As much as I hate huge companies and consolidation of companies, this is one area where some consolidation could make it better for customers. I'm not sure if this is the right hope to have though.
Eventually, revenues go up and licensing deals expire. Then, either the owners increase the price for licensing their content, or they refuse to license it and start their own service.
Netflix realized the only blue sky was owning a large catalog of their own content, ideally used to retain users and starve other services, and then license content when they have the upper hand.
Critics will hate a lot of what Netflix puts out, and it won't matter at all to the fans who can get exactly what they want in the comfort of their home free from judgement and peer pressure.
Youtube is positioned to take a similar approach, and it turns out the formula that works the best is sociopathic narcissists of a certain age with certain facial features producing 10-minute videos of rats getting tasered 7 days a week.
I think this might be a situation where the gap between what people want, and what people will consume, is very wide. And the algorithms know how to produce what people will consume, but they do not know how to produce what people want.
What Netflix has is more detailed data of what people watch. So will its competitors is just a few years.
What matters in content is the content of that content. Ideas, emotions, excitement. Technology is irrelevant.
Also, insert some scenes, remove others, change the cut a little bit, change color grading, music mix – all these changes look like something modern AI could learn to do.
Just more tools for geniuses to use to move us and move us more deeply.
A lot of people say that they want long, challenging reading but they end up reading Buzzfeed articles. Don't ask people what they want to do - watch what they actually do.
Spotify has a horrifically bad business. They're bleeding to death financially, having never earned a profit in their entire existence; they've burned through billions in financing and are still burning at a similarly high rate. Simultaneously Apple is likely to catch up in subscribers in the near future, diluting the leverage Spotify desperately needs to improve its bargaining situation. Apple can afford to burn billions to bury Spotify (likely force them into a sale/acquisition).
Spotify is in a no win scenario. They'll never have enough margin to earn a profit via licensing all of their most heavily listened-to content. The content owners will perpetually squeeze Spotify. This is the fate that Netflix understood to attempt to avoid, which Spotify has entirely failed to avoid. Meanwhile all of largest competitors to Spotify actually make money (Sirius as one example is very profitable). Spotify's only possible future is in the belly of one of the tech or media giants.
You'll see there are quite a few bitter complaints online: https://community.spotify.com/t5/Content-Questions/WHY-do-yo...
There are only a few artists who are Apple Music or Tidal exclusive, in an attempt drive users to those platforms.
Also, Spotify has 3 Volor Flex albums, but is missing the one I usually want - "Unlit". I'm pretty sure that specific album is on Amazon Music though, oddly enough.
This isn't a particularly substantiative comment, just some datapoints that irk me about Spotify's inventory.
If Taylor Swift pulls out of Spotify, but Spotify's users are listening to "Discover" not "Taylor Swift", then Spotify is afforded with the opportunity to play "something that sounds like Taylor Swift." And god knows there are enough hungry and talented bands out there looking for a break...
Admittedly, it's been awhile since I was in grade school and marched in musical lockstep with my peers, but it seems as decent of an idea for disempowering major, advertising-heavy record labels as anything.
I have both, and for discovery spotify is way behind Apple Music, and i often find things on Apple Music that i cant get on Spotify. But one of those factors maybe my taste, but i have one friend with totally opposite taste to me that has had the exact same experience.
You are not using discovery really if you are doing the finding. It should be automatic in that just play one of the daily or weekly lists and music that you like (some old some new) should be played.
I tried Apple Music for its free trial and switched back to Spotify as I just can't be bothered to choose what I listen to myself.
Take my money! I just want to be able to watch stuff.
"Let's watch X"
"Darn it. It's not on Netflix"
"Not on Hulu"
"Not on Google Video either"
"No, they got shut down by Disney"
"Oh, doesn't Disney have a service?"
"Oh look it's on Amazon video!"
"Oh, but we have Vizio Smartcast. Can't get it from the phone to the TV because Vizio uses Google and Amazon has some sort of blood feud."
"F--- it, not worth the hassle. We're pirating this."
It sounds like you just don't like how much it costs to support high quality television/movies. Granted, one 60$ a month service that offered everything would be more convenient.
I went to JustWatch and even pretended to be an American, just to make it easier on them.
First option, The Exterminating Angel. It's a classic, part of the list of 1000 best films by the NYT, and less than 60 years old. Nope, not even one service has it.
Second choice, Lore; still foreign, but it's a film from 2012, made already in the streaming era! Apparently I got to subscribe to "Fandor", so the price is now $40/month.
Third, let's give them an easy win: Missing, made in the US and owned by Universal! Yet another service, so called "Starz", for $9/month more.
Fourth, an American classic, they have to have Raging Bull... and no. Now it's something called "MaxGo", which from what I can tell costs another $10/m.
These were literally 4 of the 5 first movies I searched for, and we're already at your $60/month, and still missing one! It's not reasonable.
FWIW, I do have Netflix and Amazon Prime, but still don't get everything I'd like to have (and the bigger headache of knowing what's where adds to the frustration). Of course, I have seen people make the argument that one shouldn't wish for things one cannot afford. For digital content though, I believe the companies are leaving a lot of money on the table by not expanding their customer base and making it easier to subscribe and use (vs. say, downloading content from elsewhere).
I don't see how the current size matters for that.
Discovery is good, works on every platform, offline sync with transcoding so you can decide how much space it takes up, hdhomerun for dvr-ing live OTA sports, camera backup on vacation in full resolution. It's amazing if you're a little patient on the ramp-up.
Practically, speaking, yes. What are you going to do about it? You can keep railing about the morality of piracy but it's been 17 years since Napster and still nobody cares.
Thanks to Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, I don't know anyone who pirates music anymore. The solution is right there.
You just gave two comments about exactly that.
My point is that I think these people are leaving money on the table, because weak humans will wind up pirating rather than wait weeks for a DVD to arrive.
This is basically what Hulu is -- NBC, ABC, and FOX consolidating their online streaming content into a single service. (I don't think it would be better for consumers if any of the three corporations that own those networks actually merged.)
Netflix is popular and needs to cater to the popular tastes, in an environment of content owning launching their own streaming services.
That bit is addressed by https://www.justwatch.com, which shows you where to legally watch any movie / show. Very useful.
If you think that's worth it up to you, you can watch pretty much any movie at any time if you accept this price range.
NBC and HBO are both networks. And so is Netflix. And Showtime, and AMC.
The main difference is that Netflix broadcasts all over the world using the Internet, while NBC and HBO have limited reach outside of the US using cable and/or OTA signals (and over the Internet too!).
House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, Gray's Anatomy. These are all just original shows of their respective networks.
In Hollywood an Original Show just means that it was shown exclusively in one place first.
A merger of Netflix and HBO is such a face-smackingly obvious win/win I can't imagine why it hasn't happened already.
Netflix's service, reach, user data mining, and tech powering a hybrid content catalog of Netflix originals and HBOs library, which becomes a freebie/cheapie with an HBO cable subscription.
As it stands both companies are trying to become one another, with mixed results, and Disney is gonna try hard to eat both their lunches once Disneys Streaming Platform to Rule Them All is live...
Because HBO isn't independently held; its owned by Time Warner.
And just keep pulling on that sweater thread: combining the subscriber platform of Netflix, the content & cable capabilities of HBO and their boxing connections, along with sweetheart win/win deals for streaming as much of Time Warners catalog as makes sense... That's exactly the kind of slightly-adult-oriented position I'd want to go head-to-head with Disney/ABC/Pixar/Lucasarts/ESPN in the forthcoming streaming war. Plus bigger budgets, which is a factor since Netflix is a verifiable money printing machine.
It is the second meaning which the author seems to imply and that I'm using here.
For example, the Emmy's (and the Hollywood Reporter, for example) consider NBC, ABC, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon to all be networks on equal footing.
The trade papers may use ‘network’ interchangeably in Ye Grand Tradition of old school Deadline slang for TV, but nobody in the industry would ever confuse networks (read: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) with cable/premium/streaming channels.
To me they are all channels. Just some don't allow binge watching or time-shifting well and others do.
So not a vast difference.
One of the questions becomes what does the new bundle look like? (or the a la carte package.) Because there are pretty clearly a limited number of monthly subscriptions that most consumers are willing to pay for especially if they're in the >$10 range.
I'm personally rooting for Netflix. I'm really enjoying the content. I thought Bright was a pretty entertaining throw-away action flick. And I love Stranger Things as well as Ozarks. Hell, I even watched the first ep of Queer Eye the other night... I love being able to watch at my convenience, and not be bombarded with ads. I also love that they're not subjected to the same restrictions as the big US networks in terms of their content, just like HBO isn't.
I'm excited that they're investing so much in their content pipeline.
Netflix is like the upside down of TV is an interesting idea.
Netflix takes things people already like and doubles down on them, and that's the whole business model.
So, then, the main question the author ends up with: "Can Netflix ever do anything truly original in the way HBO does?"
TLDR: It’s hard to be groundbreaking when your whole purpose is to take people where they’ve already been.
There's a name for this, it's called "television". Netflix makes television, and they do a good job of it. They're getting better at it too despite having only started doing it for a few years. Compared to the quality standards of the '80s or '90s what netflix produces today is near solid gold. Some of it truly is great, most of it is merely good. Little of it is truly groundbreaking, but that's true of television (and video media) in general. The number of groundbreaking shows that get made every year is pretty close to zero. That's true even at places known for making groundbreaking shows, like HBO.
They are for Bright.
That wasn't original, it was taken from Channel 4. The rest still stand though.
I have a feeling that this time around, it will take less then 30 years for Netflix to reach the same unwatchable state.
Cable TV has such a high price because it includes both a network and content. Netflix should only be compared to entities that do not own networks.
When you pay for Netflix, your $13/month bill does not pay for the wires that deliver your television to your home.
> (vkou) When you pay for cable, your $60/month bill pays for programming, as well as the wires that deliver your television to your home.
Vkou's rephrasing is precisely correct. Home phones are also $20-$60/month because operating a wired network really is that expensive.
Many people I know that use cable/satellite TV either have low home bandwidth or have a home bandwidth cap. A standard home datacap is 300gb/month. The average American watches 5 hours of tv a day , or 500+gb/month (at HD).
Yeah, technically you're correct, I should include internet of my cable portion, but it's also doing about a dozen other things for me, too, so lets be generous and say it's $60 data/10 uses = that's an additional $6 just for Netflix.
So < $20 for Netflix for my family.
Netflix is more comparable to a single premium cable channel than a Cable TV subscription.
Recently, 20 new series were delivered, and I think that only 1 or 2 are good. The rest, are not even worthy of your time.
And the ratings that they use are atrocious. For example, a series is given a 4.5 star rating, but when you watch it, you ask yourself, who rated this?
* House of Cards
* Orange is the New Black
* Stranger Things
* A Series of Unfortunate Events
* Altered Carbon
* Jessica Jones
* Luke Cage
* The Defenders
* Master of None
* Wet Hot American Summer
* Bojack Horseman
* Chef's Table
* Voltron: Legendary Defender
Maybe I misunderstood your thesis, but the 1-2 remark seems ungenerous...
Besides, you might be surprised how low people's standards are. After all, 5 hours a day is Americans' average TV consumption. The world can't product that amount of high quality TV.
In 2017 they switched to a thumbs-up / thumbs-down system, and now they show a percentage which I believe is their estimate of the chance you'll give it a thumbs-up.
From a networking perspective that is a terrible scenario vs. users actively engaging with a single new episode of some netflix series.
Through that lens, is anything going to impress you?
Edit: the third thing professional reviewers are, is hungry for clicks.
Had no relation to Bright either.
Will Smith played Will Smith, but that was fine for the movie. Joel Edgerton's performance as Jakoby was great. The dynamic between those two to be compelling and carried the movie. Certainly, if you aren't sold on the Ward/Jakoby dynamic then you probably won't like the movie. But I thought it was good.
Tikka's reluctance to speak English or use the wand early on in the plot did strain creduily a bit, but upon watching a second time it's clear the filmmakers did make an effort to keep the wand out of her possession and justify her reluctance to open up to the two protagonists. Again it's not perfect but it's also not completely incompetent.
While the social commentary is a bit clumsy and heavy-handed, I found the earnest, straightforward portrayal of that message refreshing. In a world of increasingly group-based identity politics, a clear and simple message about treating people as individuals is a rather nice change of pace.
The use of graffiti as world building, some call lazy but I enjoyed it and found worked well enough for a 2-hour movie. The vagueness with regard to the history and backstory did not bother me. It was quickly apparent that the movie wanted to include both familiar real-world elements and familiar fantasy elements without actually running a complete alternate-reality simulation from first principles. For the sake of a single 2-hour movie, it's easy for me to forgive a top-down, less rigorous approach to world building.
The characters introduced by the story were compelling enough for me to be interested to learn more. I liked the role played by the Department of Magic. I'm interested to see more about the elves and about the fogteeth clan and the shield of light. Again, while these elements are painted with broad strokes, it's a popcorn movie not a 10-hour TV series, a serious novel, or an RPG campaign setting. I give the sequel about a 50:50 odds at being a disappointment.
The humor was uneven, sometimes it worked well and sometimes it didn't. I found myself laughing in spite of myself at lines like "we're not in a prophecy we're in a stolen Toyota Corolla." The action scenes were not well lit, but were much better at conveying a sense of real tension and danger than typical Marvel-style superhero blockbusters.
The plot succeeded in developing characters and revealing mysteries. The turning point in the church is exciting. We'd been carrying around the Wand for several scenes and the first use is dramatic and satisfying, as well as carrying with it meaningful consequences for the characters and the story. The climax and big reveal, predictable as it was, is still exciting. Classical music always resolves the dominant to the tonic but it's still fun to hear.
I certainly had some complaints. I'm mildly disappointed Ward's wife character went nowhere, although I appreciated the small scene where she appears halfway through. I thought the fairy scene in the beginning was dumb. I think the "kick me" scene was dumb. I thought the scene with the police beating the Orcs was a bit much. In general, the police were portrayed as frustratingly and irredeemably corrupt(and I don't think that was necessarily the intent). A bit more subtlety would have been nice. Jakoby's "I always wanted to be a cop" motivation is cliched (but Edgerton sells it anyway). The villains were introduced as super-powered fighers but then the protagonists didn't have much trouble when the final battle came. There's one moment in particular when four characters are standing in an open parking lot, one gets sniped and the others make it to cover without even taking additional fire. I think there were too many scenes set in a generic urban landscape. The villain is style over substance with no development at all.
The "world building" was lazy and beyond boring; take a bunch of urban cliches and a bunch of fantasy cliches and slap them together.
The visuals were unappealing, the acting was flat, the dialogue was trite and terrible. The plot was beyond predictable and terrible (spoiler alert for the sequel, Tikka became the dark one at the end, which was obviously going to happen from the beginning.)
It's just all around a really, really bad movie.
This seems like a matter of taste then. I don't see any real criticism of it, just that you prefer how it's done in other movies.
take a bunch of urban cliches and a bunch of fantasy cliches and slap them together.
Why is this automatically a bad thing?
The plot was beyond predictable
Again, not automatically a problem. I can predict that every Mozart sonata will end on a cadence to tonic.
This is not exactly convincing. I can call anything terrible, that doesn't make it so.
I am done with this conversation now.
I’m older now, but no wiser.
A lot of settings that are actually interesting only really work as long-form episodes--Babylon 5 or Angel for example would've been a garbage movie.
Bright was essentially a large pilot. I'd be really interested in seeing what the production side of the house is learning.
For some reason people think of them as the new hot thing, but the reality is they have been around for longer than Google. With competition in the streaming video market only getting hotter, I can't see them going anywhere but down. Any one of Amazon Video, Hulu, Disney, or HBO could unseat them.
The growth expectations implicit in their 200+ P/E ratio seem way out of sync with their actual potential. If I owned Netflix stock I'd be selling it all now.
HBO go is struggling and heavily dependent on dwindling cable subscribers to keep HBO viable.
Amazon video is similarly subsidized by Amazon. Treated more as a loss leader than a profit center with ~1/3 million of Netflix's subscribers even though it's included with an Amazon prime subscription.
Netflix does not have total dominance, but with a solid track record of original content and a massive subscriber base they are becoming harder to beat over time.
HBO seems to be doing fairly well. They have ~5 million online subscribers, up from 2 million in Feb. 2017. That's small potatoes vs. Netflix's 117+ million subscribers, but it's a nice growth rate for a premium product. We don't have cable and are happy subscribers to both HBO and Netflix.
It's funny you don't even mention Apple. We used to buy seasons of TV shows off of Apple when they weren't available elsewhere, but don't anymore because we can't watch them on our Roku (at least I don't think we can).
HBO's has higher profit margins, but lower revenue. Further, being tied to Time Warner complicates the issue, without cable HBO would fail. So it's in a race to add subscribers fast enough to keep up with cord cutters.
It's really a content issue for me as last few times I checked they had nothing worth watching that I have not already seen.
A small number of shows are not included in our No Commercials Add-on. You can still watch these shows, however, they will play with a short commercial before and after each episode.
While the list of shows may change, they are currently: Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grimm, New Girl, and How To Get Away With Murder.
And then on top of that it's a wasteland content-wise as you stated.
It's not eye bleed territory, but it would piss me off if I had any interest in watching those shows and paying for a 'commercial free' experience.
They aren't _just_ a platform for content producers. They are producers of content. Competitors need to outprice them, our perform them, and outproduce them.
Having said that, 200+ p/e is still insane.
They are producing more and more shows I am less and less interested in.
Meanwhile they still have a rolling library of titles instead of an ever expanding one.
I'll bite - I'm totally ignorant of their success. What metrics are you using to define that success, and where are you getting the data?
The businesses are very different, but P/E as such is just one measure of market sentiment on a stock.
What would make Netflix truly amazing, but apparently is not possible, would be if their DVD catalog was available to stream.
Hulu. Netflix. Amazon. CBS. Disney. FX. YouTube Red. Crunchyroll. And on and on.
It’s only vaguely workable when compared to the totslly unworkable price of American cable tv.