Cordkillers

Cordkillers 178 – Tom Merritt: Clickbait King

10 stories where Tom hypes PlayStation Vue price rises and charts Amazon Prime’s  popularity. Number 8 will shock you! With special guest Justin Robert Young.

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CordKillers: Ep. 178 – Tom Merritt: Clickbait King
Recorded: July 10 2017
Guest: Justin Robert Young

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Amazon Prime More Popular than cable!
    – Research company Morningstar estimates Amazon Prime reaches 79 million US households. S&P Global Market Intelligence recently projected 90 million US households will pay for cable or satellite TV this year.
    – It’s SLIGHTLY apples and oranges since Prime isn’t just for TV but it shows that Amazon is on its way to being in as many homes as cable.
    – Netflix reported 50.85 mm US subs in Q1)

How to Watch

  • PlayStation Vue hikes prices across the US
    – Sony has removed its “Slim” packages from regions that didn’t have local live TV available. Those packages did not include broadcast networks and charged $10 less than the normal versioon of the package
    – The standard Access package ($40 a month) is the cheapest one in all markets now.
    – Customers on the Slim package can keep it for three months after which they must cancel or be upgraded to the $40 plan
    -Sony told Dedline: “The transition to standard pricing for all markets was always part of our roadmap since we launched PlayStation Vue nationwide and began rolling out local broadcast affiliates in markets with Slim plans.”

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What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

I feel like I just hit the “Whammy” on this Cordkillers game of Press Your Luck…

Thanks in large part to your show, my wife and I dumped cable and picked up Playstation Vue when it launched. Aside from the Roku UI, we have been very happy with Vue. The Core Slim package provides the perfect mix of Scripps/Turner/Sports networks we want. I couldn’t replicate the ~7 channels we watch on any other providers for the cost. Most importantly, I had ability to watch every English Premier League match and the Extra Time Goal Zone when multiple games were happening at the same time. (Goal Zone was the EPL equivalent of the Red Zone Channel for the NFL.) Now, I feel like my cost savings was smashed. My Vue package is going to increase by $10/month and $50 paywall for Premier League Pass, which I had access to last season for no additional cost. It hurts more when it’s taken away. I also have Netflix, Prime and will be purchasing HBO Now for the season Game of Thrones. It’s possible I’m just a unique case, but it seems to be getting cable-level expensive again for the content I want.

I’m not sure there is any way to improve my situation with the current offerings, but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Will these cost increases and paywalls lead to a next “level” of cord cutting/shaving options?

(Feel free to edit for length and/or grammar if you want to use my message on the show. I can provide additional clarity if you’d like.)

Thank you for all you do.

Tyler

 

 

 

As someone who has dabbled and at times been really into quality scene releases over the years I have learned quite a lot about what popular opinion and standard formatting of this has been around the internet.
.. I decided to go with the flow and started following the largely considered correct way to name individual episodes. I haven’t had any issues with metadata since. THIS is the preferred way to name individual episodes for TV. If you wanted to name season 1 episode 12 it would be typed as S01E12 with S indicating season number and E indicating episode number.

 

 

 

As someone who works professionally at a post production facility, typing up labels and naming files for assets of episodic shows is a very frequent task. At the facility I currently work at, as well as places I’ve worked in the past, the general convention is to label any given episode in a series with:

1. The name of the series
2. Season number
3. Episode (or production*) number
4. Episode title (if one exists)

It’s also pretty common that a season number and episode number will be consolidated into one single identifier. For example, I might use “”307″” to refer to season 3, episode 7. Regardless, I could not help but laugh out loud that there are people with that much OCD that they are motivated to write an e-mail asking you to change the way you guys identify episodes on Spoilerin’Time. Keep up the good work, guys!

Robert

 

 

Hi there, Brian, Tom and Bryce!

Just wanted to say that last night’s show was great and the explanation you made about the Televisa/Cablevisión vs Roku deal was the best I have seen or read so far.

Here in Mexico, Televisa has kind of a bad rep, since they are sort of the official spokes-channel of the Government and they pretty much own most over the air TV channels. The court case agains Roku was seen as a last ditch effort for Televisa, since they have been struggling to capture young audiences with their digital content offerings, however that’s just a reflection of the general dislike with them, since Blim (their version of Netflix) actually owns about 17% of the online streaming services, which is actually quite good if we compare with TV Streaming services from other TV Channels even in the US.

So far, the “banning” of Roku is limited. Only Office Depot and Radio Shack (yes, we still have those around) stopped selling Roku Devices. You can still get it pretty much everywhere else, from Amazon to Bestbuy to Mercado Libre to the corner electronics store. The court case continues and the focus is in stopping piracy, not the device, and as you mentioned, that content is available on the test channels.

Once again, great job on the show, and I was particularly glad to see this topic correctly commented by an impartial observer. Makes me proud of being a patreon. Way to go!

Best regards! Keep up the awesome work!

– Dan

 

 

 

Hey guys, I watched last week’s episode and I completely disagree with you about NBC’s launch of their soccer product that charges $50 per season to watch the games that aren’t on TV.

The way I see it, it’s a move by NBC Sports to try to stem the flow of people to cord cutting than it is their offering of a new product.

In order to have access to all of the games from the Premier League, NBC’s new paid product now forces soccer fans to continue to pay for a TV subscription plus paying $50 for the streaming service to watch the games not on TV.

There were two alternatives last season for cord cutters where you could stream every single Premier League game in the US with a subscription to PlayStation Vue or DIRECTV NOW. But with the launch of NBC’s new product, that access to all of the games has been taken away for next season. Cord cutters can still stream the games that are on TV, but they have to pay the $50 extra to NBC to get the games that aren’t televised.

NBC Sports screwed up on the launch of this service. Many soccer fans would have gladly paid to be able to access all of the matches without requiring a TV subscription. As it is now, NBC has delivered a new product that doesn’t satisfy the cord cutters nor the TV subscribers.

Keep up the great work on the show!

Cheers,
Christopher

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Action News
 

Cordkillers 177 – It’s Not That We Don’t Love You

The strange experiments of networks to lure cord-cutters. Plus, why Roku just got banned in Mexico.

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CordKillers: Ep.  177 – It’s Not That We Don’t Love You
Recorded: July 3 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

How to Watch

  • Roku banned in Mexico over piracy concerns
    – Roku has been banned in Mexico
    – Televisa-owned Cablevision sued Roku because users were hacking it to watch pirated TV
    – Cablevision’s complaint: “We would also like Roku Inc to better supervise the use of its software so that it’s not used inappropriately.”
    – Roku says it’s not enabling the channels distributing pirated content on its platforms, and is taking them down when found.
    – Non-certified channels that are added to Roku through a system the company had set up with the intention of allowing developers to test channels without publicizing them to the entire Roku audience. These channels are not available in the Roku Channel Store
    – Roku plans to fight the decision.
  • Cinesift
    – Movie database site that combines Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, Letterboxd and Metacritic scores, with Netflix and Amazon Prime availability (Updated to include more Reddit suggested features) [OC]

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

The idea of “interactive TV” has been floating around for some time and really only becomes a legit possibility with streaming or internet-provided content. Only recently has cable TV had the ability to achieve this but also via an internet link to process viewer input. But streaming makes the most sense I believe.

I can certainly see this progressing to the point you’re watching a show or movie and are able to actively interact with the characters on screen especially by voice. We tell our Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Siri, Alexa etc. what we want now so why couldn’t we just yell “Look to the left!” or “Watch out behind you!” or “Turn right” at key points in a show (possibly whenever an interaction icon appeared on screen). The possible increased level of engagement with the audience might help keep viewers watching more so than otherwise. So these first baby steps do make sense if it hopes to catch on. And why not start with the kids? Get them comfortable with the simple versions now so that as they grow, and the tech develops, they grow right along. There’s also less of a need to take it to big screens now since these shows are being watched close-up by the kids and they can just press their screens to direct the action.

The other question on this is where does the line between interactive “show” and video game get drawn? If we just start directing all the action, or most of it, aren’t we just playing a fancy video game with great, albeit realistic, graphics? Video game graphics have also improved tremendously as have the non-controller methods of interaction such as motion and voice.

Then lets mix in VR and AR and 360 (or 180) and, and, and …. Ahh hell, just beam me on to the holodeck already. Isn’t that where we all want to go anyway?

– Armando

 

 

 

Brian

Just one quick thought on the Netflix Interactive stories. I agree with you that traditional video doesn’t make for a compelling interactive viewing experience, HOWEVER – what if you apply interactive storytelling to the VR experience? What if Netflix takes their learnings from this flat/2D viewing experience, and commissions 360 degree storytellers to make a series of short films with multiple overlapping storylines where the viewer drives the plot forward through there interactions?

Does this make you more or less interested?

Andy

 

 

 

I want to offer a suggestion as to what might be the potential service that could dethrone Netflix. As I was listening to your discussion one thing that kept being mentioned as a reason for the success for some of the current streaming services was their access to Disney content. So what happens if Disney – ABC pulls all their content from existing services and instead launches it exclusively on their own product?

And to make this even a more intriguing proposition, this service could also include new original content focused around some of their most popular properties such as Marvel and Star Wars. Just imagine if they took a similar approach that they have used for Daredevil and applied it to the Star Wars Universe. I could see a lot of people signing up for this new service just for that prospect alone.
For me, a service that included the entire range of the Disney Vault, access to ABC properties like Modern Family and Once Upon a Time, plus all of the ESPN sports programming would be an absolute must buy. Without a doubt it would have something that would be of interest to every member of my household.

I hope this adds to the conversation. Love the show! Keep up with the good work!

Tony

 

 

 

Been wanting to see some of the YouTube Red content, Rhett and Link and Game Lab at least, and kids watch YouTube a lot, as well as our typical family TV time is watching the YouTube channels we follow.

So, I bite the bullet for the free YouTube Red trial, and I want to make it a family plan sorta deal … and you can’t.

There’s YouTube Red, which gives you Play Music, but no Family option … but you can get Play Music Family, which gives you YouTube Red.

Because … [reasons].

Short term solution, get all accounts on free trial and then cancel where needed and sign up for the Family Play plan in three months. I was hoping for a ‘pay the difference’ plan, but, doesn’t look like that’s an option.

I did email support, and got a quick reply which actually answered the question first go, so that’s a plus!

Justin

 

 

 

Hi guys,

I’m a big fan of both Cord Killers and Spoilerin’ Time — but I’m curious as to why you guys say “Episode X Season X”, especially during Spoilerin’ Time? It is widely accepted that the most standard way to reference these is by “Season X Episode X” — in fact, that is how you write them in the podcast descriptions/notes (e.g. Leftovers 305, Justified 606, etc.), and I know you both have commented that this is how you are supposed to reference episodes in digital libraries and torrents, etc. (S03E05, etc.). It’s like version numbers in software: Major.Minor.Revision.

Maybe it’s not a big deal… but honestly it takes me a few extra CPU cycles in my brain to take what you say and then translate it into, “oh yeah, he means Season 3 Episode 5”.

Thanks,

Marc

 

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Cordkillers 176 – It’s Cancelled If You’re Nasty

Is the Han Solo movie in trouble or has it actually been saved? Netflix’s answer to Brian and YouTube comes with the stars for original series. With special guest Shannon Morse.

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CordKillers: Ep. 176 – It’s Cancelled If You’re Nasty
Recorded: June 26 2017
Guest: Shannon Morse

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Ron Howard Steps in to Direct Han Solo Movie
    – Wednesday Phil Lord and Chistopher Miller announced they were leaving their Directorial gig on the new Star Wars Han Solo movie saying “Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true.” Kathleen Kennedy said, “it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways.” Thursday morning Lucasfilm announced Ron Howard has been brought on board and will resume shooting July 10th. Howard said “I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.”

How to Watch

  • Netflix debuts choose-your-own-adventure stories for kids
    – Netflix announced the debut of interactive stories that let viewers decided what happens next. The first releases are meant for younger viewers. “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” launched globally Tuesday. It pauses 13 times, has two different endings, and lasts between 18 and 39 minutes. “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” arrives July 14th. “Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout,” is set for sometime next year. Keep in mind, the Netflix website, Android Devices, Chromecast and Apple TV do not support interactive content at this time.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

I have been a cord cutter for the last several years. Life has gotten much easier since solutions such as PlayStation Vue and Sling TV have been released. I have been settled on PlayStation Vue and I’m using Amazon Fire TVs to watch on my TV. Since the announcement that Amazon will have an app on the Apple TV, I am also a Prime subscriber, I have been contemplating getting an Apple TV. My main interest is in the TV app that keeps track of the shows I am watching and serves the next episode up. I was wondering if this works as advertised and is makes the new Apple TV worth purchasing. The reason I ask is that I am a little Device heavy at the moment; 1 Fire TV, 2 Fire TV sticks, 2 older Apple TVs, and Chromecast, I want to make sure the next device I buy is worth it. I appreciate your input and opinion.

– Joe

 

 

 

Hi Guys,
I’ve been thinking about what Netflix might miss out on.
The horse they didn’t bet on. I’m going to go with plug-ins. Whether it’s HBO, Showtime, or CBS/CW, we aren’t getting everything from one source other than cable. Youtube is close now with their offering of live TV and Amazon is close as well, with their “channel” options.

So I’m calling it now. The next couple years will be the battle of the UI. Which service you use will depend on not only original content, but the UI itself and the extras it provides.

Examples:
Multiple Profiles are becoming common place.
Can they include RSS feeds of shows you like, but not offered within the channel?
What type of PlayLists can they provide:
– manually set up of shows you love
– a shuffle mode of similar type shows (for the lay back experience),
– new this week playlists so you aren’t behind on your current shows but watching them on your schedule.

Now the new thing is networks and more importantly local networks. Netflix hasn’t jumped into any of that. Do they consider HBO competition or should it be a value addon. HBO and Amazon, as well as Hulu and Showtime, seem to be working side by side. This gives Prime, as an example, an advantage. Viewers can watch Game of Thrones in the same UI as Transparent, next to Preacher (Starz), next to Shameless (Showtime), while Netflix only has their originals. So, in my opinion, Netflix should jump on this ban wagon quickly.

Final thought, I’ve been waiting a long time for 3-month or 6-month subscription cards. We as cord cutters are cash conscious. We may want something like See-so or Britbox but they feel a bit expensive. Yet, I would have no problem putting it on a Xmas or birthday wish list. Hulu spoiled me with their cards as I would give them to my daughter for a year of service every year for Xmas, but now I need more options for my viewing needs.

Thanks as always for the Show and the time you put into them.

Nicky

 

 

 

I recently dropped Comcast cable in favor of DirecTV Now/Netflix/Hulu/Prime on Apple TV. The strange reason was the data usage policy that Comcast has and the viewing differences of generations. We have 5 teens and they don’t watch cable at all; it’s all about streaming for them and we were close to the cap every month and needed to babysit it. We finally decided to go digital. While the monthly cost is about the same I love the consumption model much better now that we are adjusted. I can easily see a future without DirecTV Now as well.

Bill 

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Cordkillers 175 – Netflix Killers (w/ Kristi Kates)

What Netflix needs to do to survive, why Apple hired Sony’s TV presidents, and whether Netflix should warn you about download limits. Brian says no! With special guest Kristi Kates.

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CordKillers: Ep. 175 – Netflix Killers
Recorded:  June 19 2017
Guest:  Kristi Kates

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 80% Cut the Cord Because Cable TV is Simply Too Expensive
    – A report from TiVo shows nearly half of pay TV subscribers are at least considering cutting the cord and that 80% of cord cutters made the change because pay TV was too expensive. After price the main reasons for cord-cutting were given as the availability of streaming services and the use of over the air antennas. Of those unsatisfied with their current Pay TV service 81.4% said it was the high price, 32.9% said it was poor customer service and 29.9% said it was the quality of the TV service.
  • Netflix has more American subscribers than cable TV
    – Leichtman research estimates that as of the first three months of 2017, Netflix has 50.85 million US subscribers and all cable TV outlets combined have 48.61 million. That doesn’t include satellite TV service like Dish and DirecTV but still, Netflix can say they’re bigger than cable. As for Internet-only services Leichtman estimates Sling TV has 1.36 million subscribers and DirecTV Now has 375,000. YouTube TV and Hulu TV hadn’t launched yet in the time period covered.

How to Watch

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Tom and Brian,

First time commenter long time listener!

I wanted to weigh in on the discussion around why Netflix content has such an memorable impact to the market. I believe Netflix’s secret sauce is its ease of access to its service.

If you recall, right out of the gate, Netflix’s streaming service was available on multiple platforms including smartphones, tablets, smart TV’s as well as DVD/Bluray players and gaming platforms (Xbox 360/One, PlayStation 3/4, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, xDS). Users both technically savvy and not could access Netflix’s content and have a very similar experience within their comfort zone. In my opinion, this helped Netflix leapfrog the competition and solidify itself in the space. Even now, Netflix continues to target ease of access by integrating Netflix into cord-keeping offerings like Comcast’s voice enabled x1 platform.

Love the show!

Mike

 

 

 

 

Hi guys! Debbie from hot and sticky San Antonio here (oh wait, that’s a different show). I’m listening to you guys talk about Katy Perry’s livestreaming (show 174) and I feel the need to point out that Katy Perry’s livestream was the same basic format as that of CBS’s Big Brother. Fly On The Wall Productions, which is involved with Big Brother, produced Katy Perry’s five-day livestream. The Big Brother live feeds are on CBS All Access, and a new cast debuts later this month.

– Debbie

 

 

 

 

I wanted to update you guys on what Vidangel.com. They recently released a new service to filter video content over the top of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Thanks for your podcast, I enjoy the up to date news on all things media-ish.

– Michael

 

 

 

 

FYI: In order to watch Scam School on the Science Channel when it airs, I found that I can sign up for a free 5 day trial of Playstation Vue. Unfortunately, this means I cannot confirm this will work until after Cordkillers airs. Why only 5 days?

Brian

 

 

 

Hello Cordkillers,

Nicole Lee’s complaint about not being able to change the stop time on recordings is one of my biggest pet peeves with PlayStation Vue. When you start a “recorded” show it will ask you if you want to see the DVR version or the On Demand version. The DVR version lets you fast forward commercials. However, way too often the recorded version cuts off before the last few minutes of the show. This happens more often with certain shows (Doctor Who and Better Call Saul are two I can recall). Of course you can’t fast forward the on-demand version so you can’t jump to the end to see what you missed. As far as I can tell there is no setting to record X minutes longer. So frustrating.

Keith

 

 

 

 

Tom and Brian,

Was curious if you’d ever done any review on the Select TV service or discussed their future SelectTV One set top box.
Their service looks like Just Watch on steroids for $2.99 a month.

Could their SelectTV One box be the ala carte solution Brian has longed for once ATSC 3.0 gets rolling?
Look forward to your next show…

Armando

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers