‘Never say never’ at the advertising level of Paramount +; Pluto plans; and the impact of Netflix on BVOD

Paramount, like Nine last month, showed off its multi-platform credentials at its Upfront event last week at the ICC in Sydney, expanding its content roster not only across its free-to-air channels, but also its entertainment and sports content on the web. streaming service, Paramount+.

And again, similar to Nine, the company has given more details about its imminent launch of Pluto TV, Paramount’s global FAST channel service, which is coming to consumers this side of Christmas.

Buyers indicated last week that while it’s an interesting development, the presentation was light on details outlining the opportunities it presented to advertisers.

“I suspect the confusion probably stems from the fact that we actually just announced it at Upfronts,” says Rod Prosser, director of sales, on this week’s Mumbrellacast Upfronts special.

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“We have not gone correctly to the market to sell it. It will be part of our initial marketing, so there is an educational part that of course we need to do with it, like we do with any new product or program.”

Rod Prosser and Daniel Monaghan with Joint Chief Operating Officers Beverley McGarvey and Jarrod Villani

The suite of channels will initially be located within the 10Play service, offering a more curated advertising experience and environment for advertisers. On whether we may see a separation of the two services at some point, or a possible rebranding of both under the single Pluto banner, which is used by Paramount globally, Senior Vice President of Content and Programming Dan Monaghan says it’s too soon to tell. right now.

“I don’t know the answer to that question,” he says. “I think 10Play has its brand as the place to get content that is aligned with Ten right now. So I think that’s pretty strong, whereas Pluto to the general public wouldn’t have that direct correlation to Ten.”

“Pluto’s fast channels will really take advantage of the huge library that this company has, plus some local acquisitions of course, but we have a wide variety of content that is very popular and we have the luxury of knowing what works in the UK and the UK. US in terms of these Pluto channels and what’s really complicated. So we’re going to build on that, and that’s not exactly the same as what you would necessarily find if you go to 10Play to catch up.”

“So I think they’re clearly different at the moment, but they push each other, working together cohesively, but I guess we’ll see what the future holds.”

With the new ad-supported service pulling much of the parent company’s vast catalog behind Paramount+’s paywall, the pair were asked if this might affect any chance of ads on that streaming service.

“I definitely wouldn’t say never,” says Monaghan. “For example, if Netflix is ​​doing it and Disney is doing it, they do it on P+ in the US, it’s already one thing, the ad-supported level.”

“I think that’s a really important point, in terms of what Dan just said,” adds Prosser. “It’s already happening in the US at Paramount+. So we will keep a close eye on him at this point.”

Prosser jokes that even though he always wants more space to sell, the collective opinion at Paramount locally is to make sure the user gets the best experience first and foremost.

“Let’s put the best content on there and make sure it absolutely sings, and we know it’s the fastest growing SVOD service in this country.”

“So we’re very happy with where it is today, and then we’ll re-evaluate as we go into next year and the year after that. So who knows, watch this space.”

With the imminent arrival of ad-supported tiers on both Netflix and Disney+, there has been a debate in the market about where the ad dollars will come from, with many suggesting that existing BVOD services will be the first point of call.

“Look, I think anything that draws attention and eyeballs is going to come from somewhere, either a little here and a little there,” says Prosser.

Three weeks ago, Prosser’s counterpart at Nine, Michael Stephenson, suggested on the Mumbrellacast that those same dollars would first be taken through social video.

“I think if you’re an advertiser and you were spending money on digital video today, I suspect the smart ones would take their money away from social video like YouTube and Facebook and move it to Netflix and BVOD, instead of moving any of their ad dollars today from 9Now. , 7Plus or 10Play to Netflix,” Stephenson said.

“But ultimately, a lot of buyers obviously need to find the money to advertise on the service,” adds Prosser. “My opinion is that right now BVOD is growing and continues to show great growth, as does the audience. So therefore, revenue will continue to grow. Honestly, I suspect the money will come from various platforms, and I’m not sure if it’s from social video, maybe from some search.”

“But from what I understand there is no solution in terms of where they are finding the money. In fact, she was talking to a media buyer before she started, who said that clients are actually finding it an incremental expense to advertise on the platform. So I think watch this space, but I think I agree with Michael, I’m not sure next year BVOD revenue will be affected by Netflix.”

Listen to the full episode on this week’s Mumbrellacast.

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