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Wowza: Executive Palmistry 2014

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Shift Happens

The shift in power in the media and entertainment world is coming on hard. Access providers—broadcast networks, cable, or satellite providers—have had a long and profitable run as the gatekeepers of content. They decided what would reach an audience and extracted a huge amount of economic rent in the process.
OTT is driving the shift. The gatekeepers, as gatekeepers, are no longer needed and appealing content is driving success. Knowing what customers want, in terms of content, is much more powerful than just being able to deliver it.

House of Cards won an Emmy. Arrested Development and Hemlock Grove were nominated. All three were produced and delivered by an OTT service; Netflix. But Arrested Development fans don’t care. They’d find Arrested Development no matter where it was, as long as it existed. Netflix’s understanding of its subscribers led it to put Arrested Development back into production, and to develop House of Cards.

Of course, financing still has its place, but independent, small production can still produce great content that audiences want. Night of the Living Dead, The Blair Witch Project, anything from The Lonely Island; history has shown that high-demand content does not have to be expensive. Indy video is on the rise.
The ability to target an audience you know well, with content they will like, delivered through a channel that bypasses the gatekeepers, is where the shift is occurring.

After all, shift happens.

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