Last week, Deadline announced that the 46-year-old mogul is developing Unrapped, a hip-hop competition series with ABC and G-Unit Film & Television. Some believe that the series will “compete” with Netflix’s 2019 show Rhythm + Flow, but that’s unlikely given the two distinct formats.
Rhythm + Flow has different key performance indicators
In 2019, Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow received widespread critical acclaim for its execution, production, and quality. But it’s unclear how well it performed on Netflix’s key metrics:
How many subscribers did it acquire or retain?
What’s the lifetime value of those customers?
Was the customer acquisition cost worth the spend?
Will more Rhythm + Flow episodes attract enough additional subscribers to justify the opportunity cost?
In March 2020, Netflix announced that season 2 is coming in 2021, but that was at the start of the pandemic. A lot has changed a lot since then. In my essay, Netflix’s Strong Black Lead Strategy, Explained, I wrote that Netflix is not afraid to make unpopular moves. It has the lowest churn of any video streaming service and rarely extends shows beyond a few seasons.
Have I been annoyed that Netflix canceled a show I loved? Yes. Too many to count. But did I cancel Netflix as a result? Of course not, and Netflix knows this.
Unrapped will follow the broadcast TV formula
Broadcast TV is a completely different beast. The goal is to sell attract viewers so networks can sell ads. That incentivizes the longstanding reality franchises with 20+ seasons like The Bachelor and American Idol to continue as long as the audience is there.
50 Cent’s Unrapped show will first reach the customers who already popular music reality shows on broadcast TV like The Masked Singer and The Voice. It will also rely on several of the elements that make those shows as popular as they are. The end product will look more like American Idol than Rhythm + Flow
The move is smart for ABC. Fox’s Empire was one of the last hip-hop inspired big hits on broadcast TV. Netflix’s show confirmed the concept that can be popularized beyond the streaming format. And knowing 50 Cent, there will be enough drama involved to keep fans entertained.
Read more about 50 Cent’s Unrapped in Deadline.