REBECCA GREENFIELD FEB 1, 2013
With Netflix’s foray into original, high quality programming today, the streaming TV network wants to turn into the HBO of Internet TV, but can the network afford it? Putting together a big production with famous actors like House of Cards costs a lot of money—$100 million for two 13 episode seasons, to be exact—and Netflix CEO Reid Hastings says he plans on making five new shows like that per year, he told GQ‘s Nancy Hass. How can that make economic sense for a company makes all of its money off $7.99 per month subscription fees? Netflix doesn’t run any ads, nor does it benefit from a relationship with a big media conglomerate like HBO and its parent company Time Warner. But while $100 million sounds jaw-dropping, a little math shows that, if the shows are good — a big if, admittedly — spending that kind of money could be good business for the company.
Breaking Even Won’t Be That Hard: With Netflix spending a reported $100 million to produce two 13-episode seasons of House of Cards, they need 520,834 people to sign up for a $7.99 subscription for two years to break even. To do that five times every year, then, the streaming TV site would have to sign up 2.6 million more subscribers than they would have. That sounds daunting, but at the moment, Netflixhas 33.3 million subscribers, so this is an increase of less than 10 percent on their current customer base. Of course, looking at Netflix’s past growth, that represents pretty reasonable growth for the company that saw 65 percent growth from 20 million to over 33 million world-wide streaming customers. Much of that growth, however, comes from new overseas markets. But, even in the U.S., from one year ago, Netflix saw about 13 percent streaming viewer growth jumping from 24 million to 27 million. (more…)
A New Revenue Model For TV Networks and Video Producers
Published: January 29, 2013
A new chapter in online video is about to begin. YouTube is prepping to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform in its latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs, and advertiser dollars away from traditional TV, according to multiple people familiar with the plans.
YouTube has reached out to a small group of channel producers and asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access. As of now it appears that the first paid channels will cost somewhere between $1 and $5 a month, two of these people said. In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events, a la pay-per-view, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
It’s not clear which channels will be part of the first paid-subscription rollout, but it is believed that YouTube will lean on the media companies that have already shown the ability to develop large followings on the video platform, including networks like Machinima, Maker Studios and Fullscreen. YouTube is also looking outside its current roster of partners for candidates.
These people said YouTube could introduce the paid channels as early as the second quarter of this year. One of them said that the channels could be introduced to the public at the Digital Content New Fronts in late April, where digital-media companies such as YouTube, AOL and Yahoo host advertisers for presentations announcing new online-video series.
The quirky little start-up that once printed money by mailing you DVDs is hell-bent on morphing into the HBO—and the network, and the any-show, any-time streaming service—of tomorrow. Can Netflix and its pathologically modest founder, Reed Hastings, pull it off? Who knows? But it’s going to be fun to watch, starting this month with David Fincher’s $100 million House of Cards. The only guaranteed winner in the bloody battle for the on-demand future? You. On your couch
In the beginning, there was the tube. The cathode-ray tube, that is, and “The Tube,” that squat shiny box that ate up half the living room and all of your family’s attention. Then came cable, and videocassettes, HBO, DVDs, and the Sony PlayStation and TiVo, satellite and Blu-ray, and the ninety-six-inch flat-screen and a slew of awkward little boxes with those mysterious colored lights, all of which changed the way we entertain ourselves. But most important, there came the Internet and Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and Reed Hastings, who blew up all the old paradigms about who, what, when, where, why, and even how we watch, busting the chains that bind us to our cable boxes, to the never-ending scroll of 739 channels, to our prime-time prison.
Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, has a name for this prison and what it does to the people trapped inside it: managed dissatisfaction. “The traditional entertainment ecosystem is built on it, and it’s a totally artificial concept,” says Hastings. “The point of managed dissatisfaction is waiting. You’re supposed to wait for your show that comes on Wednesday at 8 p.m., wait for the new season, see all the ads everywhere for the new season, talk to your friends at the office about how excited you are.” If it’s a movie, he adds, you wait till the night it opens, you wait for the pay-channel window, you wait for it to come to cable. Waiting means pent-up demand, millions of people watching the same thing at the same time, preferably at night, when they’re pliant with exhaustion and ready to believe they need the stuff being hawked in all those commercials. Waiting, Hastings says, is dead. (more…)
07 Jan 2013 10:38
by Nick Farrell in Rome
It is starting to look like the death of bound books has been much exaggerated. For the last few years, technology pundits have been declaring books were dead as a dodo and the world was going to read from tablets and ebooks in the future.
This has been confirmed by shedloads of statistics which show ebooks rushing past traditional book sales.
But the Wall Street Journal has been looking closely at a Pew study on the reading habits of Americans.
The report, with the catchy title, E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines, suggests the doom of Gutenberg’s dream, but there are a few stats which suggest that something else is happening. (more…)
DEREK THOMPSON – Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for TheAtlantic.com.
JAN 7 2013
In TV Land, the dinosaurs still rule the world
Surely, you’ve heard the news: The cable business is broken, the end of TV is nigh, and it’s only a matter of time before the Internet does to television what it’s done to music and newspapers — obliterate the old business models and leave something shiny and new in their place.
Maybe. Some day. For now, the dinosaurs still rule the world.
As David Carr explained today in the New York Times, the two industries that make up what most people think of as the TV business — content companies (who own the shows and the channels) and cable companies (who own the infrastructure that transports the shows and channels to your TV box) — had a smashing year in 2012. Many of them outperformed the newer and nimbler companies, such as Apple, Netflix, and Google, that are supposedly destined to displace them. They owe much of their success to the very thing that was supposed to kill them — the Internet. (more…)
FORBES / TECH
Mark Fidelman, Contributor
Mention Guy Kawasaki’s name and you instantly think of one of two things: Apple’s Social Evangelist or best-selling author. He’s combined both talents in his latest project, a book called APE (Author, Publisher Entrepreneur, How to Publish a Book) which is a comprehensive guide to self-publishing.
Do authors really need to read this book? That was the question on my mind when I reached out to Kawasaki to learn more. Kawasaki is a very busy guy, and I could detect from our interactions that he was passionate that every author be given the chance to learn the advantages of self-publishing.
From my perspective, he delivers.
“I wrote APE because I found out how hard it is to self-publish a book when I wrote What the Plus! It drove me crazy to think that people are struggling with a process that should be about creativity and the dissemination of information, not figuring out formats and reseller deals. So I wrote a book to solve this problem,” said Kawasaki. Therein lays the difficulty for most authors. Most would rather self-publish given the increased flexibility, time to market and higher royalties, but the process of creating a quality book and having it properly marketed is challenging.
“The process takes twelve to eighteen months to publish a book—Apple introduces new models of iPhones faster than that,” Kawasaki explains. In my interview with him, Kawasaki acknowledged that traditional publishers are behind, even detrimental to authors in some circumstances: “The issue is that they <publishers> are limited to the traditional way of making money: selling books printed on paper to customers who are willing to wait twelve months for a book and who use the publisher’s imprint as a proxy for quality. Those days are gone.” (more…)
21 December 2012
Noticiero Univision got record ratings during
the week of Dec. 10, 2012.
Univision is poised to end 2012 as the #4 network in the country (broadcast or cable) in the 18-34 coveted key demo. It has seen an increase in viewership among adults 18-34 to 984,000, lifting the network from 5th place a year ago.
During the week of December 10 to December 16, Univision showed record growth due to extensive coverage of Jenni Rivera’s tragic death: (more…)
YouTube For Good Wants You To Watch World-Changing Films Alongside Cat Videos | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation
The video site is making itself a platform for nonprofits by adding features like donate buttons, but also making sure that videos on important topics–even with small budgets–get in front of the millions who need to see them.
Do a Google search for “YouTube for Good” and you won’t get too many relevant hits. There certainly isn’t a landing page on YouTube. But YouTube can be a platform of change, even in the midst of thousands of cat videos and people doing bedroom renditions of Beyonce songs. So says Hunter Walk, the director of product management at YouTube and head of YouTube’s Social Good Initiative Team.
I spoke to Walk at the Social Innovation Summit, where he explained what YouTube for Good (founded in 2011) is all about. “It’s really more about YouTube as a whole than a separate program. It’s comprised of some efforts to ensure that nonprofits, educators, and activists are as successful on YouTube as entertainers, comedians, and athletes,” he explains.
If it’s not a separate program, where can we find YouTube for Good in the larger YouTube universe? One place to start is the YouTube Nonprofit Program, an initiative that gives accredited nonprofits additional features for their uploaded videos, including donation buttons, live streaming, call to action video overlays, channel branding, and community forums. (more…)
Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, crystal balls the future of social so you’re not stuck with–gasp–Twitter 101-level skills.
Will Facebook continue its reign atop the social hierarchy? Will businesses get better returns on their social media investment? Will your CEO finally learn to tweet? Here’s a look at the biggest social media trends set to unfold in the year ahead.
Mobile social media usage continues to soar: In September, Facebook made a monumental–if little noted–revelation in a quarterly SEC filing: “[We] anticipate that the rate of growth in mobile usage will exceed the growth in usage through personal computers for the foreseeable future.” Mobile Internet users are set to overtake wired Internet users by 2015 in the U.S., but this shift is happening far faster on social platforms. (more…)
My (newspaper-centric) predictions for 2013 in a nutshell:
- Because of the rapid adoption curve of tablets and the convenience of news consumption on them, the business model for seven-day printed newspapers in most markets is toast. We’ll start to see frequency reductions to two or three days a week at an accelerated pace. By the end of 2015, fewer than half of the current dailies will still be on that schedule.
- While we’re still seeing more papers hopping on the paywall bandwagon, there will be a growing realization that simple paywalls that just provide access to the content of a single newspaper are not the answer. So paywalls will begin to morph into membership models, where subscribers get access not only to content but to a range of services and benefits.
- As part of membership thinking, newspapers will finally start adopting the “jobs to be done” thinking advocated in the American Press Institute’sNewspaper Next project (2005-2008) — the idea that the resources of the news organization can address a wide variety of problems that readers and advertisers need solutions to.
- Membership thinking will also encourage the idea of paid (or unpaid) access to content from a network or cooperative of news organizations — sort of an E-ZPass approach, in which your paid digital subscription at a local news site might also provide you with access to regional and national news sources along with topical news from sites that specialize in business, finance, travel, sports, food, design, or whatever suits your fancy.
Let’s look at each of these in detail. (more…)
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