Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Original Programming Will Drive Online Success

It took cable networks a number of years to realize that they needed solid original programming to compete with broadcast.  Billiards on ESPN and repeats of old sitcoms was just not going to be enough to drive ratings.  That formula has led to such great shows as Mad Men on AMC and others too numerous to mention.  Well borrowing from that same playbook, online streaming platforms has been even quicker to invest in original programming.

Netflix has announced its partnership with Dreamworks Animation to provide hours of fresh content.  Their strategy, going after the younger audience and ultimately the mom and dad to subscribe, is a smart one.  You Tube has been commissioning original programming as well.  And Amazon continues to invest.  "Amazon Studios is moving quickly to expand its original slate. After focusing on comedies and kids programming in its first batch of 14 pilots, five of which — two comedies and 3 kids shows — were picked up to series three weeks ago, the company is already setting its sights on the next target — launching a drama series."

For content creators, this newer distribution platform becomes another opportunity to license and sell its content beyond the current players of broadcast and cable.  New paths for distribution, both domestically and internationally, are opening up.  And with the growth of smart TVs, laptops, tablets, and iPods, an easy way to search and watch these shows.  A threat to traditional pay models and a better chance for success for streaming subscription services.

1 comment:

  1. Andy, thanks for this.

    You and I remember about 10 years ago,when the thought was that original programming would be the thing to attract audiences to free on demand programming.

    The lesson we learned was that original or not, it's QUALITY programming that captures viewer attention. I'm excited about new online content, but it won't succeed just by being new. It's going to have to be GOOD, too.

    Just like hits built networks, hits will build online audience. And unlike networks, online programmer won't have existing hits they can use as a promotion engine to drive viewers to the new programs. I think the next few years are going to be interesting!

    Fingers crossed that online content providers stick with it long enough to create stuff worth watching... and then that audiences find it.