Michael is in Miami reporting for Indie Brigade at the worldwide NATPE conference. 

NATPE is the much required short version of ”National Association of Television Programming Executives”.   While the organization started as traditional television, the group now encompasses streaming and online video.  It’s one of three conferences (the others being Streaming Market and VIDCON) that deal with the streaming phenomenon. 

Alright, let’s get to it.   My commentary is jumbled but I’m running from place to place and meeting to meeting, selling my projects, etc.,   In any case, you will find sources and ideas for some of your work.  More later.  If you don’t understand of it, then it’s Joe’s fault.

Welcome to the overpriced world of NATPE from a thrifty Producer/Line Producer.  At the Fountainbleu hotel, a coffee is $5.00 and the wedge salad in the pastry shop is $14.00.  Nonetheless, if you can weather the trip cost (use Kayak) and the entry fee of $1100, then you will make contacts that are hard to make elsewhere with industry gatekeepers firmly in place.  After all, here you’ve paid the price of admission.  


You can easily see the vast number of distributors and company participants at NATPE. 

Some are buying, most are selling.  It’s more the Chicago Board of Trade rather than a ‘feel your art’ moment.  This is the Business of the “Show Business” appelation.  Still, new shows and concepts are trading back and forth in strong interest as streaming expands audiences – and niches.  In the niches, there are riches. 

Tubi – Content Revolution: The Future of Free

Streaming wars are fundamentally changing television, but the future of streaming isn’t just SVOD. Ad supported video on demand (AVOD) has rapidly proven itself to be vital to the streaming landscape. Tubi is the world’s largest free streaming service of premium movies and TV series with a library of over 15,000 titles and over 20 million monthly active users. Join Chief Content Officer Adam Lewinson to learn about Tubi’s plans for the coming year in the US and beyond, and how AVOD is undeniably the future of free.

Adam Lewinson

Tubi maintains that there is a ”Subscription Fatigue” and that number is about $30/month.  I don’t think that they are wrong in that estimation.  It’s exhausting figuring it out.

IMO, every parent in the world is going to get Disney+ to keep their kids quiet.  Then is Amazon Prime Video to keep getting your stuff shipped.  Prime is a mixed bag because it’s video and free shipping.   Then possibly Netflix.  Now that’s close to the $30.00 a month.

Tubi and PlutoTV – as Cameron and I have discussed are two obvious and key platforms for the free TV advertising (AVOD) model.

DEAL TIME: Finding a Buyer for your ShowTuesday 21st January 2020   •   10:45am – 11:30amPatrick Jager (CORE Innovation Group), Tim Thompson (Revthink)

GET THIS RIGHT and YOUR SHOW WILL SELL! Simply put, your content is not what’s wrong, it’s how you’re selling it. At a time of diminishing ad revenue, every media platform is seeking the value of the Audience Influencers. And true value has to be organic to the platform, to the influencer, and to the audience. RevThinkers Tim Thompson and Patrick Jager return to NATPE to turn content development on its head to meet the needs of brand-centric and reality content. In this session, you’ll learn how to successfully develop an idea worth buying. Proven methods come from 20+ years of leadership in content development and series production and are based on one simple thought: don’t sell TV, rather develop TV that sells. This Master Class is the Workshop Series: ShowLauncher by RevThink. http://www.revthink.com/showlauncher.

These guys had it right about finding the audience about the idea and then doing the work rather than force the idea into a place where there is no audience. 

The Art of the Pitch with Anthony E. Zuiker

By far the most entertaining, the Creator of the CSI franchise was calling out the industry on lots of bullshit.  He wore these funky ass shoes and was straightforward about him and his life.  And the industry too.  He shared his pitch deck for his upcoming daytime ”Crime Center” too.  Here’s the outline that I made of his discussion.  Yes, you might have to figure some of it out but here it is. 

Pitching is about Structure

  1. No Fear – stop the excuses
    1. Mean what I say
    2. Execute
  2. What Moves You – when it grabs your attention.
    1. e.g. Miracle, Inc. is one of his ideas for 10 years
      1. Man has to do three things e.g. 
        1. a story) manufacture a miracle;
        2. b story) see his family;
        3. c story) sidelined in but how do I earn my way back.
      2. He can defend his story from many angles.
      3. Passion:  Loved ones are still here with us
    2. Pitch with conviction

The NATPE opening remarks were, well, those opening remarks of enthusiasm and organization boosting.  But right after we had some insightful people talking about where streaming was and where it’s going. 

The Future of Television is Here: Constant Evolution and Continuous Opportunity

 Fontaine  ·  Content Evolution

Alexia Quadrani (JPMorgan Chase), Jeffrey Cole (Center for the Digital Future), Jeffrey Sine (The Raine Group), Laura Molen (NBCUniversal), Mark Greenberg (MSGCI), Shahid Khan (Meridian Advisory Group (MAG))

I thought that they were very insightful, outside and keen observers.  The key takeaway here was that competition is heating up big time.  Who will be left?  The general consensus was that there will be three or four big players and then a bunch of niche players.  In addition, the Apple+ model was not roundly supported.  It’s a latecomer that has a ton of money – but little direction and knowledge.  Further proof that sometimes Tech skill does not translate into Media Skill.  That big business communications does not translate into Storytelling.  A bit like the boss blowhard speaking at his or her board room and cracking a joke and insisting that everybody laugh because it’s funny.  Well, funny is or funny isn’t.  You can’t jam it into people’s laugh spot.

More later…back to the sessions and meetings and too much coffee.

Michael Mandaville