Networks Vs. Netflix: Don’t join them, beat them with OTT
How can Networks compete with established video streaming services?
It is no secret that online streaming services are the future of television. Consumers have already spoken, and their message is loud and clear; they want to watch what they want, when they want, on the devices they want. Video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have all seen significant jumps in users, more than proving their business model. Rather suddenly, the networks that once ran the ‘world of video’ are furiously fighting for share in the ever-expanding lucrative ‘world of online video.’
This has left networks in a rather precarious situation—either join the online kings Netflix, Hulu and Amazon prime, or fight them.
In its infancy, services such as Netflix were a win-win for every one. Netflix was flushed with content that no longer had value to the Networks. For Networks it meant off-loading stale, under-demanded content on the streaming services with the option to also sell them premium content with a high price tag. After all, online streaming was just another distribution channel, not a rival. In fact, selling underperforming TV shows to streaming services actually benefited cable viewership, allowing for “catch up” watchers to get hooked on a show online, to then watch new episodes live on TV. This beneficial relationship even saved the hit show “Breaking Bad,” that had such poor ratings after its first season that it was nearly cancelled. Thanks to Netflix however, AMC had a chance to salvage revenue from the show by licensing it; allowing Breaking Bad time to develop a large dedicated audience for the next four seasons on cable.
Streaming services were simply a platform for content that could even boost viewership for Network’s shows on cable. Competition, they were not.
Things started to change as the cable cutter movement exploded, which coincided with extreme growth of the top online video streaming services. Watching online became a cultural phenomenon and the standard for a millennial generation reaching the height of their buying power. The market for online content is well on its way to surpassing that of cable. In a sea change, online streaming services have the majority share of the most desirable content market while the networks are on the outside looking in.
Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have the majority share of the market, and it has left old school networks with a decision; join them, or beat them.
Networks have to decide whether they want to continue feeding content to streaming services or try to compete. As content farms for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, networks are making less money and further solidifying the competition’s foothold as the leaders in the market. The decision to compete, to pull the plug on the videos they license out, to open up shop as their own streaming service across every smart device platform, is clearly the most appealing path most networks are considering. HBOgo, NBC’s Seeso, and CBS all-access are examples of Networks taking this route, with many more following suit.
Every Network needs to be its own streaming service with a full range of branded OTT apps to accommodate every platform their fans watch content on.
Every size network needs a way to power their own OTT distribution. They need a video streaming website and apps for every phone and Smart TV platform that allow for monetizing content, and offer great UI/UX. Unreel has developed fully customizable white-labeled apps and sites to give every owner of content their own cross-platform OTT media empire. Each app is more then just an app, powered by our patented social engagement UI and features available nowhere else. Manage it all from a central dashboard featuring proprietary big data analytics. Unreel can even power an army of apps for every unique brand, creator, show, or piece of content in your network’s arsenal, all managed from a single dashboard.
To learn more about Unreel’s OTT solutions, click here.