THE CLEANERS An Anti-Case Study: A $1.3 Million Investigative Documentary Wins Sundance Acceptance But Faces Deep Deficit

THE CLEANERS ticked all the boxes. Despite Sundance selection and sales to prestigious broadcasters worldwide, the producers are digging out from a deep deficit. The business model for investigative documentaries has always been risky. It is now under siege… and needs new solutions. That’s the message presented by Christian Beetz, co-CEO of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion …

Discovery For Sale?

Discovery must be in play after AT&T’s recent takeover of Time Warner with its Warner Bros, HBO and Turner programming assets. The newly combined Discovery Scripps venture is valued at more than $34 Bn. That is a stratospheric achievement for a company that forged its initial connection with viewers via off-the-shelf acquisitions like Australian lizard-specialist Harry …


Program Development & Pitching Trends. Podcast with Michael Hoff

Welcome to my second podcast on the business of the unscripted business. My Guest: Michael Hoff leads Hoff Productions, successfully delivering mainly male-targeted series and specials to dozens of networks for 25 years. In my recent popular post, Michael spelled out the evolving high-stakes world of program development. The Topic: Today’s Pitching Process. Network development execs are …

Hulu: The Appetite for Documentary Viewing on the Home of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Do online video subscribers watch documentaries? This week’s post pulls back the curtain, but just a little. Research firm Comscore tracks Monthly Uniques for Hulu, the #3 U.S. online subscription service after Netflix and Amazon. The Findings: The data is by programming category: And here is the detail: HULU Monthly Uniques, March 2018   Millions …

MIPTV & MIPDoc Takeaways #1-5: That Unsettled Netflix Feeling Along the Croisette

What caught my attention at MIPDoc and MIPTV this year? Lots of producers and network executives called to ask. They are curious because their business models and career options are becoming more unsettled by the rise of Netflix and online video distribution platforms. Here are my Takeaways from Cannes (#1-5): 1. What You Know. And …

The Demand for Documentaries Across Online & Social Media Platforms: Recent Highlights

In this post, we share highlights of Parrot Analytics‘ analysis of cross-platform demand for unscripted programs. Online Measurement? How do you measure the performance of a documentary online and in social media? It’s a big question because Amazon, Netflix and other platforms don’t share performance data. Social Media data is both widely dispersed and hard …