Can Stephen King’s son save Hulu or will live TV do that? Plus, why you hate using your television to watch shows and spring cleaning for your TV subscriptions. Join the Unsub Purge!
CordKillers: Ep. 167 - The UnSub Purge
Recorded: April 24 2017
Guest: Richard Gunther
- Hulu Orders a Pilot for a Locke & Key Adaptation From the Director of Doctor Strange
- Hulu needs a hit. Is this it?
- Hulu ordered a pilot for Joe Hill’s Locke & Key.
- Scott Derrickson, director of Doctor Strange directing (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
- Derrickson would direct multiple episodes of series is picked up
- Carlton Cuse will be showrunner (Lost, Bates Motel, Colony, The Strain)
How to Watch
- Hulu’s live TV service to launch by mid-May, sources say
- Sources tell TechCrunch that Hulu is telling its staff to prepare for the launch of the Hulu live TV streaming service the first week of May, with consumer able to get it mid-May. The new service will launch with new overall design for Hulu.
- Fortune magazine profile on Hulu
- Users shouldn’t need to know networks
- Interface should make it easy to watch
- Notifications for live events
- Accenture: Preference for watching TV shows on televisions plummets from 52% to 23% as PCs take over
- According to Accenture’s 2017 Digital Consumer Survey, the percentage of people who say they prefer watching TV shows on an actual television fell 55% from 52 percent last year to 23 percent this year. Laptops and desktops (counted as one category are now the most popular stated preference at 42%. 13% prefer watching on a smartphone.
-India had a very sharp drop for television-preference from 47% to 10%
- US fell from 59% to 25%
- UK 56% to 25%
What to Watch
- Netflix memorializes 2005-era internet culture in Girlboss
- Girlboss premiered on Netflix April 21st. It’s a 13-episode series loosely based on Sophia Amoruso, the founder and former CEO of the women’s clothing retailer Nasty Gal set in 2005.
- HBO Is Making a Fahrenheit 451 Movie Starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon
- HBO is making a feature length movie adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 directed by Ramin Bahrani and co-starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther) and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel).
- Netflix finds 'Carmen Sandiego' for its latest reboot
- Netflix is planning to make 20 episodes of a Carmen Sandiego show with Gina Rodriguez, from Jane the Virgin.
What We're Watching
- Brian: Better call Saul 302, Justified 602, Leftovers 302, start of Fargo, The Expanse, MST3K 101-102, Voltron
- Tom: Better Call Saul 302, Justified 602, The Expanse 213, Fargo 301, Doctor Who, The Magicians, Leftovers 302, Silcon Valley 401, Beauty and the Beast
- Richard: Better Call Saul, Fargo, Justified, Doctor Who, Class, Agents of SHIELD, Oasis pilot (Amazon), Amazing Race
- On the Lookout: Bill Nye Saves the World
- Netflix wants to borrow another $1 billion to pay for original movies and TV shows
- Netflix announced it plans to raise 1 billion Euros in order to fund original content. The company indicated in its latest earnings call that it would use a debt offering to raise money for original content but had not stated the amount.
- HBO Go makes it easier to binge watch on your phone
- HBO Go apps for iOS and Android will start listing the next episode to watch and autoplaying the next episode in a series if you take no action. Something HBO Now has done for awhile.
- Netflix rival Iflix reveals its first original content series for emerging markets
- Malaysia’s IFlix is a $3 a month streaming service targeting emerging markets. It’s announced it’s first roster of original content. Magic Hour is an 8-part series based on the 2015 Indonesian hit film and with the same two lead actors. There’s also an 8-part unnamed comedy series with localized versions with separate hosts for Malaysia, the Phillipines and Indonesia.
- Sling TV’s cloud DVR now works on the Apple TV
- Sling TV’s cloud DVR is now accessible on its Apple TV app. The service is $5 a month. Subscribers get 50 hours of video storage for channels that allow it.
- Disney’s latest deal could make it easier to stream ABC shows
- Following a similar deal by NBC last week, Disney has reached a deal with its 160+ ABC affiliates to negotiate streaming deals on the local station’s behalf. This should make it easier for more local markets to be added to services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.
Dispatches from the Front
Hi Tom and Brian,
With your discussion on advertising last week, how could I not chime in? :) Some thoughts from the advertiser view:
One point was made about the inefficiency of ads on television. There is actually DR TV (direct response TV), but for both broadcast and cable, especially around primetime and tentpole events such as Super Bowl, advertisers aren't buying TV for pinpoint targeting. We're looking to mass reach! While digital advertising has caught up to TV, there's a reason why TV advertising really hasn't dropped off - it's still needed for that mass reach, awareness building first exposures. There's also brand alignment and positioning that keeps advertisers competing for big ticket shows, sports, and events. Digital media usually comes in to reach users later down the funnel for actual conversion, as audiences are then hypertargeted.
Last week's discussion also covered privacy fears from different forms of targeting. Sorry to burst the bubble, but it's already here, especially in digital. Media companies offer targeting based on internet activity (sites visited, content browsed, quizzes taken, etc.) as well as several collected data points including demographics (think of every time you filled out a form). Many companies offer behavioural targeting, which buckets users based on their online habits and activities. Even offline activity is used, as third party data is collected and sold as another layer of targeting. DIrecTV and AT&T teamed up to serve targeted ads for both TV and digital based on subscriber and household information. And aside from Netflix, most of these video companies (Google, Amazon, Hulu), are built on the advertising business. You might be able to buy and watch a show without ads, but it's still being used to help them put more (targeted) ads in front of you elsewhere.
The one huge challenge that faces advertisers comes to truly personalized creative around video. It already exists in display (banner) media, where everything from the copy, image, and colour of an ad may differ based on the user. Video ads, however, are much harder to pull off. They're expensive to film/produce, and much harder to execute in a way that would be unique to users while maintaining creative integrity. We'll probably see advances to make this more feasible in the future, but we're still a bit away from this.
Anyways, just wanted to throw in my two cents from the advertising end. It's not to say that we won't continue to see advertising and media change and evolve over time as consumer behaviours change, but I think these tech headlines and stories sometimes make the advertising situation sound much dire than it really is. In fact, eMarketer expects double digital annual growth for digital video advertising into 2020, with TV still growing as well, albeit at a much slower rate. For all of modern history, media (print, TV, web, etc.) has deeply tied to advertising (or advertiser support). As far as I can tell, despite a few stories here and there, there's no sign of that changing anytime soon.
All the best,
Spectrum recently took over from Time Warner where I live. I went to the local office and asked what they could do to lower my bill. The rep noodled around on his keyboard and ended up knocking about $40 a month off by, (get this) adding HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. How can this be? Now, Game of Thrones, Veep, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight,as well as Billions and Homeland are available without delving into the dark side of the streaming.
Speaking of the dark side of streaming, I haven't heard anything from you guys about the stink regarding pre loaded "Kodi" boxes in the UK and on Amazon. Any thoughts?
I heard you talking about day and date release of Netflix movies like the upcoming Bright and saying that it would be no problem for movie theater chains to agree to day and date deals instead of a window of exclusivity. This may be true if the movie is good, but if the movie bombs the theater chains will now be left out in the cold. Today, even if a movie bombs the exclusivity window ensures that a movie's advertising campaign will draw a crowd to the theaters. Without the exclusivity the risk from a movie bombing is now absorbed by the theater more directly. If movie theaters accept this deal and it sets a precedent, then moving forward they will have to risk absorbing these losses from movies that bomb, which can be significant. I don't see movie theater chains accepting that risk without getting something in return. What Netflix can offer them does not seem clear to me.
I personally listen to Cordkillers live sometimes on the Echo Dot via the DiamondClub FM #1 channel on TuneIn. It's also airs on Alpha Geek Radio Channel 3. The podcast also is on TuneIn, but doesn't update as quickly as the CordKillers RSS does. (Looks like it has the latest CordKillers sometimes on Tuesday and Spoilerin' Time the next day.)
After a bit of googling I found that Google Home doesn't support podcasts from TuneIn, and I couldn't find the CordKillers podcast on Google Play, which is Home's only supported podcasting platform.
Netflix misses targets for subscribers and kills it with Sandler fans. Roku TVs ask nicely to spy on you for your own good. With special guest C. Robert Cargill.
CordKillers: Ep. 166 - Fire is Hot!
Recorded: April 17 2017
Guest: C. Robert Cargill
- Roku TVs now know what you’re watching, will suggest related shows
- Roku rolled out updates to its Television software (May 2011 models and newer). Viewing suggestions calle d”more Ways to Watch” can pop up on the screen based on what you’re currently viewing. Handy if you want to start from the beginning of a show or find a version without commercials. It can also suggest related shows. If you opt-in to the service Roku uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to recognize what’s coming in over the air or from cable.
- Other updates
- Favorite list for over the air channels
- Thumbnail images for live TV ff and rewind
- Closed caption support on “replay” feature
- faster resume from standby
- Custom input names
- Both TV and Set-top box
- Expanded search to 300 streaming channels
How to Watch
- Netflix misses its growth targets but expects to hit 102M subscribers next quarter
- Netflix added 1.42 million domestic subscribers and 3.53 million international subscribers missing its own and Wall Street’s expectations of 1.5 million and 3.7 million. It beat expectations of 37 cents a share with 40 cents a share and met expectations of $2.64 billion in revenue. Netflix expects 600,000 domestic subscribers and 2.6 million international subscribers in the second quarter. In its letter to shareholders Netflix argues its members fund its films so they should be the first to see them but that its “open to supporting “ theater chains like AMC and Regal in showing Netflix films like Will Smith’s Bright. Also its members have cumulatively spent 500 million hours watching Adam Sandler movies.
- Netflix is willing to put its films in theaters — but not before online release
- Hulu’s Live TV service to cost $39.99 per month with ads, sources say
- Sources say Hulu’s streaming TV service will be $39.99 a month (CEO Mike Hopkins previously said it would be “under $40”)
- Would included live TV broadcasts, on demand library and Hulu library
- Supposedly Cloud DVR would not support fast forward.
- Premium tier might have DVR WITh fast forward and no limit on simultaneous streams for an extra $20 a month or less
- Presumably you could also pay extra to get Hulu library commercial-free
- Planned for a Spring launch
-Hulu on demand $8
- Hulu on demand commercial free $12
- Hulu Live and on demand $40
- Hulu live and on demand commerical free $44?
- Hulu live, on demand, unlimited DVR $60
- Hulu, live, on demand, unlimited DVR, commerical free $64?
What to Watch
- James Gunn will return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
- Did y'all happen to see that Star Wars Trailer?
- Look how note-exact it is with the last one!
- Star Wars Rebels Season 4 will be it's last
- Star Wars: Forces of Destiny 3-minute animated shorts to come to YouTube starting in July. Includes episodes with Rey, Sabine, Asoka and Leia
- Fargo returns to FX on Wednesday for Season 3
- Silicon Valley season 4 returns next Sunday
What We're Watching
- Brian: Better Call Saul, Always Sunny, Justified, The Expanse, bit of MST3K, and so, so much Redlettermedia, The Leftovers
- Tom: Better Call Saul (301), Doctor Who, Justified, The Expanse, The Magicians, The Leftovers (301), Bit of MST3K, The Americans
- C. Robert: MST3K, Dirk Gently
- On the Lookout: Silicon Cowboys, Halt and Catch File season 3 on Netflix
- NBC Reaches Deal With TV Affiliates for Opting in to Internet Video Distribution Agreements
- NBC announced an agreement with its affiliate station board that would allow affiliates who are not owned by NBC to opt-in to any Internet TV agreements that NBC negotiates on behalf of its owned and operated stations. This would make it easier for local stations to get on to Internet TV services like PS Vue and Sling without having to negotiate their own deals. NBC owns 11 stations and has more than 200 affiliates.
- Sling TV's $5 Cloud DVR arrives on Android and Roku
- Sling TV’s Cloud DVR feature is available for users on Android and Roku to buy for $5 a month. Subscribers get 50 hours of video storage for channels that allow it.
- CBS’s streaming service CBS All Access gains movies
- Cord Cutter News spotted that CBS had begun to add movies to the CBS All Access app. CBS says it has about 18 movies right now, including some of the original Star Trek films, Up in The Air, and Funny Face, all licensed from Paramount. CBS plans to keep adding movies to the service.
- Boomerang now offers unlimited classic cartoons for $5 a month
- Boomerang’s streaming service is now available for $5 a month offering more than 5,000 cartoons. The selection includes Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and more. You can pay for a year at a time at $40 which ends up being $3.33 a month. Boomerang is available to US customers on desktop, Android, and iOS — support for streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast are upcoming.
Dispatches from the Front
In episode 165 of spoiler time Brian had a hard time accepting that the OJ documentary should be considered a miniseries and not a movie. His defense was if it was a TV series it should be broken up into half hour or 1 hour shows. But then Brian turns around and fully accept that BBC's Sherlock is totally a TV show Even though they are long format. I don't understand this inconsistency. Awesome show I've listened to you guys ever since you guys were on twit keep up the awesome work I only listen to you guys and not twit anymore
Just finished listening to episode 165 where you were talking about the thumbs-up thumbs-down star rating system. I'm an Uber driver and every time I finish a ride Uber forces me to rate the customer. what do you think about a version similar to this for streaming services?
Is it possible to listen to either of your shows on either Google Home or Amazon Echo. If it is possible please tell me how. This is my main way of listening to podcasts now but the selection of podcasts on each service is very limited.
Reuben here from meteorologically schizophrenic North Carolina.
I have just had an interesting call with Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable. At the moment, I have 50Mbps internet from Earthlink, which is owned by Time Warner, now Spectrum. I was shopping at a a local mall and saw a booth advertising an offer for Spectrum 100Mbps internet for $44.95/month. I called to see if I could get the offer and was told that was a promotional price for new users and the regular rate was around $65/month (cue eye roll). As I was speaking to the sales rep, she was giving me the standard line about their triple play package which has 100Mbps internet, home phone, and cable TV for 29.99/mo each. When I told her I only wanted internet, she told me that within 30 days of signing up, I could call and "make changes" to the account if I wanted and the promotional rate would still apply! I asked if that really meant that I could call and cancel the cable tv and phone and keep the promotional rate of $29.99/mo for the 100Mbps internet for 12 months to which she replied, "Yes". Fingers crossed that they follow through as I will be cancelling ASAP after I pick up my self-install kit at the local Spectrum store.
I am positively gobsmacked. I hope this helps anyone out there who's looking for cheaper internet with Spectrum!
I recently purchased the new 2017 LG 55" C7 OLED via B&H Photo Video. So happy they honored the Pre Order price as I got it for $2500 instead of the $3500 it is currently going for. As to 4K content Im having to use Netflix on the TV vs my Apple TV. Hope Apple releases a 4K AppleTV soon.
Question: With the latest season of Better Call Saul out where can I get it in 4K? Netflix has old seasons. I'll pay, I bought the last two on ITunes. I cannot find 4K digital version. Amazon offers some 4K streaming, but BCS s3 only is in HD? AMC's site doesn't say if the stram is 4K.
Thanks for any response, and thanks Tom for answering my question on a past Sword & Laser podcast.