Media Beat: April 01, 2020
Yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day and Lefsetz sets it up
By David Farrell
Yeah, it’s April Fool’s Day and Lefsetz sets it up
The live business has already written off 2020. The big acts don't want to take the risk of cancellation, there are way too many startup costs, to get geared up again for the fall? NO WAY!
So, they're waiting until 2021.
That's the dirty little secret of touring today, the costs. That's why tours have sponsorships, that's why acts make national touring deals, they need that cash to ramp up, and if they are left high and dry...who is gonna eat those costs?
Certainly not Live Nation. Live Nation is most concerned about its stock price, so it keeps on telling Wall Street that tours are gonna start up again by June or July, the summer is LN's most profitable season, and all will be hunky-dory and the stock will bounce back. As for AEG? No one knows since it's privately held by Phil Anschutz. A Republican in Democratic clothing, Phil is worried about being outed as a supporter of Trump and his agenda, certainly his business agenda, so he's laying low until the virus is gone, like I said, 2021. And who knows? Phil's 80 years old, a member of COVID-19's target demo, so now is not the time for him to take big risks.
But 2021 is. Especially if there's no risk involved.
It's gonna be Martin Luther King Day weekend. Mark your calendars right now, this is a four-day affair, running from Friday, January 15th to Monday, January 18th.
The first thought was to have it during the Christmas break when everybody is home and can pay attention, but it turns out the acts go on holiday, as does the business, can you say the Four Seasons in Hawaii?
And, with a new year, you get a new start.
And LN and AEG are gonna work together on this. Even Jerry Mickelson. But Seth Hurwitz and IMP are left out, this affair has got to be squeaky clean.
Now it's a well-known fact that Coachella is the most lucrative festival in the world.
But the only thing more lucrative was Desert Trip. You remember that the biggest acts of the sixties, playing for boomers in the fall?
Well, needless to say, you can't do this in Palm Springs. The weather is not amenable and it's the high season for snowbirds, there are no hotel rooms available.
So, for weather, antitrust and tax reasons, the Reunification Concert is happening in Mexico. Cabo, to be exact. Sammy Hagar personally negotiated with the cartels; they've agreed to back off for the weekend. However, insiders know they're taking 10% of the net. Then again, touring always was a crooked business. – You can continue reading Bob once this file hits his archives.
The portal answers questions, provides real-time statistics and even offers a self-assessment tool for those who think they might have symptoms.
As part of the government's broader efforts to support the broadcasting sector, the CRTC is waiving the next payment of licence fees that’s worth about $30M to some of the richest cartels in the country. This follows plans to launch a $30M ad campaign tied to the current pandemic.
Bell Media has announced programming and host details for the three Daily Essentials programs it is producing for Quibi’s bite-sized news and entertainment content that launch April 6. From Bell Media’s CTV News and TSN, the daily short-form content packages are entitled Newsday by CTV News and hosted by Heather Butts, Newsnight by CTV News (hosted by Rashmi Nair), and Sports AM by TSN featuring hosts Kayla Grey and Lindsay Hamilton. CTV News will produce daily news, available weekday morning and evening shows and mornings for the weekend. TSN will create sports info for Quibi for every day of the week in the morning.
Bell Media has an exclusive agreement with Quibi to prove news and sports in Canada. The video platform is set to launch Monday the 6th for $6.99 per month with ads, and $9.99 without ads.
Funeral homes are increasingly promoting live-streamed memorial services for families grieving a loss during the COVID-19 crisis in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
The province included funeral homes on a list of essential services released this week, but Laura van Sprang, manager of Sands Funeral Chapel Victoria, says video-streaming services give families a chance to honour a loved one without coming together in person. – Roxanne Egan-Elliott, Times Colonist
As countries around the world race to contain the pandemic, many are deploying digital surveillance tools as a means to exert social control, even turning security agency technologies on their own civilians. Health and law enforcement authorities are understandably eager to employ every tool at their disposal to try to hinder the virus — even as the surveillance efforts threaten to alter the precarious balance between public safety and personal privacy on a global scale. – Natasha Singer & Choe Sang-Hun, NYT
Matt O'Grady, Nielsen global commercial president, has released research, Key Questions All Marketers Should Be Asking, on the rise in TV media consumption and falling advertising volumes.
The paper includes a look at TV viewing time spent across 24 countries and advertising spends across Europe; how the pullback on advertising spend will cut expenses in the short term but will affect a brand’s resilience. – Jenni Gilbert, AdNews
Voice and video calls have more than tripled on Comcast’s network over the past month since people across the US started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a blog post this afternoon, Comcast said traffic for that category is up 212 percent in total, with overall peak traffic on its network up by 32 percent. In some cities, like San Francisco and Seattle, Comcast says peak traffic is up closer to 60 percent. – Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge
Nielsen says the amount of total streaming minutes was up 22% to 156 billion minutes for the week of March 16 week versus the week of March 9 (127.6 billion). This is more than double the growth of the prior week. It is also up from 115 billion streaming minutes for the week of Feb. 24.
Streaming now stands at 23% of all viewing being done on TVs as of the week of March 16 versus 14% for the same week a year ago with Netflix leading with a 29% share. – Wayne Friedman, MediaPost
Even without video, conference calls can be revealing.
"I remember a client was on a call while in the bath, and you could hear splashing and the tap running. He then realised the microphone was on and the phone slipped into the bath. Gurgle gurgle gurgle. He jumped out the bath to get another phone, slid and fell down the stairs," recalls Neil Henderson from Zurich Insurance. – Katie Prescott, BBC News
As I write, the USNS Comfort has pulled into Pier 92. Footage of the arrival of the immense hospital ship—with its roughly 1,000 beds to help relieve the hospital crisis—is running on the news channels. The governor and the mayor are all present alongside the heads of FEMA. I see New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and in his cadence, I hear a voice from the 1930s. “Forget the politics, we have a national crisis,” he says. “We are not red, we are not blue, we are red, white, and blue.” I see Cuomo, and I imagine an F.D.R. of this moment, a New Yorker who is steering America through a crisis without apparent end. It is Cuomo, these last few weeks, who has been talked about by columnists and cab drivers as a possible president who could lead the nation. This morning, Cuomo even sounds like Roosevelt in 1932: “No one will get evicted for non-payment of rent. If you don’t pay the rent, you can’t be evicted for three months.” And then, as he has said repeatedly, “We are New York. We are tough—but tough in a good way.” – Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair
Among the social impacts of the coronavirus is its swift dismantling of the cult of celebrity. The famous are ambassadors of the meritocracy; they represent the American pursuit of wealth through talent, charm and hard work. But the dream of class mobility dissipates when society locks down, the economy stalls, the death count mounts and everyone’s future is frozen inside their own crowded apartment or palatial mansion. The difference between the two has never been more obvious. The #guillotine2020 hashtag is jumping. As grocery aisles turn bare, some have suggested that perhaps they ought to eat the rich. – Amanda Hess, NYT
David Geffen’s Instagram post draws ire from the public
Geffen’s Caribbean excursion is the latest revelation of how the crisis is affecting people unequally across the globe. While the world’s wealthy have fled to vacation homes, specially made bunkers or floating palaces, rank-and-file workers from nurses to supermarket cashiers have been left juggling childcare and risking infection working jobs deemed essential.
And John Mayer probably won’t be invited on the entertainment mogul’s yacht once the pandemic blows over. He’s posted a parody video after seeing Geffen quarantined on a supersized yacht. – Bloomberg & Daily Mail