Video on demand platform Lesflicks’ CEO Naomi Bennett has weighed in on the content cancellations and how LGBTQ viewers can get involved.
We’re dreaming of a Sapphic Utopia where all our energy isn’t spent on saving shows like First Kill and The Wilds, and instead is spent binge-watching authentic content and discussing it with likeminded sapphics.
It is pretty impossible to miss the chaos on social media as yet another Sapphic show has received cancellation notices. The community is up in arms — hashtags such as #SaveFirstKill are trending on Twitter and there are plenty of petitions and billboard campaigns springing up. The announcement of HBO Max and Discovery Plus merging; followed by many other news articles about the spend, spend, spend days of streaming coming to an end – it isn’t just sapphic content that is getting cancelled (Batgirl, Black-ish, Charmed, The Good Fight, Legacies, Legends of Tomorrow are all also ending).
CEO & Founder Naomi Bennett said “it is hardly surprising that so much content is being cancelled given the rough global economy. We’re heading into recessions and depressions and spending is top of everyone’s agenda. Customers are spending less, and businesses are looking to streamline. With so many streaming platforms we have hit saturation so those that have nothing particularly unique are partnering up to cut costs and reduce competition. How many versions of Netflix do we need after all?! However, niche and genre platforms will always have a strong home as they often have content that is not found elsewhere, and so as the number of platforms streamlines and reduces, platforms like Lesflicks can emerge as a popular choice to fill the clear gap in desired representation. I expect to see more smaller budget productions as these streamers still need a constant collection of content to retain their customers — the reality is that you can create 10 lower budget indie series for the price of one season of Legends of Tomorrow and this is what I think we’re seeing happen. Money is being redistributed and spread more thinly on series that have a broad, wide audience base.”
Is it really a case that there is not a business case for Sapphic stories? Netflix have been pushed to explain how a show with more views than Heartstopper got cancelled. The answer was completions — a new metric not previously mentioned. The goalposts keep moving away from sapphic women and towards everyone else. Lesflicks still believes in the sapphic community as an audience, and so is running a campaign to put themselves in a position to support, amplify and create sapphic content.
Lesflicks has been discussing investment for a number of months now, but not been able to identify any investors that we believe have the same ethos, desire and drive that they have. The team strongly believe if they give away ownership to big business, other mainstream platforms or investors outside of our community that they will lose what has made them so successful to date. They also don’t believe their sapphic stories will be safe — especially following so many cuts recently.
What makes Lesflicks unique is that they are building an ecosystem that is fair to both content creators and audiences. They believe it is possible to support everyone — and that this will create a sustainable and plentiful supply chain of quality authentic sapphic stories.
The recent changes in the streaming and entertainment world this month have reinforced the belief that “we are stronger together as a community,” and that the team at Lesflicks need to keep the ownership and decision-making of Lesflicks 100% sapphic.
The ambition is big. Much like their dreams. Naomi dreamed big in March 2019 — and look what she and the team have achieved already! Pre-investment, and with a part-time, volunteer team — they are already a force to be reckoned with. Lesflicks has over 220 titles making them the largest sapphic streaming platform in the world. Their clients are happy as Lesflicks pay them more than other platforms they’re with (Kate Lane’s video sums it up well when it starts with her proclaiming ‘Lesflicks is awesome’). Lesflicks has a list of filmmakers who want their work on their platform (some titles they’re onboarding; with some titles the distributors are not interested, which is disappointing for us and the creators involved) and Lesflicks are also starting to look at creating content (their first project is already underway in post-production through their sister brand SapphicIFF).
Lesflicks is a global social enterprise with a headquarters in the UK. Founded in 2019, the key to success to date has been in our broad positioning & focus on improving data, knowledge & reach at all stages of sapphic film from pre-production through to distribution. Our transparent payment rates mean we are a popular choice for content on LesflicksVOD.
Lesflicks is much more than a streaming platform, we aim to improve the distribution, awareness & access to authentic sapphic stories on screen.
As such we have a number of aspects that all make up the Lesflicks ecosystem:
WATCH on the streaming platform: https://lesflicksvod.com
FIND sapphic stories on our database: https://bit.ly/SapphicStories
READ articles on the website: https://bit.ly/SapphicArticles
CHAT about sapphic stories on LesflicksCAN: https://bit.ly/LesflicksCAN
SOCIAL events to bring the community together: https://bit.ly/LFCANevents
LEARN and share with other creators: https://sapphicservices.com
NETWORK with other sapphic creators: https://bit.ly/LFCreatorsCAN
INVEST in sapphic stories on screen: https://sapphicIFF.com
Join Lesflicks today by adding your support to the campaign!