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10 anonymous media execs predict 2022’s industry-shaking events

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Chairman of Disney Michael Iger arrives for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 06, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Predictions for the new year are an accepted journalism norm. Instead of giving me my projections, I sought out 10 journalists, with the assurance of anonymity to provide their predictions on 2022.

These were the rules: You could predict anything in media or entertainment, but you had to make it significant. It couldn’t have been obvious.

This is what they said to me.

To see how the predictions turned out next year, I will revisit them and poll 10 executives to get their predictions for 2023.

Executive No.1 – Roku acquires Lionsgate Studio

According to one executive, Roku would buy Lionsgate’s TV and film production studios.

Rokufocuses on enhancing its original content via the Roku Channel and buying Quibi’s content library “This Old House” In 2021. Anthony Wood is the founder and CEO told CNBC in JuneHis time is spent primarily on developing a content strategy.

Michael Nathanson, media analyst and journalist says that this reminds him so much of Netflix’s early days. told CNBC earlier this year.“I used the interview” [Netflix Co-CEO]Ted Sarandos would speak at conferences ten years ago. He’d tell you, “Oh! We’re content with one or two original programs.” They would be growing up and creating better content.

Lionsgatealready indicated to the investment community it plans to either spin off or sell StarzThe company also controls the exclusive streaming service and cable network. This would make it possible for Lionsgate to sell its TV and film production studios.

Although traditional content providers such as Comcast‘s NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Netflix Disney are all looking to add more content to their streaming services, Roku is a wild-card buyer that has the market valuation — nearly $30 billion — to make a move.

Roku shares fell by over 50% from their July record high. Investors may be more interested in Lionsgate Studios if they are able to buy it.

Executive No. Executive No. 2: Bob Iger is back at Disney to serve as CEO

Bob Chapek has held the position of Disney CEO for less than two years. CNBC was told by one Disney executive that there were already internal bets about Iger’s return.

Iger, aged 70, has repeatedly extended his contract. planning to retire in 2015, 2016 and 2018Before abruptly retiring in 2020. He is Disney’s Executive Chairman until the close of the year.

Iger’s intentions to return are not clear. He’s already working on a second bookThe Hollywood Reporter reported that he was able to determine this after publishing one in 2019.

Disney shares are down almost 20% this year. Iger owns a lot of those shares.If Disney+’s growth slows down and the company does not continue to grow, Iger and the board may become restless. have turf tensions between executives.

Executives Number. 3. and 4. ViacomCBS will merge/sell

You can vote for it with two votes

Shari is my favorite! [Redstone]ViacomCBS may not be around for much longer than it is today, said one of the two executives from media. He predicted that 2022 would see ViacomCBS go out of business as an independent corporation.

Comcast has already held preliminary talksRedstone is the controlling shareholder. Redstone also serves as the non-executive chair. A merger between ViacomCBS/NBCUniversal would be messy from a regulatory standpointThese circumstances will most likely require the divestiture or modification of either NBC/CBS and any local affiliates.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Redstone had been considering other options over the last two years. These alternatives included buying Lionsgate Starz or merging with Sony Pictures Entertainment. Warner Bros. could make a deal. Discovery, should that merger be completed makes sense. But so far, ViacomCBS’s messaging to Wall Street has been that it’s content to move forward as is.

Shari Redstone (president of National Amusements) and vice chairman, CBS and Viacom speaks at the WSJTECH conference in Laguna Beach California on October 21, 2019.

Reuters| Reuters

Executive No. Executive No. 5: Free radicals will make you sell

It was back in 2015John Malone, a billionaire media mogul and media mogul, coined “free radicals” as a term to describe pure-play content businesses that lack the resources to produce top-notch TV shows or movies against media giants like. Netflix, Disney, Amazon Apple.

Some of these free radicals are already well-established. Viacom and CBS have merged. WarnerMedia and Discovery agreed to merge.Amazon is still waiting for regulatory approval buy MGM Studios.

There are also other options, like Lionsgate, AMC Networks FoxContinue to exist. According to this executive, no one will remain alone after 2022. They may either sell their businesses or merge with others.

Executive no. Executive No.

Vice co-founder Shane Smith

CNBC

Executive No. Executive No.

Vox, which merged with Group Nine is now the most logical candidate for public digital media after BuzzFeed. So it happens that Group Nine has already established a SPACThe company could use this money to make a public offering, or merge with another digital media provider to achieve greater scale.

This executive suggested that Vox might also seek a standard IPO if SPACs are still contaminated from an investor perspective. The timing could be similar to BuzzFeed’s this year — an announcement of an IPO in late June and a public launch at the end of 2022, the executive said.

No. 8. A large sports betting company is going bankrupt.

The Executive No. Executive No.

Apple’s ambitions in streaming video have been muted due to the company’s enormous size. “Ted Lasso” is a hitApple TV+ has been used, however the service is mainly on the fringe of streaming wars.

According to this executive, that’s about to change with the purchase of a content-studio in 2022. Apple will become a stronger player in producing original content by having a new team that can produce hit shows. Apple will have a wider selection of movie and TV shows to choose from. This is something Apple does not yet own, but it will be essential for its long-term streaming plans.

Ted Lasso, Apple TV+

Source: Apple Inc.

Executive Number. 10: Free advertising-supported streaming services will consolidate

Another pillar of the streaming wars that tends to get ignored is the world of free advertising-supported services, highlighted by Fox’s Tubi, ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Amazon’s IMDb TV, and Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s STIRR. Smart TV systems offer streaming services free of charge, like Samsung TV Plus or the Roku Channel.

According to this executive, free-streaming television will see explosive growth but it will also continue consolidating. Too many of these services are offering essentially the same thing — a bundled offering of free networks with a lot of old movies and TV shows and syndicated programming.

According to Executive No. 10.

(Disclosure – Comcast has NBCUniversal as its parent company. FanDuel has investors Comcast, NBC Sports and NBC Sports.

WATCH: ViacomCBS’ executive says streaming wars winner would be the one with most hits

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