Good morning, All, and happy New Year!
Dana Brunetti is not only the president of Tigger Street Productions. He’s also the guy who produced the most successful show not on television: House of Cards, which streams on Netflix, for those out there who haven’t yet cut the cord. Back in November, we heard Brunetti speak at the Dublin Web Summit.
“Everyone thought we were crazy when we told them we were doing a show on line. Everyone thought we were crazy when released all 13 episodes at once. Binge viewing works. Appointment viewing is dead or going away,” said Brunetti. “People want things when they want them. People are more savvy about how they consume their TV. You have to give the audience what they want, how they want it and they won’t steal it.”
Brunetti also predicted that before too long, we’d be able to watch first-run movies that he’d be able to have it streamed to his living room. Which was basically heresy back in November. Then along came the Sony hack. In fact, here’s Everything we know about how people watched “The Interview” and what it means for the future of internet video. Good lessons to be learned here.
We may not know who hacked Sony, but we do know that The Interview, which was pulled from theaters as a result of the hack, made $15M in sales in downloads the first few days, and about $3M when it was released in 300 theaters around the country. For the record, one could rent or buy it online, and rentals accounted for two thirds of that revenue. Without hesitation and will very little fanfare, in-home entertainment went first-run, and the timing wasn’t bad, especially in light of the fact that box office receipts were down last year. Again.
It seems people will pay for access and convenience. And wonder how many other people streamed The Interview who might not have paid to go see it in the theater?
2015 is the year that HBO Go and CBS are launching their content as standalone services (no HBO cable subscription required). Television viewership is down. People are turning away from the endless glut of reality shows that is choking prime time and are cheap to make – and let’s face it, what better reality show is there than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, et al? Big Entertainment, which means Hollywood, the networks and Big Cable, needs to learn the lessons of the Internet: follow the eyeballs. The studios are leaving money on the table, said Brunetti in Dublin, and also noted that the theaters have a lot of control over the studios. Change is a-coming and what can you say? That’s entertainment. As for Brunetti, as always, here’s to the crazy ones. Onward and forward.