Earlier this year, the competing business plans of having an ad-supported streaming service versus one with a paywall really hit a groove but the winner is clearly paywall. We’ve got a few examples of how the ad-supported model is clearly not working whereas the paywall model is so as to let Youtube Premium understand that the pushing the breaks on “original scripted programming” in favor of ad-supported reality TV type deals may not be the best option moving forward. Here we go:
An ad-supported streaming service that celebrates cannabis culture sounds like a slam dunk doesn’t it? With increasing revenues in the cannabis market, a sales rep could easily make a killing in selling ads directly to those who use cannabis. In order to sell, however, you need content and this is where 420tv went wrong. They kicked off 2018 with a delayed premiere of their series, Super Slackers which didn’t receive high reviews from us but was a solid attempt at generating original intellectual property. Those efforts went to pass when the much-anticipated new season of Trae the Truth came and went with no resolution other than the fact that we hear that Trae kind of got the raw end of the deal and, as such, wasn’t able to premiere the new season. Since then, original content coming to 420tv appears to be a lost cause and, as such, is essentially a waste land now.
Blackpills had the financial backing of Vice, a company that has had a rough year. Decreasing quality in journalism, sexual harassment allegations, and former employees like Gavin McInnes starting terrorist organizations have put the company in a downward trend with no sign of help. With even their proper TV network Viceland floundering, having enough cash for a free content streaming app could be a challenge and it showed in the original content game. While 2018 started swimmingly with the likes of original series Vermin and Wakos, the promised English dubbed releases of Peepoodo and Crisis Jung never came to be and as such the likelihood of the app being a decent source for original animation, though at one time promising, doesn’t appear likely.
- Sony Crackle
The Sony-owned streaming home of SuperMansion is looking for a co-producer and has already been removed from Canada. However, since the acquisition of Crunchyroll by AT&T, English dubbed content that was once available on Funimation has been making it’s way over to Crackle for archiving purposes which gives hope that Sony intends to continue building the library for the long-standing ad-service. The jury is still out on Crackle, but maybe this one works? In America at least. SuperMansion is a solid series, and there’s a lot of good anime making it’s way to the service, however most has already premiered elsewhere.
- Social Platforms
Facebook Watch, Instagram, and Snapchat have all introduced original animation in attempts to make sure there are eyeballs looking at their apps at all time. As of now, the jury is still out on their effectiveness, however it kind of doesn’t matter because these platforms have deep pockets and really only depend on user base to survive. The issue here is that each of the platforms have have their own bouts with controversy this year. Facebook (owner of Instagram) has been dogged with claims of inciting turmoil by taking revenue from Russian bot-producing organizations and executives from the company has had to answer to Congress in the last few months including company founder Mark Zuckerberg. Snapchat met a lot of backlash for changing up the aesthetic of their platform and has lost numerous influencers that have cause it’s young IPO to fall on numerous occasions.
As you can see, the ad-supported model for original adult animation doesn’t seem to be working out for a lot of the upstarts. Even companies with lots of financial backing like Vice has pretty much given up in the arena while pay-to-play providers like Hulu, Netflix, and others are exploding with original animated content. Youtube Premium even introduced an original series earlier this year and have ordered a pilot for another, and that’s impressive considering the increasing competition. For the streaming service to not want to somehow get in on this fruitful industry is bizarre, and they may regret it down the road.