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Distribution News

By October 30, 2019March 24th, 2020Blog

As the audience appetite for subscription and on demand content that they can watch when they please or binge-watch grows, more new platforms are starting up. Warner Media will be launching HBO max in Spring 2020, they will be showing everything from Kidvid to vintage movies from the many titles in the warner library. HBO will still continue as is and focus on high-end programming.

They join a number of other recently formed platforms including Disney+, YouTube Originals, YouTube Red Apple + TV, Facebook Watch, CBS, NBC Universal’s Peacock. And then there is, of course, Amazon and Netflix.

New platforms are also springing up in Europe too. Spanish based Rakuten TV just announced that they will launch an AVOD service to the 40+ countries they serve in Europe for both US and local fare. Media set, Italy’s largest broadcaster is also going into high-end international content that they will play first exclusively on a global streamer and then on their flagship Canale 5 channel. As with many European broadcasters, they are working closely with Amazon and

Netflix. They just announced a partnership with Netflix
to co-produce 7 films. I remember back to many years ago, when I was starting out in the business, we had just four broadcast networks dominating prime time viewing. Over the recent years we have seen major shifts in the industry, first the rise of cable TV and then the emergence of global streaming services. With all these new streaming services entering the market place, there are a lot of great new opportunities for creators and more demand than ever for content. One of the biggest creative benefits for filmmakers is that if you have made a film that has been successful and has TV series potential, you may be able to create a longer life for your IP as Justine Simien did with his feature film “Dear White People” which he developed into a hit series for Netflix.

There are also some new markets for pitching TV series/films/doc to buyers like MIA held in Rome, mid October, that has been going for 5 years. It happens right after MIP in Cannes and is attended by packaging agents from the major US agencies such as CAA, WME, Netflix, Film Nation and many other execs from the bigger companies. The bigger US agencies are becoming increasingly active in packaging both US and overseas content as they rep a lot of top European talent and see the opportunities in the robust international market. What will be interesting to watch as more and more content providers start to set up their own subscription platforms and move into their own space is how theywill market to consumers and also how it will affect advertising buys as online retailers and wireless providers are also becoming content companies. According to media reports, Disney has said that they will no longer allow Netflix to advertise on most of their networks as they are now a competitor, aside from ESPN as they don’t offer streaming sports.

In terms of monitoring how many views some of these online platforms are getting, Nielson has been making some breakthroughs. They recently announced they can now measure the viewing taking place on Amazon Price video through their subscription video on demand content ratings solution. This will help rights owners to have the added ability to understand not just the size of the audience but it’s composition. This is a helpful breakthrough with all the new streaming platforms springing up to gain more clarity as to what is working and where to target advertising. Changes are happening and good to keep up to speed on all so you can gear up for success!