Google didn’t provide a new subscriber total for YouTube TV in the first quarter but one analyst estimate suggests that it was the slowest period for the virtual MVPD in years. According to MoffettNathanson’s latest Cord Cutting Monitor, YouTube TV added 75,000 subscribers during the first quarter. It’s higher than the 43,000 net adds reported by fuboTV and much better than Hulu + Live TV’s 200,000 and Sling TV’s 100,000 net losses. But, according to the analyst firm’s chart tracking YouTube TV’s growth back to the first quarter of 2017, it’s the slowest growth quarter for the vMVPD since the third quarter of 2018.
The new rights deal that include streaming rights “ends the retrans gravy train,” says analyst Rich Greenfield, while Moffett Nathanson says the biggest losers “will be the non-O&O affiliates of NBC and CBS.”
Traditional television has been on the decline for years, but the continued economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic will make cord cutting even more pronounced, according to new research from MoffettNathanson. Traditional cable subscribers are expected to decline by 27 million over the next five years.
As the TV advertising market sees improvements in the second quarter — posting flat results versus declines in previous months — total TV advertising is projected to be down around 4% this year, according to one analyst. Second-quarter ad revenues were estimated to have dropped 0.5% to $12.2 billion, according to MoffettNathanson research.
Disney’s upcoming branded streaming service will likely be priced around $5 per month in order to drive wider adoption, according to MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson. He says that the new Disney streaming service and the upcoming ESPN services need clear distinctions. The ESPN service will likely test different prices as it prepares ESPN to be ready to go fully over-the-top, according to the report, but the Disney service is about building asset value instead of taking licensing money from SVOD deals.
Although concerns over digital video remain, strong growth is expected in the next few years. Analysis from MoffettNathanson, based on Magna Global estimates, forecasts that U.S. Internet/online video will see a 24% average annual ad revenue growth rate, rising to $20.4 billion in 2021 — from $7 billion in 2016. At the same time, traditional U.S. TV spending will have a 2% average annual ad revenue decline per year, totaling $60.4 billion. That is down from $67.1 billion in 2016.
An entertainment-only channel bundle priced around $10 has the potential to draw 4.6 million new subscribers into the pay-TV ecosystem, analyst firm MoffettNathanson says.
The news this week that Fox and Blackstone are forming a joint venture to acquire Tribune Media had researchers, analysts and plain old columnists like me wondering why, and sorting through the implications not only for Fox, but also for Sinclair, Nexstar and CBS.
The company attributes the softness to weakness in the food and retail categories and the loss of revenue from for-profit technical schools that have gone out of business. The good news was auto, which grew 3%.
21st Century Fox’s plan to form a joint venture with Blackstone to buy Tribune Media would create value from cost synergies and by putting Fox into six more NFL markets, says the securities research firm. What’s more, it blocks Sinclair from acquiring the Tribune stations — a move that would boost Sinclair’s national programming ambitions and get it more leverage in reverse comp dealings.
CBS and Fox networks have the best multiyear investor outlook, Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson said in a report for investors today. The report noted that the viewership trends for media companies in the first quarter of 2017 will historically be seen as some of the weakest numbers ever. But the media sector was still “a strong out-performer in the first 100 days of the year,” and MoffettNathanson’s research team raised its EPS estimates for Viacom, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner.
MoffettNathanson has released a compelling survey, proving the analyst firm’s belief that OTT services are wise to keep their price points below $30 a month.