Awards, Amazon and a hunger for storytelling
Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. That’s Plato. Simple words. Rich in meaning.
As we look to the fourth annual Digital Content NewFronts, we can expect to see more rich content slates and high-quality programming options from wise men and women, and luckily, fewer fools (I use this reference respectfully, versus literally) who do not yet believe that premium digital serials are the future of entertainment.
Three reasons for my optimism: Awards, Amazon and the proliferation of stories worth telling and seeing.
Hollywood takes note
The Holy Trinity of Hollywood awards—Oscars, Emmy’s, Golden Globes—have typically honored Fox Searchlight Pictures, for example, over the likes of an Amazon or Netflix when it came to trophy contention and credit lists.
The conversation, however, got a streaming-swift kick in the traditional model derrière when the Emmy’s handed Netflix’s House of Cards nine nominations (and three wins) for its first season. This year, the trend is further fortified by the win of Amazon’s Transparent and Jeffrey Tambor for Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical, and Best Actor in a Television series, Comedy or Musical, respectively.
From retail genie to publishing guru
It’s beyond starting. It started. Viewers spoke with the two most valuable things they have to offer: their time and money. And no one knows this better than Amazon, the online retail giant who made buying dangerously easy and the shopping cart famous. Amazon knows your future—before you live it.
According to CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video in 2014, picking up programming exclusives and HBO content. Despite an aggressive membership price hike from $79.00 to $99.00 a year, few blinked. In fact, membership subsequently grew 50 percent. Amazon is making big, hearty bets, as are other progressive publishers and distributors, among them our fellow founding partners of the Digital Content NewFronts (DCNF) including AOL, Hulu, Yahoo, YouTube and newcomers like Maker and Vice. Each has stories to be told, and stories worth discovering.