ESPN+ launches, Netflix grows like crazy, and we get Lost In Space. All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Sarah Lane ( http://twitter.com/sarahlane )
CordKillers: Ep. 216 - That's Not Cricket
Recorded: April 16 2018
Guest: Sarah Lane
- Netflix programming binge pays off with subscriber surge
- Netflix reported an increase of 7.4 million subscribers in Q1 of 2018 almost 2 million of those were in the US. Analysts expected an increase of 6.2 million. Netflix increased original programming by 85 percent from a year earlier to 483 hours, according to Cowen & Co analysts. It now has 125 million subscribers.
- Comcast is bundling Netflix into cable packages
- Comcast is bundling Netflix into its cable subscriptions
- Netflix has been available on X1 boxes since 2016 and nearly 50 percent of X1 customers are "actively" using Netflix
- 52 million Comcast customers aren't signed up to Netflix though and this may make it easier.
- Offers will vary by market
- Comcast may use Netflix as leverage against HBO if ATT buys Time Warner
How to Watch
- Disney kicks off its streaming future today with ESPN+
- ESPN launched ESPN+ Thursday, a $4.99 per month subscription service built into ESPN's redesigned app for Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and the web. The service promises to deliver “thousands” of hours of live soccer, boxing, golf, tennis, rugby, cricket, and college sports to subscribers, plus a live MLB and NHL game a day.
What to Watch
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle comes to Amazon May 11
- New Incredibles 2 trailer, show arrives June 15
- HBO renewed Silicon Valley for a 6th season and Barry for a second season.
- Netflix renewed Jessica Jones for a Third Season
- Looks Like Amazon May Be Making That Dark Tower TV Series After All
- Glen Mazzara, who Sony announced as the showrunner of a Dark Tower TV series tweeted "I write in a treehouse. Part of the tree came down. It's like one of the Dark Tower's beams snapped. Then Amazon's head of Event Series, Sharon Tal Yguado retweeted with the comment "Our writers take their jobs very seriously @glenmazzara #DarkTowerTV #BeSafe. Now those tweets have been deleted. Ka is a wheel.
- Apple is making a show based on Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ books
- Deadline says Apple has picked up a TV series based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation books with Josh Friedman, creator of thee Sarah Connor Chronicles and David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Vs. Superman) as the showrunners.
- AMC orders an adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel NOS4A2 to series
- While Locke and Key is still looking for a home, AMC has ordered an adaptation of Joe Hill's novel NOS4A2 to premiere in 2019. Hill is set to executive produce alongside Jami O’Brien (Fear the Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels)
What We're Watching
- Brian: The Expanse, Lost in Space 101, A Quiet Place, The Incredibles 1
- Tom: The Expanse, Deadwood (205), Legion 202, Coachella, Death in Paradise, Atlanta, Lost in Space (101)
- Sarah: Joel McHale show on Netflix, Atlanta
- On the Lookout: Lost in Space
- Netflix Pulls Films From Cannes After Festival Says They Can't Win Prizes
- Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Variety his company would pull their films form the Cannes film festival after rules were changed to require a French theatrical release to qualify for the Palm D'or. French theaters require movies not appear elsewhere six months after release and Netflix pursues a strict policy of premiering movies on their streaming platform the same day they appear in any theaters.
- The cheapest live TV streamer heads to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
- Philo, the $16 a month service that has networks from Viacom, Discovery Networks and AMC will start working on Apple TV and Fire TV this summer. Currently you can use Philo on Roku, iOS devices and casting from a Chrome browser. Philo accounts will also start working on individual network apps.
- It looks like MoviePass just ruined its unlimited subscription service
- MoviePass is only offering a bundle with I Heart Radio right now which gives you 4 movie tickets a month and a subscription to iHeartRadio All Access for $30.
- Hulu discounts its HBO add-on to $5 per month
- Hulu has reduced the price of adding HBO to $5 a month for six months. Hulu users can add HBO whether they subscribe to Hulu live or not. Hulu's new ineterface and live TV service is also now been added to 2017 and 2018 LG Smart TVs, this year's Samsung Tizen Smart TVs and Roku's 3500X Streaming Stick as well as the Roku 2.
- cPass wants to be the European MoviePass for all entertainment
- A service called cPass is in limited beta in London, and allows subscribers to reserve tickets for same-day showings of 2D movies for a monthly fee of £9.95. Interestingly the company says it eventually wants to expand to other events like music concerts
- Amazon Studios stops taking amateur scripts on June 30th
- Amazon is ending its open call for concepts and scripts as of June 30th. Amazon says it is "looking for ways to become even more efficient."
Dispatches from the Front
I have a couple of thoughts for you from the last episode.
1. Thanks for reading my On The Lookout about Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and yes I also sent in the OTL for Death In Paradise a few weeks ago. I am really glad that Tom found it as enjoyable as I did.
2. The story about 3D fading at theaters is I think entirely the result of films being shot in 2d and then artificially made 3D. This results in just as effective presentation as the bad old days of Panning and Scanning wide format films to "fit" a 4:3 screen. With the exception of Avatar, which was admirably actually shot in 3D, most of the live action "3D" films look worse than the worst Viewmaster slide sets of long ago. No wonder people really don't care to waste the money for an upgrade that really isn't an upgrade at all.
3. BBC does need to worry about making too much money. I remember speaking with a rep from the US Naval Institute Press the year after Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October came out and they mentioned that USNI asked Clancy to go to another publisher for his next books. The reason: USNI might lose their tax exempt status if they had another blockbuster, and subsequent jump in income.
Unrelated to last week, how long do you think those of us who refuse to go near the Apple ecosystem will have to wait for discs of the Foundation series to come out after the series airs that we can rent on Netflix's DVD service?
Thanks as always for the great show and interesting insights,
A moviepass competitor launched recently in Canada, called Sinemia
Its not an all you can eat deal like MoviePass is in the US but you can choose from 2 or 3 movies per month. for 9.99 (billed anually 10.99 no commitment) or 14.99 (27.99 no commitment)
I believe it also works slightly differently, we pick our movie in the Sinemia app and then it activates the card with the correct amount, then we can go online or to the theater and purchase the tickets however we normally would! So you could buy them ahead of time from home.
I went with the 2 movies for 10.99, just got my card in the mail (it took about 4 days) and will keep you guys posted.
Hi, I just listened to the latest episode 215 and in Frontlines you missed a big point of the declining ticket sales of 3D movies story. The rise of Movie Pass is also killing 3D ticket sales as you can only purchase 2D tickets using the service.
HBO intentionally spoiling Westworld, YouTube Kids going hand-picked, and 3D ticket sales tank. All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Nicole Lee ( http://twitter.com/nicole )
CordKillers: Ep.215 - CordConsenters
Recorded: May 9 2018
Guest: Nicole Lee
- We are Westworld Co-Creators/Executive Producers/Directors Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, Ask Us Anything!
- At the end of a Reddit AMA on Monday, Westworld executive producers and co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy floated the idea of the following:
- "If you guys agree, we're going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2. Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way, the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead and then protect the rest of the community and help to distinguish between what's 'theory' and what's spoiler."
- If that post exceeds 1000 points on Reddit HBO will go forward with the plan.
- Westworld returns April 22
How to Watch
- YouTube Kids Is Going To Release A Whitelisted, Non-Algorithmic Version Of Its App
- Buzzfeed reports YouTube plans to release a new version of its Kids app that only shows videos and channels handpicked by curators. Parents will be able to choose between the new curated version and the algorithmically generated selection. Meanwhile YouTube TV, the cable-replacement service, now works in Firefox. Previously it only worked in Google's own Chrome browser.
- YouTube TV now works in Firefox
What to Watch
- Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show may incorporate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth
- Hollywood Reporter says the Amazon Middle Earth TV show may include "material" from Peter Jackson's movie adaptations. Jackson’s involvement in the project is uncertain, but Jackson’s attorney described the deal as a “creature of the times,” saying Amazon is “taking a page out of the studios’ emphasis on franchises.”
- Inside Amazon's $250M 'Lord of the Rings' Deal: "It's Very Much a Creature of the Times"
- A New Solo: A Star Wars Story Trailer came out, the movie premiers May 15 at Cannes then goes into wide release May 25
- Star Trek: Discovery casts Captain Pike
- Star Trek: Discovery has cast Anson Mount to play the part of Captain Christopher Pike when the show returns. Mount played Cullen Bonhannon on Hell on Wheels.
- The Last Kingdom cancelled by the BBC but saved by Netflix
- BBC decided not to renew historical drama The Last Kingdom after its second season. BBC America had dropped out after the first season and Netflix had taken over as international distributor. So Netflix is taking over the whole thing for season 3 which will stream before the end of the year.
- Amazon greenlights Lorena Bobbitt documentary series
- Amazon will show a 4-part documentary about Lorena Bobbitt, the woman who cut off her husband's penis while he slept in 1993. Jordan Peele will produce the series and look at Lorena's side of the story as well as the media coverage of it. Lorena will be directed by documentary filmmaker Joshua Rofé (Swift Current, Lost for Life)
- FX Starts Work on a Pilot for Y: The Last Man
- Variety reports FX has ordered a pilot of Y the Last Man based on the comic. Brian K. Vaughan told the Hollywood Reporter in November that he “wanted to find someone who loved the source material but didn’t feel so indebted to it that they would be afraid to change it." Apparently Michael Green (American Gods, Logan) and Aida Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage) are those kind of people.
- Netflix orders an adult animated show about terrible cops
- Netflix tweeted If you ever wanted to watch an edgy comedy about a wildly incompetent police force and their talking dog attempting to take down a drug ring in small town America, then we have good news for you. Coming later this year: Paradise PD, from the creators of Brickleberry.
What We're Watching
- Brian: Legion 201, Deadwood, Do You Trust This Computer, Red Letter Media, Last Week Tonight
- Tom: A Quiet Place, Legion 201, Deadwood, Timeless, The Magicians, Father Ted, Death in Paradise
- Nicole: Baseball
- On the Lookout: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
- MoviePass Parent Acquires Moviefone in Deal With Verizon’s Oath
- Verizon subsidiary Oath is selling Moviephone to Helios and Matheson Analytics, the majority owner of MoviePass, for $1 million in cash, 2.55 million common shares, and stock warrants worth $14 million. Moviefone was founded in 1989 and AOL acquired it for $388 million in 1999. Helios and Matheson said the Moviefone acquisition will help build its content-marketing strategy and advertising revenue platform for MoviePass, which sells monthly subscriptions to attend movie screening in participating theaters each day.
- 3D movie box office totals take another dive
- The box office contribution of 3D showings dropped in 2017 to 12 percent of the U.S. and Canada’s $11.1 billion total take, its lowest point since 2009.
- Netflix eyes its first major TV BAFTA
- Netflix received six nominations for BAFTA awards. Three are for The Crown and three are for Black Mirror. Netflix has not yet won a BAFTA for television in the non-craft categories though Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th won in 2016.
- Netflix Wants to Pay You Good Money to Binge Watch Netflix
- Netflix is hiring an editorial analyst of original content, whose responsibilities will include to "watch, research, rate, tag, annotate and write analysis for movie and TV content."
- Black Panther will be the first movie to screen in Saudi Arabia’s new public movie theaters
- On April 18th, Black Panther will become the first film shown in a public Saudi Arabian movie theater in 25 years. The government reversed the ban on public movie screenings in December. The Emoji Movie was shown in a state-run cultural center earlier this year. For some reason. AMC plans to open up to 100 theaters across 25 different cities in Saudi Arabia by 2030.
Dispatches from the Front
Hi Brian and Tom,
When you guys were talking about strategies for the BBC to use to combat the disruptors, you said something along the lines of: make sure you have all the rights to new stuff, and buy back the rights of old stuff as much as you can. You could have been talking to Disney about Marvel movies ten years ago. They took your advice and so far it has worked out well for them. (Having Kevin Feige helps, too.)
As I used to work at BBC Worldwide (the part of the BBC that sells stuff and runs BBC America), I thought I might add some information.
The BBC has over a million programmes in its archive but has two problems associated with selling or rebroadcasting them.
1) As you intimated in the episode, the BBC hasn't always worked out all the rights and licensing for its programmes to any advantage to itself. Many agreements, even for hit programmes, allowed for a broadcast and a single repeat before the programme was shelved and rights would need renegotiation. Renegotiating the licences and rights can cost a lot on money. When the BBC repeated its award-winning 70s series Elizabeth R in the 90s, it cost the same to redo the rights as it had to make the programme in the first place (in money but not real terms).
2) Because the BBC is supported by compulsory subscription, it looks bad if it makes too much money through commercial activity (the public have already paid once why should they pay again etc.). At the same time the commercial wing, BBC Worldwide, is expected to get good value when it sells things but they are not allowed to be aggressively commercial. One of the reasons for this is that with its fixed income (about 4 billion pounds a year) it can easily compete unfairly with other broadcasters if it went heavily commercial. Added to this there are other media groups (think Rupert Murdoch) and politicians who would love to see the Licence Fee abolished so that the BBC has to compete with that advantage.
As a result of wishing to keep the guaranteed Licence Fee income, the main part of the BBC (the non-commercial part) has, over many years, developed an aversion to anything that might make money and its instincts are sometimes very commercially inept
Hope you can make some sense of this
Not only is the BBC losing to Netflix and Amazon, they’re also losing live sports rights.
They lost the both the Summer and Winter Olympics to Euro Sports but BBC retains some Olympic coverage mainly because Euro Sports was getting negative feedback on taking away the Olympics from BBC. The BBC has been covering both Summer and Winter Olympics since 1960 (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/02/olympics-bbc-discovery-deal)
They also lost Formula 1 to Sky Sports/Channel 4 and British Open to Sky Sports.
But it’s not all bad; the BBC reclaims Cricket matches in 2017.
Hey Tom, Brian & Bryce,
Just wanted to weigh in with how much I'm enjoying the lengthy discussion segment at the start of each episode. So much so that I'm back pledging $1 USD an episode.
Anyway the main reason I wanted to contact you guys was that Tom mentioned Sidereel as a way of tracking TV that he forgot to mention Trakt (https://www.trakt.tv) which I consider the best way to track what TV show episodes you have watched and are up to. You can set it up with different media centre software to automatically scrobble what you've been watching or you can manually check in with the website for with many third party apps. I prefer the website myself. There is even a feature that will tell you on which streaming service you can watch a given piece of content. And if your friends join the social aspect of seeing what your friends have been watching is cool!
An amazing feature of Trakt VIP which is $30 USD a year is the Year in Review feature which brings up stats and more in a graphical way about your year in watching TV & movies. My best friend and I both use it and we have an IFTTT recipe send a message to our Telegram chat whenever we watch a TV show episode of movie (that is a VIP feature btw). It's even got Amazon Alexa skills with VIP.
Please find attached the free and VIP feature sets for Trakt as well as my personal 2017 Year in Review just to show you what it's like.
I wanted to address the streaming box email you answered in the last episode. It seems that most conversations you have about streaming boxes focus on either the UI or the app availability. I am a long time Roku user but have only recently added the current gen AppleTV to the mix. The biggest issue that I have encountered is the controller. The roku uses a classic D-Pad while the AppleTV uses a touchpad. While the touchpad is easy enough to get used to I think the touchpad is just one more barrier that could frustrate some users. The rest of my family has problems using the AppleTV controller because they aren’t used to using a touchpad on a regular basis. If I was looking to switch over someone who just wanted things to work right out of box without much learning curve I would go with Roku.