The original video content market is swimming with buyers competing for the next big thing. Content is king. As a result, there is huge demand from tech companies to ensure the next Stranger Things is on their platform.
The desire from these companies to use exclusive video content to market their service is prone to creating frequent bidding wars. While we are experiencing a seller’s market, there are challenges sellers needs to be aware of before they spend the time to create and or sell their best content.Is the content going to be accessible?
Most content is never seen… There is just too much of it. There is a significantly less chance of your content being seen is if it is behind a paywall, especially on services less visited than Netflix or HBO.
When our artists are asked to appear in a show or sell the content we are creating, I keep accessibility front of mind. The creator’s time and the relationship with their fans is too valuable for anybody to be inhibited from watching or sharing.
Through streaming, we’re lucky the music industry has solved the accessibility issue through the death of exclusive albums and by having practically complete catalogs present on most platforms. Fans can choose to listen to whatever they want, whenever they want all for one simple monthly fee.
If it’s exclusive, for how long? Once that period is up, can you widely distribute it?
Certain companies are most interested in content premiering on their platform than they are in it only living on their platform forever. In other words, they are open to the videos being distributed widely after the premiere period.
In my experience, these companies will not put as much marketing behind the content, but they will pay for the production of it. The willingness of these companies to cover production costs could be a valuable solution to getting content created if budgets are an issue for your artist or operation.
Do you have any say in the marketing strategy? Has a marketing plan been presented?
In my experience, many of the tech companies purchasing video are treating the marketing process as if they are marketing a product vs. enrolling viewership.
For example, they are using phrases like – “download our app” instead of “tune in to watch”. As consumers, we don’t want to download another app – we just want to tune in and press play. This is an on demand economy and the extra barrier to entry of downloading (with or without a monthly fee) places a huge limit on viewership potential.
The bottomline: Don’t fall for the big check if you don’t believe your content is going to be accessible… Unless for some reason, the check is what that project is about in the first place. But to be honest, life is too short to create solely for a lucrative advance.
Whether you drop video series all at once or tease them out week to week, as we learned yesterday, new release strategies are alive and well. However, what matters more is whether or not the content is great and whether it will be accessible to the audience you are trying to reach.
As we analyze different distribution models for original content opportunities, we as managers need to always remember to take the time to weigh the cost benefit analysis:
The benefits we are receiving in the form of content creation and compensation for it (production costs, talented fees, and marketing strategy) against the costs to the fans (accessibility and quality of the platform) to make the best decisions for our clients.