Disney to Move Its Classic Movies to New Streaming Service

At Disney’s annual meeting, chair/chief executive Bob Iger made several upbeat announcements to shareholders. First, he assured them that regulatory approval of the 21st Century Fox acquisition will close “soon” and that the expanded company will “hit the ground running.” He also revealed that Disney will debut its immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge experience earlier than expected: May 31 at in Disneyland, and August 29 at Disney World. Other big news was that Disney Plus (also known as Disney+) will carry the company’s entire “Vault” program. Continue reading Disney to Move Its Classic Movies to New Streaming Service

Netflix Experiences Its Best Quarter for Signing Up New Subs

Q4 2017 marked Netflix’s biggest quarter to date; the video service signed 8.3 million new subscribers. That surpasses the 6.3 million new subscribers the company had predicted, and brings the company’s total number of global paid subscribers to 110.6 million. The news boosted Netflix shares 9 percent, and put its market capitalization above $100 billion. The growth also took place during a period in which Netflix has faced more competition, from a wide range of content distributors and producers. Continue reading Netflix Experiences Its Best Quarter for Signing Up New Subs

FX Chief Warns of Runaway TV Production Fueled by Netflix

Next year is shaping up to see another record number of TV productions, mainly propelled by Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. According to FX Networks chief exec John Landgraf, who offered his predictions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, networks will produce 500 original scripted shows in 2017, nearly 20 percent more than the 419 produced in 2015. As in past years, Landgraf warned of a glut of programming. He earlier coined the term “Peak TV,” suggesting the industry is producing content at a pace that is overwhelming critics and viewers. Continue reading FX Chief Warns of Runaway TV Production Fueled by Netflix

Netflix Scores Emmy Noms, Reaping Value Per Dollar Spent

Netflix has scored big with 54 Emmy nominations, compared to last year’s 34 nominations. The number of nominations puts Netflix in third place, behind HBO (94 nominations) and FX Networks (56 nominations). Its long-standing series “House of Cards” continued to garner nominations, as did new series “Bloodlines” and “Narcos.” Netflix is also besting its competitors in terms of how it creates value for the money it spends on productions, with efficiencies an estimated three-times better than Amazon and Hulu. Continue reading Netflix Scores Emmy Noms, Reaping Value Per Dollar Spent

Niche Audiences, Binge Watching Impact Testing of TV Pilots

Television networks are in the midst of their annual process of testing new shows to decide which ones they’ll pick up. The typical test audience is made up of 50 people, recruited based on age, sex and race, and a network’s core demographic. The audience members watch the show, judging it via a handheld device that has a knob enabling them to express like and dislike. Not every media outlet embraces the concept of test audiences, and the testing services are modifying their criteria to better reflect today’s viewing behavior. Continue reading Niche Audiences, Binge Watching Impact Testing of TV Pilots

Netflix’s $5 Billion Budget Pushes Networks to Also Spend Big

FX Network chief executive John Landgraf says there’s too much TV, citing the 400+ scripted shows he estimates were made last year. But rather than slowing down on the new programs, media companies including Discovery, Viacom, Starz as well as Amazon and Hulu are all spending more. They’re competing for viewers in an increasingly fragmented market — and against Netflix, which has committed $5 billion this year for film/TV projects, and an estimated $11 billion over the next five years. Continue reading Netflix’s $5 Billion Budget Pushes Networks to Also Spend Big

There Was a Record Number of Scripted TV Series in 2015

The number of scripted television shows is growing with a total of 409 different shows this year available on broadcast, cable and online services. By comparison, there were 376 scripted shows in 2014. This was the third consecutive year that scripted TV has grown across all three platforms, according to FX Networks’ research department. Basic cable had the biggest gain, with 174 percent more scripted shows since 2009. Some executives debate whether scripted TV has grown too much.

Continue reading There Was a Record Number of Scripted TV Series in 2015

Netflix Chief Exec Tells Conference: “There’s Not Enough TV”

At The New York Times’ DealBook conference, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings pointed to a broad, sustained growth of consumer spending on entertainment as proof that there is not enough television content currently available. Great content, he said, will find viewers. The bar for quality is rising, he noted further, and said Netflix is maintaining its high standards by working with other production companies. As an example, he pointed to “Narcos,” which was produced with French company Gaumont. Continue reading Netflix Chief Exec Tells Conference: “There’s Not Enough TV”

Cord-Cutting Trend Spurs Hollywood to Tweak Netflix Deals

As more consumers are cutting the cord and watching broadcast and cable TV shows via Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, network executives are rethinking their deals with those streaming services. They’re especially eyeing contracts with Netflix, which pays a flat fee, doesn’t have advertising and has upped its production of original content. Just how volatile the field is was reflected in an August sell-off of media stocks during which entertainment companies lost over $60 billion in value in two days. Continue reading Cord-Cutting Trend Spurs Hollywood to Tweak Netflix Deals

FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

In 2014, there were more than 370 scripted TV series, including those that were delivered by streaming. This year, say the experts, that number could top 400. We’re living in a Golden Age of TV as viewers have a wealth of choices among all genres. But can this level of production be sustained? Are there enough viewers to keep numbers up for so many TV shows vying for dominance? Is there enough creative talent to keep writing and producing them? And is there a way for every show to make its mark in such a crowded environment? Continue reading FX Networks Prez: 2015 or 2016 Will Be Peak TV in America

Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service

Hulu is considering adding an ad-free option to its service, to better compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, both of which do not stream ads to paid subscribers. While adding the option would show that Hulu recognizes consumer preference for ad-free streaming and would likely bring in new customers, it could also risk damaging the company’s current ad-supported business. TV channel owners are worried that consumers are becoming too used to ad-free TV, which is why Hulu’s original model appeals to them. Continue reading Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service