Netflix Inc NFLX
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Analysis: Netflix (NFLX) is a leading streaming entertainment company with a strong market presence and a large subscriber base. The stock has shown consistent growth over the years, with a year-to-date return of 49.44%. The company's market cap is $195.75 billion, indicating its strong position in the market. The stock's year high of $485.00 and year low of $273.41 demonstrate its volatility, but also its potential for high returns. The fifty-day average of $401.25 and the two-hundred-day average of $381.74 suggest a positive trend in the stock's performance. The stock's day high of $447.48 and day low of $435.51 indicate a relatively stable trading range. With a regular market previous close of $435.15, the stock has shown resilience in the face of market fluctuations. The stock's ten-day average volume of 3,796,880 and three-month average volume of 5,541,592 indicate a healthy level of trading activity. Overall, Netflix appears to be a promising investment option with a positive outlook.
Updated: 2023-11-13 03:55:38
Latest NewsDisney is raising prices on ad-free Disney+, Hulu — and plans a crackdown on password sharing
2023-08-10 - Walt Disney's ad-free streaming services are about to get more expensive — and the media giant is also vowing to crackdown on password sharing. Disney on Wednesday said it will boost the cost of ad-free Disney+ by $3 a month, or about 27%, to $13.99. It also plans to increase the monthly fee for ad-free Hulu by $3, or 20%, to $17.99. The new pricing will go into effect on October 12, the company said. The plans to boost prices and dissuade users from sharing passwords come as streaming networks are witnessing a slowdown in subscriber growth. In the case of Disney+, the service shed about 300,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada since April, the company said in its earnings report on Wednesday. Disney CEO Robert Iger said that the company is seeing stronger demand for its ad-supported streaming networks from marketers than older television and cable platforms. "[T]he advertising marketplace for streaming is picking up," Iger said on a conference call with investors and analysts. "It's more healthy than the advertising marketplace for linear television." He added, "We believe in the future of advertising on our streaming platforms both Disney+ and Hulu, and we're obviously trying with our pricing strategy to migrate more subs to the advertiser-supported tier." Disney password sharing crackdown Disney also said it plans to crack down on password sharing, although it didn't disclose details on how it plans to do so. The company is following rival Netflix in trying to stop subscribers from passing their account details to other people. "Regarding password sharing, we already have the technical capability to monitor much of this," Iger said on the conference call. "What we don't know, of course, is as we get to work on this, how much of the password sharing as we basically eliminate it will convert to growth in [subscribers]." Some analysts doubted whether price hikes and getting tough on password sharers can do much to lead Disney back to sustainable growth. Paul Verna, an analyst with Insider Intelligence, said in a note that the company's moves aren't likely to calm investors "anxious for clarity on the company's strategy for its streaming services and TV networks." —With reporting by the Associated PressDisney hikes streaming prices, focuses on costs as Iger moves to reassure investors
2023-08-09 - A sign is shown at one of the entrances to Disney Studios in Burbank, California, U.S., July 25, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo Aug 9 (Reuters) - Walt Disney (DIS.N) said on Wednesday it would raise prices of its streaming service Disney+ in October, the second price hike this year, and CEO Bob Iger emphasized the company's efforts to keep a lid on costs as he tried to reassure investors. The company beat Wall Street's profit expectations for its fiscal third quarter and said it was on track to cut costs by more than the $5.5 billion it promised investors in February. Shares were last up 3% in extended trading, reversing losses after the entertainment conglomerate posted quarterly revenue below expectations and fell slightly behind analyst projections for U.S. subscribers of Disney+. Iger, who returned for a second stint running Disney, said in a statement that Disney was undergoing an "unprecedented transformation" to help it become more efficient. "I can't emphasize enough the time that we spent, and the effort that we spent, on managing costs," Iger told analysts on a conference call, referring to the company's streaming business. "We have done a tremendous job in a very, very short time." Iger, who faces formidable challenges on nearly all fronts of the entertainment empire, acknowledged that Disney still has work to do to make the streaming business profitable. Disney will raise by 27% the price of the ad-free tier of the Disney+ service to $13.99 and hike by 20% the no-ad version of Hulu. Looking for ways to attract and retain subscribers in a competitive streaming market, Disney also announced it would launch ad-supported streaming in Europe and Canada and provide U.S. subscribers with a new, ad-free package in coming months. Iger said he would address the issue of password sharing next year, echoing Netflix (NFLX.O), which has cracked down on password sharing in the United States and beyond, alerting users that their accounts cannot be shared for free outside of their households. He said Disney will reduce the number of titles it releases and also the cost per title. REVENUE JUST MISSES Disney said it cut losses at its streaming video services to $512 million in its fiscal third quarter, narrower than its loss of about $1.1 billion a year ago. It added 800,000 Disney+ subscribers, 100,000 subscribers shy of analyst estimates, and shed 12.5 million subscribers to the Disney Hotstar service in India, or nearly a quarter of its subscribers, as it gave up rights to Indian Premiere League cricket matches. "Disney will have to cut prices from current levels in an effort to stimulate demand and defend its market share in an increasingly competitive industry," said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com. "The streaming space is certainly feeling the pinch of persistently high inflation which has forced consumers to make changes to their spending habits as disposable income shrinks." Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, echoed that Disney will have to focus on attracting new streaming subscribers and managing costs as it transitions from its traditional core business to streaming. Disney's revenue for the quarter ended July 1 rose 4% to$22.33 billion from a year earlier, just short of the Wall Street estimates, according to Refinitiv. It delivered per-share earnings of $1.03, when excluding certain items, beating Wall Street projections of 95 cents a share. The company took $2.65 billion in impairment and restructuring charges in the quarter, reflecting the cost of removing some content from its streaming services, terminating licensing agreements and $210 million in severance payments to laid-off workers. Disney's traditional television business continued its decline. Higher sports programming production costs and lower affiliate revenue dragged down the performance of its cable channels. TV revenue fell 7% to $6.7 billion, while operating income fell 23% to $1.9 billion. Disney's direct-to-consumer business reported a 9% increase in revenue to $5.5 billion, as the average revenue per subscriber rose at Disney+ and Hulu. Content sales and licensing, the unit that includes film and television sales, reported a deeper operating loss of $243 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $27 million a year ago. The quarter included the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which performed less well at the box office than the prior year's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Also released during the most recent quarter was the live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid," which disappointed. Disney's Parks, Experiences and Products group reported a 13% increase in revenue in the quarter, to $8.3 billion, and an 11% bump in operating income to $2.4 billion. The results were buoyed by the rebound of the Shanghai Disney Resort, which was open for the full quarter compared with the same time a year ago, when COVID-19 forced the park to be closed for all but three days. The unit had lower operating income at its domestic parks, due to decreases at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles Additional reporting by Chavi Mehta and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru Editing by Peter Henderson, Sayantani Ghosh and Matthew Lewis Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Disney posts smaller streaming loss, will hike prices for Disney+ and Hulu
2023-08-09 - Walt Disney Co.’s stock dipped in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company posted mixed quarterly results roughly in line with analysts’ expectations amid a cost-cutting frenzy. Separately, Disney said it is hiking prices on almost all of its streaming packages in an aggressive push to boost its bottom line. Commercial-free Disney+ will cost $13.99 per month, a 27% increase, beginning Oct. 12. Ad-free Hulu will increase 20% to $17.99 per month. A new Disney+ and Hulu Bundle ad-free plan launches Sept. 6 for $19.99. Read more: Disney is raising prices on Hulu and Disney+ again. Here’s how much you’ll soon pay. The media giant DIS, -0.73% reported a fiscal third-quarter loss of $460 million, or 25 cents a share, mostly because of restructuring and impairment charges. After adjusting for restructuring costs and other effects, Disney reported earnings of $1.03 a share. Revenue grew 4% to $22.3 billion from $21.5 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had on average expected adjusted earnings of 96 cents a share on revenue of $22.5 billion. Disney shares declined about 3% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the report, after dropping 0.7% to $87.52 in the regular session. “Our results this quarter are reflective of what we’ve accomplished through the unprecedented transformation we’re undertaking at Disney to restructure the company, improve efficiencies and restore creativity to the center of our business,” Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a statement announcing the results. Disney is in the midst of a $5.5 billion cost-cutting plan overseen by Iger, who returned to the CEO position to right the ship in late 2022. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, which includes streaming services and some international products, hauled in $5.5 billion, compared with analysts’ forecast of $5.7 billion on average and last year’s total of $5.05 billion. The division did reduce its quarterly losses to $512 million, compared with $1.06 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting a loss of $758 million. Still, the company has lost more than $10 billion in its DTC segment since launching Disney+ in late 2019. Disney had told investors for three years it expects Disney+ to be profitable by September 2024. During a conference call with analysts late Thursday, Iger said Disney is “actively exploring” options to crack down on account sharing when the company updates subscriber agreements later this year and will “roll out tactics to drive monetization” in 2024. The company’s iconic theme parks around the world and product-sales business increased to $8.3 billion in revenue from $7.4 billion a year ago. The average analyst estimate was $8.1 billion. Disney’s largest business segment, media and entertainment distribution, raked in $14 billion during the quarter, down from $14.1 billion a year ago. Analysts on average predicted $14.3 billion, according to FactSet. Disney’s television networks generated sales of $6.7 billion, while analysts’ average estimates called for $6.74 billion. Content sales and licensing, a category that includes Disney’s film business, reported revenue of $2.1 billion, compared with analysts’ expectations of about $2.15 billion. In the weeks leading up to Disney’s results, there has been a whirlwind of fear and doubt over the current state of the company’s streaming services — including ESPN — as well as linear-TV ad sales, the actors’ and writers’ strikes that have shut down Hollywood, Disney’s theme parks and its legal and political battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Front and center is the health of Disney+ as it battles streaming rivals like Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.90% , Netflix Inc. NFLX, -2.14% , Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.49% , Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. WBD, -2.15% and Comcast Corp. CMCSA, -0.26% . Macquarie Equity Research analyst Tim Nollen believes in Disney’s streaming services over the long term but said “we see too many near-term issues to overcome to support a more constructive view.” Disney+ had 146.1 million subscribers globally, 7% fewer than the 157.8 million it had in the previous quarter. The decline mostly came from India, where Disney lost the rights to stream a popular cricket league last year. Disney and DeSantis, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, have filed dueling lawsuits that stem from the company’s criticism last year of a Florida law that bans classroom discussion of sexuality and gender identity with younger children. Earlier this week, a group of mostly former Republican high-level government officials called DeSantis’s takeover of Disney World’s governing district “severely damaging to the political, social, and economic fabric” of Florida. The somber vibe prompted Deutsche Bank analysts on Tuesday to lower their price target on Disney shares 8% to $120, with “lower advertising revenue, underperformance at the box office, and lighter parks attendance in Orlando” chief among their concerns. “This is Iger’s most important earnings call since returning to Disney late last year. He came in with a punch list that was too long to realistically knock off in two years,” Rick Munarriz, an analyst at the Motley Fool, said in an email. “Now the board has given him four years, and every word he uses during Thursday afternoon’s earnings call has to carry some serious heft.” Disney’s call was to start at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Shares of Disney have inched up 0.7% this year, while the S&P 500 SPX has climbed 16%.Disney+ is increasing its price (again) and gearing up for a crackdown on the 'significant' number of people sharing passwords
2023-08-09 - Disney is raising prices on almost all of its streaming offerings as it looks to accelerate profitability for the business. Commercial-free Disney+ will cost $13.99 per month, a 27% increase, beginning Oct. 12. Disney+ with ads will remain $7.99 per month. Disney will also expand its ad-tier offering to select markets in Europe and in Canada beginning Nov. 1. Disney is increasing the price of Hulu without ads to $17.99 per month, a 20% price hike. Hulu with ads will also stay the same price, at $7.99 per month. For comparison, Netflix's standard plan without commercials is $15.49 per month. Warner Bros. Discovery's Max is $15.99 per month. The decision to price Disney+ nearly as high as commercial-free Netflix and Max, and charge even more for Hulu, signals Disney believes its content library can compete with both of those services. When Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger launched Disney+ in 2019, he deliberately set the niche family offering at a low price of $6.99 per month — nearly half the price of Netflix. Last year, Disney increased the cost of Disney+ by $3 per month. Iger acknowledged he was surprised the price increase led to minimal cancelations of the service. "We took a pretty significant price increase at Disney+ sometime late in 2022, and we really didn't see significant churn or loss of subs because of that, which was actually heartening," Iger said during Disney's earnings call on Wednesday. Iger noted that Disney is deliberately trying to steer users toward its ad-supported services by keeping prices for those services the same. The advertising landscape for streaming is healthier than traditional linear TV, Iger added. Disney has added 3.3 million subscribers for its U.S. advertising-supported service after it launched in December, Iger announced on the call. About 40% of new Disney+ subscribers have signed up for the ad tier, he said.4 financial lessons you can learn from these Netflix shows
2023-08-02 - This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. In the past year, streaming service Netflix NFLX, -0.08% has released two financially focused offerings: the film “Get Smart With Money” and the series “How to Get Rich.” Both feature powerhouse financial influencers who help people reevaluate their approaches to money to educate and empower them. Here are four takeaways that you can apply to your own life, no matter your financial situation. Takeaways from ‘Get Smart With Money’ The “Get Smart With Money” documentary features well-known financial writers, bloggers and podcasters who share their expertise on how to become better at managing money. Here are a couple of lessons they imparted. Tiffany Aliche Getty Images 1. Emotion management is key to money management In “Get Smart With Money,” some of the featured participants were dealing with significant debt or with the challenges of living paycheck to paycheck. The stress, fear and frustration that come with money can significantly impact how you manage it. Tiffany Aliche, a financial educator also known as The Budgetnista, talks through this fear and encourages people to face their money head-on to see what they owe and where they need to save more. If you’re afraid of your money, that’s going to affect how you manage your money, she says in the film. See: More than half of Americans who make $100,000 say they live paycheck to paycheck: survey 2. Money is a tool to help you create the life you desire Aliche tells one of the show participants to create a “dream fund,” a special savings account for goals outside of regular bills and emergency fund budgeting. This takeaway is a great reminder that money is meant to be used for things that will make you happy in addition to paying for daily expenses. Takeaways from ‘How to Get Rich’ Ramit Sethi, author of bestselling book “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” hosts this Netflix series and helps participants define their goals and make moves to achieve them. Here are some of the lessons and tips from the show. 3. Think about what makes you happy One of the pillars of Sethi’s advice is the concept of “a rich life,” meaning the financial ability to do things that bring joy. He emphasizes that a rich life comes in many forms, like being able to take time off from work when you want to, fly in business class for long trips or even help a parent retire, as was the goal of one of the show participants. You might like: You track savings, spending and investments. But are you paying attention to the right numbers? Mindy Jensen, a host of financial podcast “BiggerPockets Money,” had an aha moment with Sethi when she was a guest on his podcast. Sethi’s podcast is separate from his Netflix show, but he emphasizes a lot of similar money guidelines. As Sethi discussed the concept of a rich life with Jensen and her husband — who are both financially independent, meaning they have enough money to pay their living expenses for the rest of their lives — they realized that even with their large net worth, they weren’t spending enough money to make life more enjoyable. After the conversation, the couple decided that they wanted to spend more money on travel with their two teenage daughters. “We don’t need or want more things, but we want more experiences,” Jensen told NerdWallet. Looking back on her journey to financial independence, Jensen also realized that there was more she and her husband could have done to start their rich life earlier. “You can continue to contribute to your retirement accounts and investments, but it doesn’t have to be this frantic mad dash to the finish line,” she says. “You can do it a little slower and enjoy your life.” Plus: Everything coming to Netflix in August 2023 — and what’s leaving 4. Homeownership doesn’t have to be a financial goal It can be hard to break away from the idea of homeownership as a major financial achievement. In America, the mythos of the “white picket fence” is often part of the way people describe success. Sethi’s perspective on homeownership, however, differs from popular convention. In “How to Get Rich,” he advises participants to keep in mind all of the additional costs that come with homeownership compared with what’s covered by a landlord. Homeownership means that everything falls to you, on top of whatever you pay for your mortgage, home insurance, homeowners association fees and property taxes. If you find a rental that leaves enough room in your budget to allow you to invest more, the math can sometimes work out better for your net worth in the long run, Sethi says. Don’t miss: Netflix criticized for posting AI jobs paying up to $900,000 while writers and actors are on strike For people who are getting started on their financial journey — as well as those who are well on their way — these shows can provide inspiration and information about how to make your money work better for you. More From NerdWallet Chanelle Bessette writes for NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.Leaders of striking Hollywood writers union to talk with studios about resuming negotiations
2023-08-02 - Los Angeles — Union leaders told striking Hollywood writers Tuesday night that they plan to meet with representatives of studios to discuss restarting negotiations after the first official communication between the two sides since the writers' walkout began three months ago. The Writers Guild of America sent an email to members saying the head of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations, requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of contract talks. "We'll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information," the email read. "As we've said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us." It wasn't immediately known whether a similar overture was made to union leaders for Hollywood actors, who have been on strike since July 14. SAG-AFTRA and WGA picketers walk outside Netflix studios on August 1, 2023, in Los Angeles. Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP This is the first time two major Hollywood unions have been on strike at the same time since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was the actors' guild's president. Asked about the prospect of talks with either guild, a spokesperson for the AMPTP only said in an email that, "We remain committed to finding a path to mutually beneficial deals with both Unions." An Associated Press email to a representative of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents striking film and television actors, wasn't immediately returned. The AMPTP represents Hollywood studios including Paramount, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Sony, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney. Talks between screenwriters and their employers collapsed on May 1, and the first of the two walkouts that have frozen production in Hollywood began a day later. Issues include pay rates amid inflation, the use of smaller writing staffs for shorter seasons of television shows, and control over artificial intelligence in the screenwriting process. "I had hoped that we would already have had some kind of conversations with the industry by now," SAG-AFTRA Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told The Associated Press earlier Tuesday, before the email was sent to writers. "Obviously, that hasn't happened yet, but I'm optimistic." Picketers have marched outside major studios and network offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Editor's note: Paramount+ and CBS News and Stations are part of Paramount Global, one of the companies affected by the strike. Some CBS News staff are WGA and SAG-AFTRA members but work under different contracts than the writers and actors who are on strike.How ESPN Went From Disney’s Financial Engine to Its Problem
2023-08-02 - ESPN has been Disney’s financial engine for nearly 30 years, powering the company through recessions, box office wipeouts and the pandemic. It was ESPN money that helped Disney pay for acquisitions — Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, 21st Century Fox — and build a streaming service, transforming itself into a colossus and perhaps traditional media’s best hope of surviving Silicon Valley’s incursion into entertainment. Those days, ESPN’s best, are over. With its dual revenue stream — fees from cable subscribers and advertising — the sports juggernaut continues to earn billions of dollars for Disney. In the first six months of the 2023 fiscal year, Disney’s cable networks division, which is anchored by ESPN and its spinoff channels, generated $14 billion in revenue and $3 billion in profit. The problem: Wall Street is fixated on growth. Revenue for those six months was down 6 percent from a year earlier, as profit plunged 29 percent. Disney is now exploring a once-unthinkable sale of a stake in ESPN. Not all of it, Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, has made clear. But he wants “strategic partners that could either help us with distribution or content,” he said during an interview with CNBC last month. Disney has held talks with the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball about taking a minority stake.Newell Brands, Intel rise; Ford, Sweetgreen fall: Friday, 7/28/2023
2023-07-29 - The Associated Press By The Associated Press Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes on Friday: Newell Brands, Intel rise; Ford, Sweetgreen fall NEW YORK -- Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes on Friday: Intel Corp., up $2.28 to $36.83. The chipmaker gave investors a strong profit and revenue forecast for the current quarter. KLA Corp., up $28.66 to $511.01. The maker of equipment for manufacturing semiconductors reported strong fiscal fourth-quarter financial results. T. Rowe Price Group Inc., up $9.68 to $126.79. The financial services firm beat analysts' second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts. Procter & Gamble Co., up $4.30 to $156.41. The maker of Charmin toilet paper and other consumer products reported strong fiscal fourth-quarter financial results. Ford Motor Co., down 47 cents to $13.26. The automaker is recalling more than 870,000 F-150 pickup trucks in the U.S. to fix the electric parking brake. Newell Brands Inc., up 79 cents to $11.04. The maker of Rubbermaid products beat analysts' second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts. Avantor Inc., down $1.55 to $21.28 The laboratory equipment and materials company reported weak second-quarter earnings and revenue. Sweetgreen Inc., down $1.35 to $14.10. The restaurant chain reported disappointing second-quarter earnings and revenue.As strike continues, working actors describe a job far removed from the glamour of Hollywood
2023-07-26 - The strike that has paralyzed the entertainment industry has drawn outspoken support from some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Yet the festering issues animating the walkout are far more likely to affect the thousands of ordinary working actors trying to eke out a living in the age of streaming and artificial intelligence. Far from the glitz often associated with the movie business, many such "journeymen" actors live paycheck to paycheck, struggle to afford health insurance and often have to take on non-acting jobs to pay the bills. "For most of those years, I've had to have a second job and source of income," Moises Acevedo told CBS MoneyWatch. The New York actor's credits include the TV shows "Blue Bloods" and "Orange Is the New Black" and a recurring character in "Betty." Only in recent years has Acevedo been able to rely exclusively on his income as an actor on shows that have aired on streaming platforms including Netflix and Amazon. But when TV and movie writers staged their own strike in May, Acevedo said he knew the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which is leading the actors' strike, would follow suit. (Some CBS News staff are SAG-AFTRA members. But they work under a different contract than the actors and are not affected by the strike.) "So I went back to the restaurant where I worked years prior, and that's how I'm living now," he said, noting that he's learned not to rely on the often measly residual checks from productions he's appeared in to tide him over in between jobs. Moises Acevedo has long maintained a co-career to supplement his income as an actor. Courtesy of Moises Acevedo $5 check A sticking point in the negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, is the residual payments actors get for their work in streaming content — long-term compensation for what used to be re-runs on cable television. Streaming services aren't transparent about viewership numbers, which means actors are often in the dark about whether they're being paid fairly — or at all — for repeated airings of a show they appear in, Acevedo said. For guest-starring in an episode of hit Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black," Acevedo was paid a one-time fee and also earned residuals for overseas streams of the episode. But the residual payments were paltry. "The most recent check I got was for foreign territories in Europe. It had all these different territories — the UK, Italy — it equalled up to, like, $5. What am I supposed to do with that?" said Acevedo, a SAG-AFTRA member since 2007. As his fellow actors head into the second week of the strike, his biggest demand is for the studios to openly disclose their viewership data so performers can better gauge how fairly they're being paid. "It's that simple. We want to know what people are watching and how many times they're watching it. From there on, we can get what's right," he said. "We do not make Tom Cruise money" Veteran actor Nicole Bilderback considers herself lucky compared to many of her peers, noting that she meets the minimum $26,470 annual income threshold to qualify for health insurance offered through SAG-AFTRA. She has worked steadily in the industry for three decades, recently appearing in streaming series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Cruel Summer" and also in movies such as "Clueless" and "Bring it On" as well as in TV shows "Dawson's Creek" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Still, none of her work in movies and TV has made her rich. "I'm a blue-collar, working-class actor. I'm notable and recognizable because I have worked a lot over a 30-year career span, but that doesn't mean I am well-off and can go months without working. Actors like myself go from paycheck to paycheck," she told CBS MoneyWatch. "The general public has this false sense that if you work a lot, or are a series regular on a hit TV show, that you must be making millions and be well off. But we do not make Tom Cruise money," said actor Nicole Bilderback. Courtesy of Nicole Bilderback "The general public has this false sense that if you work a lot, or are a series regular on a hit TV show, that you must be making millions and be well-off. But we do not make Tom Cruise money," Bilderback added. Like Acevedo, she's not counting on residuals to tide her over until SAG-AFTRA reaches an agreement with AMPTP. Instead, to supplement her income Bilderback recently trained to become a corporate flight attendant on private aircraft. "I have to take care of myself now that the industry is shut down," she said. "Pretty much all actors across the board have taken on second jobs, or are about to." "It doesn't need to be millions" Harry Ford, 40, has a supporting role opposite Cate Blanchett in the upcoming film "Borderlands" and was also a series regular on CBS medical drama series "Code Black." Ford noted that, even when he's working and getting paid, he only takes home a fraction of the money. "We are in one of the few professions where it costs a lot of money to make money. You have to pay 10% to your agent, 10% to your manager — if you have one, 5% if an attorney negotiated the deal, 5% if you have an accountant. You're automatically paying 30% off the top," he said. And that's before taxes. "There was a time when I was making 31 cents to the dollar," Ford added. Actor Harry Ford said he has applied for roughly 100 different non-acting jobs in recent months. Courtesy of Harry Ford Ford said that for him, the union's message is simple: "We are collectively saying, 'If you want to continue to make money with our talents and time, we have to be fairly compensated.'" "It doesn't need to be millions; I'd just like to pay my phone bill, my electric bill and the insurance for my apartment," he added. Meantime, finding work outside of acting has proved challenging. Ford estimates that he's applied for roughly 100 different administrative positions over the past five months. "I've applied to be a desk agent for an airline, to work for a telecom corporation, to university positions all over country, to work in dispatch for a trucking company," said Ford, who has a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University. "But at a certain point, when you have a master's degree you're overqualified."Netflix Isn't Developing Native App For Apple Vision Pro, But It Might Do This - Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)
2023-07-24 - Apple Inc.’s AAPL first-generation mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro, has made significant ripples in the market, but one major streaming player, Netflix, Inc. NFLX, might not develop a native app. What Happened: In his recent “Power On” newsletter, Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman said that video streaming will be the dominant focus for most Vision Pro apps. The Walt Disney Co.’s DIS Disney+ has already been confirmed for the platform, and Apple’s expansive deal with Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN hints at the likelihood of Prime Video making its way onto the device as well. In contrast, Netflix has decided against developing a native app for the headset for now. See Also: Apple’s MR Headset Could Be A Hit Like iPhone, iPad With These 2 Two Things: Gurman According to Gurman, one of the primary reasons behind Netflix’s decision lies in the relatively smaller addressable market for the Vision Pro compared to Apple’s other dominant devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. However, users could still access their favorite content on the Vision Pro through the existing Netflix app for iPad. Despite Netflix’s current stance, Apple Vision Pro’s potential is not to be underestimated. Developers can cater to customers willing to spend more on high-quality apps, considering the device’s premium pricing and advanced capabilities. This prospect might see app prices surge beyond the traditional norms, opening up new avenues for developers in graphic design, productivity, and gaming categories, said Gurman. Why It’s Important: With an expected annual sale of fewer than one million units in its first year, developers might hesitate to invest substantial resources in creating custom apps for the device. Previously, ARK Invest, an investment firm led by Cathie Wood, boldly asserted that current augmented and virtual reality technology, including offerings from tech giants like Apple and Meta Platforms Inc. META, failed to meet the mark when it came to capturing the masses adoption. Analysts have also said that while Apple’s headset has “wowed” many reviewers, the device’s hefty price tag of almost $3,500 could put it at a disadvantage. Check out more of Benzinga’s Consumer Tech coverage by following this link. Read Next: ‘Apple Is Wasting A Button’ By Shifting Control Center In WatchOS 10, Says Mark GurmanWhy the actors and writers strikes are good news for Netflix
2023-07-24 - Netflix, a major target of the current strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, has seen an unexpected cash boost from the two labor unions' actions. In its quarterly earnings report Wednesday, Netflix said it expects to have at least $5 billion in free cash flow for 2023 because of reduced operational costs as a result of the strikes delaying production schedules. That's a significant increase from its previous estimate of $3.5 billion. The company plans to use some of the extra cash to buy back stock, it said. "We're currently running a bit above our targeted minimum cash level, so we expect to increase our stock repurchase activity in the second half of 2023, assuming no material change in our business," Netflix said in a letter to investors. The company's chief financial officer, Adam Neumann, detailed some of the reasons for the cash boost on an investor call Wednesday. In addition to "the impact of the strikes," Neumann said the company had "early success" with its crackdown on password sharing, and plans to expand so-called paid sharing to every country where it operates. The company added more than 6 million new paid subscribers in the second quarter of this year, including 1.2 million in the U.S. and Canada. "Now that we've launched paid sharing broadly, we have increased confidence in our financial outlook," the company wrote. "We expect that our revenue growth will accelerate more substantially in Q4 '23 as we further monetize account sharing between households and steadily grow our advertising revenue." The company reported $1.8 billion in profit on $8.2 bilion in revenue for the three months ending in June. Creators demand a bigger cut Netflix and other streaming services have been the target of ire from striking actors and writers who say the massive growth of streaming video has come at the expense of the very people who produce hyper-popular content. Actors have taken to social media to share images of their actual checks from streaming residuals. "This is Us" star Mandy Moore revealed she received residuals payments as low as 81 cents from the show's deal with Hulu. Actor Mark Proksch recently told The Wrap that he makes more in residuals from his guest-star role in 19 episodes of "The Office," which ended in 2013, than he does as a lead actor on FX's "What We Do In the Shadows," now in its fifth season. Productions halted Entertainment productions have ground to a halt after some 65,000 SAG-AFTRA members took to the picket lines last week, joining 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America who went on strike in May. Both unions are seeking higher base pay and a bigger cut of streaming companies' revenue in the form of residual or licensing fees. According to SAG-AFTRA, the studios — a group that includes Apple; Amazon; Netflix; NBCUniversal; Sony and Paramount, the parent company of CBS News — have refused to negotiate pay raises for performers and the sharing of streaming revenue. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios says the union has "mischaracterized" their position. "The deal that SAG-AFTRA walked away from on July 12 is worth more than $1 billion in wage increases, pension & health contributions and residual increases and includes first-of-their-kind protections over its three-year term, including expressly with respect to A.I.," AMPTP said in a statement. "Super committed to getting to an agreement" Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos on Wednesday brushed off investor worries that the company would "run out" of content during the strike, highlighting returning seasons of popular series including "The Crown," "Top Boy," "The Upshaws," "Sweet Magnolias," "Heartstopper," "Virgin River" and "Too Hot To Handle." He also cited his own experience as the son of a union electrician, noting that when his father, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, went on strike, it took "an enormous toll." "These strikes, this strike is not an outcome that we wanted," he said. "But we've got a lot of work to do. There are a handful of complicated issues. We're super committed to getting to an agreement as soon as possible, one that's equitable and one that enables the industry and everybody in it to move forward into the future."Barbenheimer bonanza: how two films saved the summer box office
2023-07-24 - The past weekend wasn’t the first time that two major films had been released simultaneously but the big screen blitz of Barbie and Oppenheimer saw the first time audiences saw it less as a competition and more of a collaboration. Months ago, Barbie v Oppenheimer had been widely discarded for the cosier, Bennifer-adjacent Barbenheimer, the bomb-maker and the bombshell hand-in-hand, fans planning to watch them both rather than just one, an unprecedented event that had exhibitors and studios both geared up for a much-needed win. But even the most ambitious box office analysts couldn’t have predicted just what a win that was going to be, the higher end of estimates now looking positively conservative, the two films combining to shatter records and create a genuine, online-to-offline pop culture phenomenon. Greta Gerwig’s gently satirical Mattel comedy was the inevitable No 1 but with a weekend haul of $162m in the US, it also became the year’s biggest opener to date as well as the highest-ever opening for a female director. Just as surprisingly, Christopher Nolan’s dark period drama managed an $82m second place win, a staggering amount for something of that ilk, a talky, 3-hour awards movie treated by audiences like a superhero epic. Globally, the picture was similarly rosy, the two films combining to bring in over $500m between them, a much-needed boost to what had been a mostly troubling summer at the box office. While audiences had turned out en masse for superhero sequels Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (although neither film has reached the magic $1bn global mark), they’d mostly stayed away from other tentpole offerings. DC’s beleaguered comic book mash-up The Flash sputtered out as the biggest superhero bomb of all time, set to lose $200m. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny looked unlikely to prove profitable thanks to an exorbitant $300m budget and a worldwide gross not that much higher. Tom Cruise’s ultra-expensive Mission: Impossible sequel opened beneath projections and thanks to Barbenheimer, suffered a catastrophic second week drop. Animated adventures Elemental and Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, came in way below expectations. Comedies such as Book Club: The Next Chapter, Joy Ride, The Blackening, The Machine and About My Father tanked in wide release. Before this weekend, ticket sales had been down 20% in comparison to the same point in 2019. Advertisements for Oppenheimer and Barbie in Los Angeles Photograph: Chris Pizzello/AP The industry has still been in recovery from the darkest days of the pandemic when cinemas were shuttered or re-opened with caveats or shuttered again, forcing confused or concerned audiences to stay at home and the studios to reconfigure release strategies. The shortening of the window from theatrical to home viewing, at times reduced to nothing with day-and-date releases available on both big and small screen, has for many made the cinema seem like an unnecessary and overpriced relic of the past, helped by streamers such as Netflix and Amazon releasing blockbuster-sized movies with stars to match straight-to-smartphone. The great disruptors as they were once known have became the great destructors, the subscription model unable to ever prove quite as profitable as the model it was aiming to replace. But even in a year when the box office might be down, there were signs that it wasn’t out. Oscar films such as The Fabelmans, Tar and Women Talking might have stumbled during the dying months of 2022 but 2023 kicked off with B-movie hits like M3gan and Cocaine Bear, luring audiences out with the promise of freakish sights unseen, like a carnival coming into town. There was more good news with acclaimed sequels to Creed, Scream and John Wick all bringing in franchise bests before The Super Mario Bros Movie became the first, and only, film to push past $1bn at the global box office. The audience was there, it just needed a reason to show up. So what did Barbenheimer do to achieve such a record turnout? When both films were announced to be sharing the same date, many saw it as a petty swipe from Warner Bros, positioning Barbie up against Nolan, their long-time director who had moved across to Universal for his latest (the Dark Knight film-maker, like many others had been displeased by the studio’s Covid-era plan to release theatrical films simultaneously on streaming). Barbie had taken an almost 15-year long journey through various developments, with names such as Anne Hathaway and Amy Schumer previously attached. It took Margot Robbie and her production company LuckyChap fresh off the success of Promising Young Woman to really get the wheels turning, approaching Gerwig post-Little Women who agreed on the proviso that her husband and collaborator Noah Baumbach could co-write. Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock The two were seen as unconventional choices, their previous work closer to the arthouse than the multiplex, character rather than plot-led, not the most obvious fit for something set to become the first official Mattel Studios movie (future Mattel movies promise partnerships with JJ Abrams, Lena Dunham and Daniel Kaluuya). But their involvement, along with Robbie and a cast that eventually grew to include Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell and surprisingly diverse support from Issa Rae, Simu Liu, America Ferrera and Hari Nef, became early proof that this was not going to be your eldest sister’s Barbie and those who might have otherwise turned their noses up at a toy-based tentpole were suddenly intrigued. Even without them, the Barbie brand continues to be big business. While it might have seen a slight drop from the year before, 2022 still saw Mattel make $1.49bn from Barbie products. That’s staggering in-built IP, not just for new consumers but for those who have some attachment to the brand all the way back to its original release in 1959. While Gerwig and Baumbach might have taken a satirical look at Barbie, approaching topics such as patriarchy, capitalism and body image, the film was still launched with a poppy marketing campaign of bright pink everything, a soundtrack featuring Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and Charli XCX and brand partnerships totaling around 100, from Chevy to AirbnB. Its budget of $145m is believed to be doubled when marketing costs are added, a summer event movie with bite, but a summer event movie nonetheless. Barbie has been inescapable for the past few months but so has the excitement, leveled up by every new soundtrack release, every new clip, every new teasing piece of press from those involved (“This movie is crazy,” Gerwig told the Observer earlier this month) and the meme-ification of its same-day release with a film that couldn’t be any more opposed. While Gerwig’s Barbie had the brand awareness of one of the biggest toys ever created to support her offbeat vision, Nolan had a rockier road ahead. Selling the story of J Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, with a $100m budget at stake and a 3-hour, talk-heavy runtime at the height of summer felt like an unprecedented gamble, a heavy serving of vegetables in the middle of an all-you-can-eat fast food buffet. But Nolan, one of the few working directors who can draw a substantial audience by name alone, turned what could have been a dry history lesson into an IMAX spectacle thanks to a stacked starry cast (Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Rami Malek and Florence Pugh) and an extravagant marketing campaign that kicked off a year before release with a ticking clock and a brooding trailer. Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy Photograph: Neil P Mockford/Getty Images for Universal Pictures The campaign continued with class during a season often devoid of it with stars out at every available opportunity and Nolan taking on the Tom Cruise role of cinema savior, highlighting the importance of the theatrical experience. While audiences wouldn’t know this upon buying a ticket, in order to secure the film with Universal, the director made them agree to a number of key terms, including a theatrical window of at least 100 days before any form of digital release and a three-week period before the studio releases another film. Universal had been one of the most open studios to a theatrical window reduction with some films available to watch digitally just 17 days after release. This decision should theoretically give the film better legs than most, allowing it to pull in audiences who might otherwise have waited for a home viewing. Last summer’s biggest hit Top Gun: Maverick was similarly kept in cinemas for longer than what had become standard (it took three months for a rental release), as a result of Cruise’s insistence, and topped out at just under $1.5bn (Barbie similarly has no planned digital release as of yet). One of the most interesting analytic tidbits over the weekend shows that, despite skewing older on paper, Oppenheimer’s audience was surprisingly young, with 18- to 34-year-olds making up 66% of tickets sold. While older audiences are historically less likely to rush out on opening weekend in the same way, this still makes for a revealing result, its over-performing domestic debut (bigger than more commercially viable summer tentpoles like Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Fast X) an important sign to studios that mass audiences will come out to watch films that prioritize words over action. Its success speaks to the rise of the world’s biggest film-based social network Letterboxd and the cineaste culture that comes along with it, amplified by the pandemic where many were left at home to watch classics with nothing new coming out (Oppenheimer is already the 52nd highest-rated film ever on the platform). Barbie shares a vital similarity in that it also aimed to snag an audience often ignored during the warmer months: women. When studios have bothered to eventise films aimed at a female audience in the summer, it has tended to pay off. Just weeks after Iron Man kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008, the first Sex and the City movie reached over $400m worldwide before Mamma Mia! made over $600m (both films beat out the same summer’s more-hyped tentpoles The Incredible Hulk and Wanted). Since then, Bridesmaids ($306m), Sex and the City 2 ($294m) and Girls Trip ($140m) have shown the power of an underserved audience, but Hollywood has been reluctant to listen. The cultural moment shown in cinemas across the globe at the weekend – parties, costumes, sold out screenings, women making up a massive 71% of audiences – should hopefully be a reminder to pay better attention. Barbie fans in Glasgow Photograph: Katherine Anne Rose/The Observer Leading up to its release, the right had tried to engineer a culture war, enraged by its diversity and its perceived anti-man stance with the usual suspects trotting out tired rants about the evils of wokeness. But the same crowd, who love nothing more than to bask in the failure of a film with a diverse lead, such as Bros or The Little Mermaid, were noticeably quiet over the weekend as the numbers proved that yet again, audiences are more than willing to accept the things a small portion of loud voices are railing against. The unlikely combination of the two films, the creation of Barbenheimer, was a Twitter joke without studio backing that had a striking real world impact. In the US, at least 40,000 double-bill tickets had been sold by AMC while in the UK, Vue reported that a fifth of its visitors were also going to both. Celebrities, such as Quentin Tarantino, were even seen going from one to the other. What’s telling about both films leading to such a craze is that both were given high marks by critics – Barbie at 91% and Oppenheimer at 94% – an ongoing trend of audiences willing to fork out for films that are worth the effort (both films were also handed an A CinemaScore from cinemagoers). With the rise of ticket prices making a trip to the multiplex that much harder to justify and the rise of online spaces where people can share opinions, studios have relied heavily on promoting a film’s critical impact, including Rotten Tomatoes ratings in trailers and on streaming platforms. Sometimes the simplest answer is also the most relevant: both films did well because people like them. Barbenheimer has arrived not only at a worrying time for box office but at an even more worrying time for the industry at large. The ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes have paused major productions and added a question mark to those already in the can. The actors’ strike prevents guild members from promoting studio work, its official start arriving just after the majority of Barbie and Oppenheimer press had taken place. But it carries a cloud over the rest of the year, obscuring the sunshine from the past weekend. This week’s release of The Haunted Mansion, based on the Disney ride, has been hampered from a lack of star access with actors such as Lakeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson and Jamie Lee Curtis unable to walk a red carpet or feature on a morning TV show to sell the film. Some later releases have already been yanked off the schedule such as A24 comedy Problemista and Zendaya-led love triangle drama Challengers, also pulled from a splashy premiere at the Venice film festival. With rumours that major films such as Dune 2, Aquaman 2 and The Color Purple may also move, it adds a bittersweet tang to the Barbenheimer success. It’s proved that engaged and enthused audiences are out there, but with studios seemingly unwilling to compromise with unions, whether they’ll have much to go see over the coming months is less sure.Stock market today: Global shares mixed as investors eye profit reports and inflation
2023-07-20 - TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3% in early trading to 7,345.07. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2% to 16,143.18. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.6% to 7,636.32. The future for the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1%. On Wednesday, Wall Street advanced on strong profit reports from banks and other big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and has rising nearly 19% this year. It’s at its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow industrials gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1%. The earnings reporting season is picking up momentum in its second week. Analysts are forecasting a third straight quarter of weaker earnings per share for S&P 500 companies, but that low bar makes it easier for companies to top expectations. Netflix reported that its subscriber base grew while profit was weaker than forecast. Its shares sank 6.9% in pre-market trading. Tesla’s results, although positive, also proved disappointing. Its shares were down 3% in pre-market trading. Japan reported Thursday that it logged a trade surplus in June for the first time in nearly two years as imports sank nearly 13%, largely due to lower oil prices and a weak Japanese yen. Exports rose only 1.5% from a year earlier despite sharp increases in shipments of vehicles as supply chain problems eased. Economists say they anticipate weaker exports in coming months as demand in other major economies slows. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.2% to 32,490.52. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added less than 0.1% to 7,325.00. South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.3% to 2,600.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 18,928.02, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.9% to 3,169.52. The tepid results for Netflix and Tesla may have made Asian investors cautious, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said in a commentary. “But with inflation easing and odds for a soft landing rising, investors may adopt an ‘it could have been worse mood,’ ” Innes added. In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $75.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 9 cents to $79.55 a barrel. The U.S. dollar fell to 139.53 Japanese yen from 139.68 yen. The euro cost $1.1213, up from $1.1204.Nasdaq, S&P 500 futures fall after Q2 reports by Tesla, Netflix
2023-07-20 - Summary Companies Futures: Dow up 0.12%, S&P slips 0.15%, Nasdaq down 0.78% July 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures fell on Thursday as Tesla kicked off second-quarter earnings for megacap growth and technology stocks on a somber note, while Netflix slid as quarterly revenue missed analyst estimates. Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk signaled on Wednesday that he would cut prices again on electric vehicles in "turbulent times," even as his all-out price war squeezes the company's own margins. Shares of the electric car maker slid 3.5% in premarket trading after Musk's comments, even as Tesla beat quarterly profit estimates. "Amid the macroeconomic backdrop of sluggish global growth and a softening consumer, Tesla has been cutting prices several times to try to preserve demand," said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. "However this has been weighing on its profit margins." The tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) has advanced 37.2% so far this year, supported by a scorching rally in megacap growth and technology stocks on optimism over artificial intelligence, a resilient U.S. economy and hopes that the Federal Reserve was nearing the end of its aggressive rate hike cycle. Netflix (NFLX.O) fell 7.0% after the streaming video pioneer disappointed Wall Street with second-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst estimates. Enterprise software provider IBM (IBM.N) eased 1.0% after second-quarter revenue missed Wall Street expectations on Wednesday, dragged by a decline in the sales of its mainframe computers as businesses cut tech spending. At 4:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 44 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.15%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 124.25 points, or 0.78%. The Dow registered its longest winning streak in almost four years on Wednesday as investors gauged Goldman Sachs earnings, while major U.S regional banks jumped, saying their deposits mostly stabilized and net interest income rose after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the first quarter sparked an industry turmoil. Among other earnings-driven moves, United Airlines (UAL.O) advanced 2.6% on upgrading its full-year profit outlook after posting the highest ever quarterly earnings on booming demand for international travel. U.S.-listed shares of Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC fell 2.7% after warning of a 10% drop in 2023 sales. Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Netflix tumbles as revenue hit overshadows subscriber jump
2023-07-20 - July 20 (Reuters) - Netflix (NFLX.O) tumbled 7% in premarket trading on Thursday after its quarterly revenue and forecast fell short of estimates, with analysts saying it would take time for the company's new money-making ventures to bring in returns. The video-streaming pioneer, which has been looking for new revenue streams, launched its ad-supported tier last year and cracked down on password sharing globally as it copes with intensifying competition. Analysts said while there was some progress in these ventures, it was still too early to dub them a success. "Netflix needs to squeeze as much juice as it can from different avenues," Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said, adding the market was "realms away from knowing for sure" if the ad-supported venture could be the cash cow Netflix has been selling it as. Inflation was starting to bite its ability to hike subscription prices, as households look to trim spending, she added. Smartphone with Netflix logo is placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken April 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/ Reuters Graphics The company reported second-quarter revenue of $8.2 billion, shy of analysts' forecasts of $8.3 billion. Third-quarter revenue is estimated to hit $8.5 billion, falling short of estimates of $8.7 billion. "Revenue growth has not hit double digits since the fourth quarter of 2021 despite price hikes and revenue enhancement initiatives like paid sharing and the introduction of ad-supported tiers," Morningstar analysts wrote in a note. The company, whose shares have gained more than 60% so far this year, said it expects revenue growth to accelerate in the second half of 2023 as the full benefits of paid sharing and continued steady growth in the ad-tier shows. Its nearly 6 million subscriber additions vastly outpaced the 1.9 million that Wall Street had expected driven by hit titles as it starts to realize benefits of its crackdown on password sharing. Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Netflix shares slump on revenue outlook, Tesla stock slips on margin fears and other stocks on the move
2023-07-20 - Here are some of the biggest movers of the day: Stock gainers:Nasdaq futures slide as Tesla and Netflix results damp earnings optimism
2023-07-20 - Nasdaq futures were underperforming early Thursday, after results from Tesla and Netflix were not very well received by traders. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 109 points, or 0.31%, to 35061, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.24% increased 11 points, or 0.24%, to 4566, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.03% gained 4 points, or 0.03%, to 14358. What’s driving markets Investors were being reminded Thursday that when stocks rise swiftly and are afforded rich valuations, earnings results that are good on the surface still may not be good enough. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed the previous session at 15-month highs having jumped 18.9% and 37.2% respectively for the year to date, as cooling inflation revived hopes that the Federal Reserve can soon stop raising borrowing costs. Helping drive those gains were Tesla TSLA, -0.71% , up 136% so far in 2023, to sport a price-to-projected 2023 earnings ratio of 86, and Netflix NFLX, +0.59% , up 62% and a P/E ratio of 42, according to FactSet. But results and comments from both market darlings, released after Wednesday’s close, have been found wanting. Shares in Tesla were off 4% in premarket action and Netflix was sliding 8%, dragging futures for the tech-focused Nasdaq 100 lower. “Netflix missed sales estimates and issued lower-than-expected Q3 guidance, while Tesla’s results showed shrinking profitability with squeeze on margins,” said Henry Allen, strategist at Deutsche Bank. Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that both could be vulnerable to a deterioration in household sentiment. “Concerns are growing that a slowing economy, combined with the erosion of lockdown savings will weigh further on spending on discretionary goods and services, particularly big-ticket items like cars and nice to have but not necessary streaming accounts in the months ahead,” said Streeter. Still, the earnings come thick and fast. America Airlines AAL, -0.43% , Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -0.20% and Blackstone BX, +1.21% are among those delivering figures before the opening bell, while after the close its the turn of Capital One COF, +1.63% , CSX CSX, +0.15% and First Financial Bank FFBC, +4.21% , to name a few. U.S. economic updates set for release on Thursday include the weekly initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey for June, both at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The June existing home sales and leading economic indicators will be released at 10 a.m.Johnson & Johnson, Tesla And 3 Stocks To Watch Heading Into Thursday - Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL)
2023-07-20 - Wall Street expects Johnson & Johnson JNJ to post quarterly earnings at $2.62 per share on revenue of $24.66 billion before the opening bell. Johnson & Johnson shares gained 0.2% to $159.09 in after-hours trading. to post quarterly earnings at $2.62 per share on revenue of $24.66 billion before the opening bell. Johnson & Johnson shares gained 0.2% to $159.09 in after-hours trading. Tesla Inc TSLA reported better-than-expected earnings and sales results for its second quarter, but said operating margin narrowed to 9.6% from 14.6% in the year-ago period. Tesla shares fell 4.2% to $279.07 in the after-hours trading session. reported better-than-expected earnings and sales results for its second quarter, but said operating margin narrowed to 9.6% from 14.6% in the year-ago period. Tesla shares fell 4.2% to $279.07 in the after-hours trading session. Analysts are expecting American Airlines Group Inc. AAL to have earned $1.58 per share on revenue of $13.74 billion for the latest quarter. The company will release earnings before the markets open. American Airlines shares rose 2.2% to $19.00 in after-hours trading. Netflix, Inc. NFLX reported upbeat earnings for the second quarter, while sales missed expectations. Netflix shares fell 8.1% to $438.70 in the after-hours trading session. reported upbeat earnings for the second quarter, while sales missed expectations. Netflix shares fell 8.1% to $438.70 in the after-hours trading session. Analysts expect Abbott Laboratories ABT to report quarterly earnings at $1.05 per share on revenue of $9.70 billion before the opening bell. Abbott shares rose 0.3% to $107.60 in after-hours trading. Read This Next: Top 5 Risk Off Stocks That May Crash This MonthWhy are Hollywood actors on strike?
2023-07-20 - Some 65,000 Hollywood actors have taken up picket signs as of last week, bringing productions to a halt as they fight for higher pay amid inflation and a rapidly evolving entertainment industry. Performers say the annual pay they've come to rely on, which is based on residuals from movie and television appearances, has plummeted in the age of streaming, making it impossible for the vast majority of actors to earn a living. According to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the studios — a group that includes Apple; Amazon; Netflix; NBCUniversal; Sony and Paramount, the parent company of CBS News — have refused to negotiate pay raises for performers and the sharing of streaming revenue. "Most of my members don't even meet the threshold to get health insurance, which is $26,000 a year, and in most jobs that would be considered a part-time job," SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher told "CBS Mornings." "All they're interested in is showing their shareholders how much money they're making and not losing," Drescher said of the studios. "It's very strange. I don't understand why people don't just do the right thing, why their whole culture doesn't shift at having character." The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, says the union has "mischaracterized" their position. "The deal that SAG-AFTRA walked away from on July 12 is worth more than $1 billion in wage increases, pension & health contributions and residual increases and includes first-of-their-kind protections over its three-year term, including expressly with respect to A.I.," AMPTPT said in a statement. Here's what to know about the issues at the center of the strike. What is the actors strike about? There are two main points of disagreement, according to SAG-AFTRA. The actors are asking studios for higher pay and to tighten regulation on the use of artificial intelligence in creative projects. In terms of pay, actors want an 11% raise to baseline rates this year and an 8% raise over the next two years — to make up for the blistering inflation of the last two years, according to a document shared by SAG-AFTRA. The studios have countered with an offer of 5% this year and 7.5% in the next two years, according to the document. The AMPTP said its offer to the unions included "the highest percentage increase in minimums in 35 years." What does streaming have to do with the actors strike? Actors also want to make up for what the union has called an erosion in residuals payments — pay that performers get when a movie or TV episode they appear on re-airs, which in previous decades has supplied steady incomes to actors who aren't big stars. The advent of streaming services has upended those payments, endangering what was once a stable career. Streaming services don't pay actors each time an episode of a show or a movie they appear in is viewed. Instead performers are paid a smaller amount to have shows or movies available on the platform. Consequently, actors earn far less for streaming work, even when starring in prominent roles on hit series. "The current model devalues our members and affects their ability to make ends meet," said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA's chief negotiator, in a press conference last week. Brandee Evans, who appeared on 17 episodes of the Starz series "P-Valley," recently shared a TikTok video showing three residuals checks that together totaled $8.67. Actor Mark Proksch recently told The Wrap that he makes more in residuals from his guest-star role in 19 episodes of "The Office," which ended in 2013, than he does after four seasons as a leading cast member of FX's "What We Do In the Shadows." Mandy Moore, who starred in the hit NBC show "This Is Us," said she's received streaming residuals checks for as low as 1 penny. SAG has proposed that its members should have a share in revenue from streaming platforms, which the studios rejected, according to the document. What's the role of A.I. in the actors strike? Artificial intelligence is another sticking point in the talks. The actors want strong protections against their likenesses being used to train artificial intelligence, and reassurance that they won't be replaced by A.I. — something SAG-AFTRA's head called "an existential threat." The prospect of being replaced with a digital copy is especially frightening for background actors, for many of whom a small role amid a large cast can provide a career break. Crabtree-Ireland called A.I. an "existential threat" to the acting profession. "They proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day's pay, and the company should be able to own that scan, that likeness, for the rest of eternity, on any project they want, with no consent and no compensation," he said of the studios' proposal. However, an AMPTP spokesperson denied that characterization. The studios' latest proposal "only permits a company to use the digital replica of a background actor in the motion picture for which the background actor is employed. Any other use requires the background actor's consent and bargaining for the use, subject to a minimum payment," the spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. How much do actors make? While a small number of big stars can make eye-popping paydays in the tens of millions of dollars for a film, most working actors, who aren't household names, earn far less. Roughly 87% of SAG-AFTRA members earn less than $26,000 a year from acting, according to figures widely cited by members, making them ineligible for health coverage through the union. Nationally, actors' median pay last year was nearly $18 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — meaning half of all actors earn less and half earn more. In California, average hourly pay for actors is $27.73, while in New York, it's $63.39. Such hourly rates could translate into a lucrative payday if applied to full-time work. However, as acting work is usually intermittent and not year-round, most actors earn very little, and many hold other jobs in addition to acting. Actors who manage to reach the very highest pay levels do make bank, with the top 10% making an hourly rate of $109, according to the BLS. Some CBS News staff are SAG-AFTRA members. But they work under a different contract than the actors and are not affected by the strike.Stock market today: Global shares mixed as investors eye profit reports and inflation
2023-07-20 - A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 20, 2023. Asian shares were mixed Thursday after Japan reported weaker than expected trade data for June, with imports falling nearly 13% from a year earlier. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data TOKYO -- Global shares are mixed as investors digest a slew of profit reports while keeping an eye on the latest inflation data. France's CAC 40 gained 0.3% in early trading to 7,345.07. Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 16,143.18. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.6% to 7,636.32. The future for the S &P 500 slipped 0.2% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1%. On Wednesday, Wall Street advanced on strong profit reports from banks and other big U.S. companies. The S &P 500 rose 0.2% and has rising nearly 19% this year. It's at its highest level in more than 15 months. The Dow industrials gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1%. The earnings reporting season is picking up momentum in its second week. Analysts are forecasting a third straight quarter of weaker earnings per share for S &P 500 companies, but that low bar makes it easier for companies to top expectations. Netflix reported that its subscriber base grew while profit was weaker than forecast. Its shares sank 6.9% in pre-market trading. Tesla’s results, although positive, also proved disappointing. Its shares were down 3% in pre-market trading. Japan reported Thursday that it logged a trade surplus in June for the first time in nearly two years as imports sank nearly 13%, largely due to lower oil prices and a weak Japanese yen. Exports rose only 1.5% from a year earlier despite sharp increases in shipments of vehicles as supply chain problems eased. Economists say they anticipate weaker exports in coming months as demand in other major economies slows. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.2% to 32,490.52. Australia's S &P/ASX 200 added less than 0.1% to 7,325.00. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.3% to 2,600.23. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1% to 18,928.02, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.9% to 3,169.52. The tepid results for Netflix and Tesla may have made Asian investors cautious, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said in a commentary. “But with inflation easing and odds for a soft landing rising, investors may adopt an ‘it could have been worse mood,’ ” Innes added. In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 11 cents to $75.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 9 cents to $79.55 a barrel. The U.S. dollar fell to 139.53 Japanese yen from 139.68 yen. The euro cost $1.1213, up from $1.1204.Netflix's subscriber growth surges in a sign that crackdown on password sharing is paying off
2023-07-20 - Netflix enjoyed its biggest springtime spurt in subscribers since the early days of the pandemic three years ago, providing the latest sign that a recent crackdown on password sharing and the rollout of a cheaper subscription option are paying off SAN FRANCISCO -- Netflix enjoyed its biggest springtime spurt in subscribers since the early days of the pandemic three years ago, providing the latest sign that a recent crackdown on password sharing and the rollout of a cheaper subscription option are paying off. The video streaming service added 5.9 million subscribers during the April-June period, according to numbers released Wednesday along with its latest quarterly financial results. The gains easily surpassed the roughly 2.2 million additional subscribers that analysts surveyed by FactSet Research had anticipated. Netflix ended June with 238.4 million worldwide subscribers. Investors seemed unsatisfied, perhaps rattled by management commentary in a shareholder letter warning that “quite a competitive battle” continues to unfold against the backdrop of ongoing strikes by both the writers and actors union in the U.S. that threaten to clog the pipelines feeding entertainment to streaming services. Netflix's stock price fell 8% in Wednesday's extended trading. The drop could also reflect some investors locking in profits that have accrued while the shares have climbed by more than 50% so far this year. Money manager Louis Navellier said Netflix now appears “locked and loaded” again after going through a turbulent stretch that included losing 1.2 million subscribers during the first half of last year. Even though Netflix has bounced back this year, Investing.com analyst Jesse Cohen believes another slowdown may be coming. “It will be a challenge for Netflix to sustain this pace of subscriber growth in the future,” Cohen said. Netflix predicted its subscriber growth during the July-September period will be similar to the numbers posted from April through June. The second-quarter performance marked Netflix’s biggest spring —- traditionally the company's slowest stretch of growth — since gaining 10 million subscribers during the same period in 2020 under dramatically different market conditions. In 2020, people were still largely stuck at home and looking for ways to keep themselves entertained while governments around the world struggled to find a way to contain the spread of pandemic. Now, Netflix finds itself trying to bounce back from a growth slowdown amid stiff video streaming competition and inflationary pressures that have caused many households to clamp down on spending, especially on discretionary items such as entertainment. As an antidote, Netflix last year introduced a low-priced option that includes commercials and then began to block the rampant sharing of passwords that has enabled an estimated 100 million people worldwide to watch its TV series and films for free. Freeloading viewers are now being required to open their own accounts unless a subscriber with a standard or premium plan agrees to pay an $8 monthly surcharge to allow more people living in different households to watch. In its shareholder letter, management said the crackdown on password sharing is resulting in a “healthy conversion of borrower households into full paying Netflix memberships.” And Netflix still isn’t done tinkering. As part of Wednesday’s earnings release, Netflix also revealed it’s phasing out its cheapest ad-free plan – a service that costs $10 in the U.S. Existing subscribers already paying for this basic plan will be allowed to keep it. The shift appears designed to get more people to switch to the $7 monthly plan that includes commercials in hopes of boosting ad revenue or sign up for its $15.50 monthly standard plan or $20 monthly premium plan. “There is just tons of work ahead of us, tons of opportunity,” Netflix Co-CEO Greg Peters said during a Wednesday conference call. The pricing changes that have already been made helped Netflix boost its second-quarter revenue by 3% from the same time last year to $8.2 billon, falling below analyst forecasts. Netflix earned $1.49 billion during the period, compared with $1.44 billion last year. But earnings per share came in at $3.29 per share, eclipsing the average analyst estimate of $2.85 per share, according to FactSet. Netflix didn't delve into the potential fallout from the current walkout in the U.S. by writers and actors. The dispute revolves largely around the payment system used in video streaming and the rise of artificial intelligence technology threatening to exploit the work of humans and eventually replace them. Unlike traditional movie and TV studios in the U.S., Netflix has been able to keep feeding its entertainment pipeline with shows that it has been able to use to keep luring in and retaining subscribers. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos deflected a question about how long Netflix could keep releasing new series and films if the strike drags on past Labor Day. “It's beside the point,” Sarandos said during the conference call. “The real point is we need to get this strike to a conclusion so we can continue to move forward.”Movies and TV shows affected by Hollywood actors and screenwriters’ strikes
2023-07-14 - Hollywood productions and promotional tours around the world have been put on indefinite hold as actors join writers on the picket lines as they seek new contracts with studios and streaming services. Late-night talk shows and many television productions were put on long-term hiatus due to the writers strike, and now movie tentpoles, some in mid-production, are shutting down too. They include Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” sequel, with Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal, and Marvel and Disney’s “Deadpool 3,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman. Although there may not be an immediate effect on movie releases in coming months, with many films having already completed principal photography, those coming next year are another story. Here’s a selected look at shows and films in suspension. MOVIES IN PRODUCTION THAT HAVE SHUT DOWN DURING ACTORS STRIKE “Deadpool 3” - Disney/Marvel (May 3, 2024) “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II” - Paramount (June 28, 2024) “Gladiator 2" - Paramount (Nov. 24, 2024) “Lilo & Stitch” - Disney (TBD) “Venom 3” - Sony (TBD) Untitled Brad Pitt F1 Film - Apple (TBD) ___ SHOWS THAT HAVE PAUSED WORK DURING WRITERS STRIKE “Stranger Things” — Netflix “Cobra Kai” — Netflix “Big Mouth” — Netflix “American Horror Story” — FX “Yellowjackets” — Showtime “Billions” — Showtime “The Chi” — Showtime “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” — HBO “Hacks” — Max “Penguin” — Max “Duster” — Max “1923” — Paramount+ “Severance” — Apple TV+ “Metropolis” — Apple TV+ “Daredevil: Born Again” — Disney+ “FBI: Most Wanted” — CBS “Abbott Elementary” — ABC “Family Guy” — Fox “American Dad” — Fox ___ SHOWS THAT HAVE CANCELED EPISODES DURING WRITERS STRIKE “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — ABC “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” — CBS “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — NBC “Late Night With Seth Myers” — NBC “Saturday Night Live” — NBC “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” — HBO ___ For more on the Hollywood strikes, visit https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/Lights, camera, silence: Hollywood actors’ strike halts production on ‘Deadpool 3,’ ‘Venom 3’ and the next part of ‘Mission Impossible 8’
2023-07-14 - Looks like the show can’t go on. The Writers Guild of America went on strike May 2, which led late-night talk shows and Comcast’s CMCSA “Saturday Night Live” to immediately shut down, along with production on many scripted films and TV shows. “Stranger Things” on Netflix NFLX, “Hacks” on Max and “Family Guy” on Fox FOX all either had their writers’ rooms or their productions paused, for example. But...Movies and TV shows affected by Hollywood actors and screenwriters' strikes
2023-07-14 - An advertisement for streaming service Paramount+ appears above striking writers and actors at rally outside Paramount studios in Los Angeles on Friday, July 14, 2023. This marks the first day actors formally joined the picket lines, more than two months after screenwriters began striking in their bid to get better pay and working conditions. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) An advertisement for streaming service Paramount+ appears above striking writers and actors at rally outside Paramount studios in Los Angeles on Friday, July 14, 2023. This marks the first day actors formally joined the picket lines, more than two months after screenwriters began striking in their bid to get better pay and working conditions. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) An advertisement for streaming service Paramount+ appears above striking writers and actors at rally outside Paramount studios in Los Angeles on Friday, July 14, 2023. This marks the first day actors formally joined the picket lines, more than two months after screenwriters began striking in their bid to get better pay and working conditions. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) An advertisement for streaming service Paramount+ appears above striking writers and actors at rally outside Paramount studios in Los Angeles on Friday, July 14, 2023. This marks the first day actors formally joined the picket lines, more than two months after screenwriters began striking in their bid to get better pay and working conditions. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) By The Associated Press Hollywood productions and promotional tours around the world have been put on indefinite hold as actors join writers on the picket lines Hollywood productions and promotional tours around the world have been put on indefinite hold as actors join writers on the picket lines as they seek new contracts with studios and streaming services. Late-night talk shows and many television productions were put on long-term hiatus due to the writers strike, and now movie tentpoles, some in mid-production, are shutting down too. They include Ridley Scott's “Gladiator” sequel, with Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal, and Marvel and Disney's “Deadpool 3,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman. Although there may not be an immediate effect on movie releases in coming months, with many films having already completed principal photography, those coming next year are another story. Here's a selected look at shows and films in suspension. MOVIES IN PRODUCTION THAT HAVE SHUT DOWN DURING ACTORS STRIKE “Deadpool 3” - Disney/Marvel (May 3, 2024) “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II” - Paramount (June 28, 2024) “Gladiator 2" - Paramount (Nov. 24, 2024) “Lilo & Stitch” - Disney (TBD) “Venom 3” - Sony (TBD) Untitled Brad Pitt F1 Film - Apple (TBD) ___ SHOWS THAT HAVE PAUSED WORK DURING WRITERS STRIKE “Stranger Things” — Netflix “Cobra Kai” — Netflix “Big Mouth” — Netflix “American Horror Story” — FX “Yellowjackets” — Showtime “Billions” — Showtime “The Chi” — Showtime “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” — HBO “Hacks” — Max “Penguin” — Max “Duster” — Max “1923” — Paramount+ “Severance” — Apple TV+ “Metropolis” — Apple TV+ “Daredevil: Born Again” — Disney+ “FBI: Most Wanted” — CBS “Abbott Elementary" — ABC “Family Guy” — Fox “American Dad” — Fox ___ SHOWS THAT HAVE CANCELED EPISODES DURING WRITERS STRIKE “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — ABC “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” — CBS “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — NBC “Late Night With Seth Myers” — NBC “Saturday Night Live” — NBC “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” — HBO ___ For more on the Hollywood strikes, visit https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/How Netflix Plans Total Global Domination, One Korean Drama at a Time
2023-07-13 - When Netflix’s “Too Hot to Handle,” a tawdry reality dating show with contestants from the United States and Britain, did well in South Korea and Japan, the company decided to make its own shows in the respective countries. But instead of programs replete with sex and hooking up, Netflix’s versions in South Korea (“Singles Inferno”) and Japan (“Terrace House”) were more suited to local sensibilities: only hints of romance with minimal touching or flirting. Storytelling can also differ. Impressions of the first episode of “Physical: 100” were divided by geography. Ms. Kim said she found that in general, American audiences thought the extensive back stories about the contestants slowed the show. Korean audiences liked the back stories because they wanted to know more about the contestants. Ms. Kim recalled how Netflix’s U.S. executives asked her why the first Squid Game contest did not come until the last 20 minutes of the first episode. She was puzzled, because this was fast for Korean audiences — but not fast enough for American sensibilities. In South Korea, the action often does not start until the fourth episode because shows often follow the cadence of a story arc suited to a 16-episode broadcast TV schedule. Ms. Kim said she thought that audiences would tolerate work that defied their expectations or values when it was foreign, but that it must be authentic when it was local. So far, that philosophy has been successful. “Squid Game” proves that. But it also shows the new challenge that awaits Netflix — once something is a global hit, there are global expectations.Hollywood actors set the stage for strike action after contract negotiations fail
2023-07-13 - Hollywood actors could soon have a new role: picketers. Thousands of screen performers represented by the powerful labor union SAG-AFTRA, which stands for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, are on course for strike action after the guild and a trade association representing the industry’s leading studios could not agree on a new contract. "SAG-AFTRA’s Television/Theatrical/Streaming contracts have expired without a successor agreement," the union said in a statement early Thursday. It is seeking higher compensation and safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence in the creative arts. The union said that after more than four weeks of bargaining the group that represents major studios and streamers including Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery "remains unwilling to offer a fair deal on the key issues that are essential to SAG-AFTRA members." The union's national board will meet Thursday morning to decide whether to order a strike, with a press conference set to be held at 12 noon PT. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said: "SAG-AFTRA negotiated in good faith and was eager to reach a deal that sufficiently addressed performer needs, but the AMPTP’s responses to the union’s most important proposals have been insulting and disrespectful of our massive contributions to this industry." The contract between the two sides expired just before midnight on Wednesday, capping days of high-stakes negotiations and suspense. The strike will be limited to film and television productions. The walkout will not involve SAG-AFTRA members who work in the news business, such as certain broadcast hosts and announcers. The announcement comes more than two months after the Writers Guild of America, a union that represents film and television scribes, started striking amid its own dispute with the AMPTP. (The group represents Comcast, the corporation that owns NBCUniversal; some employees of the NBCUniversal News Group are represented by the WGA.) The writers’ walkout halted most most television production, delayed the filming of some high-profile movies and sent late-night talk shows into reruns. The actors’ strike will likely force other sets to go dark. SAG-AFTRA members authorized a strike on June 5 by an overwhelming margin: 97.91% of the nearly 65,000 members who cast votes. The guild began negotiating with the top studios and streaming services two days later. The union’s existing contract with the major studios originally expired at midnight on June 30, but both sides agreed to continue negotiations and extended the talks until July 12. SAG-AFTRA has argued that performers have been undermined by the new economics of streaming entertainment and threatened by rising technologies. The guild is seeking increased base compensation for performers, which union leaders say has declined as streaming-first studios pivot away from paying out residuals to talent and inflation takes its toll on the economy in general. The union’s actors are also alarmed by the threat posed by the unrelated use of artificial intelligence (such as tools that can make digital replacements for recognizable stars) and the cost of “self-taped auditions” — videos that used to be paid for by casting departments and production offices. In recent weeks, some in the entertainment business worried that all three major Hollywood guilds — SAG-AFTRA, the WGA and the Directors Guild of America, or DGA — would walk off the job simultaneously. But that will not be the case since the DGA announced in early June it had reached a “truly historic” tentative agreement with the studios.