Discovery Communications (DISCA) has discovered it will for the first time derive the majority of its revenue from international operations. That was the message when CEO David Zaslav and his team presented at its upfront this week, per the Hollywood Reporter. International ops contributed more than $1 billion to the top line last year. International head, JB Perrette cited DISCA's acquisition of a majority stake in Eurosport International as the major lever in the international business that Zaslav said is "just getting started".
Ad:tech and the Future of TV
BMO's Dan Salmon recently attended both a major ad:tech conference, as well as the Next TV Summit. The analyst said, "CBS' (CBS) content strategy continues to flourish and it was the only TV company at Programmatic I/O." As for Facebook (FB), the analyst heard mixed reviews for the present and future of the social network's advertising. It appears Instagram is continuing on its upward trajectory but email and other social networks seem to be chipping away at FB's core. Salmon thinks Twitter's (TWTR) going to be a bigger factor during this upfront season.
Pandora (P) released March listener metrics that impressed JP Morgan analyst, Doug Anmuth. March listener hour growth accelerated to +14% Y/Y and active users (75.3M) increased +8% Y/Y. The analyst sees little impact from the recent launch of competitive services, including the Beats Music offering. And Anmuth sees some runway ahead in Q2 for the streaming radio company as P laps its 40 hour mobile listening cap. "While 1Q hrs overall (4.8B) were a little light of our estimate of 4.85B, March hours are likely above Street expectations and we think revenues can be offset by higher sell through rate and overall RPM," the analyst wrote this week.
Blackberry (BBRY) announced $976M of quarterly revenue, which was down -18% over last quarter, driven by weak hardware sales ($360M). Cowen's Timothy Arcuri feels that BBRY's "ability to narrow its operating loss and shore up cash flows ahead of the more daunting parts of a planned strategic transition are commendable." That said, he thinks the margin of error is very narrow if Z3 or other new devices don't drive the growth the company anticipates from them. Arcuri maintained his Market Perform and $7.50 price target.
China's Box Office
According to an article this week in the Hollywood Reporter , China's box office continues its relentless surge in 2014, expanding +30% to more than $1 billion in the first quarter alone. To put that growth in context, Q1's box office was bigger than all of 2009's in total. Chinese films are driving this growth, accounting for about $680M of the total figure. Research firm, Entgroup predicts that the 2014 box office should top $4.5 billion in the world's second largest movie market.
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