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Netflix plans 80 original movies for 2018; Fios TV subs lose Univision content


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Netflix plans 80 original movies for 2018; Fios TV subs lose Univision content

Top News

* Netflix Inc. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the streaming giant is gearing up to release about 80 original movies in 2018, and has more than 30 original anime projects in various states of production. Speaking on the company's third-quarter earnings call, Sarandos said the movies range from the $1 million Sundance hit to big-budget movies such as "Bright," to be released at the end of 2017, and "The Irishman," which will be released in early 2019.

* Netflix drove plenty of headlines in recent months with its first acquisition, a price increase and increased competition from companies like Walt Disney Co., and executives fielded all topics during an Oct. 16 earnings conference call. The company reported net membership additions of 5.3 million, well above guidance of 4.4 million issued during the company's second-quarter release.

* Programming from Univision Communications Inc. is no longer available to Verizon Communications Inc.'s Fios TV subscribers as the parties have reached an impasse in their contract renewal negotiations. Univision said that Verizon, which counts some 5 million subscribers, pulled the signals for its linear and mobile platforms on Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. ET.

Internet & OTT

* Facebook Inc. acquired tbh, a teen-focused app that lets users create anonymous polls, for an undisclosed sum. The app has been downloaded by more than 5 million people, according to an official blog post.

* Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC struck a deal to produce content for Snap Inc.'s Snapchat platform, The Wall Street Journal reports. The partnership will reportedly target the 18-to-24-year-old demographic with scripted short-form content.

* Facebook plans to recruit people with national security clearances in a bid to prevent outside forces from interfering in U.S. elections through the social networking platform, Bloomberg News reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. People with such clearances will be allowed to access information classified by the U.S. government.

* Netflix beat other studios to win rights to Mattson Tomlin's script for a project, dubbed "Power," Variety reports. The sci-fi thriller will be directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.


* Retailers and vendors are benefiting from augmented reality as a means to help convert demonstrations into sales transactions in select categories. Executives speaking on the "Shopping with VR" panel at the Virtual Reality 20/20 conference in New York on Oct. 16 said virtual reality and augmented reality can help consumers locate items in stores and facilitate sales conversion.

* India's growing number of smartphone users and improved internet infrastructure has sparked a rush for local video content, according to key industry players at the Broadcast India Show 2017 in Mumbai. Panelists and attendees discussed how technology helps to generate high-quality content for both linear and digital formats, partly as a result of a huge demand for such content.

* The demand for better customer experiences is driving digital transformation among technology, media and telecoms companies, executives from Havas SA, Globe Telecom and CNN Philippines said at Digicon 2017 in Manila.

Regulation & Policy

* In 2011, the Denmark government dismantled its telecom regulator, and some believe the U.S. should follow suit. Before President Donald Trump named Ajit Pai as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, there were a handful of people with more extreme deregulatory views — who questioned even the need for a federal telecom regulator — who were seen as possible candidates to take over the agency's top seat.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.02% to 28,697.49, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.38% to 21,336.12.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.18% to 7,540.74 and the Euronext 100 gained 0.06% to 1,050.03.

On the macro front

The import and export prices report, the Redbook, the industrial production report, the housing market index, the Treasury budget and the Treasury International Capital report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: ProSiebenSat.1, Discovery launch German OTT; Nat Geo+ to debut in Greece: ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Communications Inc. teamed up to launch a premium streaming service in Germany, while video-on-demand service Nat Geo+ is set to roll out in Greece in 2018 via Cosmote TV.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: German envoy slams China web policies; Xiaomi to invest US$3.5B in Wuhan: German Ambassador Michael Clauss slammed China for broadening internet restrictions, while India's rising number of smartphone users and improved internet infrastructure has sparked a rush for local video content.

M&A Replay: Fandango to buy; Yelp completes Eat24 sale: Google Inc. purchased Relay Media's AMP Converter technology, which helps load webpages faster. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. acquired independent film production company Good Universe.

The week in OTT: Netflix plans more Indian originals; Movies Anywhere hits US: Netflix is ramping up its international content slate with India as a "super priority market," while Movies Anywhere, a new video content platform that features films from major Hollywood studios and video-on-demand platforms, launched in the U.S.

Data Dispatch: Regulatory, weather-related storm clouds shadow Q3 communications earnings: The third-quarter earnings season stands to be a big one for the communications industry, but not because of expected subscriber gains. Instead, all eyes are on an expected M&A announcement.

Qualcomm seeks China iPhone ban; Samsung heir begins appeal: Qualcomm Inc. has filed lawsuits against Apple Inc. in China in an attempt to block the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in the country, while Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong faced a South Korean appellate court to appeal his five-year jail sentence.

Featured research

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Here are the editor's top picks for the week ended Oct. 13.

Technology: Even without OTT video Nintendo Switch will outsell other consoles: Increasing competition for the attention of gamers from PCs, streaming media players and mobile devices are contributing to a significant shake up in the worldwide game console market.

Global Multichannel: LatAm CEO Survey: M&A is key for growth; broadband, OTT investments to rise: Investment plans to focus on video and data services with LTE, VoLTE, HDTV and IPTV on top of operators' investment plans. CEOs say M&A key for medium-term growth.

Broadcast Investor: Streaming services scooping up big 4 affiliates as competition grows: Virtual service providers such as Hulu with Live TV, DIRECTV Now and PlayStation Vue are racing to add live local stations to bolster channel lineups and lock in subscribers.

Technology: Italy's Fastweb relying heavily on VDSL Profile 35b: Over the last year, Italy's Fastweb has deployed over 3 million very high bit-rate digital subscriber line Profile 35b lines that are a speedier version of vectored VDSL2, delivering broadband speeds of up to 200 Mbps over existing copper.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.