October 19, 2021

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Media & Tech Stocks Q3 Preview: A Special Report

With Q3 investor calls on the horizon, Variety Intelligence Platform is proud to present the latest installment of its expansive “Media & Tech Stocks Preview.” In this new incarnation, given that fall is traditionally TV’s — and lately, streaming’s — most important period, always full of big releases, VIP+ has focused on 18 key media and tech companies that play a part in entertainment.

Tech businesses included are Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Roku, Snapchat, Spotify and Twitter, while on the media side, you’ll find analysis for AMC Networks, Comcast, Discovery, Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, Netflix, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and WWE.

As may be expected, Q2 results this year saw companies reporting higher revenues than 2020, when entertainment was severely curtailed by the pandemic. With Q3 2021 the first full quarter since Q4 2019 that saw all entertainment sources open, anticipate an even stronger showing this time around.

The return of the NFL and the biggest audiences on TV will have broadcasters crowing about how strong their autumn is looking. But this is a double-edged sword, for it also highlights the continued ratings decline for the rest of their primetime lineups as demographic shifts kick streaming into high gear.

Another aspect to anticipate is reporting of the continued progress media-owned streaming services are making. In particular, look out for NBCU to mention how strongly Peacock did during the Olympics — but omit what viewership fell to post-Games — and keep touting the useless number of sign-ups since Peacock launched as its success metric. Among other brands that will likely see growth are ViacomCBS’ Pluto, Fox’s Tubi and Roku’s Roku Channel.

News has filtered through in recent weeks of a slowdown in subscriber growth for Disney+, a broadband subscriber slowdown for Comcast Xfinity and a broadband subscriber loss for Altice USA. This suggests the wider market for broadband and broadband-delivered services may be flattening — we’ve already seen this occur for VMVPDs — and is a key theme to look for in Q3 results.

After the monster growth of Q2, investors will be hyperfocused on whether tech companies were able to maintain the momentum in the last quarter. The biggest tech companies in the world have managed to capitalize on the economic recovery underway, but any signs of deceleration could deliver a blow to the stocks.

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