Media consolidation is here. So who are the next big targets? You probably know some names. But what about real growth -- say five or 10 years from now?
High on the current media list is CBS, at least according to one senior research analyst -- Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research. CBS would be a perfect fit for Amazon, he says, which seems to be lagging somewhat against Netflix and Hulu, at least when it comes to weekly usage.
CBS, as a big content premium video content provider, would be a good bet. And some believe with traditional media stocks underperforming, it also could be had for a good price. At the same time, one might also include its former sister company, Viacom, in the mix of possible candidates for sale.
Even before the current wave of media merger or announced mergers/deals -- AT&T-Time Warner; Walt Disney-Fox; and Sinclair Broadcast Group/Tribune Media -- the majority owner of both CBS and Viacom, National Amusements, has been looking for ways to put those companies back together for a long time.
Many cable-network centric companies, like Viacom, might appear to be even under more duress -- due to lower ad sales, and difficulties in getting on new vMVPD providers.
AMC Networks could also be included in the list of possible media targets.
That said, traditional media consolidation is just short-term thinking. The long-term? Many speculated that Walt Disney, for example, would be smarter to pursue new digital video provider Netflix. (That said, controlling Hulu with a deal from Fox would give it a bigger digital video play.)
One has to figure that Apple or Facebook -- companies outside the legacy media framework -- might consider more vertical moves, such as buying traditional media for their existing TV-movie content making companies.
But maybe not. New digital media -- and platforms -- seem more find likely to find ways to create content -- following the Netflix model and hiring away big TV network talent like Shonda Rhimes or Ryan Murphy, for hundreds of millions of dollars.
So Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and maybe even Spotify, have some decisions to make.
And those decisions may result in media consolidation. Legacy media consolidation may be an idea that has seen better days.