17 May 2022 23:13

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Shweta Poojari has joined Disney +Hotstar as Head, Public Relations and Publicity. Poojari comes to Disney +Hotstar from Netflix.

Sharing the news on her LinkedIn profile,Shweta said, “After an incredible three-plus years at Netflix my exciting journey here comes to a close. My time at Netflix has been something that I will cherish forever. It was an honour to be a part of the team that set the wheels in motion for the brand in the country. I am grateful to have worked alongside some of the brightest minds in the business.I am now excited to start this next phase of my life with Disney+ Hotstar. Onwards and Upwards- here’s to telling more stories!”

Shweta has over a decade experience as a PR professional. Prior to Netflix, Shweta has worked with INOX, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Avian Media, Lowe Lintas and many more.She will be reporting into Siddharth Sakdher, Chief Marketing Officer of Disney Hostar India.

 

discovery+, India’s first aggregated real-life entertainment streaming app, today launched an informative and investigative docuseries ‘Dangals of Crime- The Untold Truth About Indian Wrestling’.

The new offering streaming exclusively on discovery+, is set to captivate audiences and fans by not only tracing the journey of the meteoric rise of the Olympic sport of Wrestling in India, but by also exploring in depth, the dark underbelly of crime often associated with it. Former wrestlers and coaches, eminent sports journalists,and law enforcement officials weigh in with their experiences, insights and memories, making the two-part ‘Dangals of Crime’ a thrilling watch for sports, crime and history genre audiences.

By far India’s most successful individual sport (seven medals) in terms of medals won at the Summer Olympics, wrestling’s popularity reached a crescendo after iconic wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt won three medals collectively across two successive Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). The docuseries, produced by Vice Studios Production and directed by award winning director Niyantha Shekar, showcases this journey towards success and highlights the deep-rooted akhada culture, strict discipline and the unparalleled devotion behind a champion wrestler. The series deep dives into two very important aspects, showcasing how the sport of wrestling on one hand has been instrumental in bringing sporting laurels for India, but also how it has been witness to some dark moments which overshadow it’s glorious journey and malign the sport and its athletes.

Megha Tata, Managing Director- South Asia, Discovery, Inc said, “Adhering to our brand promise of delivering the most compelling stories, we are excited to premiere this new investigative docuseries. ‘Dangals of Crime’ delves deep into the realms of wrestling, a sport that has churned out some of India’s greatest home grown champions. Reflecting on the sport in the most informative way, the discovery+ Original dissects every aspect of the making of a Pehelwan, coupled with its current realities and the crime related to it. It will surely leave our viewers thinking. The docuseries not only adds value to the ever-expanding content repertoire on discovery+ but also brings forth topical subjects to our platform. This is surely going to be a gripping watch.”

Among notable former coaches and wrestlers whose views find reflection in the documentary are such names as Satbir Singh, Virender Kumar, Anil Mann and Ramphal Mann, amongst others.The series goes deeper into the story that's not only been topical but also unpacks the storytelling for audiences with various perspectives, insights and revelations for all the ardent discovery followers.

Dangals of Crime- The Untold Truth About Indian Wrestling is streaming from today only on the discovery+ app.

Ackman's fund has purchased 3.1 million Netflix shares, valued at more than $1.1 billion

Billionaire investor William Ackman has built a new stake in streaming service Netflix Inc

Bill Ackman disclosed a new, billion-dollar bet on Netflix and released the following letter to its investors on Wednesday.

Dear Pershing Square Investor,

Beginning on Friday and over the last several days, we acquired more than 3.1 million shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), making us a top-20 shareholder in the company. The opportunity to acquire Netflix at an attractive valuation emerged when investors reacted negatively to the recent quarter’s subscriber growth and management’s short-term guidance. Netflix’s substantial stock price decline was further exacerbated by recent market volatility.

We have greatly admired Netflix both as consumers and as investors, but have never previously owned a stake in the company. Netflix is a primary beneficiary of the growth in streaming and the decline in linear TV driven by its superior customer experience, a vast and diverse amount of superb, constantly refreshed content, global improvements in bandwidth, and the proliferation and continuous improvement and convenience of devices on which one can watch.

Netflix’s business has highly favorable characteristics which include:

its subscription-based, highly recurring revenues, which have enormous future growth potential

a truly best-in-class management team and unique high-performance culture (consider Netflix’s remarkable pivot from DVD rental by mail, to video streaming, to becoming one of the greatest producers of beloved content ever)

economies of scale and superb quality in its industry-leading content, which should continue to drive future growth and widen the company’s powerful competitive moat

pricing power derived from the enormous value it delivers to consumers compared with other alternatives

substantial margin expansion, with the opportunity for continued improvement due to economies of scale and the company’s rapidly growing, global subscriber base

an improving free cash flow profile which should allow for continued investments in growth as well as the return of cash to shareholders

We began analyzing Netflix in connection with our investment in Universal Music Group, so we were prepared when the stock price declined sharply last Friday. Now with both UMG and Netflix, we are all-in on streaming as we love the business models, the industry contexts, and the management teams leading these remarkable organizations.

In order to fund our purchase of Netflix, beginning on Friday and over the last few days, we unwound the substantial majority of our interest rate hedge generating proceeds of $1.25 billion. We retained interest rate swaptions that are currently out-of-the-money, and also purchased some additional longer-dated, out-of-the-money swaptions. The result of all of the above is that the notional size of our interest rate hedge has been reduced by 80%, the term of a substantial portion of the hedge we retain has been extended, and our dollar investment in hedges has been reduced by more than 90%.

Had we not sold the hedge, we could have likely realized more gains based on the increase in rates, largely today, since our sale. That said, we believed the opportunity to invest in Netflix at current prices offered a more compelling risk/reward and likely greater, long-term profits for the funds.

We invest in hedges not to protect the funds from a short-term mark-to-market loss, but rather because they can become a large source of potential liquidity at precisely the time stocks become cheap. We invest in asymmetric hedges as they offer the opportunity for large gains without exposing the portfolio to meaningful losses in the event the potential risk does not transpire.

We invested in out-of-the-money interest rate swaptions in December 2020 and early 2021 because we believed that it was likely that the combination of aggressive fiscal policy, monetary policy, and the reopening of the economy due to vaccines would cause non-transitory inflation, which would require the Federal Reserve to raise rates. We believed that an unexpected rise in rates could cause a market correction. We viewed this outcome to be a likely one, yet the options we purchased implied that this scenario was very unlikely. Highly differentiated perspectives on future outcomes can yield attractive payoffs for investors, particularly when structured in an asymmetric format.

Fortunately, all of our portfolio companies are extremely high-quality businesses that can withstand inflation as they have the ability to price their highly desirable products, services, and assets to preserve their profitability in an inflationary environment. We do not believe that the recent move in rates has had any meaningful impact on our companies’ intrinsic values. As such, we believe that our portfolio companies trade at an even more material discount to their intrinsic values, particularly in light of recent, market-driven, price declines. While we do not know what the stock market will do tomorrow, next month or even over the next year or two, we believe that our companies will continue to compound their intrinsic values at high rates for the long term.

We are pleased to add Netflix to our portfolio. Many of our best investments have emerged when other investors whose time horizons are short term, discard great companies at prices that look extraordinarily attractive when one has a long-term horizon.

 

As part of #BannTakaTakWithNas, 50 handpicked creators across categories and regions are being trained by international experts to create high-quality content for Indian Audiences on MX TakaTak

India’s leading short video app, MX TakaTak has joined hands with the Nas Academy for the second consecutive year for the Creator Training Programme. Taking the initiative a notch higher, #BannTakaTakWithNas will see 50 handpicked influencers across multiple categories and regions being trained to create high-quality content by international experts. The month-long upskilling programme kick-started earlier this month and includes several interactive learning activities such as fellow meetings, contests, feedback sessions and one-on-one sessions from Nas Academy mentors, helping them understand all aspects of content creation. Equipped with the latest technology and the best teachers, Nas Academy was founded by Nuseir Yassin (Nas Daily), who is focused on building a technology infrastructure for creators like him.

#BannTakaTakWithNas is crafted to help participants grow as content creators and prepare them for tomorrow’s opportunities. It gives them a chance to acquire global industry knowledge from Internal Experts of the Nas Team as they cover multiple topics for becoming better creators and curating quality content. Participants are given a chance to share their knowledge and learnings with their counterparts and are also awarded a Nas Academy Alumni Certificate post the successful completion of the course. Key KOLs from MX TakaTak like Moni Kundu, who is known for creating comic videos, Nishi Singh known for making videos on popular songs and Trilok Kumar and Sayali, who are known for scene creation are also part of this programme.

As per the App Annie State of Mobile Report 2022, MX TakaTak ranks #2 in India in terms of Downloads in Social and ranked #5 amongst Top Apps & Game Companies of 2021 by Downloads. With consumers increasingly gravitated towards short-form video apps, the report states that creativity, creation and connection are at the core of growing interests in 2022 which is testimony to MX TakaTak’s vision of empowering its influencers and delivering engaging videos.

Janhavi Parikh - Business Head, MX TakaTak said, “At MX TakaTak, we follow a creator first approach and strongly believe that upskilling is the key to success in this digital content creation world that is constantly evolving. We are thrilled to partner with Nas Academy once again to deliver on this vision after a successful innings last year. This collaboration is an effort to train our creators on how to leverage their strengths to create compelling content and at the same time stay updated with industry trends.”

In the interview below, Scott Rose, Executive Director for New York Festivals Advertising Awards discusses his thoughts on NYF’s stance on not awarding NGO work, how this initiative came about and how NYF will continue to honor work that saves the world.


Q - Why did you initiate NYF’s Advertising Awards (NYFA) controversial stance on not awarding NGO work?

Scott Rose: We’re not tone deaf to the state of the world and are appreciative of, and often in awe of, the creative use of media to create awareness and catalyze positive action. We will celebrate that amazing work, we’re just not awarding it in our competition. We recognize that brand work constrains the creative team due to managing the client's brand image and appetite for bolder, more divisive ideas. This is why we've decided NYFA judges will only judge brand work that has to move people to move business.

Q - This is a gutsy move, who stands to benefit most from this position and why?

Scott Rose: I wouldn’t frame this as a case of “winner/loser” or finding an angle of “benefit” and “advantage” in the move for us or for any of our entrants. It’s about narrowing our focus. Every competition has its “voice” and goal of awarding as much great work, as possible. There’s a place for all of us, but to make things clear for our clients about who we are, we’ve decided to focus on the work creatives, agencies, and in-house agencies are creating for commerce under the confines of restrictions and limitation placed on them by the client.

I like going to Target or Walmart for the abundance of selection as much as anybody, but when I want handcrafted, elevated quality, I go into Manhattan and over to the specialty store where they do one specific thing with high care and craft. We organize competitions and build world class juries with high care and craft for work done to move business.  

Q - What does New York Festivals Advertising Awards hope to achieve with this initiative?

Scott Rose: There is no shortage of societal and global issues that need to be addressed and the people who have the megaphone and are steering the ship to tackle these issues are true heroes. But we're narrowing the competition's focus. With so much attention, rightfully, on societies’ issues, the ‘lift’ is even harder for brands, and we want to acknowledge that and make a fair lane for that work to compete.

The NYFA jury will be looking for the insight and creative execution that does the unexpected in telling important stories to build damn good brands and move the product which keeps the client happy and the economy churning.

Q: Will this initiative result in less entries and if so, how will the competition make up for the potential loss of income?

Scott Rose: We listen closely to our entrants and especially our Executive Jury Members about the state of the industry and we felt this was the right move for us and our entrants. Those same wonderful people have helped us carve out new lanes for the exciting, ever-changing landscape of advertising today. For 2022 we’ve launched The Future Now category group to shine the spotlight on work that uses technology to provide an innovative approach that leads to a more engaged consumer experience. New categories include Generative Creative, Altered Reality, Decentralized Tech, Best Innovation, and Crypto Product & Service Advertising. We’re also creating a separate lane for sub-50 person agencies to compete, as well as one that addresses the unique type of work for introducing a Start-up to the world. We’ll be continuing our partnership with the FQ/ANA for The See Her Lens Award and introducing a DE&I board which will be advising us as well as acting as a jury for three specialty awards, we’ll be announcing soon.

Q - What about creative work for brands created to help the world? Is there a place for them?

Scott Rose: Absolutely. Work that can move business and shine a light on a problem in society or effect change is in a league of its own, which is why we created a lane of its own in NYFA 2022, as well. The category group is called PUPOSE. I think that says it all.  

I mentioned earlier that we will still be “celebrating” NGO work, just not awarding it with our jury. This is where our continued partnership with the incredible, philanthropic organization the G100, and the G100 category group comes into play. And before anyone calls us hypocrites, all the G100 work will judged by three of that organizations “Geniuses”, and the entry fees will be donated to The Himalayan Cataract Project.  There will be a showcase of all of the G100 entries to celebrate the wonderful creativity being done in the NGO space.

Q - What sort of feedback have you heard?

Scott Rose: 2021’s Executive Jury President, Ralf Heuel, CCO &Partner, Grabarz & Partner, Germany commented:“What a great and bold initiative. I can't tell you how proud I am of the NYF. This is really a great signal to the industry. It will lead us to look at what we really are and what we are capable of doing. And to be proud of it.  And it's not going to continue to channel the energies of agencies into a parallel universe where there's anything to be won by whatever-it-is for this planet. And that's why it will make advertising better. More credible. More truthful. Because creative brands will take their cues from other creative brands again.”

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