Roundup: Kanye West on Spotify, Nova Melbourne breakfast, Meta

Kanye West

Streaming services, CNN, Netflix, The Block

Business of Media

Meta joins chorus of tech giants feeling advertising pinch in Q3, net income falls 52%

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, reported $27.7 billion in second-quarter revenue, down 4% compared to the same quarter a year ago, continuing a trend of ad-supported tech companies feeling the pain of a tougher macroeconomic environment and renewed competition from competitors like TikTok, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Abid Rahman.

However, the company beat Wall Street expectations for revenue. The company had previously forecast revenue of $26 billion–28.5 billion for the quarter, so it met its own guidance.

Meta net income fell by 52 percent to $4.4 billion, while its daily active user base rose by 4 percent to 2.93 billion.

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Viewers cancel streaming services as inflation cuts into budgets

Australians cancelled more than one million streaming subscriptions in the September quarter as households cut back spending amid rising inflation and higher housing costs, according to market research company Kantar, reports Nine Publishing’s Edmund Tadros.

The research, based on surveying a panel of 10,000 Australians each quarter, found that younger viewers were the most likely to cancel a streaming service, a troubling sign for a crowded category that continues to add new entrants such as AMC+ which launched in Australia last month.

Kantar found the cut of more than one million subscriptions was partly offset by Australians signing up to more than 500,000 new streaming service subscriptions. This meant that the overall number of streaming subscriptions fell by about 515,000 between July and September.

“The cancellations are mainly at the younger end of the market, those under 35. They account for nearly half the cancellations, but they’re also the most to use multiple subscription services. They’re also the most engaged in watching the free broadcast streaming services,” said Kantar’s Tamsin Timpson.

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CNN signals layoffs and budget cuts before end of year

Chris Licht, the chairman of CNN, told employees in a memo on Wednesday afternoon that executives would take a hard look at spending across the business, signaling budget cuts and layoffs before the end of the year, reports The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin.

In the memo, Licht said that concerns over the global economy had forced him to re-evaluate CNN’s priorities, noting that he would make “noticeable change” to the organization.

“That, by definition, is unsettling,” Licht said. “These changes will not be easy, because it will affect people, budgets and projects.”

CNN will have operating expenses of about $882 million this year, according to estimates from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Even a single-digit percentage cut from that budget would shave millions of dollars and potentially dozens of jobs from the network.

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Lobby group calls on Netflix to ban booze ads

Netflix is under pressure to ban booze ads when it launches advertising on its platform in two weeks’ time, reports News Corp’s Wenlei Ma.

Lobby group the Foundation for Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education (FARE) is calling on the streaming platform to get rid of alcohol ads, as it did gambling ads.

FARE chief executive Caterina Giorgi told “As the world’s biggest streaming platform, Netflix has the chance to set the standard for establishing an ad model that prioritises people’s health and wellbeing.

“Alcoholic products cause harm to so many families and communities around the world. Alcohol causes more than 200 diseases and injuries and claims more than three million lives across the world each year.”

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Adelaide duo hot tip for Nova breakfast

The odds are shortening that Adelaide’s Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton will be parachuted into the Nova Melbourne breakfast shift in 2023 replacing Chrissie Swan, Jonathan Brown, and Sam Pang, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The pair, who host breakfast on Nova in Adelaide, are being openly talked about in radio circles as the host favourites for the coveted role.

The boys have been heard in the shift before having hosted the Nova Summer Breakfast show for the past two years. They were described as “Nova superstars” in the press release announcing their Summer breakfast gig.

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Spotify chief criticizes Kanye “Ye” West’s “awful” antisemitic comments, but music won’t be removed

The growing corporate boycott of Kanye “Ye” West after he made antisemitic remarks in several interviews has increased pressure on music streaming services to pull the rapper-turned-fashion mogul’s albums from their platforms, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Abid Rahman.

On Tuesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed the issue in an interview with Reuters, making clear that Ye’s comments were “awful” but his music did not violate the streamer’s anti-hate policies. Ek added it was up to Ye’s label, Universal Music Group’s Def Jam imprint, to pull his music if they felt compelled to.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” Ek told Reuters, adding, “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.” Ek said that Ye’s antisemitic comments would have been pulled from Spotify if he had made them on a podcast or recording, as per their hate speech policy, but that the rapper hadn’t made such comments.

Def Jam owns the copyright to Ye’s recordings from 2002 through 2016. The rapper’s contract with his long-time record company expired with his 2021 album DONDA.

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Seven mindful of reality show commitment -and why The Block is “attackable.”

Seven will trim Big Brother from 30 to 20 episodes for its House of Love edition in 2023, reports TV Tonight.

The series sees a houseful of singles form romantic connections before being forced to vote each other out.

As television continues to demand viewer commitment, how does Seven assess the number and length of episodes required of audiences?

Seven has seen success with shorter seasons of The Voice and MKR and CEO James Warburton acknowledges a tipping point about what people are doing and how they want to watch.

“Our view is, you don’t want to ask people to make a 30 – 40 show commitment,” he tells TV Tonight.

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