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 …

Are U.S. Cable Channels Heading Over a Cliff? An audience snapshot at the end of the ‘Teens

Are Netflix and the streamers killing the channels’ business? And thus are opportunities shrinking for producers at the end of the ’20-teens’? Sample – 12 Factual Channels: For my presentation to the upcoming New York State Bar Association annual conference, Nielsen aggregated the Primetime audience for 12 channels that focus on Factual programs. They are: …

Steve Burns, veteran programming executive reflects on the changing documentary landscape. Podcast

STEVE BURNS has enjoyed senior management roles at Nat Geo, Discovery Networks and CuriosityStream. Our podcast topic: HOW THE DOCUMENTARY LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED SINCE THE ‘EIGHTIES. First, Steve shares his shock and loss on hearing that Sunny Side’s Yves Jeanneau had passed away. We discuss the rise of big budget international co-productions, “Occu-soaps”, character-led Reality, and …