"KING CONTENT: BIG MEDIA'S STRUGGLE WITH THE DIGITAL WORLD"
Interesting cover story in The Economist this week. Tony's media company, AlwaysOn, gets a mention in it.
"PAIN is temporary, film is forever." That hopeful thought, which found its way into the original script of Peter Jackson's recent re-make of "King Kong", might be seized upon by today's beleaguered entertainment industry. Media companies are suffering intense pain—and it is starting to seem worryingly permanent. In America shares of "old" media firms such as News Corporation, Comcast and other giants of television, film, radio and print, have fallen 25% behind the S&P 500 in the past two years, despite some heroic financial results. Meanwhile, the market value of Google, which made its debut on the stockmarket in 2004, is now equal to the combined worth of Walt Disney, News Corporation and Viacom, three beasts of the old media jungle. One investor, who recently moved two-thirds of his $1 billion fund out of American media and into emerging-market companies, moans that "the market thinks something's going to get them, whether it's piracy, personal video recorders, or Google."
Desperate to rescue its share price, Viacom broke itself in two on January 3rd. Time Warner, the biggest media group of all, is under attack from Carl Icahn, a corporate predator perfectly adapted to sniff out the weak and vulnerable. The big groups have seen their newspapers and magazines lose readers and advertising to the internet; their music businesses suffer piracy and falling sales; and someone else's video games captivate new generations of consumers. Now come fears about film and TV, the bedrock of their business. (full article)