Twitter goes 24/7 video, DC might launch a streaming service with digital comics, and Nicole Lee shares her first two weeks as a cord-cutter. With special guest Nicole Lee.

CordKillers: Ep. 168 - King of the Hypocrites
Recorded: May 1 2017
Guest: Nicole Lee

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Twitter plans to broadcast live video 24 hours a day
    - Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto told BuzzFeed News that Twitter plans to stream video 24 hours a day 7 days a week covering news, sports and entertainment. Noto didn’t give a date saying it will take some time to ramp up the “many, many things.”
  • Twitter will stream 24-hour news from Bloomberg starting this fall
    - Twitter and Bloomberg will partner on the effort. Twitter will not just retransmit Bloomberg's existing live video stream but originate programs for Twitter and mix in live video from Twitter users. It would be broader in focus than Bloomberg's financial-oriented news
  • Twitter announces more live video feeds
    - Why Tom thinks this is significant: The Internet has had the promise to deliver infinite channels a la carte. The only reason it hasn't been able to compete with cable was the difficulty of competing with the budgets of top providers who kept content on cable. Netflix broke the model on original scripted programming providing an a la cart channel. Twitter is trying to do that with mainstream news/sports. This could force compeititors to consider going a la carte themselves.


How to Watch


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • Comcast Beats Q1 Earnings Expectations Helped By Strong Film Sales
    - Comcast announced its earnings and there are a few tidbits of interest to cord-cutters. NBCU’s cable networks raised revenue from increased license fees even as cable distribution fell. In other words fewer cable subscribers but more money per subscriber. Universal films raised revenue too on the strength of Fifty Shades Darker, Get Out, Split, and Sing. And even Comcast cable bucked the industry trend by adding 42,000 video subscribers.
  • ESPN Is Laying Off 100 On-Air Personalities and Staffers
    - Meanwhile ESPN continues to cut costs, announcing layoffs that the best guesses peg at around 100 staff. That includes on-air and online talent. ESPN cut 300 jobs in 2015. ESPN's subscriber totals have dipped by more than 10 million over the past few years.
  • Netflix has just found a backdoor into China
    - At the APOS industry conference in Bali, Netflix announced a content licensing agreement with iQiyi, a video service subsidiary of Chinese search company Baidu. The Hollywood Reporter says it will include day-and-date releases of Netflix originals, though no show titles were specified. Netflix said in a statement that “expectations of our deal are modest in scope.”
  • Hulu scores deal with NBCU for its live TV service, will now carry all four major broadcast networks
    - Hulu’s live TV service is expectedto launch this month and it just announced it has reached a deal with NBCUniversal NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN, Sprout and other channels to the service. Hulu previously announced deals with CBS, Fox and Disney-ABC. Hulu says it will have more than 50 channels available.
  • Sling tries to lure customers with an AirTV bundle
    - Sling is offering new subscribers a discount on its AirTV Player which combines the sling service with over the air channels along with other apps like Netflix. If you sign up for three months of $20 a month service you’ll get the box for $50. It retails for $130.
  • The YouTube Kids app is now available on even more screens!
    - YouTube announced its Kids app is now available on LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs in the 26 countries where the app is currently launched. This is in addition to versions available in the Google Play and Apple App stores.


Dispatches from the Front
Hi Brian,Bryce,Tom and Jackie if she's in the chat room.

I did catch this last Tuesday on episode 167 "The UnSub Purge" . You both kind of called my bluff to cancel cable by May 1st .I've been a 3rd time cable subscriber with Charter Spectrum since last October....I simply haven't found the time to watch anything on the Cable DVR. ... There will come a time where I will have to call it and just loose whatever there is on it when I finally cancel service. I'm holding myself accountable to June 1.

... for the last 3 weeks, I haven't even fired up the cable DVR to watch anything on it.....

- David

Patreon supporter since episode 1 in December 2013.

 

 

 

We are going to buy Starz to watch American Gods, any thing else we should make a point of seeing? Thanks and love the show.

- Pat

 

 

 

Hello Brian and Tom,

Last week Brian mentioned that he wanted to know if someone who hadn't read the comics version of Locke & Key would find the audio version as riveting as someone who read the comics first. Upon hearing this I checked my Audible library to find I had Locke & Key, apparently it was a free read a year and a half ago, so I gave it a listen and here is my spoiler free review:

I enjoyed the full cast audio play when there wasn't a lot of action going on. Once there was any action the director relied on sound effects or screaming/crying characters to tell the story and that was just confusing. Narration to tell that part of the story would have been a great help. I found the story interesting and compelling enough finish the 13+ hour book in three days. I felt scared and sad and frustrated along with the main characters but I was googling how to get the 6 books inexpensively after 4 hours because I felt I was missing something with just audio. I found some images from the comics online and that helped fill-in some visuals. I read some reviews, on Audible and Goodreads, which said to either read the comics first or use the audio version to read-along with the comics. I agree with those reviews. I'm going to go to the local comics shops this weekend to look for the books or comics, failing that I'll buy the set on ComiXology. I do think this story could make a great TV series if done by the right people with a big enough budget to give the story the treatment it needs.


Now to figure out if you can get Hulu originals in the UK.

Thanks,
- Jennifer

 

 

 

Ok Brian, you were right... This is Reuben in hot, no chilly, no hot Durham, NC. As you predicted from my last note touting the "workaround" I thought I had with Spectrum internet, I failed; mostly. I was not able to cancel the cable and phone and retain the internet only for 29.99/month as the salesperson said I would, however, after grumbling at the cancellations department for a few minutes, I was able to get a discount from the regular price of $69.99/mo for 100 Mbps to $54.99/mo which is a better dollar per Mb price than the $42/mo for 50Mbps service I had previously. So, lesson learned on the lying sales people, but I think I can be at least satisfied with the new deal. Thanks for the great show!

 

 

 

I have an urgent need to fill if I am going to accept the #UnsubPurge challenge. You have often commented that there is so much good stuff to watch these days, and I agree. What I need is a good place to go and see all the things that are available on any streaming service. I haven't made it a habit to follow many sources for such things, but if there is a single place I can go to look at what new or existing offerings are available, I'd be very happy to eliminate all bills and simply subscribe to the service(s) needed to watch what we are watching at any given moment.
Ideal requirements: covers the major services available through the Roku box, is up to date on what is available at any given moment, concentrates on series or full seasons, as we are generally interested in long-form story telling more than episodic stories, gives a brief description so I know what the series is about, and covers different age ranges, so that I can find good stuff for my kids as well.
Until we have the world where my tv, or some appliance knows what I want to watch, I am hoping for such a comprehensive information source. I could go look for this myself, but what's the point of being a boss if you can't delegate?
All kidding aside, I am a huge fan of both of you, as well as the variety of interesting guests you bring on. Your performance review will indicate this.

- Chris

 

 

The Writers Guild voted to authorize a strike if they can't come to terms by May 1st. (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-Writers-Guild-Strike/2017/04/24/id/786157/) Cord Cutters News wrote about his awhile back, saying that this will be a win for on demand streaming services because the cable and broadcast channels would be forced to play reruns once the current seasons wrap up, and Netflix and Amazon will very likely have better reruns. (http://cordcuttersnews.com/new-writers-strike-big-win-netflix-amazon-cord-cutting/) I could be wrong, but couldn't cable and broadcast shows just do literally totally unscripted reality shows while they're waiting for the Writers Guild to get their act together?

From,
- Amar

 

 

 

Hey guys,
I was wondering if either of you suffer from what I'd like to call Binge Amnesia. Let me explain.

As a cord cutter I tend to watch most of my shows when they become available on various streaming platforms, usually dropping an entire season at once. I will binge the season within a few weeks and then I'll have to wait almost an entire year for the next season to be released. By the time I watch the new season I have completely forgotten the details of the prior season.

Case in point, I had binged the prior seasons of The Leftovers last year. Last night I started watching the latest season and I felt lost for a while. Luckily I was able to pick up on the current story by the end of the episode. I still haven't watched season 2 of Man in the High Castle or Better Call Saul because I want to be able to enjoy them at their fullest but I don't have time to rewatch the prior seasons.

Always forgetful,
-Scott

 


Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

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

Intro Video


Primary Target


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


What We're Watching

Front Lines


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,
- Derrick

 

 

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?

- Chris

 

 

 

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.

- irobx

 

 

 

 

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.

From,
- Amar


Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

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.

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CordKillers: Ep. 166 - Fire is Hot!
Recorded: April 17 2017
Guest: C. Robert Cargill

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • 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


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • 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

- Tom

 

 

 

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?

- Tim


 

 

 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.

Thxs

- Mark

 

 

 

Hey Guys,

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!

Thanks,

- Reuben
 

 

 


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.

- Adam

 



Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt