Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Why Some Broadcast Shows Are Getting Smaller, Cable-Sized Season Orders

September 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It was no surprise that NBC gave This Is Us a full-season pickup on Tuesday—after all, the series had the highest-rated 18-49 debut of any new series last week: a 2.8 rating, which soared to a 4.2 in live-plus-3 numbers. But what was a bit unexpected, however, was the length of that full-season order: 18 episodes, instead of the standard 22-episode season for broadcast shows. This Is Us' 18-episode order was music to the ears of its creator Dan Fogelman, who told Adweek that the 22-episode format isn't deal for either that show or his other new fall drama, Fox's Pitch. "At the end of the day, it's NBC's and Fox's call, and you do as many as they want," said Fogelman. "But it's hard, and it's not just about the difficulty of executing it and executing it well, it's also the schedule and the timing. In these particular shows, you want the show to feel big, and have big moments and big reveals. But it's hard to create that many of them, and you don't want the show to feel disappointing." Fogelman is far from the only creator who feels that way. While sitcoms and procedurals are still routinely receiving 22-episode seasons (in some cases, even more episodes than that), increasingly, producers of serialized broadcast dramas are pushing for smaller-cable sized season orders, and their networks are happily complying. "I cannot tell you how much the world has changed in the last decade as far as that goes," said Gary Newman, Fox Television Studios co-CEO and co-chairman. "I think the root of it is, more and more for studios, the back-end is SVOD [services like Netflix and Amazon], not syndication. So you no longer need a certain number of episodes [to hit the threshold for syndication]. You want as many as possible, but you don't need them the way you used to." In a world where as many as 450 scripted series will air this year, "We're no longer competing with just the other broadcast networks. We're competing with OTT services and cable networks, and I think you have to be respectful of the consumers' time and interest," said Newman. That means realizing that "sometimes with these more intense, serialized shows, trying to maintain that intensity over 22 episodes—or as we discovered years ago with 24, 24 episodes—is very difficult," said Newman. "I think if we were to be honest about 24, as great as it was, you would see a lot of dipping, particularly in the middle of the season." 24's 12-episode limited series revival, 2014's 24: Live Another Day, "was a far more successful version. We were able to keep up the intensity throughout the 12 episodes," Newman added

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The People v. O.J. Simpson, Game of Thrones Dominate 2016 Emmys

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the night before the 2016-17 TV season began, the television industry honored its very best shows and actors at the 68th Emmy Awards—and the broadcast networks once again found themselves dominated by cable and streaming networks. For three hours on ABC, a series of broadcast stars strode onstage at the Microsoft Theater, and more often than not, presented Emmys to HBO's Game of Thrones, FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Amazon's Transparent. Of 27 Emmy awards, just four went to broadcast outlets: Kate McKinnon won for supporting actress in a comedy (NBC's Saturday Night Live), NBC's The Voice was named best reality competition program, Regina King won for supporting actress in a limited series (ABC's American Crime) and Fox's Grease: Live was honored for directing in a variety special. HBO and FX dominated the evening, with 6 Emmys apiece, led by Game of Thrones and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Netflix and Amazon were also well represented (with 3 and 2 awards, respectively), and even BBC America snuck in, as Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, who read her acceptance speech via smartphone, was a surprise pick for best actress in a drama series

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Amazon Dedicates September to Comedy by Releasing 4 Series, Including One From Woody Allen

August 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The broadcast networks aren't the only ones rolling out most of their comedies when the new TV season kicks off in September. Amazon will debut four of its comedies, including the third season of Transparent, that same month. "This September will be Amazon's month of comedy, where we will debut four new comedy series in a row, the first streaming service to do so. We're calling it Amazon's month of comedy, unless we come up with something better before September," Amazon Studios' head of half-hour series Joe Lewis said today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in L.A. One Mississippi, starring comedian Tig Notaro and inspired by her life, debuts on Sept. 9. Fleabag, starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who also wrote every episode) as a detached London woman, airs on Sept. 16. The critically-acclaimed Transparent returns for Season 3 on Sept. 23.

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Snapchat Influencers Start Labeling Social Endorsements as Paid Ads

August 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For months, brands have leaned heavily on Snapchat's biggest celebrities to run under-the-radar campaigns that subtly promote their products in the form of sponsored posts that are seen by influencers' millions of followers. Now those creators are beginning to mark branded content with disclaimers that adhere to the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines. Unlike other platforms like Instagram and Twitter where social celebs typically have to clearly label their content as paid endorsements, sponsored content on Snapchat has been murky for marketers until recently. Snapchat doesn't have any strict rules for content creators to abide by, and it can be difficult to find misleading content since posts automatically disappear within 24 hours. But this week, a handful of the platform's biggest stars— Shaun McBride , Josh Peck and the Eh Bee Family—have posted copy that is marked with hashtags such as #paid, #ad and #sponsored to indicate that their posts are paid for by brands. "With more influencers creating content on Snapchat, you're seeing everyone follow along [with FTC guidelines,]" said Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo, a startup that pairs up influencers with brands. "The widely accepted industry best practice is still using #ad and you see more influencer campaigns being executed on Snapchat—it's a universal understanding." Yesterday, McBride—the Snapchat artist more commonly known as Shonduras—posted a Snapchat story from a Samsung event in New York that unveiled its new Note 7 smartphone. Before the event, McBride posted a picture with the hashtag #collab to disclose to his fans that he was being paid to post on his Snapchat account. "I usually comply with whatever the brand feels is the right decision," McBride said in an email. McBride's Snapchat story Meanwhile, YouTube and Vine family the Eh Bee Family teased a branded YouTube video created for Nintendo's Mario Kart Battle game on Snapchat yesterday with a single post marked as #paid that was uploaded using the app's recently launched Memories feature. "We just want to be transparent with our fans, and we're glad that we can upload from our camera roll as it allows us to better position FTC disclaimers without ruining the overall experience," the Eh Bee Family said in an emailed statement. Indeed, the number of celebrities disclosing their posts as paid has seemingly grown overnight. Josh Peck and David Lopez are among a handful of celebs promoting a sponsored lens from Amazon today, and Mondelez-owned Sour Patch Kids chose to have music app Musical.ly star Baby Ariel take over the brand's Snapchat account to create a story during Sunday's Teen Choice Awards that she labeled with the hashtag #ad. Social celeb Josh Peck promoted Amazon's Echo. Advertisers and creators have long struggled with labeling so-called native advertising so that it's legally disclosed but doesn't annoy an influencer's millions of followers. When Lord & Taylor failed to acknowledge that it paid 50 bloggers to photograph themselves wearing the same dress, the FTC cracked down on the retailer in March . For its part, Facebook recently loosened its grip on branded content so that publishers and creators can create custom content on the platform that is marked with sponsored tags, similar to YouTube's policies. Snapchat's ephemeral posts and lack of rules on paid content can be particularly tricky for advertisers. Alexa Mehraban, who runs the popular EatingNYC account on Instagram, recently told Adweek that branded content on Snapchat is "still a pretty gray area" compared to Instagram and other social platforms.

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Google Beats Out Apple as the World’s Most Valuable Company at $229 Billion

June 8, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Alphabet—Google's holding company—is also the world's most valuable alpha dog. Today, Millward Brown and WPP released their annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, which tracks the worth of the world's top brands. According to BrandZ, Alphabet leads the pack because of Google's growth in advertising money, growth in its cloud business and the company's constant innovations. It's the second time the company has topped BrandZ's list in the past three years, after fighting Apple for the No. 1 slot. According to BrandZ, Google's value hit $229 billion this year (up 29 percent year-over-year) while Apple's value dipped 8 percent to $228 billion. Just two weeks ago, a separate report from media buying firm Zenith Media pegged Google as the world's biggest media player, controlling $60 billion in ad spend in the U.S. alone

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European Union Mulls 20% Content Quota for Netflix and Amazon Prime

May 19, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, is mulling a move to impose a 20% European content quota on video streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. More to follow.

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5 Products That Could Become as Popular as Adult Coloring Books

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As consumers look for ways to relieve stress through creativity, adult coloring books have taken the nation by storm, populating Amazon's list of best-selling books and popping up in marketing efforts for Timberland and other brands. And no, it's not just a millennial obsession. "Although millennials are driving the growth, the handmade movement is a trend that touches all generations," noted NPD Group analyst Leen Nsouli. "We carry 150 coloring book titles now, and we've seen a great customer response—so great that we've pushed out into other surfaces that people can color on: T-shirts, playhouses and canvases," said Stephen Carlotti, evp of marketing at Michaels Craft Stores. "We see great opportunity going forward as long as we continue to innovate." But when the coloring book trend fades, what products could take its place? Here are five contenders, according to retailers. Craft kits Craft kits like Target's Hand Made Modern, which launched in 2015 and include instructions and materials to make hand-stitched photo frames, felt owls, wooden jewelry boxes and fabric flowers, have been a hit with consumers, said Amy Goetz, spokesperson for Target. "Crafting is a huge trend, and we know people gravitate toward activities that ignite their creativity." Added Megan Hartman, strategy director at Red Peak Branding: "To achieve the mass success that coloring books have, you have to have something that's quick and easy. Craft kits are creativity with a template." Personalized planners Sales of personalized planners at Michaels grew on the heels of the coloring book phenomenon, Carlotti said. "Coloring books and planners have a lot of similarities," he said. "People personalize planners. They'll add stickers and embellishments, but there's not a right or wrong way to do it, just like coloring." Painting nights and craft classes Crafting as a social activity, including painting nights and websites like CourseHorse, which offer a variety of crafting and art classes in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, will continue to expand, according to NPD Group.

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How FX Bids for New Series Without the Big Budget of Netflix

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu snap up original series away from linear networks, as well as lure creators with big paydays and promises of creative autonomy, their competitors have had to alter their approaches to bidding for new projects. One of those is FX, which lost out on the bidding for Aziz Ansari's comedy Master of None and the upcoming drama The Crown. Both of those shows went to Netflix after the streaming service "overwhelmed us with shock and awe levels of money and commitment," FX CEO John Landgraf told reporters in January . He also used a "Moneyball" analogy when comparing FX to Netflix, explaining, "Basically, we're competing against payrolls, if you will, a la the Oakland A's and New York Yankees, that are three or four times ours." Because he can't match Netflix dollar for dollar, Landgraf has shifted the focus of his pitches, highlighting other attributes of the network when bidding for shows. Landgraf highlights his marketing team, which has been named PromaxBDA's In-House Marketing Team of the Year for five consecutive years. "I think the talent appreciates that," he told Adweek. Landgraf also emphasizes the personal touch and attention he can give FX's shows versus Netflix, which now has 100 series in the pipeline—55 for adults, 45 for children. "Our network is more of a bespoke organization than a factory. We're at about 18 shows, and that's the most that I can personally pay attention to," said Landgraf. While he could maybe do as many as 20, "I'm at the max in terms of being able to read scripts, watch rough cuts, have a thoughtful input and dialogue." And that's important, even when the network doesn't have much creative feedback in terms of notes for producers. Landgraf said that his deal with Louis CK for Louie specified that the network wasn't able to give him notes.

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Fuji TV Shows to Stream on Amazon

March 21, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Fuji TV will stream its upcoming "Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress" anime series on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

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To Keep Children Engaged During Prime Time, PBS Will Launch a 24/7 Kids Network

February 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viewers might have wondered if PBS was rethinking its commitment to children's programming after it allowed HBO to snap up Sesame Street last summer. But today the network announced a big play to keep kids watching its shows around the clock. Later this year, the network will launch a free, 24-hour network for children's programming called PBS Kids. This will let children watch during prime time and other hours when PBS doesn't air kid-centric content. The channel will be available as a digital subchannel on PBS stations nationwide (joining other PBS digital subchannels like Create and World). The network will also stream it online at pbskids.org and via the PBS Kids Video app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV and Xbox One. The livestream will join the on-demand full episodes and clips that are currently available on the app and online. PBS will continue to air its PBS Kids programming blocks on the primary network during the morning and afternoon. "Parents know that PBS Kids makes a difference in their children's lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day. Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children's educational content, especially among low-income families," said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO, in a statement.

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