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Dust and BroadwayHD take on Netflix and Amazon by going niche

As streaming video warrior warms up, technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon are willing to spend billions of dollars on movies and show they hope to attract large audiences. On the other side of the market, smaller niche services are investigating a more cost-sensitive model.

Dust from independent studio Gunpowder and Sky, a streaming service launched in 2016 that focuses on science fiction content, consumes less than $ 10 million in the year of exclusive titles such as "Glimpse" and "Prospect" and to license TV shows and movies, including "Roswell" and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. "It also has short films like George Lucas & Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1[ads1]138 4EB" and "Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell !!!", like "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson did as a student.

It has been able to attract more than 3 million fans and fans across various platforms, including Facebook Watch and Roku.

"We'll see a two-part approach," said Floris Bauer, co-founder and president of Krukker & Sky, who has offices in Los Angeles, New York and London. "Great platforms like Netflix, Apple, etc.. They'll replace the traditional networks and then some. And then you'll see high-end content in a very specific creative filter, brands that cater to a very specific audience."

Streaming Services For certain genres, trying to win with loyalty while lacking in diversity. Fans are likely to be committed, meaning they are stickers and will actively discuss and promote the shows.

BroadwayHD focuses on Broadway shows. Launched four years ago, it had 100 titles and concentrated its marketing in the US, but it had to quickly change its payment system to accept foreign currency due to international demand.

"People say they love Broadway, but have never seen Broadway," said Broadway HD co-founder Bonnie Comley. "We give access to people who have heard of this brand but have never seen it before."

The company, which gets much of its content by producing multi-camera recordings of actual performances, pays about $ 2 million a year to show The 10 or so marked shows are also featured with Broadway producers, behind the scenes and host other exclusive materials, while Broadway shows $ 20 million to make and produce, according to Comley.

Streaming service subscription costs $ 100 a year, or $ 8.99 a month. The company also looks at other ways to create advertising revenue, including sponsored content.

Dust does not charge subscription fees right now, even though it sees potential revenue opportunities through distribution dealing with streaming live TV Services and other ad-supported viewing methods It also uses what is popular among the public to know which short films turn into TV shows and movies. "Prospect", which was released theatrically, started as a short film on its service. In the future, it may also license such custom content, which already comes with an audience, to major streaming services and media companies, Bauer said.

Even with lower costs, the content business is still risky. Specialized audiences can be difficult and manufacturers need some luck to find success, said Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Studios, who launched a streaming service for his animated series called Cartoon Hangover six years ago.

Frederator built a large audience on YouTube, but did not get enough income there to maintain his business. Now the shows, including "Bee and Puppycat," the most successful Kickstarter for an animated series, available for $ 3.99 through streaming platform VRV.

Seibert said he knows he's competing with lots of other shows.

"There are no absolutes in any of these media businesses," says Seibert. "There are good ideas and good executions. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they do not. There are many miserable ideas that are not big but done beautifully that succeed. "

An advantage of niche programming is that there can be pockets of hardcore fans all over the world if creators can only reach them. trying to do with Dust.

"Dust is not at 6am on Monday," Bauer said. "We are a 24/7 global channel, as long as we find people who love sci-fi globally."

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