YouTube: Billions in Revenues Expand Documentary Commissions. Netflix’s Audience Share

YouTube’s 15th Birthday:  A Growing  Industry Power-house. For months, I’ve been hearing about YouTube commissions for documentaries and specials. Very respectable US and UK producers are the beneficiaries. Generous budgets are in the $750,000 – $1.5 million range. Topics have included the youth-targeted categories of pop culture and music celebrity bio-docs. YouTube’s head of Originals, Susanne Daniels …

Discovery Inc Cuts into the Bone

Discovery Inc. is in the midst of laying off hundreds of employees. A radical headcount reduction is central to Discovery’s current campaign to eliminate $US hundreds of millions in costs in 2020. I hear that the layoffs and other cuts affect all of the company’s activities, from corporate to programming, and from new hires to …


PGA’s Outstanding Producer Award for APOLLO Signals Boom-time for the Documentary Genre

The 2020 PGA Awards broadcast the industry’s acceptance of the booming documentary category as a peer with even the most popular, binge-worthy scripted series. There was a surprise winner in the PGA’s prestigious Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures category It was 1895 Films for Apollo: Missions to the Moon. APOLLO’s competitors were four …

Netflix’s Fyre vs hulu’s Fyre. Parrot Analytics’ Courtney Williams on measuring audience engagement in the online video era. Podcast

The criminally disastrous Fyre Music Festival was covered in two documentary features that were released in January 2019: Fyre Fraud from hulu, Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Who won? hulu reports 30 million subscribers against Netflix‘s 158 million. hulu was the surprise clear winner. That’s per the ‘audience engagement’ measurement developed by Parrot …

DOCUBAY: CEO Akul Tripathi reveals his Mumbai-based, global documentary streamer. Podcast

Akul Tripathi is the CEO of DOCUBAY, the Mumbai-based documentary subscription streamer launched in 2H’19. Akul emphasizes the scale of the huge Indian video market, with its population of 1.4 billion, including 130+/- million English-speakers. He describes how the low cost of Internet connectivity has driven the fast adoption of digital services, reaching 570 million …

How documentary story-telling is changing in the Netflix Era, and what it means for producers. A podcast with StoryCentric’s Ed Hersh

How is non-fiction storytelling evolving in the age of Netflix? I talk with Ed Hersh of consultancy StoryCentric about his work with producers and channels. His focus is on how Netflix and a host of new Direct-to-Consumer subscription platforms are challenging the storytelling conventions that once dominated in the Linear/Cable/Satellite era. You’ll hear about: Program …

Documentaries in the Streaming Era: 2020 predictions, Apple TV+’s The Elephant Queen, and much more in our Monthly News Highlights

Here are our top stories for December ’19, curated with our friends at Sunny Side of the Doc. Losing Yves Jeanneau: Read a selection of tributes to Yves Jeanneau, Sunny Side of the Doc co-founder, executive director and our friend, who passed away on November 14 // Sunny Side’s Official Announcement // Peter Hamilton // Realscreen // TV France International // Telerama and many more. Development …

The Five Top Trends in 2019 from Veteran Producer Michael Hoff. Podcast

Michael Hoff is a veteran producer who has delivered more than 1,000 hours of mainly male-targeted Factual Entertainment to dozens of clients. Michael shares his 5 Top Takeaways for 2019… focusing on how the shift to streaming is changing the ways that cable channels commission programs. Listen to Hoff Productions’ Michael Hoff (25 min) Michael …