SVOD: Changing the content landscape again

November 3, 2014 8:37 pm Tags: , , , , , , No Comments 0

SVOD players are changing the television landscape daily – not merely through siphoning eyeballs away from broadcast and cable TV, but through altering the entire Hollywood content production and exchange system as well.

Syndicated studio programming spends by Hulu, Netflix and Amazon are expected to grow by $1.6 billion in 2015, Variety reported. These companies will spend a combined $6.8 billion on syndicated studio programming next year, expanding as linear TV market growth likely slows over time.

The article notes that syndication deals for SVOD are on the rise as the studios have realized they have a new outlet beyond traditional off-network station and cable television syndication deals for their hit shows. Pick-ups in this arena are becoming more focused on key hit shows vs. library show packages, with more sophisticated SVOD data available to help pinpoint and predict the shows that will resonate with customers. SVOD services will pay as much for one current hit like Blacklist as they do for studios’ long-tail libraries these days.

Some of these programming spends are also first-run SVOD deals, where shows like Zoo are sold before their television network premieres.

In their quest to become the 21stcentury version of HBO (before HBO tries its own hand at it), these companies also understand that while acquisitions get a content business off the ground and fill continuous programming needs, originals make or break their brands in an increasingly competitive landscape. Viewers come to enjoy the old and current shows they love, but stay to evangelize the new and exclusive shows they find.

Expect original SVOD programming investments to continue on an upward trajectory. The digital shifts are creating opportunities for studios and production companies to produce and profit from more SVOD content in the years ahead, as financial models continue to develop, according to a Deadline report.

While the article notes that there have haven’t been any examples of this yet, one wonders whether hit SVOD originals themselves will be syndicated in the future or remain exclusively limited to the digital services that launched them. Will an off-SVOD or off-digital syndication market rise and thrive?

Stay tuned for the models to inevitably change again.