retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The other day, MNB took note of how technology-driven companies are disrupting revenue models used for decades by traditional companies - in this case, television sports, which is seen as slowly but surely migrating to ad-free streaming services. Amazon, for example, has bought the rights to stream 10 Thursday night National Football League (NFL) games this season, and it is seen as inevitable that it will be willing to bid a lot more money for a lot more games.

Well, we got an other example of this shift away from traditional models yesterday - David Letterman announced that he will return to television with a brand new talk show, two years after retiring and handing off “The Late Show” on CBS to Stephen Colbert.

His new talk show will be on Netflix.

The new Letterman show will be just six episodes, and the Hollywood Reporter says that the new program will “feature Letterman conducting longform conversations with a singular guest as well as exploring topics on his own — outside of the studio.”

Letterman released a statement, saying, in part, "I feel excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix. Here's what I have learned, if you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.”
Meanwhile, it seems that even the disruptors can be disrupted.

Walt Disney Co. said yesterday that “ it will stop selling movies to Netflix and begin offering ESPN sports programming and family films directly to consumers via two new streaming services,” according to a Bloomberg story.

The announcement came as Disney “reported a rare drop in revenue and profit — from falling ad sales at ESPN and a decline at the film division. The moves show how seriously Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger views the threat from streaming services like Net­flix and Amazon.com and their impact on conventional pay-TV.”

“Our direct-to-consumer services mark an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands,” Iger said in a statement.
KC's View:
I find these stories to be fascinating. Bastions of old-world constructs find that they can have a new or revived life in new media, while old media companies find that they need to create new media businesses in order to remain relevant and (hopefully) profitable.

What these stories have in common is that the old world constructs are falling by the wayside. Which I think is something that is going to happen in a lot of industries.