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The business of Streaming


TKthunder2
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I know we have some thread in the Movies/TV forum and the Cord Cutter thread in Can you Help me with this but I didn’t feel that this topic fit in either.

Obviously the TV and movie industry has been flipped on its head in the last few years with everyone and their cousin starting up a streaming service, and while there are a ton of them out there, there is also a lot of opportunity for consolidation as we just saw with the Disney/Fox acquisition, Warner Media (formerly of AT&T) Discovery merger, plus the rumored Amazon acquisition of MGM and Sony licensing out its stuff to Netflix plus the impending breakup of the Hulu cabal as NBC is moving its content to Peacock.   It’s an interesting time to follow what is happening in these boardrooms and how many people decide which services will survive which could ultimately lead to studio collapse.

Here is a list of major studios in the US and their streaming service.  Obviously not all rights and properties correspond directly but it’s a good barometer in my opinion.  (Spoilered to avoid long cat)

Spoiler

Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu: Disney which includes 20th Century (formerly Fox) Studios, (Fox) Searchlight Pictures, Disney Nature, Marvel Studios, Lucas Films, 20th Century Animation, Pixar, Disney Animation, Bluesky Animation, plus majority ownership of NatGeo films, ESPN films, Hulu films, 50% of A&E films, in addition to many other smaller divisions that make up over 30% of the US film market. Walt Disney Television which is the parent of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment which includes ABC Studios, ABC Family, Freeform, 20th Century Fox Television and Animation, Hulu Scripted Originals; FX Networks/Productions (FX, FXX, FX Movies); Disney Networks (the Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Disney Now, Disney TC animation), 81% ownership of ESPN Inc., 73% of National Geographic Networks (NatGeo/NatGeo Wild) and 50% of A&E Networks (A&E, Crime & Investigation, FYI, Lifetime, LMN, Lifetime Real Women, the History Channel, H2, Military) and 67% of Hulu which also has live TV streaming. (Note: Hearst Communications owns the other stake in A&E/ESPN).  Reportedly Disney+ will take over the Hulu content once their contractual agreements clear up.  Early screening option for Mulan, and others which may be an option for future releases.  Made a 2nd tier deal with Sony which will allow them to stream their movie after the theatrical and Netflix’s first tier streaming windows pass (so they’ll be able to stream all the Spider-Man movies after they’ve been out for 2 years).

 

HBO Max: Warner Media which includes Warner Brothers, New Line Cinema, CNN Films, HBO films, DC Films, Warner Animation, Castle Rock Films, Cinemax Films, Spyglass, Turner Entertainment, and also own the rights to the library of all MGM/United Artist films prior to May 1986, in addition to many other smaller divisions that make up nearly 14% of the US film market. Warner Media Entertainment which includes Turner Entertainment (CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, Tru, TMC, Cartoon Network, and others), HBO/Cinemax, Otter Media and 50% of the CW and 30% of Fandango/Vudu. Just merged with Discovery so now has Discovery+: Discovery Networks (Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Travel Channel and others including BBC’s Natural History content.

 

Peacock: NBC/Universal (Comcast) which includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Focus World, Gramercy Pictures, Working Title Films, Big Idea Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, Universal Animation Studios, Carnival Films, and minority stakes in some other prominent studios, in addition to many other smaller divisions that make up nearly 12% of the US film market.  NBC/Universal Television includes NBC, NBC Sports, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network, SyFy, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Golf Channel, Sprout, TVone, plus Telemundo. Universo, Sky TV networks and others, plus 33% of Hulu, and 70% of Fandango/Vudu.  Comcast also has its own live TV streaming app called Flex.

 

Paramount+(Formerly known as CBS All Access): Viacom/CBS which includes Paramount Pictures, Awesomeness Films, Melange Pictures, Miramax (49% ownership), BET, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1 films in addition to many other smaller divisions that make up 5% of the US film market. Viacom/CBS TV includes CBS, CBS News, CBS Sports, BET Networks, Nickelodeon Networks, MTV Networks, Showtime Networks, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Logo, TV Land, Flix, The Movie Channel, and others plus 50% of the CW.  A limited library of MGM and Samuel Goldwyn Company films are also available on the app. Viacom also has its own live TV streaming app called Pluto TV.

 

Netflix: Netflix Studios and Animation, plus they are constantly acquiring new content from smaller studios and licensing new/older content from multiple partners; notably just sealed a deal to streaming Seinfeld a 5 year deal to be the exclusive first run streaming partner for Sony Pictures.  No live TV or purchase/rental options.

 

Amazon Prime Video: similar to Netflix they are making and acquiring new original programming and licensing but not acquiring older content at the same level.  Purchase options via Amazon Prime.  Considering adding live TV streaming from 6/2020 report.  Trying to buy MGM per 5/21 report.

 

AppleTV+: making and acquiring new original programming but has not ruled out older content and has acquired rights to Fraggle Rock.  Purchase options via iTunes Store.

 

YouTubeTV/GoogleTV: Google/Alphabet Live TV, access to YouTubes library and limit number of original programming, purchase options via Google Play Store.

 

Starz: Lionsgate Motion Picture Group which primarily includes Lionsgate Films and a few other smaller divisions that make up 7% of the US film market.  Lionsgate Television, Starz, Summit Entertainment and Debmar-Mercury.  Has 2nd tier streaming deal with Disney and Sony.

 

Facebook Watch: Facebook Inc. not a ton in the market but has some original programming and licensed content and multiple distribution options that could spin up quickly (Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Portal)

 

Crunchy Roll (anime) and formerly Vue (no longer operating): Sony Pictures which includes Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Sony Classics, Affirm Films, Ghost Corp, PlayStation Productions, Screen Gems, Stage 6 Films, Funimation, Manga Entertainment, Madman Studio, Sony Animation, and Sony Imagework, in addition to many other smaller divisions that make up 12% of the US film market.  Sony Pictures Television also produces content for multiple networks but also owns the Sony Channel, Game Show Network, AXN, and others.  Now outside of anime it’s basically just in the licensing game.

 

n/a: Fox Entertainment - Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Networks, Fox Sports Networks.  Disney acquired most legacy Fox content when it purchased 20th Century FOX.

 

n/a: STX Entertainment - 2% of the US film market.

 

n/a: MGM  - MGM, United Artist, Orion, Epix, 2% of the US film market.  Warner acquired all MGM/United Artist films prior to May 1986.

 

Sling (Dish Network) Live TV

 

TVision (T-Mobile/Sprint) Live TV

 

SpectrumTV (Charter) Live TV some original programming.

 

Microsoft/Xbox (has a store for purchasing/renting movies)

 

Sidelines (not much traditional TV/movie content, mostly distribution or tech):

 

Cox (part of Apollo which owns Rack Space, Red Box, Shutterfly, and others)

 

Verizon (had Yahoo! Video/Screen/View but no longer operating as of 2019), trying to sell Yahoo Media.

 

Nintendo (games store only, videos via YouTube)

 

Walmart (sold Vudu to Fandango)

The winning formula many are moving towards in on demand streaming with a large on demand library of TV/Movies, optional Live TV and purchase options for non licensed content/rentals.  No single option has perfected this model yet but many are getting close.

So quick analysis:

Netflix - lots of content creation but losing most of its older stuff day by day. Competition is catching up.  Diving into restrictions on shared passwords to boost revenue is the canary in the coal mine in my opinion.  It’s the OG, but I’m not buying any more shares, not ready to sell just yet but getting close.

Prime Video - some original stuff but not as much as Netflix but trying to acquire MGM to boost its library, and has a huge built in advantage bundling it with Prime.  Doesn’t need to win, won’t go away.

Disney+ - probably the strongest position once they catch up to Netflix’s subscriber numbers and if they merge Hulu into their app as is rumored after NBC’s exit is complete.

HBOmax - not far behind Disney especially with the Discovery merger.  AT&T’s management has been a bit of a mess (not even including its the DirectTV offload) but the new Warner/Discovery is set up really well here for future growth.  With this much content and growth you could see them looking at acquiring a major broadcast network (like FOX) at some point in the future.

Peacock and Paramount+: Still too new to tell, lower subscriber numbers and weak UI/tech but room to grow.  They have content but it’s not as easily identified as Disney so it’s a harder sell to the average until you start listing out each individual properties.  That means slower growth and lower profits.

AppleTV+ - seems odd that Apple would purchase a company like Beats (when it already made headphones) then try to home grow a streaming platform from scratch.  Might see some acquisitions here.  Like Amazon, this isn’t a company priority but if Apple is going to stay in this line of business they’ll need more than a few good shows to keep people shelling out monthly subscriptions (even if Ted Lasso was amazing) though their recent subscription bundles with Music/Arcade/etc might be more sticky than I’m giving them credit for.

Starz/Lionsgate, MGM, STX, Fox leftovers, prime candidates to be acquired.

Edited by TKthunder2
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I need to look for a dip and buy some Netflix. I think that they are the smartest company in this business and will continue to succeed for that reason.

I own a lot of Apple and a bit of Amazon, but I own neither for their streaming platform. I feel like the trajectory of Apple TV is the trajectory of Apple TV+. HBO Max is cool but I was already an HBO subscriber. That’s a clean swap for me - just more content and I click a different series of buttons to get to HBO.

 Every network is trying to put together their… LHN app or SEC Network app or whatever analog - Disney is the one that immediately when I had it I thought “this is awesome”, and it is the one that I will pay for without interruption for at least the next decade.

Hulu’s app is such dogshit it makes me hate them.

I really don’t want to buy subscriptions for all the networks. Peacock is maybe the most tempting but I’m not doing it.

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2 hours ago, billfromlaketravis said:

What NBC shows are leaving Hulu? 

Eventually all of them (or at least all of them that are owned by NBC Universal) will move to Peacock but I haven't heard a clear timeline for that. Just whenever Hulu's rights expire.

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2 hours ago, billfromlaketravis said:

What NBC shows are leaving Hulu? 

Like it’s already been posted, no official timeline.  After Disney acquired 20th century Fox Warner and NBC sold their stakes and now they’ll be keep their shows for their own apps when those licenses expire.

Here a short article explaining some of it.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/18/20870783/nbcuniversal-peacock-streaming-wars-hulu-netflix-office-parks-and-recreation-snl-exlcusives

Rumor is that when those NBC/Warner rights expire Disney will simply roll its Hulu content into Disney+.  They’ve already done this in some international markets for MA/R rated content.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_(Disney%2B)

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Wait until the next round of college football TV deals and conference realignment.  Disney will put the Tier 1 and 2 games on ABC or ESPN and the Tier 2 and 3 games on ESPN+.  The bundle sales are the long game.

Look what they’re doing with the SEC.  They overpaid for the CBS game so they could own it all.  Bama/LSU gets the prime slot.  Vandy/Miss State gets ESPN+.  Add in all of the basketball and baseball, too.

As far as streaming in general, Netflix is in the worst position but they have the smartest people so there’s that.

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Article about what CBS and NBC need to do to compete in the wake of the Warner/Discovery merger.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/17/warnermedia-discovery-deal-pressures-viacomcbs-and-nbcuniversal.html

tldr a full merger with two major broadcast networks will never be allowed by the FCC (as we just saw with ABC/FOX dilemma where they had to spin off FOX, FoxNew, FS1, and regional sport networks) so they only have a few options.

Acquire more properties: Starz, AMC, MGM, etc

Sell to more established tech players: Amazon, Netflix or Apple who have tons of capital and need content to complete with Disney+/HBOmax.

Give up on steaming: and follow Sony’s licensing play.

Partner with each other (or other players): make a new Hulu type arrangement with a single app.

Fail by doing nothing.

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/viacom-cbs-streaming-head-says-company-extremely-well-positioned-amid-warner-media-discovery-merger-110043098.html
 

Quote

Bank of America (BAC) gave ViacomCBS's stock a double upgrade on Thursday, citing "further media consolidation," adding that "press reports suggest ViacomCBS as a potential target."  

 

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I got rid of cable a while back...it was right before YouTubeTV was going to raise their price for the first time but existing subs were going to get grandfathered in.  We already had Prime but we have that just for the shipping advantage so I never really considered that a streaming spend per se.  So just going from a cable bundle to cable internet + YouTubeTV we saved like $90 a month.  Insanity, like why didn't I do this earlier?  The only thing I lost out on was LHN and I watched that like 5 times a year so whatever.

Fast forward a few years later...YouTubeTV price has doubled and there's really nothing to show for it except for more channels no one cares about.  Ironically its closer and closer to the cable bundle we canceled.  I briefly ditched it after one of their many price increases and went to PS Vue when that was still around...got LHN back but overall the product was objectively shittier in every other way.  Went back to YouTubeTV when Vue was canceled.  Every time YouTubeTV hikes the price I check out alternatives but have not found one that is as good and cheaper.

I used to torrent anything Netflix vs paying for it.  After a while I realized that $20/month was a better deal overall than paying for a VPN and having to torrent.  That said, Netflix is definitely getting worse.  It's way too much foreign shit now and their new productions suck more often than they don't.  The UI and the quality of the steam is top notch though and I don't see myself ever canceling.

We have HBO Max as part of an ATT wireless promotion.  Paid for it before that, when HBO was an add on option via Prime or YouTubeTV.  HBO content is easily worth the price especially now that they have so many first run movies releasing on it.  That said, the UI sucks and is laggy as shit and the streaming quality is 3rd world.  Every single stream starts at like 240P or whatever the lowest is and then slowly improves from there.  The Samsung HBO Max app streams inexplicably had a white line on the right side of the screen for months and HDR still does not work over it.

Prime is next best for me.  They have some good original content and older movies.  A little annoying how often they are trying to sell you stuff but its not nearly as bad as Apple TV.  UI is pretty good and snappy and the quality of the stream checks in around Netflix level.

Apple TV we have because of an iPhone promotion.  This service is by far the most expendable.  I don't think I'd pay for it even though its less than the others.  Ted Lasso was great, The Servant S1 was intriguing but ultimately disappointing to the point where we have not watched S2.  That's really the only two series we've watched on it.  Tried a few Mythic Quests and they just miss the mark for us despite having some funny moments.  It's like a much shittier version of Silcon Valley.  This service seems like it primarily exists to try and get you to rent/buy movies.

At some point we will probably pick up the Disney+ bundle.  Our grandson is over here a lot and my wife has been bugging me about it for a while now.  For me personally there is nothing I care to see on it.  Tried the Boba Fett show and it was ok but I am not a Star Wars die hard so I could take it or leave and the wife had zero interest.

No interest at this time in any of the other options.

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4 hours ago, Hozz said:

Prime is next best for me.  They have some good original content and older movies.  A little annoying how often they are trying to sell you stuff but its not nearly as bad as Apple TV.  UI is pretty good and snappy and the quality of the stream checks in around Netflix level.

Holy shit, this annoys me to no end. Every episode has an ad at the front for one of their original shows. I'm already paying for the service, leave me the fuck alone! I'll watch  your show if I feel like it. 

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10 hours ago, Hozz said:

HBO content is easily worth the price especially now that they have so many first run movies releasing on it.  That said, the UI sucks and is laggy as shit and the streaming quality is 3rd world.  Every single stream starts at like 240P or whatever the lowest is and then slowly improves from there.

The UI and the lag is fucking awful.  Really hoping that the new company post Discovery/Warner Media merger makes that a priority.  It shouldn’t take literally 60 seconds to load a movie and then have it be blurry as shit.  I’ve also had issues with it randomly turning on SAP but to be fair that could be an Apple TV issue (though it only happens on HBOmax).

Still, we cut our cable or cable like service after college football is over.  I don’t see us ever cutting Disney or HBOmax and before this last year I would have put Netflix in that category but now I’m not so sure (note we’ll never cut Prime either but that because we do it for shipping not the video though it is a nice add-on).

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4 minutes ago, TKthunder2 said:

The UI and the lag is fucking awful.  Really hoping that the new company post Discovery/Warner Media merger makes that a priority.  It shouldn’t take literally 60 seconds to load a movie and then have it be blurry as shit.  I’ve also had issues with it randomly turning on SAP but to be fair that could be an Apple TV issue (though it only happens on HBOmax).

Still, we cut our cable or cable like service after college football is over.  I don’t see us ever cutting Disney or HBOmax and before this last year I would have put Netflix in that category but now I’m not so sure (note we’ll never cut Prime either but that because we do it for shipping not the video though it is a nice add-on).

The various HBO apps (and associated Cinemax apps) have always sucked donkey balls.

I gotta say that I have had fewer problems with the actual stream on HBO Max (android/browser) than in the past, but the interface, episode handling, and caption controls still suck

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I think I only pay like 110 or 150 or something like that for direct tv with every channel known to man- including all the premiums and movie channels. That doesn’t seem like a lot. I’ve never understood the cable is so expensive theme. I mean- YouTube and HBO together is a much shittier version of what I have and that’s $80 a month or something like that. 

Do you people also know how much a gallon of

milk or loaf of bread costs? 

I want to be able to watch every sport known to man. Cable/Sat is the only real convenient way to make that happen and it’s so much easier. 

if we invented streaming first and then satellite came along nobody would not have satellite. It’s so superior as a delivery system and costs only a little bit more. 

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For me 

1. Netflix - still most used. They have the most original content. 
2. Prime - even though I hate the user platform with the fire of a thousand Suns. Content is still decent 

3. Disney - Marvel and Star Wars shows. 

4. YouTubeTV - sports and wife shows 
4. Hulu -  decent. 
5. Apple - I have no idea why we paid for this. Ted Lasso is good.

HBOMax - never had. Cancelled HBO after GOT and cut cord. I don’t really miss it. 

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https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/24/john-malone-comcast-ceo-brian-roberts-wanted-to-acquire-warnermedia.html

NBC wanted to buy WarnerMedia from AT&T but AT&T didn’t think they’d give up their controlling shares which is what allowed the Discovery merge to happen.

Doesn't rule out partnering the new Discovery/Warner company with NBC/Universal in the future (as has been pointed out, Warner owns many valuable shows that aired on and that people still associate with NBC).

Apple also tied to get in on Time Warner prior to AT&T’s acquisition. States that they’ll need to buy up some properties to complete in this streaming consolidation.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/25/apple-2015-time-warner-bundling-negotiations-almost-led-to-acquisition.html

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https://deadline.com/2021/05/lionsgate-takeover-target-media-ma-ceo-jon-feltheimer-amazon-mgm-warnermedia-discovery-1234765650/

Quote

Gould called Lionsgate so attractive to potential buyers because it’s a “free radical” and a digestible size. He estimates it would be worth at least $8 billion, or $31 a share. It has a 17,000-title library, Starz, and is a leading independent producer.

In a note earlier this week, he valued Starz at $5.9 billion and the legacy film and TV businesses at $5.1 billion (the $8 billion comes after subtracting overhead and debt).

Nor is Lionsgate is burdened with basic cable networks, which some see as a liability for another free radical, AMC Networks.

Going bigger, Loop puts an enterprise value on ViacomCBS of $42 billion, making it harder to swallow. It could be a buyer or merge with another like NBCUniversal. Wall Streeters have noted considerable antitrust issues in that case that would have to be resolved since the combined entity would own two broadcast networks.

What are the relatively few companies in the mix saying?

Sony Corp. has been pressured on and off over the years to sell its studio. CEO Yoshida Kenichrio told the Financial Times this week that it will not.

Comcast chief financial officer Mike Cavanaugh told investors at a virtual media conference Wednesday, as Amazon-MGM was going down, that “It’s our job to consider anything that could be possible to be smart and add value [but] we like the assets we have.”

“Obviously people talk about scale in the media business these days … but I think what’s underestimated is execution,” he said, “and we feel very good about that.”

Disney CEO Bob Chapek and ViacomCBS CFO Naveen Chopra told the same conference (an event put on by J.P. Morgan) on Monday that they are focused on growing their respective businesses, happy with their competitive positions and don’t need deals.

Disney smartly bulked up already with Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel and topped that off by buying the entertainment assets of Fox. Disney+ is also way ahead among the new crop of streamers.

Begley of Moody’s noted that deals with ViacomCBS, Comcast and AMC Networks would all have to be “friendly” because they’re controlled companies (by, respectively, Redstones, Roberts and Dolans).

Lionsgate does not have a controlling shareholder. Nor will the new combined WarnerMedia-Discovery when that is set to close mid-next year.

TLDR

Lionsgate/Starz a top target, as is AMC.

CBS and NBC are too big to be acquired but might be merge candidates.

Sony not interested in unloading its studios/media.

Disney not interested in acquiring anything right now.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/25/2021 at 1:09 PM, Neonmoon said:

For me 

1. Netflix - still most used. They have the most original content. 
2. Prime - even though I hate the user platform with the fire of a thousand Suns. Content is still decent 

3. Disney - Marvel and Star Wars shows. 

4. YouTubeTV - sports and wife shows 
4. Hulu -  decent. 
5. Apple - I have no idea why we paid for this. Ted Lasso is good.

HBOMax - never had. Cancelled HBO after GOT and cut cord. I don’t really miss it. 

This is somewhat where I'm at

  1. Netflix has a large enough library, and especially has a ton of kids content (that keeps growing), that we are keeping it around.
  2. Disney+ Will probably be paying for this for the next 10 or 15 years, thanks to kids stuff, Marvel and Star Wars. 
  3. Prime - honestly, if it wasn't including in the Prime shipping stuff, we wouldn't subscribe most of the time, but they are dropping $500 million on a Lord of the Rings series, and hundreds of millions more on a Wheel of Time series, and both are very long-term shows (WoT sounds like they are planning to run it for 10+ seasons to hit all of the books).  I would subscribe for just those two series.
  4. Hulu - worth the $2 a month we pay for it.  Not the best, the app sucks ass, but there's stuff on there I like.
  5. HBOMax - this is one we'd subscribe to for about 4-6 months out of the year to catch up on (or finish) TV shows and their movies.  Curious to see how Discovery merger plays out.  I think they did the right thing putting out a $10 a month tier.  Love their classic catalogue of Warner Brothers animation/Hanna-Barbera stuff.
  6. AppleTV - have it for free for now.  Not bad, but not worth paying for most of the time.  I am intrigued by their take Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, and like their alt-history Apollo series, and MythicQuest, but that's it.
  7. Paramount+ - they have a decent kid's library thanks to Nickelodeon, and Star Trek, but that's about it.  Worth the $3 or $4 a month I suppose.

If Netflix keeps up their strong kids programming, I don't see them suffering too much financially - parents like having that option, and it's easy to use.  Same with Disney.  

I think people/investors underestimate the power of kids programming keeping parents subscribed.

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21 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

I think people/investors underestimate the power of kids programming keeping parents subscribed.

Add in all the extra profits from merchandise sales and kids' programming probably has the best bang for your buck.  Look at Spirit. Who the fuck even remembers that kids' movie from 20 years ago.  Buy the rights to make a TV show and bam, it's a huge hit for Netflix and they sell a shit ton of toys as a result.

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2 hours ago, CooterBrown said:

Add in all the extra profits from merchandise sales and kids' programming probably has the best bang for your buck.  Look at Spirit. Who the fuck even remembers that kids' movie from 20 years ago.  Buy the rights to make a TV show and bam, it's a huge hit for Netflix and they sell a shit ton of toys as a result.

They are releasing a Spirit movie in the theaters, and my daughter wants to see it.

Bluey and Peppa Pig have plenty of merchandise, and there's some others I see when we hit the toy sections of stores.

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On 5/24/2021 at 9:01 AM, Hozz said:

I got rid of cable a while back...it was right before YouTubeTV was going to raise their price for the first time but existing subs were going to get grandfathered in.  We already had Prime but we have that just for the shipping advantage so I never really considered that a streaming spend per se.  So just going from a cable bundle to cable internet + YouTubeTV we saved like $90 a month.  Insanity, like why didn't I do this earlier?  The only thing I lost out on was LHN and I watched that like 5 times a year so whatever.

Fast forward a few years later...YouTubeTV price has doubled and there's really nothing to show for it except for more channels no one cares about.  Ironically its closer and closer to the cable bundle we canceled.  I briefly ditched it after one of their many price increases and went to PS Vue when that was still around...got LHN back but overall the product was objectively shittier in every other way.  Went back to YouTubeTV when Vue was canceled.  Every time YouTubeTV hikes the price I check out alternatives but have not found one that is as good and cheaper.

I used to torrent anything Netflix vs paying for it.  After a while I realized that $20/month was a better deal overall than paying for a VPN and having to torrent.  That said, Netflix is definitely getting worse.  It's way too much foreign shit now and their new productions suck more often than they don't.  The UI and the quality of the steam is top notch though and I don't see myself ever canceling.

We have HBO Max as part of an ATT wireless promotion.  Paid for it before that, when HBO was an add on option via Prime or YouTubeTV.  HBO content is easily worth the price especially now that they have so many first run movies releasing on it.  That said, the UI sucks and is laggy as shit and the streaming quality is 3rd world.  Every single stream starts at like 240P or whatever the lowest is and then slowly improves from there.  The Samsung HBO Max app streams inexplicably had a white line on the right side of the screen for months and HDR still does not work over it.

Prime is next best for me.  They have some good original content and older movies.  A little annoying how often they are trying to sell you stuff but its not nearly as bad as Apple TV.  UI is pretty good and snappy and the quality of the stream checks in around Netflix level.

Apple TV we have because of an iPhone promotion.  This service is by far the most expendable.  I don't think I'd pay for it even though its less than the others.  Ted Lasso was great, The Servant S1 was intriguing but ultimately disappointing to the point where we have not watched S2.  That's really the only two series we've watched on it.  Tried a few Mythic Quests and they just miss the mark for us despite having some funny moments.  It's like a much shittier version of Silcon Valley.  This service seems like it primarily exists to try and get you to rent/buy movies.

At some point we will probably pick up the Disney+ bundle.  Our grandson is over here a lot and my wife has been bugging me about it for a while now.  For me personally there is nothing I care to see on it.  Tried the Boba Fett show and it was ok but I am not a Star Wars die hard so I could take it or leave and the wife had zero interest.

No interest at this time in any of the other options.

Good lord, where do you find the time to watch so much TV?

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  • 2 weeks later...

by now, most of you should be using VPN if nothing more than protecting your shit when you are on guests (airbnb) and public wifi's. it also protects your shit from you ISP. you didn't want your landline phone carrier listening every time you made a call. your isp is doing the same fucking thing to your internet packets. vpn prevents them from "listening" to everything you send and receive through the internet. and for the really paranoid or doing illegal shit, you should be on vpn and taking other measures to hide your tracks and identity, but you already knew that.

anyway, since you are already using vpn, just torrent whatever show you want to watch. just a suggestion. the only cost is the vpn (which you should already be paying for) and the 5-15 mins to dload the show. just a thought.

 

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On 6/30/2021 at 6:16 PM, TKthunder2 said:

Apple buys button on Roku remote (sign it’s subscriptions aren’t that great, might be looking to buyout/throw in with another streaming service)

https://nypost.com/2021/06/30/apple-quietly-buys-roku-remote-button-for-struggling-apple-tv/amp/

Apple doesn’t have any content other than Lasso. 

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9 hours ago, Neonmoon said:

Apple doesn’t have any content other than Lasso. 

What @Texas Flood said - they don't have content enough to justify payment.  They might as well just give it away for free to Apple customers, and work in some advertising.

I like shows other than Lasso, and I'm stoked about Foundation, and my wife will watch Schmigadoon, but we've had free (well included with our purchases) subscriptions and when those run out, outside of subscribing for Foundation, I won't subscribe for anything else.

And it's not like Amazon Prime's early video years, where most of the content was either crap, or you had to pay for (TV show/movie rentals/purchases, or subs to other channels).  Well, it is, but you always knew that Amazon was capable of building it out into something big, and that it would be included with Prime.

AppleTV+ whatever feels like something that is only happening because Jobs is dead.  Unlike the other services (Apple News+, etc.) It does not sell Apple hardware in any way, shape, or form, since I have the channel on all of my non-Apple devices.

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  • 8 months later...

Lionsgate/Stars fails to acquire STX Studios.

https://www.thewrap.com/lionsgate-stx-deal-off-najafi/

 

NBC pulls next day availability of new content from Hulu.  (Previously reported that they will pull older content starting Sept 2022 and that Disney will buy them out completely in 2024)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/nbcuniversal-ends-content-sharing-deal-with-hulu-reports/ar-AAUHBC4

 

and the Warner Bros/HBO/Discovery deal looks to be completed soon.

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FWIW, I stopped by a panel last week at SXSW that included John Skipper, who used to run ESPN.

The consensus on the panel was that consumers are screwed out-of-pocket by streaming, generally, because the advertising revenue stream isn't there, so it needs to be made up by direct payments from consumers.

CSB, but I thought it interesting coming from that panel. given their expertise.

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  • 1 month later...
51 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

Well I was totally fucking wrong about Netflix. @henrygandorf was right. 

i'm married, so hearing this sentence always sounds strange.

i can't even remember the exact conversation, but i hated what they did with their showrunner plan.  it's failed spectacularly, but still didn't expect for them to lose 35% of their value in a day, but here we are.

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35 minutes ago, UTGrad98 said:

They had 10's of subscribers. 

that one was a head scratcher. CNN millions of customers that already pay for their content indirectly through cable subscriptions. And now CNN wants to create additional content that those same subscribers have to pay additionally for? Is it more newsworthy, is it harder hitting??? Fuck that noise. I could see a model where if you pay for a cable subscription, you get access to CNN+. If you dont have cable, you subscribe to CNN+ and get all CNN Content. But splitting content between two packages requiring two payments? GTFO

90%+ of my TV watching is sports. I know i can stream practically any sporting event through various sketchy streaming sites, but I still pay for Youtube TV and I also get ESPN+ through Verizon. And that somehow still doesn't cover all ESPN channels. LHN isn't available to me, because its not on YouTube TV.  Every year that goes by, I need to keep adding more services. I'm ready to just say fuck it, and revert back to my pirating days. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Blotto said:

that one was a head scratcher. CNN millions of customers that already pay for their content indirectly through cable subscriptions. And now CNN wants to create additional content that those same subscribers have to pay additionally for? Is it more newsworthy, is it harder hitting??? Fuck that noise. I could see a model where if you pay for a cable subscription, you get access to CNN+. If you dont have cable, you subscribe to CNN+ and get all CNN Content. But splitting content between two packages requiring two payments? GTFO

90%+ of my TV watching is sports. I know i can stream practically any sporting event through various sketchy streaming sites, but I still pay for Youtube TV and I also get ESPN+ through Verizon. And that somehow still doesn't cover all ESPN channels. LHN isn't available to me, because its not on YouTube TV.  Every year that goes by, I need to keep adding more services. I'm ready to just say fuck it, and revert back to my pirating days. 

cnn is frustrating to me, because they really do a nice job with their "non-news" programming.  their docs are great, their specials, their docuseries (story of late night, history of comedy, the movies, etc).  but they're also a 24 hour news channel.  so when one of those shows is set to come on, and news is happening on a sat/sun night, they pre-empt it, and that episode is kinda lost forever.

what i'd like to see them do is just increase and promote their on-demand library, which is stuff we're already technically paying for, assuming you have cnn as part of your package.  cnn + sports is the reason we haven't gotten rid of live tv (we use directv stream). 

i have nearly every streaming service known to man, but i never gave cnn+ a second thought.  if the programming is important, let us fucking access it.

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