Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Will an Ad Recovery Pass Viacom By?

sunshine-cloudHard to tell how much of the modest ad recovery we’re hearing about is real versus hoped for. But analyst Richard Greenfield says that either way, Viacom (VIA) won’t be getting a boost.

The Pali Capital researcher has rethought his prediction for Viacom’s 2010 U.S. ad sales and now says they’ll drop by three percent. He previously estimated an increase of two percent.

His logic is straightforward: The cable network conglomerate (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, etc.) has had a hard time hanging onto viewers, and advertisers are following suit. Greenfield:

The risk to our estimates has increased substantially… particularly with Viacom’s ratings remaining mostly down year-over-year during Q3 qtr-to-date… If Viacom is able to turn its ratings positive over the next couple of quarters and the economic rebound begins to meaningfully impact cable network industry ad spending, Viacom could conceivably grow ad revs in calendar 2010 (as we had been forecasting), however, that feels aggressive.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work