Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more

Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions. Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’. Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution. Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways …


Sports viewers are leaving the channels. Why? What it means for the Documentary Economy

Sports ratings in the U.S. are in sharp decline. Why? What does it mean for the Documentary/Unscripted sector? What’s driving Sports viewing? Some industry analysts blame Covid: Empty stands take away the noise, the fan reaction shots and fan storylines that both energize games and deepen the viewer’s emotional engagement. Many fan-free top-flight games in …

SNAP: The paths to mobile video success that Quibi missed

While Quibi collapsed, its key mobile video competitor SNAP showed what could have been. Snap started as a user-generated mobile content and social media venture. The target: Gen Z and millennials. Camera technology is at the center of its value prop. Watch the SNAP promo. Video Strategy: Snap expanded beyond user-generated content Its free Discover …

Quibi: Collapse was in its DNA!

Quibi was destined to fail. I was sure of that when I first read the presser announcing the business plan. There must be deep psychological reasons why retirement-age industry titans can even begin to fantasize about succeeding in mobile video — a medium that targets 10-20 yo’s with goofy dance videos shot in their Covid …

Sunny Side Cyber Week Sale

The Making of Netflix’s Hit Wildlife Documentary: MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

I’m pleased to write that My Octopus Teacher, just released by Netflix, went immediately on to my All-time Favorite Wildlife Documentaries list. Trailer https://youtu.be/3s0LTDhqe5A (copy/paste link). My Octopus Teacher is built on the foundations of any successful doc: Huge Characters, human and cephalopod. Unique Access. Risk… to life and limbs. Then there’s more: The original …

Younger UK viewers turn to Netflix and the streamers in COVID

Young UK viewers made a dramatic turn to streamer services like Netflix during Covid. That’s the key Takeaway from a report from the BARB ratings agency on TV set usage in April ’20 versus April ’19. For Kids and Adults 16-34: Their time spent watching the channels remained quite steady. Time spent watching Netflix and …