April Twenty Nine
Are the days blurring for you too? it’s not first thing Friday morning  - this is where we share an additional midweek Fix, going deeper on our core topics. This week newTV, next week Merchants and we will alternate. We will get this onto a separate database so people can opt out of this if they want - but if you unsubscribe now you lose Fix Friday too. Would love your thoughts on how we make this better  - hit reply.

Following last weeks stellar numbers this Bloomberg piece says Subscribing to Netflix Is No Longer a Choice - and as the chart above shows the 'competitors' get used as a supplement rather than a replacement.

Ted Sarandos talking on the Netflix Results call - he is not worried about the impact of the Virus on their content slate - not sure the competition is as well prepared. And Netflix are also buying up movies denied a Cinema release.
Yes. Well, the one thing that's maybe not widely understood is we work really far out relative to the industry because we launch our shows all episodes at once. And we're working far out all over the world.
So our 2020 slate of series and films are largely shot and are in postproduction remotely in locations all over the world. So -- and we're actually pretty deep into our 2021 slate. So we're not -- we aren't anticipating any moving -- moving things around. And to give you some examples, The Crown, in its fourth season; our big fourth quarter animated release, Over the Moon. These are shot productions in our -- in the finishing stages right now to release later this year as planned. So we don't anticipate moving the schedule around much and certainly not in 2020.
New entrants
The streaming market is filling up. Peacock is out (for some Comcast customers) ahead of schedule and HBO Max has set a target of May 27 - meaning that binging Friends may be a lockdown diversion. It’s not clear whether this will be a US launch or an international one. As we saw with Quibi there is little to stop you making the service available everywhere. Some still favour a rollout - AMC owned Acorn a US service focused on British content has launched in the UK. With series like Doc Martin and a £4.99 price point if looks like a Britbox competitor.

Early indications are that Quibi is doing OK - getting on for 3m downloads of the app - which gets a 3.4 rating on iTunes - split between people who love it and give it 5 stars and those who want to watch on TV so give it just 1. Reviews are middling - but some shows like Golden Arm and Most Dangerous Game are getting a good reaction. Performance on the app store isn't great - but it's not far behind Britbox. With no local marketing, that's not too bad. And they have the talent and funding to evolve.

A key issue in the move to new TV is the role for ads. I think subscription businesses will struggle in a post Virus recession and whilst cord cutting does balance out some subs, the role for ad supported businesses will grow. A study from US discovery service Reelgood, show that Ad funded streaming gets 28% of playback streams so it’s already significant. Smart ad solutions with better targeting and a lower weight of advertising plus some innovation around ad formats will help drive growth. 
It’s one of the topics covered in this good discussion between the CMO of Simulmedia and Terry Kawaja. Terry shares good insight - talking of the democratisation of TV - and worth watching.
A former colleague came up with the idea of a website where you could buy the sunglasses worn in the latest Friends episode. As Seen on Screen was a little ahead of its time but the pivot to general fashion ecommerce worked out well.
NBC seek to exploit the opportunities for commerce with their new NBC Commerce engine that means any TV show can sell off the screen. A note from the NBC team to DTC specialist 2pm explains more;
All the real value for brands and consumers lies with creators that are driving real discovery and inspiration. Our mission at the Commerce Partnerships team at NBC is to create deeply integrated commerce opportunities for retail brand partners and drive transaction as close to the moment of inspiration as possible – so that value can be attributed to whom it really belongs.
Even before ASOS people have used TV  to sell directly - KTel was a big advertiser in the 70s using partnerships to sell records and household appliances. And the economics and ecology of the infomercial are really relevant here. 

I mentioned Barry Diller dismissing the idea of a streaming service as too hard and too expensive - remember his entry to the world of digital commerce came from experiencing the power of QVC selling his girlfriends dresses. We think about newTV as part of our Merchant world view - the direct to consumer relationship means commerce is a valid part of the business model and things like live streaming are really relevant here.
Universal's 'Trolls World Tour' Earns Nearly $100 Million in First 3 Weeks of VOD Rentals. US cinemas are really unhappy and threatening to boycott future Universal movies. The world has changed.
Walmart is selling its on-demand video service Vudu to Fandango - remember Tesco tried this too with Hudl and its partnership with Wuaki - now part of Rakuten
“The Last Dance” Series Premiere Episodes are the Most-Viewed ESPN Documentary Content Ever, Averaging 6.1 Million Viewers - streamed on Netflix too and highly recommended
This Last Dance ad from Statefarm is a great example of the power of TV ads - if they are made to fit the context
Still on Basketball - NBA to Create New Direct-to-Consumer Game Streaming Service With Microsoft
Streamed movies to be eligible for 2021 Oscars - great for Amazon and Netflix - and another nail in the Cinema coffin?
Q&A: UTA's Chief Innovation Officer On Hollywood In The Pandemic - Great interview with one of the top talent agents talking about Influencers and newTV
Good FT piece on Whatever happened to the golden age of television?
The Netflix button on your remote control is an ad

newTV is an area i am really focused on - if there is value for you in this space lets talk about how I might help - hit reply

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