We’ve been in a world of buy-or-be-bought for quite a while now. It was just two years ago that Comcast acquired DreamWorks Animation to the tune of $3.8 billion. NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was quoted in CNN Business as saying, “DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come.”
Up to now, that’s been the theme of many acquisitions, as they’ve been used strategically as a short cut to growth. Take over the competition and see what happens, or acquire a company to fill a gap in your own portfolio of services.
And Anheuser-Busch InBev invested $2B in American breweries, presumably to move them into the craft beer world.
Get the point? Well, get ready for the new rash of disruptors. As our Q1-2019 Report pointed out, monolith brands who devour each other are sometimes creating even bigger category juggernauts. The good news is, as this happens, some interesting media innovation is beginning to occur. Here are just a few examples:
- Chip and Joanna Gaines are some of the most recent celebrities to start their own network/ media company—working with their HGTV parent, Discovery. Discovery is counting on the couple’s popularity to spur its streaming service to success, helping it compete with the numerous other streaming services being announced right now. The channel is set to launch a year from now, along with a website and streaming app.
- YouTube has become a great launching pad—and even permanent home—for some celebrity channels. That’s right, it’s not just a place for the non-celebrity to gain followers anymore. As more people tune into content for short periods of time, YouTubers now include Will Smith, Zac Efron, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, and others.
- As the traditional definition of a media company continues to change, celebrities are even starting their own networks and media companies. Snoop Dogg has invested heavily in Reddit. Tina Fey has her own production company, Little Stranger. And, now, several big names—including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, have reportedly signed on to launch Apple’s spin on a streaming service for the Apple TV app, promising to make exclusive content for the platform.
The plethora of options when it comes to what used to be a simple action—watching TV—is at the overwhelming point for many. We no longer gather at the watercooler to discuss last night’s episode (not even for Game of Thrones), because not everyone has watched it yet (no spoilers!) and not everyone is even going to watch it. As our choices grow, so will our mechanisms for weeding through the clutter and determining which channel is right for us.
Let the innovation continue!
See more about this movement toward “New Media,” and more, in our Quarterly Report. If you’d like to see the Q1 Report, just link to our current newsletter:
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