Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

ABC and Warner Bros.’ New Deal Will Make Binge Watching Easier

March 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Networks and studios have been battling for years over stacking rights—the ability to offer in-season episodes via on demand or network streaming—but a new agreement from ABC and Warner Bros. Television Group signals those conflicts could be coming to an end. ABC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television Group struck a stacking rights deal covering any series produce by Warner Bros. that debuts on ABC in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The agreement enables ABC to offer all episodes of its Warner Bros. series launched during the next two seasons on its VOD platforms like ABC.com and Hulu, as well as VOD on MVPD partners like cable and satellite. In doing so, viewers will be able to to binge the entire current season of the show, instead of being restricted to only the last five episodes, as is currently the case for most series. Warner Bros. will retain end-of-season SVOD rights, early syndication rights, early DVD rights and day-after electronic sell-through rights to companies like iTunes. "This is a real win for network television viewers," said Jana Winograde, evp of business operations for ABC Entertainment, in a statement

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How Commercial-Free Series Premieres Are Paying Off for Cable Networks

March 8, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This winter, something big has been missing from the new series premieres on TBS, Syfy and WGN America: advertisements. Syfy aired a commercial-free sneak peek of The Magicians in December, while TBS rolled out the entire first season of comedy Angie Tribeca during a 25-hour "binge-a-thon" in January, with no ads during the episodes (local ads played between episodes, along with content sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and Intuit's TurboTax). And WGN America opted to forego ads for the series premieres of its two winter dramas: Outsiders in January and Underground on March 9. With 412 scripted series and around 750 unscripted series flooding networks and streaming services last year, networks need to pull out all the stops to break through the clutter and entice audiences to take a chance on their new programming. "We're obviously an ad-supported network and our advertising partners are really important to us, but for me, nothing is more important than the shows launching successfully," said Matt Cherniss, president and gm, WGN America and Tribune Studios, who weighed "the short-term experience of how much money you might generate off one episode of television versus the long-term of keeping an audience involved and getting them hooked on a show to the extent that they're going to come back for weeks two, three, four and beyond." This approach, the network hopes, will avoid the audience inertia that doomed Manhattan , its critically acclaimed, yet recently canceled, drama. It's not just new series that are foregoing advertising. On Feb. 29, National Geographic Channel premiered He Named Me Malala, the 2015 documentary about Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai, without ads (it was sponsored by Geico, which aired a spot before the film). Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks, said she'll continue that going forward. "If a project merits treating it differently or finding some alternative business model, we'll do that," she said. Before The Magicians, the last time an ad-free episode aired in prime time on any broadcast or basic cable was 2012 when NBC previewed its comedies Go On and Animal Practice during Summer Olympics coverage. But with audiences increasingly accustomed to watching content without ad interruptions on HBO, Netflix and Amazon, networks are trying to replicate that experience to attract viewers. Buyers, too, see the value in sacrificing short-term exposure for long-term gains. "We're willing to sacrifice whatever benefit we're going to get out of that one episode if we can get the next Walking Dead," said David Campanelli, svp, director of national broadcast for Horizon Media

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YouTube Star PewDiePie Can Now Win a Primetime TV Emmy

March 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

PewDiePie already boasts the largest following on YouTube, and now the popular creator could add another accomplishment to his list: an Emmy award. Today the Television Academy announced it has expanded and redefined many short-form categories for this year's Primetime Emmys. The Academy added three awards: Outstanding Short Form Series, Variety; Outstanding Individual Actor in a Short Form Series; and Outstanding Individual Actress in a Short Form Series. The Academy also renamed the Short Format Live Entertainment category as Outstanding Short Form Series, Comedy or Drama; and Short Format Nonfiction is now Outstanding Short Form Series, Reality/Nonfiction. The Academy defines a short-form series as having a minimum of six episodes that average 15 minutes or less. "Our industry is aggressively, quickly and creatively evolving the various ways episodic stories are told," said TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. "These category changes reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Crackle, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways." While the big streaming players like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have qualified for TV Emmy nominations—and have won many—other digital players that don't have the budget for 30- or 60-minute episodes have largely been ignored. Until now, if a digital short longed for a prize, it would have to vie for a Webby or Streamy, which are based on fan votes.

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To Thrive in the Era of Peak TV, HBO Is Turning Subscribers Into ‘Addicts’

February 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Are you hooked on HBO? The network sure hopes so. As the premium service competes with an ever-growing number of broadcast, cable and digital competitors, including streaming services like Netflix, the network has developed an interesting approach to keeping subscribers coming back for more each month: turning them into "addicts," according to HBO CEO Richard Plepler. HBO has 32.3 million U.S. subscribers as of the third quarter of 2015, according to SNL Kagan. Time Warner doesn't release HBO-specific figures but said Wednesday that HBO and Cinemax added 2.7 million subscribers in 2015

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YouTube Debuts First Original Content but Won’t Say How Many Subscribed to Service

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

YouTube Red launched last October , but the paid version of the popular video platform is getting its close-up today, debuting its first four original shows. As with any new subscription service in its early days, YouTube would not share specifics on subscriber numbers. Though, one of its most influential creators, Hank Green, ran an informal Twitter poll Monday to gauge how many people were actually paying $10 a month for ad-free content and YouTube's music service—and the numbers weren't promising. Are you a paying YouTube Red user? — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 8, 2016 Green followed up that tweet with one today showing how Red is affecting the bottom line of existing channels: If you would like to check to see how YouTube Red is affecting your channel earnings, I have created a spreadsheet: https://t.co/eUuUUxQ4OZ — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 10, 2016 Unlike bigger subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, YouTube isn't banking on how many subscribers it can sign up.

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The X-Files Tackles Its Toughest Case Yet: Reviving TV Revivals

January 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last fall, the broadcast networks bet that the best way to attract viewers was by programming reboots and revivals of popular series and movies. However, Limitless, Minority Report, The Muppets and Heroes Reborn had limited success at reigniting that spark with audiences. Limitless is a hit for CBS. But Fox's Minority Report and NBC's Heroes Reborn won't be returning for Season 2, and ABC is retooling The Muppets in an attempt to win back viewers who were driven away by its more adult tone. Last August, NBC scrapped its straight-to-series revival of '90s sitcom Coach after shooting just one episode. That's because some networks are bringing brands out of mothballs for all the wrong reasons. "I think reboots are a dangerous thing

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Discovery Will Try to Capitalize on People’s Sudden Obsession With ‘Making a Murderer’

January 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the country's enthusiasm for Netflix's Making a Murderer continues to grow, Investigation Discovery is jumping on the bandwagon, fast-tracking a special on Steven Avery, the man whose case is the focus of the riveting true-crime series. "As the country's most experienced true-crime network, we feel compelled to address what we believe are missing from the case as presented in Netflix's current documentary series, Making a Murderer," Henry Schlieff, group president for Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. Investigation Discovery has partnered with Peacock Productions (a division of NBC News) to produce a special, Front Page: The Steven Avery Story, which started production this week and will air later in January. Hosted by Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison, the program is "an attempt to provide critical, crucial evidence and testimonies that answer many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery," said Schlieff. Making a Murderer, which Netflix released Dec. 18, has left the country buzzing about Avery, who along with his nephew, was convicted of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery had previously served 18 years in prison for rape when he was released in 2003 after DNA evidence exonerated him. He was arrested and convicted of Halbach's murder two years later, after he had filed a civil suit over his false conviction. More than 360,000 people have signed online petitions calling for Avery's pardon as a result of Making a Murderer, which raises serious questions about the case against Avery. A year ago, Investigation Discovery quickly developed its own true-crime podcast to take advantage of the frenzy around the first season of Serial. But ID isn't the only Discovery network looking to get in on the true-crime craze sparked by Making a Murderer, Serial and HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. On Tuesday, Discovery launched its first true-crime series, Killing Fields, which the network said is shot in "real time" as an investigation unfolds. Executive produced by Barry Levinson, the show follows a cold case from June 1997 in Iberville Parish, La., where a Louisiana State University graduate student, Eugenie Boisfontaine, disappeared. Her body was discovered two months later. Detective Rodie Sanchez, who was assigned to the case in 1997, has come out of retirement and reopened the case. In Killing Fields, he is paired with a younger detective, Aubrey St. Angelo, as they reinvestigate the murder.

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Netflix’s Content Chief Just Perfectly Summarized How the TV Industry’s Been Broken Since Birth

January 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix execs had a lot to say at the streaming giant's CES keynote today, but amid all the flashy trailers and big global news, one compelling tidbit was largely overlooked. CEO Reed Hastings was clearly the star of the show, where he announced Netflix's sudden surge into more than 130 new countries today. But also on stage was chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who talked not only about Netflix's popular programming but also about the company's role as a consumer advocate of sorts. Here's how Sarandos beautifully summarized the profits-first, viewers-second mentality that has frequently driven decision making in Hollywood and across the entertainment and broadcast industries: "Over the last 70 years, consumers have been at the mercy of others when it comes to television. The shows and movies they want to watch are subject to business models that they do not understand and they do not care about. All they know is frustration

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Yahoo Shutters Screen, Scales Back Original Series

January 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just four days into 2016, Yahoo is making good on a plans announced at the end of 2015. The struggling tech giant has shut down Yahoo Screen, a 5-year-old digital video platform that housed its original series, its first livestream of an NFL game, and old episodes of Saturday Night Live. The remaining video properties on Yahoo Screen will be moved to the company's digital magazines, so like-minded content will exist side by side. "At Yahoo, we're constantly reviewing and iterating on our products as we strive to create the best user experience," said a Yahoo rep. "With that in mind, video content from Yahoo as well as our partners has been transitioned from Yahoo Screen to our Digital Magazine properties so users can discover complementary content in one place." The shutdown of Yahoo Screen, first reported by Variety, comes after a year in which the tech giant attempted to break into original content with the revival of NBC sitcom Community, the NBA-themed series Sin City Saints, and sci-fi comedy Other Space (from Ghostbusters director Paul Feig). It's a blow to the tumultuous tenure of CEO Marissa Mayer, for whom original video had been a priority. Despite the three original series, as well as a licensing deal with Viacom for Comedy Central shows and the entire catalogue of Saturday Night Live, Yahoo simply couldn't compete with streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime and even Hulu. Yahoo's originals contributed to a $42 million write down for the company last year. CFO Ken Goldman admitted at the time he "couldn't see a way to make money over time" on pricey original series

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The Today Show’s Willie Geist Shares His Not-So-Guilty Viewing Pleasures

December 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 40 Claim to fame Co-host of the third hour of NBC's Today and co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe Base New York Twitter @WillieGeist Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning? Willie Geist: The first information when I wake up at 4 a.m. is an email from our producers that summarizes the things that happened overnight and things we should look for this morning. But then I go right to Twitter. I follow so many people and news organizations from left, right, middle. I treat Twitter like a news ticker, basically. Then I click on my newspaper apps, go through The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, then I'll get a little deeper into it with Politico or Bloomberg Politics. What other social media platforms do you use? I use Instagram a good bit, but I use it less as a news source than just for posting and looking at images. Who do you follow? Mindy Kaling is always fun. I admire people like her who are so committed to Instagram that they'll be in a moment and still take a picture and get it up online. It's not purely promotional; you're actually following her life.

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