Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

From Reducing Ad Loads to Declaring War on Netflix, Here’s How the TV Industry Is Gearing Up for 2016

January 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The broadcast and cable networks, along with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, have spent the past two weeks at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, sharing their plans for midseason and beyond. (You can find all of Adweek's TCA coverage here .) In addition to trotting out the new shows they hope will connect with audiences, the networks also addressed the industry's larger issues—chiefly, how to stay relevant in a dramatically-shifting landscape—and how to solve them. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the TCA winter press tour, and the most significant ways the industry will change this year: 1. Reducing ad loads to entice and keep viewers. "TV is the best advertising delivery mechanism ever invented. It's unparalleled for building brands and moving consumers, but we have overstuffed the bird" and diluted the effectiveness of ads, said Kevin Reilly, president of TNT and TBS, and chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment. That's why as part of his dramatic overhaul of TNT and TBS, Reilly is going to reduce the ad load on TNT's three new dramas this year by more than half , which will add eight to 10 minutes of program time per hour. (Turner is pursuing a similar strategy for truTV .) Fewer, more effective ads are essential to "create a better viewing experience," Reilly said. And if networks want to keep audiences from flocking to Netflix, reducing their "overstuffed" ad load is a solid first step. 2. The best way to make a series premiere stand out: Drop the ads. Sensing a trend here? Sometimes reducing ads isn't enough: Some networks are eliminating them altogether in order to make a splash of their series premieres. Syfy led the charge with The Magicians debut last month , and at least one other network is following suit. WGN America will premiere its next two series—Outsiders on Jan. 26, and Underground on March 9—without ads. "In today's competitive landscape, we felt it was important for viewers to get as pure and as uninterrupted an introduction to these worlds as possible," said Matt Cherniss, president and GM for WGN America and Tribune Studios. 3. Even more TV is on the way—for at least one more year. A record 412 scripted series aired last year , along with an additional 750 unscripted series.

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Step Aside, Cord Cutters and Cord-Nevers. Showtime Is Targeting ‘Cord Cobblers’

January 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've heard about cord cutters, cord shavers and cord-nevers . Now, Showtime has a new term to add to the growing vernacular: cord cobblers. That's how Showtime's president and CEO, David Nevins, referred to his subscribers while discussing the evolution of his premium cable network at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "2016 is going to be the year of customized viewing," Nevins said. "Today's audiences are cord cobblers, individuals and households who creatively manage their content consumption with an assortment of subscriptions that work uniquely for their needs." Because of the availability of its stand-alone streaming service on iTunes, Roku and Android devices, and as add-on subscriptions for Hulu, Amazon Prime and PlayStation Vue, Showtime has "availability and visibility wherever those cord cobblers reside," he said.

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T.J. Miller Warms Up for Critics’ Choice Awards Hosting Gig With Booze-Soaked Promos

January 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Actor and comedian T.J. Miller was "dumb, and not in a funny way," in the big-screen flop Yogi Bear in 3D. And he's game for trotting out the memory of that critical drubbing if it means driving viewers to a presumably better use of their time—his hosting gig at the 21st annual Critics' Choice Awards. The show, airing live Jan. 17 on A&E, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, launches the year's award-season broadcasts, so expect a steady stream of Hollywood backslapping to follow. And Miller, currently hot for his role on HBO's biting satire Silicon Valley, shows off his self-deprecating loveable loser persona in several promos from L.A.-based Stun Creative. He's hapless but in a funny way. (He wore cut-off tux pants under that sophisticated black tie, execs at Stun say, and destroyed about 50 champagne glasses in his attempt to serve a cocktail). For those interested in the awards themselves, which combine movies and television for the first time into one three-hour self-congratulatory extravaganza, the year's most nominated film is Mad Max: Fury Road, and on the TV and streaming side, FX's Fargo and Amazon's Transparent lead the pack.

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Streaming Services, and Mr. Robot, Elbow Broadcasters Out of Golden Globes Nominations

December 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If last year's Golden Globe Awards heralded the streaming services' arrival as major television players, this year's list of nominees shows streaming networks have suddenly become the dominant forces. Netflix led all TV networks with 8 nominations , while Amazon had 5 and Hulu landed its first nomination. Those picks came at the expense of the broadcast networks, which managed just 11 nominations in all—4 for ABC, 4 for Fox, 2 for The CW and 1 for CBS—while NBC, which will broadcast the Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 10, was shut out completely. (NBC's cable sibling, USA, landed three nominations for Mr. Robot.) The streaming services accounted for four of the six shows nominated for best TV series, musical or comedy: Casual (Hulu), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), Orange is the New Black (Netflix) and last year's winner, Transparent (Amazon). The other two nominees were for HBO shows Silicon Valley and Veep. No broadcast TV series made the list. On the best drama side, a single broadcast show—Fox's Empire—made the cut. It will compete with three cable shows (HBO's Game of Thrones, USA's Mr. Robot and Starz's Outlander) and one Netflix series (Narcos)

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Fullscreen Adds Former Hulu Chief as New COO

November 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fullscreen continues to gear up for a big 2016. Less than a month after hiring its first chief marketing officer , the multichannel network has added former Hulu executive Andy Forssell as its new chief operating officer. Forssell will join Fullscreen's executive leadership team and the board of directors, reporting to CEO George Strompolos. Ezra Cooperstein, who had been president and coo will remain on board as president. "The media landscape is changing even faster than many of us would have predicted a few years ago, and Fullscreen is perfectly positioned to capitalize as that evolution accelerates," said Forssell. "I look forward to working with George, Ezra and the talented team at Fullscreen to continue building what is fast becoming a truly premier multi-platform media company." Forssell led Hulu as its interim CEO for a six months in 2013, after its founder Jason Kilar departed amid talks of a sale. Forssell departed later that year after Mike Hopkins was installed as the company's permanent CEO . Prior to that, Forssell had been Hulu's svp of content and distribution since its inception in 2007. More recently, Forssell served as CEO of the social video app ShowYou, which gives creators and content owners ways to build and monetize their own proprietary channels. Forrsell, one of the original purveyors of streaming video, comes to Fullscreen as the 5-year old network plans to launch its own subscription video service . Fullscreen's service will join an increasingly crowded SVOD world; Along with the major players Hulu, Amazon and Netflix (and CBS, Showtime and HBO), YouTube , Univision, NBCUniversal and Smithsonian Networks have all launched subscription products in recent months. "Andy is a proven leader who not only understands the new world of online video, he helped build it," said Strompolos.

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Millennials Are Watching More TV on Hulu This Fall and Less When Shows First Air

November 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Millennials are still watching new episodes of television shows this fall—it's just taking them longer than ever to do so. Adults ages 18 to 34 are increasingly turning away from live TV to time-shift programming on platforms like Hulu, according to new insights from data technology and research firm Symphony Advanced Media (SymphonyAM). The study, which looked at fall season programming through Nov. 1, found that millennials are only watching live TV 30 percent of the time. They're also spending 30 percent of their time watching programs outside of Nielsen's live-plus-3 and live-plus-7 measurements, including OTT programming, VOD beyond three days after an episode's premiere and DVR more than seven days after a show airs.

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Fullscreen Finally Admits It’s Launching a Subscription Service

September 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following months of rumors, Fullscreen has let the cat of the bag—it's launching its own subscription service. Though Fullscreen had been working on the service, simply called Fullscreen, for months, this is the first time the multichannel network has publicly talked about it. In a blog post announcing the service, CEO George Strompolos said the goal was to "bridge the gap between social media and television for youth audiences." Fullscreen did not provide much detail about the upcoming service and made no mention of price or a potential launch date—though it likely won't happen until next year. The company did not say if the paid service will include ads, but it is expected that branded content will be a part of the platform. (The company recently acquired McBeard , a social media content studio that supports major brands across platforms.) Fullscreen did say the subscription product would feature series exclusive to the platform—including Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart's upcoming reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft's Electra Woman and Dyna Girl—and would also look to develop other formats like podcasts and editorial content. Fullscreen will also house documentaries The Outfield and #O2LForever and the upcoming Paul Scheer-Jonathan Stern teen parody series. The announcement comes at a time when content creators, especially multichannel networks, are looking for greater ownership and control of their content

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Is Hulu Ready to Take on Netflix and Amazon?

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Hulu launched in 2008, the ad-supported streaming service wasn't a big priority for owners Fox, Disney and NBC. "It was like, if the ship is going to blow, at least we have an escape pod, but we don't want to equip this escape pod so well that everyone would prefer it to being on the ship with us," Forrester analyst James McQuivey put it. While Hulu attracts 30 million monthly uniques and 6 million consumers signed on for subscription service Hulu Plus, the company has been surpassed in buzz, breakout content and critical acclaim by competitors including Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go/HBO Now. "Suddenly for Hulu," said McQuivey, "it's either put up or shut up time." As Hulu prepares for its April 29 NewFronts presentation, it is squarely in the "put up" column, celebrating major coups in terms of both original series (including 11/22/63, a limited series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King) and acquisitions (exclusive SVOD rights to all 18 seasons of South Park). "We have a mandate to swing for the fences," said Craig Erwich, svp, head of content for Hulu. "There has definitely been a mandate to get in business with the best talent that's available, support them creatively and financially, and be ambitious in terms of talent and creative vision." To that end, Hulu has spent much of the past six months making one major content announcement after another. The biggest by far was 11/22/63, based on King's best-selling novel from 2011 about an English teacher (James Franco) who finds a time portal and tries to prevent President John F. Kennedy's assassination. There's also Difficult People, a sitcom executive produced by Amy Poehler and starring Billy Eichner; Casual, a comedy exec produced by Jason Reitman; and The Way, a drama exec produced by Friday Night Lights and Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims. "On the acquisition side, we are acquiring the best of the best," said Erwich, referencing "landmark" SVOD deals for South Park, several present and future FX series (including Fargo and The Strain) and Empire, this season's biggest new series. "So anything we do on the originals side has to measure up." In the process, Hulu hopes to finally land the signature series that has long eluded it. "These new shows stand to really crystallize the Hulu brand in the hearts and minds of not only viewers but also advertisers, in a way that Mad Men may have crystallized AMC or what House of Cards did for Netflix," said Peter Naylor, svp, advertising sales at Hulu. "So I couldn't be given a better slate of programming to bring to market, especially in a crowded upfront/NewFronts season where everyone's trying to turn people's heads." Hulu knows it needs more than marquee names to keep pace with Netflix and Amazon. "Deservedly so, J.J. Abrams and Amy Poehler get you sampled and noticed," said Erwich. "But the shows have to stand on their own." Of course, when you take big swings, there's the potential for big misses. "Hulu has to be committed to a good couple of big swings in a row," said McQuivey. "And if all of them miss, then you fall back on a distribution strategy." Not gonna happen, insists Hulu, which just pulled off yet another huge deal last Thursday with Turner, acquiring exclusive SVOD rights to a variety of TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network series, including The Last Ship, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken. "We have a lot of momentum," said Erwich, "and we plan on continuing to capitalize on it."

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Distributor Icon, FrightFest Seal Blood Pact in U.K.

April 14, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — U.K. distribution house Icon Film Distribution and FrightFest, the U.K.’s top horror film festival, have entered into an exclusive partnership that will see IFD releasing FrightFest curated films under the banner “FrightFest Presents.” The films will be made available in the U.K. and Ireland via IFD’s digital partners, including Sky, iTunes, Amazon, Blinkbox,... Read more

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