Commentary

A Slew Of Original Programming: How Much Is Too Much?

This column, previously known as “VidBlog,” is transitioning to “Video Insider” as Joe Mandese explained last week. It will concern itself with developments in the digital video sector—cord-cutting, programming, mobile video, measurement, consumer behavior, and more—which P.J. Bednarski, our previous columnist, covered with verve.

The digital video universe is so big that there will be plenty to cover and weigh in on. A few things we’re keeping in mind: Earlier this year, JP Morgan projected that U.S. digital video ad spending would grow 12% this year, and 9% in 2018. In fact, video seems to be the only subset of display ad spending that’s growing.

Further, eMarketer earlier this year projected that the number of digital video viewers in the U.S. will grow from from 221.8 million to 239.2 million between 2017 and 2021, and the penetration rate among internet users will increase from 81.2% to 83.5%.

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Social platforms have pushed into digital video, of course. Facebook and Snapchat are touting live video and original programming. 

Also, we can also expect a lot more digital video programming from broadcast, cable, and over-the-top TV networks.

But is there a saturation point on original video programming? Consumers have never had so much to choose from -- a good problem to have -- but how much is too much, and can all of this programming be monetized?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in April reported that in 2016 digital video advertising hit $9.1 billion, representing a 53% year-over-year rise from 2015. When it comes to mobile video, the IAB reported an increase of 145% year-over-year to $4.2 billion.

On the live streaming front, this past Sunday, iHeartRadio offered a live video stream of Ariana Grande’s “One Love Manchester,” a benefit concert in support of the victims and families affected by the attack at her Manchester concert. Facebook claimed some 38 million people tuned into its live stream of the concert; Grande's personal YouTube channel attracted 9.2 million viewers on its stream.

For this truly global event, Grande was joined by Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Robbie Williams, and Black Eyed Peas. The performances went off without a hitch at Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground.

The concert’s organizer donated net proceeds from the concert to The British Red Cross Society, a Registered Charity, for its We Love Manchester Emergency Fund supporting the victims of the Manchester Bombing.

4 comments about "A Slew Of Original Programming: How Much Is Too Much?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, June 6, 2017 at 9:18 a.m.

    Tobi, the fact that lots of people watch one or more videos via digital means over the course of a week or month, may impress but the reality is that the average digital video viewer devotes very little time to this activity---the exception being a hard core of about 10% of the population which accounts for 65-75% of all digital vifdeo viewing. So the question is not how many shows produced for digital video can be absorbed, but the quality and appeal of such fare, which is critical to creating usage volume. Here, we're barely getting started. Over saturation is not at all a problem. Moreover, the introduction of all of these so-called skinny bundles---all of which are saturated with standard broadcast TV and establishment cable fare----is a limiting factor to digital programming initiatives. If the skinny bundles succeed, the digital programming "space" will be glutted with the same old stuff, at which point the question of how much is enough may become more appropriate?

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, June 6, 2017 at 11:02 a.m.

    No one ever complains about too many great restaurants and the same is true for original TV programs. I will "make time" for a binge-worthy show. I just made it through 13 commercial-free episodes of House of Cards season 5 by Friday night. 

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, June 6, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

    Too many restaurants canabalize each other and then go out of business due to lack of enough customers to go to all of the restaurants. How many dinners per night can you eat no matter how good the food is at all of them ? Same with programming. 24 hours are still 24 hours. When you watched House of Cards, you didn't watch something else and there are odds that you also enjoy other programming, some you will not have time in your life to watch.

  4. Mario L Castellanos from New Ventures Technologies, June 6, 2017 at 11:18 a.m.

    The issue is not so much that there is too much original programming, but instead it's fragmented in ever growing "me too" platforms and it's all greenlighted which essentially makes all these originals, a copy of what's already available. On top of that, most all are subscription based. As for skinny bundles as Ed Papazian points out, why should anyone be forced to receive what they don’t want – and have to pay for it! Luckily, we at Spincast are fixing all that!

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