Do We Really Need Another Movie Channel?
The latest from Laura Frankel of KIT digital Content Solutions
Someone once said to me that there is not enough revenue to support all the content that exists today; not to mention what is coming tomorrow.
A statistic that I tend to believe is that we have over 15,000 channels world-wide (including local). And, what is crazy is new cable channels keep popping up. Epix launched several years ago as Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate believed that we need another movie channel. Sony launched Sony Movie Channel in 2010 because Sony also believes that we don’t have enough movie channels.
Well of course what is really driving this is the desire to have a channel to monetize their content further. But as I have said many times, what will drive subscriptions are strong originals…HBO has “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones” and many others ; Starz has “Boss” and a few new originals; and Showtime has “Homeland” and “Dexter” among others. So of course, Epix is going the original route now too. Sony won’t be far behind if they want to stay in the game.
The good news is that we will have even more original content created to drive subscription revenue and eyeballs. Let’s not forget Cinemax’s foray into originals with “Strike Back”.
Subscription channels like Epix; Showtime; and HBO will control the digital syndication of their content with applications like HBO GO – which is brilliant by the way.
I believe we are in a golden age of content creation from “American Horror Story” on FX to “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead” on AMC to “White Collar” and “Burn Notice” on USA and “Perception” and “Dallas” on TNT. And let’s not forget all the additional content like “Hot in Cleveland” or “Cougar Town” on TBS. Even though I hear over and over again – there are so many channels but nothing to watch. That really isn’t true, there is too much to watch and it is very difficult to navigate through your Netflix cue; your VOD cue; your Pay per View cue; your HBO GO, and whatever else you may have that aggregates your favorite content.
My husband and I spent 45 minutes debating and fighting over what movie to watch this past Saturday– either a premium movie from our VOD catalog; a Pay per View movie; a Netflix movie; or a few blu-rays that we still have not watched. We settled on “21 Jump Street” on Pay Per View and he hated it and I loved it as I grew up on “21 Jump Street” and he didn’t get the jokes.
For a content nut like myself, it really is Christmas every day, but it is very difficult to navigate through the endless apps; recordings cues; etc. to find what I am in the mood for. Gone are the days of channel surfing – and if you still channel surf; God bless you. It took me an hour the last time I did that.
With all the content that is out there – here’s an interesting stat from Ooyala, the digital video technology company, who looked at research from 200 million online viewers from the second quarter of this year. According to their study, premium video content — movies, TV and sports programming — now accounts for more than 60% of total time Internet users spend watching video online. The other 40% is, I am sure, spent with user generated content, webisodes, and news clips.
So do we really need another movie channel – maybe not… but what is so wonderful is that more original content will come from these channels. And, as the market keeps fragmenting; and more and more content is created that does not have enough revenue to support it – only the best will survive.