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Why has Netflix lost almost half a million subscribers in its top location?

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Netflix has lost more than 400,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada alone

Netflix blames Covid-19 for the slump

In a letter to shareholders, the company says it added just over 1.5 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2021, which is up from its forecast of 1 million.

But, by comparison, Netflix added 4 million new subscribers in the first quarter of this year, which was significantly down from its prediction of 6 million.

The Asia-Pacific region is carrying subscriber growth for the company at the moment, accounting for two-thirds of new memberships in the second quarter.

Netflix also says the lower number of new subscribers can be partially attributed to higher numbers last year resulting from pandemic lockdowns.

The streaming giant is anticipating numbers to jump back up in the third quarter of 2021.

This all follows numerous other streaming-based companies seeking to merge in a bid to take on Netflix.

Streaming is here to stay – and grow… and grow

WarnerMedia and Discovery have announced plans to merge, with Amazon also purchasing MGM for more than $8 billion.

U.S Tech insider Pavlina Oska told ticker earlier that streaming wars between the major players will continue to heat up

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Media

A towering figure of Australia’s television industry has died

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David Leckie, who led the Nine and Seven networks to ratings victory has died at the age of 70.

Most recently, he was the CEO of Seven West Media until June 2012. He had been brought in as an executive director at Seven Group Holdings.

Throughout the 1990s, Leckie cemented Channel Nine as Australia’s number one rated network. He knew TV better than any other Australian executive.

THE LAST ROCK STAR CEO

Leckie died at his farm in Robertson, in NSW’s Southern Highlands.

“With immense sadness we advise the passing of our adored and much-loved husband and father, David Leckie. He was surrounded by his loving family,” read a statement from Leckie’s wife Skye, and sons Tim, Harry and Ben.

Leckie had been frail for the past year and had been in palliative care before his death due to unspecified health issues.

As recently as last year, he was brought back to the Seven network to mentor key executives following a management shakeup.

He is survived by his wife Sky and their children.

Leckie’s television career begin in 1977 in sales at the Nine Network in GTV, Melbourne.

In 1982, he was appointed Nine Network Sales Director at TCN in Sydney by legendary television boss Sam Chisholm.

In 2012 he was replaced by Tim Worner, but continued as a Director and consultant until 2016.

TRIBUTES FOR A LEGEND

Seven West Media Chairman, Kerry Stokes AC, said: “I had a close association and friendship with David for more than 20 years and finally enticed him to Seven in 2003, when he started the difficult process in turning around the network’s fortunes.

“David achieved the turnaround quickly and effectively, building a winning team, financial and programming model, which delivered us leadership of the TV industry for many years.

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “David was a true legend of the Australian media industry and a loved part of the Seven family. Everyone at Seven will miss him enormously.

“Inspiring, engaging, loud, passionate and famously difficult at times, he was an extraordinary salesperson and an intuitive TV programmer. Without a doubt he was the best TV executive this country has ever seen and an important influence and mentor for so many people and careers. He was once labelled the last of the rock star CEOs and I’d say that was a pretty good description.

“David was the reason I got into television and was a great friend. My heartfelt sympathies go to Skye and their boys. There will only ever be one David Leckie. It was a great privilege to have known and worked with him.”

Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine, said: “David Leckie was a giant of television. He contributed enormously to the success we all shared with him here at Nine, his instincts and leadership heralded the golden era of Australian television.

“He adored his family and so many of us stayed in touch as a friend even after he left. He set the culture of excellence at Nine that still exists in our DNA today and we thank him for that.”

Due to COVID restrictions in Sydney he will be farewelled at a small, private funeral. The service will be live streamed.

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Media

‘Space Jam’ starring Lebron James scores hit at the box office

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‘Space Jam’ and Lebron James have come away with a hit in its opening weekend in theatres

“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which stars James alongside the Looney Tunes, brought in an estimated $31.6 million in its North America opening this weekend, exceeding industry expectations.

Industry experts had predicted the film would only rake in $20 million on its debut – but the results blew many away.

Despite the finical success, the sequel to the 1996 classic has scored a mere 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

James himself commented on the bad reviews by tweeting out a story about the film’s positive box office totals alongside a comment that read, “Hi Haters!”

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The film, which reportedly had a $150 million production budget, was released on the streaming service at no extra charge to subscribers on the same day it was released in theaters. So audiences could have just stayed home to watch, but it looks like a good amount still went out and bought a ticket.

The other reason that the solid box office is a slight surprise is that “Space Jam” is also available on HBO Max.

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Global Politics

‘Communism is a failed system’: Cuba cracks down on social media access amid protests

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Cuba has restricted access to social media including Facebook and Whatsapp in the wake of unprecedented anti-government protests

Dozens of people have been arrested in Cuba after thousands joined the biggest protests for decades against the island’s Communist government.

Images on social media showed what appeared to be security forces detaining, beating and pepper-spraying some of the protesters. 

Unauthorised public gatherings are illegal in Cuba and protests are rare.

The White House has offered support to the cuban people calling for freedom, meanwhile Senator Ted Cruz described the protestors as brave.

Cuba is striking back against protesters by barring access to several major social media sites, including Facebook at Whatsapp

The government enacted the ban after huge anti-government demonstrations protesting an economic crisis that’s led to mass power outages and food shortages.

Mobile internet has only been available in Cuba for two years. Many activists agree that the new access to social media in the country has been a major contributing factor to the protests. In Cuba’s capital city, atypical power outages have become increasingly common.

“The pattern of restrictions observed in Cuba indicate an ongoing crackdown on messaging platforms used to organize and share news of protests in real-time,” NetBlocks director Alp Toker told Reuters.

However, the government is yet to confirm or deny whether they are intentionally causing the outages. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the situation is “complicated”.

“Our weapon is the internet. If they take away the internet we are unarmed”

“The government does not want people to see the truth,” said one protester, Gino Ocumares.

Dissident has also been rising in the country over the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and increasing restrictions on civil liberties in the country. However, the Cuban government rejects these claims. Rather, they say the US orchestrated and funded by the demonstrations.

Hundreds took part in these protests, chanting ‘down with communism’ and ‘freedom for the people of Cuba’. One resident said that the protesters were met with gunfire. The activist say the government is using ‘rapid reaction brigades’ to counter the protests. The government organises these groups of civilian fighters.

“I think the Communists have lost control, they won’t have a solution to this situation,” said one of the protesters. “The people are tired of so much humiliation, so much repression.”

Counter pro-government rallies

Protests such as these are rare in a country such as Cuba, which has a tight handle on expression of public dissent. State-run media report that at least one man died at the protests. Several people also sustained serious injuries. Although the state has confirmed no other deaths, the number is likely higher.

However, many counter-rallies have also been taking place across the country. Around 100 supporters carrying the Cuban flag gathered in one of these demonstrations yesterday.

Authors

  • Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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