At Sunny Side of the Doc, producers packed into the presentation on Netflix’s documentary strategy.
- But they were less interested in learning What Do We Want? from the many broadcasters, cablers & foundations who presented later.
- The producers missed out on a lot of valuable information that could translate into new business.
- Here’s why the production community is exaggerating the promise of the streamers and under-estimating the legacy buyers at the channels…
Where Do They Spend?
- Spending by U.S. consumers on traditional distribution channels (MVPD) is declining, as you can see in the bar chart above.
- But it is more than 5 times their spend on Netflix and the subscription streaming services.
- That huge consumer expenditure means that the channels are continuing to green light originals at a combined scale that dwarfs the spending on production by online platforms.
- The bubble chart below captures the dominance of consumer spending on channels (MVPD) versus all other distribution platforms.
- (MVPD = Multichannel video programming distributor, like Comcast and DISH. vMVPD = Virtual MVPD that supplies channels via the Internet and without its own cable or satellite infrastructure.)
Netflix Documentary Spending
- In a conversation at Sunny Side, several industry veterans estimated that Netflix’s 2019 spend on documentaries and Unscripted programs is around US$500 million.
- That’s a fraction of the many billions in the combined worldwide spend on original factual programs by majors like BBC, ITV, ARD/ZDF, NHK, Discovery and Nat Geo.
- And hundreds of millions more spent by all the smaller players combined… like Arte, Smithsonian, Planete, Reelz, SVT, ABC Australia and many such others.
What You Need To Know
- Traditional broadcasters and channels are experiencing a profound challenge from the streamers.
- The harsh psychology of a threatened business model is to cut back the volume of orders and on price points.
- However, the Cab/Sat sunset is a relatively slow one, bolstered by the operators’ telephone and Internet businesses.
- The vastly higher total spend by consumers on the channels means that networks are continuing to provide a much larger scale opportunity for producers than the streaming sector.
- VideoNuze‘s coverage is always excellent, as in this post and podcast.
- Don’t miss the D-Word‘s detailed coverage by Eli Brown of Diego Buñuel’s Netflix presentation at Sunny Side.
- What the data tell us about Disney‘s advantage over Apple in the Streaming Wars
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