All signs are pointing to a major disruptive event in video distribution and consumption in the very near future. Like tomorrow, not next decade. Cord cutting, over-the-top boxes, smart TV’s, streaming video, the growth of zero TV households and a YouTube upfront with original content will have major impact on traditional producers’ and distributors’ ability to draw audiences and acquire quality programming.
A few years ago the world went crazy for UGC videos. Some were marginally entertaining—OK, funny cat videos NEVER get old. Most were big wastes of time but tons of people showed up to view them. These were fun content snacks but, in most cases, not the quality writing, acting and production values that we are used to. As long as the traditional distributors could acquire video product of higher quality they could stay ahead, we thought. Well that is changing as we speak.
27 million Netflix video streaming subscribers is something to take note of. The fact that they are acquiring high quality first run content—House of Cards tells you that they are giving HBO (29 million subscribers) a run for their money. Add to that 5 million ROKU, 3 million Hulu PLUS subscribers and the cumulative total of Aereo, iTunes, Blockbuster OD, Amazon Prime, Cinema Now, Vudu, Android Market, etc. and we’ve got a fast changing game.
YouTube is having an upfront ad-selling season. Their live streaming stunt with Felix Baumgartner (Red Bull Stratos Jump) was a success. This doesn’t bode well for traditional video providers who once prided themselves on live content.
Here’s what CBS is doing about it. They are now airing older episodes of one of their best programs, “The Good Wife”, on Amazon Prime BEFORE they air in the traditional secondary market and a Stephen King miniseries within days of its original network airing.
Let’s see where this leads. Read more below: