Cinedigm Corp. (NASDAQ:CIDM) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript - Yahoo Finance
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Cinedigm Corp. (NASDAQ:CIDM) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript - Yahoo Finance

Cinedigm Corp. (NASDAQ:CIDM) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 15, 2022
Cinedigm Corp. reports earnings inline with expectations. Reported EPS is $-0.03 EPS, expectations were $-0.03.
Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Today, we are hosting our Conference Call to discuss Cinedigm’s Fiscal 2023 First (sic) Quarter Results. My name is Adam, and I will be your conference operator. Currently, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will have a question-and-answer session at the end of the call. Please note that this call is being recorded. Your host for today is Gary Loffredo, COO and General Counsel. Please go ahead.
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Gary Loffredo: Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to Cinedigm’s fiscal 2023 second quarter results conference call. Before we begin, I would like to point out certain statements made on today’s call contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The company’s periodic reports that are filed with the SEC described potential risks and uncertainties that could cause the company’s business and financial results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements. All of the information discussed on this call is as of today, November 15, and Cinedigm undertakes no duty to update it. In addition, certain financial information presented on this call represents non-GAAP financial measures and we encourage you to read our disclosures and the reconciliation tables applicable to GAAP measures in our earnings release carefully as you consider these metrics.
I am Gary Loffredo, President, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Cinedigm. With me today are Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO; John Canning, Chief Financial Officer; Yolanda Macias, Chief Content Officer; Erick Opeka, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Cinedigm Networks; and Tony Huidor, Chief Technology and Product Officer. All of whom will be available for questions following the prepared remarks. I will now turn the call over to Chris McGurk to begin.
Chris McGurk: Thank you, Gary, and welcome, everyone, and thanks for joining us on the call today. Before getting into a recap of our strong Q2 2003 (sic) performance, which was led once again by record streaming advertising revenues, I’d like to start off by addressing the recent outstanding success of what we call our 360-degree business and promotional approach to horror, which is the hottest genre in entertainment today. Cinedigm has always been a leading distributor of core content and as the category continued to outperform in the last couple of years, we saw an opportunity to take advantage of that trend even further, particularly in streaming, where horror content is still underrepresented and fans are still being underserved.
So in 2021, we acquired Bloody Disgusting. the biggest name in online horror with millions of followers. And then we acquired the Screambox horror streaming channel to further consolidate our position in that lucrative genre. And just over a year later, those investments are now paying off big return. As you have certainly read out over the past month, our acquisition and release of the very low budget and artfully crafted MD phenomenon Terrifier 2 has led to an unprecedented successful box office run and an incredible amount of buzz around the film and its iconic central character Art the Clown. Critically acclaimed and the best reviewed horror movie in years, Terrifier 2has generated more than $10 million at the domestic box office, despite virtually no traditional release marketing effort, increasing its box office for three straight weekends, which almost never happens with a wide release.
As the film became a viral phenomenon in large part due to our extremely affected PR and social media marketing efforts via Bloody Disgusting. The New York Times allotted the film in our viral marketing efforts, calling it, quote, an unexpected and unlikely hit with a little horror movie that could. Forbes was amazed that the film would likely, quote, outperform most of this year’s designated award season releases and Yahoo! News called it, quote, the Sleeper Horror Hit of the Season. Released on October 6th, none of Terrifier 2success is reflected in this second quarter earnings report as the financial upside from the film will begin to be reported in our next fiscal quarter and beyond. However, I am focusing on this success now, because it clearly underscores Cinedigm’s winning business strategy in regard to enthusiast fan bases and streaming content in general.
Here’s how we are leveraging the norm across our business. While still in theaters on Halloween, we also launched Terrifier 2 on our Screambox, horror streaming channel, fueled by continued heavy viral marketing by Bloody Disgusting, the film has already driven increased traffic on Screambox of more than 250%, with subscriptions up more than 295% compared to the channel’s previous high month. On November 11th, we also released the film onto Transactional VOD across a wide footprint that includes Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Microsoft and Red Box, where it is performing extremely well and exceeding our expectations. In December, we are shipping the film in DVD and Blu-ray of Walmart and Best Buy, among many other outlets. And then after that, it will be available for additional licensing to streaming and other platforms.
We are also considering other ancillary options to support and extend the film, including graphic novels, podcasts, additional editorial, documentaries, television, NFTs and potential rerelease into theatrical. All this activity across the entire entertainment spectrum is what our 360-degree approach to horror is all about, leveraging our capabilities in marketing, viral promotion and distribution across virtually every distribution channel in the ancillary market, not just in streaming, but on traditional platforms as well. This gives horror enthusiasts the content they want, when and where they want it, in a way, most of our competitors cannot do because they lack our reach, our assets and our acumen in the genre. While we will report a more accurate assessment of the film’s upside impact on our results in our next quarterly earnings report in February 2023, the tremendous success of Terrifier 2 has clearly made a compelling statement about Cinedigm’s leadership and capabilities in the lucrative horror space and we believe this will lead to more breakout titles in the future.
And beyond the horror genre, we are absolutely committed to bringing this 360-degree approach to our other enthusiast genres where we have the same capabilities, including Asian content, anime and family content. Before I move off of Terrifier 2, I would like to commend Damien Leone, the multitalented creative force behind the film for having the scale and perseverance to create this film and then turn it into such a tremendous artistic, critically acclaimed and commercial success. Leone’s production partners and the entire cast and crew on the movie epitomized the true essence of independent film making and everyone at Cinedigm is extremely proud to be associated with their film. Now on to our second quarter. Our results in the quarter underscore once again how Cinedigm continues to perform very strongly from a financial standpoint in contrast to many other players in our sector who have faced some headwinds due in large part to their single channel and/or single revenue model strategies and lack of presence in the fast-growing advertising supported and FAST businesses.
We have a diversified business model that captures revenue streams across the entire entertainment business spectrum, subscriptions, advertising, software-as-a-service, content aggregation, content licensing and releasing. That sets us apart from our competitors and is driving great results. In what is seasonally our slowest quarter, the second quarter, we increased consolidated revenue by 39% compared with the previous year quarter, grew total streaming revenue by 78%, grew ad revenues 102%, our 10th straight quarter of record ad revenue growth and we increased our paid subscriber count by 48% over the prior year quarter to 1.06 million subscribers. Our revenue and net income results exceeded the average expectations of the analysts who follow the company and exceeded our own internal expectations.
Now we generated these stellar results because Cinedigm’s extraordinary executive team is delivering exactly what we have promised, having now rolled up seven streaming content and channel acquisitions, including the aforementioned Bloody Disgusting and Screambox, expanding our enthusiast channel portfolio to 30 channels, building our content library into one of the largest modern streaming libraries in the world with over 50,000 films and TV titles, and leveraging our highly automated proprietary Matchpoint distribution platform across multiple revenue streams. John will cover our financial results in more detail and Erick will delve into the early success of our key business initiatives that we launched this year to further drive the business forward, including Cineverse, our flagship channel that debuted in September with several streaming channels and thousands of hours of content across multiple genres.
Cineverse is the key initiative that will drive home our goal to become the Spotify of independent streaming video content. We are very well positioned across our streaming, technology and content licensing businesses heading into our seasonally best two quarters of the year. And with the success of our horror strategy and Terrifier 2 included as an additional kicker to our results, we expect to report very strong performance in the next two fiscal quarters and significant topline growth for the full year as we move closer to our goal of sustainably positive cash flow and profits. And with that, let me turn it over to John for a more detailed review of our financial results.
John Canning: Thank you, Chris, and good day, everybody. I will touch on a few second quarter highlights, then I will update you on our outlook for the year. Before I begin, I want to reiterate that our Q2 results reported today do not reflect any of the tremendous success of Terrifier 2, which we look forward to sharing with you on our next earnings call regarding Q3 results in February. While we have previously laid out our aggressive year-over-year revenue growth and sustainable profitability expectations, we continue to stand by our intention to achieve those objectives and are making great progress on all fronts. Our key second quarter financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2022, include, consolidated revenue of $14.0 million, compared to $10.1 million in the prior year quarter, an increase of 39%.
Total streaming revenue increased 78% to $8 million, driven by another record increase in ad-supported revenue of 102% and a 38% increase in subscription revenue over the prior year quarter. Erick will get into the drivers for this increase in his comments. Overall content and entertainment revenue was $11.4 million in the quarter and grew by 66% over the prior year quarter. This was driven by organic user growth, increasing market demand for Cinedigm’s extensive connected television ad inventory and the launch of new streaming channels versus the prior year period. Similar to last quarter, in Q2, Cinedigm once again delivered total revenue on all component revenues, which exceed our own internal growth plans for the quarter. Our adjusted EBITDA was negative $1.3 million in the current year quarter, compared to a positive adjusted EBITDA of $0.7 million in the prior year quarter, due to a decrease in legacy Digital Cinema system sales and eligible VPF systems as we winds down that legacy business, as well as higher direct and SG&A costs immediately following Q1 acquisition activity.
While our M&A strategy implicitly involves capitalizing on synergies in both revenue generation and cost savings, realizing these synergies typically lags a quarter or two. Net loss was $5.8 million or $0.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $300,000 or $0.3 million or zero dollars per share in the prior year quarter. This was also driven by the reduction in legacy Digital Cinema equipment sales and additionally included a non-operating charge of $0.6 million for the company’s investment in A Metaverse Company, formerly known as Starrise Media Holdings Limited, as well as the previously mentioned increased direct and SG&A costs immediately following that Q1 acquisition activity. Our balance sheet remains very strong with just under $10 million in cash and our only debt is a small revolving working capital facility we just took on to provide additional dry powder for key content acquisitions like the aforementioned Terrifier 2.
While we continue to monetize the remaining Digital Cinema assets, as we showed with great success in our most recent fiscal year results, we will continue to emphasize the importance of looking at our overall results, unencumbered by the Digital Cinema business as it nears this end of life. Despite the Digital Cinema wind down, we fully expect to generate substantial full year total revenue growth for the company this year versus last year, where our consolidated revenues were $56.1 million, up 78% over the prior year. On our last earnings call, at the end of June, we highlighted that our annual streaming revenue more than doubled in our fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 and we expect that streaming growth engine to continue to produce 50% plus year-over-year annual growth for the foreseeable future, especially given our related updated growth initiatives, which Erick will discuss.
Our M&A-driven synergistic expectations both topline and bottomline and streamlining initiatives are already starting to produce benefits. As both Chris and I have stated previously, we stand by our intention to achieve $7.5 million in annual cost savings in the coming several quarters. With that, I will hand it off to Erick.
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Erick Opeka: Thank you, John, and thanks for everyone for joining the call today. Before I discuss the significant progress we made during the quarter on our business objectives, I wanted to spend a few minutes clarifying Cinedigm’s strategic thinking in our long-term position in the market versus our peers. The promise of digital delivery of media so far has been a boom for consumer access to content. It revolulize — revolutionize news and information access 25 years ago and it changed the music industry forever 15 years ago. Today, for example, you can subscribe to several different music streaming services and have access to more than 80 million tracks and more than 5 million podcast episodes. For a while, it seemed video content will be moving in that direction.
We, as a company, were there at the beginning of the streaming revolution that began with Apple nearly 14 years ago and helped build some of the biggest companies in the business like Netflix, Amazon Prime and more, delivering tens of thousands of those hours to those services. But today, video streaming has move — is mostly moving away from these broad access models like Spotify and instead moving towards massive tentpole movies, billion-dollar series Extravaganzas and a shift back towards the Dreaded Bundle. Our research has shown that major streaming services have simultaneously cut the size of their third-party library significantly, while at the same time, having increased prices by up to 66% over the same period. If you think shrinkflation is bad when it comes to consumer goods, the major streamers have the beat, users can look forward to less content, bundles that you didn’t ask for at rapidly rising prices.
It will make the old cable model look downright attractive. The fact we find most telling, and frankly, surprising is the top 10 streaming services account for just 4% of available films and series. Shockingly, 96% of all content ever made is just not readily available to consumers. This just isn’t a quandary or peculiar fact. We look at it as not only a business problem but a cultural one. The world’s rich motion picture cultural heritage is at stake, and if the moves by the biggest players or any indication, it’s going to get even worse. At Cinedigm, we are looking at the world differently. Since we began in streaming, our focus has always been on enthusiast services, those that are vehemently passionate about a given topic genre or style of media.
When we began on this journey, we started launching specialized channels to help fans stream their passions with more than 30 channels and over 50,000 hours of movies and shows, we are now entertaining over 80 million people a month and most of them at very low or no cost. Fans love this model has exemplified this month by our successful release of Terrifier 2. We are providing access to films that speak to our audience passions, whether they be uncompromising horror, truth speaking documentaries or emerging talent right for discovery. And this is where Cineverse fits into the mix. What if we took that 96% of film intelligent shows and made them all broadly available, but under that same enthusiast ethos that I described. Well, that is our vision as a company, to build Cineverse into the Spotify or dare we say Google of video streaming.
Our goal is to make as much of the world’s content available to everyone with a focus on celebrating entertainment culture and you, the fans. Long-term, that means gathering hundreds of thousands of hours of programming and then providing the world’s best curation alongside the world’s best next-generation search tools and recommendations. Ultimately, we want you and your peers to have fun streaming your passions instead of pulling your hair out every time you search for something. But beyond being a potentially great business, there are some even bigger things at stake if we succeed at this mission, the democratization of access to media, empowering creators, sharing diverse voices and preserving the world’s cultural media heritage. We, as a company, are up to the task and we hope as investors are ready to join us on this mission as well.
Now let me tell you how we took our first steps on this journey beginning this quarter. First, we launched the 2.0 version of Matchpoint, our company’s proprietary streaming operating system as the backbone that does everything that I just described, much like Major League Baseball’s MLBAM, which became the backbone of Disney streaming, Matchpoint 2.0 powers the entire streaming stack from content management, streaming apps, delivery, analytics, reporting and other critical operating tasks. Our new framework is designed to be highly scalable to meet the future growth needs of our ambitions I just described and we are currently moving every single service and every piece of content we have and have acquired onto the platform. Next, we launched Cineverse on September 15th and while in its early stages, we have launched tens of thousands titles across every genre and along with more than 30 linear channels.
We expect to rapidly scale this service over the coming quarters and we have already signed more than 18,000 hours of additional films and series. We expect to be making big announcements soon about distribution, content and new features and capabilities in the coming weeks and months. A big part of Cineverse is the continued support of all of our enthusiast verticals, which in addition to being robust standalone businesses are also core verticals within the Cineverse apps as well. During the quarter, we expanded distribution with key partners, including DISH Network Sling TV, Amazon Freevee and top out-of-home network Atmosphere. Additionally, we expanded our channels onto several streaming television providers, including new deals with Philo and Fubo.
We also struck the first-ever carriage deal for Cineverse on Vidgo, another fast-growing virtual television provider. We expect many more of these sorts of deals in the coming quarters to grow the business. Next, we continue to expand Cinedigm’s direct ad sales business through our new Cinedigm Ad Solutions group, having made several key hires who are already actively selling this quarter. Our Ad Solutions team have also fully reengineered the ad tech stack, which led to record performance in the quarter. Increasingly, we are being sought out to monetize third-party partners have been expanding that business in earnest since embarking on it in the current quarter. To-date, as evidenced by our results, we have not seen the same softness in ad revenues as seen by some other streamers.
While we are obviously not immune to the macroeconomic conditions in the marketplace, we think a rapidly scaling distribution base, improved monetization and economic growth of the third-party ad sales and our position earlier in the growth curve than our peers could mean a much smaller impact of any macro ad business downturn. Finally, I wanted to mention the significant growth of our podcasting business. Over the quarter, we expanded our total show count to 30 unique podcast series in greenlit several critical shows that launched after quarter end. Most importantly, Mayfair Watcher Society, which rose to number two on the Fiction Podcast Charts and number 50 overall on Spotify last month. We view this business as not only a revenue driver, but also a significant test bed for IP that can be up level to movies and shows and distributed broadly.
We also look at this as a major base of future monetization as we expand into adjacent verticals like e-books and audio books, leveraging the vast IP and IP relationships within the Cinedigm library. All this additional distribution expansion of ad efforts led to outstanding performance in the quarter on our key business performance indicators. Total streaming minutes in the quarter rose to approximately $2.17 billion, up 78% over the prior year quarter. Our total ad-supported streaming audience, including web, mobile, social and connected TV increased to approximately 81.9 million average monthly viewers, up 149% over the prior year quarter. Total subscribers to the company’s subscription video streaming services increased to approximately 1060,000 , representing an increase of 48% over the prior year quarter.
And last, we achieved the $20 million social media subscriber milestone during the quarter and launched the company’s first social content partnership with Snapchat. We think that $20 million — 20 million member number is significant because of the impact it has on driving attention awareness for feature film releases as you saw with Terrifier 2. And then, lastly, we grew our cumulative podcast downloads to over 66 million downloads to-date and are in talks to potentially expand the IP of that with major partners. So, overall, we put up strong KPI performance despite what has traditionally been the slow quarter for us. Looking forward with the tailwinds of Terrifier 2, expanded distribution and a traditionally strong third quarter, we remain excited for both the near-term and long-term prospects for our streaming business.
With that, let me turn things over to the Operator to take your questions.
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