Culture

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
content, movies, silos, streaming, tv, video

Companies:
disney, netflix



Disney Pulls Content From Netflix As Users Face An Annoying, Confusing Rise In Streaming Exclusivity Silos

from the drowning-in-monthly-fees dept

On one hand, the increasing number of independent streaming services is certainly a good thing. This increase in competition is finally starting to apply pressure on incumbent cable TV providers to offer greater programming flexibility and to compete on price, even though many cable and broadcast execs falsely believe they can ignore the threat and do the exact opposite. But as everybody and their mother jumps into the streaming game, we're facing a new threat: the rise of fractured exclusivity silos that make consumers hunt and peck to obtain their favorite programs.

Case in point: if you're a fan of a particular program in the modern streaming video age, you first need to check to see if that program or film is available on any of the half-dozen services you may subscribe to, be it Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, CBS All Access, YouTube TV, or any of a myriad of other options. That in and of itself can prove fatiguing on your patience -- and wallet if you're trying to save money over traditional cable. You've then got to see if that content is still actually available, since content licensing results in titles being added and removed in what are often illogical availability windows, adding another layer of confusion.

Now, things are poised to become even more complicated in that regard. Wanting to cut out the middleman, many broadcasters (like CBS, FX or AMC) are busy pursuing their own streaming services, pulling their content from existing available services and forcing users to sign up for yet another monthly subscription. For example, if you want to watch CBS's upcoming new Star Trek: Discovery TV show, your only option will be to sign up for CBS's $7 per month All Access service. Don't want or can't afford another service? Your option is to either go without -- or to pirate the program. Guess which option many choose?

A more recent case in point: Disney announced this week that the company would be pulling its content from Netflix in order to launch its own streaming video service:

CEO Bob Iger told CNBC's Julia Boorstin Disney had a "good relationship" with Netflix, but decided to exercise an option to move its content off the platform. Movies to be removed include Disney as well as Pixar's titles, according to Iger. Netflix said Disney movies will be available through the end of 2018 on its platform. Marvel TV shows will remain. The new platform will be the home for all Disney movies going forward, starting with the 2019 theatrical slate which includes "Toy Story 4," "Frozen 2," and the upcoming live-action "The Lion King." It will also be making a "significant investment" in exclusive movies and television series for the new platform.

On one hand, if you really like Disney content, this may not be a horrible thing for you. On the other hand, if you're only interested in a few Disney titles but already feel you pay for too many streaming services, you could find yourself annoyed. Users are, it goes without saying, cutting the TV cord because they're tired of the poor value proposition traditional cable TV represents. It's not entirely clear you can call it real pricing evolution if you replace one bloated, giant cable bill with an ocean of smaller charges that ultimately cost you the same if not more than your old cable TV subscription.

And while it's not entirely clear how many monthly fees and subscriptions users are willing to tolerate, it is abundantly clear that broadcasters and cable companies intend to push their luck and figure out the answer. Not many seem to realize that should they push too hard and cordon off content into an ocean of annoying exclusivity silos, the end result will drive users back to the simplicity of piracy. And that's a particular shame given all the work it took to wean consumers off of file trading services like BitTorrent and on to "legitimate" monthly streaming subscriptions in the first place.

There's a fine line here as we shift from traditional cable to over the top streaming, and it's precisely the kind of line the traditional cable and broadcast industry loves to trip face-first over.


Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 11:59am

    These streaming services are going to end up backfiring. I've discussed this with other online users and subscribers don't want to sign up for a hundred different streaming services in order to get their favorite content and they're going to be forced to turn to bit-torrent and other online file sharing services.

    The entertainment industry is going to fuel online file-sharing like nothing ever seen before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:12pm

      Re:

      It's easy enough to automate things and grab what you what automatically when it's found and put it up on PLEX without having to lift a finger. All commerial free.

      I cut the cord, not then then turn around and sign up to a bunch of different services. I refuse to PAY for CBS All access. It's LAME, no content worth paying for month after month. Same with these other company's. They're asking way to much for so little. It's far, far from a bargain. It makes zero sense. It's a free country and so they can go ahead and do it. I'm free to not pay for it. I'm free to just not care about the content. What I don't see I don't miss.

      When I cut the cord, it was a little hard at first with all those channels I could access and record. It didn't take long to not miss it all. If you're not going to be on Netflix which is a good deal, then so long, don't let the door hit you on your butt on the way out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      May your words be those of a prophet. We all wish this come true and piracy rises even further.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:12pm

      Re:

      "subscribers don't want to sign up for a hundred different streaming services in order to get their favorite content"

      Well, duh, aren't you a genius.

      That is not the matter. The matter is why if we are all aware of this, why production companies still pushing for this? Hint: Extract money by force.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:04pm

    Your local library will likely have physical copies as long as they keep making them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:14pm

      Re:

      Ya, you can go to the library and check out movie discs for FREE. The only thing is it's older content in general and a lot of stuff you want they may not have.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ToaKraka, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:04pm

    I mean, it's better than a Netflix monopoly, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Machin Shin, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      Well, kind of depends. You don't want a Netflix monopoly, he even mentioned competition being good. The issue is if you flood the market with a million different services you risk crashing the entire thing.

      Although, one thing that could be nice is if a standard comes out. Most people would probably love if they could go to one place and pick and choose the "channels" they want.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        rangda (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        It's actually a million different monopolies. Each streaming service is essentially a network, if you want to watch Disney shows, then you have to subscribe to the Disney streaming service. Want to watch a CBS show? That's only available on the CBS streaming service. Want to watch a Netflix show? Only on Netflix.

        Unless you just want the TV on for background noise there isn't actually competition, each service is a mini-monopoly. It's actually the worst of both worlds.

        Consumers wanted companies to adapt and they are adapting. Except they are adapting to maximize the amount of revenue they get from you per purchase, instead of adapting to maximize consumer convenience.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We're going to get cable-like bundling of various streaming services, much like we get cable bundles today.
          That won't happen, of course.
          But in the end, like you say, it's the worst of both worlds. You can't get everything, or close to it, in a convenient, if pricier, package, but you also can't stretch your budget to accommodate a bunch of subscriptions.
          The way I see it, the only way out is to plan your viewing schedule and subscribe to each service for a month or two at a time and watch whatever you wanted there for the duration, then move on to the next service, cyclically. If there's nothing you absolutely must watch anywhere for a while, save the money for when there is.
          Either way, kind of a shitty situation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are 100% right. The problem is NOT on the distribution. Any company, any idiot, hell, even cheap pirates can set up a streaming service. The problem is NOT in the streaming technology either.

          The problem WAS and continues to be, the MONOPOLY ON CONTENT.

          No matter how many streaming technologies and platforms you set up. No use if only ONE company maintains the monopoly of Game of Thrones for example. Them and only them can decide at what price, who to sell, how to distribute (geoblocks, time windows and all sorts of other discriminations), etc.

          This monopoly on content is exactly what is generating the silos.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I guess you could say that Ford has a monopoly on selling Ford cars, but that would be pretty stupid. So are your examples.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        David (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:13pm

        Re: online streaming flood

        See video game business crash circa 1983.
        Flooded market with junk as everyone was going to get rich! Rich I tell ya!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_crash_of_1983

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PlagueSD (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:47pm

          Re: Re: online streaming flood

          Pretty much. This is why I'm sticking to the Xbox (Netflix), Playstation (Amazon), and Nintendo (Hulu) of the streaming services.

          If people would only study history, we wouldn't be doomed to repeat it all the time. (video game crash, .com crash, housing crash). Will soon be TV streaming crash.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: online streaming flood

            Which is why I stick to Antenna, TIVO, Netflix on pretty much any device I have. Amazon, I mainly have for the free 2nd day. I rarely watch content, though when they get their App on the AppleTV I may watch a little more.

            HULU? Why? It's completely not worth having unless you pay more to cut out most of the commercials. I tried a couple 30 day free trials. I think I made it though 1 and a half show before I couldn't take it anymore. I was trying to watch The Fall Guy, and it seems like every time I turned around there was like 4 2 broke girls commercials in a row, another 10 minutes and here they are again. over and over and over again. I couldn't take it. I was done with HULU. I don't need it.

            What I do watch everyday is PLEX.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 11:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: online streaming flood

            I guess I'll just stick with piracy. Can't afford multiple Streaming services, and Internet connection too damn slow anyway.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:28pm

          Re: Re: online streaming flood

          So be it. Most Hollywood crap and American propaganda I mean movies is overrated anyways, that is why it can crash in the first place! LOL.

          Same for games. Games crashed because they were overrated.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Eldakka (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Most people would probably love if they could go to one place and pick and choose the "channels" they want.

        There is, if you are willing to come to the Dark Side, muhahahaha.

        If you do have several subscription services, the tools developed for the pirating community, that can go out to various different services (different torrent sites, different netnews sites, etc.), and pull it all back for you, aggregating it to your own local single end-point, offer a much superior service to accessing the various subscription services. Sad, isn't it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I propose the triad of media: Subscription, User-generated & Piracy.

          1. Subscription - get one, Netflix or such. For all your everyday needs and of your family, to contribute to "the industry", to at least not be a complete cheap bastard aka pirate, for all those old shows and movies, etc.

          2. User-generated - Youtube or such, as many as you like of course. For all that beautiful media out there made by real people, indie and bedroom producers, not found anywhere else, tutorials, news, funny videos, cat videos and whatnot, etc.

          3. Piracy - Torrents, streaming, or whatever your preference. As many as you like of course. For all those new movies, expensive stuff, obscure or really old stuff not found anywhere else, to seed and share and feel the joy of contributing freely to others, etc. And oh yes, to get all that content that is in another silo.

          With this I assure you you will have everything you like while still paying some to "the industry".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:46pm

        Re: Re:

        "you risk crashing the entire thing."

        Many of us wish. Enough already with the stupid american propaganda, I mean movies and TV shows. Crash and burn I say.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        No, the problem is not the monopoly on streaming. Anyone can stream. The problem is MONOPOLY ON CONTENT. Only one is allowed to stream Game of Thrones for example.
        That is the problem, no matter if there was just one streaming platform or a hundred streaming platforms, so long as all of them carry the same content for everybody.

        If there was just one platform carrying all content, an argument could be made about a monopoly in DISTRIBUTION.

        But if there were a hundred platforms all carrying all and the same content, well this would be true competition. They would all compete for your dollars by cutting costs/price, improving customer service, improving reliability, increasing additional services such as subtitles, dubbing, etc. Etc.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Captain Beard (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:28pm

      Re:

      Can you explain in what way Netflix holds or will hold a monopoly on content from outside producers?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        9Blu, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re:

        There are a lot of people who complain about Netflix not being the only stream service out there, and having to sub to multiple services to watch all the shows they want to see. Apparently content distribution monopolies are good if the consumer thinks it will save them money. Funny thing is these are mostly the same people who complain about Cable not having al-a-carte pricing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Captain Beard (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          *There are a lot of people who complain about Netflix not being the only stream service out there*

          That is an odd complaint, for sure. Very silly to think there should be a streaming service monopoly. However, as it stands, there isn't. It would also be difficult to pull off, as all of the content producers would have to be on board.

          *Funny thing is these are mostly the same people who complain about Cable not having al-a-carte pricing*

          I'd like to see citation on that one. I think cable should have always had a-la-carte pricing, and also think that a streaming monopoly would be bad. It would be best if the producers made their content available to license for a fee to any streaming service that wanted to purchase the license.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The monopoly is not on streaming. Even cheap bastard pirates can stream stuff.

            The monopoly is on the content aka copyright. Yes, you can subscribe to a streaming service. But if you want other type of content you can only go to ONE other streaming service.

            If you need Disney movies for your kids you are stuck with just Disney. And whatever the terms and prices they want to fix. THAT is the monopoly, on the content streamed, not on streaming technology.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 11:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do Disney has a monopoly on its own content?

              That is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. No shit.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cable should have a-la-cart pricing!

          How come you can get 100 channels for $50? The point being, let then price what they think they're worth, ESPN $15 for all I car. HSN FREE. Discovery $1. Basically you get more people with lower prices, fewer people with higher prices.

          But $6 for this company and their own service, and $10 from another, and $8 from them, that's just add's up crazy fast and for what? You couldn't possibly watch enough TV to make all this crap worth all this money.

          They don't seem to get it. All they are doing is going to grow the pirating market instead. SO instead of getting something, they are getting nothing.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            9Blu, 9 Aug 2017 @ 6:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You realize without bundling those channel prices would go up, right? It's like insurance, lots of payers who don't use all the services keep the overall cost lower for everyone. If you unbundle and went al-a-carte with cable you would end up in the same boat as the streaming sites. Lower the number of paying customers and the cost per customer has to go up. You would end up paying $4 or $5 or $6 for every major broadcast network (ala CBS all access) and most of the popular cable nets, while the niche channels would go up even more (as a percentage) or, more likely, just die off.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Not true. Only profits rise. Not employees salaries. That is one for starters.

              No, the thing of selling a bundle is that it is in effect a black box that allows them to charge a high price (as said with high profit) and no one knowing the exacts costs.

              It is not like insurance, because insurance is Speculative!
              and the black box in insurance is people don't know how much of it remains in speculation (ie your insurance never used) and how much the insurance has to actually pay.


              You don't know how much of the insurance paid was actually used and how much was not. That is why insurance companies always keep putting more and more restrictions to their policies, so they keep charging you more and more but covering less and less.

              And that is not even considering the promises not fulfilled and the quality of the elements use to fulfill it. Example: a car insurance replacing a part in your car, but now not from original market but from second hand market. Those savings for them are NOT reflected to you in a cheaper price.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If Insurance paid for all the accidents and occurrences."

              The business of Insurance is to have as many accidents as possible but to cover as few of them as possible, while still charging you a prime.

              The business of Insurance is NOT having less accidents.

              The business of Insurance is NOT paying out every single incident.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Cable should have a-la-cart pricing!"

            Yes I agree. But they won't do it because their business is kind of a black box. And that black box is great part of their huge profits. In other words, they hide the real prices of what they pay for each channel and they just present you with an End Consumer Price that does NOT reflect their actual costs for each channel. They know most of the channels they buy are cheap or crap but still they sell them to you.

            Hell, that is the core business not only of cable TV but of any company that sells "A Service". They don't charge you per item (like apples or oranges), they don't charge you per unit of measure (like pounds or ounces), they don't charge you by man-hour (like how many technicians spent how much time and at what hourly rate). They charge you PER SERVICE, whether you use it or not, whether you like some of its component or not, etc.

            Buy a PC and you can disassemble it and more or less figure what is the cost of the parts (plus the cost of assembling plus marketing, etc). But receive a service and you cannot disassemble to look at the components and figure out how much is the cost of its components. It is a "black box".

            They can get a smaller channel for say 1 dollar per subscriber but since you don't know that information they can simply charge you 3 dollars for it. And then fill the rest of the offer with cheap channels at 50 cents each and charge you 1 dollar for each. Etc.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          mhajicek (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 11:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why is each show only available on one service? Imagine if Coke were only sold at Target; Pepsi would be overjoyed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            9Blu, 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Why is the biggest loser only shown on NBC and not CBS and ABC?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Luke, 10 Aug 2017 @ 8:15am

              Biggest Loser.

              I dont have to put up an NBC antenna, and a CBS antenna and an ABC antenna.

              I don't need to buy the basic cable package for 20 bucks, and pay $21 more to add on 3 of the other OTA networks.

              All I have to do is press a button on my remote. Having to pay more for each networks exclusive shows, and HBOGo, and Netflix, and then discover that I can only stream Adult Swim on demand if I have Time Warner internet, but Comcast has an exclusive deal with Netflix where everything in the Universal catologue is available, but only to Comcast customers....

              See the problem yet?

              The 'Biggest Loser' is the customer.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:05pm

                Re: Biggest Loser.

                I dont have to put up an NBC antenna, and a CBS antenna and an ABC antenna.


                THIS IS TRUTH. Very well said.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Exactly, that is the problem. Monopoly on content. Not monopoly on distribution or monopoly on streaming as some try to point out.

            Distributors could give you lower prices, if they could get lower prices from the content owners.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Agree. Netflix don't hold a monopoly on content (except for the one they produce aka copyright, which is also bad ;))

        But they do hold a Negotiation Power Advantage, as in Purchasing Power Advantage, as in they can outbid any other interested distributor of x or y movie/show.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mick, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      What Netflix monopoly?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Who knows, with Amamzon Prime, VooDoo, SlingTV, Hulu, DirectTVNow, and on and on and on. Maybe Netflix is popular because they have a lot of content. A large and ever growing Original content. Lots of Kids programming, including a lot of original kids programming. Works on most all devices and all at a low price and COMMERCIAL FREE.

        Anyone is free to do what Netflix is doing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Anyone is free to do what Netflix is doing."

          Not true. There is a thing called an Exclusivity contract.

          Producer agrees to see its product reproduced by said distributor but demands that it and only it can distribute it.

          Distributor agrees to terms but demands producer to not sell its product to no other distributor.

          These are the effects of MONOPOLY ON CONTENT.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wrong. You just don't want to pay for it. There is no such thing as a monopoly on a product, just exclusivity.

            Monopoly applies not to products but to category. Ford is the exclusive supplier of Ford cars. If they were the only one who produced all cars, that would be a monopoly.

            You are free to write, act and produce a show like Game of Thrones, but you are not free to just watch Game of Thrones exactly how you would like to.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:40am

      Re:

      Not really. Most of these services will fail, anyway - no consumer is realistically going to pay for more than a couple, and it'll take more than an exclusive title to get people to switch. Most will just pirate the extra content.

      What would be good is if these services shared content and stopped trying to compete purely on exclusives. Then, you'd have a vibrant market with services competing on reliability, price, features and other deals. Now, they'll just kill each other off until there's just a few defacto monopolies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re:

        "What would be good is if these services shared content and stopped trying to compete purely on exclusives."

        Exactly! If all distributing platforms, such as Netflix had all content available to distribute, then they all could compete in price, customer service, reliability, ease of payment options, video quality, audio quality, extras like subs and dubbing, etc. Real competition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:13pm

    Hopefully no annual contract

    Hope they don't need an annual contract if I want to subscribe. If it turns out that I need Disney to watch their films, subscribe it, watch all I can in a month and then get the hell out of there... switch to another one for next month.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Hopefully no annual contract

      I hear you, but the problem with that is that: IT IS VERY INCONVENIENT.

      Give your credit card details here, make all the subscription process, then prepare to watch as much in said period of time, then unsubscribe. Then do the same in the next platform, etc.

      Crap! Might as well just pirate anything and then send money to your beloved creators. It would be cheaper, faster and simpler. And money would really go to the creators, not some cheap executive.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:19pm

    Many of us will just ...

    ... let it go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Many of us will just ...

      ditto

      It's funny to see everyone here make a bunch of noise, but there is not enough people willing to put up a fight to make a difference.

      I guess they will be wanting to regulate this next too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:24pm

        Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

        Well, what are YOU doing?

        Isn't your comment too part of the bunch of noise here?
        If you really don't want to make any noise stop posting here and elsewhere forever. Self righteous prick.

        Yes regulate the damn thing, all this mess, properly. To PROTECT people's rights and pockets.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Many of us will just ...

      This. My household currently subscribes to Netflix and Hulu+ (with the zero commercials option). We subscribe 1 month per year to HBO Now to binge watch the latest Game of Thrones season when it is complete. We simply don't watch anything else if it doesn't fit into one of those 3 subscriptions. If the lineups get too thin at any of those we'll simply stop using them.

      With our reduction in television consumption we've found other, better things to do with our time. The industry effectively trained us to ignore the industry. If it gets more cumbersome or expensive to engage with it we, and I imagine a huge number of others, will very easily walk away. This fracturing is nothing more than seppuku.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

        This is what I do. I had to do another dumb bundle because it's cheaper then Internet Only. So they threw in either HBO or Showtime. Last time it was HBO, I hardly watched it. I went to use the HBOGo at and it wasn't working, found out I'm signed up to Showtime now even though I said HBO again. I don't have that app install. I just don't care.

        Every year I call Comcast when my 1 deal is up and they jack prices and get on some new deal. It's worth it to call every year to save money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

        Pirates do that too. Subscribe for a month. Rip the hell out of the service 24/7 then go. Those idiot producers are making everything wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Many of us will just ...

      And for some others, it will be a pirate's life for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

        Yo ho, Yo ho... If it's not on Netflix or free on Amazon Prime, it gets torrented. Not my fault it's not on the services I pay for, so I guess they don't want my money.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          John Smith, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

          Oh it's YOUR fault if you STEAL something. If it's not worth it, don't watch it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jkoz, 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

            Copy is not theft

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Many of us will just ...

            It is not stealing, it is making a copy of it. Read the legal definition of theft.

            It's worth to watch, just not worth to pay for. Just like when you watch some trees. It is worth watching them, just not worth paying to watch them.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hegemon13, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:20pm

    Isn't this what we asked for?

    I'm confused as to why this is a problem. For years, people have been screaming at cable companies about bundling product and demanding a la carte options. That's exactly where we are headed now, and it's no surprise that assembling the same bundle from a bunch of smaller packages is going to cost as much or more than one huge bundle with everything (whether you like it or not).

    I, for one, am very happy that streaming allows for this level of experimentation, and naturally resists having a couple of juggernaut, duopoly companies controlling content. I don't want Netflix to eventually become the next Comcast. I want them to have to fight for content, fight for market share, and offer real value.

    Is CBS All Access too expensive? Certainly. But the more competing services there are, the more people will pick and choose. If they want subscribers, they'll have to lower their price.

    And most importantly, all these services are contract-free. That means you can get a service for a month or two to watch something, and let it go for a while. The ease of starting and stopping these services makes it a perfectly feasible approach. Heck, I can do it all from my FireTV remote, on the fly. It only adds up if you insist on the "everything all the time" model that cable companies force-fed us for years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:44pm

      Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

      This is NOT what we were asking. For one thing this isn't the cable company doing it. Why is it you can sign up for 100 channels and it's $50, but everyone like CBS which by the way has FREE OTA TV wants to change $8 for their stuff? Everyone else wants crazy amounts.

      The point of A-la-cart was saying I want these channels and that's it. So if it's $50 for 100 channels. Doesn't that mean it's really 50 cents per channel? Say on that bundle ESPN is forced on you because it's in all bundles. That's a costly channel to have.

      Where is, HSC for free, Discovery for $1, Syfy for $1.50, CBS 50 cents, and so on and so on? All at one place!!!
      They can change what they want, from free to $50, maybe some type of bundle deal of 5 channels get a discount. The cheaper the cost, the more people will sign up for your channel. The higher the cost, the less people.

      Instead what we have is everyone wanting to start their own streaming service. That's completely the wrong thing people were asking for. That's not even cable TV at that point. That's internet streaming instead. Which is going to be more costly and not what people for years have been asking for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

        Keep in mind that with cable there are many channels most people would not be willing to pay for if available a-la-cart. For example, if only 10% of the people would be willing to pay for a certain channel outside of the cable bundle, then to keep their same revenues with 1/10 of the subs, the channel would need to charge the people who want this channel 10X more than it cost as part of the bundle. So if is was $0.50 for this one channel as part of the bundle then they would need to charge at least $5.00 for it a-la-cart. (and if this is done via a streaming service probably a couple more dollars for overhead that they didn't have as part of a cable bundle)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        hegemon13, 10 Aug 2017 @ 11:05am

        Re: Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

        Well, sorry it doesn't work for you, but I get everything I want to see for a fraction of the price of cable. Netflix + Prime + a rotating on-and-off subscription to whatever "channel" has something I want to see. Right now, it's HBO, for obvious reasons. The selection and experience blows cable away.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Smith, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:53pm

      Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

      CBS All Access has the entire CBS library in it, dating back to I Love Lucy. Plus you can get a free month to binge it, as you can with many other services.
      I personally like Hulu during the TV season as it tracks my viewing for me so I don't lose my place in a show, while Netflix is nice for the offseason. Won't spend on the others, but Amazon Prime is also backed by a real-world service, effectively making it self-sponsoring.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:36pm

      Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

      No. This is not what YOU asked for.

      You don't want un-bundling just for the sake of it. You want it because the bill was too high and increasing.

      These silo system is in effect the same as before or worse. Try bringing all those streaming channels into one bundle and you end up with even a higher price than cable!

      No, this is not what YOU wanted. This is a scheme disguised as something else.

      Some of us want less profit for content owners and complete eradication of copyright.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re: Isn't this what we asked for?

        Less profit for others?


        Hahahahaha, you are just a fucking cheapskate. You just don't want to pay for anything.

        And here is the kicker, why do you think that stupid gameshows and reality TV dominate television today? Because they don't have to pay those idiots anything.

        Why do you think the entertainment world sucks today? Because cheapskates like you don't want to pay for anything.

        Yeah, keep pirating, and in the end, you will be watching only user generated crap on YouTube.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:23pm

    Hollywood Accounting at its finest

    "Well, people are cutting cable because they don't want to pay $100 (or more) a month for 500 channels".

    "Well, how about we only charge them $5 per month for each one of our 100 channels?"

    "Yeah! That works!!! DO IT!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Hollywood Accounting at its finest

      I know you jest, but in reality, nobody watches those 500 channels, so paying $50/mo for only 10 of the channels they care about still does make financial sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MRD, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re: Hollywood Accounting at its finest

        Who gives a shit about "channels"? I want shows. Channels are a relic from analog transmission so that multiple shows could be broadcast simultaneously. With the changeover to digital, and especially with streaming there's no point to them anymore. Channels need to die.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hollywood Accounting at its finest

          In the particular example above, OP basically equated tv channels to streaming services.

          Stop getting all tied up in the nomenclature.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:40pm

      Re: Hollywood Accounting at its finest

      This is exactly right. Very well said.
      The problem is monopoly of content aka copyright, as usual.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:25pm

    Extinction by Obsolescence

    I think all these silos are going to make, at least some, of those silos obsolete, eventually. For example if parents don't sign up for the Disney silo, then their kids will never know that Disney exists, and have no desire to watch their shows.

    The way TV made all these things popular was by presenting a variety of content in one easy to use, and basically free (yes there were ads, but we always used them for bathroom or snack breaks when I was young). There it was, just change the channel. Now, it would be like changing the channel, but signing up and paying the fee are roadblocks that they may not be able to overcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:27pm

    In the past many (and probably Karl himself) asked for al la carte programming. Isn't that exactly what is happening?

    Good content will cost money, there is no way around that. The NFL knows it can charge a lot for their content, because people will pay for it. Content always has been and always will be king.

    Personally, I think Netflix content kind of sucks, but its $7 a month.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:26pm

      Re:

      Silo'd streaming services not competing with the same content != a la carte. If you could have a fee based on which actual programming you want from a service, that would be a la carte.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John Smith, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:49pm

      Re:

      Distribution is king, not content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re:

        No. Monopoly on content is king.

        Distributors could give you lower price if they could get lower price from HBO and such.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      "Isn't that exactly what is happening?"

      Yeah, the price has effectively gone up! Try to bundle all those streaming options to simulate a cable package and see your resulting price!

      There is a company that serves Ferraris a la carte, the problem is YOU CANNOT AFFORD ONE! looool

      "Good content will cost money, there is no way around that"

      Complete bullshite.

      First, good according to whom? Good is subjective to every person. Assuming they have not been PAYOLA'ed the f*ck out of them anyway.

      Second, "good content" does not cost a lot of money. Take Blair Witch Project, one of the best horror movies ever, 9,000 dollars budget, 3 unknown actors, no production team, natural scenery and couple of regular cameras. It even created the found footage genre.

      Third, most of the money goes to Brad Pitt and Director. We don't want to keep enriching a few so they can buy another mansion at the Hamptons in exchange of the same good bad vs bad guys story!

      "The NFL knows it can charge a lot for their content, because people will pay for it. "

      Complete lies. NFL charges a lot because they have a monopoly on the transmission of the games. It is either pay what they ask and in their terms or fuck you. Thus piracy!

      get your facts straight.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re:

        You are an idiot with bad taste.

        Blair Witch sucked.

        Brad Pitt usually makes pretty good movies, who cares how much he makes.

        The NFL doesn't have a monopoly on foodball, just its own product. There are other football leagues, you are free to watch that. People like the NFL, so their "content" is theirs.

        Fucking cheapskate.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 12:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Blair Witch sucked."

          Did you know? Not only is your taste not the same as everyone else's but whether or not you personally liked a film has no effect on its box office success!

          The reality is - low budget movies can be massive hits just as often as the big budget ones. You don't have to go as far as Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity, although these are great examples of movies which a lot of people like but were made for next to nothing. Just look at this weekend's number one - Annabelle Creation, costing $15 million, returned $71 internationally and quite well reviewed (69% on Rotten Tomatoes). Baby Driver, costing $34 million, has just passed $100 million domestically. Not a pittance, but not the $200+ million blockbusters people like you tell me are the only way to make money.

          Meanwhile, a *lot* of money has been spent on recent films like Valerian, The Dark Tower and The Emoji Movie for poorly reviewed movies and low returns at the box office. By your standard, these should be outperforming movies like Annabelle Creation and Baby Driver, but the opposite is true.

          Conclusion? Budget and quality are not necessarily correlated, and it's as possible to make a good film for less, depending on the genre. But what is definitely always true - your personal opinion of a movie, no matter who you are, means exactly nothing in the grand scheme of success or profit.

          "Brad Pitt usually makes pretty good movies, who cares how much he makes."

          Brad Pitt, for one. He's one of a number of stars who have been documented as taking major pay cuts in order to get a project that he believes in made. So, according to documented reality, the amount he personally makes has no bearing on the quality of the movie - in fact, it may be the opposite with stars not agreeing to take anything but top dollar for projects they think are crap.

          "People like the NFL, so their "content" is theirs."

          Yeah, but the NFL sucks. The good stuff is where people either don't pick up the ball with their hands or don't have to wear armour like pansies.

          But, I'm not dumb or arrogant enough to say that my opinion applies to everybody, so you can love their games as much as you want.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:28pm

    Ha you guys have been cheering on cord cutting forever, and now the "disruptive" result of that is... this! Tons of disparate streaming services. The doucheiness never stops to pause at techdirt lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Captain Beard (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      It isn't an 'either this or that' binary answer when it comes to streaming.

      We can deride cable TV and its ridiculous quantity of bundled content that we'll never watch for prices that don't make a lick of sense.

      On the other hand, we can also deride companies siloing their content on disparate streaming services - It's explained right there in the article why this doesn't really make sense or might be confusing/frustrating if you read that far (Hint: Paragraph 2)

      Ideally, produced content would be licensed to catch-all streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. This would reduce the headache of having to track down who's got what where and how much while motivating the streaming services to compete on the quality of their content delivery service.

      Of course, it's the prerogative of the entity who owns the license, and they can create their own streaming services all they want. I for one am not going to go to the trouble of tracking down what service I need to be ordering this month though, so good luck to them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:35pm

      Re:

      It's almost as if you think replacing one bad thing with another bad thing doesn't warrant any discussion or criticism, and don't see the irony in mocking Techdirt for the "douchiness" of doing so.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 9:37pm

      Re:

      Especially not with asshat commenters like yourself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:42am

      Re:

      "The doucheiness never stops to pause at techdirt lol"

      Yeah, you do keep commenting for some reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:32pm

    Kodi Kodi Kodi
    Exodus Exodus Exodus

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:37pm

    All this because Disney believes their content is more valuable than Netflix's service. While I will be sad to not have the convenience for future star wars and Marvel movies I don't find the offering compelling enough to consider signing up. Perhaps it could be more satisfying if they granted themselves 6 months or a year of exclusivity and then offered non-exclusive contracts to Netflix, Amazon, Vudu and other streaming services. They can collect the most from the early adopters, and then make more off the long tail of patient people who would rather wait than sign up for multiple services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:47am

      Re:

      "While I will be sad to not have the convenience for future star wars and Marvel movies"

      The first thought I had about this is how it will affect the non-Disney franchise movies, actually. The average consumer doesn't give 2 shits about the fact that the Spider Man movies are actually Sony and the X Men movies are Fox. But, they will care that they're being forced to pay for 2/3+ streaming services to watch all the Marvel movies if there's no sensible streaming deals made.

      "Perhaps it could be more satisfying if they granted themselves 6 months or a year of exclusivity and then offered non-exclusive contracts to Netflix, Amazon, Vudu and other streaming services."

      Exactly, this is the only way these things are going to work long term with catalogue titles. No consumer cares which studio owns which movie, just as they don't care which label a particular musician is signed to. They will, however, know exactly how to pirate something if they're paying for multiple services and still can't find the title they want to watch - and the "freeloader" lies will work even less on people who are literally paying for the services they thought they were getting but were denied.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Max, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:40pm

    I guess it's a good thing I hardly watch any TV these days. I heard there were new Star Wars movies this decade... might even watch them at some point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    techdirtReader, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:47pm

    Round robin response

    Yea, careful what you ask for, you just might get it...


    As long as these are monthly options, this setup can be gamed for the consumer's benefit. If you don't want to pay for Disney, Netflix, and CBS at the same time... pay for just one of them, catch up and binge on their shows, and then switch to another streaming provider and rinse and repeat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:48am

      Re: Round robin response

      "If you don't want to pay for Disney, Netflix, and CBS at the same time... pay for just one of them, catch up and binge on their shows, and then switch to another streaming provider and rinse and repeat."

      Except that still won't work in the real world. Nobody sits down and thinks "I want to watch the CBS back catalogue". They will think "I want to watch show X". If that show is not available on what they're already paying for, they *may* pay for another service, but after 2 or 3 are being paid for they will just pirate it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:47pm

    Question: I'm already paying for cable, including several CBS channels. Does this mean I'll get Star Trek: Discovery?

    Answer: No. They created a CBS streaming channel for that, "CBS All Access." Outside the US it's available on Netflix.

    Question: Cool! So I can just pay a bit extra for Netflix and...

    Answer: No. It won't be in Netflix in Canada.

    Question: Oh. That must be because CBS All Access has announced that they're coming to Canada. So if I pay for a subscription to CBS All Access, I won't have access to a library like the one on Netflix, but at least I'll get Star Trek: Discovery?

    Answer: No. In Canada CBS sold the rights to a specialty channel, so it won't be on CBS All Access. You'll need to pay an extra $80 a month - nearly $1000 a year - above and beyond what you're already paying for cable.

    Question: Oh. Well I'm already paying for streaming access to the Star Trek library via the Shomi account that came with my cellular service. It was one of their big selling features. It'll be available there, right?

    Answer: No. The cable/cellular companies shut down Shomi, and you know it. They still charge you for it because you're on contract.

    Question: Does this cartoon by The Oatmeal mean anything to you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:12pm

      Re:

      Blast, the punchline to that one does't work so well if the link isn't there, even if the general idea is still sound/funny.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Thanks. It's all true, BTW. Including the Shomi bit.

        My decision on whether to pirate Star Trek will be based not on whether I want to pay for it, but whether I want to pay a second or third time for it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CHRoNo§§, 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:54pm

    screw tv and movies

    got enough video games ot last me for ever you can have hollywood

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:21pm

      Re: screw tv and movies

      But imagine what it would be like if video game publishers sometimes released things that were only available for one platform and not the other ones.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re: screw tv and movies

        You mean like Sony does now? Yes, I know other platforms occasionally have exclusives, but Sony has the most.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:22am

        Re: Re: screw tv and movies

        Actually, more like:
        Imagine if every video game publisher only released things for their own console.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:44am

          Re: Re: Re: screw tv and movies

          Exactly. Or try this - imagine if instead of the lion's share of music being available on most platforms, every record label attempted to have its own streaming service. That is, instead of being able to use Spotify, Pandora, RDio, YouTube, Tidal, Apple Music, etc. to access roughly the same music (with a few exceptions), you now had to subscribe to WB music to listen to one artist, Universal music to listen to another, Sony to listen to another, etc.

          If you think that would be ridiculous and unsustainable, hopefully you see the problem with TV/movies being treated this way.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          mhajicek (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:42am

          Re: Re: Re: screw tv and movies

          PC FTW. With emulators you can play practically every game in history on one box.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chris ODonnell (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 12:55pm

    Eventually some enterprising company will realize that there is a market for a service that that provides centralized access to all your favorite streams, and one easy to digest monthly price. They'll suggest you'll save time, money, and maybe even bandwidth on your incoming Internet cable. They might even decide to call this new service cable TV.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:13pm

    There is more stuff worth watching on YouTube than can be watched in a lifetime, and more posted in a minute than can be watched in a day, so who cares what the studios and TV companies do with their content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:16pm

    I personally see this is as a good thing. I don't want Netflix to get too powerful or we will breed the next Comcast. This is the selection people have been asking for, it allows us to pick and choose what we want to pay for. Sure there will be a glut of services for awhile, but most of them won't survive and then we will see consolidation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:48pm

      Re:

      If you have 50 construction companies each with an exclusive agreement to a different state, do you still have competition?

      I suppose you can hire whichever one you want as long as it's the one that has your state :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Will, 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        This is more like 50 construction companies who all do different sorts of architecture. If you can't get your living room remodeled in exactly the style you want, it's a shame... but you don't *need* that precise style.
        Ultimately, the only thing to take away from this is that a bunch of companies are about to shoot themselves in the foot in the name of making ALL THE MONEY, because "some" is not acceptable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          crade (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, I suppose *some* people *might* be more attached to living in a particular state than they are to watching a particular show, but who am I to judge what people hang their hat on? :)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      I don't want Netflix to get too powerful or we will breed the next Comcast.

      The only way Netflix becomes 'too powerful' is if companies like Disney insist/agree on signing exclusive deals with the company. They could easily leave their content on Netflix and offer their own service at a lower price range in case people were only/primarily interested in Netflix for their content, allowing people to have two(or more) choices such that there's even more competition in the market.

      Sure there will be a glut of services for awhile, but most of them won't survive and then we will see consolidation.

      Except actions like this won't lead to 'a glut of services' as a particular bit of content(Disney's stuff in this case) will be found on only one service, such that you get a massively fractured market where if you want the same content you were paying $10 a month for via Netflix previously now you're paying $7 here, $6 here, $10 here, with the only 'find it all in one place' option left being torrents, something they claim to want to prevent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PlagueSD (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:28pm

    They do stuff like this and wonder why there's so many people pirating shows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 1:43pm

    Content OR Connection Not Both

    Perhaps when level heads reside in government they will acknowledge that companies should not own both content and connection. This Disney type of walled garden would not happen.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Content OR Connection Not Both

      >Perhaps when level heads reside in government

      Given the people that have become politicians, what level headed person would volunteer to jump into the cess pit.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:05pm

    Service fatigue. I thing someone needs to come up with a service to start bundling these things back together.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 3:53pm

    Seeing a similar problem, but in smaller scale, with Amazon's entry into anime streaming. They come in, throw a bunch of money to get exclusive streaming rights to a bunch of shows likely to be popular, then put them behind not just the Amazon Prime paywall, but behind a *second* paywall on top of that. People who aren't ready to pay for yet another service (who may already be paying for one or both of Crunchyroll and Funimation), turning back to pirating the shows.

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  • identicon
    SirWired, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:02pm

    You wanted "a la Carte", now you are getting it

    "It's not entirely clear you can call it real pricing evolution if you replace one bloated, giant cable bill with an ocean of smaller charges that ultimately cost you the same if not more than your old cable TV subscription."

    TechDirt has been agitating for a la carte pricing for TV service for years and years, decrying the cable bundles that force you to buy a gigantic pile of channels you don't want.

    Well, your prayers have been answered as the content providers fragment and you can buy offerings individually! If you thought that pricing for the individual offerings would somehow be cheap, even though they need to pay for the same content, but with fewer subscribers, I don't know what to tell you other than perhaps you didn't think this through.

    Really, this is typical TechDirt logic: "Cable companies force people to pay for lots of expensive channels they don't want! Of course people are going to choose to cut the cord and pirate content instead!"

    Now: "Content providers choose to split off their offerings and charge separately for them! Of course people are going to be freeloaders and pirate content instead!"

    Why don't you just admit that some people are cheap bastards and want stuff for free, no matter how the costs are sliced and diced.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:16pm

      Re: You wanted "a la Carte", now you are getting it

      Supporters of “a-la carte” cable/satellite service want the option because they believe in paying for individual networks; this much is true. But if I only watch five networks, I want to pay exactly it costs my cable/satellite provider to broadcast those five networks and not one penny more. I don’t want to pay $50 per month and have access to far less content than I would if I paid for a standard bundle of channels.

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      • identicon
        SirWired, 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:06am

        And now you are discovering how bundling works

        Firstly, it's unlike that the cable company could offer you only five channels even if they wanted to; the content providers sell channels in bundles to the cable systems to begin with; it's no more possible for a cable company to buy JUST, say, Discovery than it is for you to call your local Honda dealership and ask them to sell you a Civic, but not charge you for the rear seat.

        And even if we ignore that limitation, if everybody only had to pay for the channels THEY watched, either the average bill would stay roughly constant or the total variety of programming available would drastically decrease. (You may think certain stations are a waste of a perfectly good channel number, but clearly somebody watches them and would be sad to see them go.)

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:27am

          Re: And now you are discovering how bundling works

          "(You may think certain stations are a waste of a perfectly good channel number, but clearly somebody watches them and would be sad to see them go.)"

          Irrelevant. If a channel can only stay active by forcing a majority of people who don't want their product to pay for it, then that channel clearly doesn't have the viewership to stay in business. Charge the people who do watch it the price, or go out of business. In most other industries, that would be expected, why not in TV?

          ...and I say that as a horror fan who loves digging into obscure crap. I'll pay for a service that caters to my needs, not expect other people to pay for it.

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        • icon
          mhajicek (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:49am

          Re: And now you are discovering how bundling works

          It's more like you try to buy a new Civic, and it's $80k but comes with ten "free" junkers that no one wants.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:51am

      Re: You wanted "a la Carte", now you are getting it

      Interesting how nobody's addressing the problems raised with this answer to the "a la carte" question, and how it fits with what the customers are actually demanding. All was have is a bunch of smug pricks gloating over them being further screwed as consumers. Literally joyful because when the industry was given a chance to service their needs, it bent them over instead.

      Why you're so happy that companies are refusing to service actual demand and are demanding the right to keep ripping you off is beyond me.

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      • icon
        SirWired (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 2:59am

        What isn't getting serviced

        What "actual demand" are companies "refusing to service"? Who is getting "ripped off"?

        People want online access to Disney content and Disney is offering to provide it in a way that won't require you to pay Netflix (or cable) for their entire programming package. Sounds exactly like what TechDirt has been asking for all these years...

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 3:24am

          Re: What isn't getting serviced

          "What "actual demand" are companies "refusing to service"?"

          People have been demanding a way to simply pay for the service they want without being forced to pay extra for things they don't. Whether that takes the form of a massive cable bill loaded with channels they never watch, or a hide and seek game where they have to subscribe to a bunch of different services depending on what they wish to watch at any given moment, the actual consumer demand is not being met (well, pirate services do of course, but that's a different story. If fact - that's the demand - people want a full service that supplies the choice the pirates are offering but without that pesky illegal part).

          "People want online access to Disney content and Disney is offering to provide it in a way that won't require you to pay Netflix (or cable) for their entire programming package."

          They were getting the Disney stuff already, plus extra Netflix content. Now they have to pay for them separately.

          So, they'll force you to pay for their service, PLUS pay Netflix if you want access to those exclusives. So, paying for 2 services where they used to pay for one, and you can bet the bill will be at least double what the Netflix alone costs now for the same service.

          Do you see the issue yet? Disney will tell you that this just makes it easier for people who *only* want their content, but in the real world most people want more than one company's products.

          "Sounds exactly like what TechDirt has been asking for all these years..."

          Then you haven't actually been listening to what's been said.

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          • icon
            SirWired (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 6:08am

            Disney wants money; what else did you expect

            Disney thinks they can make more money with a separate service (with fewer subscribers) than sending Netflix a hefty bill every quarter.

            What NetFlix does in response to this is their own business; whether they reduce prices (unlikely) or acquire other content to make up for it, or they can even simply tuck it into their bottom line; that's all up to them.

            "Do you see the issue yet? Disney will tell you that this just makes it easier for people who *only* want their content, but in the real world most people want more than one company's products."

            I'm confused, do "people" want big (expensive; that content ain't cheap to prouduce) bundles, like what they've been getting all these years from their cable providers since forever, or do they want things broken out separately?

            Really, what TechDirt "wants" is for the same selection of content (in aggregate, even if individual consumers consume a smaller piece), but without ads (And I've even seen it said in articles that it is "insulting" to sell an ad-free version), and for less total money than what consumers are paying today. (Oh, and with no DRM, or any action whatsoever against pirates, etc.) Where the money to produce this broad selection of ad-free, freely-pirated, cheap (for those who actually pay) content is supposed to come from is left curiously unsaid.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 14 Aug 2017 @ 6:36am

              Re: Disney wants money; what else did you expect

              "Disney thinks they can make more money with a separate service (with fewer subscribers) than sending Netflix a hefty bill every quarter."

              People don't care what Disney thinks, nor anybody other provider. They just want to be able to access the products they wish to pay for. This seems to be your problem - you're so dedicated to what major corporations want, you're confused when people talk about consumer demand.

              Disney may think they can get more money.... and they might be right. But, this is both unsustainable for everybody to start doing, and will lead to consumer backlash - nobody is going to pay separate subscriptions for every studio. If people are paying one company for a service now, they will baulk at paying double to 2 companies for the same service. This really isn't hard to understand. Offer people a more fragmented service at double the price, it will be perceived as a rip off.

              "I'm confused, do "people" want big (expensive; that content ain't cheap to prouduce) bundles, like what they've been getting all these years from their cable providers since forever, or do they want things broken out separately?"

              People want the choice, and value for money. For some, this means they just want to pay for the channels they want without being forced to pay for the 200 they will never watch. For others, they want to be able to pick individual shows. Some don't care about channels, some don't care about sports, some don't care about Disney. If they get less, they would like to pay less, of course. This is why people have been complaining about cable for a long time - they are forced to pay for what they don't want.

              Plus, nobody cares what your content costs to produce - ESPECIALLY if the content is something they don't want to begin with. Sorry, I don't give a shit how much it cost you to make the new series of The Gong Show, I will never watch an episode and would prefer to pay for a package that doesn't include it. If enough people agree with me and you can't fund it any more, tough shit that's how the free market works. If your product does not make a profit, you change the way you make it, not force people who don't use the product to make up the slack. That's how it works everywhere else outside of cable TV.

              As for your last paragraph, your ridiculousness is showing. You lie about what TD supposedly wants, seem to be suggesting that offering content for a monthly fee is impossible without loading it with ads (which is exactly what Netflix are doing *right now*, as are Hulu if you agree that their ad-free service is worth paying for) and then you lie about a bunch other stuff about the way people supposedly demand things here.

              Perhaps spend less time making things up to get angry about and read what's actually said here? You'll find life a lot more pleasant.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:13pm

    Disney: the real culprit of outdated copyright law.

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  • identicon
    Alexander, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:24pm

    That sound you can hear..

    That sound is the golden goose being plucked, f__ked and stuffed. Fragmentation of the services will lead people back to piracy as the only viable solution again. Particularly if someone only has one or two shows you want to watch. Turning streaming markets back in to cable markets will cause the same problems as before. The studios will lose money, the creators will lose money and consumers will be just as frustrated again.

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  • icon
    ThatDevilTech (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:27pm

    Kodi it is

    Until they can successfully play whack-a-mole with all the providers offered for Kodi/XBMC, it will be my choice for any shows I want to watch without being tied to satellite. We only went back to DirectTV because of the unlimited (no caps) that U-Verse provides if you do. It costs us less to do that bundle than it did with Cable+overages they put on us. It was all good until they went with usage caps when there IS actually a bit of competition in our area.

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  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:34pm

    Congratulations Karl, you have selected cord cutting. Tell him what he's won Johnny!

    Right you are Dave! First, Karl has won short term initial savings, as he cuts the cord and feels all smug because he isn't paying the cable guys anymore. That is followed by the satisfaction of selecting only the things he likes via Netflix or Amazon. Karl also wins inevitable fragmentation and the frustration of having to pay for multiple programming sources, managing multiple accounts and paying late fees or losing service when he forgets to renew. Finally, Karl gets to pay more for less, finally spending more each month for fragmented services than he paid for cable. Congratulations Karl, you earned it!

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 5:13pm

      Re:

      Yes, that is kind of the point here: The fragmentation of streaming services—specifically, the “exclusive to our service” nature of this fragmentation—is eventually going to bite all these services on the ass when customers realize what is going on.

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      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 6:55pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, then the consumers will be back pining for the days of cable where they could pay one company a fixed amount and get access to everything.

        Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. In this case, the "cord cutting" has lead to the inevitable, as companies move to profit as much as they can from this delivery system.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 9:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, I have no doubt that these fragmented streaming services will ultimately try to find ways of “bundling” their individual services together. And I have no doubt that some customers will not see such a move as an attempt to “re-create“ cable packages. I do have doubts, however, about the populace at large falling for this kind of scheme—especially if you can see it for what it is.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:53am

      Re:

      Yes, Karl demanded a better deal as a consumer, but the industry decided to find new ways to rip him off instead.

      You too, you condescending prick. It's amazing - you're gleeful at being further ripped off as a consumer because the site that was trying to demand a better deal didn't make the right prediction.

      What a maroon.

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      • icon
        MyNameHere (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:02am

        Re: Re:

        Nice personal attack, hopefully more people will flag your abusive comments.

        But to address you point, I am not gleeful. I am not happy or unhappy about any of it.

        I am just pointing out how naive concept that content companies would somehow make the same content and charge significantly less while delivering it all on demand.

        As streaming (and the delivery) becomes easier for everyone to do, these companies will move to control their own destinies rather than allowing third parties to scoop a chunk of the profits.

        Cutting the cord doesn't make the costs go away...

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "somehow make the same content and charge significantly less while delivering it all on demand"

          I don't see anyone demand that it be cheaper (although logically it should be for various reasons), only that the price be reasonable and to reduce the trend toward fragmentation. People are not going to subscribe to large numbers of services just to watch everything that want to watch, and they're not going to pay more than they used to pay for cable (and possibly not even that), especially since it's currently so unclear where to go to watch a specific title. "Oh I've got to pay for *another* service just to watch that show? Screw that" will be mantra heard across the land.

          People like you are too busy going "ha ha told you so" to read what's actually being said by the people you're gloating over. Very typical. If only you could address the real opinions and statements of others here, your poor little feelings would be left unhurt.

          "these companies will move to control their own destinies rather than allowing third parties to scoop a chunk of the profits. "

          Which will only go so far. Most people will only subscribe to a handful of of legal streaming services, after which it gets too confusing or expensive to track down the content they want and they'll start pirating again. Which means instead of sharing the profits with a sane licencing regime that connects consumers with content, they'll be whining about getting $0 again.

          Interestingly, Disney are one of the few that won't suffer so badly from this (their content is probably the stuff most closely aligned with a studio brand), but it's not sustainable for everyone to be doing this. People will instinctively know where to go to watch Frozen, they won't generally know where to go watch, say, Dunkirk unless WB or their distributor spend a lot on marketing. The pirates will keep everything easy in one place, the legal options will make it obscure and expensive. This is a problem.

          "Cutting the cord doesn't make the costs go away..."

          I assume you have a link to where people were claiming this, rather than it being another tired distortion of reality you produce to pretend you're right (closely followed why self-indulgent whining and disappearing from the conversation when you're proven wrong again)?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Cutting the cord doesn't make the costs go away...

          YouTube does make the costs go away, and I am finding that that is where more and more people are turning to for more and more of their entertainment.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            More accurately, it moves the burden of those costs to dedicated 3rd parties, who deliver services cheaper and more efficiently than in-house services due to greater expertise and volume. Cutting the cord doesn't remove costs, it does vastly reduce them and allow them to be borne more efficiently.

            Which really proves the point made elsewhere - it's about control, not proving the service the customer is demanding.

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            • icon
              MyNameHere (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 12:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, Youtube works because it generally avoids paying for content, except for a small percentage of ad revenue. Quite a bit of Youtube is 100% free to them, so they get to keep all the revenue.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 12:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Actually, Youtube works because it generally avoids paying for content, except for a small percentage of ad revenue"

                It avoids paying, apart from what it's paying!

                I'm sure that made sense in that hollow nut of yours.

                "Quite a bit of Youtube is 100% free to them, so they get to keep all the revenue."

                Cool, because it's also free to the end user, but it's not free for YouTube to provide the service. I'm actually OK with them making money for providing that service, I'm not sure why you object to it.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                YouTube offers a deal to Video creators, use our free distribution service to connect to your fans, and if you gain enough subscribers we will pay you some of the advertising income from the adverts that we attach to your videos. Note However they do not own the video content, demand that they are the exclusive distributors, or stop the creators from using YouTube to point their fans at other ways of giving them money or other support.

                Become disillusioned with YouTube, and a better service shows up, then the creators can move their Videos to that service, and remove them from YouTube.

                Yes, YouTube has problems, but it is also the largest Video sharing site, and that means that it a good place put up videos to find and build a fan base who will support the creators by means that are outside of YouTubes control. That is it is about the best place for a creator to tackle the real hurdle of making a living from their creativity, and that is climbing out of obscurity, and obscurity is the problem that kills most attempts to make a living from ones creativity.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      I selected to go without.

      Is that suddenly not an option if I don't like the terms, despite you repeatedly suggesting it in the past?

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  • identicon
    John Smith, 9 Aug 2017 @ 4:39pm

    Cheap Culture

    Cheap culture refers to how, due to the "simplicity of piracy," creators will only make that which costs next to nothing to make, and which makes the greatest profit for that effort.
    This is why many are getting rich making YouTube videos on their cellphones.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 7:12pm

    I long ago gave up on all broadcast forms of TV, cable counts for this. The streaming services are an extremely unfunny joke, the lot of them together are not worth the least price among them. Most of them being tied to custom hardware or Windows effectively makes them non-existent.

    {Posting AC because TechDirt is doing things they shoudn't, and I can't log in anymore as a result.}

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    • icon
      MyNameHere (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      Do tell!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 7:57pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't know what the specific problem is. It's not worth my time to dismantle my security system piecemeal to find out what the tripping issue is. Since the whole point of the system is to not let sites do things they shouldn't be doing, that would be counterproductive.

        It was working, then one day they changed something, and I can't get in. This limits my inclination to make comments.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Strange how I never have problems logging in or posting from any country in the world, yet ACs constantly whine about issues.

          "It's not worth my time to dismantle my security system piecemeal to find out what the tripping issue is."

          Or report it, or describe it, or in fact do anything other than whine.

          "It was working, then one day they changed something, and I can't get in."

          What is "it"?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2017 @ 7:18pm

    Over at torrentfreak the headline for this article is

    "Disney Ditching Netflix Keeps Piracy Relevant"

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 9 Aug 2017 @ 8:15pm

    I think this is a good thing. Hopefully it gets people to dump cable/streaming content. Maybe read a book or God forbid, go outside to enjoy nature. Hell, we might even start talking to our neighbors instead of rotting our brains in front of the TV.

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  • icon
    CanadianByChoice (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 9:59pm

    Entertainment Value

    I "cut the cord" many years ago.
    I had Netflix for nearly two years (Canadian flavor), until I ran out of shows that were remotely interesting (that happened a few years ago as well), at which time I canceled that too.
    I don't download content (legal or illegal).
    Our cable company calls up about once a month to tell me what a great value their "introductory offer" of 200 channels for $50 is ($75 after the hidden charges are added in); it's difficult to get them to tell you what the price is when the introductory offer ends, but, frankly, it doesn't really matter anyway.
    What they don't seem to understand is that, from the "consumers" end, THEY don't set the "value". We, the consumers, do.
    How many hours of labour (used to earn the money you have to pay) are you willing to trade for a bit of entertainment? THAT is YOUR real "value". And for me, the answer is (for what is offered) maybe up to $15 (INCLUDING the hidden crap). I just don't value their service much.
    Yes, it can cost them quite a lot to produce those shows; but you know what? that's NOT MY PROBLEM. It's theirs! If they can't (or won't) price it in a range that meets MY values, they simply don't get a sale at all.
    I have a lot of DVDs and even a lot of old VHS tapes (of shows you can't even get on DVDs) if I want to watch something. I also have lots and lots of books. I have my photography to pursue, and I write software in my spare time. I don't NEED TV service at all. Quite honestly, I don't even miss it - I have enough other things to occupy my time (like reading TechDirt comments).

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    • icon
      CanadianByChoice (profile), 9 Aug 2017 @ 10:19pm

      Re: Entertainment Value

      (If it wasn't obvious in my screed above....)
      Those that complain that the price of cable tv is too high and/or the bundling is awful (both of which I agree with) and/or that to get the same content from streaming services is also expensive .... maybe you need to sit down with your family and really figure out how YOU "value" that content.
      If the cost is less than, or equal to, your value assessment, why are you complaining? If it's not ... why are you subscribing?

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  • icon
    firebird2110 (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:46am

    Works for me. I would rather Netflix spent money on other licenses and original content rather than crappy Disney shows and movies. As for ST:D (seriously, what were they thinking?!) it looks like it's going to suck anyway so CSB can keep it.

    I pay for Netflix as it has enough content to be worth the small cost. Amazon Prime we have for the next day shipping so anything that's on their streaming service free is a bonus. Throw in the channels on in FreeSat and the various TV free catchup services like BBC iPlayer and we're covered. Anything that isn't on any of them we can live without.

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  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:04am

    The key point is control, not revenue.
    It is usually better to `enlarge the pie' than to try and gain a larger slice. In this case it would be more profitable to make the content available on as many platforms as possible.
    However, the owners/directors of these big incumbants want total control over the populace, the money takes second place.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:41am

      Re:

      "The key point is control, not revenue."

      This is true. However, to paraphrase the famous line, the tighter they squeeze their grip, the more people will slip through their fingers. Some of the regular idiots are too busy gloating over them being fleeced again as customers they can't see the inevitable result.

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  • icon
    frank87 (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:10am

    YouTube

    I remember an old story about a cable company that carried all broadcasters they didn't have to pay for, while others where picking marketings finest. It was the best, and cheapest around.
    I get a deja vu: they do know YouTube exist, Don't they?

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:45am

    I'll probably mostly go without as many others will. Fading into irrelevance isn't something desirable for Disney. Whenever there's anything interesting (ie: pixar or Star Wars), well, piracy.

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  • icon
    Prashanth (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 5:09am

    Effective oligopoly breakup

    This makes me think that this is like the breakup of a collusive oligopoly. In particular, content providers had to fight against the ease with which people could provide free unauthorized copies of their content, so they did so by joining forces in just a few streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and maybe one or two others that I'm missing), the idea being that people would be willing to pay for a service that provided all of the high-quality content they ever wanted in a convenient place with a business model built around such convenience, while piracy would entail looking at many different random providers showing content of questionable (video/audio) quality (also hampered by DRM and other such things). Now, if Disney is breaking away from this collusion, the value of that convenience is greatly diminished, and Disney and Netflix will have to compete with consumers who would rather only choose one or the other, and would therefore be more likely to consider piracy again.

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  • icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:34am

    Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

    *Don't want or can't afford another service? Your option is to either go without -- or to pirate the program.*

    There is actually a third option. I use the PLEX DVR feature to record over the air shows (we get about 20 channels where I live on a desktop antenna). I invested in a HD antenna (about $30) and a HDHomeRun Extend (about $160 on NewEgg) which allows me to record 2 channels at the same time (or I could add a second for 4 channels). Plex is free but to get the channel guide you need Plex Pass which is $4.99 a month (or $39.99 a year or $149.99 for lifetime). So I'm out about $300 (actually less because I got my lifetime plex pass a LONG time ago when it was cheaper). :)

    This combination allows me to watch LIVE TV on any of my devices as well as record it for later viewing. Oh, and Plex has clients for TONS of different devices - Google TV, Roku, Android, IOS, Playstation, etc. Plex also has channels (streaming version of HGTV, SciFi, etc) and plugins you can add to to extend it's base functionality (like Kodi).

    ANwya, hope someone finds this useful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:47am

      Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

      "we get about 20 channels where I live on a desktop antenna"

      ...and if you want to access content that's on the 21st channel?

      Sorry dude, your spamming - while less generic than the usual fare - does miss the entire point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ArkieGuy (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

        Actually, I didn't miss the entire point! The article said "your option is to either go without -- or to pirate the program" and then specifically mentions CBS. This totally leaves out the option of watching it (and others like ABC, NBC, FOX, CW, etc) using broadcast tv (you know, the way TV was originally).

        As to the "21'st channel", I guess you mean something like Disney which doesn't do broadcast tv. I assumed it was understood that you can only watch OVER THE AIR TV that is actually broadcast over the air.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

          "The article said "your option is to either go without -- or to pirate the program" and then specifically mentions CBS"

          As an example, probably based purely on the fact that they have the new Star Trek and the author had it on his mind (in the US at least, overseas it's a Netflix Original). He could have picked any channel and any show as an example, over the air or not has nothing to do with the point being made.

          "you know, the way TV was originally"

          It also used to be 4:3, black and white and shot on low quality video. People would complain if that was the only was to get it too.

          "As to the "21'st channel", I guess you mean something like Disney which doesn't do broadcast tv"

          EXACTLY! The entire point of the thing you quoted was that people will tend to just pirate the things they want if they can't or won't access it with their existing subscriptions. You pimping for your service doesn't change the fact that the same point will apply to anything not available through that service.

          "I assumed it was understood that you can only watch OVER THE AIR TV that is actually broadcast over the air."

          ...and that contains all the content people want to access? If not, what the hell is your point other than spamming the thread with an advertisement?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            ArkieGuy (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

            *You pimping for your service doesn't change the fact that the same point will apply to anything not available through that service*

            Ohhh... Yeah, totally not my service, I'm just a customer that likes what they offer. I wasn't trying to spam the group (there's nothing in it for me), I was just trying to describe another way to get SOME content for free legally.

            *and that contains all the content people want to access? If not, what the hell is your point other than spamming the thread with an advertisement*

            Of course not! But a lot of people today seem to discount over the air broadcasts. There is a LOT of free programming that people are paying for that they could simply record. CBS is just the first to paywall the content local stations broadcast over the air.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

              "Yeah, totally not my service, I'm just a customer that likes what they offer"

              Sure. Is that an affiliate link, by any chance? If not, strange that you wouldn't just type the 6 letter URL.

              "I was just trying to describe another way to get SOME content for free legally."

              Most people doing that would go "hey, if you want OTA content, try Plex", not go into the pricing structure, etc.

              Maybe you didn't intend to spam, but you went *way* overboard for anything other than a sales pitch.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                ArkieGuy (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                Nope, not an affiliate link --- I don't think they even do that kind of thing. I actually didn't notice the junk at the end of the link before I hit post and then tried to back and delete the post or edit it to remove it to no avail.

                Yeah, I may be over zealous but there is nothing wrong with that. As to pricing, I've been in this group long enough to know that if you don't qualify EVERY THING YOU SAY, someone bitch. If I had simply said "Plex offers free DVR", someone would have said "it's not free, you have pay to get the program guide". Folks on here can be a bit snarky!

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 12:22am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                  "tried to back and delete the post or edit it to remove it to no avail"

                  Yeah, that's not something this site allows.

                  "As to pricing, I've been in this group long enough to know that if you don't qualify EVERY THING YOU SAY, someone bitch."

                  There is a middle ground between "here's a link to a useful site" and "here's a complete breakdown of their entire pricing plan and device compatibility".

                  "If I had simply said "Plex offers free DVR", someone would have said "it's not free, you have pay to get the program guide". Folks on here can be a bit snarky!"

                  Yes, people get like that when you bait and switch them.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 8:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                There is no affiliate type fee thing for PLEX! That link just brings you to Plex Live TV/DVR service page.

                I like to show pricing for things I'm talking about. I was talking about a Apple Homekit Light switch someplace else and that it cost $44.99 on Amazon. I had just installed one in my Garage. it's great! I looked at a number of them.

                As a cable cutter and getting most of what I watch OTA, I used to use Media Center on my PC, but of course that always tied up my PC. I used Xbox 360's around my house as Extenders. It would Auto bootup in t hat Mode. Then Microsoft dropped Media Center for Windows 10. The writing was on the wall with Windows 8. I was going to upgrade to Windows 10, so I went over to a Tivo Roamio and Tivo Mini's for the other rooms. Same basic Idea as Media Center and Media Center Extenders.

                I'm mostly using the TIVO currently. BUT I brought back out my HDHomerun's I was using for Media Center and connected them back up to be used for PLEX since they started supporting OTA TV and DVR recording in PLEX. By the way, their Competitor, EMBY also supports LIVE TV and DVR. I just started checking that out. There's things I like just a little better on each.

                I'm a long time PLEX user. I started out with ripping my movies and being able to watch anywhere. I really think of it as my own personal Netflix type service. You can setup user accounts. You can access it anywhere in the world with a Internet connection. You can setup friends accounts.

                If you start using apps like Sonarr, Radarr, you can automatically download TV programs and Movies of just about anything, in HD and commerial free and automatically show up in PLEX. I'm sure that's the case with using EMBY also. There's a number of app's to pick from to do these things.

                For me, it's mostly OTA and Netflix. Though I do have Amazon Prime, which I got for the free 2nd day shipping. Both of those services I had before I cut the cord. Amazon I rarely watch video content from. Not enough hours in the day. But I do use PLEX every day. I got Lifetime service for it years ago when it was cheaper. I just forked out money for Lifetime service for EMBY. I think both have a sale on Lifetime service currently. Generally if I can, I just pay for Lifetime as it's a better deal in the end. I hate everyone nickle and dime everyone month by everyone.

                I didn't put in any links. I didn't just throw up PLEX, but also EMBY. I guess you could call it a sales pitch for both. Sonarr and Radarr are FREE. One does TV content, the other Movies. There's also Sickbeard and SickRage for TV. CouchPotato for Movies.

                I like my TIVO, and I got my Roamio for $299 with Lifetime Service which was a killer deal. Service cost add's up fast if you have to pay that month after month for years. There's also Tablo, Simple.TV, and Channel Master DVR+. Channel Master has free service, the others cost money, but are generally cheaper then TIVO, unless you get a killer deal like I got.

                Do for DVR solutions for OTA, you have TIVO, Tablo, Simple.TV, Channel Master DVR+, PLEX or EMBY and a few others using a some type of tuner like a HDHomerun. SO there are a lot of choices. All depends on what features you Want/Need. It's called Research. Find what works for you. There's a ton of content you can get OTA and it's all FREE and in HD and 5.1 surround. At least for most channels. There's AntennaTV and MeTV and others where they have a lot of older TV programs. They're great also to watch. If you've never seen these older tv shows, then it's NEW to you. Or you may have grown up with them like I did when I was a kid. My TIVO is almost always recording programs. Once in a while when the 4 tuners aren't enough, I now have a backup solution, PLEX, or EMBY. I do like PLEX Channel guide better as it's free as part of the subscription. As a Lifetime Member, I just got it. What a deal. With EMBY, it's a 3rd party service which costs $25 a year to get the Channel guide Data. Oh look, a threw out a price, but I didn't mention the NAME of the place!!! To me, that's a Pro for PLEX over EMBY in this area.


                Really any time anyone talks about Tech, you could call it a sales pitch!!! Just for you I didn't throw up a single link or single out a single product. I gave a number of options.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 12:27am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                  "There is no affiliate type fee thing for PLEX! That link just brings you to Plex Live TV/DVR service page."

                  Strangely enough, since I was opposed to commercial spam, I wasn't going to follow the link through to see where it took me and how many tracking cookies it inserted related to affiliates. If there's none, it seems strange that the URL is so padded and has things like campaign IDs included, but I'll believe you because I'm not going there either way.

                  "Just for you I didn't throw up a single link or single out a single product. I gave a number of options."

                  Which I neither read, nor could probably use anyway since I'm not in the US. But, you wasted a lot of time typing, which is nice.

                  The subject of the article is how fragmentation of the streaming industry is bad for consumers and ultimately counterproductive. Perhaps if you people can stick to that instead of masturbating over what a great deal you got from other services, we can stop arguing and get to the actual issues.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    ArkieGuy (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:11am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                    The link was what Google gave me when I searched for "Plex DVR" (feel free to give it a try), I assume it's so Plex can be charged for the "advertising" provided by Google search.

                    And before you jump to conclusions, no I'm not the anonymous poster above.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2017 @ 5:32am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Plex DVR - Free LEGAL streaming

                      I can only go with what is presented to me, and what was presented was a post that read like a verbose sales pitch, that was only tangentially related to the subject of the thread, followed by a link filled with advertising tracking.

                      I apologise if you're not actually trying to spam the thread, but that is exactly what it looked like. Between the two of you, there's a hell of a lot of words wasted if the actual intent was just to say "hey, remember there's other options apart from streaming and cable".

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rebrad (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 6:39am

    Torrents

    All the MBA's and media moguls still don't understand that the rise of torrent sites didn't happen because it is easy. Torrent sites came about and thrive because people are tired of being nickled and dimed for things they don't want or can't get by other means. Let them all go bankrupted. Most of the content is braindead and worthless anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MM_Dandy, 10 Aug 2017 @ 9:40am

    Filling market needs

    Is there any other industry where such an obvious need would not only be ignored, but actively modeled against filling?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:39pm

    Heard on CBC Radio...

    When the Canadian cable "giants" wanted to compete with Netflix and started running their own streaming services, and gobbling up Canadian licenses for all the good shows... Two commentators on CBC radio were discussing the situation.

    "Another streaming service or two to subscribe to on top of Netflix. How many different streaming services are you going to subscribe to at $12.95 a pop?"

    "Ummm.... Just one?"

    I think sooner or later all streaming services will have access to almost all content. Sooner or later the content owners will realize a few cents each from millions is better than exclusive deals. To me, what's missing is volume. There are vast libraries of stuff (Sturgeons Law- 90% is crap...). When you start to see the same shows on multiple streaming services, you know someone has figured out the answer; just as the same songs are available on multiple streaming or sales sites.

    (Hint - the answer is to get paid by the view, rather than an upfront payment for exclusivity - then the more audience, the better. Someone, somewhere, is going to want to watch all 30 years of "I love Lucy" or 10 years of Beverly Hillbillies. They just aren't all Netflix or Hulu subscribers.)

    The upfront licensing is what's killing things. There is only so much money for that; but there would be an immense audience for a hugely expanded back catalog.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:41pm

    "the end result will drive users back to the simplicity of piracy"

    back... back...

    So not true, we are still here pirating everything, just some of us decided to throw a bone to netflix or similar.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 12:53pm

    Higher prices = More piracy
    More inconveniences = More piracy
    More restrictions = More piracy
    More abuses = More piracy

    Well, to that equation now you can add:
    More content in silos = More piracy

    (but I guess it could be part of more inconveniences)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:03pm

    " the increasing number of independent streaming services is certainly a good thing. This increase in competition.... "

    See, that is the problem, they may be applying pressure to TV, but they are not competing among themselves.

    Only one silo has Game of Thrones, only one silo has Orange is the New black, only one has Mickey Mouse. So if you want GOT for you, OITNB for your wife, and Mickey for the kids, you still have to go to all them, further extracting money from you.

    They all have MONOPOLIES over the content, which is the real problem. They don't have to compete among themselves (the silos) in customer service, price, catalogue, quality, reliability, etc. They don't compete in none of those.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:07pm

    This is stupid. Try watching just Discovery channel's programs forever, just that.

    Or try, just watching ESPN all day, forever.

    Not one single person ever watches just programs from ONE source or production house. We all have different tastes, different moods, different interests, varied phases, and they know this, and they are forcing you to their silo.

    They know most people may live with a wife and/or kids and/or friends and/or other family members, hell even with and/or strangers (such as roomies in a school dorm, landlords, etc).

    Their intention is clear: now not just extract a rent per household, as in cable. Now they are trying to extract a rent per person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Mitchell (profile), 10 Aug 2017 @ 1:39pm

    Technical Fix to Copyright Bug

    Back in 1909, Congress declared that it would be "unwise" for the copyright owner to have "any control whatever" over copies placed in the stream of commerce. Slicing a deep wedge between ownership of copies and ownership of copyrights, it took the judicially-recognized "first sale doctrine" one step further, applying the right to redistribute without regard to whether the acquisition was by means other than sales (such as by gift, or by license to reproduce it via download). Section 109 says that if you own the copy, you can rent, lend, gift or sell your copy without permission from the copyright owner.

    That all worked great when movies were on VHS tapes and DVDs. It used to be that you could find far more titles on Netflix than practically anywhere else, and when Redbox came along offering 99-cent DVD rentals, the studios could not legally stop the practice, since Redbox owned the DVDs and was free to rent them at whatever price it wished. 99-cent rentals meant that streaming licenses for the same movie could not be too steep.

    But technological advances make it more difficult to take a movie off of your shelf and lend it, sell, it, rent it, or give it away, because your "shelf" is now your hard drive. You can still give away your copy of the movie, provided you give away your entire library residing on that storage medium.

    Meanwhile, Netflix began streaming. Using a pitch along the lines of "we can pay the warehouse fees and postal service, or we can pay the studio a license fee," Netflix was able to negotiate streaming rights (public performance licenses) at rates that, for the studios, might offer a better deal than the wholesale price of Netflix's DVD purchases. Streaming took off.

    But then, as Netflix gained a critical mass of subscribers, it began reducing its DVD title inventory, began producing its own movies and shows that required no license fees to stream, and had every reason not to pay for the right to stream movies the addition of which were unlikely to produce enough new subscribers -- or cause enough subscribers to cancel -- to justify the license fee.

    As a result, DVD sales and availability to the public has shrunk dramatically, and streaming licenses have simply not taken up the slack. Adding to the injury, "exclusives" tend to guarantee the creation of silos, such that one needs to pay several different streaming services to get even a reasonable fraction of what used to be available. Disney wants its own silo.

    There is hope, though. Thanks to US and Canadian court interpretations of the reproduction right, it is clear that shifting the work from one physical medium to another without copying is not infringement. Video industry veterans (that I am honored to work with) have recently disclosed a patent-pending process that will once again let people lend, rent, gift or sell a copy without conveying their entire library, by use of a process that shifts the work from one medium to another, such that no copy is ever made.

    While some copyright owners might fear a return to the heyday of video rental, when their biggest customers were video rental stores, I suspect that many more will welcome a means to get their works out there, which is the primary purpose for granting a copyright. The intent is to maximize distribution to the masses, not maximize profit from an elite segment of the population. We need secondary markets to thrive, simply because some people will never be able to watch a movie by paying the primary market prices.

    And there is a significant up-side in more movies becoming available. Just as many more movies were made when it was feasible to make a movie "direct to video" without a theatrical release income stream, smaller independent filmmakers will be able to reach wider audiences without having to get thousands of video stores to buy their movie. They used to share DVDs freely within the industry, trying to get the attention of distributors who might be willing to stock, sell and ship to video stores. If demand was low, the movie would never see the light of day. With online space-shifting, filmmakers need only persuade one video store to buy them, if that video store is able to shift the movie from the DVD to the customer's hard drive a thousand miles away. With just one video store willing to cater to true videofiles rather than just focus on niche films or new releases, we can reach the entire country - or the world. Plus, movies that appeal mostly to niche audiences, such as foreign language films or movies from particular regions or cultures can finally gain more widespread access. The fan of Bollywood movies can rent them even if there is no Indian community nearby that might warrant a local merchant carrying them, so long as the online space-shifting retailer has a copy available for space-shifting. If demand is high, the retailer will buy more copies, benefitting the filmmaker.

    Bottom line: the sooner that true space-shifting comes to market, the sooner that these silos can become irrelevant, and the sooner studios will offer reasonably priced streaming licenses to all licensees in order for them to compete with the space-shifting delivery, just as they used to provide more attractive streaming licenses to compete with DVD-rental delivery.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 4:21pm

    Kudos to Disney for using the internet to cut out the middleman gatekeepers and connect directly with their fans. Wait, we don't like that anymore?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2017 @ 7:33pm

    There's an app for that!

    "you first need to check to see if that program or film is available on any of the half-dozen services you may subscribe to"

    No no no. There are apps and websites that do that for you. People are not turning to piracy. People are turning away from piracy.

    Disney is not so crazy as to shoot their own feet (this time).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Howard the Duck, 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:14pm

    Amazon

    Which used to have one subscription price for Prime everything, has now "broken out" HBO, STARZ etc as separate subscriptions within Amazon. Now to see a movie you might first have to subscribe to yet another "channel" within. Trying their best to make the prime video service suck. Netflix still the champ.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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