Rupert Grint, Nick Frost, Don Johnson Join Comedy ‘Sick Note’

“Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint, “Shaun of the Dead’s” Nick Frost and “Miami Vice’s” Don Johnson will star in comedy “Sick Note,” which has been greenlit by European pay TV operator Sky. The show looks at how desperate a person’s actions can become when a lie starts to spiral out of control. The series is… Read more »

Amazon Japan Unveils Ambitious Original Content Strategy

TOKYO – Amazon has unveiled a slate of original content for its Prime Video entertainment service in Japan, including 12 Japanese-made titles. They range from children’s shows to historical dramas, and comedy to documentaries. The lineup, presented by Amazon Japan president Jasper Cheung, Amazon Studios chief Roy Price and Amazon Japan content head James Farrell,… Read more »

Don Johnson, Rupert Grint & Nick Frost Get A ‘Sick Note’ In Sky Atlantic Series

Created and written by Nat Saunders (Trollied) and James Serafinowicz (The Mark Steel Lectures), Sky Atlantic’s Sick Note is a six-part comedy about how desperate a person’s actions can become when a lie starts to spiral out of control. Harry Potter‘s Rupert Grint, Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead) and Don Johnson are starring in the King Bert production. An ealy 2017 airdate is planned.
Principal photography is now underway on the story of Daniel Glass (Grint), a compulsive…


Barrois Appointed Head of Sales as Spanish TV Net Mediaset España Restructures

MADRID — Mediaset España’s Ghislain Barrois, one of Spain’s leading film-TV executives, has taken on new responsibilities at the No. 1 Spanish TV network with his appointment as head of the newly-created division of film, sales, rights acquisitions and distribution. He remains CEO of Telecinco Cinema. Barrois was already a key executive in Spain for… Read more »

Roman Polanski May Face New Extradition Attempt As Poland’s Justice Minister Seeks Appeal

Polish prosecutors said last November that they would not challenge a judge’s decision to reject a U.S. request to extradite director Roman Polanski. The decades-old case could be reignited, however, with Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro telling Polish radio today that he will appeal the 2015 court decision.
Ziobro has been a vocal critic of the court’s October decree, citing Polanski’s celebrity status. “I’ve decided to file an appeal in the supreme court against the…


Roman Polanski Faces Fresh Attempt to Extradite Him to U.S.

Roman Polanski is facing a fresh attempt to extradite him to the U.S. in connection with his 1977 conviction for child sexual abuse. Poland’s government has decided to appeal a court’s decision to deny a U.S. extradition request. Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s justice minister and prosecutor general, said on Tuesday, “I’ve decided to file to the… Read more »

Gianna Jun and Lee Min-ho to Star in Korean TV Series ‘Blue Sea’

Korean super stars Gianna Jun (“Assassination”) and Lee Min-ho (“Bounty Hunters”) will appear together in new Korean TV series, “The Legend of the Blue Sea.” The drama will mark a return to the small screen for both Jun and Lee after a hiatus of three years for both idols. The show, which will air on… Read more »

90% of Spotify’s Revenue Comes from 30% Of Its Users

Spotify Plays Jenga

Is Spotify’s ‘free-to-paid’ thing sustainable?

89.9% of Spotify’s revenues come from just 31.4% of its users, according to more financial data now surfacing.  The 2015 filing, registered with EU regulators last week, showed that paying subscribers generated a hefty $1.96 billion in revenues.  By stark comparison, free, ad-supported users generated a relatively paltry $222 million.

That imbalance is the main reason for monstrous and continued losses at Spotify.  Indeed, ‘freemium’ remains a speculative and extremely expensive path for Spotify, a company that just raised more than $1 billion in loans to keep its high-overhead operation churning.  In 2015, losses topped $188.7 million, with cumulatively losses now approaching $700 million.

Apple Music, by comparison, remains premium-only with nearly 15 million paying subscribers after one year on the market (users are allowed a limited free trial).  Spotify, which first started in 2007-8, has 30 million paying subscribers and far more troubling business model.

Regardless, Spotify has been steadfast in its commitment to free, largely based on the believe that it’s a critical first step towards premium.  “We believe our model supports profitability at scale,” the filing declared.  “We have already proven that we’ve created real value for our users, and we know that the more time people spend with our product, the more likely they are to become paying subscribers.”

Behind the scenes, Spotify leaders like CEO Daniel Ek are reportedly adamant about keeping free, despite potentially ruinous financial consequences.  “We believe we will generate substantial revenues as our reach expands and that, at scale, our margins will improve,” the filing continues.  “We will therefore continue to invest relentlessly in our product and marketing initiatives to accelerate reach.”

That effectively translates into a cash inferno, with everyone seemingly benefiting… except for artists, a group witnessing deteriorating per-stream revenues over the past few years.  According to the same filing, rank-and-file employees are enjoying sharply-rising salaries, with average compensation now surpassing $168,000 per year.  At the upper end, top executives and board members are pulling down north of $1.3 million a piece, with stock options potentially minting billionaires after a successful IPO.

That is, if Wall Street investors see a model with actual potential to scale.

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