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Weekly Discussions

This Week in Media: May 14, 2021

Variety Intelligence Platform senior media analyst Gavin Bridge, media analyst and correspondent Heidi Chung and media analyst Kevin Tran formulated another Friday discussion as a trio to disseminate the week’s most interesting developments across the media and tech spaces.

Chung elected to dive into the discussion with Disney, highlighting the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings. “[Disney] missed on that very, very closely watched subscriber growth figure by only [reaching] 103.6 million subscribers compared to the comparted to the 109 million that Wall Street was expecting” laid out Chung, referring to Disney+ and its continuous aim to maintain a competitive edge against streaming veteran Netflix.

“All in all, if you look at the stock this morning, it’s fallen and it can’t seem to find its footing,” she continued. “This is all as the broader market is up more than 1% today.”

Moving on from Disney’s somber situation, the team honed in on a report that Buzzfeed was looking to acquire Complex Networks as part of a broader plan to explore going public through a SPAC called 890 5th Avenue Partners.

“[That report] suggested that the acquisition could boost Buzzfeed’s topline by about 30% and also make it more attractive to market buyers,” prefaced Chung.

“The SPACs theme seems to have been cooling down recently,” offered Tran. “But…one thing that is going for digital media companies that are looking…down the SPAC route is [that] the digital ad market is rebounding.”

“We saw companies like Facebook, Alphabet, Snap as well as some big ad-holding firms post some pretty strong numbers in Q1 indicating that advertisers are bring back ad spend after pulling back in 2020,” he went on to posit, referring to the dip in ad money seen at media companies throughout the onset of the global pandemic.

For more on what companies like Buzzfeed can stand to gain from SPACs and other hot topics circling the week’s news, watch the conversation in full!