Cordkillers 169 - The New Tribalism

Hulu’s live TV service brings competition, Amazon might make peace with Apple TV, and Facebook wants to do high quality original TV.

CordKillers: Ep. 169 - The New Tribalism
Recorded: May 9 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Hulu officially launches its live TV service at $39.99 per month
    - Hulu launched its live TV service Wednesday offering more than 50 channels for $40 a month or $44 a month for commercial-free library access. Channels like HGTV, Travel and Food joined from the Scripps Network to add to channels from ABCDisney, CBS, Fox and NBC. A DVR can hold up to 50 hours of programming or you can pay $15 a month for 200 hours. Each account gets two simultaneous streams though $15 can make that unlimited. $20 a month gets you 200 hours and unlimited streams. A redesigned app comes along with the new service for Xbox One, Apple TV, Android and Chromecast. iOS users need to download a new Hulu with Live TV app. Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Samsung Smart TVs coming soon but no word on Web access. Hulu also announced a season 2 for The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • The First Look at Hulu's Runaways Is Full of Angsty Teens With Terrible Parents
    - Hulu has made series orders for The First (a show about the colonization of Mars from Beau Willimon, creator of House of Cards) and Marvel’s Runaways. Other upcoming shows highlighted during the event include I Love You, America (a weekly political show from comedian Sarah Silverman), The Looming Tower (a Jeff Daniels-starring adaption of Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history of Al Qaeda), and Castle Rock (another Stephen King adaption from producer J.J. Abrams).

How to Watch

  • It looks like Amazon’s Video app is finally coming to Apple TV this summer
    - Recode reports sources say Amazon is close to an agreement with Apple to bring the Amazon video app to the Apple TV. Amazon employees supposedly expect the app to show up in Q3. Amazon has a video app for iOS but not tvOS.
  • Facebook wants to unveil its big attack on TV next month — here's what we know
    - Sources tell Business Insider Facebook is planning to premiere a slate of about two dozen commissioned shows in mid-June. Some will be longer big budget shows and others mid-range 5-10 minute episodes refreshed every day. Former CollegeHumor cofounder Ricky Van Veen is leading the effort for Facebook. One show is apparently from Conde Nast Entertainment in which people go on first dates in VR before they meet in real life.

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • Snapchat lines up media companies to produce original shows for Snap TV
    - The Wall Street Journal reports Snap Inc. has signed deals with NBC Universal, Turner, Discovery, ESPN, Vice Media, Scripps Networks and the NFL to produce original video shows for Snap TV. Snap wants true original scripted dramas, news, animation and more. NBC’s The Voice recently ran a version of its competition on Snapchat, separate from the TV show’s competition. Snapchat will give content providers 70% of revenue if the partner sells the ads, or 50% if Snap does the selling.
  • HBO taps four writers to develop and pitch Game of Thrones spinoffs
    - HBO has signed on four writers to begin development of four different Game of Thrones spinoffs. Max Borenstein who did Kong: Skull Island and Brian Helgeland who did 42 and Legend are two of the writers. Carly Wray of Mad Men and The Leftovers and Jane Goldman of Miss Peregrine and Kingsman: The Golden Circle are the other two and they will work with George R. R. Martin on their projects. HBO told Variety there is no timeline. They’ll take as much time as the writers need with development.
  • HBO will pull its shows from Amazon Prime in 2018
    - HBO’s agreement to make older shows available on Amazon Prime expires in mid-2018 and HBO head Richard Plepler says the company expects they will not renew. That means after mid-2018 Amazon users will have to add HBO as an Amazon Channel add-on, which users can do now already, or sign up for HBO Now separately.
  • Twitter’s Roku channel launched Thursday. Similar to the Apple TV version of the app, you can see live video without needing to log in.
  • Amazon Fire TV code hints at plans for single sign-on support
    - AFTVNews found some code in the Fire TV software update referring to OTTSSO which is usully an acronym for over the top single sign on. Single sign on lets users sign in once on a device and automatically get logged in to all apps that use that log in. Handy for people using their TV service login to sign in to network apps.
  • Epix's mobile app casts to smart TVs without a set-top box
    - Epix has added support for Vizbee to it mobile app which allows streaming of content to Vizbee compatible devices. That includes LG, Sony, Vizio , some Sony Blu-Ray players and soon TiVo and Xbox. The new feature comes a month after MGM bought out its partners to take full control of Epix.

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom and Brian,

I've been living a Cord Cutter's lifestyle for 2 years now, getting most of my content from Netflix, Hulu, and buying shows outside of those services as needed. Recently I got pulled into "Life in Pieces" as Season 1 was on Netflix. After flying thru that I looked to find Season 2- and decided to give CBS All Access a try- with a $9.99 commercial-free tier.

They succeeded in converting me to a customer in order to access the content I sampled on Netflix. Their Strategy worked!

They then failed to provide a quality experience- by inserting CBS 'House' Ads between segments of the show- and leaving in the teasers from the commercial broadcast - which gives away the punchline of the upcoming scene- and ruins their own show.

This does such a disservice to their own content!

What will it take for TV Execs to realize I'll pay a premium- just let me watch your content in its best form?

They Just don't get it! Sorry for the rant but I had to share in hopes someone at CBS might hear this and fix their user experience.

Your new Boss.
- Jon from Cream Ridge New Jersey.




First up, love your shows. Just wanted to pass on something for you to consider--mostly for Cordkillers, but it sort of spills over into DTNS sometimes as well. You guys spend an incredible amount of time discussing Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon programming. Almost every cordcutter is 100% aware of them and what they offer. I guess what pushed me over the edge to write this is that I've heard Tom mention Twitter as a content provider (blech) a few times recently, and that kind of pushed me over the edge because....

What I rarely hear you discuss (but think it deserves much more attention) are other alternative content providers that are attempting to deliver (or already are) copious original/exclusive content tantamount to full-fledged networks.

I'll give two examples. First is Adult Swim. Not only do they 24/7 stream marathons of shows they run on their linear station (e.g. Tim & Eric, Venture Bros, etc.) but they also produce a daily roster of professionally produced live streams hosted by Adult Swim staff. It is interesting to note that some of these shows have been very successful (e.g. Fishcenter, SMB) and are also carried on their linear schedule. What they're doing might be somewhat low-fi, but fascinating because they're building a virtual parallel network that has less to do with promoting the linear offerings as it does with creating daily live entertainment.In all seriousness, you might consider asking Matt Harrigan (from AS) to guest on Cordkillers to discuss what they're doing with their live streams and why.

Another example would be Seeso, the NBC owned comedy channel I've heard you discuss before (but very cursory). Besides carrying the NBC late-night programming (Tonight Show, Seth Meyers, and the SNL archives going back 40+ years) they also have quite a lot of original shows and comedy specials--much of it very compelling.

I'm offering this feedback not as a complaint, but because I think you're focusing nearly exclusively on now established content providers to the near exclusion of discussion on a myriad number of content creators that not only are doing exciting things, but that are building full-fledged network alternatives. There's a lot of exciting stuff going on out there, and not all of it is Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu (and certainly not Twitter).

Sorry for the long email. Love the Cordcutters and all the rest!
- Spy Smasher



Fellow Revolutionaries,

Since realizing I didn't have the time to watch enough television to justify my bill and cutting the cord nearly two years ago, I've missed out on a lot of great television. Now I'm faced with 3-6 weeks at home as I recover from a surgery.

It's time to play catch up!

What is at the top of your must-watch lists from the last two years? I'm looking for shows in their 1st to 3rd season, especially if I can watch them on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or YouTube.

By the way, I discussed the UnSub Purge with my wife, but it wasn't 3 minutes into the conversation before my daughter wanted to watch Amazon Prime on her iPad and my son asked to watch Netflix on the 'big TV'. Well, at least I tried.

- ethancaine




Hi Tom and Brian,

Not to beat a dead horse – I know I’ve said this before – but it struck me as a funny coincidence that you mentioned how you lose some of your bosses every month when their credit cards expire. It’s funny to me because recently, my wonderful regional bank was gobbled up by a large national bank, and I was issued a new card with an entirely new number, so not only did the expiration date and the 3 digits on the back of the card change, but I have an entirely new number, and the old card ceased to work immediately when I activated the new one, even though the expiration date of the old card was months away.

I had several recurring payments I had to hurry up and fix, but my Patreon wasn’t one of them because I used PayPal for that. I added the new card to PayPal, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t because my PayPal has my bank account information so the transaction would have gone through even without the card.

I’m glad to be able to support you guys. Your show is one of the highlights of my week.


- ԐθЗ Beelissa



You sounded skeptical of Bloomberg News, saying "if it's good enough".

I listen to 2 Bloomberg podcasts everyday, The Best of Bloomberg and the P&L podcast, and Bloomberg is of higher quality and has better content than anything I see any place else.

Bloomberg say they have 1200 journalists and analysis in 120 countries, and they get some great interviews. Bloomberg is an upgrade, not a downgrade, for anyone into news.

This move could boost Bloomberg as well as Twitter, because it will give their content a broader audience.

Best regards,
- Natron




Hi Tom and Brian.

So after hearing a couple of weeks ago Brian’s “unsubbing from everything I’m not watching” idea I decided to double down and watch the final 5 episodes of Top Ge....errr The Grand Tour I hadn’t watched and then cancel amazon Prime Video. Here in Australia Amazon Prime is still just a video service, no free shipping or any of the other cool things because Amazon is in preparing to launch full operations here and hasn’t gotten that far yet. So it was painless to just finish watching The Grand Tour and stop paining about $6 a month until the proper Amazon Prime launches and I will only pay for Prime at the same time I make my first purchase from, no sense in paying before I need it.

PS: As someone that would prefer to live in the Amazon ecosystem rather than Apple’s as I feel Apple’s is in decline I’m wondering if free digital copies of movies that are included with Blu-ray copies allow you guys in America to select from Amazon as a provider rather than just Apple, Google and sometimes Ultra Violet which are our only options currently?

- Nik




Dear Brian and Tom,

Strange doings here in the Comcast heartland. Two months ago, FiOS tells me they're offering 750mbps service for an extra $150 a month -- which, being a photographer, I bit on quicker than bass on a crankbait. Now they tell me they're upping my speed to a full Gigabit (940mbps) AND cutting my price by $60 a month! Well, I figure I fell for the sucker's part of an offer test, and I'm just happy the better offer won. My question is, WHY so generous? Is Verizon trying to curry favor in advance of Ajit Pai's final decision on NeT Neutrality? Are they locked in a local battle with Comcast? Or are they simply awash in bandwidth and finally giving ud what we want? Your loyal Patreon,

- Arthur



2017 Summer Movie Draft