Media Beat: January 24, 2022
By David Farrell
Today, fewer Canadians are watching CBC with the network taking just 5% of the available English television audience in primetime.
The most recent ratings available show just one CBC show making the top 30 — the heavily promoted Son of a Critch brought in 941,000 viewers on Jan. 4 putting it in 28th spot.
CTV’s local supper hour news had an average audience of 1.7 million across the country, their national news at 11 had an average audience of 1 million, and Global’s weekend news had an audience of just under 1 million. – Brian Lilley, Toronto Sun
Others are suffering as well. Zoom Video Communications Inc., the owner of the ubiquitous video conferencing software, is trading at the lowest level since May 2020, as is e-signature company DocuSign Inc. Both stocks have lost more than half of their market values from record highs and slid further after Netflix’s results. Etsy Inc., the e-commerce company that saw strong pandemic demand for face masks and other products, is down more than 45 percent from a November peak. It last closed at its lowest since May.
Traditional media companies that have styled themselves as streaming businesses also took a hit in post-market trading. That includes Walt Disney Co. and ViacomCBS Inc. – Nick Turner & Jeran Wittenstein, Bloomberg News
While Netflix is falling out of favour with growth-focused investors, it is starting to gain merit as a value stock. Despite its somewhat disappointing subscriber gain, Netflix posted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.33 last quarter, easily beating its guidance and the analyst consensus of $0.82. This brought its full-year EPS to $11.24.
Netflix expects its operating margin to retreat somewhat in 2022 -- largely due to exchange rate pressures -- following several years of extremely strong margin expansion. Still, margin expansion will likely resume in 2023. Even with slower subscriber growth, the operating leverage inherent in Netflix's business model should enable the company to grow revenue faster than expenses for the foreseeable future. – Adam Levine-Weinberg, The Motley Fool
Sports broadcasting rights are a substantial part of the overall totals. Their cost has skyrocketed in recent renewal negotiations by networks with the NFL, NHL, NBA, English Premier League and other major European soccer leagues and competitions, and cricket’s Indian Premier League. – David Bloom, Forbes
A lot of journalists — and the executives who manage them — will head into a decidedly non-traditional competition in 2022, one that won’t necessarily be won with news scoops. They are rushing to produce new kinds of show formats, and relying on anchors both familiar and less so, all in a furious bid to keep a younger generation of consumers from developing new connections with digital upstarts that threaten to siphon them away. The fight is well underway: NBC News just before Christmas ran full-page ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal touting its still-growing NBC News Now streaming outlet. CNN, meanwhile, is expected to launch a significant marketing blitz behind its soon-to-launch CNN Plus, which will require a monthly subscription fee. NBC News’ ad tells people its streaming product is “Streaming. Free. 24/7” because it’s not behind a paywall. “We believe it serves the consumer better for us to be ubiquitous,” says Chris Berend, executive vice president of digital operations for NBCU’s news operations.
The skirmish is intensifying at a critical moment. Big media companies like Comcast and Disney are under pressure from Wall Street to show more growth in subscriptions to outlets like Peacock and Disney Plus. Meanwhile, their news operations are facing significant long-term declines in viewership, both for cable news after the heady 2020 election as well as their morning-news franchises and evening-news mainstays. – Brian Steinberg, Variety
All Covid-19 vaccines teach the immune system how to recognize the virus and prepare the body to mount an attack. The CORBEVAX vaccine is a protein subunit vaccine. It uses a harmless piece of the spike protein from the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 to stimulate and prepare the immune system for future encounters with the virus.
Another major difference is that the CORBEVAX vaccine was developed with global vaccine access in mind. The goal was to make a low-cost, easy-to-produce and -transport vaccine using a well-tested and safe method. Key to this, the researchers were not concerned with intellectual property or financial benefit. The vaccine was produced without significant public funding; the US$7 million needed for development was provided by philanthropists. – Maureen Ferran, The Conversation
Momentum is building for a conflict in Ukraine. A gaffe by Joe Biden has given Russia the upper hand. The US President suggested he would tolerate a "minor invasion" in Ukraine. Palki Sharma tells you more.
It's time to say “No” to Big Tech and “smart” appliances that are, in reality, data thieves attaching themselves to us and our homes like blood-sucking parasites. – Thom Hartmann, The Hartmann Report
If you spot an unwanted photo of you on your News Feed, there are things you can do. – Dalvin Brown, The Wall Street Journal
Jail for Social Media Execs?
The government in the UK has a guy named Jonathan Hall whose title is Independent Reviewer of Terrorism. His job is to be a "watchdog" over domestic terrorism. According to Mr. Hall, the UK's 2006 Terrorism Act requires that online companies take down any material that encourages terrorist activities.
Hall says the internet, and social media in particular, has become "the main frontier" for wannabe terrorists and that the Terrorism Act allows for jail time for those who allow the promotion of terrorism to continue on their sites. Hall was particularly scathing about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. He said it was "pointless" to appeal to Zuckerberg to act morally.
I'd be happy to send Zuckerberg to jail just for his stupid fucking haircut. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian