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  • Writer's pictureLori Marion

How Hollywood Has a Chance—Women. 

Updated: Jan 29

"The strikes that shut down Hollywood studios for most of last year didn't recalibrate the entertainment industry. They exposed its biggest vulnerability: The business is broken," writes Lucas Shaw for Bloomberg. Hollywood faces real challenges if it does not address what is apparent—cost-shedding, bundling, layoffs, price cuts, and increases are not sustainable strategies. A better strategy would be to invite women to the table in droves. 

What we see, hear, and have been asked.

Independents control content and monetization: The strikes ushered in a new state of being. Independent creatives take charge of content monetization and rightsize to shifting tastes. Working with content distribution directly across windowing while bringing their audiences with them, Beyonce and Taylor Swift delivered simple yet effective strategies at breaking speed. Women tend to be on the end of constant blockers and gatekeeping. The independent strategy, unfortunately, is fortunately scalable.

Women-owned businesses bet on women: In 2009, Mattel, the creative force behind Barbie, inked a deal with Universal Pictures, tapping Laurence Mark to produce the project that never got off the ground. Passed on by many women over ten years, the collaboration of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie emerged as the alchemy behind a billion-dollar, lasting engagement. Robbie selected Gerwig to produce, direct, and write the script (with her creative partner Noah Baumbach). The crucial point here is that Robbie's female-focused production company Lucky Chap—the company behind "I Tonya," "Birds of Prey," "Promising Young Woman," and Hulu's "Dollface," bet on Gerwig and not a man. Less than 10% of Academy Award winners are Female screenwriters, and only three women have won the Best Director award in 94 years, this narrative is a compelling testament independent of its winning awards but speaks to more women betting on women.

Impact of female-driven narratives: "Origin," a compelling production crafted by the incredible Ava DuVernay and brought to life by Neon, has earned the coveted Female Empowerment in Entertainment SEAL from the Critics Choice Association (CCA), known as "SOFEE." This nod is reserved for exceptional films and television series that authentically depict the female experience through rich, female-driven narratives. This narrative centered around Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson's loss and the profound connections linking tragedies like Trayvon Martin, the Holocaust, and the oppression of the Dalit people in India. Ava DuVernay's masterful storytelling takes viewers on the intricacies of the human experience to "amplify the story of justice, humanity, and dignity," said DuVernay. "From my executive producers Laurene Powell Jobs, Melinda Gates, Anne Wojcicki, Kimberly Steward, Regina Miller, Cheryl Miller, and Tilane Jones to our cast led by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Critics Choice Association for this recognition of our work." The "SOFEE" seal can also be found on other works such as "The Persian Version," "Lessons in Chemistry," "The Other Black Girl," "Barbie," and more.

Co-creators redefining shoppable for TV.

Content + Commerce and Privacy: Shoppable CTV finally emerges as the game-changer in monetization, leveraging advertising, sponsorship, and in-video product placement. However the delivery thus far needs refinement. As mobile is the key to shopping regardless of channel, seamlessness is the key to streaming TV. An uninterrupted buying journey enhances user satisfaction and minimizes abandonment rates in online experiences. Yet striking the balance of programming IP, advertising, and consumer experiences on the big screen can be challenging. Online is streamlined and optimized for mobile with fewer design, compliance, and engagement parameters than TV. And if you talk to any OEM, they prefer viewers to stay on the glass, not mobile. As one company leader shared, "Mobile apps are the enemy."

In a recent study 61% of millennials think of TV shows as a social experience. LG says viewers want interactive shopping experiences on the streaming platform yet want QR codes (from our experience, this takes them off the platform). Both can't achieve their goals in a premium streaming content environment where the industry struggles with CTV measurement and the definition of viewership for currency. Retail Media Dive says, that 47% of brand marketers say the purchase happens within social media apps, then that directly challenges streaming CTV as viewers are accustomed to interoperable experiences.

In this landscape, we are challenging the status quo. Fade Technology emerges as the leading thought leader at the intersection of content, commerce, and technology. We are a women-driven company at the forefront of designing an innovative solution that caters to viewers, brands, and the evolving CTV landscape that thrives in an interconnected digital value. Contact us for a demo and to learn more.

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