Whip Media’s Sherry Brennan Speaks at NATPE Streaming Plus 2021

Sherry Brennan, the executive vice president and general manager of the Whip Media Exchange, was a featured panelist at the NATPE Streaming Plus conference in Hollywood on November 10th. 

Brennan participated in a panel on content acquisition and worldwide distribution — a topic she’s focused on each day in her role at Whip Media. She was joined by Michele Edelman, the head of growth at Premiere Digital, and Jim Riley, the president of Stingray’s U.S. operations; the panel was moderated by FTI Consulting Managing Director Samantha Friedman. 

If you couldn’t make the event at the W Hollywood or missed out on the event’s live stream, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find a few standout moments from Brennan’s conversation: 

On the fast-changing content space: 

“The last few years it’s no secret the larger content owners, many of the big studios and networks, have launched their own SVOD services and in some cases AVOD services. And whereas they used to license a lot of that content out to the SVOD space, they’re no longer doing so — at least they’re not licensing it to the likes of Netflix, for example. So the competition, I think it’s fair to say, has increased for premium content for the SVOD space, as well as for the AVOD space. 

“There are a lot more players out there as well. We’ve seen the proliferation of SVOD platforms — I think there are nearly 500 streaming platforms to consumers in the U.S., so that’s huge — and you’ve seen a lot more original content produced as a result of this proliferation in platforms. And some of that content [is being sold in secondary markets]. So, just a lot more activity is probably the headline.” 

On the importance of localized content: 

“One of the things we’re finding is that localization really matters, and having subs and dubs in the local language is really important — but it’s also really costly.

“So figuring out the sweet spot and where it makes sense to create either a subtitled version or a dubbed version of a piece of content is really critical. And we feel our analytics can really help buyers decide that, because they’ll have some science behind the art of programming their services to help them figure out what titles will perform the best and make sense to invest in.”

On the dynamic between major and niche players in the content space — and how Whip Media can help bring those two sides together:

“The bigger the player, the more leverage they have, obviously. And the smaller the player, the stronger the stomach you have to have to withstand some of the ridiculous asks the bigger players might make. Or you have to be willing to sacrifice some revenue to get other favorable terms.

“But where there’s a large player on one side and a small player on the other, there’s a power imbalance. And at Whip Media, we think we can help resolve that power imbalance by allowing the smaller players to promote the content or platform that’s going to be a good match for that big player. So in other words, creating a little bit more urgency on the big player’s part for what the small player is offering.”