Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Digital On Demand: Show Us The Numbers

By Indiewire | Indiewire September 10, 2013 at 4:49PM

WME's Liesl Copland gave a rousing speech at the TIFF Doc Conference this afternoon, where she emphasized the need for transparency in the VOD industry and called upon filmmakers to demand it -- especially from iTunes.
5

Let's take a look at them:

VOD : Almost half the country is watching VOD via cable. 8.9B transactions in 2012, 78% of which were "Free On Demand" (FOD), 19% were "Subscription On Demand" (SVOD), and 3% were "Transactional On Demand" (TOD).

*

Not surprisingly, among FOD content, the "TV Entertainment" category is the leader with over 2.3B transactions and 1.3B hours of viewing in 2012.

The availability of more long-form content is driving the categories growth.

*

Extending the IP's value via FOD... The "TV Entertainment" category reaches 30% of cume transactions by Day 3, 50% by Day 7, and 72% by Day 15. 

In other words, a significant amount of viewing is happening beyond 7 days, which means there is an opportunity to monetize content well beyond the "7-day window."



Among the three SVOD PROVIDERS, we see a lot of activity on a monthly pay model.
*

NETFLIX has 37.6M Global streaming subs, *HULU PLUS - 4.0M subscribers, available on more than 350M mobile/connected devices. * AMAZON PRIME, 10.0M subscribers, and so on.

In 2012, PRIME members accounted for roughly 4% of AMAZON's 182M active customer base, but they accounted for nearly 10% of purchases and they spend twice as much as non-prime customers on the platform, $1,224 vs. $505 per year.



iTunes is a little different, it's a TRANSACTIONAL platform but practically ubiquitous, and some of those VOD numbers on your accounting statements are coming from rental on the platform.  Apple's iTunes music store is now home to 577M users, adding nearly half-million new accounts every day.

At its current rate, Apple will add another 100M iTunes accounts by the end of 2013, and have served up over 15 BILLION media downloads.



But you and I don't know anything about them beyond what the analysts tell us in aggregate or what Apple or Amazon chooses to reveal.  And that is a LOT of valuable information that we are missing out on. 

Consumer behavior varies greatly across these platforms and is measurable against entirely different things.

At the moment, cable VOD has virtually no user experience, no algorithm offering more movies similar to those you have watched or paid for, no metadata - it is, as people lament, an alphabetical list of titles "foldered" into a growing number of categories.

To put it mildly, discoverability is a bitch. Now, of course the cable companies are working on this because they too would love to be able to serve up more transactions by title than 3% of the overall usage on the platform. And believe me, business will grow when discoverability gets better.

By comparison, Netflix allows you and your household to curate your own content library, Amazon can correlate film recommendations to things you purchase and read. Oh, and it controls the Internet Movie Database which is a sleeping giant of a film network. And iTunes has a ton of information on price sensitivity around content.

The fact that this data exists and we still can't see it or cross-reference it across different films is truly an oversight whose time has come to bear.

We can't have any leverage in a market if we don't have access to this information.

 Simply stated, the player that controls the information has the upper hand in a deal.



We're missing out on opportunities here. Transparency breeds efficiency - it shows what's working, what isn't. What programs, genres, nights, talent, themes are generating audience interest. Where audiences are, go after they watch, to whom they tweet and post and share.

This article is related to: TIFF, Filmmaker Toolkit: Distribution, News, VOD, Digital Film Distribution, ITunes, Tech





Win The Complete Twin Peaks on Blu-ray from Indiewire! in Indiewire's Hangs on LockerDome


SnagFilms

Watch Over 10,000 Free Movies!

Shailene Woodley and Gregg Araki Talk 'White Bird in a Blizzard' at Soho Apple Store

More