One of the unexpected benefits of streaming and the fragmentation of the broadcast landscape is the allowance of “more racy and targeted” content.
Speaking at Think TV’s RE VISION event yesterday, Caroline Swift (Spence), Head of entertainment at Warner Bros Australia said that the production company is “taking more risks” thanks to popularity of streaming.
Spence was joined on a panel by Sophia Mogford, executive producer drama and comedy at Paramount ANZ and Philippa Moig, head of NSW government at OMD. The panel was moderated by Think TV CEO Kim Portrate.
Talking about FBoy Island (which will be on Binge May 29th), Spence said Warner Bros were doing things on that show that “we wouldn’t do on a linear broadcast”.
“So we’re taking more risks, it’s more niche. It’s kind of ruder and pushing the envelope more than you would. And that’s understandable because, obviously, broadcast is broad. You don’t want to offend too many people where I think you can be a little bit more risk taking [with streaming].
Spence went on to say that the format of Binge was actually leading for the structure of the shows to change.
“Because it’s on Binge, you can binge it, we structure the episodes slightly differently”.
“There’s no ad breaks. So that’s a different [kind of] storytelling – you don’t realise how much ad breaks actually chop up your work. So that’s a different thing. But I think how we cliffhanger across episodes is slightly different, you know, because you’re not necessarily waiting for a week”.
Mogford said that “I think that you can, you can really cater to different styles of view, are different tastes of viewing much more, much more carefully, depending on where you want to position it”.
Portrate agreed that streaming created “more racy and targeted” content for people to watch.
Moig said that linear TV was no longer giving agencies the opportunity to reach people on mass.
She said: “As an agency, whilst we’re reaching these key moments, cultural touchpoints, great Australian stories, we’re not able to do that by reaching millions of people through linear TV anymore”.
“The agency role is really to find these people and these key touch points of engagement, but we’re not doing that just through one channel. It’s now through three channels, sometimes it’s five channels, and that’s really the core role of the agency and where that trust between agency partner and client comes in.”
For Mogford, the key to making content that is successful in and outside of Australia is to make content that is believable.
“Australian audiences love Australian content. There’s absolutely no doubt about that – whenever you make an Australian film it will do well here and maybe not so well overseas. But the crux of making a good story is constructing a world that is believable”.
If you want things to be broader “that might then get picked up elsewhere” she said, “you need to think about making those touchstones for a much more worldwide look” and making the world ‘believable’ for a worldwide audience.