Perhaps traditional media shouldn’t complain all that much about lack of transparency at maverick OTT entities like Netflix, which garners huge buzz for shows like “House of Cards” but publicly shares no viewership metrics. At Wed’s HRTS lunch in L.A., ICM Partners founding partner Chris Silberman noted that he also has trouble getting certain numbers even from traditional media-backed Hulu as he tries to calculate residual content value for clients. “It’s almost impossible to get data out of them,” he said.

Of course, when it comes to any lack of metrics from OTT providers, “I don’t think that’s going to last forever,” said FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf. He noted that at some point creators will simply go where they can be best compensated and find the best creative outlet—and that those results will ultimately speak volumes about long-term success. When asked whether Netflix privately shares any viewership info with Lionsgate for its “Orange is the New Black” series, Lionsgate Television Group chmn Kevin Beggs suggested he isn’t dying to know. “I’m not kicking on the door too loudly because they’re happy,” he said. Yahoo CMO/head of media Kathy Savitt argued that OTT isn’t just another buyer of content—it can actually extend the life of shows whose niche audiences can’t support linear TV (Case in point: Yahoo just picked up NBC ’s recently cancelled but cultishly beloved “Community”). “We’re here to actually enable you,” she said.

The Jackal Group chmn/CEO Gail Berman even predicted a future in which famous showrunners like Seth MacFarlane and Shonda Rhimes become more attractive consumer brands than the networks carrying their shows—at least in the SVOD universe. The bottom line, according to Landgraf, is that “it’s going to be a bumpy half decade to decade” as everyone tries to figure out how to measure all these platforms. Better get buckled in…

The Daily


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