For whatever reason, I get a lot of hits for my “Future TV” posts especially the one about the future of Netflix in the Fall of 2017.
Well it’s a whole new world out there in media-land these days because Netflix is far from the only streaming game in town. Heck, traditional Big Media aren’t the biggest of companies in media these days either. To learn more, check out the graphic below and the article by Rani Molla and Peter Kafka for Recode/Vox.
Perhaps from my time studying anthropology and perhaps my dayjob role of analyzing business processes, but I love detailed articles like these that delve into the art and craft of running a show (and yes, I’ve got some self-interest there too). Trendacosta intereviews a wide gamut of writer-producers to give you multiple perspectives on the industry… and one thing I note that is quite common in so many industries I read about: there are massive changes in how they are doing business and many people aren’t trying to figure out what is good and bad about it until the reality hits them in the face.
Add to that, the rise of streaming, the business practices adopted with COVID, and you have a lot to chew on. I really hope they find ways to add that mentoring and production experience “scaffolding” to the newer models, because I’m pretty sure we won’t be getting back to 22-episode seasons anytime soon.
Now, once you read the article, you may find the title above a tad click-baity, but the article is predicting possible directions for the industry to go. Many of those directions look to be safe, one might even say traditional, avenues in terms of greenlighting programming. One of the more interesting aspects is that the broadcast vs. streaming are, while obviously different distribution channels, not zero sum distribution channels. As the CEO of CBS points out, “the average age of people watching Survivor on CBS is 60—and 37 for those streaming it on Paramount+.”
So, give it a read and consider how your selection of streamers might be changing their strategy –or not– in the year ahead.
Note: This post and the related links abound in spoilers for Ted Lasso, season 2.
This past weekend, my wife and I finally finished the second season of Ted Lasso, the comfort-food comedy-drama that is nominally about soccer, but really seems to be a backdoor effort to assemble a Gen X mixtape playlist whilst making equal numbers of jokes and pop culture references every single minute.
It’s hard in this day and age to avoid spoilers, especially for buzz-worthy shows and films, so I knew that some people who adored season one of Ted Lasso were rather negative about season two. Now finally I can check out all the digital ink spilled about the season.
So, the news that Netflix lost subscribers last week has generated more online articles this week than… well, new shows dropping on Netflix any given week (spoiler: it’s a lot). It seems many people are delighting in the fact that the streaming disruptor is now finding its plans disrupted. Now, I’ve been a Netflix subscriber going back to when they were only DVDs by mail. In fact, I still get DVDs by mail in addition to their streaming (as some titles aren’t streaming anywhere). So as I value the service, I want to see how it gets through this.
N’Jeri Eaton comes to Netflix by way of Apple and NPR. An award-winning storyteller, she has roots in documentary filmmaking, something near and dear to many a DC filmmaker.
While that’s all cool, the big surprise from the article for me was that not only that Netflix has a number of podcasts already –many being deeper dives into their TV shows and films– but that they are building up publishing and social media presences. That growth as an overall media company is, I suppose, something one might expect, but I confess to still thinking of Netflix as the streaming enfant terrible vs. “another media conglomerate.”
I’m also, for obvious reasons, wondering if they’re going to start making moves into original audio fiction.
I first learned of this over the weekend in an LA Times piece, but AT&T, who only a few years ago, bought Time Warner in a bid to become a new powerhouse entertainment ecosystem, is planning to sell its media goodies to Discovery Communications.
The resulting combination of scripted and unscripted shows, films, and assorted media could be peanut butter & chocolate or cookies & okra. I honestly don’t know and don’t particularly have a battlebot in this fight.
But from both the LA Times above, a piece in Ars Technica, and one from the New York Times that the various Conventional Wisdom is abuzz amongst the factions that are wont to have Opinions and Conventional Wisdom: other media companies, telecoms, Wall Street — and the people who follow media companies, telecoms, and Wall Street.
Now, all of this is dependent on shareholders and regulators agreeing to the sale, but there’s sure to be ripples from this.