Cordkillers 205 – MoviePass Takes a Pass (w/ Mike TV)

What’s the best streaming TV service? MoviePass can make money. Thor: Leak-narok. With special guest Mike TV.

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CordKillers: Ep. 205 – MoviePass Takes a Pass
Recorded: January 29 2018
Guest: MikeTV

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • How does MoviePass make money
  • Theater subscription service MoviePass snaps up its first film
  • MoviePass stops support for some large AMC theaters
    – Wired’s Brian Barrett has an excellent article called “HOW DOES MOVIEPASS MAKE MONEY? WE’RE STARTING TO FIND OUT”
    – Costs are for the actual tickets which it pays full price for plus customer support which has had some failures.
    – More users means more data which MoviePass hopes to use as leverage.
    – MoviePass subscribers go for indie movies. Indie studios can benefit most from a surge in ticket sales.
    – 3% of all domestic box office is purcahsed by MoviePass. That jumps to 10% when MoviePass promotes a movie. It has more than 4 contracts for promoting movies.
    – As they get more subscribers the potential lift gets better which attarcts big studios not just indies.
    – MoviePass investing in films
    – MoviePass also is using its data to decide what ckind of films to buy at Sundance.
    – Bought American Animals for $3 million alongside indie studio the Orchard.
    – This also can pay off in streaming and rental revenue down the line.
    – How to deal with Theaters.
    – MoviePass has stopped allowing customers to use its service at 10 premium AMC theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Boston in order to get the theater chain to cooperate with the service. MoviePass offers unlimited tickets for a monthly fee while it pays full price to the theaters. It wants a cut of the ticket prices and concession sales which AMC refuses to consider.
    – MoviePass subscribers spend more on concessions because they’re not paying for the ticket.

How to Watch

  • PSVue
    – PSVue is best overall at the moment. Solid DVR that even with the 28 day limit is hardly noticed since most channels rerun things. Wide selection of channels. Downside is mobile restrictions to app which can be offset by logging into network-based apps with PSVue account but can be wnnoying if you want to watch DR’ed shows while traveling
  • Hulu
    – Hulu – This is an up and comer and makes a lot of sense if you watch a lot of shows in the basic Hulu service already. The channel lineup is competitive and the DVR service is solid. It does have an annoying habit of substituting on demand for DVR’ed content which isn’t a problem if you pay fro cmmerical free but keep that in mind when comparing costs. Has a great way of tracking things like sports for your favorite team. Interface needs work but that work is in beta and should come out soon, taking away one of its biggest downsides
  • SlingTV
    – Sling TV – Weird package setup makes figuring out best buy a little difficult. But it has Viacom channels and although it’s DVR isn’t flawless it’s getting ebtter. Sling TV seems best for people who want to watch both in home and mobile.
  • YouTube TV
    – YouTube TV – This one’s great if you want broadcast nets and big acable channels at a solid monthly pricve without having to decide between packages. It has an unlimited DVR and no mobile restrictions in the US. One big disadvantage used to be you could only use a mobile device, which meant you needed to chromecast or airplay it to get it on a TV. But apps are out for Xbox and some smart TVs and coming for the Apple TV. So the main downside is the smaller channel lineup.
  • DirecTVNow – DVR someday
  • Recode’s channel lineup guide tool

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Netflix’s ‘Mudbound’ scores four Oscar nominations
    – The Academy award nominations were announced last Tuesday. Netflix original movie Mudbound got nominations for best supporting actress (Mary J. Blige), best adapted screenplay (Dee Rees and Virgil Williams), best original song (“Mighty River”)and best cinematography (Rachel Morrison). Mudbound is the story of two families farming the Mississippi Delta. Netflizx documentary features Icarus and Strong Island also got nominated. Amazon’s The Big Sick got nominated for best screenplay (Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon).
  • Thor: Ragnarok leaks onto the web a month early after huge Movies Anywhere mix-up
    – A bug in Movies Anywhere let people who preordered Thor: Ragnarok from Vudu download it from iTunes on Apple TV. Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled to become available February 20.
  • Redbox Demands Disney Lose Right to Enforce Movie Copyrights
    – In response to Disney’s lawsuit against Redbox for selling download codes from Blu-rays, Redbox is suing Disney for copyright misuse, interference and false advertising. Redbox alleges Disney is telling retailers not to sell copies of discs to Redbox. The suit also objects to Disney’s claims that a purchaser may not rent or sell the components of a package that includes a download code.
  • Damien Chazelle Drama Scores Straight-to-Series Order at Apple
    – Apple has ordered a series from La La Land’s Damian Chezelle. No word on what the series will be about but Chezelle will write and direct every episode of the series, as well as serving as executive producer/ Chezelle is also EP on a Netflix musical drama called The Eddy being shot in France.
  • Robert Zemeckis Is Producing a TV Show That Sounds a Little Like Lost
    – Robert Zemeckis is producing a pilot for NBC called Manifest about a plane that disappears mid-flight and reappears years later. No time has passed for the passengers on board though.
  • Meg Whitman to lead Katzenberg’s mobile media startup NewTV
    – Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co CEO Meg Whitman will become chief executive of DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile media firm NewTV. The company plans to make Hollywood level short-form videos for mobile.

Dispatches from the Front
On the topic of international shows on Netflix, one potential use is for language learning. It used to take months or years for translated shows to come out on rental DVDs or cable TV here in Japan. But now, Netflix originals have a global release, and some US broadcast shows, with English & Japanese subtitles, go live on Netflix shortly after their US airdates.

This is a game changer, giving language learners an easy way to watch some current shows, instead of always being a season behind. And staying current allows them to participate in the global conversation on social media in real time!

Not to mention Netflix’s model allows for the release of subtitled versions of shows which would otherwise be unprofitable to release internationally, allowing me to get you hooked on Terrace House while also FINALLY being able to show my namesake TV show, Firefly, to my non-English speaking Japanese friends.




I live in NW Wi. 5 miles from either of 2 small town and get 65m internet from Charter. 2 providers within sight in opposite directions provide 1g service. Sunday a young lady from one of these shows up at my house offering to bury fiber to my house for free. I said yes and we talked about pricing. I suggested the best value might be if I included TV. She looked at me like I was an idiot and said “You don’t want that. It’s too expensive and we just raised our rates”

– Jim




I believe you guys touched on VPN’s a maybe 6 months or so ago but as I remember it a good chunk of the conversation was about being able to make it look like you’re in a different area than you actually were to watch some sports and other things.

I’ve heard that now that net neutrality is no more that if your isp were to slow down certain services like Netflix that going through a vpn might prevent them from doing so.

I was curious what your thoughts were, what vpn companies you like, and what’s the best way to set it up? For example can you get a router set up so that all the devices connected to it are always going through the vpn? With several roku’s around the house I don’t want to have to log into something every time I use it.

Thanks for all the help, love the show!!!!




Hey guys. I’m really enjoying your show. First I want to give some feedback from the last two shows. John wrote in asking about Hallmark. I guess you guys aren’t aware of Hallmark Movies’ new Netflix -like offering of Hallmark Movies Now ( ) for $5.99/mo. We were visiting my parents over the holidays and my wife made me watch a bunch of the Hallmark Christmas movies and we saw the advertisement for their new service. Just one more option for cordkillers out there with wives who want more crying in cordkilling.

Second, I am one of those who like the theater-like environment to watch my movies at home with surround sound and floor shaking bass. My kids love when I turn up the bass for the opening train scene in Polar Express so they can feel the rumble of the train pulling up next to the kid’s house.

Also, I guess I am one of the few that cut the cord in order to save money and have actually done so. I created my own dvr setup with a Raspberry Pi with LibreElec (minimalist Kodi), an HDHomerun tuner and OTA antenna. We only subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime (although we don’t watch much on AP). The hardware setup cost about as much as 3 months of cable bills, but we haven’t paid for TV for the last 5 years. I’m just waiting for ESPN and FoxNews to start their own streaming options (apart from Cable verification) and then they’ll get my money each month too.

Thanks for the show. Keep up the great work.