Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Business

Spotlight Liberty Media: Driving to Survive


Liberty Media owns interests in a variety of media, communications, and entertainment companies. Rather than tracking the whole firm’s performance as one, three separate tracking stocks follow the individual performance of the firm’s three separate groups.

These include, first, Liberty SiriusXM Group, consisting of interests in SiriusXM, Pandora and Live Nation (the world’s largest entertainment company and parent of the former Ticketmaster).

Second, the Formula One Group holds the rights to the world’s most prestigious racing competition, the FIA Formula One World Championship. Founded in 1950, the race runs from March to November, spanning 23 races in 21 countries across five continents.

The third group under the Liberty Media umbrella is the Braves Group, indirect owner of the Atlanta Braves club and Braves Holdings.

Credit: Liberty Media, Formula One and Netflix

Liberty’s innovation strategy, however, is consistent across all groups. It aims to build on existing brand loyalty by creating new, exciting opportunities to consume entertainment. For example, the Braves Group is nearing completion on an extensive real estate complex in Atlanta.

Over in the Liberty SiriusXM Group, last year the team hired away the chief architect of Disney Plus and since has announced a non-stop stream of celebrity content. Just this summer, the group announced a new sports documentary series featuring, among others, Venus and Serena Williams, new NFL and college football broadcasting agreements, live events with Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlisle, Halsey and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a comedy series entitled, “The Rubber Room.”  Much of this activity aims to promote the popular “Stitcher” platform, SiriusXM’s free tool for launching and monetizing podcasts.

Stitcher, credit SiriusXM

In the Formula One Group, momentum is even more visible as the “Pinnacle of Motorsport” has become the fastest growing major sports league on the planet with half a billion fans. The group credits breakthrough brand investments like the Netflix series, “Drive to Survive,” now in its fourth season and recognized as the first of a new genre of unscripted sports content. How does a show impact brand loyalty? Liberty says 73% of US viewers indicate they are more interested in Formula 1 after watching. But this group’s innovation engine doesn’t stop there. Have spent the last few years drawing new technology partners to the field, Formula 1 expects to unveil a hybrid engine running mainly on sustainable fuels in the 2026 series.

Based in Englewood, Colorado, Liberty Media was formed in 1991 as a spinoff of Tele-Communications Inc. by John C. Malone who remains chairman today.

As of 6/30/22, Liberty Media and Netflix were not held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

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