Matthew Ball Profile picture
🇨🇦. Strategist, angel, advisor, "prolific essayist" - @nytimes. Current: @EpyllionCo, @makersfundvc, $METV ETF, @KKR_co. Prev: Head of Strategy @AmazonStudios
nicklawler Profile picture 1 subscribed
Sep 27, 2018 32 tweets 6 min read
1/ While most have come around to the viability of #Disney’s OTT service, many remain lukewarm on its prospects. I’m very bullish for 8 reasons, most of which I find overlooked or downplayed. I also don’t worry about the fact that it’ll take years for Disney to be ‘all in’. 2/ Reason 1: IP. We all know Disney’s IP is bar none, but it’s even stronger than you think (URL). Furthermore, Disney can always use this IP to plug any SVOD performance shortfall. Given the platform’s importance, I expect they’ll do this whenever needed…
Sep 10, 2018 23 tweets 4 min read
1/ The debate around Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google buying a traditional media company often ignores the crucial limitations of these assets (which typically include Lionsgate, AMC, CBS, Viacom, Sony). M&A is hard to predict, but I remain doubtful 2/ Is there value in these companies to a streaming service, yes. But it usually takes longer, with more problems and less value than might seem.
May 14, 2018 18 tweets 3 min read
1/ Lots of talk on Netflix's number of Originals (e.g. 700 in 2018,…, 500 more by January… etc.), but it's important to understand there's no definition of an "Original" - even versus a license - and there are many different flavors 2/ The differences between these flavors is critical to understanding any statement around spend, return, engagement, expectations, growth etc.

For streaming services, there are five core categories.
May 13, 2018 16 tweets 3 min read
1/ The most fascinating aspect of new distribution technologies in media is how it changes content, rather than just content delivery. Last week, Netflix showed just how significant this can be. 2/ On demand, ad-free and "binge" releases have each unlocked greater storytelling complexity, but this change is largely incremental (even if the narrative consequence is significant). It improves storytelling, but doesn't really transform it or the production process
Apr 20, 2018 15 tweets 3 min read
1/ Some thoughts on AT&T + TWX.

The most fruitful way to assess the antitrust concerns is by considering two deals from the early 2000s - one that didn't happen, but wouldn't have mattered (Dish+DTV) and one that did, but also didn't matter (Sirius + XM) 2/ In both instances, the regulatory concerns were valid - you had the only two players in their respective distro models (satellite) and the only players in their category with national coverage. Consolidation meant distro monopoly + the loss of two competitors in every market
Apr 16, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
1/ Some thoughts on what ESPN+ is, isn’t and what it means and doesn’t.

At its core, Plus reminds me more of @Crunchyroll than it does ESPN itself, but with additional strategic optionality 2/ The traditional TV ecosystem has long know that there was a wealth of content with passionate followings, but where linear distribution was never economical (largely due to limitations like network scarcity, live distribution, available programming hours, etc.)
Apr 5, 2018 20 tweets 5 min read
1/ As Viacom nears the end of its independence (with a reluctant buyer paying less than market value, 30% the company's peak share price), it's worth examining how it got here

Viacom is rightly criticized for its many mistakes, but it was also bound to be hit hardest by digital. 2/ It had the youngest audiences in an age where the younger the viewer, the more rapid the ratings decline; the largest network portfolio at a time when the bundle was ready to burst; and many of the most sizable audiences in a time when viewership was rapidly fragmenting
Mar 13, 2018 14 tweets 4 min read
1/ There’s a false narrative about Netflix that claims the company is "here" because content owners allowed them to (i.e. by selling their content for a quick buck + by undervaluing this content) and in doing so, also allowed Netflix to compete in OTT video relatively uncontested 2/ These deals absolutely *enabled* Netflix to become what it is today, but this is far from a complete explanation. Understanding this is critical to the question of what happens when certain suppliers cut them off
Mar 12, 2018 37 tweets 6 min read
1/ Tweetstorm on what I see as the future of Disney (detailed here:…)

There are four core questions: (1) What is their D2C play; (2) How does it change Disney; (3) How will it do; and (4) What does it mean for Disney’s future and the rest of the industry 2/ "Disneyflix" is likely to start as Disney-only version of Netflix, but it will come to include far more than video. Look for it to bundle in comics (eg the Marvel Unlimited subscription), eBooks, app games, music, eCommerce (merch, park passes), etc., over time
Mar 6, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
1/ RE: Oscars' ratings.

I tweet this every few months, but that's why it's critical.

It is NO surprise ratings drop each year. Trad TV is collapsing. The problem is that the award shows don't innovate. They don't think about what could be better, or new, or is newly possible 2/ Critics focus on the length of the shows, the selection criteria and the performers. But no one asks "Why *watch* this live, not *follow* it live?". There's literally no reason to do so.
Feb 22, 2018 17 tweets 3 min read
1/ Most coverage of Netflix's Ryan Murphy deal focuses on price ($60MM x 5yrs!), shock (leaving his 20-year home) or signs of NFLX's ascendancy. But this deal crystallizes the growing value of vertical integration, the realities of 'power laws' and emerging economic structures 2/ Studios have always preferred deals with talent that aligned with their networks. E.g. Fox TV had an overall with Murphy and he produced series primarily for FX/Fox. To some extent, this was operationally easier and allowed the corporate entity to 'double dip' on upside