A few years ago, if you wanted to see an international series premiere did not have too many options. Offered few channels open and when they did, it was common that the chain decided to relegate the morning for lack of audience (who followed you write ‘Angel’ and ’24’ in the early hours of Antena 3 in his day). That was until the pay channels began to settle, as FOX, AXN and Calle 13, who started betting to issue some exclusive content.
The picture has since changed. Yes, open chains seem to have given up this series but there’s only pay-TV channels fighting for the same content, but has entered a third stage: streaming platforms. The same situation is being experienced worldwide and not only with Netflix, but with other services like Amazon or HBO entering the fight for the content.
Unexpected alliances seeking to fight Netflix
The Wall Street Journal published a piece a few days ago for talking with several members of the entertainment industry and all agreed: Netflix is a “giant” against which it is difficult to fight when purchasing content. Why?
In addition to the enormous economic power, they are their own facilities offered to the owners of the series: if you have a title that you want to market internationally, would you rather go territory to territory or someone comes, you put a large bag on the table full money and avoid you having to go selling the license to every country individually?
Some powerful networks in their respective countries are talking to each other to form large media groups that acquire joint rights of a series in their countries.
It is the only such alliance is being discussed internally in the industry. The same media highlights how various streaming services (Viaplay Nordic, Stan of Australia, New Zealand and lightbox Hulu US) are negotiating to form a grand alliance with which to bid on the new US series in the upfronts of May, when sold to international buyers. The same applies to Sky and other pay-TV platforms such as Bell Media in Canada and Foxtel in Australia, along with other local streaming services.
The strategy seems clear: large media form alliances with groups from different countries to present and juicy offers to content providers and get “win” to Netflix in the bid to secure the international rights of issuance of the new series will arrive in the next month from across the Atlantic. Since the industry seem to be aware of it.
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HOOQ CEO, a streaming service operating in Southeast Asia, is clear: “If you cannot put the global rights on the table, you’ll be at a disadvantage”. It has not yet been formalized any such alliance but would not be surprising that commencements, according to himself, to see the first within six months hence.
The fight for the original series is also given
So far we’ve talked about series emission rights internationally, but Netflix not only fight for third party content, but also by exclusive content to add to their “Netflix Originals”. It is common, especially with high-profile projects, these are offered to different channels and that will carry you the highest bidder. Netflix, for example, is made with ‘House of Cards’ offering better conditions HBO, Showtime and AMC, which also showed is concerned by it at the time.
Netflix also fight with chains to seize the “original” series and “frustrating,” said FX
This obviously does not like anything between US networks. John Landgraf, CEO of FX, confirmed in a recent interview that his channel tried to buy ‘Master of None’ and ‘The Crown’, two series that finished acquiring Netflix. The streaming platform not only tends to put more money on the table, but offers more freedom for creators and increased commitment (sometimes even asked several seasons) when betting on a title. In The Guardian they explain it very well:
“Netflix has started a bidding war for the new content. It has broken the mold to give the green light to the series with two seasons request, rather than the more conservative approach and less risky financially as it is the” first ask for an episode pilot and then we’ll see “, which for decades has dominated the television” – (The Guardian)
Landgraf also claimed that it was something “frustrating” because they were not competing on equal terms. Why? Netflix is making a large investment to secure exclusivity of powerful titles. In 2016 they plan to spend 6,000 million in contents, both original and third party rights. It is, after ESPN, the second company allocated more money to the acquisition of rights. To put it in perspective, it is estimated that HBO will stay at 1,800 million this year.
But would you bet Netflix pays off both for their own series? Those responsible for service have said repeatedly that they will not publish hearings, which has served to NBC were “attacked” by saying that their originals are not as popular as you believe. This crossing of statements and accusations is part of this particular “war”, but it is true there are no data to prove one thing or another. However, logic suggests that if Netflix is spending so much on his own series, is because somehow believe or have found out they cost. Nobody throws money by shooting.
Everyone wants their own content … and as a result in 2015 was broadcast 409 series in the US, almost double that of 2009.
Another different aspect, which would for another article, is whether this business model is sustainable for Netflix (for now it seems so) and, above all, for the viewer. On the one hand, there is the need to subscribe to a variety of platforms and services to see everything you want to see. Furthermore, the fact that in 2015 they have surpassed the 400 series being broadcast in the United States, a number almost double what they were in 2009.
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The war is far from over…
The media rights market has evolved considerably in recent years, and to show everything I have tried to summarize here today. How it will evolve from now on it is a mystery, but here I think Netflix (and other streaming platforms as reach more countries) will have something important to say. After all, it is the first platform to be quite comprehensive.
In the short term, and content producers, Netflix can be a blessing comes, gives you a lot of money and you fix everything related to the international distribution in the case of the rights of third parties ensures a couple of seasons Complete at least in the case of the original series. But in the long term, would you be injurious be fueling this “monopoly” in the global streaming Netflix? Will they get the strings “stop” the progress of streaming or at least, they do not “take away” many content?