FAANG

A global shift to home-grown

Netflix commissions from Germany, India and Spain

The old saying “Think global, act local” is the new mantra for the Net­flix-led, global tech platforms as they push for ever greater numbers of subscribers. In recent months, Net­flix, Apple and Amazon have all started to open offices, staffed largely by locally grown TV commissioners, in the UK and other non-US markets. Simultaneously, the tech platforms are ramping up local marketing efforts.

Amazon has also jumped into local sports markets, purchasing major live sports rights for the UK, including a Premier League football package and US Open tennis rights.

Guest post: A four-step plan to safeguard UK television

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK

Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…

Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)

Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)

Fear (“We’re doomed”)

Panic (“I just need to do something”)

Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)

Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)

British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.

Content wins in battle of sale versus scale

From left: Mike Darcey, Kate Bulkley, Matthew Garrahan, Mathew Horsman and Tim Hincks (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)
The genesis of the event, “Sale or scale”, lay in 21st Century Fox boss James Murdoch’s comments at last year’s RTS Cambridge Convention on the benefits of size: “Scale buys confidence to invest strategically and take risks, and supports the development of new technologies and innovation.”
 

The battle for prominence

Late last year, the UK’s two biggest commercial broadcasters, Sky and ITV, lambasted the global internet giants, contrasting their lack of regulation with the tightly controlled world of television.

In a speech to European broadcasters in Tallin, Sky Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch deplored the unevenness of the playing field: “At a time when there are serious questions over the veracity, safety and legality of much of the content to be found on the internet, television remains the gold-standard reference point for responsibility. Yet, we are in strange times.”