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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LOS ANGELES — Netflix blinked first and now other major Hollywood studios say they may reevaluate filming in Georgia if the state’s abortion law goes into effect. The state is known for its lucrative tax incentives for filming.WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and the Walt Disney Co. followed the streaming service’s lead earlier this week, breaking a three-week silence from the big players in entertainment on the controversial law that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks.“If the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions,” read a statement from WarnerMedia Thursday.Unless it’s blocked in court, it is set to go into effect in 2020.WarnerMedia productions currently filming in Georgia include the Warner Bros. film “The Conjuring 3” and the HBO show “Lovecraft County.”The company said that while working in a state or country, “doesn’t mean we agree with every position” made by that territory or its leaders, “we do respect due process.”NBCUniversal later in the day chimed in too saying that it expects the, “heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states will face serious legal challenges and will not go into effect while the process proceeds in court,” but, they added, “If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future.”Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters Wednesday that it would be difficult to continue filming there if it becomes law. Iger said that the company has heard from people who say they won’t work there should the law take effect.Georgia has become known as “Hollywood of the South” or “Y’allywood,” and is home base for productions as big as Marvel Studios’ superhero blockbusters and shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead,” which contribute to more than 92,000 jobs in the state.Although individuals in Hollywood had been vocal on the matter and smaller production companies had weighed in on plans to boycott, pull productions or donate money to help organizations fighting the law, as J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele pledged to do with “Lovecraft County,” the silence from the big players was conspicuous.Many Georgians, from politicians to the people who work on film sets, worry about the adverse effects of the law. Georgia’s Democratic lawmakers and local film workers have urged Hollywood to keep production in the state. Boycotts, some say, are not the response they’re looking for.And so far only a few tangible productions have uprooted from the state including the Kristen Wiig Lionsgate movie “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” and Reed Morano’s Amazon series “The Power.”Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Major Hollywood studios start to weigh in on heartbeat bill by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted May 30, 2019 12:06 pm PDT
Categories: Cox News,Cox Photos 18Jun Rep. Cox joins Gov. Snyder and House colleagues for budget signing PHOTO CUTLINE: State Rep. Laura Cox (fifth from left), R-Livonia, joins fellow House Appropriations Committee members, other House colleagues, and Gov. Rick Snyder in a ceremony to commemorate the signing of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 state budget. This marks the fifth consecutive year that a balanced budget has been delivered months before the deadline.###
LANSING – Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, voted today in support of statewide road funding legislation, a nine-bill package approved by the state House of Representatives.Included in the multi-bill package is House Bill 4370, introduced by Rep. Hughes, which expands the Homestead Property Tax Credit by a projected $200 million.Overall, the approved legislation allocates $600 million in existing state funds, coupled with $600 million in new revenue to help repair and build roads and bridges throughout the state of Michigan. The $1.2 billion allocated to address transportation will be gradually built up over five years.“This plan resolves a long-time discussion to fixing roads and this is an issue that has gone on long enough,” Rep. Hughes said. “We listened to the voters on Proposal 1, creating a plan that includes recommendations from the governor and the Senate. All new revenue goes to roads, which people have said they wanted all along.”The Homestead Property Tax Credit expansion is intended to soften the cost to senior citizens and low-income families, as well as all tax-paying residents.“This package recognizes that Michigan is in a much better economic position than four years ago when changes to the tax credit were made,” said Rep. Hughes. “My bill will provide relief to citizens while gas and registration fees will be dedicated to building roads. This bill package repairs roads while providing tax relief to our hard-working taxpayers.”The legislation now advances to the Senate for its consideration.##### 21Oct Rep. Hughes bill provides tax relief as part of $1.2 billion road fund package Categories: Hughes News,News
State Rep. Joe Bellino released the following statement tonight in response to the governor’s State of the State address:“The people of Michigan need more than canned promises – they need results. We need to build up our skilled workforce – with training, with jobs, and with social supports, like opioid addiction care, that will put more of our kids in high quality careers at home.“Tonight the governor missed an opportunity to address the opioid epidemic plaguing many Michigan communities and families. It’s important to me that Michigan families know their lawmakers are listening and responding to their needs. Opioid abuse affects families across Michigan and I want the state to be on the side of protecting people’s wellbeing and offering helping hands where needed. We have to ask ourselves, what’s the cost of doing nothing?“The toll this crisis is taking on our families and young people is too high. If we are going to keep investing in Michigan’s economic future, we need to make sure we are investing in the next generation.” 12Feb Rep. Bellino: Investing in Michigan’s economy means investing in young people Categories: Bellino News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares April 3, 2014; NetNewsCheck“In this time of vast upheaval in the form and function of journalism, nonprofit newsrooms now find themselves being held to a higher level of scrutiny. It’s coming from for-profit peers suspicious of funders who appear more interested in the democratic function of the Fourth Estate rather than traditional capitalistic consideration.”So says Kevin Davis in an opinion piece on NetNewsCheck, a website covering the business of local digital media. Davis is the executive director of the Investigative News Network, whose mission is to advance sustainability and excellence in nonprofit investigative and public service journalism.Davis says that many see such nonprofit news outlets as ProPublica, Kaiser Health News, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Voice of San Diego, and the Texas Tribune as invaluable producers of socially necessary but commercially difficult public service journalism. But he adds that others have publicly questioned the validity and sustainability of the nonprofit news outlets, going so far as to denounce them as illegitimate, impermanent, or shills of the foundations and philanthropists that have invested in them.Davis asks, “Can mission-driven organizations with limited access to and, therefore limited number of, financial resources legitimately, sustainably and ethically perform the core public accountability functions of the Fourth Estate? Or…is for-profit journalism the only legitimate and logical area for media investment?”First, Davis admits to being biased in favor of the nonprofit news movement. He previously worked with for-profit news organizations during a 20-year career, and says he has “seen a fair share of stories spiked, advertisers aggrandized and legitimate story ideas suppressed out of fear of rocking the now ever-shakier boat.”He says that those who question the motives of non-profit news are imposing a double standard, that because of the perceived lack of market-driven economics, nonprofit newsrooms are inherently more prone to manipulation by the people that fund them. But he says that ethics and the elimination of real conflict of interest are legitimate and important issues with which every media outlet should be concerned.The primary argument he sees is in regard to the perceived lack of editorial independence of nonprofit news organizations, that the small number of journalism-supporting foundations and philanthropists might have agendas which influence the coverage of the nonprofit news organizations that they support.He refutes that and says that “rather than rehashing the accusations within the reports or the veracity of the rebuttals, it is important to note how nonprofit newsrooms…are actively mitigating these inherent risks and trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety in order to be able to produce news and information that is valued and utilized by the audiences and communities that they serve. Editorial independence for a nonprofit news organization is [exemplified by] the freedom of journalists and editors to make decisions without interference and/or direction from any funding source.”He says that in his experience, nonprofit news outlets have extensive policies on transparency that “apply high journalistic standards for accuracy and fairness and which prevent conflicts of interest that compromise the integrity of the work.” His own organization requires the disclosure of all donors above $1,000 “because we believe that the public has a right to know who is funding the content and draw their own conclusions about the implications that funding may or may not have.”“By adopting clear and practical editorial independence policies, coupled with an unwavering commitment to transparency,” Davis concludes, “nonprofit newsrooms can avoid the inherent risks in accepting philanthropy to produce the much needed and valued public service and investigative journalism so desperately needed in a free democracy.”—Larry KaplanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
French subscription video-on-demand service FilmoTV has partnered with multi-screen app firm Dotscreen to launch what they claim is the first French SVOD offering on the Playstation.The app is available for Playstation 3 and 4 consoles as well as on Sony Bravia connected TVs, offering a catalogue of “hundreds of movies” for €9.99 per month.The FilmoTV service launched in 2009 and is also available on Samsung, LG and Philips smart TVs, on tablets and smartphones, on Numéricâble boxes and on Orange TV.
UK production companies Avalon and Hat Trick have confirmed they are attempting to take over youth-skewing network BBC Three, as the BBC prepares to take the channel online only. According to a spokesperson for the production companies, which are responsible for BBC Three shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and The Revolution Will Be Televised, an approach has been made to the BBC Trust to buy the channel.“Under the new ownership, BBC Three would continue to broadcast on all digital platforms, all current contracts would be honoured and the channel’s programme budget would be increased from £81 million (€70 million) to £100 million a year,” said Avalon and Hat Trick in a statement.“Under the BBC’s plans to take the channel online, that budget is to be cut to £30 million a year.”The companies, which are thought to be mounting a £100 million bid for the channel added that “all original commissions would be made by UK companies and the channel would continue to be aimed at a young and ethnically diverse audience.”However, BBC insiders have poured cold water on the news, with one insider telling DTVE that “BBC Three simply isn’t and can’t be for sale.”“That aside – and the that fact that the brand will continue whatever the result of the BBC Trust’s public value test – there’s also the question of how they would fund and run a £100 million channel, a budget bigger than all free to air digital stations,” the insider added.A spokesperson for the corporation said: “BBC Three is not for sale, it’s not closing. The proposal is to move it online as part of a bold move to reinvent the BBC’s offer for young people.”The BBC announced last year that it plans to “reinvent” youth-skewing network BBC Three as an online-only channel.Outlining details of the proposal in December, the BBC said the move will generate savings of £50 million and allow the corporation to experiment with new content.
TF1 Group has maintained stable revenues for the full year for 2014 despite a continued slide in core advertising revenues. The French commercial broadcaster posted full-year sales of €2.092 billion, up 0.3%, despite a 2.6% drop in advertising revenues to €1.576 billion. Revenue from other activities, including from the sale of online shopping outfit Place des Tendances, amounted to €516.3 million, up 11.1%.The group saw ad revenues slide across the board, including for pay TV channels. TF1 say pay TV revenues fall by 5.2%, thanks in large part to reduced ad revenues from pay channels in the face of greater competition from the free-to-air market.Programming costs rose by €47.3 million to €994 million, thanks in large part to coverage of the football World Cup, which contributed €73.7 million in additional costs.The group expects economic conditions to be more favourable this year, and said it would continue to try to grow revenues through the free-to-air offering and digital initiatives, as well as continuing to focus on costs.TF1 posted an operating profit of €116.5 million, down 10%. However its net profit was boosted to €412.7 million thanks to the sale of a number of assets.
Video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly eight times between 2014 and 2019, according to Juniper research. The new ‘mobile data offload and onload’ report estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage.Video currently accounts for around 60% of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70% in 2-3 years, said Juniper.The research forecasts that mobile data traffic, generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets, will approach almost 197,000 Petabytes by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies.However, the majority of this mobile data traffic offloaded to WiFi networks, with only 41% of the data generated by these devices will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, according to Juniper.
Paul BroadhurstTechnetix Group has acquired Arris’s supplies division, formerly Telewire Supplies, to give it a better position for growth in the cable market in the Americas.Technetix will merge the Arris Supplies business into its existing USA operations in Denver, Colorado. The transaction is expected to close in the latter half of Q3, 2015.Paul Broadhurst, CEO of Technetix Group, said, “We are delighted with this acquisition as Technetix and Arris Supplies are complementary businesses. We are committed to working with Arris to ensure that the expectations of Arris Supplies’ customers are met throughout the acquisition process and beyond. We will continue to serve our customers, both new and existing, with innovative products and enhanced service. This acquisition will be transformational for Technetix and will place the company in an ideal position for accelerated growth in the Americas market, adding customer base, extensive products and broad employee talent.”John Caezza, President of Arris Access Technologies said, “The Arris Supplies team delivers unique expertise and technology know-how that will help drive innovation for the Technetix product portfolio and better serve its customers. Our leadership in the Americas will bolster Technetix’ local footprint, while serving as a platform for its global growth.”
Liberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland has added five new channels to its Horizon Go advanced mobile TV offering.Horizon Go customers will now be able to view Sony Pictures Television Networks channels AXN HD, AXN Spin HD, AXN White in SD and AXN Black in SD, alongside Romance HD.UPC Poland’s Horizon Go service offers a range of channels and on-demand content, including access to the MyPrime on-demand service.
Jeffrey KatzenbergComcast is set to go head-to-head with Disney in the kids and family sector after NBCUniversal completed its US$3.8 billion takeover of DreamWorks Animation.The deal hands Comcast’s entertainment wing NBCU franchises such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, online assets in the shape of multichannel operator AwesomenessTV, and a sprawling toon-focused kids business including distributor DreamWorks Classics.DWA will sit within the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which also comprises Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development and is run by former NBCU international chief Jeff Shell.Upon sealing an agreement with DWA in April, NBCU CEO Steve Burke said the deal would grow the Comcast business, which is best known as a cable operator, in film, television, theme parks and consumer products.This puts more directly in competition with kids and family entertainment giant Disney.Terms of the completed deal sees DWA stockholders receiving US$41 in cash per share of common stock, with the company no longer listed on the NASDAQ exchange as a result.DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has made US$391 million from the deal, as he steps back from his role leading the Glendale, California-based company.A regulatory filing showed he owned around 10.2 million shares, nearly ten times the amount of the next largest shareholder, studio president Ann Daly. Former Hulu chief exec Jason Kilar and ex-Viacom boss Tom Freston also profited from the sales, both having small shareholdings.Katzenberg will be a consultant to Comcast and chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will house millennials-focused digital content group AwesomenessTV and tech wing NOVA.Comcast noted that as part of the deal, DWA redeemed an outstanding US$300 million principal from a 6.875% senior notes due on August 15, 2020. Owners will make 104.156% of the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption date.Katzenberg founded DWA in 2004 after splitting from DreamWorks SKG, which he co-founded with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
Marc Antoine d’HalluinLuxembourg-based M7 Group has named former Zodiak Media CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin chairman of the board as part of a broader management shakeup at the firm.The pan-European satellite pay TV operator said the changes are designed to accelerate growth plans as the firm looks to develop its “content-centric approach”.M7 also upped chief operating officer Hans Troelstra to CEO, replacing Marco Visser who had held the chief executive job since 2013.The third major change to the board sees former chief finance officer at Tele2 Nederland, Ernst Jan van Rooijen, join M7 as CFO.The company said that it wants to offer the “broadest and most appealing linear and on-demand content” for its customers via multiple media platforms, with d’Halluin to build up M7’s existing brands.The international programming and content distribution veteran will also be tasked with adding TV channels and on-demand services that will both generate broad public interest and anticipate new content developments like eSports.D’Halluin joined production company Zodiak Meida as CEO in 2013 and was expected to exit following Zodiak’s merger with rival content group Banijay Group, which was agreed last year.Prior to Zodiak he held CEO roles for Showtime Arabia, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) in Dubai and Canal+ Nordic.Troelstra has been COO at M6 for the past six years and is credited with helping to transform the company from a Benelux satellite platform operator into a multi-territory pay TV provider.In his new role, Troelstra will continue to drive M7’s change from a DTH-only platform to a “fully hybrid platform”.“With our enormous line up it is not always easy for customers to find programs,” said Troelstra. “Good content but not well known and hidden in our line up.”Van Rooijen worked for more than 15 years for Tele2, the last 10 of which as CFO, taking a leading role in various acquisitions, strategic partnerships and divestments.M7 group is controlled by French Private Equity firm Astorg and claims to have more than 3 million subscribers for its satellite and IP-based TV platforms.The company uses different brands in different countries, including: CanalDigitaal and Online.nl in the Netherlands; TV Vlaanderen in Flanders; TéléSAT in French-speaking Belgium; AustriaSat/HD Austria in Austria; Skylink for the Czech and Slovak markets; and M7 Deutschland in Germany.
Sales of Sony’s October-launched PlayStation VR headset reached 915,000 as of February 19, according to president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House.In an exclusive interview with the New York Times, House revealed that Sony is well on track to beat its internal goal of one million headsets sold by mid-April – six months on from the PS VR’s initial launch.He said that by April supply of the headsets will improve and that Sony expects to start selling the device in Latin America by the autumn.“You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” he said in reference to sales in Japan.Speaking at MIPCOM last October, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said that the company has committed to making a variety of content “beyond gaming”, claiming that Sony is well positioned to set trends in virtual reality.Earlier this month Sony added 3D movie support to PlayStation VR in the latest software update for its PlayStation 4 games console.
Modern Times Group (MTG) is to acquire US games publisher and developer Kongregate from its current owner GameStop Corp for US$55 million.San Francisco-based Kongregate, which began life as a browser-based games developer but expanded into mobile and ‘Steam’ games and recently acquired San Diego-based games studio Ultrabit, grew its net sales by 38% last year to US$35 million. Mobile revenue generated from in-game purchasing and advertising grew by 74%.According to MTG, Kongregate is expected to grow its revenues to at least US$50 million this year. The company, which shares revenues with games developers, will, together with MTG, move to acquire further first-party games developers.Kongregate games attract up to 14 million monthly active users. Its web gaming portal has over 100,000 free-to-play games, and it has published 45 mobile games to date that have been downloaded over 100 million times.MTG’s latest foray into games as it seeks to diversify away from traditional pay and free TV follows its recent acquisition of a majority stake in Hamburg-based InnoGames.Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG President and CEO, said: “This investment is in line with our strategy to invest in relevant, complementary and scalable digital content and communities. Online gaming is one of our three digital entertainment verticals, and we are establishing a presence in a gaming industry expected to be worth some USD 130 billion in 2020, of which mobile gaming is the fastest growing segment. Almost a third of the time people spend on mobile devices each day is spent gaming. We look forward to welcoming the high quality, hugely talented and well proven Kongregate team to MTG.”Arnd Benninghoff, MTG EVP and MTGx CEO, said: “MTG’s ambition is to create a next-generation publisher hub and acquiring Kongregate is the next step in this journey. They have a multi-platform business and a global audience network, and are now developing and acquiring their own high value game studio IP. This will enable us to screen a wide range of gaming companies at an early stage, in order to find additional investment opportunities.”
Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 has teamed up with Tokyo-based mobile messaging and live broadcast specialist Line Corporation to launch a new mobile live streaming platform in Germany, focusing on the 17-plus youth audience.User-generated content app Line Live will enable its target audience to share their lives in live streams with the world. The service launched in Japan in 2015 and garnered an audience of 350 million aggregated views in its first six months. Line Live in Japan currently has over 24 million active users.Participants are rewarded for sharing streams with gift icons in the form of unicorn and heart icons.ProSiebenSat.1 said that it planned to extend its partnership and launch Line Live in other European markets.In Asia, Line Corporation’s Line Messenger service has over 200 million active users per months. The company’s mobile apps are available in 230 territories in 19 languages.ProSiebenSat.1 and Line have launched a campaign based on YouTube influencers with support from ProSiebenSat.1 MCN Studio71 and the group’s live events arm Starwatch. YouTube star twins Lisa and Lena are kicking off the campaign with a trip to Asia from where they will report on Line Live from Tokyo and Seoul.Christian Dankl, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Digital, said that the platform responded to demand for live streaming worldwide. He said ProSiebenSat.1 believed in the potential for user-generated live streaming and said that the experience and technology of Line Corporation would be key to the success of the platform.Eunjung Lee, SVP of business development at Line Plus Corporation said that the new partnership would help his company connect with new users in Germany. He said the collaboration was an important step in the taking forward the company’s long-term commitment to expand in the region.
OTE-owned Greek pay TV service Cosmote TV has secured exclusive rights to Champions League and Europa League football until 2021.All Champions League and Europa League matches will air exclusively on Cosmote Sports channels.The pay TV operator has secured rights to 137 Champions League matches and 205 Europa League matches as well as the UEFA super Cup between the winnersof the two competitions.As well as being available through the linear sports channels, matches will be available through the Cosmote Replay TV time-shift service and the Cosmote TV Go multiscreen service.Cosmote previoiusly held the rights to the two competition in Greece.“We are delighted that the premium UEFA football leagues, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League will continue to air on Cosmote Sport channels over the following three years. And furthermore, under an enhanced agreement that secures for Cosmote TV the exclusive rights for all matches of both competitions. At Cosmote TV, we constantly invest in upgrading and enhancing our sports content, with new channels and new tournaments across all sports, for our subscribers”, as said Dimitris Michalakis, Cosmote TV executive director.
French audience research outfit Médiamétrie has broadened the scope of its ‘four-screen TV’ audience measurement system by integrating Canal+ OTT distribution platform MyCanal.Médiamétrie customers will now be able to view the performance of their programmes broadcast on the MyCanal platform.The results will be included in the Programme Focus four screens service, which measures daily ratings for television content that has been broadcast live and catch-up across television, computer, smartphone and tablet.Médiamétrie said that MyCanal had been working closely with it on an audience measurement system that can dentify content consumption across all its internet and app environments, as well as via all digital screens.Julien Rosanvallon, Médiamétrie’s head of digital and TV departments, said that the move was “an important step” that illustrated the technological and scientific developments it has worked to achieve in recent years, “combining panels and big data, with the aim of delivering ever more comprehensive and refined measurement to the marketplace”.Frank Cadoret, deputy director-general of Canal+ Group in charge of France, said that time-shifted viewing on MyCanal had doubled in one year, while millions of viewers had adopted features such as multi-live, download and personal recommendations.“The innovative technological developments deployed by Canal+ Group and Médiamétrie during this project confirm MyCanal platform’s unique status as an OTT content aggregator mixing live, catch-up and VOD content. Four-screen audience measurement is one step in the establishment of services which MyCanal will offer to its broadcasting partners, both subscribers and non-subscribers, based on Canal+ Group’s expertise in data,” he said.
Vivendi has condemned what it describes as “time-wasting tactics” employed by Telecom Italia (TIM) board members backed by hedge fund Elliott Advisors who have successfully resisted its call for an immediate shareholders meeting, with the meeting now scheduled to take place on March 29.Vivendi said that it notified the board on December 11 of its intentions and formally make a request on December 14 to convene the meeting as soon as possible.In the latest move in its long-running battle with Elliott for control of TIM, Vivendi proposed the nomination of Franco Bernabè, Rob van der Valk, Flavia Mazzarella, Gabriele Galateri di Genola and Frencesco Vatalaro to replace Elliott-nominated directors Fulvio Conti, the company’s chairman, Alfredo Altavilla, Massimo Ferrari, Dante Roscini and Paolo Giannotti de Ponti in a move that followed the forced departure of Vivendi-backed CEO Amos Genish.TIM’s board delayed a decision on Vivendi’s request until January 14 before announcing a two-month delay in scheduling the meeting.“These time-wasting tactics are negatively impacting TIM’s financial results every day, as is sadly reflected by the more than 40% drop in the share price since May 4, 2018. These tactics constitute a genuine denial of shareholder democracy and run counter to the most basic and fundamental principles of good corporate governance,” said Vivendi. The company said it reserved the right to request a new shareholders meeting in the summer if TIM’s performance and governance did not improve.Elliott responded by saying that Vivendi’s request was “yet another attempt to regain control of TIM to return to running the company in its own individual interest” and added that it was “confident that this intent has little chance of success even if Vivendi perseveres in his attempts.”The pair have been battling to control the future direction of the company for over a year, with Elliott taking control of the board after securing the support of independent shareholders in a vote last May.While Elliott initially expressed support for Genish to continue as CEO, the latter’s resistance to plans to break up the company by selling off its network arm – a move that chimed with the new Italian government’s ambition to create a unified national infrastructure company – resulted in Genish’s ousting in November.
Snap beat analyst estimates with a 36% revenue rise which it attributes to its redesign of Discovery – the destination for premium content made by the company and its partners.Endless SummerThe company reported what it called “record” revenue of $390m for Q4, up by 36% year-on-year. Full-year revenue was $1.2bn, up 43% from 2017.CEO Evan Spiegel noted during Snap’s earnings call that the quarterly rise was largely due to the advertising revenue the company generated from premium content.“The increase in the breadth and depth of engagement with our Discover product following the redesign, helped us more than double the advertising revenue that we generated from premium content in Q4 when compared to last year,” he said.Last October, Snap created a premium destination to place what it calls ‘Shows’, a string professional content from its partners and original content from the company itself. The destination features show profiles, an ‘instant subscribe’ function and a ‘up next’ feature so that viewers never miss an episode.With the redesign, the company also launched its first full slate of originals which included scripted titles such as Bunim/Murray’s Endless Summer.Since the launch Spiegel says that more than 60% of ESPN SportCenter’s audience tuned in three or more times per week.Snap launched original title The Dead Girls Detective Agency as part of the slate, and over 40% of the people that completed the episode went on to watch the whole season, according to the exec.Meanwhile, Bitmoji Stories, a new cartoon starring Snapchatters and their friends, reached over 40m viewers in December.“Following our redesign and product improvements, 30% more people are now watching Publisher Stories and Shows every day compared to last year, and each one is consuming more of these stories every day on average,” Spiegel said.Spiegel didn’t offer up any detail on upcoming titles, but did say Snap will hold a partner summit in Los Angeles on 4 April to show off their creative plans.The platform, which has had a rough time in the stock market since its IPO in 2017, has seen increased competition from rivals such as Instagram with many expecting its user base to slim for the quarter. It reported a flat 186m daily active users for Q4, 2018.Snap stock shot up by as much as 21% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the company beat analyst estimates.“Despite a challenging year for Snap in 2018, these latest results paint a much brighter picture for the company. A combination of a boom in online advertising as well as continued innovation and investment in partnerships have proved to be a real boon,” said Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK.“One of its problems has been remaining relevant to its younger audience – yet according to Ofcom, children aged between 12-15 are using Snapchat more now than they ever have done. Its biggest challenge, however, is gaining a slice of the slightly older audience now turning their heads to other forms of social media, notably Instagram.”