Fullscreen, owned by former Fox executive Peter Chernin and AT&T, believe there is an unaddressed niche in the new burgeoning subscription video on demand industry: Millennials.
You may be scratching your collective head right now. Doesn’t Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu already do this? That may be the same question ABC, CBS, and NBC made in the late 1970s, before the coming of MTV and later Fox.
Fullscreen is poised to start on April 26 with a modest asking price of $4.99 a month, which is roughly half that of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
In part Fullscreen hopes to capitalize on a growing number of YouTube performers that have built up a following entirely from their exposure on the big Google video platform. Fullscreen says it has many ‘"video creators” -- some 75,000 of them.
There many other big YouTube TV producers with younger-skewing video channels now owned by larger media companies -- including Awesomeness TV (majority owned by DreamWorks Animations) and Maker Studios (owned by Walt Disney).
Still, as a longtime Fox veteran, Peter Chernin knows that getting a decent long return on investment for FullScreen also means securing high-profile talent and producers -- not just YouTube stars.
Well-named TV reruns (and off-theatrical movies) can obviously get stuff launched. Fullscreen will have this at the start: “Dawson’s Creek,” “Saved by the Bell,” “Suburgatory,” “Daria,” and “Happy Endings,” to name a few.
But then it needs to move forward. Think of what “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” did for Netflix, and what “Transparent” did for Amazon.
That’s what Fullscreen needs to become: a new MTV-like network with big buzz. Fullscreen believes that social media will be a major factor in promoting its growth -- much more so than for other existing SVOD services.
Interestingly, though promoted as an “ad-free” service, AT&T, a co-owner of Fullscreen, will become its “premier launch sponsor.”
Millennials will be left to figure that one out. I feel some tweets coming on.