The Uber-ing Of TV Entertainment

Feeling good about all your ad-supported and consumer choices in an ever-expanding media industry -- video streaming, traditional, podcasts and audio -- just to name few?

Well, for those producing such content, things can be good, bad and more recently, uneven. Thing might get more disruptive.

Video streaming platforms -- especially Netflix -- are a boon to premium TV producers. But at the same time, there are ever-shorting episode TV series orders -- six, eight or 10 episodes -- for a TV season. Some are even less.

For example, two popular video-streaming TV series, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Disney+’s  “The Mandalorian,” have eight-episode seasons. Amazon Prime Video’s “Fleabag” has worked on a six-episode season; and Netflix’s “Black Mirror” is being produced in three- and six-episode batches.



Currently, the standard for legacy broadcast and cable networks is to offer 10- or 13-episodes orders, each for the fall and then  spring. Rarer now are those TV series that get the full-year 23 or 24 episode renewals.

To make matters more unpredictable, lesser popular shows on Netflix have seen the streamer pull a TV series after perhaps one, two or three seasons in order to refresh its offerings.

That may be good news for consumers. But to business partners, including advertisers that may buy Netflix-originated content on future ad-supported platforms, it may be a different issue. Even less predictable is getting paid or scheduling other work.

For those growing ad-supported streaming platforms, all this continues to mean changing the dynamic when it comes to TV advertising buys, offering a more diverse TV-video inventory. Which may be a positive.

On the downside, marketers increasing focusing on data-based video deals and impression-base media buys, might have a more complicated task when it comes to context and content consideration of those deals.

And consider how Quibi, the well-funded, soon-to-be-launched video platform with TV episodes of 10 minutes or less, might contribute to the marketplace. Quibi is an ad-supported platform.

Going forward, should Netflix and TV producers look to gain revenues on whatever back-end revenues they can get? Selling reruns to other platforms -- including ad-supported -- might complicate the process.

Is more differentiated, disparate premium ad-supported TV content inventory coming -- moving more to a uber-ing of TV entertainment? Search an app to find when your video impression ride will arrive.

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