MoffettNathanson says bundling Disney+, Hulu could attract older viewers, while Barclays points to more and better content
Walt Disney’s stock received a rare Wall Street downgrade on Monday, as Barclays called for bold changes from the media giant to reverse slowing growth at its Disney+ streaming service.
The failure of NBC’s comedy SVOD service, Seeso, is largely the result of a failed strategy of simply taking linear content online, Barclays contends. “In our opinion, most media companies are looking at OTT as a defense mechanism to solve for the loss of legacy distribution due to cord-cutting and shaving,” said a Barclays investor note, spearheaded by analyst Kannan Venkateshwar.
Smartphones and tablets have traditionally been the extra screen in second-screen viewing scenarios but some analysts are now saying TV is playing second fiddle to smaller displays. Citing the most recent Nielsen data, Barclays noted that people aged 18-34 in the U.S. spend more time on smartphones than watching TV. Across all U.S. adults, the gap between time spent on smartphones versus TV is shrinking, too, with the average person spending more than 2.5 hours every day on smartphones versus 4.9 hours on TV, the firm wrote in a research note.
Comcast Corp. has added Barclays Plc as an adviser as it evaluates a potential deal for Time Warner Cable Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast, the top U.S. cable company, hired Barclays late last year to review its deal options, along with JPMorgan Chase & Co., which it had earlier tapped for advice, the people said.
Barclays has lowered its global ad spending forecasts for this year and next, the financial firm confirmed in a report to investors today. The financial firm now believes global spending will reach nearly $490 billion this year, up 3.5%, a downgrade from its January growth forecast of 4%. Next year, the firm believes growth will top out at 4%, a half percentage point lower than it had forecast earlier.
The media economy continues to recover from the disastrous recession, but it’s a much slower recovery than anyone expected. Yet another new advertising forecast has scaled back expectations for this year based on factors such as high unemployment, low consumer confidence and a volatile housing market. Barclays yesterday revised its full-year 2011 forecast to 1.4% growth, down sharply from a prediction of 2.9% earlier this year.