This blog post was born from a Twitter conversation I had with @Vincidia social media team; and Kris Nagel’s video on converting viewers to payers – http://snip.ly/n66c#http://www.vindicia.com/videos/kris-nagel-otttv-summit-converting-viewers-payers/. Thank you for the inspiration! Opinions are my own.
Some content creators think the content should stand on its own.
Without any analysis to determine what works. Or doesn’t.
Unfortunately, they continue to live in a dream world or are denying reality. What they’ll soon realize is this. That they don’t have a choice in the matter.
Audiences around the world are fickle. They’re flipping through tv channels (or OTT shows) rapidly. Trying to find something that catches their eye. Something to binge watch for a few hours. It’s hard for anything in the cable/broadcasting/OTT world that catches their attention. Even by creating compelling content, there’s no guarantee that the viewer will tune in.
As a result, in the OTT world, it comes down to ease of use. The recommendations the algorithm spits out after you’ve watched a program. How easy it is to sign up for the service.
But, what if I wrote that there’s a company who can solve these problems. Without having to sign up new viewers. Who already has a massive built in international audience? Someone who can give out the statistics when a viewer has engaged the content. Who can give the content providers the exact data they need? And, in short, is essentially an OTT?
The company? Facebook.
It’s becoming a video powerhouse. Showing other companies content like Amazon Prime (http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/13/amazon-catastrophe-facebook/) for short periods of time.
Monetization problem? What monetization problem? Each time a person hits the subscribe button, it gives the company, content creator and advertiser crucial metrics to see who’s watching. And maybe allow the content creator enough time to adjust the plot in future episodes to target their demographic to maximize the affect on the audience.
Of course Facebook continues to add people at a rapid pace. So it does have an advantage when it comes to getting the biggest audience. And companies such as the Discovery Channel have figured out how to use it for short bursts of time (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/discovery-facebook-president-obama-1201518830/) to promote their product or partner with it for social causes. Without compromising their own cable or OTT channels.
But what happens when FB finally decides to produce its own programming? Shutting out others as they tweak their algorithm to favor their own content? Will organizations like the EU accuse it of anti-competitive practices?
How will the dynamics of the industry change? The strongest (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) will survive. The others? Maybe. If they focus on their niche. And manage to grow their audience over time.
FB? I predict it’ll do very well if it decides to produce its own programming/content. With its massive reach, the ability to determine who is viewing the content (and when), the company is virtually unstoppable. It can offer exactly what the advertiser needs, especially in the growing baby boomer and above demographics. The ones who have the money. And are continuing to log into the service and stay for hours at a time.
A possible solution to a content provider. Without having to go the OTT route.