By: Amy Maclean
It’s a nice problem to have: Endless places to sell content from traditional TV to streaming to mobile and beyond. But in 2018, content creators can no longer conceive of a cool show and then rinse and repeat the same pitch in 100 different rooms. “The plate spinning is so different now,” PopSugar Studios pres David Grant told creators and execs gathered Tuesday at Digital Entertainment World in L.A. “It’s not just 3 plates now. It’s 50 plates… You still can make it work. It just takes a lot of creative thinking. It’s not like the old days.” Perhaps an understatement, considering that the priorities of traditional nets generally differ from those of companies like Facebook, Apple or YouTube. The trick is to create “one show where different versions can go all of these different buyers,” said Nate Hayden, svp, original content at Jukin Media.
“You just have to be flexible within each piece of that content.” Facebook, for instance, puts share-ability and community above all else—including even the number of actual eyeballs. So showrunners must recalibrate considerably even as they scramble to find a home among a dizzying array of suitors.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a renaissance; it’s a rebirth,” said Electus COO Drew Buckley, who just sold a series to Facebook around TV personality Bear Grylls and added that “you’ve got to play to their strengths… How do we use that platform to sell our show and engage that community… Is this something that people are talking about?” Jennifer Perri, vp, Univision Creator Network at Univision Communications, said it’s about nailing the specific experience on every platform: “Ultimately, you want to be where your audience is.”