2016 Bonanza for Oz Onliners
Things are looking good for Oz onliners in 2016. Screen Australia is playing Santa to onliners with two funding rounds over the silly season, Queensland is stumping up big bucks and other state agencies are stirring.~~
Screen Australia funding.
Story Development Skip Ahead: Film Development Workshop. This is a program in partnership with YouTube for onliners with an active channel to skill them up in longer-form content. That doyen of narrative content teachers, Mike Jones, will front workshops for successful applicants, the outcome to be scripts for series and features from 30-90 mins.
Art Bites: An Arts Initiative For Documentary Filmmakers, in partnership with ABC iView. They are looking for 6x5mins arts-themed projects.
What's happening Next Year?
- The SAFC/iView initiative that closed a couple of weeks ago has attracted very healthy numbers. Look for announcements of the successful onliners soon.
- How will YouTube Red work out? Google's bold move to an ad-free subscription model launched a month ago in the US. All it needed was more exclusive original content, but that should come next year. When for Australia? My sources tell me that it's close to being signed off for 2016.
- Michelle Guthrie appointment to head the ABC, promising a digital-first approach. Hopefully that heralds more resources for iView who have done great work in the online space this year.
- The Queensland Govt/Screen Qld/YouTube initiative will give onliners in the sunshine state a huge leg-up next year. The total investment is around $900,000. Will other states follow suit?
- In a back to the future move, we should see onliners moving into that staple of the TV biz - franchises and formats. There are rumours that channels like the Mighty Car Mods will look at franchising their format in different territories. Why not, especially to non-English countries?
The end of the MCN Gold Rush. More MCNs will move away from rolling up channels into verticals and more into branding deals for onliners. There will be rationalisations.
- An Australian company will launch a Buzzfeed like 24/7 online video output business. Damn, I said this last year. Someone please do it!
- Advertising will be embedded in "free-range" long-form content and tracked by agencies. Voila - a new revenue stream for feature film makers.
- Look for more long-form projects, either created or starring social media stars. The success of Outfield in late 2015 could be a signal that the form is gaining a new confidence.
- Will Australia finally get a Creator Space in some form or other in 2016? I'm saying yes and I'm tipping Melbourne.