Netflix Is Betting Its Future on Exclusive Programming

The New York Times



Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, said his company’s rivalry with HBO will “be like the Yankees and the Red Sox.” CreditBernd Von Jutrczenka/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Image

LOS GATOS, Calif. — It is April 9 just before midnight in the war room ofNetflix’s headquarters here, where the smell of popcorn fills the air and a team of engineers, social media experts and other specialists starts counting down the seconds until the new “Daredevil” superhero series goes live on the streaming service.

At the stroke of 12, applause breaks out in the room. Flutes of Champagne are passed around as the Netflix team checks that the series is available for binge watching across devices in more than 50 countries around the world.

“Daredevil” is the 17th Netflix original series to make its debut this year, representing a bold bet by the company to significantly increase its investment in exclusive programming. Just three years after Netflix started streaming its first original series, “Lilyhammer,” the company is planning 320 hours of original programming in 2015. That is about three times what it offered last year.

Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, is a connoisseur of them all, though he admits some run more to his tastes than others. During an interview the next afternoon, he said that he had watched the first episode of “Daredevil,” but called it “too violent” for him. (more…)

Generation YouTube: Today’s fastest-rising stars aren’t coming out of Hollywood


Thanks to the popularity of online media sites like YouTube, mainstream entertainment soon may look more like that kid clowning around in front of a laptop camera.

Digital Media

April 23, 2015

Hanging out on a graffiti-coated movie set in Los Angeles in October, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox laugh as they recall the first time they were recognized in public.

It was 2005, and the two were visiting a Subway shop in their hometown of Sacramento, Calif., when a customer spotted them as the “Mortal Kombat guys” from YouTube.

Calling themselves Smosh, the shaggy-haired teens had lip-synched the video game’s theme song and pretended to high kick each other in a mock fight staged in Padilla’s childhood bedroom. The sandwich buyer told them what he thought of their 3.5-minute video — his review included an expletive and the word “sucked” — and then asked: “You guys take that shit seriously?”

James Martin/CNET

They certainly do, and they’re not the only ones.

Smosh’s send-ups of video games and movies have spawned a multimillion-dollar brand for the now 27-year-olds. Their Mortal Kombat takeoff has been watched more than 27 million times, while their channels on Google’s YouTube video site have tallied more than 7 billion views. Their fan base sometimes swarms into mobs the pair calls “scary.” Today, more than 20 million people subscribe to their main YouTube channel. (more…)


Nielsen Logo


Heavy viewers and listeners are often considered the ‘super fans’ of the media ecosystem. These power users devote significant hours of their lives to one medium or another and are the most likely to consistently engage with content and advertising found on those channels. Aligning with the famous “pareto principle,” which states that 80% of consumption comes from 20% of the participants, heavy media users make up the lion’s share of the usage in markets all across the U.S.

Recently, Nielsen released the Audio Today report profiling the listening habits of the 243 million Americans who use radio each week. The report also included a profile of the heaviest users across four media sectors. And an interesting headline emerged: heavy radio listeners and heavy TV viewers are, for the most part, mutually exclusive.

Heavy TV viewers watch nearly double the amount of TV each week as heavy radio (more…)


Nielsen Logo

GLOBAL| 04-06-2015

From keeping tabs on friends via social media to skipping lines at the store by shopping online, technology continues to reshape our everyday habits. In fact, nearly seven-in-10 (69%) global respondents to a recent survey think face-to-face interactions are being replaced with electronic ones. And the digital landscape is only getting more crowded, as a new wave of digital devices, such as wearable and connected car technologies, gain traction.

Today, we have more control over when, where and how we watch video programming, but scheduled viewing hasn’t gone away for most of us. In fact, 65% of global respondents still prefer to watch video programming live at its regularly scheduled time. But more and more frequently, real-time conversations on social media are replacing physical gatherings around the water cooler to talk about a previous night’s episode of a favorite TV show. Not only does watching in real-time avoid spoilers, live TV has become a real-time social event that goes way beyond the confines of our living rooms. More than half of global respondents (53%) say they like to keep up with shows so they can join the conversation on social media, and nearly half (49%) say they watch live video programming more if it has a social media tie in. Forty-seven percent of global respondents say they engage with social media while watching video programming. (more…)

Millennials ditching their TV sets at a record rate

New York Post

By Claire Atkinson
February 16, 2015

Millennials ditching their TV sets at a record rate
Millenials like this couple are watching less TV than ever before.Photo: Getty Images

The biggest TV drama among millennials is playing off screen.

So far this season, younger viewers, the most important audience for advertisers, have ditched their TV sets at more than double the rate of previous years, new Nielsen figures show.

Traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4 percent a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6 percent between September and January.

In the era of smartphones and Netflix, it’s no surprise that traditional TV is losing relevance for younger viewers. But the sudden acceleration is alarming to even the most seasoned analysts.

“The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told The Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”

Brad Adgate, Horizon Media’s chief researcher and often one of the first to spot trouble, was equally surprised at the sudden drop. (more…)

YouTube millionaires: How are they earning so much money from video?

Digital Spy

Digital Spy By Monday, Feb 16 2015

When YouTube launched 10 years ago, no-one knew how it was going to survive. Video – especially back then – was enormously expensive, and YouTube was hosting it for free, attracting an millions per day. Google bought the startup a mere year later, turning it into a juggernaut of content that has amassed over 1 trillion views and now averages over 800 million unique visitors a month.

Youtube generic

© Rex Features / Alex Segre

The revenue that Google’s ads bring also offers a slice of the profits for anyone who cares to sign up to the program. Users can make up to 45% of any revenue that Google generates from your videos, and while that’s insignificant for most people, there are some users who are earning serious amounts of money through the site:

1. Gaming vloggers like PewDiePie One area that seems to have generated more wealth than any other on YouTube is gaming videos. PewDiePie, a 25-year-old from Sweden who currently lives in Brighton, is the perfect example. PewDiePie has a staggering 34.5 million subscribers, and his videos each attract millions of views. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2013, he earned around $4 million (£2.4 million) per year from that alone – a figure later confirmed by PewDiePie in a Reddit AmA.

2. Popstars such as Rihanna Although there are lots of stories like PewDiePie’s where individual vloggers have gone on to earn fame and a handsome living via YouTube, there are also lots of big-name companies and global superstars raking it in from the site. Owned by Google, Universal Media Group, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media, Vevo manages YouTube music videos for big-name artists. Rihanna‘s Vevo channel is one of the most popular, and YouTube channel statistics analysts StatSheep believe it could earn her around the same figure as PewDiePie – an estimated $4.15 million (£2.7 million) per year.

3. People who make you laugh, like PrankvsPrank It’s not just obvious categories like music and gaming though, because PrankvsPrank features husband and wife Jeana and Jesse Wellens, who have made their name playing progressively more ludicrous practical jokes on each other. They now have 7 million subscribers. The question about these two though, is how is either of them still falling for any of the pranks they play on each other, and how they keep coming up with new ideas. However they do it, their channel is hilarious. In a very smart move, the pair also have a vlogging channel which documents their lives together, and it has more than 5 million subscribers – giving them even more potential revenue. All in all, they could be earning as much as $4.6 million (£3 million) per year across the site from their videos.

4. The Slow Mo Guys Perhaps the best thing about YouTube though, is that you can make videos that are visually interesting and still make a living out of it. The Slow Mo Guys are a British duo who make videos of really cool stuff happening, and then slow it down (without a doubt, almost everything looks better slowed down). It might not be the most educational of endeavours, but the pair have close to 5 million subscribers, and could make up to $1.23m (£800,000) per year from their shenanigans. Interestingly though, there is potential added value here beyond just advertising revenue. For example, videos are often sponsored, by the likes of Audible. There’s also considerable scope for commercial videos here, which could very well expand the earnings of vloggers like The Slow Mo Guys substantially. Finally, if you want to be YouTube rich, remember this: these people all work enormously hard. Anyone can have a YouTube channel, and anyone can get money for it, but unless you’re prepared to work tirelessly at it, you’ll never make enough to quit your day job. But if you want encouragement, take a look at the people who are doing what they love, making videos and getting paid for it, all thanks to a silly video site that launched just 10 years ago. Happy Birthday YouTube – and thanks for all the wasted time.

How YouTube changed the world

The Telegraph

  • 9th February 2015
  • Editors: Nisha Lilia Diu, Méabh Ritchie

In late 2005, when YouTube was just a few months old, one of its co-founders announced that the site’s users were consuming the equivalent of an entire Blockbuster store each month. Today, 300 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute. And Blockbuster… Well, kids, Blockbuster was a video rental shop offering films on DVD and VHS. VHS tapes were like giant cassettes. Cassettes were… Oh, never mind.

The online video behemoth has become the world’s third most-visited website, after Google and Facebook. According to Jawed Karim, he and two of his PayPal colleagues, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, launched the site after becoming frustrated that they couldn’t find footage of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and, er, Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl the same year.

This high-and-low ethos is baked into YouTube’s culture. It’s been lauded for promoting democracy and reenergising education, while being disparaged for its endless cat videos and nasty user comments.

What is beyond debate is YouTube’s influence (spotted by a far-sighted Google in 2006, when it bought the site for $1.65 billion). Almost anyone can upload almost anything to YouTube, for free, and be in with a chance of reaching its one billion monthly users – whether they’re activists, terrorists, politicians or pop stars (or just the proud owner of a “mutant giant spider dog”). It has changed our world.


Matthew Holehouse

00:00 03:38

The 40-year old MP for Witney scrapes plates into a bin, while his wife helps their children get ready for school in their handsome kitchen.

“Watch out BBC, ITV, Channel 4. We’re the new competition. We’re a bit wobbly, but this is one of the ways we want to communicate with people properly,” says David Cameron. It is October 2006 and WebCameron, a new YouTube channel, is born. (more…)

Net Fix: Title II, the two words that terrify the broadband industry


Title II, a provision in the country’s 81-year-old telecommunications law, could be used to tighten regulations on the telecom and cable industries. Here’s why they’re not happy about it.

by Roger Cheng and Ben Fox Rubin
February 2, 2015

    From left: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly watch as protesters are removed from the dais during a hearing at the FCC in December.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesThis story is part of a CNET special report looking at the challenges of Net neutrality, and what rules — if any — are needed to fuel innovation and protect US consumers.

    Heavy-handed. Archaic. Disastrous.

    Those are just some of the ways critics describe Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which lets the Federal Communications Commission set rates and ensure equal access to traditional phone service.

    As the FCC gets ready to propose new rules governing the Internet, the broadband industry — the cable, wireless and telecommunications companies providing Internet service in the United States — is using even more colorful epithets to describe Title II. That’s because the FCC, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler and backed by President Barack Obama, wants the broadband industry to abide by the same rules governing old-style telephone utilities. To do that, broadband will have to be governed by Title II.

    This month, the FCC will try to redefine what broadband is, how it’s delivered and whether all Internet traffic gets equal treatment. That concept of equal treatment — which means preventing broadband providers from favoring certain kinds of content — has been dubbed Net neutrality or the open Internet. (more…)

    Music accounted for 62 of the top 250 YouTube channels in 2014


    February 2nd, 2015 by Stuart Dredge

    katy perry

    Recently, we ran some analysis of the monthly YouTube charts published on industry site Tubefilter, which use data from analytics firm OpenSlate. That gave us an idea of the most popular music channels on YouTube in 2014, but now the site haspublished a top 250 for the year, digging a bit further into the longer tail.

    The headline stat is that music accounted for 62 of the top 250 channels ranked by annual views in 2014, with 43 of those falling under the Vevo banner. As we noted before, Katy Perry was the top music channel in third place overall, while Shakira, Spinnin’ Records and Enrique Iglesias all made it into the top 10 overall.

    Music taking just under a quarter of the top 250 may sound a little low, considering its importance to YouTube as a category. That’s partly a reflection of the cyclical nature of music channel viewing though: channels are quiet when artists are recording, and the big ones have sharp peaks around new video releases – at least until the artist has a sizeable enough back catalogue to keep the views rolling in even when they’re inactive.

    Otherwise, when the figures are totted up annually, many artists slip back compared to the steadyu (and building, if they’re good) viewing for vloggers and gamers on YouTube. Hence Taylor Swift in 21st place overall, although she was comfortably inside the top five towards the end of 2014.

    Also notable: the low ranking for some of the traditional stars of social/digital media: Justin Bieber had the 43rd most popular YouTube channel in 2014 – admittedly a quiet year for him musically – while Lady Gaga was 158th and Britney Spears 203rd.

    Media = content + people


    January 23, 2015 by Jeff Jarvis

    We can’t see the internet for the wires. We talk about the internet as technology — computers and cables — but more and more I see it as people: people connected with each other, people speaking, people shopping, people learning.

    I am finally seeing media the same way: people, unmediated. This is the basis of our new degree in social journalism at CUNY. And this is a worldview and business model confirmed by Samir Arora, CEO of Mode Media (aka Glam) in a session I moderated at this week’s DLD conference in Munich. Samir presented a new taxonomy for media companies and a new view of their profitability based less on the value of their content than on the value and scale of the people they connect. It’s a new, powerful, and unappreciated vision.

    I have been writing about the power of networks for a long time and that is why Samir walked into my office seven years ago saying he had to show me a slide of his, because it confirmed what I’d been saying. This ugly bit of PowerPoint — often compared to some bizarre biological experiment — exhibited the scale Glam had achieved as a web property over rival iVillage. Glam did that by building networks of independent bloggers instead of owning, creating, and syndicating content, the old way. In short order, Glam had beat iVillage.

    Screenshot 2015-01-19 at 6.13.00 PM

    Since then, Glam and its associated brands — collectively Mode Media — have grown from 20 million uniques in the U.S. to more than 400 million worldwide. Mode is now the seventh largest web property. iVillage is gone.

    How did Glam do that? People. (more…)