Free ContentFor Members Only
Home > MyersBizNet Economic Media Business Report > Media Wall Street Report 9-16-11: Nielsen, Amazon, Murdoch, McGraw-Hill, Google

Media Wall Street Report 9-16-11: Nielsen, Amazon, Murdoch, McGraw-Hill, Google

September 16, 2011
Jack Myers

Published: September 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM GMT
Last Updated: September 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM GMT

With all the ongoing activity in the media space, this week proved to be good timing for research firm Nielsen (NLSN) to host an analyst meeting to explain the firm's new sales/service strategy. The firm has hired big name consultants from McKinsey, assigned them to global accounts, and will compensate them on client satisfaction. Needham's Laura Martin likes this strategy and believes it strengthens the firm's access to the C-Suite.

Bucking the trend of the recent spate of acquisitions in the media space, McGraw-Hill (MHP) appears ready to acquiesce to pressure from some large hedge fund shareholders and split itself into two companies. The result would be the clear separation of its educational franchise from everything else market-related (S&P, Platt's J.D. Power, etc.). The family-run business has taken quite a beating from its S&P unit's involvement in the subprime crisis and current CEO Terry McGraw III wants to step aside and unlock the value in the business founded by his grandfather in 1888.

While the extreme summer heat seems to be tapering off over much of the U.S., shareholders are turning up new heat on News Corp.'s (NWSA) management. According to the Financial Times, James Murdoch, the firm's deputy COO and son of founder Rupert, was recalled to a UK parliamentary committee to address accusations that he may have misled MPs. Thousands of new documents surfaced relating to the phone-hacking scandal embroiling the firm. In spite of the controversy, Nomura is standing by its top idea for 2011. Citing low valuation, fast-growing cable networks, and the benefits of the planned BSkyB merger, analyst Mike Nathanson thinks News Corp. is an even more attractive investment than before.

Amazon (AMZN) continues to push on the global growth button, and this week saw the launch of its 9th global site with a version tailored for Spain. Not content with one major news item for the week, word quickly leaked that an Amazon tablet was on its way to market. While investors got excited over news that Amazon would introduce a tablet version of its popular Kindle e-book reader, Barclays's reception to news of the device was a bit more tepid. Interested with the opportunity yet afraid, Amazon might be overreaching, analyst Anthony DiClemente took a wait-and-see approach to Amazon's depressed margins that accompany the prolonged investment cycle the Internet's biggest store is taking.

Strong smartphone adoption continues, especially in the Online Travel Agency space (OTA), but Nomura's Brian Nowak is suspect of where this incremental time and money is coming from. Consumers are checking out and checking in via travel apps and Foursquare, but it appears that these trends come at the expense of desktop usage. OTA's need to look elsewhere for their next leg of growth.

None of this has been lost on Google (GOOG), which finally launched Google Flight Search this week after the search firm acquired the technology from its M&A with ITA. The New York Times does a good job comparing Google Flight to the popular Kayak service.

While users can search multiple airlines and booking options for domestic flights through Google's new tool, Barclay's analyst Ronald Josey is disappointed the booking options are limited to direct air supplier sites only.

While Google's entry probably makes things tougher on incumbents like Orbitz (OWW) and Expedia (EXPE) as online air travel becomes even more commoditized, Barclays thinks Priceline (PCLN) is still the best positioned to leverage global travel trends.

It may only be September but online retailers already have an eye on the holiday spending season and it looks to be a doozy. EMarketer looks at a report published by MasterCard Advisors' "Spending Pulse" expecting retail sales growth to hit double digits (14%) this holiday season.

Holiday time is the most exciting part of the year in the media business. It's already not disappointing investors in the space.

You are receiving this e-mail as a corporate subscriber to Jack Myers Media Business Report. Re-distribution in any form, except among approved individuals within your company, is prohibited. As a subscriber you have full access to all archives and reports at www.jackmyers.com. If you require your ID and password, contact maryann@jackmyers.com

add this social bookmark link

Post a Comment

Commentary Archives

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014

See all Archived Material


The MediaVillage Articles Club: Friendsgiving
In celebration of the giving season, this month's Articles Club was billed as a Friendsgiving-style potluck. Were it not for some delicious chili and cornbread from our hostess, Chelsea, the evening may have fallen short of expectations. (I came armed with store-bought desserts and we also ditched a called-for side dish in favor of some Cabernet.) Our conversation covered a lot of ground this month even if our dinner table spread did not. As we look ahead to 2016 we have set a resolution for more diversity in our slate of suggested reading. With all due respect to The New York Times, we are going to make more of an effort to share articles from other publications in the coming months.

Stuart Elliott Revives "20 Questions" -- A Popular Holiday Tradition
One of the best friends of a columnist, apart from an elastic deadline, is the perennial feature, and I was known for one during my more than two decades writing for my previous employer. It was called "20 Questions," a column that would run before or after major holidays. Since we're about to celebrate Thanksgiving I thought it would be fun to revive it for my MediaVillage audience.

Pepsi on “Empire”: Coolest. Sponsor. Integration. Ever.
Call it the wave of the future, or a blast from the past. Pepsi’s sponsorship of Fox’s hit primetime serial “Empire” became virtually DVR-proof on this week’s episode while also evoking that long-ago era of television when advertisers were integral to the presentation and content of programming.

Office Smackdown! Baby Boomers vs. Millennials and Vice Versa
Have you noticed a difference (or ten) between Baby Boomers and Millennials in the workplace (and everyplace else, for that matter)? Especially the younger end of the former and the older segment of the latter? Of course you have -- and you aren't the only one.

SMI: Television Roars Back to Life; Digital Questionable?
Fresh off the back of soft results for many media owners in the third quarter of this year, the start of the new broadcast year has delivered some very heartening news for the television industry. Strong ad sales results for both the broadcast and cable sector helped the market to its best result of the year, with the total market up 15% compared to the same period last year.

DPAA: Audience Targeting -- Are You Missing the Mark?
With years of media fragmentation and increasing demands for better ROI, audience targeting has never been more valuable to marketers than it is today. The value for the marketers employing it, of course, includes better measurement and message delivery – and for those who fail to take advantage, smaller budgets or shorter careers.

Ten Expert Practices for Optimizing Team Performance
Visionary leaders are agents of change. Highly observant and great at reading situations, these managers know how to motivate teams to achieve new goals in the pursuit of excellence.

Net Neutrality Work-Arounds; Cutting Cords, Any Cords!
So you’ve got a MVPD subscription -- whether cable, satellite or telco -- plus broadband access and you’d like to watch video on some device or another … but you don’t know what exactly you’d like to watch and you don’t really feel like surfing 7,842 channels and web sites to find out what’s on and/or available. What do you do? Panic? Hope whatever MVPD or broadband provider you have gets smart enough to produce a guide that actually, uh, guides? Well, there are already a few gleams in the gloom out there.

NNN: When a Crisis Hits, Smart Marketers Like VW Know Where to Turn
Yesterday, Volkswagen began a print campaign in 13 newspapers across America. The purpose: To regain the trust of their customers following news of their emission issues. In the ad, CEO Michael Horn extends his apology and a special offer to those affected. Specifically, customers who qualify will be given a $500 prepaid Visa Card along with a $500 dealership card. This is the first official, public gesture that the company has made to address the consumer crisis and here at the Newspaper National Network we were honored to work with them in executing the initiative.

ABC Sales President Geri Wang on Media, Measurement and Mentoring
Geri Wang started as a physical therapy major in college but later changed to communications. Upon graduation she landed her first job working for Helen Johnston at Grey Advertising as a media research analyst. From there Geri was recruited by ABC, where she excelled. She is currently President of Sales, leading a team of nearly 300, and she is responsible for advertising sales and integrated marketing across the entire ABC portfolio including ABC Primetime, Daytime, News, Late-Night and Digital; the Disney/ABC Domestic Television Syndication Group; Fusion, and ABC Sales Development.

Unlike Certain Ads, This Column is Viewable
It seems that most weeks bring yet another jaw-dropping story from the wacky world of digital advertising. We’ve had bots, fraud, trading desks buying inventory from themselves and a host of other wonders. Last week though brought an excellent example of the genre, for which I’m grateful to Linda Holliday, the CEO of CITIA.com who brought it to my attention.

Driverless Cars and the New Automobile Era
We are now about 130 years into the automobile era. Starting with Karl Benz’s patent in the 1880s the automobile quickly became widespread with Henry Ford’s model of mass production scaling up the market 100 years ago.

MediaBizBuzz: Fox, Univision, Turner Broadcasting, Spotify and More
A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and trends from the wider media industry. This week, networks hit by fantasy sports woes, Fox gets creative with branding, and both Edward Snowden and "South Park" join the ad blocking debate.

Gender News Weekly: Barbie is for Boys, Too
"Inspired by Jack Myers’ upcoming book “The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century,” this is a weekly blog series focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week’s news roundup."

Mindshare on Movember: Your Beard Has Good Intentions
This week on Mindshare’s Culture Vulture Live: Mike Yablonski talks about Movember -- that time of year when men let their facial hair grow out for a good cause.

Click Here for Membership Information