business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

We’ve long talked here on MNB about the power of differentiated products and services, emphasizing the point that if 85 percent of what a supermarkets sells is the same as what most other supermarkets sell, it stands to reason that success or failure will be found in the other 15 percent - the stuff that makes a store unique.

A metaphor that we’ve often used is how Netflix decided early on that if it was going to compete long-term, and not just be a Blockbuster-killer, it needs to have proprietary content - TV series and movies that one could only see on Netflix. Amazon has essentially decided the same thing, creating its own programming to differentiate its offering and bolster the value of Prime membership. This has brought them into competition with the broadcast and cable networks, which in turn have devoted far more of their bandwidth to original programming - and all of these entities have spent billions of dollars on what basically is private label content.

We’ve also reported in the past on how Apple now is getting into the game, and has begun commissioning its own programming to feature in the iTunes Store. Apple has three TV series in the pipeline - a drama about a morning show that will be produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston, a reboot of “Amazing Stories,” the old Steven Spielberg anthology TV series, and now, what sounds like its most ambitious - and potentially most audience-building - series yet.

The unnamed show is described as a space drama from Ronald D. Moore, who didn’t just create the critically and popularly successful reboot of “Battlestar Galactica,” but also served as a writer on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”

And if that isn’t enough creative firepower, there are producers on board who have worked on such successful TV series as “Fargo” and ‘Outlander.”

Beyond that, there’s very little confirmed information about the series, nor is there a premiere date. But the point is that the battle for quality, differentiated content rages on, with a lot of very good and successful companies having concluded that they need to swing for the fences if they’re going to continue to be viable, with long-term prospects.

It is the kind of Eye-Opening conclusion that I think more stores need to reach.
KC's View: