Friday, October 23, 2020

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 43

Series
Films
  • Movie Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Chadwick Boseman) premieres 201218 (also in theaters Nov 2020)
  • Movie What We Wanted premieres 201111
  • Orders movie Day Shift (Jamie Foxx)
  • Movie Mank (David Fincher, Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried) premieres 201204 (in theaters Nov 2020)
  • Musical film The Prom (Ryan Murphy, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman) premieres 201211
  • Movie The Life Ahead (Italy, Sophia Loren) premieres 201113
Holidays

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Netflix 20Q3: record cash flow from ops, some targets raised, cash spent per net add down

Main items 20Q3
  • Net adds (2.2m) below forecast (2.5m) due to sub-growth slowdown due to record H1 & pull-forward
  • Retention remains healthy & engagement per member HH was up solidly yoy
  • Sub growth highest in APAC
  • Streamings subs 195.151m (net adds 2.204m)
    • UCAN 73.081m, net adds 177k
    • EMEA 62.242m, net adds 759k
    • LATAM 36.324m, net adds 256k
    • APAC 23.504m, net adds1.102m
  • Total revenues $6.436b (+22.7%)
    • Streaming $6.377b (+23%, lowest rate since 19Q1)
      • UCAN $2.933b (+12%, slow-down)
      • EMEA $2.019b (+41%, remains in ~40% area)
      • LATAM $789m (+6.5%, slow-down)
      • APAC $635m (+66%, accelerated, highest since 18Q2)
    • DVD-by-mail $58.8m (-18%, same as since 18Q1)
  • Streaming ARPU $10.95 (-1.6% but +1% excl. F/X)
    • UCAN $13.40 (rising)
    • EMEA $10.88 (rising)
    • LATAM $7.27 (falling)
    • APAC $9.20 (roughly flat)
  • Operating income $1.314b, margin 20.4%
  • Cash spent on streaming content $3.033b (-19%)
    • TTM $13.205b (-3.0% yoy, first ever decline)
  • Cash & equivalents $8.422b
  • Cash spent (in previous quarter) per net add (in current quarter) on TTM basis: $378 (-19%)
Outlook 20Q4
  • Total subs 201.15m, net adds 6.00m
  • Revenues $6.572b (+20.2%)
  • Operating income $885m, margin 13.5%
Targets
  • As the world hopefully recovers in 2021, growth to revert back to levels similar to pre-COVID; expects net adds 21H1 down yoy
  • Raises target 2020 operating margin to 18% (from 16), average margin improvement 300 bp per yr but lumpiness increases (due to increased F/X exposure from international expansion & COVID impact); margin target 2021 remains 19%
  • FCF 20Q4 to be slightly negative due to production restart, 2020 FCF target $2b (raised from flat to up) due to higher margin & timing of spending; FCF to improve over coming years due to higher profitability & transition to originals production matures; target FCF 2021 between -1b and zero
  • No fund raising during 20Q4
Production
  • Completed principal photography on 50+ productions since lockdown March 2020, to be shooting 150 productions by end 2020l
  • Target original additions 2021 up yoy in each quarter
Viewing stats (first 28 days)
  • The Umbrella Academy (new season) 43m
  • Lucifer (new season) 38m
  • Ratched 48m, American Murder: The Family Next Door 52m
  • The Social Dilemma 38m
  • The Old Guard 78m
  • The Kissing Booth 2 66m
  • Project Power 75m
  • Enola Holmes 76m
  • Cobra Kai (new season) 50m
Promotion & distribution
  • Plans StreamFest in India, 201204-5: 48 hr free access
  • Distribution deal with Reliance Jio (India): STB integration

Friday, October 16, 2020

Week 42 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Networks

FTTH

4G

5G

6G

  • ATIS establishes Next G Alliance to advance North American leadership in 6G; with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, US Cellular, Facebook, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Bell Canada, Telus, Ciena, InterDigital, JMA Wireless, Telnyx

M&A

Corporate

  • Telefonica: Merges 3 global units (wholesale, roaming, MNE) into Telefónica Global Solutions
  • China Broadcasting Network Co (CBN) to launch as #4 MNO (has 700 MHz & 4.9 GHz spectrum) in China via 51/49 JV with others (State Grid Information & Telecomm, Alibaba Venture Capital Mgt, Guangdong RTV Network, Beijing All Media & Culture) [see 200521]
  • Walt Disney: Plans reorganisation to focus on streaming/D2C: content creation units Studios, General Entertainment, Sports; distr unit Media & Entertainment Distribution; other unit (Disney Parks, Experiences & Products) remains; plan Virtual Investtor Day 201210
  • AMC Entertainment: May face liquidity problem from end 2020 due to corona virus

IPO

Video

Communication

Hardware

  • Google
  • Amazon: Amazon Prime Day (201013-201014) in 19 countrie: US, UK UAE Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Turkey, Brazil; to spend >$100m on promotional activities to help SMEs; early deals on Amazon products & services start 200928 - 3rd-party sellers sold $3.5b (+60% yoy), savings for Prime subs $1.4b - Strikes in DE
  • Apple: Hi, Speed event: launches
    • iPhone 12 (5G, iOS 14, A14 Bionic chip; USB-C adapter, 4 models; Mini : 5.4 inch from $700; 6.1 inch from $800; 6.1 Pro from $1000; Pro Max 6.7 inch from $1100)
    • HomePod mini smart speaker ($100; with Siri; S5 & U1 chips, central hub for HomeKit devices, supports Pandora, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, with Siri-controlled Intercom feature for all iOS devices)
    • MagSafe to iPhone 12 & Apple Watch: magnetically attached chargers ($40), wallet ($60), cover ($50)

Regulatory

Telecom

  • Min EZK (NL) to submit Telecom Code (EECC) implementation law to Raad van State end 2020, then to Parliament, EU deadline for implementation 201221

Self-regulation

Platform regulation

  • Amazon: Reuters: EU antitrust case (started July 2019) to focus on dual role (selling platform & private label product seller); separate investigation into data used in selection of Buy Box winners
  • Internet Platforms advise EU to leave regulating harmful content out of DSA
  • FT: EU to focus on 20 largest platforms; to share data, increase transparency
  • NL & FR propose separate EU regulator for gatekeeper platforms; platform subject to intervention should at least have considerable market power in at least one market; propose principle-based obligations (right to data portability for business users, fair contracts) & prohibited practices (disruptive self-preferencing, halting access for 3rd-party providers of services or goods, incl APIs & data without objective justification), case-by-case remedies (access obliigations: obligation to proactively offer alternatives to users, safeguarding interoperability, data sharing obligations)
  • FCC proposes Section 230 interpretation to deny special immunity to social media, plans rulemaking - FCC jurisdiction disputed
  • Facebook and Twitter limit sharing NY Post article over containing hacked material and private information - US Senate to subpoena Twitter CEO Dorsey to testify 201023


5G: main developments last 5 months (developing)

Apps

  • Services
    • Smart factory, smart city
    • Unmanned aircraft, tractor, minibus
    • Gaming (Verizon/Twitch, StarHub/AntStream)
    • AR/VR: Telekom DE with 1. FC Köln
    • Broadcast
  • Networks
    • FWA: Rain, Optus, Fastweb, Oordeoo Oman, SmarTone, Telstra
    • Private 5G, solution from Samsung with Microsoft; Verizon Business with Microsoft & Nokia
    • Slicing
  • Business model
    • Wholesale: Optus, Orange ES, Verizon
Tech
  • SA 5G: T-Mobile US, Vodafone UK, KPN
  • MEC (AWS/Verizon, GCP)
  • Slicing (KDDI/Samsung)
  • DSS
  • CA
  • Release 16 (= 5G v2), Release 17 delayed into 2022
  • Virtualisation
  • Open RAN: Rakuten (with Telefonica, STC), VodafoneZiggo (with NEC)
  • Network automation (Rakuten)
CPE
  • Laptop
  • Smartphones: OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, LG, Sony, HTC, Motorola, Apple
  • Outdoor FA modem: Casa Systems
  • Hotspot: Inseego, Netgear
  • Football helmet with camera
  • TV (Xiaomi)
mmWave
  • Trial at Optus, Verizon with small cells (Samsung)
  • Long range: 3.8 km
  • Extended range bij US Cellular
  • Polish MNOs expect little demand until 2022/23 fpor lack of CPE
Providers
  • Newcomers: Ligado (US, IoT), Drillisch (#4 MNO DE), Dish (#4 national MNO US), DirecTV Colombia (FA), Mobilitie (US: DAS)
  • Launches: Zweden (Tele2, Telia, 3, Telenor??), HK (SmarTone), Poland (T-Mobile), Canada (Bell, Telus), ZA (MTN), Iran (MCI)???, Bahrain (Zain), Taiwan (Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, Taiwan Star), Madagascar (Telma), Brazil (Claro, TIM???, Vivo???), Seychelles (C&W)???, Philippines (Globe Telecom, Smart), Slovenije (Telekom Slovenije), NL (T-Mobile, KPN), Thailand (AIS), Denmark (TDC, Telia??, Telenor??), Spain (Telefonica, Orange, MasMovil), Colombia (DirecTV), Laos (LTC), Bulgaria (Vivacom), Singapore (M1), Ireland (3), Israel (Pelephone, HOT, Partner), Japan (Rakuten), Germany (Telefonica), CZ (Vodafone), Luxembourg (Pot)
  • To come soon: Wind Tre, Bouygues, Orange FR, Tango
Projects
  • 5G Blueprint
  • 5G-PPP (EU)
  • FUDGE-5G (EU, private networks)
Reports
  • WPI for Vodafone
  • EBU: broadcast
  • Huawei 5G’s ‘five opportunities’
  • Dublin: for municipalities
  • US Postal Service: post offices for antennae & MEC
Other
  • The Huawei problem
    • Samsung's advance, also Reliance Jio, Rakuten; and Mavenir, VMware
    • EU 5G Toolbox (cybersecurity)
    • ECTA warns for higher costs, delays (EU Toolbox 5G takes care of cybersecurity, other considerations are merely geopolitical)
  • Health myths: report Poland; Gezondheidsraad NL
  • Pricing: no surcharge at Verizon
  • Rural coverage: South Korea

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 42

Series
Films
  • Movie Operation Christmas Drop premieres 201105
  • Docu In Wonder (about Shawn Mendes) premieres 201123
  • Content deal for movie Mosul (Iraq War drama), premieres Nov 2020
  • Plans live-action & animated content based on Elf on the Shelf; existing short animated films Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue & Elf Pets: A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale premiere before Christmas 2020
  • Movie Hillbilly Elegy (Ron Howard, Amy Adams, Glenn Close) premieres 201124
  • Orders movie Starngers (Jennifer Kaytin Robinson)
  • Orders movie Caste (Ava DuVernay)
  • Movie Rebecca premieres 201021
  • License deal for movie Funny Boy (Deepa Mehta), to premiere in US, UK, Australia, NZ 201210, in theaters in Canada
  • Docu film Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb premieres 201028
  • Orders comedy film Don't Look Up (Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Ariana Grande, Jonah Hill)
  • Pauses production on movie The Harder They Fall (Idris Elba, Regina King) after positive COVID-10 test
Overall deal
  • With Jorge Gutierrez (Mexopoli prodco) for new animated films, series & interactive projects

Monday, October 12, 2020

Week 41 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

M&A

  • KPN: Bloomberg: EQT considers offer
  • IPKO (Telekom Slovenije): Attracts >10 potential buyers, to diclose Nov 2020
  • TalkTalk: Toscafund Asset Management (TAM, hedge fund, owns 28.5%) plans to offer 97 p/share, to deceid by 201105; Board supports
  • Telia: Sells Telia Carrier (019: rev SEK 5.39b, EBITDA excl IFRS-16 SEK 500m, capex SEK 396m; 530 employees) to Polhem Infra (= First AP Fund, Third AP Fund, Fourth AP Fund), SEK 9.45b (EV/EBITDA 18.9), capital gain SEK 7.00b, extra div 0.65 SEK/share; to close 21H1
  • 3 Group Europe (CK Hutchison): Rumor: 3 UK plans sale of rooftop locations (acquired from UK Broadband, 2017), to exit MBNL (macro sites JV with EE/BT) in order to sell
  • Virgin Media
  • Destiny: Acquires Voips (NL)
  • Vivendi: Canal+ increases Multichoice stake to 6.5%
  • Quibi: Rumor: 400-500k subs, offered company to Apple, WarnerMedia etc.

Corporate

Networks

5G

Fiber
Sharing
  • Kazakh operators (Beeline (KaR-Tel), Kcell, Mobile Telecom Service (Tele2-Altel) ) sign joint rural coverage pledge to cover 600k pops
Other

  • BT: Launches edge-based, open caching as a service, tech from Cisco, Qwilt, Digital Alpha
  • Cellnex plans IoT networks in IT, UK, IE, with Everynet, based on LoRaWAN tech (for Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, Smart Parking, Social & Facility Management, Environmental Management, Smart Utility)
  • Telefonica DE

Services

  • Nvidia launches Maxine: managed cloud AI (gaze correction, super-resolution, noise cancellation, face relighting etc; dramatically reduces how much bandwidth is required to 10% of H.264) videoconferencing service for developers

Hardware

  • Amazon: To launch eero for Service Providers (ISPs) in US/Canada Nov 2020: WiFi hardware & software: eero 6 Series Mesh Wifi System (WiFi 6), eero Insight (issue monitoring), eero Secure (security, privacy, parental controls; blocks blocks malware, spyware, phishing; ad blocking)

Regulatory

Spectrum

  • CTU (CZ) plans multiband (700 & 3.4-3.6) 5G auction, 7 bidders, encourages newcomers
  • EKIP (Montenegro) plans 5G multiband auction 21Q4: 700 (694-790), 3.4-3.8 GHz, 1 GHz in 26 GHz (24.25-27.5 & 26.5-27.5)

Platforms individually
Platforms general
  • Paris Court of Appeal to rule 201008 on whether competition authority has the power to require Google to negotiate with French press on neighbouring rights which allow online newspaper publishers to be remunerated for publishing extracts of their articles on Google News - Google and Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale (APIG, " Google accepts the principle of remuneration for our press titles") working on remuneration of neighboring rights - Paris Court supports competition authority for fairer negotiations between Google and publishers; APIG, FNPS, SEPM target Apple App Store, highlighting 30% commission & in-app payments, ringfencing of consumer data in media subscription packages purchased through the AppStore
  • Facebook and Twitter remove posts from POTUS Trump with false corona virus claim
  • US Congress (House Judiciary's Antitrust subcommittee) to report Oct 2020 on antitrust hearings 200729, delayed due to new info about Facebook's Instagram acquisition (from whistleblower) - Reports 201006: Amazon (most third-party sellers and many suppliers), Apple (distribution of software apps on iOS devices), Facebook (online advertising and social networking), Google (online search) all have monopoly powers (built on acquiitions), proposes break-ups - Republicans oppose: "Unfortunately, the Democrats’ partisan report ignores this fundamental problem and potential solutions and instead advances radical proposals that would refashion antitrust law in the vision of the far left." - Amazon disagrees - Apple disagrees
  • ECJ: mass personal data collection (mobile, internet) breaks EU law (unless in a situation of serious threat)
  • Ukraine considers tax on digital services (Facebook. Netflix, Amazon): 20% VAT
  • Global Privacy Control (NYT, EFF, DuckDuckGo) proposes setting preferences once for global opt-out

Saturday, October 10, 2020

EQT could offer a hefty premium for KPN (DEVELOPING)

Bloomberg reports that EQT is exploring an offer for KPN, talking to advisors for input. This is clearly not a takeover based on expected synergies, but on valuation. KPN is slowly morphing into an all-fiber company, which has not translated into its stockmarket valuation. In addition, some value may be created from further separating its networks division froms its retail units.

Assuming EQT takes on KPN's debt, it could pay a sizeable premium for the equity. The FTTH business alone is almost worth the same as KPN's current market cap.

KPN is spending roughly 800 EUR/home upgrading to FTTH, which could be worth (as per KCOM) four times as much. Spending EUR 4.5b on the remaining 5.6m lines would create EUR 13b in value.

Looking at it this way, EQT could pay as much as a 100% premium. This has two main reasons:

  • KCOM (200k lines, almost full FTTH) was taken over by Macquarie for GBP 627m or EUR 3,300 per line. KPN's FTTH business alone would be worth EUR 8.6b.
  • Iliad's offer for Play (15m mobile subs) of EUR 3.48b implies a value per mobile line of EUR 230. Based on this, KPN's mobile business would be worth roughly EUR 4b.
  • The remaining businesses (VDSL, ADSL, DTT, other) have an unspecified value.
The upside has two main reasons:
  • KPN builds FTTH at 800 EUR/home, whereas these lines are valued at 4x that amount (as per KCOM).
  • KPN suffers a discount as a result of its own (prefs) and the government's (Wozt) protective measures.

Positives

  • Bloomberg reported a planned offer for KPN from Brookfield and local pension funds 190131. Never materialised but similar to the latest TDC takeover (Macquarie and 3 Danish pension funds). TDC first rejected a DKK 47 offer, then accepted DKK 50.25 on 180212.
  • EQT has a large number of telecoms holdings: Adamo, Zayo, Delta Fiber, Melita, Deutche Glasfaser/inexio, GlobalConnect/IP-Only. EQT Infrastructure V just raised EUR 15b.
  • Management is loaded with options, so all it takes is a nice premium for them to agree with an offer.
Negatives
  • KPN safeguarded itself against takeovers (based on preference shares), so it would need to be a 'friendly' deal.
  • Also, the Wozt law gives the government a right to scrutiny, to prevent 'essential' infrastructure from falling into the wrong hands.
  • EQT's Delta Fiber owns FTTP in rural areas, FTTO in business parks, a service provider on several different networks, and mainly: the regional cable company in the Zeeland province. From this perspective, a takeover is a no-go, unless the Zeeland cableco is sold. Ziggo is the obvious candidate, but T-Mobile NL could be interested as well.
Valuation
  • KPN closed up 3% at EUR 2.235 for an equity value of EUR 9.4b. Net debt stands at EUR 6.1b, for an enterprise value of EUR 15.5b.
  • EBITDA AL TTM is EUR 2.3b and is forecast to be flat to slightly up over 2020.
  • KPN revenues (20Q2): total EUR 1.292b
    • Consumer: EUR 706m
    • Business: EUR 450m
    • Wholesale: EUR 149m
  • KPN lines (20Q2)
    • By technology
      • FTTH: 32% = 2.599m lines (of which 1.319m activated)
      • FTTC (VDSL): 55% = 4.5m lines
      • Other (ADSL, other): 13% = 1.1m lines
    • Consumer
      • 3.153m households, ARPU EUR 48.5
      • 4.580m mobile lines, ARPU EUR 13.4
    • Business
      • 0.807m voice lines, ARPU EUR 24.3
      • 0.334m broadband lines, ARPU EUR 71
      • 1.872m mobile lines, ARPU 17.7
      • Non line-based revenues from IT and Professional & Consultancy services
    • Wholesale
      • 0.074m voice lines
      • 0.138m unbundled broadband lines
      • 0.759m wholesale broadband lines
      • 0.758m mobile lines
  • Peers
    • Fiber-only: KCOM (delisted)
      • Taken over by Macquarie for GBP 627m (190715, closed 190819).
      • It had 195k FTTH lines and 8k VDSL lines, or say 200k equivalent FTTH lines.
    • Mobile-only: Play (being acquired by Iliad)
      • Offer from Iliad: enterprise value EUR 3.48b
      • It has 15.0m mobile lines with an ARPU of almost EUR 7.


Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 41

Movies
  • Movie Cadaver (Norway) premieres 201022
  • Docu Blackpink: Light Up The Sky premieres 201014
  • Content deal for movie The Swarm (France), premieres 201204 (also in theaters: France 201104, Spain 201120)
  • Orders musical film Alice (Sabrina Carpenter)
  • Movie Mank (David Fincher) premieres 201204 (also in theaters)
  • Movie Rogue City (France, Jean Reno) premieres 201030
  • Movie Grand Army premieres 201016
Series
Holidays
Live
Controveries
  • Indicted by Texas Grand Jury for distributing series Cuties

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Week 40 in Telecoms, Internet, Media

Networks

5G

  • Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp (PT&T) plans FWA trial
  • Orange trials smart factory with Schneider Electric in Le Vaudreuil: AR for maintenance, telepresence robot
  • 3 Ireland launches 5G at 315 sites, pops coverage 35% (to add 500 early 2021), with smartphones; uses 3.7 GHz band and repurposed 4G spectrum; with Ericsson
  • Xiaomi launches 8K TV (Mi TV Lux Pro 82-inch TV) with 5G - And Mi 10T smartphone series
  • Samsung Electronics (RAN, Core, MEC) & Microsoft (Azure) plan e2e cloud-based Private 5G solution for retail stores, smart factories, entertainment venues
  • Telstra launches FWA over 5G (first invitation-only): 5G Home Internet, 85 AUD/mo for 500 GB/mo, incl modem, typical download speeds 50-300 Mb/s
  • BT orders 5G RAN from Nokia to replace Huawei
  • Elisa orders 5G RAN (and Core) from Ericsson, and RAN from Nokia
  • Telenor SE launches Private 5G (3.7 GHz) at Atlas Copco (Sickla plant in Stockholm), with Ericsson
  • T-Mobile US expands 5G-2500 to 121 new cities, total 210
  • Eir expands 5G to 340 sites
  • MoC Israel hands 5G licenses to Partner, HOT (Altice Europe), Pelephone (Bezeq); Pelephone launches service at 150 sites (200 GB/mo for 50 ILS/mo, 500 GB/mo for 60 ILS/mo), Partner and HOT at 250 sites (500 GB/mo for 60 ILS/mo, 1 TB/mo for 70 ILS/mo)
  • Rakuten Mobile launches NSA 5G (midband & mmWave) in 6 areas, max 870/110 Mb/s (from Nov 2020: max 2.2 Gb/s down, 275 Mb/s up), with Rakuten-branded smartphone (BIG, 6.9 inch) & Aquos R5G; launches unlimited plan Rakuten UN-LIMIT V (4G & 5G), 3000 JPY/mo ('with transformational innovation, we are passing on significant savings to our customers'), with loyalty program; to launch SA 5G 21Q2
  • ZTE demos broadcast over 5G NR (30 MHz in 700 band)
  • Telekom DE, DFMG Deutsche Funkturm, Kathrein Broadcast, Porsche, Rohde & Schwarz, SWR (project lead), Technische Universität Braunschweig – Institut für Nachrichtentechnik launch 5G broadcast trial in Stuttgart & Heilbronn for in-car use
  • DoCoMo demos multi-vendor CA (3.7 & 4.5 GHz bands), with Fujitsu, NEC
  • Nokia demos network slicing; plans first deliveries end 2020
  • Nokia reaches 100 5G operator deals & 160 commercial 5G engagements (incl trials)
  • Telefonica DE launches 5G in 5 cities (Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt) at 150 sites (450 antennae), to add 10 new cities Oct 2020; targets k sites (antennea incl 3.6 GHz band) YE 2021
  • Batelco (Bahrain) reaches near-nationwide coverage (95%)
  • Vodafone CZ launches NSA 5G in 5 cities (Prague, Brno, Usti nad Labem, Jesenik, Karlovy Vary), with DSS
  • O2 UK (Telefonica) plans expansion to 100 cities YE 2021 after merger with Virgin Media (Liberty Global)

WiFi: WiFi 7 (802.11be) to launch 2024, max 46 Gb/s, max 320 MHz

Services

Telecoms

OTT

  • Video
    • Walt Disney
      • Disney+ plans Drive-In Festival in Santa Monica (Cal) 201005-12: screenings incl premieres (The Right Stuff, Clouds)
      • Closes Disney Channel in UK, content moves to Disney+
      • Lowers Premier Access price for Mulan to $7 on Disney+; available for non-subs from 201006 on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, FandangoNOW
    • WarnerMedia: Movie The Witches (Robert Zemeckis, Anne Hathaway) premieres in HBO Max 201022, skips US theater release due to corona virus, int theater release 201028
    • PMO (= PTV Telecom, Opencable, Asociación de Operadores de Telecomunicaciones Locales de Andalucía (ACUTEL)) launches Zapi; tech from Mirada (IRIS solution), based on Android
  • Music: Amazon: To add remastered tracks to UHD or 3D Audio (Dolby Atmos, Sony 360RA) from UMG & WMG for Amazon Music HD (currently 5m tracks in HD, 60m in HD)
  • Print: Google: Launches News Showcase program (as part of Google News Initiative), $1b: 3rd-party paywalled news production for Google News from 200 publishers in UK, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, DE
  • Commerce: Amazon Launches Amazon Explore (platform & marketplace), public beta: live virtual experiences with tour guides, store owners, other local experts in countries around the world; hosts set price (mostly $10-200); launches with 86 experiences in 16 countries

Hardware, technology

  • Google: Launch Night In event: launches
    • Google TV (OS, UX, formerly Android TV: guide for love TV & apps, recommendations, search; for Chromecast, Android TV, later other devices)
    • Chromecast With Google TV ($50; remote control, 4K, HDR 60 fps, Dolby Vision, voice control; to add Google Stadia support 21H1), promo: $90 incl 6 mo Netflix
    • Nest Audio (smart speaker, $100, successor to Google Home; 2 will create stereo sound)
    • Pixel 4a 5G ($500, EUR 500, GBP 500) & Pixel 5 (5G; $700, GBP 600; with 3 mo free Stadia & YouTube Premium & Google One (100 GB)), both with Extreme Battery Saver mode
    • Hold For Me (feature of Google Assistant for while waiting on hold, powered by Duplex tech)
    • new editor for Google Photos on Android
  • Amazon: Launches Amazon One tech (verification by hand palm scanning) in Amazon Go store Seattle

Corporate

M&A

IPO

  • fuboTV: Sets IPO price at $9-11, to sell 15m shares, ticker FUBO
  • Playboy: Plans IPO through SPAC merger with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp (MCAC), ticker to change to PLBY, to close 21Q1
  • Roblox: Rumor: plans IPO early 2021, valuation ~$8b
  • Airbnb: Rumor: to raise $3b from IPO, to file Nov, IPO Dec 2020

Other

  • Walt Disney: Cuts 28k jobs at US theme parks (Disneyland, Walt Disney World) over corona virus
  • Grupo Prisa: To refinance EUR 1.2b debt

Regulatory

Spectrum

  • ARCEP (FR) starts Phase 2 of 5G auction (3.4-3.8 GHz) - Ends 201001 raising EUR 2.786b from 310 MHz after 17 rounds, 10 MHz blocks priced at EUR 126m (to be paid over 4 yr), 50 MHz for EUR 350m (to be paid over 15 yr [see 200102]); Iliad wins 70 MHz for EUR 602m; Orange wins 90 MHz, EUR 854m (total holdings: 257 MHz); Bouygues Telecom wins 70 MHz, EUR 602m; Altice FR wins 80 MHz, EUR 728m (total holdings 245 MHz); positioning auction follows Oct 2020
  • BIPT (BE) awards final 4G spectrum (2.6 GHz band) to Citymesh, valid 15 yr, EUR 15m

Google

  • To block election ads in US after polls for US Presidential Election (201103) close
  • WSJ: small search engines (such as DuckDuckGo, Ecosia) lose auction for position as search engine on Android; DuckDuckGo only appears in Bulgaria, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein
  • WSJ: makes concessions to EU to get Fitbit acquisition approved: no discrimination against wearables manufacturers that also use Android; Fitbit to continue health-data deals with 3rd-parties (such as Strada); Fitbit data not to be used for targeted ads

Facebook

  • Sues BrandTotal (Israel) and Unimania (US) over data scraping (name, user ID, gender, date of birth, relationship status, location information, other) using browser extensions (UpVoice and Ads Feed)
  • WSJ: Facebook files doc (14 pages) to counter company break-up ('A ‘breakup’ of Facebook is thus a complete nonstarter' because of costs)
Twitter: Plans Birdwatch: moderation tool to fight misinformation (to provide notes as context, report tweets)

Platforms

  • FT: EU Digital Services Act forbids platforms qualifying as gatekeepers to pre-install exclusively their own apps, nor require from 3rd-party OS or CPE manufacturers; uninstalling pre-installed apps must be possible; data collected may not be used to target users unless shared with rivals; blocking rivals from offering services outside platform not allowed h
  • Singapore plans Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (cyber security as the equivalent of providing fresh water & sewerage services)

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Netflix: all the originals and licensing announcements of Week 40

Series:
Movies:
Holidays: