Get on the fast track        


Jan 4, 2021    Burn Book

Branding A Startup in 2021: What the Streaming Industry Tells Us


When there’s one new kid on the successful startup block, everyone flocks– VCs, competitors, and consumers alike. And they may capture and rule over their market for a while before a worthy competitor joins the ranks. One example is Netflix’s movie and TV streaming service launching in 2007, quickly followed (but not dominated) by Hulu in 2008.

Lo And Behold, Few Branding Agencies Can Save a Drowned Market

Fast-forward to 2021, and Netflix and Hulu, both capturing large market shares, are in the same bucket as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Disney+, Apple TV, CBS All Access, NBC’s Peacock, and more. Those happy customers, those people that were the numbers behind reduced piracy statistics as they became happy with having one to three streaming subscriptions?

All unhappy customers now, and not because they’re overwhelmed by the choices. Everyone knows to go to ESPN for sports and Disney+ for family movies and Netflix for “The Office” (I don’t want to talk about that one… The wound is too fresh). It’s not because there are too many to choose from, it’s because they’re overwhelmed by the stupidity of so many existing in the first place. What is the point of paying for 10 full streaming services just to get the eight individual shows on different channels you regularly watch? Lo and behold– piracy numbers are climbing again.

Oversaturate a market, and the market will find an alternative. Just as they (we) did before Netflix, when paying for outdated cable didn’t pay off (seriously, ask any Gen Z or even a Millennial cusper you know if they pay for cable… most of us haven’t sat through a traditional commercial unless it’s that one with Kevin Hart that plays back to back on Hulu’s cheapest plan).

What does this have to do with Rock Candy Media’s expertise? Oh you mean the one in branding, marketing automation services, and conversion rate optimization? Well we’re not about to turn around and say the only way out is for Netflix to create its own original cult classic to get back the amount of people that followed “The Office”  (either to piracy or to Peacock). They might pull it off with the rising popularity of their original shows, but we’ll leave that to the filmmakers and comedians over in that industry.

10 Years in the Game Reveals The Most Important Foundations

What we mean is that the market is now, in one sense, closed to outsiders of the same variety, and open to outsiders that shake up how everything is done. AKA– another streaming platform joining the race will discover it’s not a race at all, it’s just 10 CEOs in a room wondering why people won’t pay $10 monthly for sports and another $10 monthly for Pixar and another $10 monthly for standup and no one has paid for news since Facebook, when the risk of pirating is no longer outweighed by the money it saves. AND– the one new guy that joins to shake it up will need to be changing how streaming is done entirely– someone who finds a way through all the varying ownerships of shows to bundle what people want on a customized level, maybe. Or the ones already profiting off the change, like VPNs letting U.S. “Office”-watchers scam into Canada’s Netflix. And that is a wildly huge opportunity for a lucky startup in the future.

That one outsider, even with such a profitable opportunity at their fingertips, will need one thing before all else: a solid, unshakeable branding and marketing automation backbone that shows the millions of newly-unhappy former-streamers now-pirates that they’re worth sticking with this time– that they saved the day. That they, no matter what the future holds, won’t let their favorite shows be pulled this way and that– let alone during a 10-month quarantine where our only comfort comes from the familiarity of shows filmed where people are without masks (dramatic… I don’t think so).

Early, right branding and marketing automation is the backbone that will leave you standing when earthquakes topple your competitors.

Because no matter what this magical market intruder manages to pull off in features, tech, or one-off campaigns, one thing remains true for their demographic– this magical savior needs to be flexible enough to keep with (another year of?) unprecedented times, sturdy enough to bring some stability to its market, relatable enough to capture the most sarcastic generations, so transparent and socially conscious that authenticity comes easily, and certain enough, because the world they’re trying to thrive in knows nothing but uncertainty lately.

That’s no easy job. Not even for the best branding and marketing automation consultancy in Austin, TX, and the world (… us. Proof). But in our decade of experience, the one thing we’re comfortable in is uncertainty and risk— that’s how we make it big. That’s how we make our clients big.

Simple as that, once you get in our heads. Now, let’s get into yours. Before someone blows in off the seven seas, tired of the way things are done, ready to take your place in the 2021 industry comeback articles.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control