Cordkillers 226 – Pop Culture Sherpa (w/ Brian Ibbott)

OTT service prices going up, Matt Groening’s new show, and Venture Bros. is really coming back. All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Brian Ibbott

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CordKillers: Ep. 226 – Pop Culture Sherpa
Recorded: July 2 2018
Guest: 
Brian Ibbott

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • DC’s new digital streaming service is opening its beta this August
    – Warner Brothers announced the arrival of DC Universe. It’s combination of an unlimited digital comic platform with a library of past DC-related TV shows and movies, including upcoming shows like Young Justice: Outsiders, Titans, and Harley Quinn. DC Universe will be available in beta this August with a full launch planned for autumn.
  • Apple could bundle TV, music and news in a single subscription
    – A new report from The Information says its sources say Apple might bundle its forthcoming original video programming with news content, magazines, music. Apple acquired Texture in March which lets you read multiple magazines with a single subscription.
     

How to Watch

  • Sony raises monthly cost of PlayStation Vue by $5 for all plans
    – Sony announced it’s raising its PSVue plans by $5 a month each due to rising business costs. the cheapest plan will cost $45 and the most expensive will be $85. It starts July 24 for new subscribers and the first billing cycle after July 31.
  • DirecTV Now will raise prices by $5 on August 1st
    – DirecTV Now will raise its price by $5 on each of its packages starting August 1, with its cheapest package starting at $40 a month and the top tier now $75.
  • Sling TV revamps its service with a price hike, new free tier & à la carte channels
    – Sling TV, is raising the base price of its core package Sling Orange by $5 to $25 per month, and also offering new free content and à la carte channel subscriptions. Sling TV will also offer pay-per-view (PPV) events and more than 5,000 movies that can be watched without a monthly subscription. A new user interface reflecting new content options hits Roku devices today, with other devices to come.
  • Dish and Sling TV lose Univision channels in price dispute
    – Dish and Univision are in a carriage price dispute which means Univision, UniMás and Galavisión are no longer on Dish services including Sling TV. Univision Now recently launched a streaming service to get Univision channels for $6 a month.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Justice Department Approves Disney’s Acquisition of 21st Century Fox With Divestiture of Regional Sports Networks
    – The US Department of Justice has given approval for Disney to acquire most of 21st Century Fox. The deal would NOT include the Fox broadcast network, Fox News or FS1 and FS2. However it was supposed to include the Fox Regional Sports Networks. The Department of Justice would require Disney to divest of itself of those regional sports networks as it believes it creates an anti-competitive conflict due to Disney’s ownership of ESPN and other regional sports nets. Disney has agreed to the conditions. Comcast still has a competing bid but has not received antitrust approval.
  • Verizon shuts down its free Go90 video streaming service
    – Verizon will shut down its free ad-supported Go90 video streaming service July 31. Verizon Go topped out at 17 mm unique users earlier this year. Verizon laid off most of the Go 90 staff and shifted development to former Vessel staff after VZN acquired them. No more significant layoffs are expected.
  • MoviePass parent says it may sell up to $1.2B in equity and debt to finance operations and growth
    – MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics has filed paperwork with the US SEC to sell up to $1.2 billion in equity and debt securities. This doesn’t give them that much money but it does give them clearance to raise up to that amount through various financial means like selling shares.
  • Coming soon from Netflix: Three dozen billboards in Hollywood
    – Netflix is buying half of Regency Outdoor Advertising giving it up to 35 billboard displays along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. The deal is expected to close in July.

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Brian,Bryce,Tom,and Jackie somewhere in the background.

So Westworld season 2 ended last week.I needed another show to watch to justify my HBO add-on subscription through Hulu.I chose “”The Leftovers””.

I’ve watched the first three episodes so far.While those dogs aren’t ours anymore,I know you’ve already watched and discussed the first 3 seasons of the show.

My question is,where is the Spoilering search feature project at right now?Months ago Bryce mentioned we needed 1500 patreon bosses to make the search function for spoilering time happen.Is the goal close?Or very far away from happening?

I’d appreciate a reply from David Pick in Fond Du Lac,WI.

If nothing else,wishing everyone have a good 4th of July holiday later this week.

– David

 

 

 

Greetings cord killers,

I am team Brian. I have a movie theater five minutes away from my home that is always the first place I go to. That’s not to say that I’m unwilling to go to a different theater if the movie I want to see is playing there at a better time. However, I go to the same theater 98% of the time

Jess
 

 

Hey Killers,

Regarding loyalty to theaters, my wife and I are 100% Team Brian! We gravitate to theaters with specific characteristics, even if that meant driving further than other closer theaters. When we lived in Rochester, we drove 30 minutes to an AMC because it was one of the first theaters in the area with assigned seats. When we moved to Lawrence Kansas, .. we drove 45 minutes to the AMC in Kansas City with assigned seats and a Dolby Atmos theater.

anotherJmartin

 

Hey Brian and Tom,

Generally speaking I tend to use the same one or two theaters, even though everywhere I have lived for the last decade has at least half a dozen theaters within reasonable driving distance. Why? Theater amenities. … I want large, comfortable, reclining seats, and to be able to pick my seats ahead of time.

 

Kyle 

 

 

Hello Brian, Tom , and Bryce,
My wife and I pretty much only go to one theatre and we drive about 40 minutes to get there.
We have three other theatres that are a bit closer but the one we frequent has huge reclining chairs, and reserved seating.

Seamus

 

 

Cord Slayers,
I’m lucky enough to have 4 theaters within a 15 minute drive but there is 1 theater to that I go to 90% of the time. I like to stick to 1 theater because I like a consistent experience… Once I lock into a routine I can choose the same row/seat and know I won’t be pulled out of the movie experience by an uncomfortable seat, viewing angle, house lights, etc.

Anonymous

 

 

Hi guys,
… Here in Waco, we have two 16 screen megaplexes run by Regal and AMC, and one six screen “cheap seat” theater. My wife and I tend to go to the AMC, and only because they put in an IMAX screen last year, …However, the Regal is the only location for Fathom events, and thus the only place to see the TCM monthly classics on a big screen, so I can’t stay in the AMC system for all my needs. …
 

David

 

 

I’d would never consider AMC’s plan because it is limited to AMC. I wouldn’t do Alamos plan because both Alamos in Denver are pretty far away. But I will go to movies at various chains. United Artists (Regal) and Landmark and sometimes AMC and Alamo.

Lewis

 

Hey Everyone,
I happen to be one of those people that really do(n’t)? go to the movie theater at all. It’s not that I don’t want to, but paying $19.99 once on iTunes for a movie I do want to see trumps a trip to the theater. While one might think I missing the theater experience, there isn’t that much of an experience that I can’t replicate at home except for the big screen, but a 4K 65 inch screen in the dark is pretty darn good.

Chris

 

 

Hey Cordkillers,

I signed up for the AMC Stubs A-List program and just before I hit submit I noticed something in the fine print. There is a three month commitment to the program before you can cancel. I still signed up because I go to the movies frequently and it is a good value form me but if you are wanting to sign up for a month and catch up on movies then cancel. You could find yourself with quite a surprise.

Caveat emptor, Cordkiller believers!!!!!

Josh

 

Links

2018 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Cordkillers 224 – Forty Percent of Ten is Four

AT&T and TWC can merge, Lucifer is back on Netflix, and Minecraft on Netflix (really!). All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest DJ Wooldridge

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CordKillers: Ep. 224 – Forty Percent of Ten is Four
Recorded: June 18 2018
Guest: DJ Wooldridge

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • AT&T, Time Warner, and the Future of TV in the Mobile Era
    – U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that AT&T’s proposed purchase of Time Warner is legal. Judge Leon did not impose any conditions on the merger. The merger will combine Time Warner’s HBO, Turner Networks and the Warner Brothers film studio with AT&T’s ISP and pay TV services like DirecTV. The deal was officially closed on June 15.
  • Expect AT&T’s ‘WarnerMedia’ to expand HBO’s budget
    – The bulk of TimeWarner’s operations (HBO, Turner, Warner Brothers films) will be put in a new division of AT&T called Warner Media, run by AT&T exec John Stankey. In an interview with Bloomberg, Stankey implied they’ll spend more money on programming. HBO has a 2.5 billion content budget compared with Netflix’s 8 billion. The $15 skinny bundle mentioned by Randall Stephenson in testimony is expected to launch in a few days with Turner networks as the anchor.
  • Comcast makes $65 billion offer to steal 21st Century Fox away from Disney
    – Comcast officially made an offer to buy parts of 21st Century Fox TV and Film. The all-cash offer is $35 per share totaling approximately $65 billion, higher than Disney’s stock-based $52.4 billion deal. Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, and Fox Sports are not part of either offer. Comcast was also waiting for the AT&T-Time Warner deal to be resolved.

How to Watch

  • Oprah will make stuff for Apple’s big, ambitious TV plans. But what are Apple’s TV plans?
    – Apple announced Oprah Winfrey will create original programs that “embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.’ Apple didn’t say if Winfrey would appear in any of the shows, and financial details were not disclosed. Apple also said the deal wouldn’t affect OWN, Winfrey’s own television network she launched in 2011 and has contract through 2025. Apple has made deals for more than a dozen shows with Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Durant.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Terry Gilliam Has Lost the Rights to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
    – A couple months after Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote premiered at the Canne film festival, a French court ruled Terry Gilliam does not own the film. Paulo Brancho’s Alfama Films won the court case, requiring Giiliam to pay $10,000 in damages. Brancho intends to sue the film’s production crew and Cannes.
  •  Netflix to bring Minecraft: Story Mode to service – but not traditional games
    – Netflix will stream TellTale Games’ interactive story, Minecraft: Story Mode. Netflix also says TellTale will make a Stranger Things game. We joked about this last week and now…
  • MoviePass Is Looking to Launch Family Plan Within a Month
    – MoviePass announced last week it has passed three million paying subscribers and believes it needs two million more to break even, which it expects to get by the end of the year. MoviePass claims to account for 5% of the US box office. Parent company Helios and Matheson’s CEO, Ted Farnsworth told CinemaBlend that MoviePass has a family plan and bring-a-friend plan in the works, though neither would hav discounts.
  • MoviePass Reps 40% Of ‘Gotti’s $1.67M Opening As Critics Slaughter John Travolta Mob Pic
    –  MoviePass says that its users accounted for 40% of the ticket sales for the box office stinker “Gotti,” which the service also invested in. MoviePass is really having it each way–getting movies made, promoting movies, and selling the tickets (all in a roundabout way).
  • Plex’s grid guide gives cord cutters a traditional TV look
    – Plex introduced a tradition grid guide for live TV channels. It’s available on the Web for Plex Pass subscribers and will come to other platforms eventually.
  • Android malware is infecting Amazon Fire TVs and Fire Sticks
    – Unsurprisingly, users of Fire TV devices who sideloaded apps to watch copyright-infringing video have been infected with malware called ADB.miner that mines cryptocurrency for whoever made the malware. A factory reset should get rid of the malware, or the Amazon app store app Total Commander will let you find and uninstall the malware directly, though it may not fix any changes made to your system.

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys,
I have a Legal/Ethical question for you. Last week I went on a road trip and I wanted to load up a bunch of movies on my laptop. There were a few movies I wanted and I didn’t want to pay the $15-$20 to purchase so I could watch them offline. I also didn’t want to pirate them either.
I kind of stumbled upon a middle ground. I found several sites offering digital codes from 5 to 10 dollars. I used paypal so I didn’t give them my actual credit card info and with Movies Anywhere I was able to add the movies to my library and download them on the Vudu to Go app. It worked great.
My question is, where does this fall on the Legal/Ethical dilemma? These are probably codes that came with physical media that are being resold. I’m sure this is against the terms of service, but is this the same as me giving buying counterfeit goods?

What are your thoughts?

Scott

 

 

Just wanted to chime in with some non-specific notes as I’ve worked in the IT area of a bank processing card transactions. Technically the kiosk could be coded to reject the MoviePass transactions by either looking at the description of the transaction or the routing number or processor. The kiosk should contain fields defined for the ISO-8583 standard. I have seen terminals at stores coded to avoid certain cards if they deem them as being high fraud potential. The data can tell you everything.
Thankfully I’m out of banking IT and all I can say is “Kids, if offered, don’t do it.
Hope that helps.

Rodney

 

 

 

I’ll leave to you guys to debate whether The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones are better books or movies, but one that is not arguable is The Wizard of Oz.

The book is both bizarre and gruesome. The Wizard filling the Scarecrow’s head with a mixture of sawdust and pins, so he will be “sharp” and the high magical creature body count, including the Tin Woodsman decapitating many, are just 2 of the things that makes it not really a very good book.

The movie on the other hand, is brilliant and was nominated for 6 and won 2 Oscars.

Thanks for a great show.

Patrick

 

 

 

 

Last night was the first big storm of the season. Severe Thunderstorm, Tornado, and Flash Flood Warnings were issued all evening. I tuned in to the local TV channels, via antenna, to keep track of storm progress. When I moved to the basement to check the storm shelter (in case it would be needed) I tuned into one of the same local channels via my streaming TV provider on my tablet. The streaming version was a full two minutes behind the broadcast. Here in the midwest that is a serious issue during storms. My old cable TV provider was a couple of seconds behind, but not minutes.

Just as troubling were the “emergency notifications” coming via text that were 30 seconds or more behind the NOAA weather radio alerts. No reason for me to go back to cable, since I have good OTA coverage. But, it could be a consideration for some.

For just this reason alone, broadcast radio and TV is vital in emergencies. In our rush to sell off all of the spectrum to cell phone and other industries, let’s not forget that in an emergency it’s the broadcast infrastructure that seems most robust.

Thanks, I enjoy the podcast”

 

– George
 

 

Links

2018 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Cordkillers 222 – Crackle is Wackle (w/ Kent Fellure)

Cordkillers 222 – Crackle is Wackle (w/ Kent Fellure)

What do all these renewals mean for programming? Plus, Arrested Development, another new George R. R. Martin series, and a pirate box crackdown. All this and more on Cordkillers! With special guest Kent Fellure ( https://ritualmisery.com/ ).

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CordKillers: Ep. 222 – Crackle is Wackle
Recorded: June 4 2018
Guest: Kent Fellure

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • The Expanse Has Been Revived by Amazon for a Fourth Season
    -Jeff Bezos Announced it at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in LA
    NOTABLE POINTS
    – It’s not so much streaming winning over cable here. It’s the consolidation of rights all in one place.
    – SyFy just ordered adaptation of graphic novel Deadly Class and George R.R. Martin novella Nightflyers.
    – Fox took on Tim Allen’s Last man Standing from ABC (Fox produced and distributed)
    – NBC took Brooklyn Nine-Nine from Fox. (NBC Universal produced and distributed)
    – Yay for The Expanse getting picked up BUT bigger question. What does this mean for networks? Are they now just front ends for distribution?

How to Watch

  • Hulu’s live TV service surpasses 800,000 subscribers
    -Hulu CEO Randy Freer says the company’s live TV service had surpassed 800,000 subscribers. And 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch told Reode that abpiut 50% of Hulu’s on demand subscribers pay for the ad free experience. Insiders told ReCode it was more like 60%. For comparison, Sling TV has 2.2 million subscribers, and DirecTV Now has 1.5 million, but Hulu is ahead of YouTube’s live service, with the last report saying they had around 300,000 subscribers.
  • Hulu re-org sees departure of Content Chief Joel Stillerman, top SVPs
    -Hulu also reorganized around four priorities
    – The Subscriber journey – CMO Kelly Campbell
    – Technology and products (New CTO Dan Phillips, previously of TiVo)
    – Content (Senior Vice President of Content, Craig Erwich – originals, Content partnerships is open)
    – Advertising – Senior Vice President of Ad Sales Peter Naylor
    – New Chief Data Officer Jaya Kolhatkar of Walmart Labs)
    – Leaving: Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Distribution Tim Connolly and SVP Experience, Ben Smith.
    – Current SVP Experience, Ben Smith, will retire in July.
    – CEO Randy Freer took over from Mike Hopkins in October
  • Shockingly, Streaming Providers Are Dominating Cable At Customer Satisfaction
    – According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index customer satisfaction with subscription television service fell 3.1 percent to an ACSI score of 62, an 11-year low. The highest was ATT U-verse at 70 Verizon FIOS number 2 at 68 and DISH 67. Meanwhile Netflix, Sony PlayStation Vue, and Twitch all saw scores of 78, and the lowest rated streaming provider was Crackle at 68.
  • Apple unveils tvOS 12 with Dolby Atmos support and ‘zero sign-on’
    – Apple TV announcments
    – Adding Dolby ATMOS
    – The only streaming player to be both Dolby vision and Dolby Atmos certified.
    – Free upgrades to Dolby Atmos of your movies.
    – Partnering CANAL+, Switzerland’s Salt, Spectrum later this year.
    – On ISP with TV provider zero-sign-on. Detects you and signs you on. (Spectrum first to support)
    – Apple TV remote icon added to Control center and 3rd party remotes like Crestron/savant/control4.
    – Screensavers “Aerials” will tell you where they’re shot, swipe between locations, adding space station aerial.
  • Why Roku Is the Internet Video Box Leader, While Google Is Slipping
    – According to estimates from Parks Associates. Roku is still the market leader for streaming devices, holding steady at 37%. 28% used a Fire TV up from 24%. Apple stayed steady at 15%. Chromecast fell to 14% from 18% last year.
    – More than 3% of consumers cut the cord last year, the highest rate on record. And 40% of households with broadband have a streaming device.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Plex adds podcasts and personalization so you never have to leave the home screen
    – Plex released a redesign of its Android and iOS apps, adding beta support for podcasts and more personalization options. You can remove default categories from the home screen, and add new categories like On Deck and Continue Watching which can pick up from where you left off on other devices. There are now tabs on the bottom for Movies, Shows, Podcasts, and More.
  • YouTube is the preferred platform of today’s teens
    – A recent study from Pew Research Center reports that teenagers use YouTube more than ever. 85 percent of teenagers (ages 13–17) say they use the platform, compared to Instagram at 72% and Snapchat at 69%. As for Facebook, compared to a 2015 report surveying teen use on the platform at 71 percent, that number has dropped to around 51 percent.
  • Amazon taps former NBC executive to help run TV programming
    – Former NBC Exec Jennifer Salke, now head of Amazon film and TV announced she has hired former NBC producer Vernon Sanders to co-run TV with Amazon’s Albert Cheng. Sanders oversaw shows like The Blacklist, Friday Night Lights and 30 Rock.
  • China’s Netflix equivalent just opened its first cinema
    – China’s movie and TV streaming service iQiyi just opened its first theater with Dolby and THX sound, popcorn, fancy seats and such. It will let people book private on-demand showings. The photo in the South China Morning Post shows a small theater that looks like a screening room.
  • MoviePass parent company gets into the film production business
    – MoviePass’s parent company Helios and Matheson now has “exclusive option” to acquire the library and production slate of Emmett Furla Oasis Films (EFO Films), and the two are launching a new nameplate called MoviePass Films. MoviePass is scheduled to release two movies in June, including American Animals and a co-production with EFO Films, Gotti, starring John Travolta. Randall Emmitt of EFO Films said, “What impresses me the most is that MoviePass can guarantee box office attendance, which is a game changer.”
  • FCC asks Amazon and eBay to stop selling fake pay TV boxes
    – The US FCC sent letters to Amazon and eBay asking the companies to help remove listings for fake pay TV boxes. The FCC is involved because the boxes often display the FCC logo to imply they have been certified when they have not. Amazon and eBay already proactively remove boxes that facilitate piracy. The FCC just wants them to do better and move faster, as well as cooperate by sharing information with the FCC about the manufacturers.

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys,

I went to my local AMC this past Tuesday to see Solo and I ran into something I hadn’t seen before. AMC does $5 ticket Tuesdays for Stubs members. I ordered my ticket at the box office and they gave me the total ($5 and some change). I handed my MoviePass over to pay and was told that I couldn’t have the discounted price if I was paying with a MoviePass. She updated the transaction and charged me full price which was over $11.

It didn’t matter to me since it didn’t come out of my pocket, but I imagine MoviePass would not appreciate that policy. I know AMC and MP don’t get along, but is this even a legal practice? It seems a little shady to charge a different price based on what card the customer is paying with. I imagine that if I had bought the ticket at one of the self checkout kiosks, the transaction would have went through fine and AMC wouldn’t even have known I was using a MoviePass.

I just thought it was interesting and if anyone could provide insight here, it would be Tom Merritt.

Thanks guys, love the show! Been listening since the early Framerate days.

– Brad

 

 

I just finished listening to last week’s episode of Cordkillers. The discussion about how the TiVo Alexa skill works was kind of all wrong—your TiVo doesn’t become an Alexa device. You use your existing Alexa-enabled devices to control your TiVo—using pretty much the same method that Dish uses. In theory, it’s pretty slick. Luckily, it doesn’t actually work the way Martin tried to trigger it (though my Echo did wake up multiple times while I was listening).

Feedback for the producers (not for the show):

I hate to say it (’cause I LOVE YOU GUYS!), but the TiVo skill discussion kinda felt like a conversation about using voice assistants from a bunch of people who don’t use voice assistants. 😉

I’d love to come on again sometime (it’s been over a year!) and dive deeper into voice control for video if you think that would be an interesting topic. I’ve been a skeptic about this for a long time. I’ve had the Xbox One, which has voice controls for TV before many other products. I have the Apple TV with it’s terrible (but voice-enabled) remote. I have TiVo, the TiVo voice remote, and the skill enabled now (SPOILER: It’s not that good). I’ve tried most of this stuff, because we talk about it on Entertainment 2.0. In general, it’s all getting better, but it’s still clunky and somewhat unreliable. I have the most confidence in Amazon and Google getting this right eventually.

Best,
Richard

 

 

 

Hey Cordkillers,

I’m a supervisor at an AMC movie theatre and wanted to clear up some stuff with the person who used MoviePass last week and got his points used up.

First of all, when your points are activated, it automatically uses those dollars on the first purchase. It has been like this at least since I started working for AMC in October of 2016, so it definitely has nothing to do with MoviePass. When you talk to a person, they’re supposed to ask if you want to activate your points or not, and when you go to the kiosk, it only activates if you did so on your AMC app.

Secondly, shortly after the MoviePass price drop, AMC changed their TOS for the Stubs program and it’s actually against the TOS now to use MoviePass along with Stubs. This is partially because AMC doesn’t want people scamming the system and checking into movies just to earn Stubs points (something I’ll admit I had done back during the $35/mo days) and partially so that people don’t end up in situations like Mark’s. AMC’s weekly memo system is a little weird, so it’s possible not all crew members know this, but all managers should.

As far as AMC and MoviePass goes, the company has sort of indoctrinated its associates into disliking MoviePass, since the higher-ups don’t like it. MoviePass also causes problems from time to time when difficult patrons expect something from us when MoviePass itself is having problems and we’re unable to help, so there is definitely some resentment from AMC employees over it, which might explain the manager’s “glee” when he told Mark that his points had been used.

I hope this cleared up some stuff regarding MoviePass and AMC Stubs. Feel free to follow up with me if there are any further questions about this stuff!

Cheers,
Your long time boss who you know and love but doesn’t want to risk his job over an email in case someone in corporate watches.

Anonymous <>

Links

2018 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers