Future of TV
A common line trotted out by new eSports publishers is that they'll become the 'ESPN of eSports'. Well now ESPN is going to be the 'ESPN of eSports', it has announced plans to "aggressively cover" them, beginning on its website and apps.
eSports are certainly having a moment; big brands like Coca Cola, Red Bull and Intel are already sponsors and team owners, and now broadcast networks are circling like sharks to start covering tournaments.
But as big as tournaments are, there's also huge potential for earning and viewership in live streaming. For example, the 400th most popular streamer on Twitch has only made $2,444 in tournaments since 2011, but he earns over $100,000 per year on Twitch.
It's an industry that in 2015 started guzzling rocket fuel, and in 2016 we expect it to take off.
Already this year, there's been a lot of announcements about streaming services expanding their catalogues and global reach. While their popularity is undoubtedly tied to the ability to provide a huge range of content, there's a growing number of smaller, but stable, niche, genre-specific and even culturally-specific services.
Crunchyroll is an example of one such site. Exclusively geared towards Anime, it maintains a supportive fanbase by generating a community feel on in its extensive fan forums and off-site through participation in, and engagement with fans at, Anime conferences.
Rerun favourite, TV[R]EV's Alan Wolk talks a great deal of refreshing common sense when it comes to the TV industry. His recent article about why Snapchat is the new Twitter, is a must read for broadcasters and brands coming to terms with the new platform.
Snapchat’s laid back, nothing-is-that-serious platform may be exactly what’s needed in 2016, an antidote to the constant flow of posts all calling out to be liked and shared and commented upon.
NBC recently announced that they had figured out viewership figures for several Netflix shows. Data was gathered from a sample of 15,000 Netflix users and measured using audio recognition technology.
Netflix doesn't reveal their viewership figures, even to show creators. This is primarily because they don't actually matter to their business model, which is subscription based and doesn't rely on advertising. As long as customers don't cancel and there is enough exclusive content to attract new subscribers, Netflix is happy.
In a 'What the fu?' moment, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was understandably baffled when reacting to NBC's claims.
So there’s a couple of mysteries in play for me. One is why would NBC use their lunchtime [press conference] to talk about our ratings,” Sarandos told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena on Sunday morning. “Maybe cause it’s more fun to talk [about] than NBC’s ratings. The second is, the whole methodology and the measurement and the data itself doesn’t reflect any sense of reality of anything that we keep track of.
In a bid to keep up with the changing TV industry, Nielsen teamed up with Twitter in 2013 to measure conversations that take place on Twitter about TV shows. Now it's adding a huge missing chunk of data to social conversations about TV.
Its 'Twitter TV ratings' product will now incorporate Facebook data and be renamed as 'social content ratings'. It will include data from both public and private posts on Facebook where TV shows are mentioned (supplied by Facebook in aggregate).
With Facebook's recent launch of its realtime Sports Stadium platform, things are going to get a lot noisier in there! #coybig