Oct. 21, 2021

How Netflix Is Still Winning, with Brandon Katz

How Netflix Is Still Winning, with Brandon Katz

For lovers of streaming entertainment (and 'Squid Game'), this is as good as it gets.


Brandon Katz, senior entertainment reporter for Observer, chats with Nora and Scott about the business of streaming, from the latest “Squid Game” Netflix stats, to the looming threat of HBOMax... and predicts what the end of the streaming wars might look like.

The complete transcript of this episode is available below

Transcript

Nora Ali: Streaming platforms are becoming inescapable with the pandemic facilitating the rise and even the fall, sorry, Quibi,  of tons of new platforms looking to take on the OGs like Netflix and Hulu. Direct-to-streaming became the norm as movie theaters closed across the country. And we saw a huge influx of original content across all platforms from Disney+ to HBO Max to Prime Video. Many of these services are neck-and-neck and their efforts to retain the subscribers they gained during the pandemic as the world slowly begins to open back up. Today we're inviting a streaming expert on the show to help us sift through the noise and break down what it all means for us. So Scott, I have my Netflix pulled up right now and I would just love to know what is on the Top Picks for you on your Netflix account.

Scott Rogowsky: OK, Nora, well, caveat here. This is the Rogowsky family Netflix account.

Nora Ali: Oh, so you don't pay for your Netflix. Is that what I'm hearing? 

Scott Rogowsky: That is my way of saying I don't pay for my own Netflix. This is Martin Rogowsky’s, Netflix account. They're the kind of shows that I personally would not really be interested in. The first one is Safe House. That's the first recommendation, Safe House

Nora Ali: Okay. 

Scott Rogowsky: This is about a CIA operative who needs to move someone from a safe house to an even safer house. There's, there's Worth. I guess this is a new movie, I guess Michael Keaton's in this one. This is a September 11th movie. Schumacher, which is about a, a shoe maker.

Nora Ali: Named Schumacher? OK. 

Scott Rogowsky: I think it's a Formula One racer, Michael Schumacher. I don't know. Peaky Blinders. I've heard of that one at least, it's been out for a while. Lucifer, Ganglands, The Stronghold, Midnight Mass. Yeah. These are not my types of shows, but I guess Marty is all about the crime, Gangland, crime, and Formula One racing.

Nora Ali: Yeah, there's pretty much no overlap with me and Martin, but let me know if anything on my list, Scott would be on your personal list. So the Top Picks recommended for Nora Ali are The Good Place, the happiest show on earth. Oh, it's just so joyful. Next step is School of Rock, great classic film.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah, classic. Cello! 

Nora Ali: Cello! Then Atypical, and then Letters to Juliet and then Motel Makeover, some reality show, and then Outer Banks. So that's pretty on the nose. 

Scott Rogowsky: I’m more Outer Limits than Outer Banks. If you want to know my truth, because I looked at my Continue Watching.

Nora Ali: Oh yeah.

Scott Rogowsky: This is more relevant to me and my metrics here. So they're saying I should continue watching Squid Game, which I did watch the first episode and pretty much was done with it after that. Could not sleep for a while after that one.

Nora Ali: Well, it makes sense that Squid Game is somewhere on your list, Scott, because everybody is watching Squid Game, except for me, I haven't seen it, but we did talk about it a lot with our guest, Brandon. Brandon is a senior entertainment reporter for Observer. And when we spoke to him earlier this week, he told us that according to Netflix, Squid Game has been viewed for at least two minutes by 111 million member accounts in its first 28 days of release, which is what you'll hear in the conversation. But according to their latest report, detailed in a recent New York Times article 142 million accounts watched at least the first two minutes of the show in its first month, which makes Squid Game incredibly the number one program in 94 countries, including the United States and Brandon joined us to discuss everything from the threat of HBO, Max overtaking Netflix, to a lot of the economics behind direct-to-streaming versus theatrical releases, to what the end of the streaming wars might look like. Even though we did come up with an alternative phrase to streaming wars. Plus a lot of Squid Game, as you mentioned, it was certainly a great convo with Brandon.

From Morning Brew. This is Business Casual, the podcast that gives you a front row seat to candid conversations with some of the biggest names in business, asking them the questions you wish you could ask. I'm your host, Nora,

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm your other host F Scott Fitzgowsky. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you stories about business shapes our daily lives now and into the future. So let's get down to business. The great Katzby, welcome to Business Casual. Let's get into the landscape of the streaming wars, right? Because Nora and I are uh big fans of content, right? We just can't stop watching stuff, can we? But what's happening here? Things are heating up with these wars. Things are getting a little spicy.

Brandon Katz: Yeah, to me, the streaming wars are to entertainment what the steroid era was to baseball, just an absolute offensive explosion of fireworks. Now, obviously that comes with some downsides, but you can pay the bills on wow factor alone. And that's what we're getting right now in the entertainment industry, all streaming explosions of content, all a mad dash to get your subscriber dollars.

Nora Ali:  I know we say streaming war over and over. We see it in almost every headline. I don't like to call it a war because I feel like there's so much appetite, so much demand. I feel like I'm in between shows all the time. I'll binge something like Manifest. It's done onto the next. So is this a matter of how much content we can consume and have co-existing in our lives? Is it even fair to call it a war where these companies are competing against each other?

Scott Rogowsky: And so few people are actually dying or being seriously injured.

Brandon Katz: That's true. We have co-opted the term for a much less significant event and Nora you're so right to bring up the, maybe lack of significance of that term, because is it a battle for subscription dollars, for our attention, for finite resources among the consumer economy? Absolutely. But at the same time, the success of streaming is actually challenging basic understanding of economics. Now basic economic law would have you believe that there are as many as three dominant players in any given field, typically throughout history, that's how it's played out. And yet we are seeing that right now, the streaming industry is more robust, diverse, and successful than ever. And we are seeing that the average American is subscribing to between three and five streaming services, not just up to three. So we kind of need to pull back on the streaming wars. Maybe right now it's the streaming skirmish. And soon it's going to break out into all out war.

Scott Rogowsky: But things are heating up. And before the pandemic, it seemed the streaming landscape was dominated by, you know, Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime coming up there. But you know, a lot of them were still finding their footing. And now two years later there've been so many new launches into this skirmish and this battlefield. Give us a snapshot today in 2021 in terms of the new up and comers.What’s the latest there? 

Brandon Katz: Okay. So I have now actually broken this down in anticipation of this conversation. I have the streaming's major premium S VOD services ranked by my personal favorite and then ranked by maybe their actual business standing, which probably takes on a little bit more important. Let's start there. Number one, and I've compared these to pop stars to make it a little bit more digestible. So people really get an understanding. Number one, we've got Netflix. Netflix is Beyonce, all right. So even with all the upstarts, which we'll get to, Netflix is still number one. And number two, we got Disney+, Billie Eilish. You know, we're still relatively new to the scene in the grand scheme of things, but enjoying a meteoric rise, nonetheless. Three, we got Amazon Prime Video, Taylor Swift omnipresent, reliable global talent that is really just waiting to unleash their next big move on the world. So we got that to look forward to. Number four, we've got HBO Max, Mariah Carey in the sense that they are pulling off an epic comeback for the ages at the moment. And they look like they are going to succeed because anyone who doubts Mariah historically, it hasn't worked out for them so well. 

Scott Rogowsky: Every Christmas she hits number one again. You know? 

Brandon Katz: Exactly. That reliability is valuable in this industry. At number five, we got Hulu, which I compare to the New Radicals, slightly more obscure reference, but they always had a wonderfully unique sound to me, even if they eventually faded. At number six, we got Apple TV+, Joanna Newsom. Niche, but wonderful, small but devoted audience, just lovely all around Paramount+ and Peacock. I lumped them together. They are the musicians who basically end up on E! True Hollywood Story. You know, something didn't go quite as planned. Doesn't mean they can't turn it around, but as of this moment, it's not looking great. So that's kind of the snapshot hierarchy of the streaming wars right now.

Scott Rogowsky: I do like that, Brandon. I really liked the way that you made that digestible for all of us out there, all our New Radical fans.

Nora Ali: Yeah. I'm surprised you have Netflix and HBO Max like four rankings apart. I would argue that HBO Max is maybe a little bit higher in the rankings, but for different reasons from Netflix in that Netflix is like the artists that just puts out hit after hit, after hit, after hit. Whereas HBO Max, they don't put out as much content, but it's very highly curated. It's very thoughtful, every single show that they put out. So what do you think has shifted, especially in the last year and a half, as far as what people want now and how might that help sort of shift the rankings as far as Netflix v. HBO Max? 

Brandon Katz: That is a great question. And before I dive into it, I do just want to say on my personal rankings, HBO Max is number two because I love them. But no, Netflix is still number one, the ubiquitous market leader. It's what consumes most of my time when we're talking about raw streaming, but for HBO Max, you know, if you'll spare me an on-brand comparison, HBO Max is very much looking like Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones. Why? Because it continues to overcome every obstacle in its way to complete one hell of an impressive comeback against all odds, which is very reminiscent of our young Northern queen. Now HBO Max got off to a laughably bumpy start. I mean, just hilarious. And we can dig into the kind of granular details and obstacles in a moment, but why they've basically turned the ship around, why they are surging, is because they made the bold but controversial decision to release all of their 2021 films beginning with Wonder Woman 1984 in Christmas, December 2020, both in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. And that guaranteed them in the midst of the pandemic with production shutdowns, a steady flow of high end content, you know, blockbusters like The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs Kong, you know, star-studded movies with the likes of Denzel Washington, upcoming huge bets like Dune and The Matrix 4, which promised to be pretty darn big. So that surge of interest, that continuous flow of high-end product, has really transformed them into a kind of must-have service at the tail end of the pandemic. 

Scott Rogowsky: So this is, can you explain this, break it down. Warner Brothers, HBO Max, this is all just one big company now, is that it?

Brandon Katz: Yeah. So Warner media owns HBO, HBO Max, Warner Brothers Studios. And AT&T owns Warner Media. And they are currently in the process of basically spinning off Warner Media to merge with Discovery. I know it's all very kind of technical and inside baseball, but sticking with the Game of Thrones reference, this is the Lannisters and the Starks all maneuvering and doing their political jockeying.

Scott Rogowsky: Well and it’s why HBO can release these movies, whereas Netflix can't because they don't have those ties to the studio. So Netflix has their own sort of big movie studio project, initiative. Is there anything in the works there, maybe purchasing another studio or having some kind of relationship that HBO has with Netflix doubling down their own studio production? 

Brandon Katz: Really good question. So historically speaking, Netflix is not a acquisition-based company. They don't like moving to external, costly buys to kind of bolster what's internal. They're very focused on developing their own franchises. Now having said that, they are paying a large sum, rumored to be around a billion dollars, maybe a little bit more, to Sony to license their films. So once Sony films leave theaters, they're going to go to Netflix. They're paying a bundle of money to do that. They still pay a bundle of money to license other studio’s films, but, you know, could they actually afford and be able to pull off an acquisition of like a Paramount Pictures or something like that? That would be very tricky. It doesn't seem to be in their strategy at the moment and would be out of character based on their track record.

Nora Ali: You compared Disney+  to Billie Eilish, which I think is pretty apt. But where do you think Disney stands as far as intellectual property power against the Netflixes and the HBO Maxes of the world, and how much of an advantage does that give Disney?

Brandon Katz: Yeah, every company, every single studio across all aspects of Hollywood, wishes they had the war chest of IP that Disney has. They are so bolstered by such a wide breadth of major high profile brand names, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, you know, all of Fox assets, which includes like the upcoming Avatar sequels. Bob Iger, his spending spree over his, you know, 16-year reign,  really positioned them well. The only other studio that's really competing on Disney's level in terms of franchises is Warner Media, which, you know, owns Warner Brothers and HBO Max, like we've been talking about.

Nora Ali: I also do feel like Disney+ is an incubator for Disney films where they can test out series with secondary, tertiary characters, like I don't know, Scarlet Witch. Wandavision did so well and Loki did so well. And now there's more of a chance of having standalone films that they lead and Disney can say, hey, look, we had the success on Disney+, now let's spend all of this money on a blockbuster film. So to what extent do you think Disney+ is helping to bolster just Disney's film business overall? 

Brandon Katz: Nora, you have just hit the nail on the head. I'm so impressed because it's such an under no, it's an under-discussed element. People look at vertical integration. So a studio like Disney having movies, and now having an in-house streamer as really bad for the market and competition. And of course there's validity to those arguments, but the big benefit, particularly for studios that have all this IP, is to create cross-pollinating funnels of content. So suddenly you are ping-ponging characters and storylines between mediums, feeding interest into , making sure consumers have to see this movie and sign up for this service. You know, they basically revitalized the Star Wars brand on the small screen with Mandalorian, after a rocky kind of divisive response to their sequel trilogy. Now, if they have the Mandalorian show up in a future movie, people are going to lose their minds. 

Nora Ali: Imagine Baby Yoda showing up, oh my gosh. 

Brandon Katz: Exactly. You have primed audiences to expect this kind of interwoven cross-network multimedia franchise, and you are reaping the benefits of it. So when done correctly, it's huge. 

Scott Rogowsky: Well, Brandon, we have to take a quick break so Nora can excitingly update her blog, “The Mandanorian,” which keeps track of all her Star Wars musings. But when we come back, we're serving up some calamari and getting into the nitty-gritty of Netflix metrics. 

[AD BREAK]

Scott Rogowsky: I said we got some calamari coming up, Brandon, because it's time to talk Squid Game

Nora Ali: Woo. Woo. Yeah, it's the moment everyone's been waiting for when they saw, we were talking to you on this podcast, but to back up a bit, Netflix has long been secretive about its view counts and you know, only self-selecting viewership metrics for certain releases. It seems to be now they're opening up more with Squid Game because they want to brag to the world and tell everybody how great this thing is, how much money it’s making, how many people are watching it. First of all, what is the latest count on this? ‘Cause it goes up every day. And where are you getting your data on these streamers to make your analysis?

Brandon Katz: So the first thing we have to establish for everyone listening is take Netflix's metrics with a grain of salt. You know what, take it with a mountain of salt, okay? Because it is based on accounts that only view for two minutes and there is no third-party verification. They are telling us and we are just assuming that they're not lying, which they could be. We don't know. I don't think Netflix is going to do that, but we just don't know. What we in the industry rely on very much is Nielsen streaming metrics, which measures how many minutes watched certain content is. Having said all that, they have recently announced that Squid Game has been viewed for at least two minutes by 111 million member accounts in its first 28 days of release.

This makes it its most-watched original series ever by a wide margin because Bridgerton was previously number one at about 80 to 85 million accounts in its first 28 days. So that just goes to show you the scope of how much of a global sensation Squid Game has become very rapidly.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. You've mentioned this two-minute metric because I would count myself as someone who watched maybe an episode and a half of Squid Game, turned it off. Probably won't be watching anymore, but I count as one of Netflix’s so-called Squid Game fans now. Nora, have you gotten into the show, have you been watching?

Nora Ali: No. Okay, so I have this thing where I don't watch the thing that everyone's buzzing about until everyone's already watched it and no one's talking about it anymore. I don't know why.

Scott Rogowsky: So you're about to cue up Breaking Bad.

Nora Ali: Funny you say that because I watched Breaking Bad like years after it was over, but what does this hype around Squid Game, which, Brandon, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say it's different hype than we have ever seen before for any show. What does this say about what maybe the appetite is right now for new content, especially coming internationally?

Brandon Katz: What we've seen despite massive hype is that domestically here in the United States non-English shows such as Money Heist or Lupin, you know, huge, huge shows that rank in the Netflix isop 10, most watched original series. They have a ceiling of viewership on them here in the US according to Nielsen metrics. They don't do quite as well. And aren't quite the phenomenon as they are overseas. The question now becomes can Squid Game break through, because if it is the number one most watched Netflix original series and it opens soft in Nielsen's metrics, which we'll know in the next couple of weeks, what does that mean? So what we want to see is how well this non-English content travels. We know that Netflix invested $500 million into South Korean programming to start this year and it's paying dividends. And we also know that Netflix’s biggest advantage in the streaming wars is years long unrivaled investments in all these overseas markets. So can Squid Game be the exclamation point on that strategy or just the ellipsis? We're going to find out soon.

Scott Rogowsky: But to truly answer Nora’s question about what Squid Game specifically says about all of us, it says, Nora, we're fucked in the head. I mean, just watch the first episode. You can draw that conclusion. The fact that this is the most popular thing on the planet, about hundreds of people getting mercilessly and senselessly slaughtered is pretty bleak. I'd say for our mental state.

Brandon Katz: Let me just add to that while, yes, I do agree with that, what we saw in the pandemic is that the most binge-watch genres, the most consumed genres were scifi fantasy. You know, a lot of that kind of crazy escapism now that is not Squid Game, but it is extremely high-concept. It is not your average hook in terms of a plot synopsis. And it's got wonderful production values, I mean just shot and designed beautifully. So those are the takeaways, Nora, in terms of “how do you conjure up bingeable tasty, addictive content that travels well to different countries?” You hit on those different elements.

Nora Ali: Brandon, you said previously that Netflix's domestic growth is kind of plateauing. And we touched on the international growth, but it has seemed recently that demand is pretty price inelastic for Netflix. They can raise their price by a couple bucks, demand doesn't really change that much. But I do wonder on sort of the lower end of the price spectrum. Is there ever going to be a point where Netflix opens up a free, I hate to say it cause it's like a painful word for Netflix and ad supported?

Brandon Katz: Never say never! Consumer surveys show that the average everyday consumer is willing to pay less for an ad-supported Netflix tier, but Netflix's leadership has consistently shot down that idea. And instead in lieu of advertisements, you see they're expanding into podcasting. They are about to bring mobile gaming to their platform, and they're opening merchandise stores. If they were going to go the ad route and kind of innovate their business model, which right now solely relies on subscription revenue, they would have done it. It's actually easier for them to go into video games and whatnot rather than try to integrate ads into their almighty algorithm. That would actually be more complicated for them to pull off. So while I say never say never, I highly doubt it at this point,

Nora Ali: Speaking of gaming, though, they just re-signed or have a new deal with producer Shonda Rhimes. It's like her previous deal, but on steroids with film, gaming, merchandise, virtual reality, live events–Netflix seems to have this unique power to create these deals with the best of the best out there. Netflix can keep them in the family because they keep on delivering. Maybe unlike other platforms.

Brandon Katz: I actually think what is one of the best advantages of Netflix that no other streamer has really been able to match is they can develop homegrown stars, across the spectrum, and in very different ways. Whether it be a star like Millie Bobby Brown or a creative, who's really kind of cutting their teeth and getting better. Netflix has been able to find and unearth new talent, develop them, usher them into the upper echelon of whatever their respective lane is. And that is amazing. They can sell themselves to talent. Hey, you come with us, you work a little bit in our development league, for lack of a better term, you're going to become a big name that is huge and very attractive to young, hungry talent that see the pipeline that see how well they are able to funnel new names into superstardom.

Scott Rogowsky: Right. So they own the IP to these things and they can make, you know, every Stranger Things t-shirt you see Netflix is getting a cut of that.

Brandon Katz: Yeah. They're getting a little cha-ching.

Scott Rogowsky: And maybe there'll be a Squid Game theme park. At some point, the Netflix theme park has to be coming soon. I can't wait for My Octopus Teacher, the ride. Right, and between Squid Game and My Octopus Teacher. Has Netflix considered changing their name to wet flicks?

Brandon Katz: I think they should. They clearly have a monopoly on the cephalopod-related titling game.

Scott Rogowsky: I mean, this could be the new slogan. Subscribe to Netflix to get your cephalopod fix.

Brandon Katz: Scott, why aren't you in Netflix HQ, just coming up with franchise ideas. This is your next call.

Scott Rogowsky: That's it? I'm off the podcast. Sorry. No, where I'm done. I'm moving on my

Nora Ali: While Scott reevaluates his life. We're going to take a quick break. We're talking about the streaming skirmish, not war with Brandon Katz and we will be right back.

[AD BREAK]

Nora Ali: All right, Brandon, I do want to talk about movie theaters a little bit because we, we barely touched on that. So I'm one of those people who loves going to the movie theater, but we are seeing obviously fewer attendees now, both because of the rise of streaming and because of the pandemic. So what do you think is going to help sustain movie theaters going forward?

Brandon Katz: It's a great question because it's at the center of the Hollywood debate for the last year, the pandemic expedited the trajectory we were already on in terms of direct-to-consumer business, that is to say streaming leapfrogging legacy entertainment as the number one go-to destination for on-screen entertainment. Now the movie theater model has remained unchanged for about a century: herd as many people as you can into a dark room, get them all facing the same way and throw on a movie. I'm of the belief that movie theaters will never go extinct. There will always, always, always be a desire, a hunger to see an event level movie, like an Avengers: End Game in a communal setting on the biggest screen possible with a thousand people around just screaming and cheering and laughing and crying and all that.

But these mid-budget movies, you know, the rom-coms, the kind of star-driven vehicles. Those are the types of films that are increasingly going to streaming. So I think what you're going to see is the window of viable theatrical films continuing to constrict, and they're really only going to be blockbusters. They're going to need to innovate, keep reinventing the experience. So there's cocktails and there there's cuisine. You know, you have more bang for your buck because the status quo can't be maintained. And people have gotten very used to entertainment, a click away from the gravitational pull of their couches. So it's going to need to continue to evolve and keep pace if they want to survive. But again, I don't think movie theaters are ever going to go fully extinct.

Scott Rogowsky: When you look at the numbers for these big blockbuster movies and you consider which, I'm reading on your Twitter here Brandon, that you're tracking the numbers, the box office, you're saying combining the domestic estimate with the worldwide international weekend take, you're looking at $447 million gross for this movie. But then you follow up by saying no time that I need about $800 million to turn a profit - $800 million. This one movie has to make, to turn a profit for the studio. Whereas Squid Game comes out for $21 million and they're, they're making $900 million. It seems so backwards. Are we discussing budgets shrinking because the equations don't make sense to me.

Brandon Katz: Yes, so in general, with shorter theatrical windows, with piracy being an increasing problem with movies, leaving theaters and going direct to streaming services, rather than being sold off to cable and lucrative licensing deals, you are going to see it become tougher and tougher for major blockbusters to reach that profitability level.

Scott Rogowsky: The budget for this James Bond movie, $250 million to make this movie.

Brandon Katz: And that's just a public budget. It's probably more

Nora Ali: So Brandon one decided failure during the pandemic, you know, where I'm going with this is rest in peace Quibi which Roku has bought their content channel resurrected. So what did they try to do? And why did it fail?

Brandon Katz: In theory, Quibi made a certain amount of sense. It was supposed to be aimed at commuters and it was supposed to be mobile only streaming content that people could watch vertical, horizontal, however they wanted. They had a special technology that made really cool pivots, and it was supposed to be for people on the train, on planes, on buse, what have you. Having said that they launched in the pandemic when nobody was commuting, they were extremely slow to add desktop and TV availability. They basically wouldn't allow you to take screenshots or anything. So it didn't allow for organic memes and gifts to kind of help spread promotion and marketing. And frankly, and I mean, no disrespect to all the talented people who worked in that, all their content was shit. I must've sampled a dozen Quiby shows, not a single one of them I've found consistently watchable. Of coure than they're more talented than I'll ever be. I'm not making any shows.

Nora Ali: Even Chrissy’s Court, did you watch that?

Brandon Katz: I didn't get around to that one, but you know, just based on that name alone, I'm probably out. But I do think it was a valuable experiment for the industry because there's basically three ways the streaming skirmishes or the streaming wars are going to go, and that's going to be: Forced out by failure, which is Quibi. Out by choice, opting out by choice like Sony who surveyed the landscape says, “Hey, we don't even want to put the money in to compete. We're just going to be the number one arms dealer and make money hand over fist selling to everybody else,” or consolidation – so further mergers and acquisitions across the industry, reducing the number of competitors. Those are the three ways the streaming wars quote unquote and, and Quiby was, was a great learning experience for the forced out by failure crowd.

If we want to look at like a legacy player like ViacomCBS, I think it's extremely likely that they are acquired or broken up in increments within the next five years. I personally believe they don't give a crap about Paramount+, it's just a shiny tool to better position themselves for that eventual sale. So they can try to make a mint and get out. And I just want to say to everyone listening, who loves streaming content, you know, audiences, viewers, consumers, we will never have it as good as we have it right now. The tidal wave of competition requires tens of billions of dollars in content investments, which means literally thousands of new options for you and I to watch every single month.

But as the field of competitors begins to shrink, and it will, you will see this relentless production pace begin to slow and the sheer volume of new content lessons. So everyone out there please enjoy it while it lasts, because this is the best it's ever going to be for us.

Nora Ali: The thing that has been concerning to me is how Netflix and other streamers have tapped into, and I bring this up every episode, Scott's gonna roll his eyes, TikTok. I just discovered this today. I guess it's been out for a few months, but this “fast laughs” feature on the app where you click on it. And it's these short clips from their comedies, from their comedy specials that looks like TikTok, you're just scrolling through previewing shows. You can share, you can click to watch. To what extent Brandon, do you think these streamers are going to try to emulate or take a page out of the short form content to try to appeal to those younger audiences and to those creators that Scott had brought up earlier.

Brandon Katz: There's a reason that in almost every quarterly earnings report, Netflix is specifically referencing Fortnite, TikTok, et cetera, as competitors, because they don't see themselves as competing with movie theaters or linear TV or Disney. They think attention span is the currency. That's what they're all coveting and fighting over. And as we've seen, as countless consumer surveys will show, as a ton of studies and will show gen-Z prefers the short form, punchy content of YouTube, of Tik TOK, as opposed to traditional TV shows and movies like apparently us old farts love. And as we move forward, as gen-Z has become people who are in the workforce with disposable income, absolutely uou're going to see things tailored to that specific demographic to try to appeal to them because the worst thing any entertainment business can have, and we're seeing it as a microcosm with the James Bond franchise is an aging demographic that isn't bringing in young spenders. So I think it's a really smart point that you raised about the changes and innovations. Netflix is introducing to try to stay relevant and top of mind.

Scott Rogowsky: Brandon, this has been a really, probably the most fun I've ever had hosting a podcast. I think we should just pivot as Business Casual just becomes Show Business Casual. Can we just talk content management, business content, but Brandon, that's going to be our conversation with you today. Maybe we'll have a part two or part three. Maybe we'll pick this up for a full season.

Brandon Katz: I love it. I'm here anytime you guys need me. Thank you so much for having me on

Scott Rogowsky: And our BC listeners. We want to hear from you. Yes. You Penn Badgley. Where do you stand in the great streaming wars of 2021? What side are you on? Whose flag are you raising? Which streaming giant are you pledging fealty to? Who's going to come out on top. Send us an email at Business Casual at Morning Brew dot com or DM us on Twitter at biz Casual pod. That's B I Z casual pod. With your thoughts,

Nora Ali: You can also leave a voice memo on our website, Business, Casual dot FM, or give us a ring and leave us an old fashioned voicemail. Our number is 8 6 2 2 9 5 1 1 3 5. As Business Casual grows. We are so excited to get to know our listeners old and new drop us a line. And don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from. So we can hear from you in a future episode,

Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop MAX and Bella Hutchins PLUS. Additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Alan Haburchak is the Director of Audio here at Morning Brew. Sarah Singer is our VP of Multimedia and Jessica COen is our Chief Content Officer. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and the mysterious Breakmaster cylinder. If you liked what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for your cheerful earful. And we'd love it. If you would give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.

Nora Ali: Keep it Business, 

Scott Rogowsky: And keep it casual.