Mane Product & Technology Issue 5 - August 2018 - Page 13

Television on demand is how TV going. Long gone are the days of having to rush home to catch your favourite show, or having to set the VCR to tape your favourite show on the day it is going to be on, and making sure you don’t record over your parents wedding tape. Ever since what I can recall, Sky+ being the first time you could record, pause and control TV whilst also scheduling content weeks in advance to watch later – the urgency to watch entertainment content has slowly been dying.

Many companies over the years picked up on this trend. Most noticeably Netflix, who became industry leaders in this. Originally a Postal DVD rental service, operating similarly to established giants at the time, Blockbuster – their revamp changed the On Demand landscape.

Now Netflix is one of the world’s largest content companies, with films, TV and more that is broadcast on their platform across phones, computers, tablets and smart TVs. In recent years – Netflix has gone as far as to produce specific content that is exclusive to them, another idea which has since been mimicked by rival companies.

Award winning shows such as Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things and House of Cards have won Emmys and Golden Globes – awards usually reserved for shows that broadcast on terrestrial television, recognising that the content being created is up to the same standards.

With Netflix dominating the market, their nearest and long standing rival is Amazon Prime. Starting off originally as just an incentive to get Amazon goods quicker, the Prime brand has grown to since cover audio and video as well as other incentive schemes.

With Prime’s video platform, they have a large video library too. Much like Netflix, theirs also rotates and has new content added monthly. Amazon being the financial giant it is invested heavily into it’s content and made it’s intentions clear when it signed the former hosts of British car show Top Gear to its network to produce a new series exclusive to Amazon Prime.

Showing off series such as Transparent, Sneaky Pete and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – which have all had rave reviews – Amazon Prime isn’t producing second rate content, it is producing shows that are compelling, well made and worth watching. They recently dipped into the live content market by acquiring the rights to air Premier League football games from the 2019/2020 season.

Not wanting to be left out of the growing on demand cash cow, Facebook has dipped it’s toes in the waters of on demand content. Not wanting to be too similar – it is finding ways to differ itself from the 2 industry giants.

Facebook Watch, still in its infancy, has tried shifting towards broadcasting live content. An example of this have been a deal put in place with MLB to broadcast 20 games during the regular baseball season on the platform.

Also looking to explore live entertainment, Facebook Watch also partnered with WWE for their Mixed Match Challenge, which allowed those watching the show to interact with it by typing comments, doing polls and liking material that would be referenced live in the show.

Another internet giant looking to join the on demand content parade is one who is already in it.

YouTube- the world’s largest video website – recently launched YouTube Red, which then rebranded as YouTube Premium. It launched with it’s showcase original series Cobra Kai, the tale about the losing karate gym from the infamous Karate Kid movie from the 80s fighting for redemption from that losing battle.

YouTube has the added advantage of having a lot of people who produce content for it’s website, so can have content made either by them or funded by the platform themselves to add to its Premium content.

With all of this growing content available, the rush to see fresh content has almost gone with the knowledge that if a programme can’t be watched today, it can be seen tomorrow, next week or next month.