Major entertainment companies are refocusing their strategies to match the Millennial generation’s propensity to engage with content online over television. We bring you the breakdown of the biggest deals being signed in the business.
DISH just signed a major deal with Disney to bring ESPN, ABC and Disney content online using the “over-the-top” format. Similar to the Netflix model, “over-the-top” implies that all you need to enjoy programming is a subscription to the site and a working Internet connection. Dave Shull the company’s Chief Commercial Officer said the move was targeted at Millennials in the 18-34 age range and subscription is likely to cost around 20-30$ a month. DISH is also in talks with other networks and channels to expand its online content offerings.
BBC Three just went completely digital. The corporate decision was primarily motivated by the BBC’s urgent need to slash its budget. Given that lower production and broadcast costs are a hallmark of the online platform, the move will most likely lead to great results for the company. Especially when one considers the fact that its target audience is 16 to 34-year-olds, a demographic that probably already prefers watches content online.
Having already acquired online video publishing company thePlatform in 2006, the entertainment giant just bought online advertising firm FreeWheel for roughly $375 million. FreeWheel was founded in 2007 and aims to streamline in-programming ad offerings across devices. Comcast’s interest in FreeWheel and FreeWheel’s immense success over the last five years are indicative of the growing need for multi-platform streamable ads to keep up with content that is increasingly becoming characterized by its multi-platform playability.
Verizon bought Intel’s “digital tv” company OnCue earlier this year. “The OnCue platform and team will help Verizon bring next-generation video services to audiences who increasingly expect to view content when, where and how they want it,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. The telecom giant is also in talks with online content providers to explore the possibility of expanding its TV-for-mobile offerings.
As our recent post on how online video is revolutionizing the music industry discussed, the online platform is allowing content-creators to produce more risqué content. CW will be posting the “too scandalous for TV” version of episodes from its new show Reign online, the same week it airs on TV.
HBO & Vice
The provocative docu-series produced by Vice Magazine’s Shane Smith and Bill Maher (with Fareed Zakaria acting as a consultant) is revolutionizing the way we see the world. It gives viewers an intimate and real look at issues from around the globe using a distinctly “guerrilla” style of on-location shooting. The series airs on HBO, but is available for free on YouTube.