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Can Niche OTT Services Survive Without Aggregators?

Learn more about the OTT market at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete presentation from Streaming Media West, OTT202. 2019--The Year of Direct-to-Consumer Video Services?, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Rob Dillon: Can the niche services survive on their own? Or, do they need to look to prove over some of the other aggregators to get them in front of people to help them with the discovery?

Joe Jorczak: I agree with Mike that niche services can survive. Think about the Anime community right? People who are passionate about their audience about their topic. If there was a service that fits their requirements and it's easy to subscribe, it gives them value of the long term. And the experience overall is--

Jim Long: And if you're that content supplier and I would say this to maybe even Disney. why not still have some stuff on Netflix, right? You know, and if the people want a deep dive into Star Wars and all that, you know where to go: Disney+. I certainly believe, you know, we've learned in this country that, give consumers your content wherever you can find them, and not doing that is like pretending you can predict the future of economics and consumer behavior, which, as far as I know, none of them can do so...

Mike Green: And Joe mentioned Anime, which is actually a good litmnus test for some of this topic because Crunchyroll has been at that for a long time and has been a successful standalone SVOD business. But you know now they're part of Warner Media with Otter, and may be part of HBO Max I'm not sure and at the same time anything that's even really strong in an independent niche maybe gets aggregated and then separately Netflix has added, I think, probably more Anime content than Crunchyroll has. I'm not sure exactly. But do people know Netflix for that? Are people finding it? Is that audience that's passionate about that content finding that need met within Netflix? I mean, what does that mean for those standalones?

Joe Jorczak: Well, and Sony just acquired Funimation and then they just acquired Aniplexity or aggregating that content. But I think if they let those brands live on their own and continue to have that brand identity and connection with our consumers, They can can still succeed. It's when you try to force them into this mold, this corporate umbrella, And wall things off is when they start to run into trouble.

Josette Bonte: I think it's going to be tough for niche OTT video services. To survive and thrive and you need to be very well capitalized. As I mentioned in my introduction, I'm doing some work with European Telecommunications companies that are launching search services and it's really hard, even with deep pockets. The level of market awareness that you have to create, the tremendous amount of marketing. Reaching your consumers is a pretty daunting proposition, which doesn't mean that some won't succeed--and you were mentioning Crunchyroll which is obviously a very, very successful service. Funimation as well. You know if just meet those fans or those communities you were talking about. The service, the services, the LBTG community and that, that has legs as we say in Hollywood.

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