Entertainment Industry Leverages Technology to Combat Streaming Services

Entertainment Industry Leverages Technology to Combat Streaming Services

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2019

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The emergence of online streaming has created new opportunities for the film and media industry. However, there still remains a concern over the future growth of cinemas. The movie and entertainment industry has seen a steady decline in revenue growth in its largest markets, the U.S. and Europe. Now, major movie corporations are tasked with reaching new audiences to increase sales. As a result, new marketing strategies are incorporating digital technology to communicate with audiences in order to bolster movie-goer attendance. And, according to data compiled by Grand View Research, the global movies and entertainment market was valued at USD 80.98 Billion in 2016. Furthermore, it is expected to grow to USD 114.93 Billion by 2025. The market will continue to expand as movie companies connect with their audiences through promotional events, consumers goods, and the development of technology to further drive revenue growth. The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC: WDRFF) (TSX-V: WNDR), Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF-A)

Despite the niche nature of the industry, companies still struggle against the growing online streaming market. As a result, competitors have shifted their focus towards regional cinema to diversify their works. As companies expand into cinemas, they look to establish stronger relationships with audiences. Primarily, increased adoption of mobile communications and internet in countries like China, South Korea, and India are pushing the industry into emerging markets. "It's like a ritual," says Liz Han, Deputy General Manager for Motion Pictures and Entertainment at Beijing Culture. "A social occasion for couples on dates, for friends to hang out, so that's one thing that online streaming can't replace. The whole experience that you get in cinemas isn't something that you can get in your living room. Even though some online sites want to build something that's similar to cinema, it's still a whole experience that you can't copy."

The Wonderfilm Media Corporation (OTC: WDRFF) (TSX-V: WNDR) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol (TSX-V: WNDR). Yesterday the company announced breaking news that it is, "pleased to recognize and congratulate our newest producing partners and Oscar winning duo, Shaun Redick & Yvette Yates Redick on their success of 'BlacKkKlansman', which garnered the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards held on February 24, 2019. The award further solidifies Shaun & Yvette as industry leading producers whom are able to develop story ideas into silver screen successes. BlacKkKlansman's Oscar win and nominations are tremendous follow-ups for Shaun and Yvette as their feature film, 'Get Out', won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay at last year's award ceremony.

Shaun & Yvette's company, Impossible Dream Entertainment ("iDream Ent."), packaged and produced 'BlacKkKlansman', while the film was directed by the iconic and celebrated Spike Lee. This feature has currently surpassed a worldwide theatrical gross of approximately $90,000,000 USD. iDream Ent's 2017 feature, 'Get Out', directed by filmmaker Jordan Peele for Universal Pictures, achieved an amazing worldwide theatrical gross of $255,000,000 USD.

'Shaun and Yvette have an exceptional eye for identifying exciting content and being able to transform those ideas into award winning, high grossing movies,' said Kirk Shaw, CEO of Wonderfilm. 'In BlacKkKlansman's case, the production duo optioned the book and oversaw development of the story into a screenplay alongside the director Spike Lee. It truly takes unique talent and rare skill to recognize an idea's potential and further guide it through the process of becoming a feature film that gains multiple Oscar nominations. This year's Oscar nod further demonstrates what I've known for years, that few producers match Shaun and Yvette's creative and business acumen. Everyone at Wonderfilm looks forward to working with Shaun and Yvette this year on our combined movie slate.'"

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring The Wonderfilm Media Corporation recent corporate news, please head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbKr6qNfR1I

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) creates entertainment experiences that drive conversation and culture around the world. Viacom Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service in U.S., for USD 340 Million in cash. Founded in 2013, Pluto TV streams more than 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content spanning television and movies, sports, news, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and trending digital series. The ad-supported, internet-based TV service features world-class programming sourced from over 130 partnerships with media networks, major film and television studios and a wide range of digital content producers. The acquisition of Pluto TV will advance Viacom's key strategic priorities, including expanding its presence across next-generation distribution platforms and growing its advanced advertising business. Additionally, access to Viacom's global reach, leading brands and vast, unencumbered library will help solidify Pluto TV as the leader in the free streaming video market in the U.S., and accelerate Pluto TV's global growth."Today marks an important step forward in Viacom's evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward. Pluto TV's unique and market-leading product, combined with Viacom's brands, content, advanced advertising capabilities and global scale, creates a great opportunity for consumers, partners and Viacom," said Bob Bakish, Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) creates incredible technology and entertainment that connects millions of people to the moments and experiences that matter most. Recently, In celebration of Lunar New Year, Xfinity TV customers can now access thousands of hours of Asian and Asian American entertainment in one curated destination via Xfinity On Demand. Xfinity X1 customers can also browse and navigate the experience with the X1 Voice Remote by saying "Asian American" and for the first time, online content from streaming services KOCOWA, Hi-YAH!, and Amazon Prime Video are also included. Xfinity TV customers can access the Lunar New Year destination through February 28 and enjoy music, podcasts, TV series, movies and more, along with English and in-language programming in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tagalog. Popular movies like "The Handmaiden," as well as "Mr. Six," "Coin Locker Girl," and "Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong" available over the Internet on X1 from Amazon Prime Video. "Xfinity TV's Lunar New Year collection is a celebration of the vast contributions the Asian American community makes to entertainment across genres," said Rebecca Simpson, Executive Director of International Strategy for Comcast. "The Lunar New Year destination is another way Comcast can proudly showcase its dedication to providing customers the best Asian and Asian American programming."

AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMC) is the largest movie exhibition company in the U.S., in Europe and throughout the world with more than 1,000 theatres and nearly 11,000 screens across the globe. AMC Theatres recently announced that AMC Stubs, the Company's loyalty program, has continued its brisk growth now totaling more than 18 million member households in the United States. At the U.S. average of 2.6 people per household, that means approximately 46 million Americans are enjoying the AMC experience through an engaged movie-going relationship via AMC Stubs. The program's growth continues to be driven by the tremendous benefits offered by the three tiers of AMC Stubs: AMC Stubs A-List; AMC Stubs Premiere and AMC Stubs Insider. A-List and Premiere members are enjoying a 10% discount at the box office and concession stand, free size upgrades on popcorn and soda, priority lines, and no online ticketing fees. "The continued growth of AMC Stubs remains a win for our guests, our studio partners and our investors. We've seen AMC Stubs continue to grow by millions of members each year without any slowdown, which is a testament to the program's incredibly popular benefits and the quality of experience guests expect at AMC. And just as important, the approximately 46 million American frequent movie-goers currently earning valuable AMC Stubs points allows AMC to generate attendance growth through highly effective targeted marketing," said Adam Aron, Chief Executive Officer and President, AMC Theatres.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF-A), the first major new studio in decades, is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. Global content leader Lionsgate recently reported revenue of USD 901.0 Million and net loss attributable to Lionsgate shareholders of USD 144.1 Million, or fully diluted loss per share of USD 0.67, on 213.6 million diluted weighted average common shares outstanding for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. Media Networks segment revenues increased by 5% to USD 377.3 Million due to strong OTT subscriber revenue. Segment profits increased 19% to USD 122.7 Million from the prior year quarter. Domestic subscribers increased 1.3 million sequentially in the quarter, reaching 25.1 million, with growth in both traditional MVPD and OTT subscribers. Motion Picture segment revenues decreased by 2% to USD 379.0 Million. Segment profits increased by 45% to USD 12.9 Million, reflecting the strong ancillary performance of previously released theatrical titles. "We're pleased to report a strong quarter with robust free cash flow and outstanding growth at Starz," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "Our great results at Starz reflect our slate of hit premium programming, strong over the top subscriber growth and retention, and healthy gains in our MVPD business. Coupled with the global expansion strategy we have begun to execute, we see a very clear path to outsized value creation for our platform."

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