Media Still Recession Resistant, Panel Says

Nov 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Media business experts are saying the industry should show resistance to the recession, as long as companies challenge themselves to deliver content the way viewers want it.
That conclusion was the consensus of analysts speaking at a Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Newsmakers Luncheon on Thursday entitled “Wall Street’s View on the Future of Television.”
The entertainment business is still somewhat recession resistant,” Natixis Bleichroeder Inc. analyst Alan Gould said. Some of the major setbacks that media companies have absorbed recently are partly attributable to the fact that they are units of conglomerates that hold many other businesses.
In the media field, content creators are in the best position to weather difficult times, he said. Advertisers are in a more difficult position, as they are likely stuck spending their money in traditional media until business models develop that permit them to allocate more money to new media.
Christa Thomas, a managing director and senior client executive in JP Morgan’s Entertainment Industries Group, said that many private content producers and investors are likely to stick to traditional forms of content distribution. She noted that content sales to cable networks have increased as a result of the recent rise of cable TV as a destination for quality programming.
Jeff Longsdown, a senior analyst for BMO’s Capital Markets’ Equity Research Group who specializes in entertainment and gaming, noted that people “love filmed entertainment content—that’s not going to change.”
Mr. Gould said that with the rise of personalized programming though Internet viewing and mobile access, those who create content must explore finding ways to make money in the new fields to succeed. He noted that while the music industry is able to make up for lost album sales though live performance ticket sales, TV does not have that option. Money that comes from digital downloads will hardly replace the lost billions of dollars that come from advertising, he said.
Ms. Thomas, like the other panelists, remains optimistic about TV and filmed content, believing the industry will “flourish” even after some setbacks. “The human condition embraces being entertained,” she said.
Mr. Gould says the business will remain alive “as long as the consumer wants entertainment.”
The Lippin Group Chairman and CEO Dick Lippin served as moderator for the panel.
(Update: Added moderator. 11:30 p.m.)
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. It is embarrassing to print an article like this which is not a positive reflection on your magazine. Many people are being laid off of work or are threatened to lose jobs in the various media fields – and it has NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING PART OF BIG CONGLOMERATES. PLEASE – “get your heads out of the sand” – just like the two year predictions that our economy will turn around. YES – it will GET BETTER because of the “will and strength” of our people; not by ignoring the facts and making excuses. We do work in a GREAT INDUSTRY, WE WILL SURVIVE and even be BETTER. Let’s dig in our heals and not run away from the realities – but build from the lessons we have learned.

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