nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

CandW discuss what Hulu knows that the movie industry does not

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Steven Spielberg and the Cannes Board do not think Netflix should get movie awards because it targets the TV set, not theater screen. They should copy Hulu. The company has figured out you need to let the viewer decide what works for them.

 Chapter 1: No Oscars, Palme d’Or for Netflix (1:20)

The Cannes Board changed the qualification standards for eligibility to participate in the Palme d’Or competition and effectively prevents Netflix from entering any movies. ITV news in the UK asked Steven Spielberg if he thought Netflix movies should be eligible for an Oscar. He said, because Netflix targets the TV screen, it should receive Emmy’s for excellence, not Oscars.

He went on to admit that the film industry has problems. He said there is too much focus on tentpole movies, like Star Wars, and not enough on smaller movies, like The Post. Many producers of smaller movies can’t get funded by Hollywood and end up going to Netflix or Amazon. He also said that the big SVOD services made very good content. However, he would not put his movies on the SVOD platforms

The idea that content providers decide which screen a viewer can see their movie on seems almost silly today. Television providers thought the same at first, but now most would agree that you let the viewer decide which screen is best for them.

Chapter 2: The audience is moving (10:20)

Millennials are migrating away from traditional media and replacing movie time with binge-viewing of shows like Game of Thrones. The BBC released data this week that shows that young people are spending more time watching Netflix than all its services. Battling anyone for supremacy in kids programming is a huge deal for the British broadcaster. It has dominated children’s television programming since its founding. It now sees that core audience slipping away.

Locally broadcaster struggling to deal with global SVOD providers is a problem I have seen in many places. For example, Danish TV and pay TV companies are struggling to keep the attention of their young people. The migration of the young’s viewing from local content providers to global VOD platforms has profound implications for a country’s cultural identity and well as financial implications.

Chapter 3: Hulu becomes hyper-customer focused (17:20)

Will attended a presentation from Hulu’s SVP of Sales Peter Naylor. Mr. Naylor explained how Hulu has become completely centered on what the customer wants. By way of example, he talked about how Hulu provides subscribers with the choice of “Limited Commercials” for $7.99/mo or “No Commercials” for $11.99/mo. Mr. Naylor reiterated that the majority take the ad-supported plan, though all value the option to be able to upgrade to ad-free.

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(4) Comments

  1. I am testing Hulu right now and it is the most convoluted interface that I have ever used and so easy to get lost that I consume less TV. The value just isn’t there as far as I can see!

    • It is a great combination of TV and on-demand access, Anthony. If you persist with it you’ll find it easier to understand. It took me a while.

  2. We subscribed to Hulu when it was first released and haven’t looked back. Their interface can certainly seem a bit confusing at first, but I’ve seen them make changes to adapt to their customers’ requests and comments. I think that they are really trying to re-think how we watch TV by trying to be as responsive as possible to their customers. We also used Vue and DirecTV Now for a while and both seemed like they were trying emulate a cable box. It has taken some adjusting, but we now wonder how we could ever go back.

    • One of the things Mr. Naylor said was that Hulu Live subs mostly watch on-demand. That is, they either record and watch shows later or watch the show from the Hulu library. He also said that most people do not pay for the ad-free option. I do pay for it and wouldn’t be without it. Do you, Tom?

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