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Is the Streaming Winner of October Actually…Warner Bros?

What a week for data! For those who haven’t seen it, Netflix announced the biggest data news yet of the streaming wars. Specifically, each week they’ll release, in near real time, the total hours viewed for their top English and Non-English language film and TV series. Forty data points each week! And on top of that, they provided 20 weeks of data to parse. 800 data points total! That’s a

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Meet The New FCC Boss, Same as the Old FCC Boss

I’m always on the look out for a good story that I think matters but that barely registered in the media coverage. Over the last few weeks we got a perfect example. If instead you want to worry about Disney’s subscriber additions—and I may do just that in another outlet this week, wink wink—you can, but I plan to dive into boring government regulations. Yes, they’re boring, but that doesn’t

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Netflix’s Big October is Big. But How Big?

If this week has a theme, it’s Halloween, since the ratings period covered by Nielsen—October 11th to 17th—is smack dab in the middle of October. But honestly you know what is scarier for others streamers? How well Netflix is doing. (If you missed it, my thoughts on Black Widow’s disappointing streaming debut went up at the Ankler on TUESDAY. Check it out!) (Reminder: The streaming ratings report compiles data from

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How Popular are Standup Specials on Netflix? Plus the End of “Manifest Summer”

As usual, we have a lot of stories in the streaming ratings this week, from Squid Game’s second 50 million hour week to Black Widow showing back up on the Nielsen charts to Seinfeld’s debut to the usual flops and misses. Instead of those, we’ll look at the first appearance of a common piece of Netflix content: the first standup special to make the Nielsen ratings. (Yes, yes, I hear

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After Dune, Three Questions for the Future of Legendary

Things have been moving over here at EntStrategyGuy headquarters. (More to come in the future.) As such, I skipped last week’s strategy column. There were a few interesting stories over the last two weeks—a new FCC commissioner, another check in on box office, earnings season—but I’m going to check in on arguably the biggest independent film producer out there instead, because it ties together a few themes. Before that, though,

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Will Squid Game Take Tiger King’s Viewership Crown?

I often write that this is a “hits driven” business. (And yes, I often write both hit-driven and hits-driven. I’m not sure which is more accurate. Disney, for example, thrives not off one hit but multiple hits.) Nothing proved that this quarter quite like Squid Game. Let’s dive into a ton of streaming data to digest this week. Also, if you missed it, I went very in-depth on Squid Game

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Apple TV+ Steps Up Their (Streaming Ratings) Game

I know what you’re here to read this week: my analysis on Squid Game launching from 3.4 million hours in its first weekend to 31.8 million hours in its second week. Yikes, that’s a jump! Well, I’m going to disappoint. My Squid Game thoughts were so good, I sent them over to the Ankler. (Trust me, there might be my favorite chart I’ve made this year in there.) But that

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Three Lessons for the Averted IATSE

As I got ready to write this week’s column, my brother asked me what the story of the week was. And I had to reply that…I didn’t know? I’d kept up on all my newsletters and checking the trade websites last week, but no story stuck out as truly important.  Besides a near disaster in the form of a strike. Yesterday (Sunday 17-Oct) we learned that wasn’t happening. (Thought it

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What a Trio of German Films Tell Us about the Future of TV

Suddenly, this ratings report feels very cosmopolitan. A streaming ratings report of the world. You’ve got TV series from Spain and South Korea vying for attention with cop dramas from America. And German films trying to knock American animated films off the lists. That’s right, I’m talking about Firedrake the Silver Dragon! Oh wait, are some of you not familiar with that title? It’s a German animated film. Thanks to Netflix,

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Did Squid Game Steal Money Heist’s Crown as Netflix’s Biggest International Title?

Today, it’s all about a foreign international title and its performance in the U.S. What’s that you say? Something about an octopus match? A cephalopod competition?  Squid Game you say? Let me check. Give me a few minutes. Okay back. Yikes, Squid Game is popular! As I was writing this article, Netflix released a vague tweet that over 111 million accounts sampled 2 minutes. That’s the most global viewers for

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The CAA/ICM Merger is Easy to Explain: Size = Power

We’re switching things up this week. Since Nielsen delayed this week’s streaming ratings data, you’ll get the “Most Important Story of the Week” column today, and the “Streaming Ratings Report” on Monday. Sound good? If so, then onto the big story of the week, which I’ve been itching to write about since last week. (As always, sign up for my newsletter to get all my columns, streaming ratings reports, and

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Hulu Is Going Streaking: Only Murders In the Building is Hulu’s Third Successful Show in a Row

To quote Will Ferrell in Old School, Hulu is going streaking! Specifically, they’ve launched their second successful TV series in August. Toss in an okay film performance and The Handmaid’s Tale’s good run, and they’ve had a successful summer. Of course, a Hulu “success” isn’t a Netflix success, or even a Disney+ success. Let’s explain that, plus look at Cinderella’s debut on Prime Video. (Reminder: The streaming ratings report compiles

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Triple IATSE: Why a Hard To Pronounce Workers Guild May Control the Fate of the Streaming Wars

Last Monday, as I was assembling the flotsam and jetsam of news stories that compiled the week of news that was, I noticed a trio of stories about unions in Hollywood. SAG-AFTRA elected a new president, the Writer’s Guild East had a fight over its future, and then a little story about IATSE—the catch-all guild for “below the line” workers in Hollywood—was contemplating a strike. But I cut that little

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A Streaming Royale Rumble: Who Won Cruella, He’s All That or Vacation Friends?

Folks, last week I promised you a show down of straight-to-streaming films, and by golly, we got it. Given the datecdotes, Nielsen ratings and creative auspices of the films involved, the battle lived up to the hype. (Reminder: The streaming ratings report compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, Netflix datecdotes, Top Ten lists, Google Trends and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points

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Manning the Booth…Is This the Future of Broadcasting?

Jerry Seinfeld had a terrific joke about the news: somehow there was always enough for the daily newspaper. Never more, never less. Well, the internet blew that up by magnitudes. It turns out we–as a society/community–can crank out tons of words on anything. But is it all “news”? Maybe? Probably not.  Take my newsletter. I put out one column each week on the business of entertainment. And somehow there is

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Can Disney’s Weekly Releases Keep Up With Netflix’s Binges?

Let me level with you: if Netflix took over the entire rankings list for another week—like they did the last two weeks—I probably would have quit. That level of dominance ceases to be impressive and just starts to be boring. (Fine, I wouldn’t have actually quit. But I would have complained.) It reminds me of why I like the NFL. Sure, the NFL has its dynasties—the Patriots and Chiefs come

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Thoughts on Comparing Manifest to You, Serialized Content and the The Craziest Theory Yet about Manifest

Inspired by DVDs of old, whenever I dig into a particularly juicy topic—especially for another outlet—I write up a director’s commentary article for my own website.  (Speaking of which, how does Disney+ not have director’s commentary versions of every MCU film? You’re telling me a cut of Avengers: Endgame with Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth doesn’t do crazy numbers? Or Kevin Feige with the Russo Brothers? Seriously

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Everyone In Streaming Is Raising Prices…Why?

The last time I wrote about price increases was last November, when Netflix decided to up their monthly prices by $1. At the time, I thought this was big news because it really signified a change in focus for Netflix. The news that Hulu will raise prices by a similar amount isn’t as groundbreaking, but is a key sign that all of streaming is moving from growth to maturity. So

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Do Sequels Still Work?

Manifest had quite the summer. The show of the summer, if you will. It went from cancelled on NBC—with a cliffhanger—to thriving on Netflix. Most headlines/coverage repeated something along the lines that this proved that Netflix could make hits where broadcasters like NBC had failed. At least, that’s the narrative. But did it? I mean, what do the number say? Did more folks watch more Manifest on Netflix than NBC?

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Three Stories about Theatrical Distribution

Hollywood can have a short memory. All it takes is one good weekend, and suddenly Hollywood is back! Since we went long on Wednesday writing about Apple, app stores and distribution fees, here’s all the other stories that caught my eye in the realm of entertainment business strategy. (Apologies for the slight delay. Sometimes I’m behind finishing my columns. In this case, I forgot to press publish yesterday. Doh. As

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