I frequently write for Forbes) bring consumers more movie and television choice and experiences than ever before. At the same time, streaming of songs accelerates consumer engagement of music and returns the music industry to its past glories.
Content, of course, sits in the center of it all – in all forms of media. Content is king like never before, and content creators and ownership have never been in higher demand because of it. Ownership means control, after all. Ownership drives new engagement possibilities. Ownership drives new monetization opportunities. And, if you don’t already own the content you need – or the creators you need to produce it – just go out and acquire it.
Content – the intellectual property (IP) that fuels the M&E world – naturally plays the leading role in today’s “streaming wars” amongst giants – Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video vs. Disney+/Hulu vs. Apple TV+ vs. HBO Max vs. Peacock. All streaming giants market their exclusive content to bring us into their worlds, keep us there, and keep us away from the others. It’s an endless quest to work with the best creators to deliver our “must see” TV.
The central role of content extends well beyond streaming, of course – into theaters, theme parks, immersive new technologies and more. That’s why content-fueled M&A mania dominated the last several years in the world of M&E. Comcast acquired NBCUniversal and its historic vault of movies, television and franchises because of it (as well as Sky a few years later). ATT followed suit by buying storied Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018. Viacom and CBS reunited last year to reprise their content dance from many years ago.
Disney acted most boldly and presciently in this great content acquisition game. Brilliantly, actually. Early on, CEO Bob Iger and team read the tea leaves of where technology was driving M&E and acquired the most valuable entertainment franchises in the world. First, Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion. Then Marvel, three years later, for $4.2 billion. Next the Star Wars films and franchise for $4 billion in 2012. And just last year, Disney bought Fox’s entertainment assets, including valuable franchises like The Simpsons, for $71.3 billion. No one comes close to matching those Disney owned content assets, and that list doesn’t even include Disney’s classic and evergreen “Princesses.”
So, in a hyper-competitive streaming world where all big content-making studio fish have already been swallowed up by even bigger fish, what movie and television libraries and franchises are left? As I recently wrote for Forbes, MGM certainly is a target. So are Lionsgate and Sony. It’s a seller’s market and buyers abound – all willing to pay top dollar. Expect Netflix, Apple, and even potentially Amazon to be near-term Silicon Valley buyers of Hollywood born IP to deepen their content pools and sharpen their content franchises. And, the acquisition target need not be a full library. Any single iconic film, show, franchise, even individual characters – not to mention the producers who create them – are fair game. The thirst for top IP and the top talent that produces it is insatiable.
MUSIC PUBLISHING & MASTERS
It’s not just about movies and television, though. Today’s $20 billion global recorded music industry is set to more than double to $45 billion in 10 years, primarily due to streaming’s accelerating dominance. Underlying all of it are the songs and recordings of course – and the publishing and master rights subsumed in them.
Streaming now accounts for 80% of all recorded music revenues in the U.S. and drives accelerating publishing royalties to songwriters and master royalties for the artists. That’s why it’s a seller’s market here too. Deep pocketed buyers bank on continued industry growth – and expanding opportunities to commercialize the music via new technologies (many of which I covered in my earlier Forbes article The Future of Music) – to justify massive new acquisitions. These royalties act as an annuity – a gift that keeps on giving and never ends (at least that’s the hope). That’s why major label music publishing houses, together with well-funded indies like Primary Wave Music, compete relentlessly to acquire what they can, driving up financial multiples to their highest levels for the publishing and masters of the most iconic and valuable songs and artists (Primary Wave recently acquired rights to Whitney Houston’s music). In this kind of market, the content owners (the songwriters, recording artists) own the power. They can have their cake (get paid top dollar) and eat it too (with no loss of control).
Some of the biggest names in music – and their songs – have not yet aligned with any buyer. The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, AC/DC are just a few. But, that’s certainly not for lack of trying on the part of enthusiastic buyers. Today’s steady drumbeat of big ticket music M&A shows no signs of abating.
CONSUMER OWNERSHIP OF CONTENT
This M&E content and IP acquisition game is no longer only available to deep-pocketed buyers. Now all consumers – not just corporate giants – can own a piece of the action. Due to recent major SEC rule changes, consumers can now take an ownership stake in a movie, show, artist or song of their liking for a mere $100 (even less). Vezt is one such company that gives consumers this transformational opportunity on the music side – touting its ISO’s (Initial Song Offerings) instead of conventional IPO’s. Meanwhile, stealthy Los Angeles-based company Torchlyte soon will launch on the movie side of the house. This brave new world of consumer-driven fractional ownership may drive content numbers and multiples even higher. After all, a fan’s emotional connection to content – to a song, movie, an artist – drives a greater willingness to escape price-limiting financial fundamentals.
Today’s new streaming-lead, hyper-competitive world of M&E. These are definitely the “good old days” for creators, artists and owners of content.
[Peter Csathy is Chairman of CREATV Media, a leading media, entertainment and technology M&A and advisory firm that represents buyers and sellers of content and IP.]
It’s Oscar night time, the night time that eyes all all over the world concentrate on Hollywood and the tales – the content material – that win probably the most golden statues. And, this yr, Silicon Valley born new media large, Netflix, is the lead storyteller. Netflix owns extra Oscar nominations (24) than every other studio, a truth that completely encapsulates the state of our streaming-led, multi-platform world of media and leisure (M&E).
Netflix and all of its new mega streaming challengers (about which I frequently write for Forbes) deliver customers extra film and tv selection and experiences than ever earlier than. On the similar time, streaming of songs accelerates shopper engagement of music and returns the music business to its previous glories.
Content material, after all, sits within the middle of all of it – in all types of media. Content material is king like by no means earlier than, and content material creators and possession have by no means been in greater demand due to it. Possession means management, in spite of everything. Possession drives new engagement prospects. Possession drives new monetization alternatives. And, in the event you don’t already personal the content material you want – or the creators it is advisable produce it – simply exit and purchase it.
That’s precisely what is going on now.
MOVIE & TELEVISION LIBRARIES AND FRANCHISES
Content material – the mental property (IP) that fuels the M&E world – naturally performs the main function in at present’s “streaming wars” amongst giants – Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video vs. Disney+/Hulu vs. Apple TV+ vs. HBO Max vs. Peacock. All streaming giants market their unique content material to deliver us into their worlds, hold us there, and hold us away from the others. It’s an countless quest to work with the most effective creators to ship our “should see” TV.
The central function of content material extends properly past streaming, after all – into theaters, theme parks, immersive new applied sciences and extra. That’s why content-fueled M&A mania dominated the final a number of years on the planet of M&E. Comcast acquired NBCUniversal and its historic vault of flicks, tv and franchises due to it (in addition to Sky a number of years later). ATT adopted swimsuit by shopping for storied Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018. Viacom and CBS reunited final yr to reprise their content material dance from a few years in the past.
Disney acted most boldly and presciently on this nice content material acquisition recreation. Brilliantly, truly. Early on, CEO Bob Iger and group learn the tea leaves of the place expertise was driving M&E and bought probably the most invaluable leisure franchises on the planet. First, Pixar in 2006 for $7.four billion. Then Marvel, three years later, for $four.2 billion. Subsequent the Star Wars movies and franchise for $four billion in 2012. And simply final yr, Disney purchased Fox’s leisure property, together with invaluable franchises like The Simpsons, for $71.three billion. Nobody comes near matching these Disney owned content material property, and that checklist doesn’t even embrace Disney’s traditional and evergreen “Princesses.”
So, in a hyper-competitive streaming world the place all huge content-making studio fish have already been swallowed up by even larger fish, what film and tv libraries and franchises are left? As I recently wrote for Forbes, MGM actually is a goal. So are Lionsgate and Sony. It’s a vendor’s market and patrons abound – all prepared to pay high greenback. Anticipate Netflix, Apple, and even probably Amazon to be near-term Silicon Valley patrons of Hollywood born IP to deepen their content material swimming pools and sharpen their content material franchises. And, the acquisition goal needn’t be a full library. Any single iconic movie, present, franchise, even particular person characters – to not point out the producers who create them – are honest recreation. The thirst for high IP and the highest expertise that produces it’s insatiable.
MUSIC PUBLISHING & MASTERS
It’s not nearly films and tv, although. Right now’s $20 billion world recorded music business is ready to more than double to $45 billion in 10 years, primarily as a consequence of streaming’s accelerating dominance. Underlying all of it are the songs and recordings after all – and the publishing and grasp rights subsumed in them.
Streaming now accounts for 80% of all recorded music revenues within the U.S. and drives accelerating publishing royalties to songwriters and grasp royalties for the artists. That’s why it’s a vendor’s market right here too. Deep pocketed patrons financial institution on continued business progress – and increasing alternatives to commercialize the music through new applied sciences (lots of which I lined in my earlier Forbes article The Future of Music) – to justify huge new acquisitions. These royalties act as an annuity – a present that retains on giving and by no means ends (at the very least that’s the hope). That’s why main label music publishing homes, along with well-funded indies like Primary Wave Music, compete relentlessly to amass what they will, driving up monetary multiples to their highest ranges for the publishing and masters of probably the most iconic and invaluable songs and artists (Major Wave just lately acquired rights to Whitney Houston’s music). In this sort of market, the content material homeowners (the songwriters, recording artists) personal the ability. They will have their cake (receives a commission high greenback) and eat it too (with no lack of management).
A number of the greatest names in music – and their songs – haven’t but aligned with any purchaser. The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, AC/DC are just some. However, that’s actually not for lack of making an attempt on the a part of enthusiastic patrons. Right now’s regular drumbeat of huge ticket music M&A exhibits no indicators of abating.
CONSUMER OWNERSHIP OF CONTENT
This M&E content material and IP acquisition recreation is not solely obtainable to deep-pocketed patrons. Now all customers – not simply company giants – can personal a chunk of the motion. As a result of current main SEC rule modifications, customers can now take an possession stake in a film, present, artist or music of their liking for a mere $100 (even much less). Vezt is one such company that offers customers this transformational alternative on the music facet – touting its ISO’s (Preliminary Music Choices) as an alternative of typical IPO’s. In the meantime, stealthy Los Angeles-based firm Torchlyte quickly will launch on the film facet of the home. This courageous new world of consumer-driven fractional possession could drive content material numbers and multiples even greater. In spite of everything, a fan’s emotional connection to content material – to a music, film, an artist – drives a better willingness to flee price-limiting monetary fundamentals.
Right now’s new streaming-lead, hyper-competitive world of M&E. These are positively the “good previous days” for creators, artists and homeowners of content material.
[Peter Csathy is Chairman of CREATV Media, a number one media, leisure and expertise M&A and advisory agency that represents patrons and sellers of content material and IP.]