No research analyst on Thursday’s Q2 2022 earnings call asked Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD)management about whether YouTube and TikTok compete with them on premium content. Nor did anyone from WBD management mention YouTube and TikTok as competitive threats.
In a world where YouTube (135MM connected TV (CTV) viewers per month in the U.S.) and TikTok (~80MM monthly active users in the U.S.), increasingly are capturing consumer attention - and advertisers are shifting spend accordingly - the traditional linear TV definition of “premium content” matters less and less.
I wrote about one version of YouTube as competition in last week’s "The Office" Is Succeeding On YouTube, Less So on Peacock: “an entire new generation of viewers consume “The Office” by the algorithm, and clips and memes generate more word of mouth and engagement for the show outside of Peacock than the full episodes or the “super fan” episodes of “The Office” on Peacock.”
On Friday I wrote about another version: former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s “for the fans” Medium post, which talked up the “opportunity to do something firmly focused on the fans, which is to provide choice.”
Both reflect an important tension between consumer choice and “premium content” that is worth fleshing out a little more, as it has been a theme in recent mailings. Ultimately, WBD and legacy media companies are promising these investors and analysts streaming growth, and neither side seems to understand they won’t be able to grow without engaging the “fans” across platforms.
I wrote last week that “The Netflix Paradox”, “'The Office' Paradox” or “The YouTube Paradox” is: