In Q1 2023, PARQOR will be focusing on four trends. This essay focuses on the trend, "Media companies have millions of consumer credit cards on file. What happens next?”
If I were to self-critique my newest “Medium Shift” opinion essay from last Friday, it feels like there’s a logical step missing in my argument: because media companies have millions of credit cards on file, they should be able to figure out additional direct to consumer models. So why is that not happening?
I have asked before why there aren’t more companies imitating Sony, which has put together the pieces of an anime “flywheel” around streaming service Crunchyroll through mergers and acquisitions and turned it into a growth machine.
We have very little public information about the business since its $1B acquisition by Sony last year. However, private conversations I’ve had suggest that it’s doing quite well, and now its corporate description reads as:
Crunchyroll connects anime and manga fans across 200+ countries and territories with the content and experiences they love. In addition to free ad-supported and subscription premium content, Crunchyroll serves the anime community across events, theatrical, games, consumer products, collectibles, and manga publishing.
At Viacom and other traditional media companies, I have witnessed digital media executives tasked with innovation opt for risk averse decisions at the expense of solving for market trends. So, I understand too well from experience why innovation suffers or is held back within traditional media companies (that’s the key reason behind PARQOR’s fiduciary vs. visionary framework)..
When there is precedent at Sony Pictures Entertainment for flywheel business models, the question is why is that not happening elsewhere? AMC Networks and NBCUniversal’s Peacock have recently offered some helpful answers.
Total words: 1,500
Total time reading: 6 minutes
But Sony didn’t innovate from within. Instead, they both acquired and built businesses (Funimation in 2017, Crunchyroll in 2020) around two databases of fans of anime who paid for subscriptions.
M&A is a more familiar strategy than in-house innovation to most of these companies — even ...