Castlevania big in UK, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden #richardarmitage

Analytics here. One thing that will harm broadcast / cable TV over the long run, with funding so dependent on ads, is that the on-demand sources are so much more able to measure who wants to see their products.

[and today is Wednesday, apparently. I had my calendar open to the wrong page and only discovered it when I arrived at my first appointment. It’s not Thursday. Grrr.]

~ by Servetus on July 19, 2017.

21 Responses to “Castlevania big in UK, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden #richardarmitage”

  1. And here in Brazil 🙂


  2. You have hit the nail on the head. Programmatic advertising is going to rule. Mind you, programmatic is also available for OOH, audio, and linear TV, and some of the data and measurement comes by way of Social Media.
    As for the stats – I am actually amazed how much resonance Castlevania – which I would’ve considered a niche project – has received. I think a lot of that is actually due to the use of Social Media advertising.


    • I would guess they must have hit every social media channel they have, judging by how this is looking. The main media outlets seems largely done reporting / reviewing it, but the youtubers are still going strong. I can’t make myself listen to any more of it but the stream of audio and videocasts is not abating. I also think it helped them that they had a worldwide audience / market in place, and then broke a series of reports on top of each other, essentially — (1) Castlevania; (2) Adi Shankar gets Assassin’s Creed bid; (3) Castlevania renewed for season 2; (4) Adi Shankar comments on Castlevania and fandom — and now (5) comments on the surprise success of Castlevania. They’ve had a solid news streams with new items now for roughly two weeks. Of course, it would have died down if majority opinion had not been mildly to ecstatically positive, but the point seems to be that they had the mechanism in place to capitalize once they were reading to broadcast. [compare, instructively, Berlin Station as a less effective strategy — they set up all these possibilities and then didn’t actually staff any of them. Although BSt didn’t have the built in audience, admittedly].


      • I think there are two elements there: a) Castlevania people are more “new media” savvy than BS people even though they are producing content for a VoD platform – but still in a linear way with weekly instalments etc. Their promo efforts were quite old school – despite their fancy website (which had a lot of gimmickery to begin with but ultimately did not deliver new content accompanying the show’s episodic release schedule – big fail) there was money spent on billboards 😂. Content on SM exists – but not frequent enough to engage anyone beyond celebrity fandom. User interaction was infrequent and erratic. B) the conventional subject matter means that the potential audience is more heterogeneous than Castlevania’s – and includes less people who are engaging with content the way the self-proclaimed geek and fan audience of Castlevania does. It’s also most definitely also not a show “made by fans for fans” but a genre piece with aesthetic/artistic pretensions. Plus, the genre itself – spy thriller – is pretty well served by a number of shows already. Too much competition, I guess.
        It’s a very interesting comparison, I agree. And I am sad to say that the promo effort for S2 of BS looks even poorer than for S1, at least at this stage.


        • I definitely agree with your first point — they made a big initial social media noise and then ignored their feeds when people responded to them. I’m not marketer and yet I know, if I want people to keep responding to me, I need to keep responding to them. (I think it’s a fundamental issue with social media, you can’t just use it as another way to broadcast.)

          I think with the second point that they let their artistic pretensions overwhelm their awareness of actual audiences out there. They thought their main audience was the same as Homeland’s — Steinhauer seemed to have a burr in his coat about that particularly — but I’m not sure it was. One thing I thought interesting was which of my German history / language-lit friends was aware of the series and which were not. Essentially, the ones who had Sirius XM knew about it, but that was kind of it. It is not at all difficult to reach those people cheaply via social media but they didn’t; and that’s the kind of crowd that might assign students to watch an episode or two. Not huge, but niche — and that’s what Castlevania exploited. But even if you say they had pretensions — they didn’t really hit (or maybe they tried and missed?) the places I’d have looked for something more in depth. They got an initial pan from the Washington Post, for instance; that would have merited more pressure. They had a showing at the New Yorker Festival but as far as I remember, nothing in depth published in the New Yorker. There should have been a national NPR interview, maybe with Leland Orser. If they couldn’t get that, there are a lot of large-market local talkshows (like WNYC) that they could have been scheduled on in NY, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta. There are a number of outlets that do weekly recaps and there was never anything like that. The actors should have been booked on the late-night shows. I don’t know if they tried this and didn’t get it but they were not located in the niche where the person who consumes that kind of thing (Homeland) was even looking. If they did try, I can only say — when they didn’t hit their major targets it was like they gave up entirely.


          • Agreeing with you. My impression was that they kind of gave up as soon as the reviews turned out to be less than stellar. The reasons behind it may easily be the limited budget of a streaming provider that only garners a very small share of the US streaming market (Netflix, btw, holds 50%; Amazon 29%). I was surprised about the lack of presence in US national/regional/local TV, too. I cannot imagine that they were unable to get in there; the cast contains some household names. However, that is just conjecture on my part.


            • it’s hard to stream it, frankly, during the season, and they changed their tune halfway through. I mean, Dad still pays for the Cadillac TWC package, and I was able to stream ep 3 live in NYC. The last episode also played while I was in NYC but then it was suddenly “only available in your home network”. (although if I’d been willing to watch it on my phone, it might have been different, I never checked that out).

              Since it’s available on both Amazon and Hulu now, I wonder if they’re going to revisit the way that worked last time, with the delayed distribution to the other platforms, or if they’re still trying to use it to get people to EPIX.


            • I also thought it was interesting that we saw ZERO appearances from Ifans or Jenkins. Ifans in any case would be a great late night talkshow guest. I know some of that was related to his stage commitments, but we got nothing.


              • That was something that occurred to me, too – with both being such big names. Special deals for them – diva-like exclusion clauses in contracts? Or too expensive for them to afford? Surely they could not have been so ignorant to leave out the biggest names from their promotional efforts…
                Taken altogether, all these small bits make you wonder what their overall strategy is, whether they are serious about their in-house productions, whether they are just dipping their toe in, how convinced they are of the show.


        • oh, the other thing: I think the on-going piecemeal thing about “how are we going to watch this” ended up harming them. Even if they got the requisite “three notices” to get someone to check something out (that’s more or less my standard — I need to see something in 3-5 different places before I get motivated to check it out, usually), at the beginning of all of this it was hard to figure out how to see the damn thing. Maybe that will be different this time around as they seem to have their distribution game under better control.


          • Epix was a completely unknown entity to me. But yeah, I think we have to take into account that BS (along with the Nick Nolte political drama whose name escapes me now) was Epix’ first foray into an in-house produced show. I give them that they had to find their feet on that. However, that doesn’t explain the relative silence on S2.


            • I didn’t know anything about it either, but I read more about it when the buyout happened recently. It has 14 million subscribers, which is a bit over 10 percent of all the TV subscribers in the US. The business is considered solidly profitable. I think what I would have done if I were them was some kind of campaign that really made sure all of their subscribers were watching Berlin Station first. Theoretically that is right in the demographic of people they’d want to capture anyway. Although given EPIX’s other content, it might be the kind of thing that’s hard to do, just b/c you only tune in if there’s a movie you want. But I thought their Cable TV game was solid — I was seeing ads on the big 3 broadcast networks in prime slots, as well as on a lot of niche channels (history, HGTV, Food network).

              re: BSt 2, I guess we’ll see. But you’re right that they seem to have abandoned their social media (mostly). There really should have been an FB when that press release with the new season trailer came out. I ran across it accidentally.


              • Interesting business numbers – in that case, they should’ve had plenty of budget for proper campaigns.
                S2 seems to almost be on a complete lock-down. At the beginning I thought that they had maybe clamped down on it because Keke Palmer definitely made a few gaffes when she emerged on the scene (and inadvertantly (?) posted script insights). Now it looks to me as if they either don’t care about marketing the show, or are not convinced about it. In any case, it leaves a bad impression – not just on fans, but on the entertainment media.


  3. I’m a numbers person and find this pretty interesting. I hope Berlin Station helps EPIX break into the digital market somehow. Maybe Trevor’s fame will give the show a needed boost. NETFLIX really has a lock!


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