Leisure News: Sony, iHeartRadio, and Starz churn profits and potential

Starz app for 'Power' snip

The entertainment sector seems to reinvent itself frequently as technology comes up with new ways to deliver content. Right now, Sony is sitting pretty, and in the radio sector, iHeartRadio reportedly has another potential buyer. As Sony resurrects a record label and iHeart courts suitors, something rather remarkable happened when viewers set a record of sorts in a non-TV way with a popular Starz TV show. The market is in flux, and that could mean good news for some artists and fans. 


As Americans celebrated the nation’s birthday on July 4, news broke about the iHeart bankruptcy. The corporation owns more than 800 radio stations. Whatever happens will have an impact on listening audiences across the nation. The New York Post described iHeart’s current state:

“iHeart is on pace to emerge from bankruptcy in early October, at which time it will reduce its debt from $20 billion to $10 billion and likely seek a buyer, a source close to the situation said.”

Sony Corp.

Meanwhile Sony is celebrating gains in stock prices this year, as The Hollywood Reporter noted, with stock closing “at its highest level since January 2008 in Tokyo to become the biggest Japanese electronics maker by market capitalization for the first time in more than 15 years.”

As if that’s not enough, Variety said Sony has also “announced the relaunch” of Arista Records.

Power power

Consumers are enjoying all the options in entertainment, with an app making news. Do you watch the popular show Power? If you watched the season 5 opener via an app, you’re in the majority. The Starz show reported more people watched it via the app than on traditional TV. Deadline said:

“Perhaps more interesting for Starz and Power is that App growth continued from the July 1 S5 opener well into the July 4 holiday and beyond last week with 84% more customer adds than was experienced in 2017.”

Smart for Starz to enable viewing Power without your needing cable.

What’s next?

What does all this mean?

New artists may see opportunities increase, and consumers continue to see options for taking in entertainment increase.

Whether quality will improve or deteriorate, or consumers will seek entertainment beyond corporate offerings is something no one knows. What we do know is that nothing is static, and cultural trends are fluid. Good things could happen for artists in the right place at the right time with the right idea—it’s always been that way.

(Kay B. Day/July 10, 2018)


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