Why is NBC's comedy SVOD service bound for success?

Monika | Wed Mar 04 2015 | Industry insights

NBC comedy SVOD

The hot news about the launch by NBC of a comedy on-demand channel doesn’t actually come as a surprise. With HBO and CBS at the forefront of the digital distribution of premium videos, it appears that NBC is approaching the OTT market slightly differently: genre-focused.

After releasing Radius, a fitness-focused subscription service, NBC are now heading at full speed into comedy. They’ve been testing other types of programming as well, such as horror, religion and family. According to The Wall Street Journal, the broadcaster will monetize online two of its shows (and at the same time, their two biggest assets): Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show.

NBC's subscription will be fueled by original shows produced for the service, featuring stars like Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon.

Exactly why does the NBC SVOD service promise to be successfulWe believe that it’s for 3 main reasons:

  • Precise target:  They address the cord-cutting millennials, or, as Ooyala calls them - 'Cord Nevers’, or, in other words, those who shift towards viewing content via digital streaming and who are never going to sign up for pay TV packages. Furthermore, next to sports, comedy is the top genre watched regularly by Millennials (74% vs. 70% for Gen Xers, and 68% for Boomers). Millennials are most likely to enjoy comedy shows through streamed sources. The need is there - ready to be monetized and it’s obvious that NBC haven’t been sitting idly on their hands and watching.
  • Affordable: NBC will charge $2.50 to $3.50 per month for the service, while offering great support for yet another form of consuming behavior: binge watching.
  • ExclusivityOriginal programming promises unique content - much more than simple snippets of an already-shown TV show to be found on Youtube. 

Hopefully, NBC will make their bold release with lightning speed so they can quickly build and maintain their own momentum within the thickening competition in the OTT market. They will need a good, frictionless solution, to easily sell to everyone and everywhere. At those price points, KISS principle would make the most sense.

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