Indie Streamers' Chance to Shine as Services Need New Content_v3 (1)

The time is ripe to innovate the way movies and TV are seen. In this new distribution world, with everyone stuck at home and quickly burning through popular series, Indie Shows with ready content can offer a lot to an audience primed by the Tiger King and hungry for another distraction.

In this trend analysis, we’ll share consumer and market intelligence around:

  • Top shows shifting to meet consumer desires for varied experiences in entertainment.
  • Brand advertising budgets continuing to shift towards online and social media

And there are key stats to consider as you plan your entertainment marketing spend, including:


Top Shows are Shifting

With evidence of Zoom fatigue in both ratings and commissions, self-filmed content is starting to lag. Shows are shifting to meet both consumer and safety demands.

For safety this includes sanitized studios for solo tapings and better equipment for remote filming and, in the future, sealed environments for filming numerous parties.

Consumers are ready to move out of Zoom, though not ready to venture to theatres, and they still want a theatrical experience. Filming industries everywhere are getting the chance to prove their innovation and endurance in this race to adapt to the fickle and safety-conscious consumer.

And the new norm includes everything from ‘remote filming’ to remote filming software:


Consumer sentiment is shifting as well. Gone are the days they looked for scripted “reality tv and survival game shows”. Consumers want to see fresh content with depth and creativity. And Indie companies like Cranked Up, Music Box Films, and Film Movement have already begun meeting that demand. They have creative solutions like “At Home Cinema,” bringing first-run films into living rooms everywhere.

And there are a few shows that have become part of the stay home repertoire.

Extra Ordinary – A “Cranked Up” mockery of spooktacular horror films

Coming to a home theatre near you is this funny and creative approach to spine-tingling excitement, Extra Ordinary. A Cranked Up original, consumers can get tickets and watch from their couches. A portion of the ticket price goes to theatres who originally were lined up to show the movie.

How did it become so popular? They very wisely use consumer generated content (CGC) to help advertise their online offerings:


Game Night with Charlotte Crosby – MTV Brings Quick Thinking, Interactive Game Show

MTV innovated TV with music way back when, and then over a decade later with reality TV via The Real World. Now in 2020 they play host to an interactive game show that delights consumers from their recliners. With quizzes, challenges and games watchers can do at home, Charlotte Crosby, along with celebrity guests, interact with MTV fans from their living rooms.


The Last Dance – A Squeekingly Sweet Pax de Deux of Michael Jordan and His Bulls

ESPN is perhaps the best example of hard work and perseverance during this pandemic. Sports are for spectators, and with no live audience, creativity became the new sport.

Now touching hearts and giving consumers a taste of familiar and sentimentality, ESPN’s The Last Dance looks at the dynasty of the Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls through the lens of the ‘97-98 championship.

Fans discuss it online with primarily positive descriptors:


And part of those sports fans celebrating this release are 2020 graduates.

Graduate Together Heartwarming, Socially Distant Hurrah for 2020 Graduates

Filmed from a high-tech and sterile studio, this hour long special celebrated 2020 graduates who had no choice but to graduate without celebration, no walk across the stage, no pinning ceremony, no room full of friends and sans family cheering their hard work.

Everyone can relate:


Emceed by LeBron James, this ceremony included a performance by Alicia Keys in an equally surgically prepped studio, and a keynote delivered by former President Barack Obama.

“With the virtual studios that we’re starting to use, it does actually look like you are moving through the space,” adds Done+Dusted’s Katy Mullan, who also produced both iterations of The Disney Family Singalong on ABC. “These things are developing exponentially in a matter of weeks. You’re seeing a peppering of production values.”

And now we can see how all of these efforts measure up and who is talking about what. The conversation clusters below show that just as in sports, the Chicago Bulls are dominating the conversation, infiltrating every off-shoot.


What does this mean for brands’ advertising dollars? Let’s take a look at how companies are using the space.

Brand Advertising Budgets Continuing to Shift

Think of advertising as rearranging your living room, a new piece is added and suddenly the space no longer serves you the way it once did. So, you need to rearrange your pieces to suit the present. And sometimes you have to get rid of one, for the good of the rest.

The world of advertising dollars is the same. “At Home” is the new piece to the advertising décor, and other items need to shift to make room.

The reluctance of consumers to re-engage in normal activities has caused many brands to think outside the box – or, inside the home, rather.

Burger king celebrated ‘Couch Potatriots’ everywhere in their advertisements. Hyundai showed consumers how easy it was to buy online. And Disney brought us ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ three months early and straight to our living rooms.

Brands moved so quickly, you can almost still hear the crinkling of paper as budgets shifted to meet needs.

And they didn’t just move how they advertised, but where.


Where Brands are Directing Marketing Dollars

Popeyes originally planned to release their chicken sandwich using TV advertising funds, but after Twitter’s chicken sandwich wars blew up, they shifted sights towards social media. Two weeks later they had to stop selling the sandwich in order to replenish supply. One of their most successful product launches in six years used zero TV dollars. This was before the pandemic, and its telling.


In 2019 77% of marketers used at least one social media platform to reach audiences, in 2020 89% are using it. That number is set to increase.

Here’s what we know about where advertising dollars and time are being invested:

  • Advertising is rising on digital platforms including social media, podcasts, pay-per-click (PPC), and more.
  • Customer data plays a significant role in successful advertising targeting and retargeting.
  • An increase in mobile devices is boosting mobile ads and SMS marketing.
  • Using online advertising vs TV provides real time analytics options.
  • Facebook and Twitter are consistent marketer destinations
  • Instagram has seen the most growth, from a marketer and consumer standpoint
  • YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat are showing a definite increase in interest
  • Reddit isn’t listed (below) and should be!


What it means for marketers

52% of all online brand discovery still happens in public social feeds, and now thanks to online home theatres, and streaming channels galore, there will be more opportunity for advertisers everywhere.

AT&T announced that its Xandr ad-tech arm is selling video ad time during pause breaks, something Hulu has already been doing. And HBO Max, Peacock and new arrival Quibi are also offering up ad time.

Quibi? Yes! This new streaming service has 50 different programs that include unscripted reality shows, short-form documentaries, films and news. And each episode is less than 10 minutes long and is designed to be watched on a phone. They emphasize the idea of “snackable content.”

Quibi is not a substitute or a competitor for television. Our [service] is exclusively about what you do from 7 AM to 7 PM on your phone.” And they have top artists like Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez, along with horror movie film maker and icon, Sam Raimi. And the conversation and content generated is quite large:


Where is the next new opportunity for advertisers?

Perhaps the perfect storm of advertisement awesomeness is in joining with shows and movies for product placement, such as Coke’s role in Stranger Things. New Coke was already written in the script but Coke used this to their advantage and capturing the attention of the show’s significant consumer base. Are Quibi Coke pairings in the future? Perhaps! If any brand can pull it off, it’s them. Or you?

Follow the trend, find your footing in today’s shifting world and contact us for a demo of the tools you’ll need to make informed, consumer and market insight decisions with your advertising dollars!


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