The house of mouse are planning to boost its content budget throughout 2022 by a mere $8 billion as it ramps up production to entice more subscribers to Disney+ across the globe.

The Disney fiscal year began in Oct 2021 and will see them boost spending from $25 billion the year prior. How does this stack up against competitors? Well, Netflix have allocated $14 billion, while incoming WarnerMedia CEO David Zaslav has earmarked $20 billion.

But before you assume all of that money is going to be spent on a Marvel superhero tights budget or Star Wars sound effects to enhance all of the pew-pew-pew sounds of Tie Fighters, know that Disney does control ESPN and the cost of live sports is rapidly increasing. Disney has some long-term rights it needs to sign.

Which isn't to say Disney will be short on scripted content:

Disney’s Studios division plans to release some 50 titles for theatrical release and on its direct-to-consumer platforms, while its General Entertainment division plans to produce or commission 60 unscripted series, 30 comedy series, 25 drama series, 15 docuseries/limited series, 10 animated series and 5 made for TV movies in fiscal 2022.
Disney Plans to Spend $33B on Content Next Year
Disney says it will spend $8B more on content in 2022 than 2021, mostly on shows and movies for its streaming platforms.

Interested in ruining Squid Game for yourself?

One of the things I found most compelling about Squid Game was how tactile it all felt. I was impressed at the way that the show used practical special effects to create some interesting set pieces, like the glass bridge and that Escher-style set of staircases...

Well, apparently I got fooled. Squid Game used SO MUCH CGI. Here's a video from Squid Game CG supervisor Hyungrok Kim:

ABC 2022 upfronts

Aussie public broadcaster ABC announced its 2022 slate this year with a very public livestream. I think it is great that the government broadcaster opened up the event beyond just media and commercial partners - it delivers greater transparency and helps drive interest in content the public are paying for.

Highlights include prequel series Mystery Road: Origin, a second season of the very funny comedy Fisk, 70s-set surfing drama Barons, and a murder-mystery Savage River.

I do question Troppo, a North-Queensland set cop thriller that was announced back in August. It's a US co-pro starring Nicole Chamoun - an actress who should be on your radar (she's fantastic), and US actor Thomas Jane. I really like Thomas Jane, but I do question why the Australian public broadcaster is spending money that is supposed to be used to tell stories about Australians for Australians on a series with an American lead? It's not the first time we've seen it happen. And it probably won't be the last. But it's a practice that probably should come to an end.

ABC Upfront 2022: All new and returning shows - Mediaweek
The 2022 ABC Upfront was held on Thursday, November 25th, and saw a huge slate of new and returning content announced for next year.

Spotify embraces its inner TikTok with scrolling video

An interesting feature rolling out via Spotify - a new Discover tab on mobile devices which allows users to vertically scroll and discover music videos. But don't get too excited when I say they're music videos - it's the short, low-res Canvas videos that some artists have playing on screen for their songs.

While some would argue that the short bursts of video can be considered the modern day music video, it would be cool to see Spotify use this as a way for traditional-style music videos to take on new life. As a form they have been made redundant as the kids move away from linear TV viewing.

I don't know that music videos makes a lot of sense for mobile video, but they would bring a greater sense of purpose to the Spotify connected TV apps.

Spotify tests a TikTok-like vertical video feed in its app – TechCrunch
TikTok has seen its short-form video feed copied by a host of competitors, from Instagram to Snap to YouTube and even Netflix. Now it looks like you can add Spotify to that list. The company has confirmed it’s currently testing a new feature in its app, Discover, which presents a vertical fee…

TeeVee Snacks

  • UK regulator Ofcom has given BBC3 the greenlight to return as a broadcast channel. Read: Radio Times
  • The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers revival has been set up at Netflix. Read: Deadline

Trailer Park

The final season of This Is Us debuts on NBC Jan 4.

Bump returns Dec 26 on Stan.

What's next? Tomorrow.