Fullscreen launches streaming service for a new generation.

fs_dyna

Fullscreen.com launched a streaming service! Wait, that’s not news. Every day it seems another streaming service comes to life. [See: Criterion to launch Filmstruck.] How can YASS (yet-another-streaming-service) differentiate to survive?

The answer, according to the Fullscreen strategy, is product positioning. Fullscreen is the streaming service for the teen-to-thirties crowd, the enviable millennials. It’s a smart bit of thinking on Fullscreen’s part. This is the way media goes, it starts off as broad-based and then breaks up into niches. Just as Life magazine gave way to Minnesota Fisherman and network programming gave way to HGTV, so will streaming services go.

The Fullscreen service targets millennials with programming that skews to that age group and includes functions that are distinctly designed for a social generation, particularly the ability to peel off an animated gif while watching a show. While not all shows allow the animated image function and it is currently available only on mobile devices, it’s a helps them appeal to the target market while it leverages their own audience to help them promote the service.

Here’s an animated gif I peeled off from the original drama Filthy Preppy Teens. I added those words (sorry if that’s a spoiler!), selected the four second clip from the show, and it generated the animated gif which I then posted to Facebook.


It’s rather non-intuitive how to make these partly because you don’t know which shows allow it until you’re in the show.

 

Shows are not categorized by standard topics but rather by user-centric labels. Binge on This, Hurry Make me Laugh, I’ve got like 10 minutes… these are the categories that Fullscreen has decided appeal to the under-thirty crowd. To my taste, this risks seeming like schtick that’s trying too hard.

Content is a mix of “Fullscreen Originals” (a surprisingly unoriginal label) and more standard movies and shows. Some older shows (Chappelle’s Show and Dawson’s Creek, for instance) are available on the service, too.

Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix’s approach to differentiation has been investing a lot of money in original content.You know the strategy: if you wanna watch my show, you have to subscribe. Netflix’s 2016 budget for original content is over $5 Billion dollars. Fullscreen’s strategy of being the service for a specific generation protects them from _having_ to invest huge amounts in original content while they build the audience.

Fullscreen has commissioned 80’s literary figurehead Bret Easton Ellis to create an original series.The reboot of the 70’s Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (by the close-to-my-heart Sid and Marty Krofft), follows two Ohio girls who move to LA with hopes of making it big in the high-profile crime-fighting world. However, what they find is competition from other vigilantes and, unexpectedly, each other. It’s a compelling show, and the stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart are fine comedians. 

Fullscreen has a hidden advantage when it comes to original content. They claim that a stable of 70,000 creators use their systems to create original content. It’s like a minor league for streaming. And it will keep the costs of their original content down.

Several of the original shows are video versions of existing podcasts. Put the talent on a set while they record their podcast…isn’t that a talk show? Shane and Friends has been a podcast since June of 2013 and Zall Good — a newer podcast — and both feature compelling main characters who deliver their shows with the self-confidence and assurance that carries this kind of show.

Production values are good throughout and the streaming quality showed less choking than I’ve seen on some of the current bigger services. This might be a product of this being the first day of the service.

According to Mashable, the subscription service features more than 800 hours of content.

shane and friends

The pop culture podcast Shane and Friends podcast becomes a “Video” podcast on the new service, and it’s pretty compelling.

Ultimately, streaming is a commodity. The sites all ultimately look the same and provide the same functions. Fullscreen is right to create differentiation in the way they program and package. At $4.99 it provides a good value and a one-month trial is available. It’s worth checking out. Go to http://www.Fullscreen.com.

parents

A curious requirement of parental consent seems in contrast to the age group they target. I, for example, was not able to get parental authorization.