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 ( ).

Download audio

Download video

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
    – 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.





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!

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 <>


2018 Summer Movie Draft