Summary of “The Golden Age of Cord-Cutting Is Over. Now What?”

On Tuesday, WarnerMedia rolled out the name and programming details of its upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, set to launch in spring of next year.
With no fewer than four major services set to roll out in the next year, the question is less about whether any of them can replace Netflix than which stands the best chance of chipping away at its market share-and how much a slightly weakened Netflix can retain.
We took a look at Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and NBCUniversal’s still-unnamed service to evaluate their selling points, their secret weapons, and most importantly, whether they stand a chance of earning a spot in consumers’ growing portfolio of streaming options.
We’re living in a time when auteurs and celebrities pale in comparison with intellectual property, and Apple TV+ doesn’t boast much in the way of IP. Is a story- and star-driven service aimed largely at adults enough to lure customers into taking a bet on a brand-new streaming player? We’ll find out, because Apple has the funds to throw an awful lot at the wall and see what sticks.
HBO Max Projected launch date: Spring 2020Price point: More than $15 a month, the current going rate for HBO’s stand-alone service HBO NowTrump card: Friends.
Will people pay?: WarnerMedia’s newly christened service is a strange hybrid, combining the prestige of HBO with the comfort of backlogged sitcoms from the TV studio arm of Warners with a slew of original series, from an adaptation of Station Eleven to an animated Gremlins show to a Dune spinoff.
HBO Max does have Friends in its corner, a series so essential to Netflix’s base the service tweeted out an official mourning, complete with its collective “We.” Will the people who bought Netflix almost exclusively for Friends do the same for almost twice the price? Are Greg Berlanti teen movies, of which HBO Max has ordered at least four, enough of a value add?
All four of these streaming services are vying to become the new Netflix-but the circumstances that created Netflix in the first place are negated by the existence of so many viable contenders.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Streaming TV is about to get very expensive”

The most watched show on US Netflix, by a huge margin, is the US version of The Office.
Even though the platform pumps out an absurd amount of original programming – 1,500 hours last year – it turns out that everyone just wants to watch a decade-old sitcom.
Things are just about manageable – if you have a TV licence, a Netflix subscription, an Amazon subscription and a Now TV subscription, you are pretty much covered – but things are about to take a turn for the worse.
The former Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg is about to launch a platform called Quibi, releasing “Snackable” content from Steven Spielberg and others that is designed to be watched on your phone.
Watching television is about to get very, very expensive.
There’s a huge difference between not being able to watch everything because there’s too much choice and not being able to watch everything because you don’t have enough money.
Netflix didn’t become a monster because people wanted to watch a specific show; it became a monster because people wanted to watch everything.
When its streaming platform launched, people were spending more than £15 just to watch a single season of a show on DVD. So to be able to watch every season of a show – and every season of hundreds of others of shows – for a fiver a month was revolutionary.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Streaming TV: the future of streaming TV is the cable bundle”

Netflix US March 14, 2019 One Day at a Time’s demise is just the latest example of a new business reality in the streaming era: If a streaming service doesn’t own the TV shows it airs, those shows have to be massive hits to justify the expense of licensing them.
WarnerMedia seems to be thinking of HBO – which already has a robust streaming operation in HBO Go and HBO Now – as the core of what will eventually become a more all-encompassing streaming service.
So the question of “What happens to Hulu?” is a misnomer, because to me, Hulu seems core to the future of Disney’s streaming strategy.
So imagine a world where, to get access to everything you’re interested in watching, you’re essentially subscribing to multiple cable bundles across several streaming platforms.
A return to cable bundles isn’t inevitable, but it’s likely Cable companies figured out early in the cable revolution that the natural solution to a world with a whole bunch of channels at varying price points is to bundle those channels together into a slightly more affordable bundle.
In many parts of my city, Los Angeles, the only option when it comes to buying an internet package is to go with a local cable company like AT&T. At least two major cable companies – AT&T and Comcast – are about to have affiliated streaming platforms.
At the same time, my guess is that most of these companies know they’re not going to wipe massive companies like Netflix or Disney from the face of the earth – to say nothing of a company like Apple, which is still waiting in the wings with its own proposed streaming service, or YouTube, which has struggled to launch its own subscription service but owns the viewership habits of the generation just entering its teens and 20s. Which means that eventually, we’ll probably go right back to the cable bundle as the only real option for getting access to film and TV content at home.
Even people who work for the streaming networks understand that having a bunch of streaming networks, all with their own unique and in-demand programming, all asking you to pay between $10 and $20 per month, could end up being catastrophic to consumers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Bird Box Effect: How Memes Drive Users to Netflix”

People referred to tertiary Bird Box characters by their first names, the same way that Stranger Things fans toss around the name “Barb.” In an effort to promote the film earlier in December, Netflix presented a handful of well-known Twitch gamers with a Bird Box “Challenge,” asking them to play their favorite game while blindfolded.
White’s journey to the play button is likely one of the reasons that more than 45 million Netflix accounts viewed Bird Box within the first week of its release, a statistic that the company touted as its best-ever debut for an original film.
Amid the height of the Bird Box fervor, one suspicious Twitter user hatched a theory that the company was using bots to spread memes about the movie online, citing a large amount of engagement from recently started Twitter accounts that had very few followers and tweets.
“I feel like I’m being conned into watching it by some unseen force that’s funneling Bird Box memes onto my timeline,” Nora Hastings, a 25-year-old graphic designer, told me via direct message.
“I want to see Bird Box and understand the memes fully but I also really, really, really don’t want to give Netflix the satisfaction, despite the very obvious fact that they don’t know who I am or even care about what I watch.”
On Wednesday, Netflix tweeted a warning to its followers to be careful: “PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes,” the company wrote.
Even if it’s not clear whether Bird Box meme makers and challenge participants enjoyed its film, Netflix appears to be right at home in the world of memes and challenges.
“Is it the amount of people who saw it, or is it the amount of people who discussed it? After the holidays, people come back to work on January 2. How many people were saying: ‘Oh, did you see Bird Box?’ Did they say: ‘Have you done the Bird Box challenge?’ In any case, it’s mentioning a movie that Netflix is behind, and Sandra Bullock is getting that exposure.” For Netflix, the creation of a massive online movement is worth far more than a few positive reviews.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’: Netflix’s Interactive Film Explained”

Charlie Brooker’s latest Black Mirror offering is impossible to recap and won’t be able to be reviewed in the traditional sense: The stand-alone event – which is actually an interactive film – will play out differently for each viewer.
Leading up to its Dec. 28 debut, Netflix released a trailer for Bandersnatch but hid the fact that the TV event – and first official Black Mirror stand-alone movie – is a choose your own adventure-style story that has been two years in the making.
Todd Yellin, vp product at Netflix, pitched Brooker and his producing partner, Annabel Jones, in May 2017, about going interactive with Black Mirror because Brooker seemed like the perfect fit.
Bandersnatch is an immersive, nonlinear film that uses the “Branching narrative” storytelling format and allows viewers – through touch screen or their remotes, depending on the device – to pick between a series of two choices as they go along, giving them control over how the plot unfolds.
As Bandersnatch begins to explore the sliding door elements of Stefan’s choices and the power of free will, the viewer will quickly realize what the Black Mirror duo means when they say that their idea could only work as an interactive.
The tech-savvy Black Mirror audience is a natural fit since, as Engelbrecht put it, they tend to be “a little more experimental and willing to be out there.” But it was the mind of Brooker and the potential for what he could create that made Netflix want to go all in.
When viewers navigate over to Bandersnatch in the Netflix homepage, they will be visually cued that the episode is interactive by the red icon that appears in the upper-righthand corner of the thumbnail.
As viewers await the arrival of the forthcoming Black Mirror season five set to release in 2019, the biggest hope from Brooker and Jones right now is that viewers simply appreciate Bandersnatch as a novel and cinematic TV experience.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Netflix says over 45 million accounts watched Bird Box”

Netflix announced on December 28 that more than 45 million accounts watched its Netflix original horror movie, Bird Box, in seven days, making it a record breaking debut for the streaming service – but considering Netflix rarely specifies what its data means, it was difficult to gauge what that number meant.
It’s also unclear from Netflix’s tweet how many people watched all of Bird Box or even half of the movie, before switching to something else.
A spokesperson for Netflix tells The Verge that the company only counts an account as having watched Bird Box “Once a view surpasses 70 percent of the total running time.” Furthermore, “Each ‘account’ may include multiple views and viewers but is only counted once,” the spokesperson added.
By this logic, that means at least 45 million people have watched at least 70 percent of Bird Box.
Considering that people may have watched Bird Box with friends or family, chances are that the total view count may be even higher than 45 million – especially given that Bird Box was released globally.
Netflix would not comment on where the majority of Bird Box’s viewers were geographically based.
There are still a number of questions Netflix wouldn’t address when asked by The Verge, including how 45 million account views in seven days compares to the last record holder.
A Netflix spokesperson added that specific data collection method is only applicable to Bird Box, not the rest of its content.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reed Hastings and Netflix Upended Hollywood. But Is His Model Built to Stay on Top?”

Reed Hastings is the kind of folksy, soft-spoken guy who would rather wear a Stranger Things-themed Christmas sweater than a suit and tie on a call with Netflix investors.
Netflix has ascended to cruising altitude, leaving Hollywood incumbents struggling to reach its heights.
The paranoia Hastings views as a strategic asset contributes to what one Netflix executive called a “Culture of fear.”
Wall Street has accepted Netflix’s premise that it can take over television if it spends like mad, which provides Netflix the financial security to take over television by spending like mad. The creative freedom on offer to creators, combined with the fat checks-$100 million for Kenya Barris, $150 million for Shonda Rhimes, and $300 million for Ryan Murphy-make Netflix the ideal landing place of stars.
For less prominent Hollywood talent the infusion of Netflix cash hasn’t always been a boon.
All of these changes to the ways television is produced, Netflix says, are in service to the customer as long as that customer’s aspiration is to watch more Netflix.
“Because Netflix is a data company, they know exactly how their viewers watch things,” Cary Fukunaga, director of the Netflix show Maniac, told GQ in August.
Losing people is the one thing Netflix can’t afford to do: Its entire business model is built on indefinite breakneck growth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The backstory of Netflix’s $100 million ‘Friends’ deal”

Which is what Netflix is going to pay AT&T* for the right to stream “Friends” next year.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint reported yesterday, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, which owns “Friends,” has extended a deal that gives Netflix exclusive streaming rights to all 10 seasons of the show through 2019.
As the New York Times’ Edmund Lee reported today, Netflix is paying $100 million to stream the show next year.
Netflix wasn’t the only streamer interested in “Friends.” Other bidders for the show included Hulu, the streaming service currently owned by Disney, Fox, NBCU and WarnerMedia, as well as Apple, which doesn’t have a streaming service yet, but also plans on launching one next year.
I’m also told that Hulu, which is very likely to end up solely owned by Disney/Fox once those two companies consummate their merger, tried hard to land “Friends.” At the very least, Hulu’s interest in the show ended up pushing the price up well beyond the $30 million a year Netflix was already paying for it.
So here’s the hedge WarnerMedia has ended up with**: After 2019, WarnerMedia has the ability to pull “Friends” from Netflix altogether and keep the show as an exclusive.
Which means there’s a scenario where WarnerMedia can get another $75 million a year from Netflix and still use the show as a key part of its own streaming service.
NBCU execs say Netflix has told them “The Office” generates more viewing hours than anything else on the service.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Netflix and the streaming wars create income inequality”

A writer on a Netflix show is paid differently from someone on a Hulu or YouTube Premium show, because fees are based on the number of subscribers that a service has.
In August, Becker, a seasoned performer who was a recurring guest star on Parks & Recreation, decided to go public with the way Netflix treats the rank-and-file workers on its shows.
Excited for the work, and the opportunity to work at a place known for its creative risk taking, she excitedly told her friends, “‘I booked a Netflix show!’ And they’re like, ‘Oh my God! Congratulations!'” she says.
A Netflix spokesperson responds, “Decisions about series regulars are always made in consultation with the show creators and depend on a variety of factors including creative vision and production’s scheduling needs for the actor. We work hard to support artists and are always grateful when they share their talent on our shows.”
Even with these attempts to level the playing field, there is still the fact that a season for a streaming show is typically less than half the length of a traditional network show.
If someone like Allison theoretically went from a network late-night show to its streaming equivalent, say, Norm Macdonald Has a Show on Netflix, or Sarah Silverman’s I Love You, America on Hulu, it’s a completely different financial outlook.
The company is not expected to launch its video offering until sometime next year, but its most significant contribution to the streaming wars thus far is paving the way for better deals for the staffs who work on their shows.
“My husband is a writer and director. The fact that I have that protection, meaning if one of us were to drop dead, we would definitely still have a source of income to take care of our kids. If I’m only on one show and it’s only 20 weeks, what am I going to do the rest of the year? And if the show is 10 episodes?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Netflix Expanded to 190 Countries in 7 Years”

The majority of Prime subscribers are in the U.S., and Netflix has managed to make inroads into even those markets where Prime arrived first.
From the experience and learning it gained in that process, Netflix developed the capabilities to expand into a diverse set of markets within a few years – the second phase of the process.
The third phase, during which a much-accelerated pace of entry brought Netflix to 190 countries, used everything it had learned from the first two phases.
Netflix has worked with, and responded to, the new markets it’s entered.
While Netflix believes that “Great storytelling transcends borders,” in the words of Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, the company has responded to customer preferences for local content: Currently it’s producing original content in 17 different markets.
Netflix potentially reaps the benefits of investing in local content all around the world.
Despite its very rapid internationalization, Netflix implemented in all markets the same customer-centric model of operations that had been key to its success in the United States.
Netflix has demonstrated that developing country-specific knowledge is critical for success in local markets.

The orginal article.