 600,000), 16.7 million of which are streaming

ARPU: about $6 per month

Lionsgate’s Starz actually lost total subscribers in the quarter, though the decline relates to cancellations of the company’s linear service. Streaming customers rose 58% year over year to 16.7 million globally.

AMC Networks

Total subscribers: ?

ARPU: ?

A MC Networks said earlier this month it expects to have at least 9 million paid streaming subscribers across its platforms by the end of the year. The company’s flagship streaming product is AMC+, which may see a boost in subscribers after Verizon announced a deal with the company earlier this month that gives certain subscribers a free trial of the product for 6 or 12 months.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

Disney gaining fast on Netflix in streaming wars (cnbc.com)

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From: TimF8/14/2021 5:41:09 PM
   of 2087
 
Netflix VPN Crackdown Ensnares Those Who Aren't Even Using VPNs VPN providers are trying to trick Netflix's location-based restrictions by using residential IP addresses as proxies. But when Netflix blocks those IP addresses in response, it can spell trouble for the average ISP customer.
By Nathaniel Mott
August 12, 2021

Efforts by Netflix to stop VPNs from circumventing regional content restrictions may be having an unintended consequence, TorrentFreak reports: Limiting content access for those who aren't even using a VPN.

VPNs are commonly used to improve the privacy and security of internet connections that rely on public networks, like those found in coffee shops, hotels, and libraries. But an increasing number of VPN services have advertised their ability to make it seem like web traffic is coming from a certain location as a way to bypass streaming platforms' location-based restrictions.

Some VPNs do this by using residential IP addresses as proxies in a bid to trick streaming services like Netflix into thinking the connection is a viewer on their home Wi-Fi network. But cracking down on those IP addresses can block people who are not using a VPN from viewing Netflix's entire catalog.

TorrentFreak, which was tipped off to this issue by VPN provider WeVPN, cites numerous complaints on Reddit and Twitter. "The collateral damage is that you have hundreds of thousands of legitimate residential Netflix subscribers blocked from accessing Netflix’s local country full catalog from their home,” WeVPN tells TorrentFreak.

WeVPN—as well as rival services CyberGhost and Private Internet Access—have reportedly since come up with workarounds, according to TorrentFreak.

CyberGhost touts its ability to "help you access your favorite Netflix shows no matter where you are," though in our June review of the service, we could only stream Netflix Originals while connected to a New York-based VPN server, and we had the same problem when connected to one of CyberGhost VPN's servers optimized for Netflix streaming. More recently, we had no trouble streaming Netflix over a US-based Private Internet Access server.

We were not able to confirm how many people have had this issue, but Netflix says it's fixed the problem for those who reached out. The company does not ban VPNs outright, but if you use them, you'll be limited to Netflix Originals or other content Netflix is allowed to stream everywhere so as to avoid potential licensing problems.

If you're having this problem and have not been able to resolve it by contacting Netflix, the company also recommends contacting your ISP. As TorrentFreak notes, "one Redditor managed to get a new IP address from his ISP, which immediately resolved the problem."

pcmag.com

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From: Glenn Petersen8/25/2021 4:39:16 AM
   of 2087
 
Hollywood Movies Flood Piracy Sites Hours After Release

Bootlegging and sharing high-quality digital copies of movies is easier than ever, as studios leaned harder into streaming during pandemic

By R.T. Watson and Erich Schwartzel
Wall Street Journal
Aug. 24, 2021 5:30 am ET



Online copies of ‘The Suicide Squad’ proliferated across piracy websites almost immediately after the movie premiered earlier this year. PHOTO: WARNER BROS/EVERETT COLLECTION
--------------------------------------------
Millions of people are watching high-quality, pirated online versions of Hollywood’s top movies sooner than ever after their releases, undermining potential ticket sales and subscriber growth as the industry embraces streaming.

Copies of several of the year’s most popular films, from “The Suicide Squad” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” to “Jungle Cruise” and “Black Widow,” shot up almost immediately after their premieres to the top of the most-downloaded charts on piracy websites such as the Pirate Bay and LimeTorrents, according to piracy-tracking organizations.

“Black Widow” was the most pirated movie world-wide for three consecutive weeks after its July 9 release, according to TorrentFreak, a site that monitors pirating activity, while copies of “Jungle Cruise” proliferated across the internet just hours after its digital premiere later that same month.

The speed of access to illegal, DVD-quality copies of new movies is a recent phenomenon. Previously, high-quality duplicates mostly hit piracy sites months after a film’s theatrical release. Sometimes poor-quality versions could be downloaded, but they were often created by people in theaters filming with camcorders or cellphones, and many deemed them unwatchable.



In her dispute with Disney, Scarlett Johansson and her team cited piracy as a reason they didn’t want ‘Black Widow’ released simultaneously on Disney+. PHOTO: JAY MAIDMENT/WALT DISNEY/EVERETT COLLECTION
------------------------------

Piracy experts and theater executives say the proliferation of higher-quality illegal copies becoming available sooner threatens revenue that studios and streaming services could be collecting at box offices and by adding subscribers.

Of the 20 most pirated films on the Pirate Bay on a recent Tuesday in August, 12 had premiered on studio streaming services. Warner Bros.’ “The Suicide Squad” was No. 1, followed by HBO Max’s “Friends” reunion.

Walt Disney Co. DIS 0.46% ’s “Black Widow,” “Cruella” and “Jungle Cruise”—all offerings on the company’s Disney+ streaming service—were in the top 10, not far above Disney’s “Luca,” Universal Pictures’ “Boss Baby” sequel, Paramount+’s “Infinite” and four Warner Bros. titles that all premiered on HBO Max.

Although film-industry and piracy experts say it is difficult to track how studios’ newly adopted digital-distribution strategies have affected the overall volume of piracy, data show that the pandemic sparked an increase.

“We started to see a massive uptick when lockdowns started,” said Andy Chatterley, chief executive of piracy tracker Muso, which even found a surge in piracy among family titles such as Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog” when children started staying home from school in March 2020.

Netflix NFLX 0.01% without a password” is how TorrentFreak’s founder, who goes by the name Ernesto Van Der Sar, describes the illegal sites.

Actress Scarlett Johansson and her team cited piracy concerns as a reason they wanted to avoid putting out “Black Widow” on Disney+ simultaneously, according to a person familiar with the matter. It was one dispute that contributed to a breakdown in negotiations over the star’s pay, which led Ms. Johansson to sue the studio earlier this month.

With more films being released direct to streaming services, stars like Scarlett Johansson are asking for a bigger cut of the at-home, early access profits for movies like Marvel’s “Black Widow.”
Theater owners’ suspicions about “Black Widow” piracy arose when the movie’s opening-weekend total failed to match expectations based on well-attended Thursday-night preview screenings. Executives can typically predict how a movie will do based on early ticket sales, but ”Black Widow” experienced a bigger-than-expected decline night-over-night as pirated copies proliferated, according to piracy tracking sites.

“How much money did everyone lose to simultaneous release piracy?” the National Association of Theatre Owners asked in a statement after the movie’s release.

Disney and AT&T Inc.’s T -0.25% Warner Bros. declined to comment. Universal and Paramount didn’t respond to requests for comment. Studios typically operate internal units that track when content is pirated and ask bootleg links to be removed. They also fund antipiracy advocacy groups that cooperate with law enforcement and lobby policy makers to tighten regulation and penalties.



Within less than a day of Disney releasing ‘Jungle Cruise,’ tens of thousands of people were both sharing and downloading illegal copies online. PHOTO: FRANK MASI/WALT DISNEY/EVERETT COLLECTION
--------------------------------------------
Major 2021 releases have experienced a high degree of piracy, even when they have performed well in theaters. Warner Bros.’ “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” grossed, globally, a respectable $201.4 million in theaters but was also the most-pirated movie in the world in June, according to Muso, with 9.2 million illegal streams, of which more than 1.1 million were in the U.S.

Despite the piracy, streaming strategies have paid off during the pandemic. Wall Street cheered subscriber growth for Disney+, Netflix and HBO Max as most U.S. theaters remained closed.

In many cases, the most pirated films were released online and in movie theaters simultaneously, and the bootlegging reduced what studios might have made, not only at the box office but also from new subscription sign-ups—potentially driven by new film releases—or from the extra fees streaming services sometimes charge for watching new movies, say executives and piracy experts.

Stay-at-home orders drove the practice, with sites that hosted illegal movies and television shows drawing more than 137 billion visits last year, according to the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, an advocacy group funded by media companies including Hollywood studios. Pre-pandemic, the global box office generated about $40 billion in revenue annually.

Behind the scenes, movie producers, executives and stars are airing concerns about the problem.

Earlier this year, the high volume of global piracy of “Godzilla vs. Kong” surprised executives at its studio, Warner Bros., according to people familiar with the matter. People illegally streamed the movie over 34 million times, according to Muso.

When Disney released “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, on Disney+, a community of tens of thousands of people were both “seeding”—meaning sharing an illegal copy—and “leeching”—downloading the film free—within less than a day of its release, according to piracy tracking sites. Disney, which charged Disney+ users an extra $30 to watch the movie on the platform, said it grossed $30 million from subscribers on the film’s opening weekend.

“Pirates behave like consumers do,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor and piracy expert Michael D. Smith. “If you make it sufficiently hard for them to get something free, they’ll pay for it.”

Streaming technology has improved the quality of pirated content. People can either download near-perfect versions of a movie, using special files called torrents, or stream bootleg copies online. Culprits and sites that get caught are quickly supplanted by new ones, says Prof. Smith.

A streaming-first Hollywood has also allowed subtitled copies to be shared almost instantaneously. In the past, overseas audiences typically struggled to obtain high-quality, subtitled releases. Now, Disney+ and HBO Max can offer movies and TV shows in more than a dozen languages—providing illegal downloaders ready-made versions for foreign audiences.
‘Pirates behave like consumers do. If you make it sufficiently hard for them to get something free, they’ll pay for it.’— Carnegie Mellon University Prof. Michael D. Smith
Disney+ isn’t available in China and “Black Widow” wasn’t released there, but avid Marvel fan Kevin He, a 25-year-old student in Beijing, managed to watch it by downloading a high-quality, 4K version almost immediately after the film’s U.S. premiere.

After finding links for the movie on an online forum known as Douban, Mr. He says he located several copies of “Black Widow” reproduced at various levels of quality. The version he downloaded didn’t include Chinese subtitles, but he says he easily found some to graft onto his bootlegged copy.

Mr. He also said he found links to “WandaVision” and “Loki”—two Marvel series both streamed on Disney+—by searching on Baidu, a Chinese search engine.

Rich Gelfond, chief executive of theater chain IMAX Corp. , says an increase in pirating and declining revenues could have a lasting impact on Hollywood. “It will limit how great content is made and distributed,” he said.

While it isn’t known exactly how much piracy has shaped studios’ decisions, some are revisiting online release strategies crafted in the past year.

Earlier this month, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., AMC 20.34% the nation’s biggest theater chain, said it had struck a deal with Warner Bros. for next year, guaranteeing the studio’s films would enjoy 45 days of theatrical exclusivity before moving online. The agreement backtracked on an existing simultaneous-release strategy.

Disney has said it would continue to release films both online and in theaters, deciding the details on a film-by-film basis. Its next Marvel film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be in theaters only.

—Yoko Kubota and Raffaele Huang contributed to this article.

Hollywood Movies Flood Piracy Sites Hours After Release - WSJ

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From: Glenn Petersen9/17/2021 7:17:06 AM
2 Recommendations   of 2087
 
h/t Ron

HBO Leaves Amazon Prime as WarnerMedia Takes Subscriber Hit

Amazon is canceling HBO subscriptions on Sept. 15 after the WarnerMedia company leaves its channels service, which allows Prime users to subscribe to streaming services via Amazon.

BY J. CLARA CHAN
The Hollywood Reporter
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 4:00AM

HBO will lose some 5 million of its subscribers through Amazon Prime Video’s channels platform on Wednesday.

In messages sent to subscribers earlier this month, Amazon said HBO subscriptions would be canceled Sept. 15, with users getting a prorated refund based on their last billing cycle. HBO is expected to provide a special offer for Amazon subscribers after their subscriptions are canceled, a WarnerMedia executive with knowledge of the matter told The Hollywood Reporter.

Previously, Prime users were able to individually subscribe to HBO via the channels platform for $15 a month. But in late 2020, WarnerMedia and Amazon reached an agreement to remove HBO from Amazon Channels this year, as WarnerMedia wanted HBO Max to become the primary entry point for subscribers engaging with its streaming content. Instead, HBO Max became available as a stand-alone app on Amazon Fire TV devices, and existing viewers who purchased HBO subscriptions through the channels platform were given access to HBO Max for no additional cost.

Speaking with Bloomberg in August, HBO Max chief Andy Forssell said HBO was willing to lose subscribers in the short term if it meant cutting out the middleman — in this case, Amazon — and having a direct relationship with consumers instead. (HBO has also done the same with Roku and Apple TV.)

“It’s important for us to own the customer,” Forssell said. “If the viewer is in the app, we can tailor the home page to them. We can tailor what they show them next. We can respond to that in real time.”

As for users on Amazon, the tech giant is offering $0.99 per month promotional subscriptions — for up to two months — to Paramount+, Starz and Showtime through Sept. 17. Amazon Fire TV users should not experience any disruptions to their HBO Max subscriptions, but those without a Fire TV device will need to go separately through HBO Max to set up a new subscription.

HBO Leaves Amazon Prime as WarnerMedia Takes Subscriber Hit – The Hollywood Reporter

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From: Sr K9/19/2021 11:38:23 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2087
 
The Crown won the Best Drama Series Emmy, tonight

Netflix's “The Crown” was the big winner at Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards, bringing home seven wins, the most of any show.

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From: Glenn Petersen9/20/2021 10:10:36 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2087
 
...and Netflix Inc landed its biggest television award to date with a best drama win for "The Crown."...Netflix also tied the all-time record for the most Emmys in a single year with 44, a mark previously reached by ViacomCBS Inc's CBS broadcast network in 1974.

Apple joins streaming elite, Netflix crosses milestone with Emmy wins

Lisa Richwine
Reuters
Sun, September 19, 2021, 11:54 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Apple Inc burnished its streaming TV credentials on Sunday as "Ted Lasso" scored the Emmy award for best comedy, and Netflix Inc landed its biggest television award to date with a best drama win for "The Crown."

Netflix also tied the all-time record for the most Emmys in a single year with 44, a mark previously reached by ViacomCBS Inc's CBS broadcast network in 1974.

The honors give the streaming services new bragging rights they can use to promote their offerings in the hard-fought battle for audiences who are ditching traditional TV and searching for quality entertainment online.

"Ted Lasso" won seven awards overall for Apple TV+, the streaming service that the iPhone maker launched two years ago. Jason Sudeikis took home best comedy actor for his starring role as an upbeat American coach trying to rally a struggling soccer team in Britain.

Executive producer and co-creator Bill Lawrence, accepting the comedy series award, thanked the team at Apple including "T-Dog," which he joked was his nickname for Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Since its debut, Apple TV+ has released dozens of original shows and movies and is trying to compete with not only streaming leader Netflix but also other big media companies including Walt Disney Co, AT&T Inc and Amazon.com Inc. Those companies and others are spending billions of dollars to expand their own streaming services.

Apple has not disclosed how many people subscribe to Apple TV+, which offers only original programming, making its menu smaller than rivals that offer libraries of older TV shows and movies. Last year, it won a supporting actor trophy for drama "The Morning Show."

HBO, which is in the process of being sold by AT&T to Discovery Inc, had long dominated the Emmys until Netflix crashed the party in 2013 as streaming started to supplant cable subscriptions.

Despite racking up nominations each year, Netflix had never won an Emmy for a series until Sunday. Alongside "The Crown," it earned best limited series honors for "The Queen's Gambit," the story of an orphaned girl who becomes a female chess champion.

"Thank you to Netflix," executive producer William Horberg said as he accepted the limited series honor. "You guys did the rarest thing of all these days. You took a chance on risky material and you trusted the filmmakers."

The HBO network and streaming service HBO Max finished second behind Netflix on Sunday with 19 wins for shows including "Mare of Easttown" and "Hacks."

Disney's streaming service, Disney+, won 13 awards for "WandaVision," "The Mandalorian" and other programming.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Howard Goller)

NFLX 581.79 -7.56 -1.28% : Netflix, Inc. - Yahoo Finance

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From: Glenn Petersen9/21/2021 11:01:33 AM
1 Recommendation   of 2087
 
Netflix and Apple Finally Broke Old TV at This Year’s Emmys

Big wins by “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown” and “Ted Lasso” show how the industry has changed

By John Jurgensen
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 20, 2021 4:56 pm ET



Peter Morgan accepted the award for outstanding writing for a drama series for ‘The Crown’ during Sunday’s Emmy Awards. PHOTO: TELEVISION ACADEMY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
----------------------------------

A historic night at the Emmy Awards for AMC and other cable networks roughly a decade ago left the television industry’s old guard questioning its relevance. Now the former insurgents of cable find themselves in the same wilderness.

Back then, in 2008, it was AMC’s “Mad Men” that became the first basic cable series ever to win the flagship award for outstanding drama series. It was a symbol that the major networks’ long reign over TV culture was ending. No broadcaster has won that top prize since.

The latest changing of the guard became official Sunday at the 73rd Emmy Awards, as streaming platforms swept most of the major awards. With Netflix’s first-ever wins for drama series ( “The Crown”) and limited series ( “The Queen’s Gambit”), the streamer amassed 44 total Emmys, tying a record that CBS has held since 1974. Apple TV+ stormed the comedy categories with wins, including best series for “Ted Lasso.”

The crowning of the streaming era came at the expense of not just the long-suffering broadcast networks, but also some of the cable networks that unseated them in the prestige race. AMC had a single nomination, for the stunt work in action series “Gangs of London,” but didn’t win it. FX, one of the biggest forces in cable’s golden era of the 2000s and 2010s, received only three technical awards for its drama “Pose,” and left Sunday’s ceremony empty-handed. HBO has routinely piled up more wins than any network or streamer, including 30 total wins in 2020. The premium cable powerhouse claimed 19 wins this year—four for shows on HBO’s streaming sibling, HBO Max.

As they celebrated their own wins Monday, Netflix executives took a victory lap on behalf of their sector as a whole. “It was a historic night for streaming,” Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria said. “The nominations were there [for TV networks], so there’s great work being done in a lot of different places, but I do think this was the streamers’ year.”



Netflix won its first-ever Emmy for a limited series with ‘The Queen's Gambit.’ PHOTO: CHRIS PIZZELLO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
---------------------------------------------

Not every streamer succeeded. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the first streaming show to win best drama, in 2017, won none of the 21 Emmys it was nominated for this year. Amazon Prime Video, which cracked the ranks of best comedies in 2018 with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” was shut out, despite high-profile nominations for its drama “The Boys” and limited series “The Underground Railroad.”

The pandemic played a role in this year’s results. It influenced the kinds of shows and platforms viewers gravitated to, such as “The Queen’s Gambit,” which triggered a run on chess sets during the lockdown months. Covid-19 also halted the production cycles for established hits, including HBO’s big winner from 2020, “Succession.”

Netflix countered that none of these factors merited an asterisk on the breakthrough wins for streamers. “I believe that at any moment in history, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and ‘The Crown’ and many of those other shows would absolutely have won and could have won,” Ms. Bajaria said.

In an era when traditional TV ratings have less importance—and don’t apply at all to streaming services—the Emmys represent an important indicator of clout in the television industry.

But in other ways, the awards are an often misleading measure of what’s happening in that world. This year’s pool of nominees was the most racially diverse so far, yet no performers of color won in any of the 12 acting categories presented on Sunday night. (That got #EmmysSoWhite, a version of the hashtag that dogged the Oscars, trending on Twitter.

The continuing content boom yields hundreds of scripted series each year, but Emmy voters tend to have tunnel vision: All seven drama awards went to “The Crown” and its cast members and creators Sunday night, on the heels of last year’s total sweep of the comedy genre by “Schitt’s Creek.”

For networks and their stars who routinely end up on the sidelines, a question emerges: How much of an honor is it just to be nominated, and nominated only? This year marked the seventh time in a row that “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson lost the race for lead actor in a comedy series. It was the fourth time in six years that “black-ish,” a long-running family hit on ABC, was denied a win for outstanding comedy series.

ABC declined to comment.

One legacy network that walked away from the ceremony with a measurable win was CBS, which aired the ceremony. The network said its Emmy telecast, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, star of CBS sitcom “The Neighborhood,” drew 7.4 million viewers, up 16% from last year’s show, a largely virtual event that hit a record ratings low on ABC. After nearly a decade straight of declining viewership, it was the largest Emmys audience since 2018.

Now, the cycle begins again with the official start of the networks’ fall television season, which traditionally kicks off after the hardware is handed out.

Write to John Jurgensen at john.jurgensen@wsj.com

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the September 21, 2021, print edition as 'Netflix, Apple TV+ Win Big Over Broadcast, Cable TV.'

Netflix and Apple Finally Broke Old TV at This Year’s Emmys - WSJ

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (2065)9/22/2021 5:08:21 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 2087
 
Netflix Acquires Roald Dahl Story Company, Plans Extensive Universe

By Naman Ramachandran
Variety
September 21, 2021



Netflix
--------------------------------

Netflix has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company and will expand their existing deal to create a universe spanning several formats.

A current deal between the companies, struck in 2018, covers a slate of animated TV shows, including a series based on the world of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” from Taika Waititi and Phil Johnston. In addition, Netflix is working with Sony and Working Title on an adaptation of “Matilda The Musical.”

Netflix will now create a universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.

“These stories and their messages of the power and possibility of young people have never felt more pertinent,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer for Netflix, and Luke Kelly, the author’s grandson and MD of the Roald Dahl Story Company, writing in a blog post.

“As we bring these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we’re committed to maintaining their unique spirit and their universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix.”

Roald Dahl’s books have been translated into 63 languages and sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, inhabited by popular characters such as Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Willy Wonka and The Twits.

“We want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed to this great story so far. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue the close working relationships established by RDSC with existing rights holders, publishing, theater and entertainment partners, and many others to protect and grow the great legacy of these beloved stories,” Sarandos and Kelly said.

“Netflix and The Roald Dahl Story Company share a deep love of storytelling and a growing, global fan base. Together, we have an extraordinary opportunity to write multiple new chapters of these beloved stories, delighting children and adults around the world for generations to come.”

Netflix Acquires Roald Dahl Story Company, Plans Cross Format Universe - Variety

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From: Glenn Petersen9/29/2021 1:34:53 PM
1 Recommendation   of 2087
 
Netflix acquires its first game studio in deal with Oxenfree creator Night School Studio

Dean Takahashi @deantak
VentureBeat
September 28, 2021 2:05 PM

Netflix has acquired its first game studio with the acquisition of Oxenfree creator Night School Studio. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

The Glendale, California-based game studio has 21 people and a history of pushing the boundaries for storytelling in games. It published Oxenfree in 2016 and has been working on Oxenfree II: Lost Signals for the Switch.

And yes, this means that Netflix is serious about moving into games, and it isn’t just focusing on mobile as the company hinted in an earlier earnings call. The original Oxenfree is available across eight platforms on mobile, console, and PC.

“We’re in the early stages of creating a great gaming experience for our members around the world. So we’re excited to announce today Night School Studio is joining Netflix,” said Mike Verdu, head of games at Netflix, in a blog post.

Founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014, Night School Studio is best known for the studio’s first game, Oxenfree.

“We’re inspired by their bold mission to set a new bar for storytelling in games,” Verdu said. “Their commitment to artistic excellence and proven track record make them invaluable partners as we build out the creative capabilities and library of Netflix games together.”



Above: Oxenfree was a narrative title that came out in 2016. / Image Credit: Night School Studio
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Verdu noted no in-app purchases and no ads will appear in the Netflix games, which will be available via subscription to Netflix.

In a blog post, Krankel said, “Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart. Netflix gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations in narrative gameplay and Netflix’s track record of supporting diverse storytellers were such a natural pairing. It felt like both teams came to this conclusion instinctively.”

He said the team will keep making Oxenfree II and keep cooking up new game worlds. It will also have room for more new hires “to help feed the office hermit crab.”

Gaming ambitions

The deal doesn’t mean that Netflix is going to be in a mad rush to make more acquisitions. Verdu said the company will expand its game efforts through a combination of working with established developers as well as making new hires.

Back in July, Netflix said it hired former Oculus and EA game development leader Verdu to head its fledgling game efforts.

The company has been hiring game people for a while, and Verdu was the biggest name yet to come on board at the streaming service for movies and TV shows. The move shows the company is serious about expanding into games, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once described (pointing out Fortnite in particular) as Netflix’s biggest competition for the time of its customers.

Verdu reports to chief operating officer Greg Peters. Verdu was Facebook’s vice president in charge of augmented reality and virtual reality content. He also served as senior vice president of EA mobile, president of studios and chief creative officer at Kabam, CEO of TapZen, and chief creative officer and co-president of games at Zynga.

Netflix has dabbled in games before with titles like a Stranger Things game and The 3% Challenge. The latter is a voice-controlled game. And Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a game-like experience, as it’s an interactive TV show in which the audience makes choices that influence the end of the story.

These were baby steps into games. But Verdu is a serious game leader whose career has focused on building entire portfolios of games for companies.

Netflix’s move into games has been anticipated, as all of the big tech companies have acknowledged the power of gaming, which has grown to a $175 billion industry, according to market researcher Newzoo. In the wake of the pandemic, gaming is also growing faster than many other forms of entertainment and media, according to a report this week by PwC.

More mobile games



Above: Scene from Stranger Things 3: The Game. / Image Credit: Netflix
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Meanwhile, in other news, Netflix is moving into mobile games with the launch of three new mobile titles in select European markets. The casual games include Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up, (both from developer Frosty Pop) and Card Blast (from Rogue Games). They are available to Netflix members in Spain, Italy, and Poland. Netflix recently started marketing a members-only mobile game service via Android in Poland.

The new titles are displayed via a new Games tab inside the Netflix Android app. Netflix subscription credentials are required to play games. Netflix previously launched a couple of Stranger Things titles, Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game.

Netflix acquires its first game studio in deal with Oxenfree creator Night School Studio | VentureBeat

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (2067)9/30/2021 1:52:19 AM
From: J.F. Sebastian
   of 2087
 
That bodes well for Netflix developing into an entertainment juggernaut.

The move signals Netflix's willingness to step outside their traditional streaming lane into other areas, and they're certainly not afraid of investing heavily in their content.

The news makes me even more positive about NFLX's chances in the market and should make it a good stock to own for years to come if they develop popular gaming titles.

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