For a truly complete platform, I would FOR SURE pay more than the 10$ a month for Netflix. 20, maybe 30! But then I want it ALL. All films they have in storage.
I mean, it is 2017 and there are a lot of films I can't find on Netflix, Amazon Prime or, when I am in spending mood, on Apple TV. Why? I mean how silly would you want to be as studios? There is no big DVD business anymore, BlueRay never totally took off. People have a net connection and multiple streaming devices at home, thats it. Thats the big asset they could build on! Instead they let their libraries die the death of the unseen film.
Still, many keep shuffeling around harddrives with terabytes of pirated films. And why shouldn't they, as long as there is no substantial offer?
So I decided for me (and the cloud guy I am), that with my 3 services I have, I am ok. If a film is not there, I don't care. I surely won't order a DVD of some old film somewhere and I surely will not subscribe to another service. If Disneys pulls their films from Netflix: thanks Netflix for their growing self produced content that often has a quality not seen before.
Not 20 years later, the technology for this is already well-established; the only thing stopping it is that the owners of the films don't want to make them available this way.
Nacchio was no saint, but it seems pretty clear that he was targeted after failing to be cooperative.
It's linked on the official/original github repo. But the official official repo doesn't link anything. Just that original developers are supporting .sh as official and have apparently moved to it.
There's also ...ce.ch but that's community edition as the last two chars suggest.
PS. I have put info to the best of my knowledge :)
Perhaps you're fortunate that everything you want to listen to is on your preferred music streaming service, but what they offer is far from everything in the music industry's catalogue. Ask any classical music fan what they think of streaming services and you'll hear a tirade against the woeful offerings that streaming services make available.
They are stricter than Spotify with regional licenses unfortunately. I listen to a lot of Japanese artists that are on Spotify but not on GPM in Europe (but are there in Japan), I simply imported their albums and ripped them and uploaded them on the service and now they behave exactly the same. Not ideal, but still. For like 90% of the rest of the library (anecdotal experience at least) it's the same as Spotify, which is pretty great.
DISCLAIMER: I work at Google, but I've been using GPM long before that. These are my opinions and not those of my employer, yadda yadda.
The thing is, the paid tier of GPM is really only for on-demand streaming of the music catalogue and removing ads in the radio. As an upload-only user, I really see no reason to pay money for a service that I am fully enjoying for free. If Google were to add back (and continue developing) the removed My Library features and decide to make a payment tier for use-cases like mine, I'd happily subscribe. Their focus on "your library anywhere, with extra features" is something that really stands out. I'd hate to see GPM turn into just another stream-what's-licensed service.
Actually Apple Music offers exactly this. There might be other reasons you'd prefer not to use it, which is fine, but in terms of offering they're actually quite similar.
Except Apple will actually allow you to upload more songs than Google Music, up to 100,000.
I did really like Google Play Music, and allowing the local library sync as a free draw was a really smart move. But the sour taste they left in my mouth by killing my discount plan and ruining the UX meant I looked at other options. Signed up for Apple Music day one and it has improved leaps and bounds since then.
It's very clearly a huge priority for Apple, and they aren't resting on it.
works on linux and there's also an unofficial API
I make playlists almost daily for work and I use the API to manage them, dedupe, delete old ones, and what not. Super convenient.
But the web UX has gone to crap. There was an update a few months ago that really killed its performance and broke the playlist sorting. They need to eat some of their dogfood.
It's totally open source, has a relatively decent web player, allows you to stream your music anywhere, allows you to create accounts for others to have access to your music, can connect with Plex/subsonic to work with other devices/clients. I use DSub on my phone, and can sync music offline (like GPlay Music). Only downsides really is that it requires a web server and the initial import can take some time if your library is very large.
"I'll never let go of my Squeezebox and/or enjoy living in the past and/or need it to run on Windows"
"I'm a sysadmin with a Roku SoundBridge"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_Media_Server is another, specifically for Roku Soundbridge and iTunes streaming protocols.
"I'm running FreeNAS and just want to use a plugin"
Subsonic is another http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp . Can also do Shoutcast streaming.
"I know what RMAF stands for and/or like messing with SBCs and/or spending $10k on audio equipment"
"I run Arch with a tiling wm"
Lastly are the mpd family of servers and clients. These are for the hardcore nerds who love recompiling ffmpeg from source. Servers: https://www.musicpd.org // https://www.mopidy.com
Clients: https://www.musicpd.org/clients/ //
https://docs.mopidy.com/en/latest/clients/mpd/ // http://www.runeaudio.com/clients/
I keep hearing about how nimble and agile Spotify is, and how their tech stack and team structure lets them add features quickly. I wonder why they haven't offered upload storage yet, and whether that's coming?
Classical is a bit special, but hopefully efforts like the internet archive can help bring at least a lot of the royalty free music to streaming.
I'd be perfectly happy with a streaming service aggregating the current top 10 services for tv/movies, and I assume 90% of customers would. It seems reasonable to make a product that caters to "most" rather the all customers, just like Spotify.
In the past, technically savvy music nerds like me had options. LPs and CDs as a distribution format offered true permanence. Vinyl when cared for properly usually outlives the owner. CDs can be ripped and archived with perfect 1:1 accuracy.
These formats don't disappear from my record shelves at the whim of an executive or a change to a silly end user license agreement. They're mine forever, for me to cherish and learn from for as long as I want.
Until the music industry offers this type of solution for the digital music ecosystem, they will not be adequately serving music's most dedicated and passionate patrons.
Bandcamp is the only service that comes close to delivering the proper solution. But they are so uncompromising in their ideals that the 'industry' will not work with them. It's too bad, because they and DistroKid are the only two online music industry services I have ever seen that are genuinely interested in furthering the lives of their users.
LPs and CDs still exist.
"so long as you keep all your discovery of new music within Spotify - because you'll never discover what isn't there."
This is exactly the reason we have arguments about the importance of net neutrality - which your underlying point is arguing directly against. Not sure if that was intentional or not - but the music industry is a really bad measuring stick of success in this area.
To contrast to Spotify - I'm sure Disney would be fine with it if everyone watched what they were hosting on their network exclusively and ignored the content on other platforms.
On a side note: Isn't this basically what Disney Life is already? Did I miss something?
I wasn't trying to make an argument either way on what's good/bad with Spotify (or any service large enough to be used as an only provider) but my feeling of missing out on something is something I try to avoid more than actually missing out on something (if that makes any sense). A kind of loss aversion I suppose. Bryter to have less and not know, than have more and see what you are missing.
Youtube is probably the most complete but (1) I don't want to waste bandwidth on downloading the video every time I try to listen to music and (2) it's missing the discovery component that dedicated music services have.
It supports downloading only the audio.
I mean, if you are ok with doing something (probably) illegal, why not get the best experience out of it?
Pandora - https://github.com/PromyLOPh/pianobar
Spotify - https://github.com/plietar/librespot
Plus, it's pretty illegal if I'm not mistaken!
Plus, sound quality on youtube isn't very good
Pity. This is a good demonstration though of the value lost to dysfunctional copyright laws.
Classical music fans are more music lovers than casual stream listeners
They use the vault the way diamond miners do- to restrict supply of extremely coveted goods so that they can charge premium prices for them. It's good business and it keeps things that are decades old in constant demand so they can charge higher prices for them.
Unfortunately for you and me that means that if we want access we have to pay more. While it may certainly be true that you don't place enough value on Disney products to pay a premium, there are lots of people who will and there are probably still going to be times that you want access to it and consider signing up. That's what they want- if they commoditized their content and you were able to get access to everything they own for $30 a month, that wouldn't serve their purposes at all. Companies like Netflix dream of having one franchise that's as successful as the countless ones that Disney has. Why on Earth would they just have a fire sale for all of their content when they can restrict supply and extract the most profit from it?
In any other industry market forces would be in effect forcing business to either compete or go under. But because copyright laws give content owners a monopoly it means the only effective competition is illegal services. And the daft thing is they're literally better in every way. Which is why I know so many people who normally follow the letter of the law and who happily pay for expensive cable / satellite / Netflix / whatever subscriptions who also have absolutely no qualms in downloading or streaming movies illegally. These are customers who want to pay for services but end up pirating because there isn't any service available to them.
It's completely bonkers. It shouldn't be like this but it is entirely the fault of the content industry. They created the void by monopolising their content and then failing to provide any practical services. And they created the demand by targeting their advertising at kids, by making it illegal to backup old formats like DVDs, and such like.
So to answer your question, sure they can try to extract the most profit from it but customers are already angry, fed up and aware of better albeit illegal services so all Disney are going to do is drive more people to piracy. If they really wanted to extract more profit then they would trying to onboard more users instead of making their content harder to get hold of. It really feels like the whole FRAND patents situation where Disney are happy to become a critical part of pre-teen culture but don't want to licence their intellectual property in any reasonable way. And while I can happily make the decision not to watch any Disney movies again (I like Marvel but I can live without it), trying to explain that to my 3 and 6 year old is going to be much harder.
In any other industry market forces would be in effect forcing business to either compete or go under.
Could you expound on this a bit? Disney owns the rights to distribute the products that it has spent billions of dollars to create and you take issue with that? What is the alternative- if you write a best-selling novel, or create a film or a song that people want, the government should force you to distribute it in such a way that guarantees that anybody who wants it can have it? We're talking about movies, not health care. I don't really see how you can make a cogent case that you have a right to access the content on your terms.
Services like Spotify are not designed to facilitate 30 minute long experimental electroacoustic violin compositions. I am much more likely to gain a dedicated fan (someone who will pay to see my concerts in their city) from a torrent site which is content-agnostic and facilitates true fandom for the less conventional music offerings out there.
Well laws are meant to be interpreted rather than followed verbatim. But that genuinely wasn't the point of my post and I'm certainly not advocating piracy. That doesn't mean I have to agree with how the movie industry is run either.
My point was that Disney should be upping their game to make their content more accessible rather than making it harder and using their monopoly via intellectual property laws to force their market position. That just seems really disingenuous with the point of intellectual property - like how Apple and Samsung went to war.
Copyright law wasn't intended to last the period of time it does. In fact copyright law was first conceived to allow publishers to make money from publishing but then the information was always intended to go into the public domain. Granted we are talking about 300ish years of history (IIRC) and times change but given the profits Disney are raking in you can hardly argue that they haven't recouped their production costs. However I'm not trying to argue against capitalism here either. My real issue with Disney is that they have been one of the biggest campaigners of extending copyright law, and also one of the biggest abusers of the public domain with a multitude of stories adapted and then trademarked (Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, Cinderella, etc). They make billions from "stealing" public domain stories and yet people like yourself complain if someone suggests pirating Disney's work as an alternative (I'm not by the way, but you assumed I had) and that seems somewhat unfair in the general sense when Disney have intentionally priced themselves out of reach for many parents. As an aside: I think the fact that Disney often targets younger audiences really helps them here as well because it makes it harder for parents to boycott their services.
This is why I say I'd rather see them working with existing providers instead of running their services in their own silo forcing people to pay for yet another subscription service just to access Disney content. You're right they have no legal nor economic obligation to do so; but I think respecting your customers wishes should count for something given that in any other industry customers could vote with their feet and easily switch services.
Let's take straight-to-DVD movies for example. Anytime a movie is released straight-to-DVD, that immediately signals to the market that it's a lower-budget, lesser-quality movie. Yet that's a far more effective way to get it the widest possible distribution than screening it in select theaters for a $14 admission fee.
This is essentially what Disney does. Disney has earned a brand that distinguishes its movies from any other movie producer out there. When Disney makes a movie, people want to see it, because Disney has a certain standard of quality. That's not to say that I think every movie Disney makes is gold, just that every movie that Disney makes is perceived as gold by the public. The reason for that is that Disney guards its IP perhaps more stringently than any company. They don't make all of their movies available to everyone and they don't have buffet-style streaming ala Netflix. Anytime a potential competitor arises, they buy them. They now own Marvel and the Star Wars franchise, as well as Pixar and probably several others that I'm forgetting.
I'd argue that if Disney did stream all of their movies online for a flat rate to any and all who will add it to their lineup for an affordable rate (YouTube TV, Directv Now, Sling, Hulu, etc.) they would instantly lose a huge part of what makes their brand so powerful.
They actually did this in the 80's- they had their own channel that you had to get a separate cable box for to stream it into your home.
There are only so many video subscription services a person is willing to pay for.
Maybe Disney have a compelling enough catalogue to convince people to switch away from an existing streaming service (which is what I think they're banking on), but I'm not so convinced that will happen at scale either.
The Pixar movies are loved by my kids and while they're still a bit young for the Marvel stuff the eldest is already a big superhero fan (particularly Spiderman) so I can see him really enjoying Disney's Marvel universe when he is older. And lets not forget how seminal Star Wars is even with the younger generation.
So I'm not so sure I'm ready to write Disney off with regards to the Netflix generation.
If a service came along that truly had the TV and films I wanted with a preference for 4K content, I’d happily pay $40-$60AUD a month for it.
Right now I subscribe to:
- Apple Music
- Usenet related services
- Plex Premium
- Getflix content unblocking services
- Pandora (cancelled as they’re leaving Aus)
- Amazon Prime video (cancelled as they have hardly any content and a terrible interface)
- Spotify (cancelled as I prefer Apple Music)
- Last.FM streaming (cancelled when the service went EOL)
- Several private trackers (avoid BT now)
A bit high level but here’s my list of pros:
- I’ve found a lot less missing tracks / albums, especially for more underground / lesser known artists I had real problems with this on Spotify.
- Significantly less bandwidth usage compared to Spotify.
- Unified interface to my music library (1.2TB~) and streaming / downloadable music on both the desktop and phone.
- The ability to have my own music uploaded as part of my library and available on all desktops/laptops and my phone.
- Apple Music data is unmetered on my mobile provider (I average around 8GB/mo of mobile music streaming on my phone)
- The Music app on my phone is /really/ good at figuring out what music/playlists/albums to sync (prefetch if you will) onto my phone, I set the data limit (to 128GB) and it just figures it out nicely, often when I go to listen to a new album from an artist I follow / like - its already there for me (note: I believe this is opt-in functionality)
What I don’t like about Apple Music / think needs to improve:
- Playlists, They’re not as nice or as fast to manage as on Spotify but at least tracks don’t go missing randomly.
This really isn't the same thing at all. With Apple Music or Google Play Music, your own library and cloud tracks are seamlessly integrated and can be streamed and accessed from anywhere and any device.
A kludgy solution where you can use Spotify like a 90s MP3 player really doesn't cut it. If Apple, Google and Deezer can offer local library support, Spotify has no excuse. It's a huge gap, and makes Spotify unusable for many people or only supplementary.
I don't expect a streaming service to have everything in history all the time, just have as much as possible, and let me fill in the gaps.
OS integration is a big one for me, Apple Music is just so seamless. Personally I hate the Spotify UI, search is among the worst, and just like Google Music I find it has way too much Karaoke bullshit cluttering up results when it doesn't have the song you want.
That plus Spotify having no way to upload your own local files makes it a complete non-starter for me. Apple Music is getting way better on the radio & playlist front. The New Music Mix knows me surprisingly well.
I'd give it another shot if you haven't tried in the last 6 months to a year.
Also the recommended playlists (built from my likes and listen counts) seem somehow better on Apple Music than on Spotify.
I also don't much care for how 4k looks - or the bandwidth needed to transport it around.
Why's it not easy? You just do a 4k scan of the film don't you?
And again, resolution is just a small component of the final image quality. There is a major 3.2(ish)K camera on the market that has substantially better IQ than 4 and 6K alternatives. And another 6K camera that has substantially better IQ than 8K options.
As for upscaling, we're probably better off leaving that for the end user as better upscaling algos are created and deployed all the time and baking it in from the studio locks us into what will soon be old methodology.
It's worse than that. Netflix is limited to 720p in Chrome and Firefox.
It is possible that doc isn't kept up to date though. :)
The same way you like your video content to be high quality and have devices that allow you to enjoy such quality, I want to do the same for music. I have a high quality sound system and I want to listen to lossless music.
And subscription services are not even an option. Neither are the popular music selling services (iTunes / Google Play Music / Amazon). Luckily, I listen to a lot of electronic music, so I can pay ~$0.5 dollars more per song to get lossless quality on Beatport and Juno. My free estimate is that I was able to chase down ~30% of my music collection in lossless formats.
(1) Warning: website stuck in the 90s, both security-wise and design-wise http://www.junodownload.com/
(2) About a third of those are pirated because I couldn't find a way to purchase lossless versions.
Not just 4K/HDR, but high bitrate as well. It's pretty ridiculous that an 1080p BluRay looks better than ANY 4k stream today (NetFlix, youtube, etc) because it's much less compressed.
BluRay's are about 40-50Mbps. I want the same quality for 1080p, and higher for 4k!
I've seen "1080p" streams that were of lower quality than a DVD release, to say nothing of the BluRay you mention, which are better than DVDs both in encoding quality and bitrate, making them actually quite a bit better than DVD.
Bitrate matters a lot more. Only once your bitrate has saturated a given resolution is it really worth moving up to the next resolution.
I actually like "4K" streams because to even pretend to be 4K, they have to bump the bitrate up. Prior to me getting a 4K TV, I played some 4K streams to my 1080P display, and they were of a visibly higher quality than the 1080P streams. You're not "supposed" to do that test; it really breaks the 4K illusion. (You can do this with youtube-dl by forcing it to grab the 4K stream and then playing it on something with enough hardware acceleration to still play it at 1080P. You can't just go to YouTube with a 1080P display because it'll feed you the 1080P version of the stream even if the video name has "4K" in it.)
(Another place you can see this is cameras, especially cell phone cameras. Take your cell phone outside into broad daylight and take a well-focused photo of pretty much anything. Take the photo in to your computer and zoom in until every pixel of the photo is three or four pixels on your monitor. Can you find sharp color changes between those pixels, or does it look like your camera snuck an impressionist Instragram filter into your picture when you weren't looking? A lot of us have high end phones that may be able to pass this test, though as the megapixel count keeps jumping even that may be dubious, but even mid-range phones can't. That said, they may still be taking very, very good photos, especially considering all the headwinds a phone camera faces optically. It's just that they're very good 4MP photos rather than 12MP photos.)
(I'd love some sort of JPEG processor that analyzes a photo for its real information/high-frequency content, and then downsizes the JPG to accurately reflect its real information content. You can get big savings on both digital camera photos and videos by doing this, integer multiples of the file size with no visible differences when examined side-by-side, but it's quite tedious by hand. Perhaps the promise of BIG SAVINGS would encourage a DropBox or some photo startup employee to have a look at this?)
Precisely. Video compression is about reducing redundancies. A perfect lossless video compressor would essentially take a bitmap format and turn it into a vector format. Vector formats have no inherent resolution.
Now real life compressors are neither lossless, nor perfect, but it's easy to see that the better they better they become, they more and more become resolution-independent, in a way.
Compression performance depends on the ratio between the information entropy of the input and output signal, which only loosely correlate with resolution.
> Another place you can see this is cameras, especially cell phone cameras.
Yeah, you can also see this with medium format camera backs. They will produce better images at a given target resolution than a full frame sensor at the same target resolution. Most people don't expect an old medium-format back that "only" has 30Mpix to be any better than a current full frame sensor of the same resolution, but blow images at 100% and the medium format simply has more detail.
I want to know what sort of cameras can consistently capture the kinds of photos I see online where everything is just refreshingly sharp and properly lit. I know user skill is a big part of that but for a while I've wondered what sort of hardware to optimize for to get shots that are not amazing but just properly well-focused.
I also want to do a similar thing to your "JPEG irreducible complexity" test: I want to, given a series of photos, find the one with the least artifacts. This is mostly for JPG as well, but for photos that can rank stuff that's gone through the Twitter/etc can opener (and been decoded and reencoded umpteen times in the process), so it's possible that doing purely codec-level analysis may or may not rank accurately.
Disney thinks I'll tack on another streaming service to watch Mulan or Captain America: Civil War - but they're wrong...
It is true for music, comics, really anything that used to take effort to find and acquire.
It is like a psychological corollary to supply and demand, and also why luxury goods lose their magic when they move down market.
I feel much the same way, but I'll add one thing: I find I spend too much time passively consuming, to the point I am trying to bring back a 1 specific night a week to watch something I think will be edifying and entertaining.
How long have you been single for, if you don't mind me asking?
It's not for you dude, it's for the kids.
and not have unskippable adverts or lectures on piracy
for a lot of things, stealing is both easier and better
Instead of buying ad space on torrent sites (let's say), they lecture people who have actually bought the DVD. And, those who download the movie illegally can skip that, only those who actually have the DVD watch it.
The other day, I pirated a disney movie that I already own on DVD, because who the hell has the time to sit through 20 unskippable previews, and then an excessively animated DVD menu, and then go through a badly paginated list of scenes to try and find where you left off- but the streaming pirate site just let me click to the exact point I left off, within seconds.
So the thought process is:
"I want this"
"I am not allowed this"
"I should be allowed this"
"I will take it anyway"
This is seductive, easy, and the wrong way to go for most things.
I understand the frustration. I have felt the same way many, many times. I suspect that if people who illegally downloaded movies posted money to the studios who created the content directly, then this problem would disappear pretty much overnight.
So if you cannot get something legally easily, you should support that practice and suddenly you'll get it more easily in future? This in a post about an article where Disney is making it more difficult to get content legally? Really?
Perhaps that's why people don't think that for other things, but constrain that argument to digital distribution.
Note that the other way (accept whatever meagre or exorbitant distribution deals the content owner wants or stay without content) also has big issues, especially if one believes movies, music, books, etc are essential to culture.
It needs to be easy as possible to let this person buy things
Maybe you have some insight
Frankenstein is the maker, not the monster
Linux is just the kernel
- calling pirates thieves is a leap that will undermine your argument by assuming harm that's not shown
- have any serious discussion about Frankenstein's morality while confusing him with his monster and no one will understand you
- I write this from a Linux device, but because it is an Android/Linux device is has a completely different experience than a GNU/Linux system, and you can have that experience on GNU/kFreeBSD or GNU/NT just as well.
Semantics matter. Words make a difference. Please don't miscommunicate just because misunderstanding helps your side in an argument.
It's a shorthand which I'm sure everyone else understood. Sorry if you were confused.
If everything that was harmful to others would be seen as wrong we would live in a completely different world. Interestingly, people only make this connection for very few topics.
Anyway, it seems I hit a nerve. I used to be one of those piracy is not stealing people, back when I pirated content. Now that I pay for content I can look back at that person and understand that cognitive dissonance between my notion of myself as a good person and the fact that I was pirating content led me to consider piracy a good thing, or at the least not a bad thing.
Because really, what is being said with the semantics argument "piracy != stealing"? It is about how harmful piracy is, whether it really is as bad as stealing, and fundamentally whether or not we should have copyright at all. If we should have copyright, then we must have legal tools to enforce it, and piracy must be illegal and wrong. If we shouldn't have copyright, then piracy is a form of freedom fighting and should be encouraged.
My opinion on the matter is that we should have copyright, but that it should be more limited in duration, with stronger fair use exceptions (like the right to decrypt for the purpose of backup and archival). I don't care for the semantics argument. Call it piracy or call it stealing, it does not change what is being done: taking things without permission.
P.S. when i was young and poor i used to wear an eye patch, these days i'm paying for stuff.
So? Words get revised when society/technology/etc changes.
Besides copyright existed before digital content too.
In this case, society adopted the word "piracy" to represent the new semantic, whereas the recording industry chose "stealing" so as to conflate the issue. The word war is not a neutral process.
> copyright existed before digital content too
And it's application in modern times is increasingly contrived and outdated. Since when was it decided that mandatory "remastering" was a reasonable condition to repay for a media all over again? Why would I have to pay additional fees just to use a different medium (mobile phone vs laptop, for example).
No, but it's also not as clearcut as "society uses piracy / recording industry chose stealing". If anything, the recording industry refers to piracy all the time.
>And it's application in modern times is increasingly contrived and outdated.
From a consumer standpoint? Because it's meant to protect creators, not consumers.
>Why would I have to pay additional fees just to use a different medium (mobile phone vs laptop, for example).
Because the seller sets the price. People can pay it or not use the product. It happens with everything else.
> Because the seller sets the price
But I already paid. The seller is also asking to control the medium. That does not happen with everything else. In fact, there has been a creep toward control in the hands of distributers (e.g. Amazon deleting recalled ebooks off the devices they sold to you).
This isn't just a case "seller has product, seller sets price". The landscape of available products is being purposefully manipulated to expand the number of different products that exist e.g I'd consider a digital movie file to be one 'product', independent to whatever medium I choose to play it on; But the movie industry might advocate for a separate 'product' per medium.
At that point it's not even related to the original "artist"/creator or their compensation - I'm now dealing with middlemen actively lobbying to create new forms of compensation, and restricting the ways in which I can access certain services without them. In the example I gave above, "remastering" is an excuse to charge for the same product on a different medium. There might be compensatory charges on top of DVDs that go to offset piracy, but there will never be compensation for consumers who already bought a film on a different format (VHS, for example) - the advantage only ever goes one way, so I don't care what narratives industry lawyers care to craft - piracy provides a necessary pressure to prevent consumers being taken advantage of even more.
The sellers set what is being sold too.
They can set it to be e.g. "I sell the ability to see just 1 minute of my 10 hour movie, only in black and white, with mono sound for $1000, only once" if they so wish.
>I'd consider a digital movie file to be one 'product', independent to whatever medium I choose to play it on; But the movie industry might advocate for a separate 'product' per medium.
So, isn't that to their discretion?
The question is rather: why are buyers so desperate for those things in the first place.
They could have boycotted the whole thing.
But buy buying and/or pirating them despite such terms (e.g. only in DVD), they show there's value to what the sellers are trying to sell.
(Note: not entirely my personal preferences on the subject, playing the devil's advocate)
Who decides? Politicians romanced by industry lobbyists? Why should the government/public bear the costs for legislating such things?
> So, isn't that to their discretion?
Now you are switching from "what is right" to "what is legal". The law is dictated by society, based on common morality.
> they show there's value to what the sellers are trying to sell.
And that value exists under a mandatory layer of DRM. And sometimes enforced by industry-sponsored legislation. Your assumption of value (or the power to boycott) ignore the monopolisation of media formats - When all computers contain a "DRM-chip" then "all I have to do" is boycott it? And what if they are mandatory by law - just oppose it? The general public is susceptible to targeted divide-and-conquer tactics, which doesn't result in a true representation or expression of public opinion at the mercy of industry motives.
> They could have boycotted the whole thing.
They did - they pirated. They didn't just boycott the technology, but the law as well - that shows that the public do not value those laws, and the laws were erected in contradiction to the will of the people. No?
No, I keep using both moral/legal.
It's their thing, so they get to set their rules for giving access to it.
What's immoral about "I created Star Wars 555 but only allow you to see it if you pay $10,000. Oh, and you only get to see it once for the price while I play the kazoo".
That's their proposition. The buyer can simply decline.
>* They didn't just boycott the technology, but the law as well - that shows that the public do not value those laws, and the laws were erected in contradiction to the will of the people. No?*
Only as much as DIU shows that the people don't value driving laws.
We can still say that pirating doesn't show that they don't value those laws, as much as that they found an easy way to bypass them and not get caught.
The government isn't "their thing". They need to negotiate with the rest of society if they want anyone else to enforce those rules.
> What's immoral about "I created Star Wars
You are ignoring a lot of what I wrote about monopolising middle-men, or the role/interest of government in actively enforcing these "propositions".
Do you also not believe in "resale" laws?
> Only as much as DIU shows
Yes, I don't believe this either, I think these kinds of argument are specious. And people acting under under DUIs are a) under the influence, not at their full rational capacity b) a minority, most people support DUI laws.
If I pirate your film, you may or may not have lost out on a sale. Probably I wasn't willing to pay for your awful SpywareDataHarvesting as a Service content platform so it's debatable whether or not you truly lost anything.
Do you also sneak into live shows without paying the cover charge? After all a live band doesn't lose money when you sneak into the theater either. And you can argue that you might have never opted to pay the ticket in the first place if you couldn't sneak. So, as long as there's enough room for other people and you're not causing them lost tickets, it's ok too?
What if I watch it for free at my friend's house? Do I need your permission?
What if Google or Apple or Microsoft, for whatever reason, decide to pull the plus on their service?
Now you paid for nothing and don't own whichever movie you "bought" anymore.
Torrents are more convenient, and better quality.
There are some good shows on Netflix, but they are in the minority, in my opinion. Tastes vary, of course. But a lot of their original programming is not so original, it just feels like filler content to increase the perceived value of the platform. For every good original show they make like House of Cards, there are at least 5x as many that are uneventful or boring.
But that's not unusual. Network television is the same way.
They have more feedback data and often great "production values" (i.e. they spent the extra money to make it nice). It doesn't always pay off (how stupid was _Marseille_, with Gerard Depardieu at his best acting chops in years and a political story that melts into family drama in three episodes flat?).
But having 100 Netflix shows and a random assortment of failed indie movies is not better than having 10 Netflix shows and a decent film catalog. Netflix pretty much snuck up on the less attentive of us by giving us more shows (hey, I basically stayed for Bojack Horseman) and taking away feature-length studio-produced movies.
I mean, who has the time to watch a full-length movie most days.
So I kind of feel cheated, but not enough to leave yet.
I'm really bad with my facts this week.
And the movie business. And the music business. And the book-publishing business. In any creative industry, there are hundreds or thousands of mediocre-to-terrible attempts for any hit. It's the nature of the beast. Shaving that ratio by orders of magnitude is black magic, or even just luck. This is why successful outliers are so handsomely paid - not because they do something well, but because they dramatically decrease the risk of producing stuff that won't sell enough.
The saying that goes "90% of everything is crap" emerged before Netflix was even a concept.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm starting to miss video rental shops.
I also completely refuse to buy physical media too, so the end result is that I basically never watch movies at home any more unless I go to the effort of torrenting it
If the content owners don't let you access their content (or they make it a burden to access it by requiring a subscription for another service) it doesn't matter if you have a device that can output an HDMI signal.
I'm lucky enough to have Ethernet in my whole flat (two drops in every room), and a gigabit internet connection. When I launch a 4K HDR video on YouTube, it literally takes less than two seconds to start playing. In comparison, the YouTube app on the TV takes 5-10 seconds to start playing. The TV is hardwired as well. Please note that the Chromecast only has a 100Mbit ethernet port, same as a RPi, or most smart TVs.
I thought the original Chromecast was great. But even if you have a great wifi setup, get the Ethernet power plug. It will change your Chromecast. You don't need the Chromecast Ultra to use the Ethernet feature, just a second generation Chromecast (the round one)
There are lots of things I would like someone to make at a reasonable price too (roll on my line of all existing Transformers with chrome finishes, car paint, clear windows and chrome tire rims!). But I have to accept that there's not enough of me that the costs of that sort of thing come down to $10, and buy a limited subset of more expensive items instead.
We need better legislation around orphaned works; those whose ownership is too complex to resolve should be treated the same as those whose ownership is completely lost. In both cases, ownership can't be reasonably determined.
Instead we have the current copyright system because a minuscule amount of old content is still profitable and large companies lobby to protect it.
Tons of tracks on online music stores for example are never streamed or only a handful of times.
(Of course the limited stuff e.g. Netflix has, is by no means not even the 10% of possible content).
If you don't want -any- of that, then why not release it for free and allow things like the internet archive to store it and deliver it for you? It's worth the money to store it -in case- you want to do something with it, but not worth the money to actually do something with it, even though that costs no more and has a return on investment?
Even more confusingly rights for IP might have been transferred and sold many times leading to questions about who actually owns a film or franchise.
Distribution rights, production rights are separate. Actors may have been promised a cut of any of the above.
So if you track down 40 years worth of contracts, you can safely add a movie to your streaming service.
Add to that 100 years of studio mergers, consolidation, etc. It is a mess.
I am sure many companies would like to stream more, but simply can't.
For myself, when I get the itch to watch an old movie and I can't immediately find it on the Netflix or Amazon prime video I don't go try to find some other streaming service or pay for a one time viewing. I'll just find something else to watch that is available. So when they could have had one more view for old content they wouldn't otherwise make money on, thereby increasing the value of their catalog, instead they get nothing at all.
Artificial scarcity is a thing I can't argue with you there, Disney has been doing it for years with drip-style "anniversary" releases of their properties on media. I would fully expect them to do the same with their streaming content.
Sharing a cultural artifact with others outside a small social bubble is one of the great enjoyments of going to the cinema.
I almost always hear other people talk or see them using their phones though, unless the cinema is pretty much empty.
And that's for regular movie screenings -- there are also all kinds of organized screenings, where people get to talk and discuss the movie afterwards, especially for art films and such.
But already being in an audience while the movie plays, and being aware of people's reactions etc. is a shared experience (and it had been alluded as such by tons of filmmakers).
For a truly complete platform, I would FOR SURE pay more than the 10$ a month for Applix. 20, maybe 30! But then I want it ALL. All software they have in storage.
A lot of people have commented that the music solution is not ideal in a number of ways from the 'demand' side, but I don't think anybody has mentioned how the music business is broken from the 'supply' side.
It is next to impossible to make a living from music for the vast majority of musicians and producers out there. The obvious argument is that if you cant sell, your quality isn't good enough but that's actually not true in my opinion. Distribution is severely unbalanced - and if the movie industry continued in this direction, all we will ever see is Spiderman remakes.
The competition of content is what makes the services cheap and pumps out new quality content on different platforms. At the same time it allows for the efficent satisfaction of the demand: those that care little pay little, those that care a lot pay a lot. With a single bundle, you either get all or you get nothing.
There are many arguments to believe this is more efficient. The music industry, also, its ridden with tremendous problems, I would not model my business after them if I had the choice.
Except that the music business continues to shrink each year.
The only reason there was a slight pause in this is because suddenly vinyl sales, of all things, took off.
Somehow I don't think you are going to find many takers in the video industry for following any music model.
What do you base this on? I googled a bit "music industry revenue" and only the opposite came up.
Almost a straight line from 1999 with 26.6 billion to 14.97 billion in 2014.
Quoting your source:
> Total revenues for 2016 were US$15.7 billion.
> This growth, however, should be viewed in the context of the industry losing nearly 40% of its revenues in the preceding 15 years.
Which is what?
The movie studios likely don't see it this way. Tickets and merchandising are still the two main pillars of the industry. Home viewing is still the bottom end of the market . The embrace of streaming represents a loss of revenue, not a gain of consumer good will .
Physical media (DVD/BluRay) are much more lucrative. Studios have an incentive to keep selling a pennies-worth of plastic for $20. Streaming represents a major loss of revenue and the studios will stall and delay until consumer demand forces them to change.
People still buy millions of BluRay movies each year . Now the studios are trying to compete directly with Netflix, rather than embrace the changing consumer landscape. This is largely a continuation of Blockbuster's long, slow demise .
In order to feed the lucrative parts of the distribution chain (movie tickets, merch, physical media), Hollywood is increasingly churning out "big" movies. This has spawned a new phenomenon called "super hero fatigue" . Many are predicting the demise of blockbusters altogether in the near future .
But don't expect studios to change until it's proven that they can't make money the old way.
You mean DRM free video MP4 files like the DRM free audio MP3 files on Amazon.com, iTunes and elsewhere? Yes, that would be a starting point.
I can't imagine that a lot of people want to spend the collective hundreds of dollars to sign up for all the streaming services. It's almost asking to drive people to torrents.
Now, if Disney does something like $30/year or something really affordable - sure. I might do that on a whim. I guess it's all about volume vs. price.
Netflix, however, I'll keep paying for gladly because of the library size. For the streaming price, it is well worth the value.
First all the "major" studios will split and start charing $10/month. Then adds will start creeping back in. Before you know it everyone will be paying for an ad-hoc cable subscription.
I think a better option would be to do what Amazon is doing for HBO - offer a small portion of the studio (in this case Disney) included with the platform (Netflix) with the option to pay additional fees for the entire catalog.
The biggest deterrent, for me at least, is not the price but the need to switch platforms. I'm already annoyed when I have to go from Netflix to Amazon to find a movie/show I want to see but can't remember where it is. No chance I'll add a third, forth, or fifth platform to the mix.
It's a bit depressing how similar that sounds to how cable networks work. Or platform specific app stores.
If you actually had something like that, it could know that you watched Cosmos on Netflix and then suggest physics lecture videos from Open Courseware. It could suggest YouTube videos alongside Hollywood movies.
Which is exactly what the studios don't want, because they want you watching only their content. That is the real reason they're so obsessed with DRM -- they want creating that to be prohibited by law, because it would allow a free market for content curation instead of allowing the major studios to control it.
It's the same reason they don't like Netflix. Netflix is producing their own content and is happy to accept content from small players. It's not a fully open market but it's still too much like real competition.
But fragmentation isn't going to save them. People aren't going to subscribe to a dozen separate streaming services each with their own incompatible interface.
Hopefully they'll realize that sooner rather than later and decide that it's better to have open interfaces and protocols than let someone else (i.e. Netflix) have market power.
That said, I think that the curation aspect is something that studios aren't overly concerned about - they just hate that a direct competitor is stealing their profit and making their own content. If Netflix wasn't being as aggressive (or wasn't being so damn profitable; or wasn't negotiating prices with the studios), I don't think that the content creators would be trying to run away so quickly.
I hope that open protocols win out, that's the best solution here for everyone (and would be the ideal "major marketplace" in my parent comment). That said, it may just wind up being an organisation owned by a consortium/cartel of studios (or even some other third party) that's contractually obligated to "fairness".
"largest streaming search engine in the world [...] with around 12 million unique visits per month" - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14842083
http://www.canistream.it/ by former HN user SeyelentEco
Just now I did a search for "all the presidents men." Top hit was "All The King's Men" but the right movie did show up second. It says "Not available for streaming, rental, or purchase. Click below to set reminders."
So I hopped around and did a few quick searches:
streaming on Netflix (i think) https://www.netflix.com/watch/243547
streaming on amazon (with Cinemax) http://a.co/605SHmD
for rent or sale on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/all-the-presidents-men/id5...
for rent or sale on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAGNFnI7mZ4
The page also says it's not for sale on DVD or Blu-Ray (showing an Amazon logo): http://a.co/aoa6bG8
Click "Watch the Movie" and it will show you several ways you can watch it (including all you've listed above and more).
Roku and AppleTV seem to do a decent job of aggregating this information, but that UI isn't always handy and I'm usually more flexible about my viewing options than just those devices.
https://www.cinesift.com/ by reddit user yombato (not sure of their hn alias)
px1999 1 hour ago [-]
Long term, we'll probably wind up with a couple of major marketplaces that provide a UI that ties together content bundles that you've purchased from different distributors (who will actually serve up their catalogs).
FXX themselves do not seem interested in my money and require that I have cable so I continue not consuming their content.
In reality, they are likely to trigger a backlash that increases piracy instead.
Steam is a rampant success. You'd think people would catch on. Have the content, make it easy to access, make it easy to pay, and people will give you money hand over fist.
Nobody will purchase, for instance, all the seasons of M.A.S.H. if they know that there is a risk that the rights owners will pull their content off of the platform in a few years and the person loses the ability to watch what they paid for.
The platform should also have the ability to "import" previously purchased rights. If someone buys a TV show on iTunes, they should be able to import that purchase into the platform so they can consolidate all of their purchases into a single platform.
Lastly, the other thing that made Steam a huge success is the sales. Daily sales of some content, quarterly sales of large swaths of content, etc. That would have to occur for a media platform to have the same kind of success.
I'm an unabashed pirate because it's easy... but if I could use a platform like this that didn't have a recurring monthly cost I would use it.
If Pixar put their upcoming movie available for pre-purchase (like Steam Greenlight) at 40% off, I would likely pre-purchase it. If Disney wanted to drum up interest in their new Duck Tales reboot by putting the original series up for sale for $20, I would be all over that. A TV series in its 4th season with struggling ratings could put up a flash sale of previous seasons in order to get new viewers to binge watch before the new season starts. A TV series could also sell a season pass BEFORE the new season starts for an infusion of cash and release the episodes on the regular schedule.
A steam-like platform could work wonders for media consumption, but it'll be hard to get companies to do it.
Steam took off because it was required for an awesome video game that Valve released. Eventually Steam was more valuable than the game.
That's the only way something like this happen for media. A small studio with a hot property could build the platform for their own offerings but invite other media owners to participate. Adult Swim or SyFy or FX could probably pull it off.
Even Valve doesn't believe in Gabe's statement, and never did. Dozens of media companies have much larger market caps than Valve's estimated value.
The statement conforms to the prejudices of a lot of Hacker News, but there is significant evidence that it's not empirically true.
As for third party indexing tools, I read that to mean scraping the site for various reasons. Which I can understand they might not want due to the extra load it generates.
Steam was successful because it combined advantages for producers and consumers with minimal changes to the business model. The old business model is people buy games that come on a CD or DVD in a small cardboard box for $30-50; the new business model is people buy games that finish downloading in a few hours for $30-50. Not really much of a change in revenue stream.
Cable TV, however, relies on splitting up the channels people want into different packages, that each come with lots of channels they don't want. They also need to overcharge you so they can afford to cut the prices for the "package deal" (TV/Phone/Internet bundles). What people want instead is more à la carte options, with a discount from package deals because they're asking for fewer channels.
So moving to a service that would cut piracy would still hurt financially. Another advantage of piracy is that they can blame their financial troubles on "filthy criminals" and use that to extract some benefits from compliant government allies. Offering a less profitable service that reduces piracy robs them of that as well.
Maybe that's not true anymore. But I'm sure contributed to steam's success.
Back in the day where GMail was heralded as being amazing, and offering 1GB of storage for your mails, Steam came out and said "don't worry about how to install Half-Life/CS, or which patch to apply, I'm automating all of it."
"You don't need to worry about your CDs any more. I'll give you the content, for free, anytime you change PCs."
"Just log in with your Steam account on the cybercafé computer. All the games you own are already installed."
Steam was made mandatory to install the new version of CS (was it the 1.6 release?). That was Valve's best move ever (even though I hated it back in the day).
My steam library is full of games I'll never play, never would have bothered to pirate. Why? because steam sales.
I'm sure the same could be achieved for Hollywood. Not only could they make sure people are paying for the content they watch, they could have saps like me paying for content they never watch.
I'll look to see if something I want to watch is on Netflix. If I find something looks interesting, great! I'll sign up for one month of the service and then cancel it immediately.
I also do this for football season. I signed up for Sling TV + Red Zone and paid for a few months. When football season was over, I canceled it.
As a result, for these services to be successful, we'll probably see some renewed fighting against piracy and some work toward increasing regulation on the internet. Unfortunately, the political climate is probably pretty good in the US right now for Disney and other big content creators to start pushing for these.
Overall, it's not so different from cable channels, except that it's on-demand.
That's not really a marketplace, which would have individual vendors selling their own subscription bundles.
You pay $12 to Netflix and you can watch it officially on 4 devices, which means it's $3 for any of your 4 friends, but you can "oversell" it actually more if you've some friends in different timezones. Many services work this way just fine. Streamwarez(tm) is here for a long time already.
That's my biggest pain point as well. I already have to switch between Netflix / Hulu / Amazon to figure out who has the content I want. I've always been a huge Stargate fan; Netflix and Amazon used to have it, now only Hulu has it. Amazon is the only one that has the latest episodes for shows that I like, (although I have to pay extra, I'm willing to bite the bullet for my favorite show).
People who want to watch Japanese cartoons get to pay for yet another streaming service, and for years there was a split where we had to pay for both Crunchyroll and Funimation. We finally saw light at the end of the tunnel with the advent of a partnership to share content. Only it turned out to be an Amazon freight train in the form of Anime Strike, which not only requires a $99/yr Prime account, but an additional $5/mo surcharge.
And now once again, we have a service cannibalizing half the important shows each season. And I'm just ... out. Amazon is not getting more money from me. I'm not supporting this balkanization of media content. And I will likely drop Crunchyroll because it doesn't have half of what I want to watch anymore.
These companies are never going to learn. I am happy to pay for content, but I'm not going to sign up for one streaming service per show I want to watch. Like most people, I simply can't afford that.
They're not trying to learn, they already know. If you continue to think they are optimizing for your happiness you're the one who'll never learn.
An ad-hoc cable subscription. Few people really wanted all the channels they were getting and would gladly have paid less to get only what they wanted.
Another thing we might see here though has happened to me a lot with music because of Spotify.
If you music isn't on Spotify or Soundclound... I'm just going to listen to it less. Its too much trouble to go download/buy from so many different sources.
I can't be bothered to spend the time anymore.
If more of your favorite artists were not available on streaming services you'd probably be ok with spending the time.
This problem was solved for me by Roku search on my roku device. It still is something I'd rather not need to do, but the search interface is just as good as the dedicated ones for amazon or netflix and shows you the results across all services.
Still better than a cable subscription. That's my biggest beef. I want 2 channels and I can't get them for less than $150 a month. So they get nothing and neither do I.
Do I really have to go over econ 101 with you? The past distro channels look to "not work" while there's a better alternative; once the latter have a monopoly - oh fuck it, just sit back and pay attention.
Just a heads up - HBO is pulling their shows from Amazon in mid-2018. They essentially view it as competition with HBO Now.
Now what will be interesting is seeing which studios cannot float their own streaming service and combine either with another studio or group of them under an all inclusive banner. I figure we will go nearly full circle and end up with an aggregator like cable was but this time without too much junk.
my beef with some of these "premium" sites is they think that ever after they get $15 from me that I have to watch THEIR ads. Really? I paid for the shows, not 30 to 60 seconds of your ads.
Does uBlock Origin block YouTube ads?
I'm asking because it's been years since I saw/was forced to watch a video ad on YouTube. Sure, there are occasionally the banner ads at specific times in the videos, but no video ads.
So either the channels I watch have somehow opte out of video ads, or uBlock is taking care of them?
Or maybe this is a geographic thing and YouTube in Germany doesn't show video ads?
Anyway, if you have Android and want to watch on mobile, I highly recommend NewPipe (F-Droid). Lets you: watch, listen, download, repeat YouTube videos and I've never seen an ad in it. Really awesome app!
I guess greed?
$150/month on top of your cable bill. And let's bundle it.
Actually, I'd love to be able to pay BBC even $20/month for iplayer access in the USA.
Agree, especially when most doesn't work nearly as well as Netflix. I prefer to use the TV app and the horrible user experience I had with HBO (for instance) made me quickly stop using it.
For a streaming company user engagement should be taken very seriously, but it seems that most studio-turn-streaming-company miss this. They think content is everything because that's what a studio is about. But content doesn't matter if I can't stream it easily and many studios are so over-protective of their content that they forget about usability.
Disney Channel used to be a premium, ad-free channel.
Maybe on demand Disney movies are valuable enough to enough parents to justify this?
When this happens, I will drop that service, full stop. I don't pay to be advertised to.
Also Disney is currently in a strong position for this right now. They released ~10 movies in 2016 and had the 4 highest grossing films of 2016. This, of course, assumes that Marvel and Lucasfilm properties are put on the Disney streaming service (I would expect that Touchstone label will not be included in this, as it's always been distinctly branded).
Either way, $10 per month is a bit steep up until the point that they stop selling discs; right now it's not much more than $10 per month to buy every single new release on bluray, and it's less than $10 per month to buy them on dvd, if you shop around.
The thing that scares me is that this puts them in a position where they could stop selling media altogether, and it's no longer possible to pay a flat fee to watch a movie any time you want. At that point the only competition with the streaming service would be piracy.
And as you say, there's always piracy to fill the gaps in any streaming catalogue.
I'd have to sign up for 6 different services in order to add up to my previous budget. So far... its' not come to that point, but if it does I'll be happy to cut out some services.
After all do I really need Netflix? I don't watch if for months at a time, and only keep it out of laziness. I'll happily cut it and swap in Disney for that time period of budget constraints become an issue.
I put my elderly mother on my netflix account with her own profile and she couldn't be happier. I saved her a bunch of money that she'd otherwise be spending on cable and as a bonus she's not watching 24hr news that's making her afraid all day. For something that I occasionally will use but she always uses, $10/mo is _cheap_.
Now if I could only nudge her towards some of the Korean soap operas that they have now...
In all honesty though, it keeps her from calling me constantly every day. Netflix is great for my sanity.
that's a good point. but for comparison, in 2004 my cable budget was zero because i was in high school and living with my parents. In college we shared hard drives full of movies around the dorms, and ever since i've lived on my own my tv/movie budget has been some combination of netflix and piracy that added up to less than $10/month. The ship may have sailed on people being willing to spend $60-100 per month on TV.
I'm currently paying 2€/month for Amazon Prime for Students, and I'm not willing to pay more than 10€/month overall for access to streaming platforms (as long as I'm a student, after that maybe 20-30€ overall). That simple. In my family we have Amazon Prime and Netflix, if stuff isn't on there it gets pirated, no discussion.
Really hard to fathom the thinking behind that. At first I thought it must be a pirate site that depended on ad revenue, but nope it's $8 / month.
my favourite movie piracy website claims to have 32 times as many movies as US netflix does.
Piracy is the only thing that will lead to a consumer friendly streaming option. If it weren't for music piracy, a service like Spotify might not exist. For video, Bit Torrent was popular for years.
Now people are flocking to things like Kodi, which can be installed on a Firestick  and, with add-ons, can stream anything for free . In order to fight piracy, the studios will need to make it more convenient for consumers to pay .
I think think that happened when they parted ways with Starz.
If the Disney move represents a trend, it's going to be particularly frustrating for end users, as there will be no legal solution for watching what we want to watch when we want to watch it, unless we subscribe to all services. Guess how many users will do that, and how many will just click the magnet link.
Exactly! It is obvious that Netflix and Amazon are pivoting to be more like HBO and Showtime. Apparently, as they reach out to a global audience they need to rely on original content to avoid costly licensing disputes .
netflix added 600 hours of content in 2016 and will surely dwarf that in 2017 and beyond
disney is in a for a rude awakening if they think they can go it alone in this marketplace
"Star Wars is worth more than harry potter and james bond combined."
Just the first 6 episodes of Star Wars is 17 hours of footage. This does not include special features, cartoons and other offshoots in this franchise.
Access to this on a whim, along with immediate access to exclusive preview-type content every year prior to the theatrical release is seriously valuable on its own.
I'd venture many people are HBO Go subscribers simply for Game of Thrones right now. And that more than enough do not bother to unsubscribe in the off season.
I think people on HN underestimate how people value content. They don't realize people pay huge sums for complete garbage cable content plans already. A commercial free experience of Disney content, particularly Star Wars / Marvel powered with exclusives priced the same as HBO or Netflix would probably do great.
1: By 2019 there should be about a dozen feature-length star wars movies, counting the 3 2-hour television specials, so you're right that just star wars movies is not that great.
When you can drip out production updates and use electronic marketing channels to hype them or include fan AMA type stuff, there is big potential here to keep people around.
But to your point, if you take Star Wars out of the picture, you still get the entire Disney film collection. Just about every middle class family in America in the 90s had some portion of the Disney VHS collection on their shelves.
I don't see this desire for easy access to familiar, high quality, family-friendly content going away. I see it increasing.
Agents of Shield I believe a ABC owned production, and would be governed under what ever terms Netflix and ABC have, Same with Inhumans I would image but it is a newer property so it might have to stings attached it to
Movies, yes those will likely be pulled. I can see the Non-Netflix Originals being pulled.. maybe.
That would apply to Agents of Shield as well, which is also part of the Disney family.
: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Jones_(TV_series) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Cage_(TV_series)
: You would need a lawyer to examine contract language to be 100% sure, but Disney has armies of really good lawyers and understands the importance of IP better than anyone else on the planet, so it is extremely plausible.
and ABC is owned by Disney.
Both Netflix and Disney already produce a lot of content, so they don't have to bootstrap a pipeline anymore.
It already is a bit like that if you leave the cushy confines of the USA, where the rights to even stream some of their own Originals (e.g. Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, Lilyhammer) have not been secured and thus us poor souls must resort to pirating or waiting, potentially for years.
To quote Netflix:
> Depending on the region, Netflix may not get the licensing rights for an original series for many years.
Now that we have that, are we living the dream? No, we want it for a tenth of the cost.
I don't think that's what others are complaining about though. Price was definitely the issue of the top commenter as they mention 10$/month and 30$/year. But it makes no sense because back in the cable days, people paid 50-100$ if not more for packages. Now, even with all 4 big services, you're still only at 40$, and imo, having an ondemand service where you can stream anything you want at any time (not only that, but with most of them, with multiple people watching in parallel) is a far superior service.
I think people are just getting more entitled for content that has had billions of dollars poured into it. 10$ a month is nothing. It's literally two coffee. If you watch one episode per week and don't even share your account, you're already getting value out of it.
This is, has been, and always will be a ridiculous argument. $10/mo is nothing, it's the price of two coffees. But I need four services, so it's $40/mo, which is eight coffees. So now to afford the same content that was 1/4 of the price last month, I need to give up drinking coffee on Monday and Tuesday, every week.
"It's the price of a cup of coffee" is a terrible argument because I don't want to give up drinking coffee just to watch Disney movies. I want to drink my coffee and watch my movies like I did last month before Disney decided they needed to make more money.
What I want is to pay for access to the things that I want, which happen to be spread across more and more bundles the way things are going.
What they want is for me to only consume things from their bundle, to ensure that I'm a permanent customer.
Then it's the labor and time you're paying for because a pour-over takes 4 minutes per cup if you do it right, and each employee can only do so many of those at one station. 4 minutes of an employee's time at minimum wage in San Francisco is almost a dollar, about 93.33¢ give or take, and that's assuming the employee is being paid minimum wage and not more.
Edit: Missed the pour over part, yes if you want to pay and wait for that. I'm not convinced that there's any discernable difference from a regular drip coffee that would stand up to a blind taste test (cf wine tasting).
you pay $80 a month for let's say 100 channels. most people think they are paying $0.80 per channel. the cable providers know you don't want around 90 of those channels, but they're giving them to you anyway. what consumers are actually paying is $70 for their most watched channel, $5 for their 2nd most watched channel, $3 for the 3rd, $2 for their 4th, and every other channel is given to them free by the cable provider.
if cable companies were to allow consumers to pick and choose, they'd more transparently charge it like this. you could pick just 5 channels you reduce all the crap that they're giving you, and you'd probably still pay the same amount.
Media by contrast is very steep. Either you're at the top of your genre or you're not worth it for those looking for the former. If you want an epic fantasy story GoT still beats out other shows cropping up around the same theme (even if you think the latter have better story or so on, that's not what drives dollars). If you want space operas you're not going to settle for less than Star Wars.
These "staples" and their exclusivity create a high value proposition greedy execs can't ignore, and one that they don't worry as much will give their competition an opening.
Your $80/mo cable bundle is split something like: $12 taxes, $43 ESPN, $9 Viacom and the rest split by everyone else. $10 buys a lot.
If the producers get more money out of the deal, I have no problem with that. I'd rather they be the ones getting the money.
As it is now, I buy my stuff ala carte. I do subscribe to netflix, but I've pretty much seen what I want there. Every once in a while they get someting new I want to see, but not often enough for it to be my go-to for entertainment.
So I pay per show rather than channel. My wife and I consistently pay less than cable and just get the shows we want to see.
I wasn't sure it would work out that way, but a month or so ago I asked my wife how the cost was working out (she does the finances), and it's less than cable. I can't remember how much at the moment, but less than half I think.
Personally, the part I don't like about paying multiple providers isn't the paying multiple part. It's not having a single interface to get to them.
First, consider the experience then and the experience now. Before, only a single person could watch pre-scheduled content (unless you have an extra device to record). Now, multiple people can watch any show they want in parallel.
And your way of splitting the money is silly. At the end of the day, you were paying 80$ but were only interested in a very small portion of the content. Now you're getting that same content you cared about, but for a far smaller cost.
Now you're paying $10/mo for each network.
Most are actually paying $20-25. At the cable company that I worked for, the regional incumbent provider for an area that served golf resorts and the surrounding community, I think it was roughly $36.
ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, all free with an antenna I just ordered.
Would I like the same thing I had with Comcast @13$ a month? Sure, but that's not realistic. At least not yet. Cable in the US is a huge ripoff because they cornered the market through lobbying and deals with local municipalities. It's time for them to get their "come-upins." Next is internet service.
And yes, next is internet service. But the unfortunate side-effect of the cable monopolies is that they're currently the best positioned with infrastructure to reach homes with high-bandwidth connections over the same lines which previously served cable TV. I don't want to see these same companies becoming ISPs and continue shoveling the same crap in the future.
Presumably you want finer-grained a la carte, like individual shows and movies. You can get that today via iTunes but it is insanely expensive, and it doesn't really make economic sense because not enough consumers watch little enough TV for that to make sense, therefore the price remains high and companies offering it are not doing well.
Right now the market forces are pushing everyone to try to be either Netflix (streaming service become producer) or HBO (producer becoming streaming service). As the technologies commoditize this trend will continue, and consumers will just have to deal with the abominable UX that this balkanization of services creates. It'd be nice if someone could wrap a nice UX around this, whether it be a la carte or whatever, but I don't see that market forces would allow that, and least not until the balkanization gets a lot worse and rights holders get an incentive to play nice with aggregators.
Cable companies and centralized distributors are the natural conclusion of our copyright mechanisms. Online video has already been coalescing on Netflix and Amazon as the next-gen cable cos instead of Comcast and AT&T.
If we don't want to be stuck with the same thing over and over again, we need to change the way that we've constructed the artificial market for intellectual goods, so that subscription bundles a la cable is no longer the only feasible economic model.
Seeing as that's the problem, affording agents in the space more or better control to try and strengthen the market could be an approach - so I want to understand where/what the current weaknesses are.
The hope always seems to be to operate like a gym, where there are people paying but almost never showing up.
1) Buy individual episodes
2) Buy individual season
3) Buy individual channels (FX, HBO, with ESPN and Disney coming soon and more and more networks offering this option)
4) Buy bundles of content (cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
Availability windows also seem to be designed to match consumers demands, you'll pay more to get copies of episodes right away vs waiting a season or two to buy them.
Again, I think it's fair to find the prices to be greater than what each individual is willing to pay, but I don't think the actual options are lacking in the same way they were 3 years ago.
That's all going to consolidate into the hands of a couple of major producers (Disney, HBO, Amazon, Netflix, maybe Hulu) and that's about it.
Plus some other deep pockets who are slowly getting in the game (Verizon, AT&T, Apple)
I think there'll be enough competition even among the oligopolies to make it palatable for consumers.
This however creates the incentive for providers to start enforcing long term contracts for the regular price, or a much higher price for a monthly plan, in which case DVDs will be relevant again for me.
I don't want to have an HBO account, and a Disney account, and a Hulu account, and a Netflix account, and an Amazon account, etc etc. I wish they'd play nicely and let one provider bill me, and take care of restricting my access to their HBO portion of their library unless I pay an addition $X/month.
There's a certain standard for Disney movie that makes it easier for you to watch or recommend young kids to watch, comparing to Netflix that you might have to weed out content a bit. Sort of similar to Whole Foods vs Safeway. This doesn't imply which one is better than the other, just that it's easier to set expectations for something with more niche.
For real, btw.
iTunes creators should basically be imprisoned in the UK for contributory copyright infringement.
I strongly suspect this sort of crazy, luddite, anachronistic attitude to magnify when the Tory's get their "sovereignty" back and don't have Europe to check their anti-democratic attitudes.
In a capitalist system piracy is seen as "illegal", but in a culture with better ways to support and fund their arts it'd be the pinnacle of immutability and access. Instead of wasting all this energy figuring out how to charge through the nose for huge undertakings after they are created to recoup costs and make future efforts seem lucrative and a "worthwhile investment" we could just create and fund what we want to see and have it be accessible to everyone (almost like a public good? Definitely an artifact of a nation's culture and works) and go along with information flow rather than stifle it.
Or maybe capitalism will grind on, and in 200 years Disney will still be kicking their Mickey copyright can down the road and rebranding their 'vault' the Disney Time Machine, making the biggest lens through cultural history toy glasses with mouse ears on them. shudders
Still interesting enough to kids but let's not pretend like it's not padding; those movies were often very formulaic, "relatable kid with a weird life or circumstances goes on a journey" - not really worth the price tag for a subscription.
Disney movies are a very small portion of their catalog, although to someone in a household without kids I can see how it would appear that marvel and Star Wars were all Disney did.
That sums up a large % of the Netflix viewing in my house.
But does anyone think I'll pay $10 per month per 'network' for entertainment? It would rapidly cost more than cable or satellite.
What I find curious is how difficult it appears to be to sell advertising on streaming channels. If you've streamed one of the 'minor' brands like SyFy or Discovery you can see a 2 minute commercial break with three identical 30 second commercials back to back.
It is hard to imagine that the people who put these things together are so clueless in terms of how their product is perceived.
it'll be interesting to see how this changes when the Game of Thrones ends.
That said, after 4 months, I doubt there will be much to interest me anymore, and even if there were, I could always just watch it next year when the next season of Game of Thrones comes out.
That said, if they offered $60/year, I would probably keep it around for a few years rather than paying between $20-$40 once a year.
I agree. But taking a step back, Disney is probably the one company that can justify this the most by owning so many properties:
the traditional Disney stuff, Star Wars/Lucasfilm, the Marvel movies, Pixar, The Muppets, Touchstone, ESPN, ABC, A&E, Lifetime, History channel. They even have a 30% stake in Hulu.
Well sure, assuming you only want to watch content created by Netflix itself. That's the direction it's going with Netflix.
But that's only if the catalog actually has that content. If they do the digital equivalent of the Disney DVD vault then yes screw that.
If they have a whole streaming platform with all the content from each of these, no way its $30/year, more like $30/month.
Given that online movie rentals are ~$2, that's watching a full length movie every other day. There's a limit to how much TV you can watch.
(And if your goal is to binge watch, it's competing with Netflix at $10/month -- which even with it's limited library is a great value.)
To give you an example of what I mean: Netflix lets me subscribe and unsubscribe at whim. If they looked at my profile, they would also understand that changing that would result im my abandoing them altogether. I watch a low volume for a while, my viewing drops off for a while, then I unsubscribe for a while. Keeping track of the terms that allow me to do this is easy because it is one company. Now imagine that there were multiple companies that I subscribed to. Keeping track of those terms of service would change from an inconvenience to a pain. Seeming as most of them are traditional media companies, I also have far less trust in them. Adding 'activation fees', 'deactivation fees', and 'annual contracts' is in their blood. My apologies for the paranoia, but I have dealt with unilaterally changing agreements before.
My response to them would be: thanks but no thanks. Their services/content are not important enough for me to deal with the headache of entering into an agreement with each studio.
- Want to stream movies (not TV)
- Want general movies as opposed to Netflix content
Earlier this year, Netflix' DVD division released their Top 10 most popular movie rentals. Only one of the 10 was available on Netflix streaming.
I do however agree that their streaming movie collection is bad.
The last time I tried searching for a good movie to watch on Netflix streaming, I gave up after 10 minutes. I'd think of one movie after another after another. Nothing was there. All it could suggest was "related titles," as if that's what I would want.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the post-tv-cable world is that people actually thought they could cut their TV bill from $50-$100/mo to $10/mo.
I could see a family buying a plethora of bundles, but I strongly suspect it will continue to be cheaper than the equivalent cable package.
I can't speak at all for sports; i imagine that alone could be hundreds a month to watch a local game.
You may be right but I just don't think the industry can go from taking in $50-100/mo to $10/mo - they will figure out a way. And people didn't mind paying that amount. What people disliked was the forced bundles and less flexibility compared to what pirating gave you.
>I can't speak at all for sports; i imagine that alone could be hundreds a month to watch a local game.
NBA is about $200/season - which isn't bad given that's for every game. When local telecoms that bought rights for local games wise up it won't even be that much.
You'll end up with people who subscribe to Amazon + Disney, or Amazon + Netflix, and some who do HBO + Disney + Hulu.
Studios want to compete with one another directly for customers, not go through some middleman.
Is it less convenient, sure, but customers (like me) used to go out to video stores and physically purchase DVDs, so its obvious what we're willing to accept a whole lot more inconvenience than what Netflix offers.
Replacing technological limitations with unnecessary, arbitrary financial limitations doesn't seem like progress.
Still, at least they're helping to inch us closer to a popular 'uprising' against Disney's perversion of copyright legislation.
Arguably, right now Comcast Xfinity has the most/best streamable content if you pay for HBO. This will likely change soon; this has been a long time coming. Cord-cutting is increasingly popular  and the studios are adapting.
Disney is gambling that they own enough content to make your top 5 list of streaming subscriptions.
In the US, Comcast and Verizon are more analogous to the BBC in England -- TV is less expensive (as an individual monthly cost) when it is publicly funded.
Interestingly, the BBC is investing heavily to compete with Netflix . If you live in an area that the BBC serves, you will likely need fewer streaming services to get the content you want.
I'd like to have a small computer where I can insert a DVD and press one button and walk away (and latter remove the disk), and then the movie is available to stream from my small media computer to my home network. It could look up the right metadata online, or you might pay a very small amount for a service that maintains accurate metadata.
For as much as I watch TV I could probably buy the few shows I'm interested in on DVD for cheaper than what I pay for Netflix. Until I get a media server like I described though, it's just more convenient to pay for Netflix.
I suspect that no such products exist because copying the DVDs would almost certainly get the creators of the device sued into oblivion.
* the common complaint here is DRM, long-term-ownership compared to DVD, but the flip side is much better resolution than DVD and if the competition is streaming services, it puts you in much more control than that.
Right now I'm buying from Amazon because even though they have the worst UI, they're the most vendor-neutral.
DVDs are only 480p, you really need something higher quality on a new TV. I have noticed that HBO streaming looks better to me then cable.
That is what Media companies like Disney want. People always blamed the Cable companies for it but in reality it was the big Media companies pushing Cable and Cable not caring. :\
> Netflix, however, I'll keep paying for gladly because of the library size. For the streaming price, it is well worth the value.
To a point yes. However, the balkanizing of streaming services is growing at an alarming rate.
Disney has no choice but to stream direct. That is they way all video content is all going.
I imagine at that point the meeting chairman said "fuck the customers, show me the money" whilst chugging a glass of bolli and sucking on a fat cigar.
... But I may be getting a little imaginative there.
already cable companies and fios price internet so that you pay only a little more for a full cable package. even if you drop cable you still have to pay extra to subsidize it.
The idea of getting almost everything we could ever want through one $10 a month subscription with Netflix is almost too good to be true, I would expect in the long term the average person will end up paying about the same as they used to with a cable bill, ideally spread among multiple providers.
When they inevitably raise rates again I might actually have to reconsider if it's worth the cost any longer
It just all sucks for the consumer.
Don't you like to have many options to choose from? You don't "have to" sign up for all of them, it's your choice.
> It's almost asking to drive people to torrents.
I am a Netflix subscriber but there are a couple of shows that I watch and are on competing streaming services, however I didn't want to subscribe to all of them. So I rented them on Google Play and/or iTunes.
I know it sounds incredible but there are ways to consume content without breaking the law.
Compare that with the amount of binge watching that you can do with a $10 Netflix subscription.
Things are infinitely better online than what I was getting with my cable subscription.
Anyway, can confirm, I won't be signing to Disney as Netflix still has quite a bit more good content than I can watch.