Netflix Driving up Hollywood Pay
TWIN: Known for spending heavily for original programming ($8 billion this year alone), Netflix is further disrupting traditional media by poaching top executives and driving up pay. The SVOD pioneer has lured dozens of top execs with hefty compensation increases – in some cases doubling their pay – including stock options and other benefits.
MCN Take: According to Bloomberg, Netflix is most aggressive in marketing and promotions, and is attracting publicists with packages worth as much as $400,000, or about double their prior compensation.
Netflix Grabs Live-Action Feature Film Rights to Carmen Sandiego
TWIN: Netflix attached Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez to star as the title character in the live-action Carmen Sandiego film. No writer or director has been named yet for the picture.
MCN Take: This is an extension of the brand for Netflix – it announced an animated version of the beloved PBS series would debut in 2019, with Rodriguez voicing the globe-hopping title character. A line of books from rights owner Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will come out in 2019, timed to the animated series release.
Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice Named to Netflix Board
TWIN:Rice was the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a cabinet member from 2009 to 2013, then until 2017 directed the National Security Council staff, chaired the Cabinet-level National Security Principals committee, provided the daily national security briefing to President Barack Obama.
MCN Take: The appointment was not without controversy. Conservatives, who have blamed rice for an alleged cover-up of the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack, took to Twitter to express their outrage at the appointment. Rice is currently a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times.
Netflix Series Angers Former Brazilian President
TWIN: Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has accused Netflix of political bias and character assassination for The Mechanism, a series based on the Car Wash money laundering scandal that rocked Brazilian politics and led to Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016.
MCN Take: Rousseff has criticized the series which she says distorts reality and takes aim at her Workers’ Party and its founder former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been convicted of corruption for receiving a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe.
Brits to Lose Netflix Portability After Brexit
TWIN: U.K. citizens won’t be able to take their digital subscriptions – like Netflix and BBC iPlayer – with them in the European Union after Brexit on March 29, 2019, according to the European Commission.
MCN Take: Portability rules were designed to allow travelers in the European Union to access their online content when they are away from home. Although U.K users currently can’t access the BBC iPlayer currently when they are in the 27 countries in the European Union, Netflix subscribers could access local content.
Despite Stock Slide, ‘Chinese Netflix’ Bags $2B in IPO
TWIN: IQiyi, what many have called the Chinese Netflix, has an auspicious debut on the NASDAQ Exchange, opening at $18 per share, the mid-point of its expected $17-$19 per share range, but closing at $15.55, down 14%.
MCN Take: IQiyi had about 60.1 million subscribers in China as of Feb. 28 – compared to Netflix’s 53 million paying subs in the U.S. and 58 million internationally. But coupled with President Trump’s recent moves to impose tariffs against Chinese trade and market skittishness, the shares faltered. Still, it was the biggest IPO of a Chinese company since Alibaba in 2014.
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