MFM: Huge Issues Loom, Begetting Pivotal Questions for Financial Executives

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There were three big topics and trends affecting the media and entertainment industry that captured my attention over the past month. And they sparked a number of questions in my mind that relate to how the business will evolve.

Profit vs. Subscribers: Are Streaming Platforms Changing Their Objectives? Growing losses in its streaming division were reportedly a key factor in the departure of Disney's CEO, Bob Chapek. The reinstated CEO, Robert Iger, made it clear in a recent employee meeting that the emphasis will be on profitability rather than increasing subscribers. Will other streaming services follow suit? If so, can consolidation or increased bundling of streamers be far behind? And will some streamers focus on transmitting content developed by others, or will the enormous investment in original content continue unabated?

The Recession Dilemma: Is the Question "If" or "When"? Federal Reserve officials, economists and business leaders are in a quandary about whether a recession will begin in the foreseeable future and how severe such an economic downturn will be. The Fed's steady increase in interest rates seems to be accomplishing its objective of taming inflation and cooling the economy -- the elusive "soft landing" that is the central bank's goal. Yet the labor market remains strong and consumer spending is robust -- judging by the Black Friday and Cyber Monday results. How are you positioning your company for a potential slowdown and where do you see the opportunities for growth in this environment?

ESG Regulations Create a Ball of Confusion. If I learned one thing from the MFM's recent series of regional meetings it's that financial executives have more questions than answers about the potential impact of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) regulations. There were significant discussions about compliance requirements for the investment standards, as well as their applicability to privately held companies. (Bottom line: even though private companies are not required to comply with ESG regulations, investor and consumer pressure is likely to have a "trickle down" effect on all corporations.) The main takeaway from these discussions: education, education, education. Learn all you can about ESG requirements and determine how to effectively implement them in your company.

Those are my big questions, but what about you? I'd like to learn more about the issues that are on the top of your mind. Send your thoughts to me at

Of course, there's no better place to find answers to pressing questions than at the MFM Annual Conference. It's the one place devoted exclusively to educational sessions focused on issues most important to financial professionals in the media and entertainment industry. And there's never been a better time to register than right now! Click here for more information on planned sessions and online registration.

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