Social Media Data Shows Discovery Communications Taking A Big Hit
It’s no secret that traditional cable TV networks have been under tremendous pressure from streaming “cord-cutter" competition like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) for years now. Despite Discovery Communications Inc (NASDAQ: DISCA)’s relatively stable revenues, the latest data from TickerTags could be an indication of further subscription weakness ahead for Discovery.
TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.
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Organic social media mentions of Discovery’s top three U.S. channels, Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, are down 51 percent, 48 percent and 47 percent, respectively, in 2016. So far in Q3, the trends are still headed in the wrong direction, with social media conversations related to the three channels down between 30 and 51 percent compared to Q3 of 2015.
While social media conversations are not directly tied to network viewership, it is a key measurement of consumer interest in a brand.
In Q2, year-over-year social media mentions of Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet were down 34 percent, 55 percent and 40 percent Y/Y, respectively. At the same time, Discovery reported a Q2 Y/Y U.S. Networks revenue increase of 8 percent. On the surface, that number seems solid, but management indicated that a fee increase helped to offset declining subscriptions in Q2.
With Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet collectively representing 51 percent of the company’s total consolidated revenue so far in 2016, the social media data for Q3 is not painting a pretty picture ahead of its next quarterly earnings report.
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