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September 9, 2015

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: September 4, 2015

Happy Friday everyone, 

I have been writing these weekly reports for about five and a half years now and I remember clearly many weeks in which the inclusion of a story about Netflix or Amazon or digital distribution in general made me feel a little avant garde. Not so long ago I viewed these stories as a way to help Ontario stakeholders keep tabs on an interesting phenomenon, the implications of which were murky and likely a long ways off.

What a difference three or four years makes. When vetting stories for this week's report, I realized that nearly all of them concerned digital distribution and the ways in which it was changing the way content is consumed. It is truly sobering to consider how quickly the outliers have become the leaders in an industry that remained unchanged for so many years.

The Los Angeles Times this week examined industry chatter around Apple's possible plans to get into the original content game. As detailed below, the company, which has amassed an estimated $200 billion in cash, has held early talks with major entertainment industry players in recent weeks, which could signal the beginnings of a move to put Apple in head-to-head competition with streaming companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, as well as more entrenched media titans like ABC and HBO.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-apple-hollywood-20150902-story.html

Variety this week published an interesting interview with Netflix's Ted Sarandos in which he discussed the company's foray into feature films. As reported below, when Sarandos was asked about how Netflix would affect traditional theatrical windows he replied, "When a consumer is telling you what they want and you don’t listen, you’re going to be out of business. I think consumers are saying they would like the option of watching movies at home." 
http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/ted-sarandos-netflix-beasts-of-no-nation-adam-sandler-1201582390/

This week's Time magazine featured an exhaustive profile of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who clearly seems to have found her way into the hearts and minds of the next generation. The article notes that a 2014 survey found that 66% of children ages 6 to 12 visit YouTube daily, including 72% of 6-to-8-year-olds.
http://time.com/4012832/meet-youtubes-view-master/

Despite all the reports that younger people are shunning traditional media in favor of streaming services, video games and digital entertainment, the L.A. Times reported this week that Hollywood is on track to post one of its strongest summers ever at the box office.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-box-office-summer-20150902-story.html

Finally this week, this recent column in the Los Angeles Times isn't strictly related to Ontario's screen-based industries, but it generated a lot of reader interest and I found its perspective fascinating. Writer Doyle McManus lauded "The Hip Dullness of Canadian Politics".
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0830-mcmanus-canadian-election-20150830-column.html

You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

Have a safe and fun Labour Day weekend!

Warmest regards,

Kelly

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