OTT Original Content Takes Center Stage As Apple, Google & Facebook Gear Up

Apple, Facebook and Google have ambitious plans with in-house production

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OTT Original Content

‘Content is King’ is probably the most cliche phrase you might have come across on the internet. With mobility of screen and OTT (Over-The-Top), the content being consumed has become more important than the fact where it is consumed. Gradually, consumer’s loyalty is moving towards content and not the device or platform where they consume it. Say, Shanaya watches the worldwide blockbuster Game of Thrones on HBO and at the same time Ryan streams it on Hotstar (in India). The important point is that both watch Game of Thrones. Content is King is changing to ‘OTT Original Content is the King’.

Netflix & Amazon Prime – The Pioneers of OTT Original Content

Netflix has been pioneer in identifying the importance of content followed by Amazon who has been equally passionate with their Amazon Prime platform. Few years back analysts discarded the fact that consumers will be willing to pay, forget a premium, for OTT original content and today we see a day when Netflix subscriptions in US out number the number of cable connections in the country. Netflix Surpasses TV in USNetflix Vs Cable in US

In India, Netflix has partnered with DTH service providers – Dish TV (owned by Zee) and Videocon D2H (taken over by Zee recently) Netflix in India. Again, it is not important where do people consume Netflix Original Content – D2H, Smart TV, Tablet or a Smartphones, the crux is that they consume Netflix. This brings no surprise that content marketing is gaining momentum and is growing faster than any other form of marketing in their 360 degree plans.

Apple, Facebook and Google OTT Original Content Plans

Its time for original content to take the next big leap with tech giants – Apple, Google and Facebook – getting serious about in-house productions.

Applehas budgeted more than $1-billion for original programming. Apple has also shown keen interest to acquire already available content libraries with an eye on Eros Content Repository. Apple seem to have big plans as two months ago, the company chose Sony’s television studio heads, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, to lead its programming efforts. Both Janie and Zack are accredited with popular series  “The Crown,” “The Goldbergs” and “Breaking Bad. Apple might also look at developing altogether a new app different from iTunes to deliver their original content. Watch out Hollywood.

Facebook will soon unveil a Watch tab, where users can find the original series and other video content that will be less expensive to make. The company’s Hollywood development team is led by Mina Lefevre, previously of MTV. Facebook has told people in the industry that it is willing to spend $3 million to $4 million an episode on new programming, according to a person familiar with their plans. That kind of spending would put the company on an equal footing with many broadcast and cable networks. Facebook also plans to have so-called mid-roll ads, or brief commercials, during episodes.

Google already has a the biggest video content platform in YouTube and a subscription only version of the platform in YouTube Red available in some markets. The company is ready to spend up to $3 million per episode on a drama series as per sources.

Content Owners Focus on Own Platforms – Disney & Netflix Part Ways

Yes, its true the other way around as well. Companies who realize their potential as owners of great content are trying to build their own platforms and stay independent. Recently Disney, world’s biggest entertainment company, has decided to part ways from Netflix and they wont be sharing their content on the platform anymore. Disney has decided to build its own OTT original content platform which shall be ready by 2019. Disney was the largest content provider on Netflix and that might hurt the platform for sure. In order to cover up the deficit, especially the kids category, Netflix has made it first ever acquisition – Millar World – to get its characters into its kitty of Netflix originals. This year, there are expected to be more than 500 scripted TV shows, more than double the number six years ago.

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