Audiences decide which shows get made using cost-effective and data-driven platform for producers and networks to identify and develop quality content
NEW YORK, May 26, 2016 – I’d Watch That, a just-launched viewer-driven online platform to identify, finance and develop quality content for broadcast and cable television networks, has successfully sold the first television concept to come from its platform. The show, “Metro,” was created by writer/director PJ Posner and placed into development by 3311 Productions.
I’d Watch That enables creators to post their content for viewing, ranking and feedback. Viewers use the platform’s proprietary voting technology to determine what gets produced, while producers and networks get access to the highest-ranked pilots, ratings and consumer data at a fraction of current development costs.
“To find a show like “Metro,” we would have needed to invest a lot of time and resources into an outmoded process that doesn’t deliver decisions based on real viewer data,” said Ross Jacobson, CEO of 3311 Productions and the former COO of Magical Elves, the company responsible for “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” among others. “Instead of optioning shows based on our own hunches, I’d Watch That gave us user-vetted content we can develop with a much greater degree of confidence and certainty that the show will appeal to audiences and be successful.”
Rather than relying on the opinions of more than 200 million television viewers, broadcast and cable networks traditionally put their trust in fewer than 500 executives to decide which shows get made. More than $2.75 billion is spent every year on developing new programming, with less than 10 percent of those shows becoming successful. Surprisingly, consumer data plays virtually no role in the current decision-making process of what gets chosen for development.
“The process currently used to create new television content is outdated, inefficient and expensive,” said Tom Zito, CEO and Co-Founder of Big Picture, Inc., which developed and operates the I’d Watch That platform. “Using the crowd to both source and select new shows will significantly improve the efficiency of the system, reduce development costs and identify content that has already appealed to viewers in a statistically significant way.”
“Metro” is the story of the sexual liberation of the American woman who made Carrie Bradshaw possible. The show takes place in the 1960s and is about Metropolitan Magazine (a fictionalized version of Cosmopolitan) and is told through the eyes of the women who work there – their lives, loves and sexual awakening. “Metro” tells the story of women taking control during the decade that saw man set foot on the moon, brought us flower power and introduced free love.
“I’d Watch That disrupts the traditional TV development process,” said Posner. “Before I’d Watch That, creators of shows had to pitch their projects without any sort of audience validation and network executives had to go with their gut. The I’d Watch That platform provides data that shows how audiences feel about a particular idea and whether people actually want to see the show get developed; that is very powerful.”
I’d Watch That enables creators to upload a 90-120 second pitch, or Sizzle, which is randomly shown to the community of reviewers for ranking and feedback using a proprietary methodology that eliminates bias and predicts which ideas have the best chance of connecting with a real audience. Viewers get to express their opinions and have a say in what gets produced; creators of the most favorably ranked Sizzles receive funding; producers and networks get access to the highest-ranked pilots, ratings and consumer data at a fraction of current development costs.
Having spent his career as a director, writer and producer of independent films, PJ Posner has hands-on experience in every aspect of filmmaking. He made his directorial debut with “Last Breath,” a thriller starring Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills 90210”), which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. Posner executive produced “Secretary,” starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal and “The Dying Gaul.” Posner also directs commercials and corporate films for clients including The History Channel, GE, Lockheed and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The New York Times called his second feature, The Next Big Thing,” a “deftly satisfying, comically coherent sendup of the world of art… that does with a lighter hand for art what ‘The Producers’ does for show business.”
Founded in 2011 by Mark Roberts and Ross Jacobson, 3311 Productions produces and finances independent films as well as programming for television, cable and digital platforms. Recent titles include the Sundance award-winning films “In A World…” and “Big Sur” as well as “Mr. Right,” the upcoming sci-fi thriller “Approaching The Unknown” and “Table 19.” 3311 Productions strives to produce creator-driven content that embodies great storytelling and is engaging, compelling and inspiring. More information is available at 3311productions.com.
I’d Watch That was developed by Big Picture, Inc., a Northern California-based company founded by a group of media, entertainment and technology entrepreneurs. Early investors include William R. Hearst III, Chairman of the Board, The Hearst Corporation; Barry Schuler, former CEO of AOL; John Fisher, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Inspiration Ventures. More information is available at idwt.com, on Twitter (@idwttv) and Facebook (/idwttv).