Monday, December 30, 2013

The Mouse Expands

... along with international markets:

... Consumer demand for entertainment and media (E&M) services is projected to grow 5.6% annually over the next five years, to $2.2 trillion by 2017. Digital entertainment will be among the fastest growing media with growth rates of 11.9%. By region, there are eight markets of China, Brazil, India, Russia, Middle East and North Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, and Argentina that are projected to see the most growth, with their share rising from 12% in 2008 to 22% of the global E&M market by 2017. Entertainment services powerhouse, Disney, is gearing up to cater to these growing markets. ...

Disney continued their international expansion through the year. They are currently building a theme park in Shanghai, China, which is expected to be completed by 2015. Disney has seen strong growth in international operations. The Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland both had record attendance during the year. Disney also announced plans to open their first Marvel-themed amusement part attraction at the Hong Kong theme park. The Iron Man feature is expected to be open to the public by 2016.

They are also investing heavily in the growing entertainment market in India. They have recently acquired 50% stake in India's leading entertainment company, UTV by investing an estimated $500 million. ...

Disney continued to grow their content offering and recently announced their tie up with Netflix (NFLX) for 2015. As part of the deal, Disney's Marvel TV in association with ABC Television Studios will develop four serialized programs for Netflix. These programs will feature Marvel's characters including Daredevil, Jessica Johns, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. Their Star Wars franchise is also going strong and they have set the release date for Star Wars Episode VII as December 18, 2015. ...

As the U.S. of A.'s share of the global entertainment dollar continues to shrink, our fine, entertainment conglomerates are taking note and going where the newer money is.

DreamWorks Animation is now aggressively overseas. News Corp. Viacom. And, of course, Diz Co. For many of these companies animation is at the tip of the content spear, and everybody will need lots of content to fill all the different pipelines.

And if you wonder why animation work in Southern California is robust when so much of live-action movies and television shows have departed for tax-subsidized locations, it's because skilled jobs in pre-production are not as easy to outsource as everything else. Not that it isn't attempted, but over and over I've watched producers ship storyboards to distant locations, only to have the lower quality of the work bite them in the backside.

To date, it's been easier to anchor animation pre-production in Los Angeles than shipping the work far away and taking risks with quality. Nothing is forever, of course, but that's the way things have (mostly) shaken out in Cartoonland for most of the various distribution pipelines.


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