Media Beat: November 18, 2019

What Was Said

Death Of Television Update

Media Beat: November 18, 2019

By David Farrell

What Was Said

Death Of Television Update

It took Netflix one year to attract about 7 million subscribers. On Tuesday Disney launched its Disney+ streaming TV service. It attracted 10 million subscribers in one day.

This happened despite the platform crashing because of exceptionally high demand.

What the "TV is dead" imbeciles don't seem to understand is that there's a difference between industry internals and consumer behaviour. Regardless of cord-cutting and network share erosion, people still love to sit on their asses and watch television.

The fact that new and old delivery systems keep playing whack-a-mole with audience shares may be interesting to us, but is of no concern to real people. Distribution methodologies mean nothing to consumers. They want it simple, cheap, and entertaining. How the signal gets to their TV set is of no interest to them.


New streaming services are being born and re-organized every day. According to CNBC, here is the current line-up of major streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, CBS All Access, ESPN+, DAZN, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Meanwhile, NBC is preparing to launch its ad-supported "Peacock" streaming service by selling $25 million ad packages to advertisers. Yup, that TV thing sure looks dead to me.

The marketing war over streaming TV is just beginning. It's gonna be fun. We'll all be dead long before TV is. —  Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

Telus to invest $16B in Alberta

The company says it will invest $16-billion in Alberta over the next five years to create a high-speed, fibre-optic cable network in the province.

Telus has invested more than $45-billlion in operations and technology in Alberta since 2000 and the company said the new $16-billion investment would be at no cost to taxpayers.

The investment in Alberta is expected to create 5,000 jobs over that time. —

 The Sherwood Park News


MacLean says Coach’s Corner is no more

Ron MacLean addressed Don Cherry's dismissal with a lengthy monologue during the first period intermission of Saturday's "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast, saying "Coach's Corner is no more."

MacLean opened the intermission segment — the first since Sportsnet fired Cherry on Monday — by speaking alone on camera for nearly five minutes. — The Canadian Press

Canadian TV host calls hockey players ‘white boys’ and ‘bullies’, sparks backlash 

Amid Don Cherry’s refusal to back down following controversial poppy comments which led to the end of his historic broadcasting career, former Maclean’s magazine editor Jessica Allen decided to attack not just Don Cherry, but rather the entire “altar of hockey” which Canada worships, going on to say that the “white boy” hockey players could have used their parents’ money to instead, travel the world. — Roberto Wakerell-Cruz, The Post Millennial

'I’m not mad. I’m not bitter': Host Rob Snow let go from CFRA

CFRA host Rob Snow lost his job Wednesday after two decades with the local newstalk radio station.

In an interview with this newspaper, Snow said he got the news at 8:30 Wednesday morning.

“I was told I was part of a restructuring,” he said. “It’s a shock, but it’s the media. The media — whether it’s newspapers, radio, television — it’s all struggling.” — Taylor Blewett, Ottawa Citizen

CRTC sets public hearing on V’s ownership change

Bell Media plans to acquire V and AVOD service in a transaction valued at $25.2 million, with a tangible benefit package of around $2.5 million. — Kelly Towsend, Media In Canada


Another new book about Red Robinson

Red Robinson: The Last Broadcastis the sequel to the best-selling Red Robinson: The Last Deejay. It details the legendary Canadian deejay’s last radio broadcast in the summer of 2017 and provides an in-depth look at the careers of his equally colourful friends and colleagues in the broadcasting industry. — Robin Brunet, Puget Sound Radio

The Content Wars have reached full pitch, and they’re changing television forever

…Apple TV+, the cheapest, is $4.99 per month, while HBO Max, the most expensive, will be $15 monthly. But behind the scenes, the scaffolding for these platforms has cost billions. Disney CEO Bob Iger invested $2.6 billion just acquiring the technology for Disney+; the studio plans to spend almost $1 billion on original content for Disney+ in 2020. Apple TV+ reportedly spent at least $1 billion, and possibly up to $6 billion, developing its relatively tiny slate of 10 shows. AT&T told investors it’ll spend up to $2 billion on HBO Max.


A few popular, easily rewatchable shows such as Friends and Seinfeld—all multicam sitcoms—have turned into billion-dollar bargaining chips. NBCUniversal paid $500 million to pull The Office from Netflix in 2021; WarnerMedia reportedly spent about as much pulling Friends from Netflix onto HBO Max. And in a “staggering” deal rumoured to be worth billions of dollars, HBO Max secured The Big Bang Theory for five whole years. — Sonya Saraiya, Vanity Fair

TV will drop below 25% of total US ad spending by 2022

US TV ad spending will drop almost 3% this year, and a 1.0% bump in 2020 from the presidential election and Summer Olympics will not stave off a long-term decline for ad spending on the biggest traditional channel. According to eMarketer’s latest US ad forecast, TV ad spending peaked in 2018 at $72.40 billion. — eMarketer

Podcast industry grapples with prospect of automated ads

Programmatic sales remain a sliver of the podcast ad business. They grew to 1.3% of U.S. sales last year from 0.7% in 2017, according to research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The most common way to buy podcast ads is directly and on a quarterly basis, the mode by which 38.2% of podcast ads were bought in 2018, according to IAB research. — Sahil Patel, The Wall Street Journal

ESPN reaches another record-high month for podcast audience

The American sportscast cable company announced audience statistics for its podcast shows in October. For the third consecutive month, the company’s podcasts reached a new record audience. ESPN Podcasts had a unique verified audience of 8.1 million in the month, besting the 7.5 million it reported in September. Downloads reached 46.1 million, another new record that rose 6% from October 2018. — Anna Washenko, RAIN News


Spoken word audio content is gaining in popularity

While spoken word consumption is growing, music listening is losing ground. Music’s share of time spent listening to audio has dropped 5% in the last five years, while spoken word is up 20%. Despite this shift, music is still the dominant force in audio, commanding 75% of all listening among Americans 13+, compared to 25% for spoken word content. — Allison Romano, Federated Digital Solutions

State of Radio: Crisis? What Crisis

The proliferation of electronic media, coupled with the fact that most consumers have their mobile phones close at hand, signifies changes in the way consumers expect their news.

Especially during a crisis.

And these days, “Breaking News” has become something of a joke.  Multiple times during most days – including weekends – there are news stories, developments, and surprises no one saw coming.  This has put incredible pressure on news outlets, from the nation’s newspapers to cable TV networks to radio news operations. — Fed Jacobs, Jacobs Media

In the elevator with YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober

WSJ's Joanna Stern "bumps into" famed YouTube star Mark Rober, and asks him about how he gets an average of 27 million views per video, his upcoming show with Jimmy Kimmel and his plans to go to Mars. — Watch video here


Dave Loggins
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Dave Loggins

Latest News

Obituaries: Canadian Guitar Tech John Farnsworth, Hit Country Songwriter Dave Loggins

This week we also acknowledge the passing of Canadian country singer Marjorie Freeborn, Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall and Menudo singer Adrian Olivares.

John Stewart Farnsworth, a veteran Canadian guitar/stage technician who worked extensively with the likes of Blue Rodeo, The Jeff Healey Band, Amanda Marshall and Cowboy Junkies, died on July 4, at age 56.

The Peterborough-born Farnsworth graduated from George Brown College in Toronto, then began working for BCB Pro Audio. His obituary notes that "he went on to become a skilled and dedicated guitar/stage technician for over 35 years. Loved and admired by his peers for his kindness, humility, passion, skill and attention to detail, he was the brightest light on and off the stage.

keep readingShow less