In The Frame February '20
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In The Frame February '20

This month's latest news across the industry.

Streaming/Online/Tech

A US survey of consumer attitudes to streaming subscriptions reveals three key trends: cord-cutting has slowed, streaming has become commonplace, and, having curated a selection of services that meets their content needs, consumers have seemingly settled into their video service portfolios.

The PwC report suggests the question for consumers is no longer “How do I watch?” but “What do I keep and what do I cut?”, and adds: “Services that don’t provide their audience with a clear value proposition and a seamless user experience run a real risk of attrition in the future.”

Nielsen have also published work on the subject, asking: “Which consumer attitudes will shape the streaming wars?” Its key findings are: consumers in OTT-capable homes in the United States spend 19 per cent of their TV time streaming content, be it through ad-supported or paid subscription models, with 60 per cent of Americans subscribing to more than one paid video streaming service.

According to the research, 93 per cent of US consumers say they will either increase or keep their existing streaming services, while cost and ease of use are the most important video streaming attributes.

In Britain, where SVOD penetration has surpassed 50 per cent for the first time, Amazon has overtaken Netflix to become the fastest-growing video-on-demand service based on percentage growth, although Netflix still enjoyed a bigger increase in terms of actual subscribers (2.04 million compared with Amazon’s 1.86 million).

Disney, whose CEO Bob Iger has stepped down, broke ground by using new methods for the special effects on the new Star Wars series Mandelorian. Instead of green- and bluescreen compositing, the production built a huge wall of LED screens to display the effects, live and in 3D, with the actors and camera in front. Read a full description here.

YouTube is now 15 years old, has two billion monthly users and hosts 500 hours of uploaded video every minute. Compared to last year, the number of creators earning five figures annually has increased by more than 40 per cent. YouTube Originals, meanwhile, is taking on the platform’s viral videos with documentaries, starting with an investigation into the phenomenon of drill music and its popularity in London, its association with crime, and the figures behind the songs.

BBC News

The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, has said that she will guarantee the licence fee until 2027 and it is time to look at new ways of funding public service broadcasting. “We must all be open-minded about the future of the licence fee beyond this point,” she said. The BBC has announced that the licence fee will rise by £3 in April to £157.50.

Emily Maitlis' interview last November with the Duke of York has won multiple Royal Television Society Awards. Maitlis was named network presenter of the year, and the broadcast won both the interview of the year and scoop of the year categories. Newsnight was also named daily news programme of the year.

The BBC’s consumer show Watchdog will disappear after more than 1,000 episodes spanning 40 years, being given a segment within The One Show instead, while the corporation’s first online multiplayer game has launched for young gamers. Nightfall – available in the UK online as well as for iOS, Android and Amazon devices – is free and “puts collaboration before competition”.

And finally...

  • US-based Blackhall Studios is to build a £150 million Hollywood-style production complex in Reading, creating up to 3,000 jobs.
  • BT is to scrap its traditional pay-TV packages and allow customers to pay for prime content such as Premier League football on a monthly basis.
  • BT Sport and Samsung have screened the UK’s first public live 8K sports broadcast – a UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Olympiacos.
  • The live TV audience watching the Oscars was down 20 per cent on 2019, reaching its smallest-ever US audience of 23.6 million viewers.
  • The UK’s first Centre of Screen Excellence has opened in Leeds following an 18-month collaboration between Screen Yorkshire, The National Film and Television School, ScreenSkills and the British Film Institute.
  • The gender advocacy group, Rise, has launched its third annual mentoring programme to foster gender diversity in the broadcast manufacturing and services sector.
  • BritBox, the SVOD service created by the BBC and ITV, is now available on Amazon Fire TV.
  • The Treasury has set 6 April as the date for the extension to the private sector of IR35 rules, despite strong opposition. If you’re a broadcast professional and want help with IR35, contact Frame 25.

From the latest news to the latest positions – click here to see Frame 25’s most recent additions to its list of available TV jobs