Cordkillers 167 - The UnSub Purge (w/ Richard Gunther)

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.

- Amar


2017 Summer Movie Draft

Tom Merritt1 Comment