Main menu


Netflix's New Comedy License Shows A Healthy Spending Alternative — TVREV

In the past few days, news has trickled out of Netflix that the streaming giant has offered at least some comedy performers another deal, licensing stand-up specials for just two years before returning them to creators’ control. .

The new approach has seen the industry wide (finally!) surfacing within weeks of debuting with a ton of unreleased content from Netflix and other content, aside from the helpless deficit funding of dozens of shows falling into obscurity. Suggesting that there may be another way.

Netflix plans to spend $17 billion on content again this year, executives said in the company’s final earnings call, with spending levels expected to continue “in the same zip code” for years to come.

But after almost 15 years of streaming video, Netflix’s spending is now only close to breaking even. Most latecomers are still losing cash, totaling at least $10 billion this year.

Debt-stricken Warner Bros. Discovery is currently in talks to license the library it already owns rather than keep it on HBO Max and Discovery+. Other companies are feeling investor pressure to monetize streaming and are trying to find ways to compete with cost-effective shows that can attract and retain subscribers.

Netflix’s new approach to comedy offers one possible solution to these conflicts in a popular field that has seen many breakthrough hits in the past.

The Wall Street Journal said this approach would cut the typical $1 million buyout price to $200,000 for short-term licenses. This is a notable savings for something whose shelf life may not last forever.

It could also seriously undermine the funding plans of up-and-coming comics trying to raise money to make specials, and for many who haven’t yet established a name, it won’t be easy to overcome. There is none.

Veteran writer and stand-up comedian Jo Koy speaks in his latest special released earlier this month. Streamed live from the Los Angeles Forum The challenge of putting together his funding first time Special 10 years ago.

Netflix executives refused to buy the show before production and were forced to pool funds from many other sources. Only after the show was recorded and edited did a Netflix executive tell him: We are buying it,” said Koi. Since then, Netflix has prepaid for three more specials.

The new licensing approach reflects the deal short-lived Quibi offers creators. Creators there were paid to create projects that could be split into her 10-minute chapters for episode releases on her short-form mobile site. As a result, the creators regained the rights to the full version of the show two years after her, and the rights to the episodic version seven years later.

It was a hit for many creators (especially at the price paid by Quibi). This is because the project was created and gave us the flexibility to sell the full version to the international market and other platforms a second time. One of the big losses.

For all streaming services, shorter-term licenses may be another way to maximize the value of shows. In the era of Peak TV, we already have a plethora of services and need to continue creating high-profile content to attract and retain customers. However, this means that slightly older content quickly disappears from recommendation engines and may even be dead for many viewers.

With that “death of algorithms,” some services have launched free, ad-supported Linear Channels (FAST) in their library content as a way to generate more cash from older shows, allowing shows to be discovered. I am giving you another chance.

That means less money on the front end for some comedians, but more flexibility on the back end with quality projects that can act as a calling card for the rest of their careers. It also means. If you can create a project in the first place, that’s Quibi’s deal.

Netflix’s big investment in comedy has helped shape the careers of some performers. Tasmanian-born Hannah Gadsby became a breakthrough star with her Emmy-winning show in 2018. Nanette, A hilarious, harrowing confessional monologue about the trauma of growing up as a lesbian in a place called crime.

Some of Netflix’s most powerful comedians, such as Dave Chappelle and Gadsby, are not subject to two-year licensing deals. He said it was to expand a highly transphobic industry. Gadsby will produce both a standalone show and a separate showcase for other comics in its latest deal.