Is it clouds, or just smoke?

Suhler forecast predicts 2002 rebound

HOLLYWOOD — Did anyone see the recession coming? Maybe, but if they did, they’re hard to find.

This comes to mind with the release this week of the annual 370-page Veronis Suhler “forecast for the communications industry.” The report acknowledges the “dark clouds of a slowing economy” but nonetheless predicts a rebound in 2002.

And how well did they do last year? Well, a year ago the investment bankers hypothesized

that Internet advertising was on the rise and likely would continue on a dramatically upward projectory. Twelve months later, nothing could be further from the truth, as Netcos search frantically for any reliable revenue stream in the absence of Web advertising.

Similarly, the 2000 report enthused that “broadband Internet access is forecast to explode” within a few years. Today, slow rollout of broadband access is the chief reason interactive television remains in its infancy.

Elsewhere, one could argue that the economy-driven sluggishness that’s attacked TV revenue was hard even for the nation’s top economists to predict. And in filmed entertainment, Veronis knew better than to climb too far out on a limb, suggesting only that the box office would continue to “hold its own” against DVD and homevid.

But the report’s writers must wish they’d swallowed some chill pills before tackling their music-industry forecast.

“Recorded music will experience dramatic usage gains spurred by the new digital technologies that enable downloading of music,” they observed.

Oops. A year later, downloading technologies are either in disrepute or disarray, and most entertainment congloms are seeing stagnant or declining music cash flow.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    Chinese Streamer iQIYI Squeezed by Changing Content Context

    Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI saw its losses deepen, in the April to June second quarter of its financial year. The company grew subscriptions, but was hit by rising content costs and lower advertising revenue Its parent company, Chinese search leader, Baidu saw its year on year profits drop, though it recovered from loss in [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Says ‘Many’ Suing Artists’ Masters Were Not Damaged in 2008 Fire

    UPDATED: Late Friday the attorneys representing Soundgarden, Steve Earle and the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac amended their lawsuit against Universal Music Group over damages to their music archives as a result of a 2008 fire. While most of the amended complaint updated details in the original document — adding information about UMG’s alleged [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • Bob Bakish Joe Ianniello

    ViacomCBS Sets Board Members; Bob Bakish, Joe Ianniello New Deals Disclosed

    ViacomCBS has unveiled the 13 members of its board of directors and details of new employment contracts for president-CEO Bob Bakish and CBS chairman-CEO Joe Ianniello. The disclosure came Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, six days after Viacom and CBS at long last set an all-stock merger agreement valued at [...]

  • Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan,

    Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan, at No Charge in U.S. and U.K.

    Just days after reports emerged that Spotify is aiming to increase the price of its family plan in its home market of Scandinavia, the streaming giant announced an upgrade to the plan — with no price increase in the U.S. and U.K., where it remains at $14.99 and £15, respectively. A rep for the company [...]

  • Untold Stories Film Program

    Robert De Niro's Company Files $6 Million Suit Against Ex-Employee

    Robert De Niro’s company has filed a $6 million lawsuit against a former employee, accusing her of embezzling money and binge-watching Netflix while on the job. Canal Productions, De Niro’s loan-out company, also accuses Chase Robinson of racking up exorbitant hotel and restaurant charges and using millions of De Niro’s frequent flyer miles for her [...]


    Jay-Z Gets Shade From Kaepernick, Support From Cardi B as NFL Fallout Continues

    UPDATED: If anyone expected the drama surrounding Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL to calm down over the weekend, they were mistaken, as controversy and conversation continued to swirl. The situation grew even more intense late Friday when TMZ reported that Jay is looking to acquire a majority interest in an unspecified NFL team, which would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content