late Feb 2021


Netflix is doubling down on Asia with K-dramas and mobile-only deals. But China remains elusive – CNN

Overall, the successful formula takes hit shows from the West and adapts them for audiences beyond the Anglosphere. In 2019, it rolled out a special season of Queer Eye (2003-2007), where the cast performed makeovers in Japan. In December, it announced a South Korean version of Money Heist (2017-2021), a Spanish crime drama that has attracted critical and audience acclaim.

U.S. Streamers Bulk Up With Non-English-Language Shows | Hollywood Reporter

Non-English-language TV series have traditionally been a niche proposition, with just a minority of the best international shows making it into America. However the success of Netflix’s global titles — from Spain’s Money Heist to South Korea’s Kingdom (2019- ), to French hit Lupin (2021) — and a need for streamers to fast build their libraries, has begun to tip the scales from buyers to sellers.

SLING TV adds Voot | (

US-only mobile-focused Sling TV – which bundles networks such as CNN, BBC America and the Food Network – has become the exclusive US provider of Viacom18’s Indian AVOD/SVOD, Voot. The Sling TV app costs US$35 per month.

Comics, mangas, podcasts, stage shows and games the new sources of inspiration for streamers

Variety reports that ‘a new order of global direct-to-consumer studio streamers’ has primed global production, especially of scripted, for a new surge, provided COVID-19 wanes. The end of 2020 saw a big recovery in commissioning activity in scripted content. As expected from reports about the streaming wars, the recovery is driven not just by Netflix and Amazon, but new streaming platforms such as Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Peacock, and HBO Max. The streamers all need content as they are going or will go global. Variety’s report was based on the study, TV Drama: Looking Beyond a Year of Change, presented at Göteborg’s TV Drama Vision by Ampere Analysis’ Guy Bisson.

Mostly significantly for web-series makers, Bisson argues the increasing stress on originals production ‘elevates the value for intellectual property based around characters, franchisable content that can be kind of self-perpetuating.’ Books, magazine articles or existing movies accounted for 66% of adaptations in the fourth quarter of 2020, Variety reported.

However as streamers skew younger, the sources of inspiration are changing, given that streamers skew younger. In the sample, adaptations from comics, mangas, podcasts, stage shows and games rose from about a quarter to over a third two years later.


Binge-viewing becomes normalized for older consumers – Mulligan | FierceVideo

Binge viewing declined among younger digital natives, but significantly increased among over 55s. Older streamers now make up the largest single demographic among binge watchers.

Amazon’s AVOD audience reach tops 55M users | FierceVideo

Amazon claims it now reaches more than 55 million monthly active viewers of ad-supported (AVOD) content, up from 20 million year on year.

Beyond TikTok: A Primer On Competitive Apps 02/12/2021 (

Apptopia reports 2020 was an iconic year for short-form video giant, TikTok, with the app downloaded over 89 million times in the US alone. TikTok’s popularity has given rise to a new set of imitators and competitors, with apps such Triller, Byte, and Instagram Reels gaining significant attention.

The Massive Advantage of Global Scale in Streaming Video | The Motley Fool

The example of the role played by global subscriber bases in the success of Disney and Netflix have led other streaming video platforms to act on their own global ambitions. AT&T‘s WarnerMedia will take HBO Max to international markets this year, starting with Latin America and followed by Europe, reports Motley Fool. Discovery launched Discovery+ at the start of the year in Europe, where it rebranded its DPlay app, and India, building on its service testing since March 2020.

Device manufacturer Roku builds on Quibi acquistions

AVOD Roku, which manufactures devices as well as operating online networks, said the Roku channel reached the milestone of 50 million active accounts, reports Digital TV Europe. Less a neutral operator of the biggest OTT device platform, Roku is staffing up to produce original shows.

Roku users streamed more than 17 billion hours worth of content in the past year, adding it was exploring more investment in content. Roku recently struck a high-profile deal to acquire the content of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s short-lived Quibi. The full range of titles that had previously premiered on Quibi, will now be available exclusively world-wide via Roku.

Digital TV Europe reported that deal included scripted series, reality programming and documentaries, featuring Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe. Roku struck a deal with Fox Entertainment in December resulting in its AVOD streamer, Tubi, being rolled out rolled out on the platform in Mexico.


YouTube Shorts comes to the US in March – Digital TV Europe

Currently, Shorts is available in beta in India. Since the beginning of December, the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled. The YouTube Shorts player is now receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally. The beta of YouTube Shorts will be unlocked for US creators in coming weeks, DTVE reports.

Virtual Streaming TV/Video Apps Add Old-Style Linear TV Content 02/16/2021 (

Looking at broader streaming TV app/network distributors, Roku just added 13 full live, linear TV channels, now totaling 165. If you are a traditional pay TV subscriber, where services typically offer around 200 to 300 live, linear TV channels, you might think: Can I get all this for  free?


People Spend Nearly 2 1/2 Hours Daily On Social Media 02/17/2021 (

Facebook remains the world’s most used social platform both in the US and globally, followed by rival YouTube, and Facebook-acquired WhatsApp. Facebook-owned platforms account for four of the top five most-used social platforms globally, claims mediapost.


Report: Domestic AVOD Monthly Viewers Reach 200 Million – Media Play News

The number of OTT video services used per OTT video user has risen to more than 7.2 different services per month in the US, according to new data from London-based research firm, Omdia. The increase in online video usage across the globe in 2020 has been driven by a greater uptake of subscription video platforms, which in turn has led to consumers to look for content across AVOD platforms.




late Jan 2021

Shift from cable TV to cheaper streaming continues

More than a quarter of Americans plan to cut out cable in 2021, according to Digital TV Europe. The greater affordability of streaming services is regarded as a significant factor driving the trend. Over 50 per cent of consumers said that they would not be willing to spend over US$20 in total per month on streaming services. Viewers were more than five times more likely to prefer free or low-cost streaming TV on advertiser-supported (AVOD) services.

Older Americans are increasingly cutting the cord | FierceVideo

The 60+ age cohort is showing steady meaningful increases in OTT-only subscriptions, reports Fierce Video. The age group represents 17 per cent of all OTT-only subscribers, but represents almost a third (28 per cent) of the US adult population.

OTT-only subscription adoption has moderated across the 18-29 age cohorts over the past year, the research firm said. The survey claims 62 per cent of Apple TV+ subscribers are on a free trial as Apple builds its content catalog – 9to5Mac

Potential Apple TV+ subscribers on free trials are reportedly ambivalent about the streaming service offered by the world’s largest consumer technology, and most valuable company, according to 9to5Mac. Some 29 per cent of those Apple TV+ users said they would not choose to continue their subscriptions after the free trial ended; 30 per cent said they would; while the remaining are undecided about paying US$5 per month for Apple TV+.

American adults digital media up an hour on average in 2020

Among the largest SVODs and AVODs, Netflix’s average time rose from 26 to 31 minutes; YouTube’s was up from 25 to 27 minutes; Hulu’s from 13 to 17 minutes; and Amazon Prime Video’s from 7 to 9 minutes, reports

YouTube is predominantly an AVOD, but has been trying to build a SVOD arm, associated with YouTube TV, for many years.  Despite the rise in paid subscriptions, consumers are also increasingly turning to free AVOD services for viewing.

OTT market nascent in Africa

The market is set for an explosion of growth, with revenues increasing over US$1 billion from 2020, reports Digital TV Europe.  The continent’s collective OTT revenues were just US$392 million at the end of 2020.

More than a quarter of Americans plan to cut out cable in 2021, according to Digital TV Europe.

The greater affordability of streaming services is a significant factor driving the trend. Over 50 per cent of consumers said that they would not spend over US$20 per month on streaming services. Viewers were more than five times more likely to prefer free or low-cost streaming TV on advertiser-supported (AVOD) services.

In the news | 27 January 2021

Quibi wind-up continues

Quibi, which raised $1.75 billion in venture investment, is expected to return about $350 million to investors. Quibi sold many of its original shows to Roku, which developed digital media players with Netflix, for what is believed to be less than $100 million.

The series acquired by Roku will not be aided by the innovative Turnstyle technology which switches from portrait to landscape viewing, depending upon how the smartphone is held. The Turnstyle technology is reportedly subject to legal dispute.

Fragmentation to standalone streaming properties continues

African-American TV network Revolt joined the streaming push by TV conglomerates, Discovery, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia. Revolt plans to launch a free, ad-supported direct-to-consumer streaming app on connected TV platforms, including those of Apple and Roku. The shift beyond traditional TV is aimed at reducing its reliance on pay-TV providers, the businesses of which face uncertainty as the pay-TV subscriber base shrinks, digiday reported.

Revolt’s linear TV channel launched in October 2013 as a music-oriented network, but since the killing of George Floyd, has pivoted to social justice in its editorial strategy.

Motley Fool backs Netflix investment

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) spent around $15 billion on content in 2019, with the bulk of it on original programs. Netflix has been spending more than the online video streaming pioneer earned over the past few years. While the company needs to spend up front during the content creation process, in the long run, creating its own content is less expensive, as the company works directly with the creators and saves on overhead.

Netflix mainly owns the rights to the content produced. However, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) now pose a serious challenge. Motley Fool, reporting on the NASDAQ, asserts Netflix’s big and growing subscriber base should continue to help it in improving revenues as well as margins.


In the news 25 Nov, 2020

YouTube TV, Google’s live streaming TV service, finished the third quarter with over 3 million subscribers. The new total suggests that YouTube TV added 500,000 subscribers during the quarter, Fierce Video reports.

Quibi is an expensive outlier, not the norm, according to research by Parks Associates. Over-the-top video services in the U.S. now number nearly 300, with those platforms shuttering actually declining.

The narrative for why Quibi failed from founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was that the shortform platform was designed for an on-the-go mobile market, which plummeted during pandemic characterized by shelter-in-place at home. Indeed, Quibi launched on the back of a robust national advertising campaign, including a multi-million-dollar Super Bowl commercial, and record-high audience levels for streaming video, Next TV reports.

Streaming Wars
Major subscription VOD services now number seven, counting the rebranding of ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access into Paramount+ early next year. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu represent the established streamers with healthy track records and steady growth. Disney+, which launched in November 2019, leads four newcomers, Apple TV+, HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and soon Paramount+, all contending for a share of the attention and revenue from the streaming wars. Source: Media Play News.

Word-of-mouth still rules
Word-of-mouth and advertising dominate the mechanisms used to attract and retain the attention of streaming viewers to shows, Media Play News reports. When asked how they first found out about their favorite online show, the largest percentage of respondents, 33 per cent, said they heard through word-of-mouth. For favorites watched through pay-TV, advertising was the top discovery source at 30 per cent.

Physical formats continue sharp decline
Streaming is becoming so dominant a viewing mechanism that it has undermined the disc business. Disc sales declined 34.3% in the quarter to $434 million, while DVD and Blu-ray rentals fell 34.4% to $225 million, Next TV reports.



In the news (25 October)

#hulu #disney
Disney has apparently scaled back its plans for Hulu to avoid raising the value of the company and incurring a larger buyout payment to Comcast.


#hbomax #netflix
Reelgood evaluated its 2 million users’ activity and determined the top five SVoD platforms for the third quarter of 2020.

YouTube is the top platform for user generated content, with 50% of those surveyed using it, followed by 22% for Facebook. TikTok was preferred by 13% of viewers 18 to 25 years old, but just 8% overall.

Boosted by cord-cutting and the growth of premium video streaming, advertising-supported video-on-demand networks (AVOD) are estimated to climb 32% to $898 million in advertising revenues — largely attributable to Hulu, with growth of 15% to $592 million, and Roku, expected to rise 40% to $138 million in the period.

Sharply higher overall TV and media marketing spend for premium streaming video services shows Amazon Prime Video placing the most TV commercials of all platforms in the first half of the year — $169.8 million, according to eMarketer. Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+ were right behind Prime Video at $144.6 million, $135.3 million and $104.7 million, respectively. By contrast, Quibi — which just pulled the plug on its operations, was sharply lower — at $40.8 million.


In the news (14 October)

#PlutoTV coming to Spain
“Pluto claims that it will be the first free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service on the Spanish market, and added that Telefónica’s Movistar+ will handle ad sales. The company also said that it will work with over 20 content partners in Spain including All3Media, Endemol Shine, Fremantle and Lionsgate.

#Streaming overtaking #PayTV
“…a new report from the Consumer Technology Association indicates that for the first time more people are paying for a streaming service than they are for traditional pay-TV.”

#Streaming revenues overtake #cinema revenues
“For the first time ever, revenues from global premium streaming platforms are set to soar past worldwide box-office revenues in 2020 — and will maintain that revenue lead for the next five years.”

Study finds #SVOD and #OTT platforms are their own worst enemy when it comes to subscriber loyalty
“From its new ‘Psychology of a Subscriber’ research, the company found that many respondents felt “rejected and ignored by OTT brands,” and that they feel these brands avoid consumer communication altogether in favour of winning new customers. This lack of communication is considered by many as “fear of alerting consumers to the fact they are being billed for a service they may have grown tired of, and that futile efforts to retain customers only truly start when they request to cancel.”

Corona Life: A #quarantine #webserie from Ghana
Corona Life follows a husband and wife who are isolating at home, and who have been following the impending danger with differing attitudes.

#AVOD – About AVOD status
In this year’s third quarter, 17% — or nearly one in five — U.S. internet users watched one or more ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services in the previous month — up from 13% in Q3 2019, according to the latest research from Ampere Analysis.

#Shudder turns 5
The AMC-owned subscription VOD platform passed 1 million subscribers last month as it continues to build on its original programming portfolio that includes such scripted series as Creepshow and Cursed Films.