Seeso postmortem: Stop treating OTT like linear TV, analyst says

The failure of NBC’s comedy SVOD service, Seeso, is largely the result of a failed strategy of simply taking linear content online, Barclays contends.

“In our opinion, most media companies are looking at OTT as a defense mechanism to solve for the loss of legacy distribution due to cord-cutting and shaving,” said a Barclays investor note, spearheaded by analyst Kannan Venkateshwar. 

“This starting point, in our opinion, is likely to stunt the opportunity for most of these platform,” he added. “We believe just taking content that works on TV and plugging it into the internet is unlikely to be enough.”

RELATED: NBC shuttering Seeso as CBS, Disney ramp up SVOD plans

On Thursday, NBCUniversal said it would be shuttering the two-year-old Seeso service later this year, moving some of its original series to other over-the-top platforms. 

Seeso struggled “in finding an identity past just re-runs of NBC comedies,” Venkateshwar said. 

He added, “In our opinion, OTT products don’t account for the fact that (1) medium shapes message; (2) quality of content is becoming less important than context; (3) platform inertia drives consumption; and (4) TV is more about smaller screens."

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