12 OCT 2021

Tony Havelka: "Kids' streaming services are shifting their models and mimicking YouTube"

The CEO at Ameba TV speaks about the latest kids' programming trends and defines some key points that producers and content providers have to keep in mind when choosing a streaming platform partner.

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Tony Havelka

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As the influx of kids streaming platforms grows, content providers have many choices when selecting the right digital partners. Tony Havelka, CEO at Ameba TV, highlighted some points that producers and content providers should know during that process and anticipated what Ameba is looking for to acquire for its offer.

▸   What do producers and content providers look for when seeking a streaming partner?

"Producers and content providers have to look for an established partner that has a history of paying royalties. A streaming service needs to work like a well-oiled machine for content ingestion (early stage), with reporting and payments (ongoing). Producers and content providers want this relationship to be a low effort and high reward, and they want to get paid on time. Also, content providers have to look for similarities in the catalog. Being different and standing out in a catalog is great, but if the platform's audience is tuned to a completely different type of show, you may not get good viewer numbers".

▸   What are some of the biggest misconceptions?

"One of the main misconceptions is to think that 'it's easy to get started onboard'. You must have all of your content assets in the correct formats and be prepared to do some 'detailed' work to ensure it meets the platforms' requirements. A second misconception is believing that 'now that I've uploaded everything, my job is done'. Actually, it's just the beginning. It is the streamer's job to deliver the shows that viewers want to watch. It is the producer/distributor's job to create demand for the show. If you are not continually promoting your show and you are not telling your fans where they can watch it, you are only tapping into 10% of your streaming strategy's potential revenue. The last wrong concept is to think 'my show did/does well on YouTube, so it should do well on this streamer'. Each streaming service is different. The goal is to have your content on all platforms, then take all those viewers and revenue data to see which platforms are performing best for your content".

▸   What kind of revenue stream should you hope to ascertain?

"Content should be everywhere, at all times, for everyone to see. Strive to get a few big revenue streams and lots of smaller ones. This way, you will be able to get market information at a macro scale. Is your show doing well on AVOD vs. SVOD (revenue analysis), in the USA vs. UK (territory analysis), web vs. connected TV (platform analysis), general vs. niche streamer (service analysis)? From there, you can start ranking what works well for your property and start optimizing the services you spend your time hunting and cultivating".

▸   How do producers and content providers have to deliver their content?

"Once the contract is completed, you have to acquire all the assets for the streamer before seeing the first revenue. Most services have the exact requirements and may base them on Amazon's and/or Netflix's required specs. Use these as your store for what you store and deliver. Have extensive artwork ready for delivery in all the standard sizes. Create metadata that describes your property, each season, and each episode. Captions are also essential. No matter your content, making it accessible is key to reaching the widest audience.  Finally, with the recent explosion of AVOD and FAST services, ad cue points are critical for a great user experience".

▸   What types of content is Ameba TV seeking to acquire at Mipcom?

"We've noticed a trend in the industry that kids streaming services are shifting their models and mimicking YouTube: Ad revenue vs. Subscription; interstitial over longer run formats; contemporary vs. evergreen themes; kid influencer vs. scripted stories. It is an effort to tap into YouTube's formula for success. Our success comes in providing a service that is different from platforms like YouTube, not in being similar. That strategy is working for us. So, we'd love to see longer run, scripted stories with evergreen themed properties".

By Romina Rodríguez