“Hopefully, it’s not the end of the golden era of content,” says Howard Owens, Propagate Content founder and co-CEO. “Hopefully, it’s the beginning. For the producers and the writers and directors who are strong and have great new original ideas, they are going to be paid very well. You’re seeing that across the board. Those who have the best ideas and the freshest new approach are going to be rewarded. The rewards are just a little different. More upfront now so you’re taking less risk but there’s less long-term tail and opportunity.”
The Business Models Are Changing
A lot of people are choosing sides. We’re choosing to play the field on the streaming side. It’s a great time for consumers right now. It’s a boom time for blue-chip iconic great television. There is so much opportunity for every part of the family. As producers, it’s also a very rich time because there are different kinds of content being made at the different platforms. It’s just that that rare moment that you can be as creative as possible and feel like they’re unlimited possibilities.
There’s a lot of cash (available) but the business models are changing. As producers, it used to be that you could own a piece of the show. You would approach your distribution partner as a creative business. You would be part of that show for the life of it. If that show was successful 20 years later you would participate 20 years later.
Now the model is changing more to a goods and services model where you’re paid very well for delivering and rendering those goods and services. But once those goods and services are rendered there’s no real tail anymore. At least that’s what the streamers are leaning into.
The Streamers Are Now Big Media Companies
The streamers are now big media companies of their own right. They want the ability to window their programming anywhere they want. Take Disney which launches Disney+ tomorrow. They have a broadcast network, they have cable networks, and they are now going to have the Disney+ platform. They also have cable channels and FX channels and National Geographic networks.
They want to be able to window their programming how they see fit whether it be on Disney+ or whether it’s on the channel. Because of that every time the show moves they don’t want to have to do a new deal with the profit participants. They want to be able to move those shows freely. That’s why they’re paying upfront money but you’re not along for the long term ride.
Hopefully, It’s The Beginning Of The Golden Era Of Content
Hopefully, it’s not the end of the golden era of content. Hopefully, it’s the beginning. I think the deals are going to change and work out. For the producers and the writers and directors who are strong and have great new original ideas, they are going to be paid very well. You’re seeing that across the board. It’s really still a meritocracy. Those who have the best ideas and the freshest new approach are going to be rewarded. The rewards are just a little different. More upfront now so you’re taking less risk but there’s less long-term tail and opportunity.