What Defines a Niche OTT Service?
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Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: What exactly defines a niche service as niche. And should we stop using that word niche? Alia, you want to kick that off?
Alia J. Daniels: Sure. From its most basic of definitions, it is simply specialized segments that you're targeting within your streaming service. And I can appreciate the hesitation around not wanting to use the term "niche." But I think it's also really important to understand that when you are specialized, you're focusing on a very specific audience, and I can speak specifically for myself and for Revry. We are focusing specifically on a demographic or segment, which is how we like to refer to the LGBTQ community. It's more of a segment than just a demographic. We are catering explicitly to this audience. And so we want this audience to know that this is a space for them and it is a space that is created for them. And I think when we ignore that, that specialization, it makes it more difficult to help the audience know exactly who you're for. And so for us, I think it's really important that we are focusing and being very targeted towards our audience and letting them know, "Hey, we're here. And we were created explicitly for you."
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Other thoughts on what defines a niche service and whether or not that word is even applicable anymore?
Bassil El-Khalib: I think one of the challenges with it is, there tends to be this preconceived notion of sizing. When people talk about niches, they think small. People think you're irrelevant and that that's incorrect. The sizings can be huge. And so that's always the challenge. I define it as a commonality of interest or belief or lifestyle or whatever it may be that unites people, brings people together. For us, like I always say about Frndly TV, we've got a target market and it's very large. I know a lot of the services out there have large houses as well. So it's one perception that you're always fighting. Always, when I hear that term "niche," I say, we might be a small company trying to grow big, but our audience is not small. It's very widely representative of across the country, and I think that's similar with a lot of services out there.
Alia J. Daniels: I'd like to piggyback a little bit on wha Bassil just said about the misconception around the audience and the size of the audience. Because when we think about at Revry and the LGBTQ audience, our disposable income is $965 billion in the U.S. alone, and $5 trillion globally. And so even though it's a "niche" audience, the advertisers want to get to this audience. And so to be able to have a "niche" platform, we're specifically talking to that audience. It's great for the audience, and it's also great for the advertisers because they know they can hit the demos that they're trying to reach.
Calling some OTT services "niche" is an insult to not only the content they deliver but the audiences they serve. Isn't ESPN a "niche" service, too?
Revry's Damian Pelliccione and Cinedigm's Erick Opeka offer strategic advice to OTT channels trying to attract an audience and build a brand in this clip from Streaming Media West Connect.