Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, March 9th, 2023
Why are Netflix's PR efforts so...Grrrrr?
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, March 9th, 2023.
WHY ARE NETFLIX'S PR EFFORTS SO....GRRR?
One of the topics I focus on quite a bit in this newsletter is marketing and PR. Because in a world where it's a struggle to highlight any new show, you would expect streamers to prioritize content discovery. Which brings me to Netflix:
It's no secret that content discovery is one of the core challenges of the streaming video business. Even people who work in the business complain they can't find what they're looking for. Or they argue the industry is making too many new titles, because so many shows surface without being noticed by the industry or the public.
There are a lot of reasons for that, but one of the primary problems revolves around publicity efforts. Publicity is one of the first things to be cut in tough financial times and like the floor sales people of the retail world, it makes sense at first glance. You can cut a certain number of publicists at a streamer and still deliver somewhat useful publicity efforts. But it's a fine line and once you've crossed it, you're saving money in the short term but hurting yourself with subscriber growth and retention.
Every streaming service has their own specific publicity challenges, but if you talk to journalists who cover the streaming industry on a regular basis, unhappiness with Netflix dwarfs the complaints about any other service. And there's no way to adequately describe the problem without getting into whatever the streaming industry's equivalent of inside baseball might be.
Despite the fact that Netflix releases more originals by far than any other streaming video service, trying to sort out which publicist handles a specific project can feel as complicated as trying to determine who killed JFK. You're sent from person to person, sometimes a half dozen times before you find the correct contact. And probably half the time, you just end up smacking your keyboard against your head until you move on to the next show.
Please go read the entire piece and share it if you find it useful.
I have already received a lot of feedback about this post. Including a mix of reactions from Netflix publicists, ranging from "great points" to "F*&* you."
ODDS AND SODS
* In case The People's Choice Awards isn't enough for you, NBC and the Grand Old Opry are teaming up to launch the People’s Choice Country Awards, which will air on the network this September.
* The Apple TV+ series Silo has been selected to open the sixth season of the Canneseries festival. It will begin streaming on Apple TV+ on May 5th.
* Today's no-context piece of viewing data: Scripps Networks today announced that the series premiere episodes of the newest Bounce original series Act Your Age were seen by 2.14 million viewers in their debut telecasts. According to the company, "Act Your Age becomes the most-watched half-hour series launch in Bounce history."
* Saturday Night Live crew members have threatened to go on strike if they can’t reach a contract agreement with their employer, NBC, by the end of this month.
* Tastemade is opening of its first-ever US-based restaurant, Tastemade Me Tacos. Because when I think Tastemade I think tacos.
BOB IGER: 'WE PLAN TO MAKE FEWER SHOWS THAT SUCK'
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the company will specifically be looking at how much it is spending on content, and how many projects it produces going forward. And like Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav, he plans to greenlight fewer projects, making the ever-popular "quality-not-quantity" argument:
“You know, there’s so much consumer choice right now, and it comes back to, What is differentiated?” Iger said. “That’s one thing obviously we have talked about, is those brands: Star Wars, Marvel and Disney and Pixar, for instance. But quality is also a differentiator.”
“I think HBO proved that well, you know, in their halcyon days when high-quality programming made a big difference, and not volume,” he added. “And because the streaming platforms require so much volume, one has to question whether that’s the right direction to go, or if you can be more curated, more — I used the word ‘judicious’ a few times — but I guess, more picky about what you’re making, and to concentrate on quality and not volume."
This type of comment irritates me to no end. Because a) of course he wants to make better shows. I don't think any executive decides "I'm hoping to make fewer shows people want to watch." And b), executives always say this without specifying what recent shows fall into that "not good" category. So there's no context and it just ends up coming across like the kind of thing you say when you want to keep investors happy.
TWEET OF THE DAY
HOW MUCH IS A GLOBAL HIT TEEN HIT WORTH TO NETFLIX?
Parrot Analytics has an interesting piece about global teen shows and how much they might potentially be worth to Netflix or one of the other streamers. And there is a lot to wade through in the post:
Netflix’s Elite is a great microcosm for what we’re talking about.
According to Parrot Analytics affinity data, 73% of viewers who watched Elite in Q4 2022 were already watching Netflix content while 94% of viewers who watched Elite went on to watch another Netflix title. This cements the six-season Spanish drama as an excellent retention title for the streamer. Why? Because it extends a user’s stay within the Netflix ecosystem by funneling them to additional on-platform entertainment. In the last week alone, those who watched Elite also viewed The Walking Dead, Shadow & Bone, Emily in Paris, Inventing Anna, Bridgerton, The Crown, Lupin and Firefly Lane, all of which are available on Netflix. This is particularly valuable now that the market-leading streamer has entered the ad-supported fray where retention is sought after by advertisers and hyper-targeting by demographic is a valuable tool.
On the opposite end of this equation is a learning opportunity for services such as HBO Max, which saw 9% of users flee from its service to watch Netflix’s Elite. More than likely, these viewers remained on Netflix as just 3% of audiences then returned to HBO Max.
As I said, a lot of interesting data points. I'm just perplexed about where the data comes from. From what I can tell, Parrot doesn't divulge their methodology and this article has a lot of very specific conclusions:
Overall, Elite is projected to account for more than $230 million of total revenue contribution, or $4.8M per episode over 48 episodes, by 2027. Clearly, Netflix values the title as evidenced by the streamer’s Indian adaptation of Elite titled Class, which premiered February 3 and is among the top 8.6% of in-demand TV series worldwide over the last 30 days. Given the title’s unique ability to retain customers — while posting outstanding demand levels in Momentum and Travelability — these multi-market franchising efforts should not come as a major surprise.
One of the slides in the piece explains that Parrot uses a "content valuation framework, which leverages audience demand to empirically unbundle the value of content on any streaming service." I know that is similar to the way that Netflix values its content, but they are using internal metrics. So I'm trying to figure out how Parrot replicates that and how accurate their methodology might be.
WHAT'S NEW FOR THURSDAY:
Beyond Fentanyl (Vice)
Her Study Of A Killer (LMN)
Poker Face Season One Finale (Peacock)
School Spirits Series Premiere (Paramount+)
The Torso Killer Confessions (A&E)
Top Chef Season Premiere (Bravo)
You Season Premiere (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU FRIDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.