Screen Time

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos wasn't boasting when he told GQ back in January that the company's "goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." This prediction came true in August when Netflix's $1.146 billion subscriber revenue surpassed the cable network's $1.141 billion. Maybe this is why HBO announced on October 15 that it plans to create its own digital VOD service. And it's likely CBS heard about HBO's service, because the very next day CBS declared it too was going to release a subscription service. Only a few days after that on October 28, YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki noted the video site may soon offer an ad-free subscription option. But will consumers actually be willing to throw more money at any of the new services?
By - Posted Nov 13, 2014
One of the most frequent questions people ask me when they find out what I write about is, "How do YouTubers make money?" This used to be a simple answer. When the very first YouTubers started making money, it was predominantly through electing to run ads on their channels' videos (which you can still do today), but also through selling merchandise. Creators would link to their branded t-shirts, stickers, buttons... basically, whatever they could cheaply produce and still earn a small profit from. More progressive production companies, who were already successful enough they could afford to take a few risks, would encourage viewers to sign up for their membership sites, promising exclusive content and promotions galore.
By - Posted Oct 16, 2014
By the time this month's column is published, the Streamy Awards will already be finished, the winners having gone home and giddily placed their awards in a prominent location like a display shelf or a fireplace mantle. If this was a different column, I would start talking about the Streamy Award winners without having to explain who those people are, what they do, and why they won. But this isn't that kind of column, because you're not that kind of audience.
By - Posted Sep 11, 2014
Digital entertainment has been the favored medium of the younger generation for the last several years, and there's a new statistic in town to prove it. We've already seen in a past column that people between the ages of 18-36 are the least likely to subscribe to cable television. Instead, they beat out all other age ranges in subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But if you turn your attention to even younger age ranges, the divide between traditional media and new media gets even larger.
By - Posted Aug 12, 2014
Do you know what an MCN is? Neither did I until last month. The acronym stands for multi-channel network, which is a company that partners with online video (usually YouTube) channels to help streamline their management, finances, production, and public relations. I'd heard a few years back that some of the biggest YouTubers had managers and agents, much like "real" celebrities do. I just didn't know they were all part of this bigger thing known as an MCN.
By - Posted Jul 10, 2014
Sure, the deal was interesting. It now means Amazon Prime subscribers can stream many of HBO's top titles, including Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. It also means the general public no longer needs a cable subscription to view past seasons of these shows (and HBO doesn't need to worry about viewers resorting to illegally downloading the programs, either). Despite the fact that HBO didn't include its ever-popular Game of Thrones, the entire thing was still a no-brainer, a win-win-win situation for everyone.But that's about it.
By - Posted Jun 05, 2014
My suspicions about the popularity of digital entertainment have been confirmed by several recent events and statistics. Disney is in the process of acquiring YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, and Yahoo is aiming to create original TV series like Netflix did with House of Cards. In terms of using video in marketing, the industry's exploding with demand and opportunity. For example, 25% of marketers learned last year that embedding video in their email newsletters and campaigns resulted in a 280% higher return than traditional emails.
By - Posted May 08, 2014