Commentary

Too Many Video Options? But Wait, There's More!

Do you have too many video choices to consume? Just wait. There is far more to come.

Clearly, the warning about more scripted/original TV shows is not being heeded. It is estimated there will be 500 original scripted TV shows -- up from the mid-400 level -- in the last two years.

And that’s not the whole story: in 2017, Netflix had 117 original shows. Other big subscription video-on-demand services are looking to add to the supply.

Netflix expects to spend $8 billion this year on new TV/movie content, while Amazon will spend about $4.5 billion. Hulu will be close to $3 billion, while Apple will shell out more than $1 billion.

Traditional networks continue to amp up their efforts as well -- especially for their digital platforms. CBS All Access, for example, continues with its “Star Trek” franchise, among other programs to come.

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Thanks to FX Networks Group Chairman John Landgraf’s research, these yearly estimates keep coming. Numbers are also clear when it comes to consumption. According to one estimate, consumers in the U.S. spend 5.1 hours consuming video per day -- a number that is supposedly growing.

But what about the financial side of the equation? Are costs going down for big premium TV productions? Are marketing costs going up to attract the attention of consumers -- either for ad-supported or non-advertising-supported platforms?

Not everyone is making money -- yet.

A research report from MoffettNathanson Research -- anticipating Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu -- says Disney will register a net loss of $1.4 billion this year for the premium digital video service. Currently, Disney -- along with Comcast Corp and 21st Century Fox -- each own a 30% share of Hulu, and Time Warner owns 10%.

Money aside, the question is: When will true video consumer saturation hit?

Right now, consumers are looking at more video than ever before -- not just premium long-form TV shows -- but short-form, user-generated and other content from an array of sources.

And with it, there is much more confusion and head-scratching blue-sky estimates of where we are going next.

1 comment about "Too Many Video Options? But Wait, There's More!".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 16, 2018 at 8:18 p.m.

    There is consumer saturation and then there is consumer diversion. Follow the money.

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