Liontree CEO Aryeh Bourkoff explains entertainment consolidation – The Hollywood Reporter

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Merger of WarnerMedia with Discovery. Acquisition of MGM by Amazon. Sinclair’s fundraising to launch a streaming sports campaign directly to consumers.

All of these agreements are essential parts of a rapidly evolving and consolidating entertainment and media industry. And it turns out that a boutique investment bank, LionTree, has been an advisor on all of these deals.

LionTree founder and CEO Aryeh Bourkoff explained his thoughts on the state of technology, entertainment and media at the Tribeca X conference in New York on Friday.

“The consumer has a lot of power,” Bourkoff said. “This is the phenomenon of the direct-to-consumer landscape we all live in. “

“If the consumer doesn’t like your product, it will fall apart. And the churn rates are getting higher and higher, ”he added,“ It’s not just Amazon’s game anymore.

And so, says Bourkoff, companies are increasingly choosing to go on the offensive.

“It frustrates conventional industries to play defense,” Bourkoff said. “In order to go on the offensive in a digitized environment directly to the consumer … you must regain financial flexibility to get back on your feet, to reorient your capital structure.”

“If you’re going to compete with Amazon, it’s not for the faint of heart,” he added, noting that the breach for some companies means making a “big pivot” like Netflix did when it was. switched to streaming first.

“Amazon, if it still offered books today, and that’s it, people would turn away from it,” he said. “Businesses have to evolve. I think you will see a lot more companies that offer products directly to consumers, like Spotify or Netflix, offering more and more services, ”he added, giving the example of Netflix which is launching into the games.

Bourkoff, who said he made many face-to-face deals during the pandemic creating a “safe space” for negotiation, said it became clear from the start of the pandemic that different types of businesses would have different needs. .

“Companies with a lot of money, like tech companies, knew they were going to go on the offensive,” he said. “Other businesses that were too small, too independent needed more scale, and other businesses that needed cash, we would help them find capital. “

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