, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1/ The most important thing about #BirdBox is what it tells you about (A) a frequent Netflix criticism from talent; (B) the service’s reach (users x frequency x duration) and brand trust; + (C) its control of the most valuable promotional real estate in the world: their homepage
2/ Netflix says #BirdBox was “viewed” by 45MM people over its first seven days (view = 70% complete). This is out of roughly 147MM subscriptions (with each holding 3+ users). This is a huge achievement. Full stop. And notably, Netflix barely promoted/marketed it. Barely a dollar.
3/ Talent often complains that Netflix doesn’t promote their originals enough because they have too much. Or that their shows/movies are “lost” in the library. As if dozens of LA billboards make a title a success globally (studios have long done this only to make talent happy)
4/ The reality is that the most valuable real estate in the world is the top fold of Netflix home page. And Netflix not only controls it, they don’t rent it to anyone. You can buy a billboard, Amazon’s homepage, Facebook, Snapchat. Not Netflix. It’s only for Netflix.
5/ And it reaches, if Netflix chooses (actively or via algorithm) to promote the content, millions more than any ad placements – and more effectively, as it’s bottom of the funnel (audiences are in the mood to watch and just a click away). But you don’t see the “spend” on the P&L
6/ Ads only matter if they’re relevant to the one who sees it AND drive action, not if they’re seen. This doesn’t mean content isn’t lost or underpromoted, but the fact you don’t see an ad or see it on Netflix is not evidence, nor data. It’s anecdote
7/ And for all the talk about Netflix’s personalization or algorithm, almost everything in the first two holds of their homepage is an Original. Netflix does tip the scale towards their own content. Heavily.
8/ Finally there’s an obsession with equating #BirdBox viewership with what the theatrical comp would be. There isn’t one. The businesses are entirely different, the metrics too. We saw this with the struggle to equate a single Spotify steam with a radio play (which reached 000s)
9/ What matters is simple. When Netflix makes something audiences want, reduces the friction (going to the theatre) and pushes it out there, it will reach more people than any other pathway and with less money (ceteris paribus)
10/ This is a huge advantage as it creates several virtuous cycles where Netflix can outspend on content and make more of it, yet de-risk viewership and payback because it simply out-reaches everyone else redef.com/original/netfl…
11/ This is another reminder that while the consensus attention in the OTT/SVOD era is placed on TV, films remain incredibly important. And Netflix is the most committed to the space (in terms of volume, budget, theatrical disruption) redef.com/original/why-h…
12/ And even Disney has announced that they'll start transitioning some of their major films, including those originally intended for theaters, as well as new projects (e.g. the live action Lady and The Tramp) to direct-to-SVOD
13/ There was a time in which everyone - theaters, studios and audiences - would have benefited from PVOD (e.g. early VOD release for $40-60). Odds are it'll be completely skipped for D2SVOD or rapid windowing. LTV of a subscriber is worth far more in a winner-takes-most market
14/ And keep in mind, the theatrical distribution segment has been flat for twenty years. Growth companies, let alone those with Netflix-sized ambitions, typically don't bet on zero sum partners or pathways
15/ Lastly, an anecdote: In pitching direct-to-SVOD, Sarandos would tell talent that films didn’t become classics in the theaters, but at home – kids rewatching ‘Star Wars’ endlessly in their basement, young adults rewatching the ‘Rocky’ films or ‘Good Fellas’.
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