Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

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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The Future May Belong to Web and Mobile Video, but TV Will Survive

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television is dead! Long live television! This, the ancient cry of royal succession, is entirely appropriate to herald what's happening right now—literally before our eyes—to the medium of television. TV has ruled our lives and lifestyles, our news and entertainment, our politics and (through advertising) our economics since network broadcasting began in 1949. And now its sovereignty is over. Randall Rothenberg Illustration: Alex Fine "Linear TV has been on an amazing 50-year run, [but] Internet TV is starting to grow," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said earlier this month, in announcing superb earnings for the streaming TV pioneer. "Clearly over the next 20 years, Internet TV is going to replace linear TV." Far be it for me to disagree. For what are the Digital Content NewFronts but an example of the revolution that is roiling television's half-century hegemony? Well, pssst, buddy, let me let you in on a little secret: The princeling that's replacing television … is television. Like the British monarchy or any long-lived royal line, TV has proved remarkably resilient and adaptable during its history. From black-and-white to color, from broadcasting to cable, from 15-minute newscasts to 24-hour news networks, from The Beverly Hillbillies to Mad Men , from wait-until-reruns to on-demand, television has been, is and probably will remain a near-perfect evocation of Darwinism, evolving rapidly to meet changes in technology, consumer interests and marketing needs. True, the changes television is undergoing now are breathtaking, in volume and speed. Prime time has become an anachronism. Today, Emmy-winning, high-quality shows, once the domain only of a specific time and device, are available across multiple devices at any hour of the day. We rarely sit down together as families and friends to watch a TV show after dinner. We watch the programming we love, on our own, several times a day, wherever we happen to be. And that family and friends with whom we hashed it over? That would be our social graph—an ever-present (and ever-growing) real-time feedback loop. The once-unmatchable power of the 30-second spot is also on the decline

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Dannon’s Oikos Helped to Revive Full House, but Won’t Be Around to Enjoy It

April 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

More than a year before John Stamos lit a nostalgic bonfire with his announcement of a Full House revival, Oikos Greek yogurt had the same idea. The Dannon brand's 2014 Super Bowl ad reunited spokesman Stamos with his former castmates, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, and in the process sparked an explosion of buzz among several generations of fans. (The show remains a syndicated hit with today's youth.) So will the brand be basking in the glow of the retro reunion it arguably helped bring into reality? Probably not. A spokesman for parent brand Dannon says its contract with Stamos expired at the end of last year and there are currently no plans to revive it. "John is no longer in our Oikos advertising," said Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for Dannon.

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How to Sell a TV Show Today

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The upfront has been pronounced a goner so many times it is beyond clich

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Netflix Spoofs Apple Watch with ‘Netflix Watch’ Parody Video

April 8, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In a late April Fool’s stunt, Netflix has posted a dead-on parody of the Apple Watch — with a fake announcement of a wrist-bound video device that would let subs stream videos anytime, anyplace. “It’s the vast world of Netflix, right on your wrist!” exclaims the narrator. “Because life is too short to waste precious time not watching Netflix.”... Read more

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How It Feels to Become the Face of a Generation’s Shrugging Indifference

April 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Back around 2008, I posed for photographs for my friends who worked at a small animation company run out of a shack-like bungalow in East Atlanta. I stood in front of a white backdrop, like in a yearbook photo, and moved my face in 50 different ways in 10 different angles. It was fun, and then we all went out to lunch. Siobhan Price A few months later, one of my friends asked me to sign an agreement to use my likeness and told me he legally had to give me $1. It was a while after that when I learned my face had become the character Cheryl Tunt on Archer. It's a pretty cool claim to fame but hopefully not the only thing I'll ever be known for. What I would like to be remembered for is ... I don't know, actually. I used to know. I used to have a plan and drive and clarity, and then I turned 30 and it all fell apart. As I've gotten older and more experienced in my profession, I've begun to feel more unfulfilled and lost. I thought I'd have it all figured out now and I'd have my dream job and a family and a house and generally be on the road to happily ever after. At one point, I had most of those things, and I realized I was incredibly unhappy. Since then, I've quit my great job in television, moved across the country, got an even better job at the same company, got promoted, moved back across the country, quit and then moved across the country again.

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TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’

April 1, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Marvel Television’s plan to bring second-tier heroes to the screen has found a logical and hospitable home in Netflix, a subscription service that should benefit from capitalizing on the ardor of the fanboy base via a multi-series relationship. First up is “Daredevil,” a character with a spotty track record, from the 2003 Ben Affleck movie... Read more

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‘Bloodline’ Gets Second Season at Netflix

March 31, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix has renewed freshman thriller “Bloodline” for a second season, the streaming service announced Tuesday. Season 2 goes into production later this year, and is set for a 2016 release on Netflix. “Bloodline” stars Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, Norbert Leo Butz, Jamie McShane, Jacinda Barrett and Enrique Murciano. The drama follows the... Read more

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Netflix, Marvel Pick ‘Luke Cage’ Showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker

March 31, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix and Marvel Television announced that Cheo Hodari Coker (“Ray Donovan,” “Southland”) will serve as exec producer and showrunner of “Luke Cage,” the street-hero series slated to premiere next year. It was previously announced that Mike Colter (“The Good Wife,” “American Horror Story: Coven”) will play Luke Cage in the series. Coker is writing the first two... Read more

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Study: Young People Watch More Than 22 Hours of Online Video a Week

March 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A new study shows that watching content online instead of on TV is the new normal for young millennials and even younger Gen Zers. Just how much digital video are they watching? The average survey taker viewed 11.3 hours of free online video (on sites like YouTube) and 10.8 hours of subscription video (on sites like Netflix) for a staggering total of 22 hours a week. By comparison, that same survey group—1,350 people between the ages of 13 and 24—viewed an average 8.3 hours of scheduled linear TV content, according to the third annual Acumen Report. And of that, 6.4 hours happened online. While almost everyone surveyed said they watch digital content, a little more than half reported watching TV. "Whether you're a marketer or a content creator, the results magnify the growing influence of these millennial consumers and further affirmation that traditional media is falling short with this audience," said Andy Tu, evp of marketing for Defy Media, an online video production house that commissioned the study.

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