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經濟學人:6500億美元的狂歡--美國娛樂業投資熱潮(4)

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Many booms turn to bust. Unlike, say, WeWork, most entertainment firms have a plausible strategy, but too much cash is now chasing eyeballs. Netflix is burning $3bn a year and would need to raise prices by 15% to break even—tricky when there are over 30 rival services. It hopes that its fast-growing international markets will create economies of scale. As well as saturation, the other danger is debt. Deals and high spending have caused American media firms to build up $500bn of borrowing.

許多繁榮變成了蕭條。與WeWork不同的是,大多數娛樂公司都有一個看似合理的策略,但現在太多的資金都在吸引眼球。Netflix每年要燒錢30億美元,而且需要將價格提高15%才能實現收支平衡——在競爭對手超過30家的情況下,這是一個棘手的問題。Netflix希望快速增長的國際市場能夠創造規模經濟。除了飽和,另一個危險是債務。交易和高支出導致美國媒體公司積累了5000億美元的借款。
When the shake-out comes, history offers two dispiriting examples of how a consumerfriendly boom can turn into a stitch-up. Telecoms and airlines in America saw a riot of competition in the 1990s only to become financially stretched and then reconsolidated into oligopolies that are known today for poor service and high prices.
當經濟衰退來臨時,歷史提供了兩個令人沮喪的例子,說明了消費友好型的繁榮如何轉變為一種彌補。20世紀90年代,美國的電信和航空公司經歷了一場激烈的競爭,結果財務吃緊,然后又重新合并,形成了如今以服務差、價格高而聞名的寡頭壟斷。

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This is why government has a role in keeping the entertainment business competitive. First, it should prevent any firm— including the tech giants—from acquiring a dominant share in the content business. Second, it should require the companies that own the gateways to content, such as telecoms firms or handset providers such as Apple that can control what screens show—to have an open-access policy and not discriminate against particular content firms. Last, it should make sure subscribers can m ove their personal data from one firm to another, so they do not become locked in to one service.

這就是為什么政府要在保持娛樂業競爭力方面發揮作用。首先,它應該阻止任何公司——包括科技巨頭——獲得內容業務的主導份額。其次,它應該要求擁有內容門戶的公司(如電信公司或蘋果等能夠控制屏幕顯示內容的手機供應商)擁有開放訪問政策,且不得歧視特定內容公司。最后,它應該確保用戶可以將他們的個人數據從一個公司轉移到另一個公司,這樣他們就不會被鎖定在一個服務上。
Don’t lose the plot
別搞砸了
Few people look to Hollywood for economics lessons. But the entertainment epic has featured vibrant capital markets. Buy-out firms, stockmarkets and junk bonds have all financed the industry’s reinvention. The stars have been billionaire entrepreneurs such as Reed Hastings, Netflix’s boss. And open borders have set the scene, since talent comes from around the world and a majority of streaming subscribers now live outside America. Across the economy, these elements are at risk as politicians and voters veer away from open trade and free markets. For a reminder of why they matter, turn on your screen and press play.
很少有人向好萊塢學習經濟學。但這部娛樂史詩片的特色是充滿活力的資本市場。收購公司、股票市場和垃圾債券都為該行業的再創造提供了資金。這些明星都是億萬富翁企業家,比如Netflix的老板里德•哈斯廷斯。開放的邊界已經奠定了基礎,因為人才來自世界各地,大多數流媒體用戶現在住在美國以外的地方。在整個經濟中,隨著政客和選民逐漸遠離開放貿易和自由市場,這些因素正面臨風險。為了提醒你它們為什么重要,打開你的屏幕并按播放鍵。

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