PARQOR is the handbook every media and technology executive needs to navigate the seismic shifts underway in the media business. Through in-depth analysis from a network of senior media and tech leaders, Andrew Rosen cuts through what's happening, highlights what it means and suggests where you should go next.
In Q4 2022, PARQOR will be focusing on four trends: this essay is on the theme, "Hollywood’s future lies in the creator economy, what happens next?”
Also, my newest monthly opinion piece on The Information is now live: “YouTube and TikTok Creators Are Tearing Up Netflix’s Streaming Rulebook”. I argue as Netflix readies its Basic with Ads tier, it’s staring down an existential threat from the likes of TikTok and YouTube, whose “premium” creator content competes for the same advertiser demand.
I think there are two truths to the streaming media business that aren’t discussed enough: software and user interface (UI)/user experience (UX) matter more and libraries matter less than media companies and investors believe.
I think these both played out in Nielsen’s The Gauge for September 2022, where Pluto TV surprisingly emerged as one of the most streamed services on TVs. It’s the first Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) service to land in Nielsen’s The Gauge, and it captured more viewing time than Paramount’s paid subscription service, Paramount+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and other niche streaming services.
What’s also notable is how every service above Pluto on this chart offers some degree of personalization. In fact, I would argue that if we asked executives in the streaming space to rank the quality of personalization of each service, I think the survey ranking would come out in this order. The only tweak would be moving HBO Max above Prime Video and Disney+ - the home page personalization is something they have invested in for the past two years and, subjectively, I think it is very good (Disney+ has invested more in recommendations for what users watch next).
Also notable is how every service that are not on the list also do not have competitive personalization algorithms (e.g., AMC+, Starz).
Pluto TV is free, it scales, its pay-per-performance business model is closer to YouTube’s and TikTok’s… and it creates value for both its older libraries and third party libraries that streaming’s business model destroys.
Total words: 1,300
Total time reading: 5 minutes
But Pluto takes the familiar format of an electronic programming guide (EPG) – where content sits “cheek by jowl” and fills its with hundreds of individual channels of Paramount-owned content and third-party licensed content. It has long bucked the trend of streaming interfaces that either ...