In today’s ExchangeWire news summary: Twitter Strengthens Plans For Its Own Podcasting Network By Acquiring The Breaker Podcast App; fuboTV live sports streaming service reports better-than-expected results for 2020; and the American box office sees its revenues plummet by 81%.
Twitter leverages Spaces with purchase of Breaker
Twitter has acquired Breaker, a social podcasting app, in a deal that will bring the social networking site closer to making its own audio offering, Twitter Spaces. Announced Monday (4e January), the deal will see the app shut down for good on the 15the January, with her workforce joining Twitter to work on the Spaces project.
Erik Berlin, CEO of Breaker, wrote optimistically about the deal on the company’s blog, saying his team is “inspired by how Twitter facilitates public conversations for people around the world” and feels ” enthusiastic âabout the acquisition.
While Twitter has not expressed its feelings about the merger, they are clearly the biggest beneficiaries of the deal. As TechCrunch noted, the acquisition brings essential talent to the platform as it seeks to capitalize on the podcast’s moment in the sun.
The undisclosed deal is the latest in a wave of investments and acquisitions in the podcast space, including Amazon’s $ 300million (Â£ 220.8million) acquisition of Wondery and the purchase of Stitcher by Sirius for the same price. The Breaker deal, however, stands out in that it consists of a sale of talent and infrastructure rather than podcast content.
fuboTV exceeds expectations in 2020
The sport-centric live streaming service fuboTV is expected to tie 2020 with more revenue than expected. The announcement of their preliminary fourth quarter results on Tuesday (5e January), the company revealed that it expects its total revenue to climb between 77% and 84% year-over-year to reach between $ 94 million and $ 98 million ($ 69.2 million Â£ 72.1million). Both figures are higher than the previously projected US $ 80-85million (Â£ 58.9million to Â£ 62.6million).
The company also revealed that its subscriber results are expected to be better than initially expected, with the number of paying subscribers for the end of 2020 expected to exceed 545,000. When achieved, this result will mark a growth of more than 72%. year on year, beating previous forecasts that the service would end the year with between 500,000 and 510,000 paying subscribers.
Commenting on the success of his business, fuboTV Co-Founder and CEO David Gandler said, âfuboTV’s strong preliminary results in the fourth quarter of 2020 surpassed what was already predicted to be a banner year for the company, and demonstrate continued consumer enthusiasm for the company’s live TV broadcast offering. .
The growth of fuboTV reflects the widespread growth of streaming services amid the pandemic, but stands out as more impressive due to the significant disruption the health crisis has caused to live sports programming. With COVID far from distant memory, time will tell if fubo is capable of sustaining this success.
U.S. box office revenues plunge 81% in 2020
American cinema would have finished 2020 four fifths worse than it had started. According to IMDb’s Box Office Mojo, the box office saw its revenue drop to $ 2.1 billion (Â£ 1.5 billion), down 81% from $ 11.3 billion US (Â£ 8.3bn) reached at the end of 2019.
As distressing as the result is, it’s not surprising, as cinemas around the world have been forced to close in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the United States, most theaters remained closed for 6 months, with some reopening at limited capacity in September 2020.
With audiences stuck at home, studios have postponed releases and cut ad spending, injecting US $ 682.9million (Â£ 502.6million) into national TV advertising, up from Â£ 2.3bn sterling (Â£ 1.7 billion) spent the previous year. The total number of films released almost halved compared to 2019, dropping from 911 to 455.
While some studios have been able to rack up views and revenue by turning to competing streaming services, the situation is unquestionably dire and challenges the cinema’s place as a place of entertainment and advertising. As streaming platforms, including ad-supported services, are booming, could this crisis be a curtain for the big screen?