Oatly stumble, art collectors’ Christmas and Star Trek fans vs Paramount Plus

Planet Business: It’s a streaming service, Jim, but not as we know it

Image of the week: Oh, Vienna

This image of the annual Christmas market outside Vienna's city hall is festive all round: the arch of lights, the Frohe Weihnachten sign, the neo-Gothic architecture, the ad for Adele's new album (it's in there, left of the tree). The people waiting for non-blurry transport in the Austrian capital earlier this week will likely already be vaccinated against Covid-19, as if they weren't and they bumped into police doing routine checks, they could have been fined €500-€3,600. Austria began a "lockdown for the unvaccinated" last Monday to deal with a surge in cases and raise a vaccination rate described by Austrian chancellor Alexander Schallenberg as "shamefully low". The aim was not to "lock up" the unvaccinated, but to get more needles in more arms. However, with case numbers continuing to soar, everybody in the country, jabbed or unjabbed, will now go into lockdown from next Monday for a "maximum of 20 days", while vaccinations will be mandatory from February.

In numbers: Going oat

$10 billion

Market valuation of Swedish oat milk maker Oatly in May at the time of its initial public offering (IPO). The company has been backed by investment giant Blackstone Group and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z and Natalie Portman.



Percentage drop in Oatly’s share price in New York on Monday, after the company flagged slower US production, inflationary pressures and supply-chain hurdles and said it was “investigating a quality issue” that might result in the destruction of inventory. This briefly took its valuation down to $5.5 billion.

$635 million

Despite its third-quarter problems and a full-year forecast that falls short of analysts’ estimates, Oatly says its revenues will still reach this level in 2021 as it does its utmost to advance the cause of the humble oat over old-school soy and almond.

Getting to know: Paramount Plus

Boldly going where no streaming service executives should ever go, the great minds running Paramount Plus have managed to upset and baffle "international" Star Trek fans by pulling all episodes of Star Trek: Discovery from Netflix and suggesting they wait until 2022 to consume the fourth season of the show, which debuted in the US and Canada this week. The ViacomCBS-owned streamer will extend its global footprint next year – with Ireland one of the markets in its orbit – and Star Trek: Discovery should be one of the brighter stars in its universe. Alas, viewers who have managed to stick through three whole seasons of it so far are incensed at the Star Trek maker's attempted return to a pre-internet distribution model, vowing to explore their piracy options in the interim. Can Paramount Plus live long and prosper without their support? Urgent memo to Amazon Prime Video: don't let them take Star Trek: Picard.

The list: Art on the block

Some couples argue over who gets to keep the dog, the record collection or the wagon-wheel coffee table. But during the acrimonious divorce of New York property mogul Harry Macklowe and his now ex-wife Linda, the two parties couldn't agree on the value of their vast contemporary art collection, so a judge ruled it should all be sold off. Just some of their blue-chip treasures duly went under the hammer at Sotheby's this week, fetching $676 million in "the most valuable single-owner auction ever staged".

1. Rothko 8ft job. Mark Rothko’s Number 7, from 1951, was sold for $82.5 million, the second-highest price for a work by the block-loving artist and the largest single sum in the sale. Well, it is a “perfect symphony of colour, light and scale”.

2. Giacometti sculpture. Le Nez (The Nose), a 1947 sculpture by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, went for $78.4 million, which is a lot of money to pay for a nose that will follow you round the room.

3. Warhol women. Andy Warhol's Nine Marilyns silkscreen, made shortly after Marilyn Monroe's death, and his Sixteen Jackies tribute to Jacqueline Kennedy went for $48.5 million and $33.9 million respectively.

4. Pollock record. Jackson Pollock’s Number 17, 1951 artwork from his Black Paintings series fetched $61.2 million, a new record for the abstract artist.

5. Red peonies. Cy Twombly’s 2007 Untitled, a massive abstract festival of red peonies, sold for $58.9 million – a relative bargain. Buyers who missed out, meanwhile, have part two of the Macklowe sale to look forward to next May.