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STREAMING WARS: How many services are you willing to sign up for? TICKER VIEWS

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How many times have we heard “it’s just a small monthly fee of” and signed up to another streaming service to add to the TV home screen (and the direct debit list).

Well, there is a new kid on the block.

Paramount+ is here to shake the market up. Television-focused businesses are turning their attention to streaming services instead, as cable TV’s importance slowly fades away.

Is there a limit to how many services people are willing to fork their money out for? or is the market expansion of streaming subscription services a win for all?

Gone are the days of Netflix dominating as the streaming powerhouse. Major networks are continuing to turn their attention to the way their audience consumes their content and Netflix competitors have sprung to life, all wanting a slice of the streaming pie.

Latest streaming service to go down under

The latest major network to take on Netflix will soon expand to Australasia.

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand announced its digital streaming network Paramount+ will launch in Australia this year.

Its global video subscription service will  feature locally produced content as well as major shows and movies from Paramount pictures.

Two years ago the ViacomCBS merger joined the power of Paramount Pictures and the TV talents of CBS, creating a single media powerhouse.

Paramount Plus is already available in the US, Canada, Latin America and Nordic countries.

Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer & Executive Vice President, ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand, said the company is “poised to become as powerful a player in streaming as we are in television.”

“By leveraging the iconic Paramount brand, leading edge infrastructure, along with an incredible super-sized pipeline of must-see content, Paramount+ will deliver an exceptional consumer entertainment experience,” she said.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 10: General views of the Paramount+ billboard campaign along the Sunset Strip promoting the launch of the new streaming service on March 10, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

When Paramount+ comes to Australia in august this year, it will be replacing Network 10’s existing subscription offering with ViacomCBS confirming that 10 All Access will rebrand in August upon Paramount+ launch.

It’s a bid to take on global giants Netflix and Stan, that dominate the Australian market.

It will transform to bring high-profile films and television shows from channels Showtime and Nickelodeon and studio Paramount Pictures. Showtime, Nickelodeon and Paramount are all divisions of ViacomCBS, which bought Ten in 2017.

10 All Access will rebrand in August 2021. Paramount+ and lean on the catalogues of US networks Showtime and Nickelodeon and the Paramount Pictures film studio

10 All Access currently screens CBS shows such as NCIS and The Good Fight, alongside programs locally produced by Network Ten in Australia.

The service will be priced at $8.99 per month and subscribers will have access to more than 20,000 episodes and blockbuster movies throughout the year. This is cheaper than basic subscriptions in Australia for Netflix ($10.99), Stan ($10), Disney+ ($11.99) and Foxtel Now ($25).

Paramount+ expects to debut new original film every week starting in 2022

New original films like Paranormal Activity and The Inbetween will debut on the service by the end of 2021. 

ViacomCBS is following the suit of other major studios that are trying to promote their streaming services by sending new movies straight to streaming,

ViacomCBS is ramping up its streaming activity, CEO Bob Bakish said during its first quarter earnings call on Thursday (May 6).

“Turning to movies where we are poised to dramatically enhance the scale of our offering,” Bakish said

He added that Paramount+ expects to debut a new original film every week starting in 2022.

ViacomCBS global streaming revenue increased 65 per cent year-on-year to $816m, driven by a demand in streaming advertising revenue. This is led primarily by free service Pluto TV, and a 69 per cent rise in streaming subscription revenue, led by Paramount+.

Subscription TV viewers soared to 17.3 million Australians

global data and insights company, Pureprofile, surveyed those in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US to benchmark what their media consumption currently looks like.

 Australians consumed subscription TV services at an astonishing rate during 2020 as Australians endured a nation-wide lockdown from late March last year, according to data from Roy Morgan.

Netflix is the top subscription service in Australia.

Netflix is by far Australia’s most watched subscription television service, with 14,168,000 viewers in an average four weeks, an increase of 2,265,000 viewers from a year ago.

Over 80 per cent of Australians watch a subscription TV service

roy morgan data
Number of Australians watching subscription television

“The strong growth for the leading services in the market shows Australians are increasingly viewing multiple services to find new and interesting content. For example over 5.6 million Australians watch both Netflix and Foxtel services in an average four weeks and nearly 4.7 million watch both Netflix and Stan,” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says.

Will Paramount+ be chasing Stan Sport?

In the U.S, Paramount+ subscribers have access to sports as well as all entertainment offerings.

Will it compete with Stan, who according to Nine CEO Mike Sneesby, is Australia’s largest sports streaming platform.

Stan, a fully owned subsidiary of the Nine Entertainment Company, has recently expanded its content offering with the launch of ‘Stan Sport’. Stan Sport is offered as a bundle to the Stan streaming service that currently has more than two million subscribers.

Speaking at the recent Macquarie Australia conference, Sneesby said Stan’s sport streaming platform has grown to almost 150,000 subscribers.

Stan CEO Mike Sneesby. Photo Nick Moir.

“This is a powerful proposition for Australian audiences,” Sneesby said.

He says the service is providing sporting codes who partner with Nine and Stan the opportunity to reach mass free-to-air audiences and high yields subscription audiences in a model that maximises revenue opportunity.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, shares rose on the Australian Stock Exchange following Sneesby’s comments.

Stan announced its intention to start live streaming sports events after securing a three-year deal with Rugby Australia worth AUS$100 million (US$77.2 million) in November 2020.

So, do consumers want more than Netflix?

Some say the market is saturated, some say the market is just beginning.

Although, it’s clear in the numbers – both revenue and subscribers – that consumers are choosing streaming platforms as their dominant form of entertainment consumption.

Netflix still outperforms all the others, with more than 208 million subscribers around the globe. That is a massive reach… and selling point.

“Our strategy is simple: if we can continue to improve Netflix every day to better delight our members, we can be their first choice for streaming entertainment,” Netflix wrote in its January shareholder letter. 

“This past year is a testament to this approach. Disney+ had a massive first year (87 million paid subscribers!) and we recorded the biggest year of paid membership growth in our history.”

Disney Plus hit 100 million subscribers last month.

But with more players entering the so called ‘streaming wars’, Netflix’s astronomical growth appears to be slowing too.

“The production delays from covid-19 in 2020 will lead to a 2021 slate that is more heavily second half weighted with a large number of returning franchises,” it said in an investor letter recently.

Netflix may always be a part of a typical household’s content diet… but the streaming selection plate is certainly getting a lot more full.

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New Australian Space Industry Hub set to launch | tickerVIEWS

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Australia’s prominent RMIT University will launch a new Space Industry Hub. The Hub’s aim is to boost local researchers and organisations into increased global space technology opportunities.

Space Industry Hub will launch expertise into global markets

The Victorian Government has supplied a $1 million support package for the Hub.  SmartSat CRC, a space research centre will also donate a further $1 million, to show their support. Tech giant, Amazon Web Services, is set to give significant technical and training contributions, as well as FrontierSI, a Research Centre for Spatial Information.

Space industry markets are booming in Australia and more broadly in the US and Europe. The funding for the Space Industry Hub will develop multiple flagship research projects to connect local potential in the space sector.

The Hub will also host the Victorian Node of the SmartSat CRC; a national group of industry and research organisations that are establishing cutting edge space technologies.

A breakthrough for Australia’s space innovation

Professor Aleksandar Subic is RMIT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for STEM (sciences, engineering, computing technologies and health and medical sciences) and Vice President of Digital Innovation. Professor Subic says the Hub is a place for industry collaboration and innovation.

“The RMIT Space Industry Hub will be a launch pad and an industrial solutions incubator to support collaboration and innovation for Victoria’s space industry growth,” 

“At the core of this growth are digital technologies and leveraging the state’s strong capabilities in advanced manufacturing.”

Professor Aleksandar Subic, RMIT University

Professor Aleksandar Subic, RMIT University

Real-time satellite data for industry collaborators

The Hub will give access to real-time satellite data for industry collaborators, through AWS Ground Station. The AWS Ground Station is a fully managed service that lets you control satellite communications, process data, and scale your operations.

Satellites are used for a variety reasons, including weather forecasting, surface imaging, communications, and video broadcasts. Ground stations form the core of global satellite networks.

AWS Country Director in Australia and New Zealand, Iain Rouse, says this will provide new market opportunities for Australian businesses.

“When space is made accessible and cost-effective, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. AWS is excited to help the Space Industry Hub accelerate their research, innovation, and capability development in space,”

Iain Rouse, AWS

Australia is becoming a more prominent leader within the space economy. CEO of SmartSat CRC, Andy Koronios says this will move Australia up the ranks in the space technology sector.

“We are delighted that the Victorian Government has made this investment, which with SmartSat co-investment will help spark innovation and develop technologies to leverage the huge opportunities the space economy offers.” 

SmartSat CRC nodes around Australia will provide opportunities for joint projects to leverage national and international space collaborative initiatives such as NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Program, UK Space Bridge, state government space industry investments and CRC-P grants.”

Andy Koronios, SmartSat CRC

 

This Hub will provide Victoria’s world-leading research and solution providers, with the opportunities of the broader global space industry. The Hub will utilise RMIT’s existing facilities, services and research centres and its innovation networks through RMIT Europe.

RMIT has a strong reputation in data science, space engineering and geospatial science.

See RMIT University for further information on the new and exciting Hub.

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Barnaby back: Why it’s a disaster for climate policy | ticker VIEWS

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Australia has a new Deputy Prime Minister, with Barnaby Joyce now controlling the Nationals Party. Joyce has previously been at the forefront of controversy and has been known for his lack of recognition of climate change. So what does this represent for Australia’s climate policy and targets?

A bad move for Australia’s climate change policy

Australia is increasingly divided and isolated on its climate policies and targets. The rest of the world is moving towards reducing its carbon footprint, well before 2050. The UK has recently moved towards 78% carbon reduction by 2035, compared to 1990 levels.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was inching closer towards 2050 targets, after the G7 summit. The Nationals party didn’t like this, and now Barnaby Joyce is reappearing in the Deputy Prime Ministers seat.

Australia is expected to step up its ambitions in a constructive way at the global climate conference in November. Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Joyce is not the right person for the role.

“Australia is going to be expected to play a constructive and important role there. But those, like Barnaby Joyce, who don’t even believe in the science on climate change. He doesn’t think its a problem. He doesn’t think Australia needs to transition from fossil fuels. It puts Australia at stark odds to our closest allies… It leaves us out in the cold… this is going to be embarrassing.” 

“It makes Australia a laughing stock on the world stage”

“It’s bad for the climate, its bad for gender equality, its bad for Australian women.” 

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Road to net zero: Environment Minister insists there will be no change

Australia’s environment minister is insisting there’ll be no change to the government’s climate policy, despite the return of Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister.

The environment minister Sussan Ley insists the preference to reach net zero emissions by 2050 is still the government’s position.

Mr Joyce was elected as Nationals leader in a spill on Monday. He’s expected to demand greater control over future climate change policy.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Joyce will negotiate terms for a new agreement this week

On tickerCLIMATE this week

Scott Hamilton and Holly Stearnes spoke with the director of IEEFA, Tim Buckley. IEEFA is the institute for energy economics and financial analysis and are accelerating the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

Buckley says the decision to put Barnaby in this leadership position, is going to cause chaos for Australia.

“The fact that any Australian political leader can talk about climate science denial and can talk about fossil fuel subsidies, is ludicrous in this day and age.”

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

Joyce’s return to this leadership position has sparked major concerns. Energy expert and co-host of Ticker Climate, Scott Hamilton, is baffled by the decision and says it will be a challenge for the Australian Prime Minister.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison can’t even get bipartisanship within the coalition on climate policy.” 

Scott Hamilton

The end of coal

The International Energy Agency roadmap to net zero emissions says the world can afford to have no new unabated coal, oil or gas developments in the world from now on. All major training and military partners are now taking action by subscribing to the Paris agreement. When considering what this means for world coal exports and what the future of coal in Australia looks like, Buckley says there will be no use for coal at all.

“All of our major trading partners have committed to net zero emissions. The writing is on the wall for this industry. We need to talk about solutions. ” 

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

One of Australia’s largest hoped for coal export markets is Vietnam, but even they don’t need Australia’s coal. Vietnam recently installed 9 gigawatts of rooftop solar in one year, that’s three times more than Australia did in ten years. Australia is heavily relying on Vietnam to import its coal, but why would they do that when they can do their own domestic zero emissions solutions at are at a lower cost?

“There is no future for thermal coal at a 20 year view”

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

[International Energy Agency, Net Zero by 2050]

Other climate news this week:

In Australia, the NSW Government will put an end to stamp duty on electric vehicles, to increase uptake. Drivers will also be offered thousands of dollars in other incentives, as part of the $500 million plan.

The extraordinary plan will be revealed this week, with a plan for battery-powered vehicles to account for more than half of all new car sales by 2031. However, there’s a catch, EV drivers will be hit with a road-user tax within six years to fund road and infrastructure spending.  

“We’re charging up the nation to make NSW the Norway of Australia when it comes to electric vehicles.”

Environment Minister, Matt Kean 

South Korea has now committed to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030. They have also committed to net-zero by 2050. This is a bold statement against climate change from South Korea, who are a really important trading nation.

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Goodbye angels? Victoria’s Secret’s major brand overhaul | ticker VIEWS

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Victoria Secret is abandoning its ‘angel’ ambassadors, in a dramatic re-brand attempt

Last week, Victoria’s Secret announced a new ambassador initiative that will spearhead a major re-branding strategy.

 “This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core,’ said CEO Martin Waters.

This means the multi-million dollar Fantasy Bras, bedazzled wings and the annual Victoria’s Secret Angels fashion show, will be replaced by the “VS Collective,” a group of seven famous, successful women — not all of whom are (just) models. 

In the past, the company has been criticised for its models being too thin or underweight.

Candice Swanepoel wears $10,000,000 fantasy bra in the Victoria Secret Fashion Show (2013)
There are 4,200 jewels included, all set in 18-karat gold. The Fantasy bra became one of the largest draws to the annual spectacle.

Angels are no longer ‘culturally relevant’

Victoria’s Secret announced it’d cancel its famous annual televised runway show indefinitely in 2019, as viewing figures fell to 3.3 million the year prior.

A spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret said that “As an entertainment brand, with a huge cultural footprint we are reimagining what a fashion show could look like for us in the future.”

Martin Waters, Victoria’s Secret chief executive told The New York Times that “right now” he did not see the Angels as being “culturally relevant”.

U.S soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, will be one of the new faces of Victoria’s Secret.

In the past, Rapinoe, an LGBTQIA+ activist, has described the brand as “patriarchal, sexist, viewing not just what it meant to be sexy but what the clothes were trying to accomplish through a male lens and through what men desired”.

“I am humbled to join this group of incredible women to drive change within the Victoria’s Secret brand and beyond,” said Rapinoe of her role in the VS Collective via a press statement.

“So often I felt myself on the outside looking in with brands in the beauty and fashion industry, and I’m thrilled to be creating a space that sees the true spectrum of ALL women.”

“The VS Collective is an ever-growing group of accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change”

VICTORIA SECRET SAID IN A STATEMENT.

“These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests and passions, will influence and shape the future of the world’s largest and most recognizable brand for women.”

As part of the VS Collective roll-out, the women will share their stories via a podcast hosted by de Cadenet. 

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