Tell Me What to Watch!

There are a number of great films available now to watch on demand via your internet connected TV, smart phone or – hell – even your computer (seriously, who watched movies on their computer?).  But honestly, how do you get around all the mumbo-jumbo of comic book films and action packed films that dominate every storefront you buy from?  Don’t get me wrong, I can stand a little comic book action from time-to-time but COME ON. Netflix has tried on the SVOD front by using the ‘Recommended’ list but for the most part, that just doesn’t seem to do the trick.  There have been countless efforts to capture the emotions and feelings of the viewer, but without getting into our heads, it’s damn near impossible to write an algorithm to know if a person’s cat died earlier that day and that viewer is in the mood to watch a sappy cat-love story (sorry no specific title comes to mind here).

Anyway – if you’re looking for something to watch and you’re in any of the following moods here are my suggestions.

HappyiSteve on Netflix – stars Justin Long and was made by Funny or Die.

Sad – if you’re trying to get happy then iSteve, if you want to stay miserable then watch Only God Forgives.

MadThe Place Beyond the Pines - just do it.

Sleepy? Pre-order Man of Steel on iTunes, go to bed and wake up 2 full months later to watch.




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Came across this video this morning – Clay Shirky gives an interesting take on SOPA and PIPA and why they’re a bad idea

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Original Content, Here Comes YouTube

Aww shucks.  Just when I thought we had the major online players figured out, here comes internet video behemoth YouTube throwing a curveball.  Friday, YouTube announced they’re launching up to 100 new channels featuring artists and pop culture icons such as Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal (The Comedy Shaq Network), Lance Armstrong, Jay Z and more.  This will be original content made for YouTube.  They start rolling out in November and will continue to grow/decline based on success.  Robert Kyncl, Global Head of Content Partnerships made the announcement via the YouTube blog on the 28th. A full list of partners can be found here at PaidContent.

Here’s my take – What makes this significant is the fact that you can view YouTube videos on just about every device known to man.  Wider distribution means more eyeballs (theoretically anyway).  And for now, let’s face it – you still can’t watch HBO on a Blackberry.  It remains to be seen if the same people that will watch a stupid kitten do cute things will tune in to watch professionally produced content.  YouTube’s distribution and pockets are deep so I’ll be watching closely how the whole thing pans out.

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Netflix and Qwikster

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently announced that they would be splitting the company in two – one side streaming and the other DVDs by mail.  Along with the announcement came a heartfelt apology FOUND HERE.   The baffling part (among many others) is that they have chosen to rename the DVDs by mail side “Qwikster” and keep “Netflix” for the streaming site.   My thoughts are that the subscribers that use DVDs by mail are (more than likely) the less tech-savvy side of the population.  In other words, they wouldn’t be so inclined to visit a new website to access their DVD by mail service.   If you’re going to change (and complicate) things, why not do it to the people that can handle it?

Visit the OFFICIAL NETFLIX BLOG to see the rest of the gripes….

Here are a couple of my favorites:


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Hulu’s CEO on Paid Subscribers, “higher than we previously forecasted.”

In the wake of having numerous rumored buyers (Yahoo, Microsoft and now Google),  Hulu CEO, Jason Kilar has posted some promising statistics about the Hulu Plus service.  Kilar reported that Hulu should get to their 1 million paid subscriber goal before the end of the summer – a lot sooner than the end of 2011 (the previously forecasted number).   This is good news for both Hulu and the potential buyers.

Kilar ends the post with, “It’s been a big Q2. We remain on pace to approach half a billion in 2011 revenue. Thank you for making the above possible. We remain a team that believes in the value of convictions, thoughtful stubbornness, and the relentless pursuit of better ways.”

Full post available HERE

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The live feed from Chicago can be found here:

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“There’s no such thing as a TV anymore.”

That was the statement made by Time Warner CEO Glenn Britt.  Though that comment may sound strange, the man has a point.  By cable providers starting to take note of the potential cord-cutting movement, this will allow innovation to really embrace the ‘TV Anywhere’ model.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and News Corp COO Chase Carey seemed cautious about moving in this direction – taking the position that the right to display their content across multiple devices (i.e. iPad, TV, laptop) should come with a fair price from not only consumers but distributors also.  They added that they may need to explore to find the right business model to make it work.

What did Britt have to say about this? “We do have to experiment. Sometimes business gets in the way of that.” This was a verbal reiteration of the companies earlier actions – when Time Warner Cable launched an iPad app to stream multiple cable channels live… without permission.

One could argue that there is a fair amount of ‘added value’ to the consumer (and distributor) by having the multiple viewing options and  expect to see the cable providers offering up more robust versions of the ‘TV Anywhere’ idea.  This could put the squeeze on SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in regards to future licensing considerations.

In regards to cord-cutting Britt says that it’s “barely measurable,” yet he also spoke of creating less expensive package options for consumers who may have to make financial cutbacks due to the current economic climate.   Interesting.

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