CHICAGO — As subscription-based streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Go gain a larger and larger share of people’s TV-viewing time, brands are losing valuable opportunities to get in front of consumers. But developing their own content — which is sometimes viewed as a way around the problem — and making it good enough to resonate with people has proven challenging.

“You think about even the best and brightest minds in Hollywood and how many times do you have hits versus misses?” says Harvin Furman, Starcom’s SVP COE Digital Acceleration, in an interview with Beet.TV.

Furman also observes that the two competing business models around video — the one optimized for TV, where substantial resources are invested in developing a limited slate of programming, and the other for digital, where a greater volume of content is produced cheaply to see what bubbles up to the top — are actually starting to merge. By way of example, he points to Disney, which last year acquired Maker Studios. Their programming often covers similar Disney themes, like fairy tales and superheroes, but Maker’s content is shorter-form with a sensibility that’s been honed for a millennial audience.

Another interesting trend that Furman saw play out at this year’s upfronts was that networks were talking up their blockbuster hit strategies and weren’t touting their digital assets, which were a major theme two years ago.

“They’re still trying to remind advertisers of the power of sight and sound and motion in television,” he says.

We interviewed Furman at the SMG offices in Chicago last week.
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