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Analysis for 'Universal Pictures'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #512: PVOD Focus Accelerates With Pandemic

    I’m pleased to present the 512th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. We hope all of our listeners are staying safe and doing well.

    On this week’s podcast Colin and I look at what’s ahead for premium video on demand (PVOD), whereby movies are released direct to consumer, preempting the theatrical window. PVOD has been a contentious topic and with theaters currently closed due to the pandemic PVOD’s appeal has accelerated.

    PVOD was in the news earlier this week as the Wall Street Journal wrote how Universal Pictures’ PVOD release of “Trolls World Tour” generated 5 million rentals at $20 apiece. That yielded a split to Universal that was on par with 5 months of theatrical release revenue for the first “Trolls’ movie, underscoring PVOD’s profit potential for studios.

    The article triggered pushback from executives at leading theater chains who are justifiably nervous about PVOD eating into their  windows. Colin and I dig into the pros and cons of PVOD and what’s likely ahead as stay at home orders slowly lift.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 34 seconds)



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  • Cinemark Shouldn't Worry: Universal's "Tower Heist" $60 VOD Test Will Also Flop

    Late yesterday, the LA Times reported that Cinemark, the 3rd-largest theater chain in the U.S., will boycott "Tower Heist," the new Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller comedy, because of a test unveiled by its studio Universal Pictures to offer the movie just 3 weeks after its theatrical release for $60 on video-on-demand. Cinemark is concerned that the test would cannibalize box office sales. From my perspective, it needn't worry much as the test is likely to be yet another flop in what has become known as "Premium VOD."

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  • Metacafe’s “Bourne Ultimatum” Mashup Will Spur Imitators

    The Metacafe team posted a progress update on its "Bourne Ultimatum" mashup initiative, launched with Universal Pictures on July 23rd. To date, over 1,000 mashups have been posted, with the most popular ones highlighted on the site. Metacafe and Universal teamed up with Diffuse Media Group for the simple-to-use mashup tool.

    These kinds of mashups are such a winning idea, it’s amazing to me that they still haven't gained a ton of market momentum. I think it’s just a matter of time, it’s so easy to execute.

    Here, Universal provided a collection of scenes and music from the movie. Fans can express their enthusiasm by mixing them up as they please overlaying the music tracks provided. Especially for a franchise like "Bourne", where rabid fans eagerly await each sequel, allowing these folks to participate in the promotional buildup is a real win-win. Tomorrow, when "Bourne" opens everywhere, there will already have been tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people talking up the flick who have seen the mashups or created their own.

    Compare this level of fan engagement and promotion to the traditional process of producing 1 trailer and then paying for expensive TV time to promote it. That model seems so yesterday by the standards of what broadband video and Web 2.0 are enabling.

    Specifically, broadband is enabling a whole new element of the marketing mix to take root. And the possibilities for where mashups go from here are limitless. Consider: how about letting fans mix in their own voice-overs of certain scenes or mix in their own video clips or have the studio create contests to showcase and reward winning mashups (e.g. Matt Damon-signed, collector’s edition DVD for the winner and such). The list goes on.

    I’m expecting lots of smart marketers are going to be increasing their mashup activity quite soon.

     
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