Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

Japan TV Networks to Launch TVer Online Video Platform

July 20, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Japan’s five top commercial TV networks will jointly launch a service to stream their new shows on the Internet, starting in October.

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Eight Reasons Why Netflix Will Struggle In China

June 17, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Subscriber data from iQIYI and Alibaba's plan to enrich its Internet Plus roster underline the obstacles to penetrating China's SVoD market

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Why Networks Are Going for Broke This Summer

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For decades, the broadcast networks took the idea of summer vacation quite literally—programming reruns and other filler content from June through mid-September, much to the frustration of advertisers. Those days are finally over, as broadcasters follow the lead of cable and, more recently, Netflix, by packing their summer slates with big series presented in unique ways that help audiences more easily consume content and aid advertisers in reaching viewers. "Summer is a critical time period for so many advertisers: back-to-school, retail, summer movies," noted Darcy Bowe, vp, media director at Starcom. "You really want to get your message out there, but because the broadcasters weren't programming anything new, people were trained not to watch TV in the summer." NBC is the first broadcaster to pull a Netflix with the May 28 debut of limited series Aquarius, starring David Duchovny. Immediately after the network premiere, the entire 13-episode series will be available to stream at NBC's website, on its mobile app and via other VOD platforms. The network will continue to air new episodes each week, but audiences can choose to binge on the entire series at once. Meanwhile, CBS has partnered with Netflix for its big summer premiere, Zoo, which will stream on the service as soon as its CBS run has concluded. Cable is also trying a nonlinear approach to summer programming. USA comedy Playing House returns for Season 2 in August with a VOD windowing strategy. Each episode will be made available on VOD one week before it airs on the network, with creator/stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair partnering with advertisers to create customized content. "If you have Toyota or one of our other sponsors in there, you'll be able to create content that's about Playing House but also about the sponsor as well," said Chris McCumber, USA's president. Because these shows are airing outside the September-to-May TV season, broadcasters have the flexibility to experiment without affecting the traditional fall schedule. Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, said his network was able to stream Aquarius in full (the ad load of the linear broadcast will mirror that of VOD) because production on the entire season had already wrapped—unlike with most broadcast production schedules, which are only a few weeks ahead of an episode's airdate. Thanks to CBS' deal with Netflix, Zoo (based on the James Patterson novel) will be profitable before the drama even debuts on June 30. That gives the network a safety net as it attempts to lure a different audience during the summer months. Like CBS summer series Under the Dome and Extant, "Zoo is a big, epic-looking and feeling show," said CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler. "And they're all highly serialized. We don't do that during the regular season, so summer allows us to recruit new viewers and bring them into fall." While USA routinely airs series during the summer, "we've always seen August as an opportunity because it feels like there's a little bit of a dead space there," said McCumber. "So we thought it would be a great space to put Playing House where it will get more attention … and on top of that create a new opportunity for advertisers to come in and sell it in a different way." Advertisers worry whether digital platforms will cannibalize viewership on terrestrial television

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Thanks to Mad Men and Avengers, Actress Linda Cardellini Knows How to Keep a Secret

May 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 39 Claim to fame Stars in Netflix's Bloodline; appears in The Avengers and Welcome to Me (both in theaters now); plays Sylvia Rosen on AMC's Mad Men Base Los Angeles Twitter @LindaCardellini What's the first information you consume in the morning? Well, I look and make sure that no one has called, that there have been no emergencies, and then I look at whatever comes up on my phone. Tell us about your social media habits. What are your go-to platforms? I don't have any really. I should get some.

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Q&A: CW President Mark Pedowitz Gets Guys

May 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For much of its existence, The CW has been shunted off to the side by its bigger, and more popular, broadcast siblings. Launched in 2006 when UPN and The WB combined forces, The CW's tiny audience is usually relegated it to a mere footnote when compared to the likes of CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. But The CW has suddenly become a broadcaster to be reckoned with, thanks to its two freshman hits: The Flash, which is already most-watched show in The CW's history and the critically-acclaimed Jane the Virgin, which nabbed the network its first-ever Peabody Award and Golden Globe wins. Along with Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, the shows have led The CW to its most-watched season since 2007-2008, and increases this season on four of The CW's five nights of programming (only Thursdays, thanks to ABC's unstoppable lineup of Shonda Rhimes shows, has taken a hit). More proof of the network's broadening audience: its median age is now 43, up from 37 three years ago, and the audience is now 45 percent male, versus 35 percent male three years ago. CW president Mark Pedowitz is also using the network's digital arm, CW Seed, to develop new comedies for the network. In a Q&A ahead of next week's upfronts, Pedowitz talked about the advantages of aging up the network, wooing new advertisers and how Doctor Who inspired his crossover strategy. The CW audience is now almost 45 percent male. What shows are most responsible for adding men? It's The Flash, Arrow, The 100 and Supernatural. Had you been actively pursuing a male audience with those shows? We recognize that when Smallville went off the air [in 2011] we lost a boatload of men. So this was a thoughtful, executed piece of a strategy to balance it out a little more

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Hulu Lands Exclusive Streaming Rights to Seinfeld Just in Time for NewFronts

April 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the last six months, Hulu has taken one big swing after another as it tries to close the gap with Netflix and Amazon. At Wednesday's NewFronts presentation, the streaming service revealed the perfect cherry atop its growing pile of huge deals: landing exclusive streaming rights to all nine seasons of Seinfeld. In a multiyear deal worth as much as $180 million , Hulu will begin streaming all 180 episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's iconic comedy "about nothing" in June. While Sony's ad-supported Crackle has long streamed a selection of Seinfeld episodes, this will be the first time the entire series will be available for streaming. And unlike the trimmed, syndicated versions, Hulu will stream the full-length episodes that originally aired on NBC. "This is a pretty mind-blowing moment," said Jerry Seinfeld, who closed Hulu's presentation at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom with the big announcement. "You could have put the DVD in, but I guess nobody really wanted to do that. They want to do this!" He added of streaming services like Hulu, "I know from having kids, it's the only way they're going to watch it." The Seinfeld coup eclipses Hulu's three-year deal with South Park last July to stream all 18 seasons of that show, which was worth a reported $80 million. Seinfeld's Hulu debut this June is likely to revive interest in the series—Mulva! The Contest! Sponge-worthy! Festivus! Soup Nazi!—much like when Netflix started streaming Friends in its entirety in January. But the Seinfeld acquisition was only one of several big announcements Hulu made at its NewFronts presentation, where CEO Mike Hopkins vowed that "2015 is the year that Hulu will break out." It's already well on its way: Hulu Plus subscribers jumped 50 percent in one year, from 6 million to almost 9 million. And in the first quarter of 2015, streams were up 77 percent—700 million hours of premium content—with each Hulu viewer watching an average of 30 percent more content this year than last

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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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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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