READ MORE: Spherex M&E Predictions for 2022 (Spherex)
Today there are nearly 300 VOD and OTT platforms available to consumers across more than 200 countries and territories. That number is expected to increase to 600 platforms and two billion subscribers by 2025. How do you stand out amid all that competition?
“Content is king,” says Teresa Phillips, CEO and co-founder of data and technology company Spherex.
“Companies with existing or expanding content catalogs have a competitive advantage because they don’t have to buy or license content, but even those titles become stale over time,” she says.
“The result is the demand for new content will continue to increase as more consumers tire of existing catalogs, are unable to find something to watch, and reach the point of deciding which service is no longer worth the subscription price.”
“Companies with existing or expanding content catalogs have a competitive advantage because they don’t have to buy or license content, but even those titles become stale over time.”Teresa Phillips, Spherex
That leads to a prediction — which is surely already in action among most leading SVODs — that investment in original foreign-language content investment pays dividends.
The success of shows like South Korea drama Squid Game has platforms searching for possible successors. Netflix alone is investing half a billion dollars in Korean content in 2022. This year, Disney plans to launch service in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and buy 50 Asian originals by 2023.
Meanwhile Peacock has partnered with Telemundo to develop 50 Spanish-language projects and create a new streaming channel, and Amazon Prime Video announced it is expanding its content development in India, ordering shows in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu languages.
Several of these will find the same level of success and audience acceptance as Squid Game, Parasite, and other foreign language titles, says Phillips.
As the number of titles being released continues to increase, directors, producers, and studios need to find a competitive advantage that allows them to reach markets faster, at reduced cost and with no regulatory risk.
“Beginning in 2022, adding AI and ML tools to existing manual processes can help content providers accomplish this important objective while reducing localization costs and improving the customer experience, and getting to revenue faster,” Phillips says.
Netflix’s Big Bet Pays off with Emmy Nods for “Squid Game”
By Jennifer Wolfe
Despite the declining number of new US subscribers Netflix is currently facing, the streaming giant has once again made history, Adario Strange writes for Quartz, with the Television Academy’s five Emmy nods for Squid Game. The first non-English language television series ever to be nominated, Squid Game became a global hit in 2020.
Despite trailing behind HBO in the total number of nominations (105 to 140), “The South Korean drama’s ground-breaking success shows that Netflix’s multi-year strategy of investing heavily in subtitled and dubbed productions like Lupin (French), Dark (German), and Money Heist (Spanish) is working,” Strange observes. “In 2021, Netflix spent roughly $17 billion (pdf) on content, with $5.2 billion of that devoted to developing original content, including region-specific television series in countries like South Korea, Japan, Spain, and Latin America.”
“Squid Game scoring big in both viewership, and critical acclaim, all while hailing from a different country and written in another language shows Netflix has identified a new, largely untapped vein in US streaming,” Strange remarks. “Although it’s possible that Squid Game’s Emmy nod as a foreign series will be an outlier moving forward, Netflix’s early bet on productions in other languages has paid off.”
International content remains Netflix’s “secret weapon” as the the streaming wars intensify, says Strange, who predicts that the Emmy noms “will likely fuel even more investment in shows for the streamer’s international interests.”