My plan is not to send out a Friday mailing given the holiday weekend. That said, I learned while at Viacom that major media companies use Labor Day Weekend to announce big-name hires or big-name departures (and, as fate would have it, Netflix just hired two executives from Snap to run advertising, and Paramount just announced it is merging Showtime into Paramount+), so odds are there could be a big media-related headline on Friday.
While writing Monday’s essay, I remembered something Netflix Chief Product Office and Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters shared on the Q2 2022 earnings call:
…many years ago now it feels, I was able to spend a couple of years in Japan, launching the service there. And I got a chance to work with the local teams that we were hiring and growing there, as well as our global teams to really look at every aspect of the service and try and improve it for our Japanese members and grow our membership base there. So I think of that as sort of like a mini version or a trial or a test out for what I anticipate I'll be doing more in this role.
Peters was referring to his time in Asia as President of Netflix Japan, where he led international development efforts between 2015 and 2017, prior to being appointed CPO and later COO of Netflix. His work in Japan laid the foundations for his later work as CPO and COO, and in 20/20 hindsight, laid the foundations for the regional and global success of “Squid Game”.
Arguably, but for the success of Netflix’s efforts in Asia, Squid Game would have never taken off, nor would have Japanese dystopian thriller “Alice in Borderland”, which “saw a "sizable uptick in global viewing" after "Squid Game" became a phenomenon. That series was released in 2020, and it “landed back in the top ten series ranking in more than fifty countries around the world, more than nine months after its initial launch”, as Yahoo! Business reported last November.
In light of Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” rollout, is there anyone in senior management of Amazon who spent time internationally building out the infrastructure of streaming in key regional and/or international markets? Or someone in a senior position who has been overseeing what could be described as “connecting the dots” to deliver global hits like “Squid Game” for an Apple, a Paramount+ or even Comcast (Peacock in U.S., Sky in U.K and Europe) ?
The answer across the board seems to be, no. That seems to be significant given growing market beliefs that there will only be a handful of winners in streaming, and that they will emerge in the next 36 to 48 months.
Kevin Mayer, the former Disney Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and International and now Co-CEO of Candle Media, predicts “four or five big global services” at most, and also smaller niche programming services “doing very well, continuing to be ...