Author Topic: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News  (Read 289 times)

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Mac

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Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:47:37 pm »
The way we watch TV is changing before our eyes.

My wife doesn't even care if we watch the Superbowl tomorrow... for the commercials. They will all be available and ready to watch... like now

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House of Cards - Five reasons to binge watch
The future of television may have arrived today in the form of Netflix's heavily hyped original series House of Cards, a 13-episode political thriller set inside the halls of power in the nation's capital. It's not just the prestigious names (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are in front of the camera, while directors like David Fincher, Carl Franklin, James Foley and... um, Joel Schumacher are behind it) that are associated with this remake of a popular British series that makes it such a notable production -- it's also the way Netflix is choosing to put it out into the world. Instead of going network-style with one episode per week, the streaming service is releasing all 13 hour-long installments of Season 1 in bulk, allowing viewers to decide if they want to consume the whole thing in one day, one week or one month. It's the ultimate test of the relatively new practice of "binge-watching" television, an experiment Netflix will try again in April when it unveils an entire new season of Arrested Development in one fell swoop. Will it work? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we watched the first episode of House of Cards and here are five reasons why you'll probably want to binge-watch this series.

It's Insanely Timely
The pilot (can you still use that word in non-traditional episodic TV?) picks up just as a new president -- Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) -- has been elected and is preparing to be sworn into office, not unlike the election and subsequent inauguration we just experienced. (Although, obviously, in the real world, we re-elected the same guy instead of picking a new one.) Not only that, but the catalyst that sets the story in motion involves the President's choice of replacement for the outgoing Secretary of State... again, something we've just watched happen in the real District of Columbia. Walker had privately promised to pick Congressional Majority Whip Francis Underwood (Spacey) for the position, especially after the Congressman was so instrumental in getting him elected. But now that he's actually sitting in the Oval Office, the new POTUS pulls a bait and switch, informing him (in a cowardly move, through a third party) that he'll be remaining in the House after all. As you can imagine, this gets Underwood all hot under the collar and, well, let's just say he's not taking the slight lying down. We're just imagining what real-world incoming Secretary John Kerry would have done if President Obama had decided to pass him over for the job. Probably not all that much, actually...

The Premise is Built for Juicy Twists and Turns

After being informed of his fate, Underwood wastes little time in fighting back. Good thing for him that he's got a willing ally at home: his ambitious, strong-as-steel wife Claire (Wright), who wants Francis to have the job even more than he wants it. Late that night, the two of them come to an agreement: they're going to start playing a long game of revenge, a game that will involve scheming into the wee small hours and next to no sleep. From here on in, they're freelance political mercenaries, out to screw over anyone if it gets them ahead. The first order of business is to derail Walker's big initiative, education reform, a goal he's on the path to achieving by the end of the hour with the help of frustrated journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), who is equally willing to put morality aside in the interest of career advancement. And it's clear that a lot more intrigue will be coming down the pike as well, since everyone in this version of D.C. has an angle, not to mention a few skeletons in the closets. As viewers who have already mainlined The Wire and Breaking Bad know, shows with labyrinthine plots and dozens of characters are almost always more fun when consumed in the fewest amount of sittings -- the better to experience every twist right away, not to mention not having to constantly ask, "Wait, who is that guy again?"

Kevin Spacey's Great... but Robin Wright is Even Better

It's been a long while since Spacey has delivered a performance that's worth a damn (on film at least -- we can't speak to his extensive stage credits in recent years), but from the opening scenes of House of Cards, he's absolutely dialed into this role, tartly delivering every devious, conniving line of dialogue in a loose Southern drawl. He's so much fun to watch, he even makes one our least favorite devices -- characters breaking the fourth wall and talking directly into the camera -- palatable. But as good as Spacey is, the real star of the show is Wright, playing a version of Hillary Clinton by way of Lady Macbeth, or to go with a more recent evil queen, Cersei Lannister. (Let's just say that Princess Buttercup could have learned a thing or two from Claire.) Frank may be the one in Congress, but she's clearly the one in charge and we can't wait to see how she uses that power for good evil as the series progresses. (For the record, Mara isn't bad either. It's about time that Rooney's sister won back some attention.)

The Dialogue is Pretty Good Sorkin-Lite
A political drama about intrigue in Washington D.C. and Aaron Sorkin's name is nowhere to be found in the credits? Weird. But the writing team has clearly boned up on their Sorkin because the dialogue in House of Cards has some of the same snap and fondness for grand metaphors. There's no substitute for the real thing, of course, but the following first episode lines are good examples of the B-level Sorkinisms that the Cards crew has come up with.
- "Do I like him? No. Do I believe in him? That's beside the point."
- "The nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances."
- "I love that woman. I love her more than sharks love blood."
- "Right now, I don't need imagination. I need copy."
- "I almost pity him. He didn't choose to be put on my platter. When I carve him up and toss him to the dogs, only then will he confront that brutal, inescapable truth, 'My God, all I ever amounted to was chitlins."
- "Oh Brian, you're so sweet... really. But if I was going to **** you, you'd know."
- "Nobody's a boy scout, not even boy scouts."

Because Why Wait?

And here's the real reason why the Netflix model may prove so successful. Thanks to DVRs, HBO Go, On Demand channels, Hulu and other means of time-shifting TV, many viewers (particularly those in advertisers' target demographic) have grown accustomed to watching as much of a show as they want, when they want. If you sample the first episode of House of Cards and like what you see, it's just so convenient to let another episode play... followed by another, and then another and then one more for good measure. So go ahead: drink up House of Cards. After all, the faster you get through this series, the faster you can get back to binging on Downton Abbey or whatever other show you're trying to catch up on.
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Mac

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Re: What Are You Watching? (DVD's & Blu-ray's)
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 02:03:55 pm »
The Economics of Netflix's $100 Million New Show

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With Netflix's foray into original, high quality programming today, the streaming TV network wants to turn into the HBO of Internet TV, but can the network afford it? Putting together a big production with famous actors like House of Cards costs a lot of money—$100 million for two 13 episode seasons, to be exact—and Netflix CEO Reid Hastings says he plans on making five new shows like that per year, he told GQ's Nancy Hass. How can that make economic sense for a company makes all of its money off $7.99 per month subscription fees? Netflix doesn't run any ads, nor does it benefit from a relationship with a big media conglomerate like HBO and its parent company Time Warner. But while $100 million sounds jaw-dropping, a little math shows that, if the shows are good — a big if, admittedly — spending that kind of money could be good business for the company.

Breaking Even Won't Be That Hard: With Netflix spending a reported $100 million to produce two 13-episode seasons of House of Cards, they need 520,834 people to sign up for a $7.99 subscription for two years to break even. To do that five times every year, then, the streaming TV site would have to sign up more 2.6 million subscribers than they would have. That sounds daunting, but at the moment, Netflix has 33.3 million subscribers, so this is an increase of less than 10 percent on their current customer base. Of course, looking at Netflix's past growth, that represents pretty reasonable growth for the company that saw 65 percent growth from 20 million to over 33 million world-wide streaming customers. Much of that growth, however, comes from new overseas markets. But, even in the U.S., from one year ago, Netflix saw about 13 percent streaming viewer growth jumping from 24 million to 27 million. 

That's Actually a Bit Better than HBO Does: HBO gets about $7 per month per subscriber from its 30 million or so fans, according to an analyst at SNL Kagain. Although the charge for HBO on your cable bill is something like $15, HBO splits the fee 50-50 or so with your cable company, according to The Economist. That puts it pretty close to Netflix. Those revenues also pay for some of the most expensive TV on cable: True Blood came in at around $5 million per episode. The debut of Boardwalk Empire cost $20 million alone. Then again, HBO is a prosperous outpost in a huge media empire, which helps with marketing and infrastructure costs. Netflix is all on its own. It has built its own infrastructure to stream things to consumers, so it doesn't need cable companies, but then again, it doesn't have those cable providers working on commission to sign up HBO subscribers.

But Is It More Lucrative Than Paying Other Content Makers? Probably. Up until now, Netflix's strategy has involved paying content makers and distributors, like Disney and Epix, for streaming rights to their movies and TV shows. It turns out, however, the company is overpaying on a lot of those deals. As you can see in this chart Seeking Alpha's Cris Frangold shows, these deals cost Netflix billions:



The real problem for Netflix is that their subscription revenue is not growing as fast as their content costs. Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, told Bloomberg News' Cliff Edwards. "Netflix will continue to generate negative cash flow going forward, driven by the company’s ever-increasing streaming commitments," he said, a sentiment also reflected in this chart from Ferngold:



 Basically, subscriptions haven't kept up with high costs for content, like this $200 million one with Epix to lease Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM hits.

Part of that has to do with the rising cost of content. The going rate for digital rights has increased because the owners of said TV and movie shows know they have leverage over Netflix. For example, back in 2008, Netflix convinced Starz to make a deal for $30 million a year. When it came back to the table in 2011, $300 million wasn't enough for the network. Netflix now pays $100s of millions to Disney and Epix and has deals with individual channels, paying AMC $1 million for exclusive streaming rights for each episode Mad Men, a show viewers can watch on cable television, if they want.

And that brings us to the other reason Netflix hasn't been able to draw enough subscribes...

Exclusive Content Is King: Like HBO, Netflix is moving away from buying content because it would rather draw addicts, who have just one just-for-Netflix show that prevents them from canceling. (To start that addiction, the first episode of House of Cards is available to non-subscribers.)  With the HBO model it only takes one really good show to hook one new subscriber. The idea is that at least 520,834 someones will start paying $8 per month because they want to watch House of Cards, because it is that good. HBO already plays a similar game: all of it shows don't have to be monster successes (Girls doesn't draw that many viewers) but they do need to have an answer pop into their customer's head whenever they look at their bill and ask themselves "Why am I still paying $15 a month for HBO?" As of right now, Netflix has a lot of overlap with traditional cable and other streaming services, and they need more answers to "Why am I still paying $8 a month for Netflix?" They've tried to create some of that exclusivity, paying a premium $1 million per episode to be the exclusive streaming home of Mad Men. Others are playing that game, too: Amazon today invested an undisclosed amount to make a similar deal for Downtown Abbey. But, in reality, those deals are for re-runs: the people who will sign up for Netflix to watch Mad Men are the ones who missed the boat the first time around and want to catch up. Even better is something truly original. It might cost a little more money per show—Mad Men only costs $1 million to the nearly $4 million for House of Cards—but the pay-off, if the program brings in a ton of people to just Netflix, will be worth it.

It Also Has Other Potential Revenue Opportunities: So, if House of Cards turns out to be the type of thing people will subscribe to Netflix just to watch, it also means Netflix created something of value to others. In some bizarro world it could turn around and sell syndication rights to networks and overseas.

Can Netflix Afford the ****? That's Unclear. Unlike HBO, Netflix doesn't have a big rich cable company owner with lots of cash on hand. In fact, the company is scrambling for money to pay for its current investments, according to last quarter's earnings report even though it did report a surprise profit. Basically, House of Cards has to bring in subscribers, it has to be decent enough to get people to pay. Some early reviews suggest that's the case. The Los Angeles Times called the show "deliciously spiteful." We'll defer to resident Atlantic Wire TV expert Richard Lawson for the final verdict. Even if the critics like it, though, the results of this business scheme will be hard to dicipher at first, since no Nielsen for Netflix exists. We'll be watching those subscriber numbers, though.
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Chiprocks1

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Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 02:36:42 pm »
Post all your News about any sites that you use for Streaming Content here. It doesn't have to be just the Big 3 that you need to stick with. As the technology improves, there will be plenty more sites popping up to offer the same type of content. Post away.....
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Mac

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 08:32:12 am »
Netflix Introduces New 'Browse Endlessly' Plan



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Bm2WUYBxU
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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 10:11:52 am »
Take THAT Amazon Prime

Netflix Drone To Home

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucz3JpvDQjk
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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 09:46:06 am »
Marvel To Film Netflix Series In NYC
Is an 'Avengers' crossover far behind?

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Marvel, in a joint press conference with New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that their Netflix series — starting with "Daredevil," and continuing with "Luke Cage," "Jessica Jones" and "Iron Fist" before ending with a "Defenders" team-up event — will all film on the streets of New York City for the next few years.

Not a ton is known as of yet about the four series. "Cabin in the Woods" director Drew Goddard is taking the writing and directing reins on at least the pilot of "Daredevil." And "Twilight" writer Melissa Rosenberg, who has been working on "Jessica Jones" in various forms for Marvel for years will finally get the chance to bring her vision to fruition. But otherwise, that's all we knew... Until now.

Why is this location-based announcement exciting? Because Marvel Comics, and the characters being adapted for Netflix in particular, all got their start on the streets of New York. Unlike Marvel's DC Comics counterparts, Marvel set their superheroes in a simulacrum of the real world... And no location is more populated by their heroes than NYC.

Granted, many TV shows set in New York don't film in NYC, instead choosing to get selected exterior shots in the city while sticking to a soundstage in Los Angeles, or Vancouver for the majority of shooting. With these five series shooting in the city proper, not only will they have the authentic feel fans have been asking for but they'll also create a multitude of jobs for NYC residents. Specifically, according to Cuomo, $200 million in revenue and 400 full-time jobs over the next three years.

And that adds a timeline for the series. We know that "Daredevil" is first out of the gate, launching in Fall 2015. But assuming we start filming in 2015, that means we won't necessarily see a rapid rollout of the series one after the other, but rather sometime in the span of 2015-2018. Interestingly, that falls right around the same time that most pundits expect Marvel will drop "Avengers 3" in movie theaters, either 2018 or 2019; though the threequel doesn't have an announced date as of yet.

Still, that does bring up another reason for fans of Marvel movies to get excited about this announcement, and that reason is "Avengers." Though we don't expect that Tony Stark will be popping by and chatting with Daredevil on a regular basis, "Avengers" was based in New York, and that means these Netflix shows are all part of the tapestry of the rapidly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Meaning: Robert Downey Jr. might not stop in, but our heroes could still visit Stark Tower, or glimpse Iron Man flying over the skyline. And if our timing is right, could the Defenders show up in a sure-to-be-climactic "Avengers 3?"

Regardless, we'll know more about Marvel's Netflix plans soon, as filming will begin in New York City next year.
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Mac

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 07:35:05 am »
I'm gonna try this out for awhile. It's got to be better than just redundantly browsing 'everything'

A Better Queue - Netflix

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Netflix is a fantastic service that has and will continue to change the home entertainment landscape. But despite how disruptive the service have been — and this is one of those rare cases where “disruptive” is being used to describe a company that actually disrupted something — it can still be infuriatingly difficult to find good content amid all of the stale movies and TV shows in Netflix’s library.

A new website called “A Better Queue” is dedicated to helping Netflix subscribers create exactly what its name describes: A better Netflix queue full of the best movies the company has to offer.

The free service allows users to set a minimum Rotten Tomatoes rating, a minimum number of reviews and a timeframe, and then one or more genres can be chosen. A subsequent search will cut through the fluff and pull up only the best Netflix has to offer.

The service is currently a bit slow because it is getting hammered by Reddit traffic, but the site’s developer says he’s working on addressing the issue.
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Chiprocks1

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 07:51:42 am »
I hope it's what you're looking for and it works out for you. Anything to weed out garbage is a good thing.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Mac

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 09:11:20 am »
I just tried it a few times

and...

... well, hmmmm... it's displaying about 30 movies over and over and over. Hope it's just a filter glitch.
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Neumatic

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 11:28:17 am »
This sucks: All of South Park's previous seasons moving to Hulu Plus.

I don't really find myself wanting to watch old South Parks that often, but I liked having the option.  And I quite liked the SouthParkStudios interface, far more than Hulu's stupid site.  I guess I'll be running through the archives intermittently to find old classics to rewatch while i still can.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 01:59:56 pm »
Hulu Plus has been hording everything from their Free Version of Hulu lately. I think they are trying to phase out the Free Version as soon as possible so that they can jack the price for their subscription fee for Plus. I refuse to pay them money and I never will.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 03:13:16 pm »
As do I.  Paying AND getting ads is just bullsh*t.

You might be right, too, which sucks because I watch some free stuff on there every now and then (there are ways you can skip the ads... of course, I don't think anyone says what they are out loud, otherwise those loopholes would be fixed).  And I can't imagine any reason why, if Hulu was all-pay, they would get rid of the advertising.  Why would they?

It all feels just... make the corporations happy rather than provide a positive experience for the user... is it just me?  Or am I reacting a lot to the anti-Hulu mentality out there, like a conformation bias?

Chiprocks1

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2014, 03:46:19 pm »
Whoever is running Hulu doesn't know anything about Business 101. What makes Hulu appealing to the masses is that they reach a wide demographic of non-paying users. But now they want to jettison a large market so that they can compete with the likes of Netflix. Now, that's sound advice. Lets p*ss off the loyal fan base that got us here in the first place. If they (Suits running Hulu) think that they can still "win" us over at the end, they are in for a rude awakening. I would never join a site that basically backed me into a corner. If I had to finally pony up money for a subscription fee, I certainly wouldn't give them my money. I'd go across the street and give it to their competitor as my way of saying "F*ck You, Hulu!"
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 04:11:11 pm »
And for all this exclusivity nonsense... well, one, I haven't seen many of their original shows, but I don't hear anything about them.  Other shows that are "exclusive" are just foreign imports like Misfits, Life On Mars, etc, which you can get on DVD (I'm hoping you can get Moone Boy on DVD as well, as I want to finish it).

Another big thing is that Hulu has a HUGE amount of shows from Mexico, Korea, Japan... that's a GREAT way of expanding your user base, and it's really only helpful as long as the masses that speak Spanish or Korean KNOW about it, and they'll know about it because it's out in the open.  Lord knows they don't advertise those shows when they mention all of what Hulu has.

Mac

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Re: Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Streaming News
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 06:29:52 am »
I love this...

His Netflix is F*cked Up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaGuQ5CpTzA
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