Fascinating reader Email:
I cancelled cable about a year ago, and have not regretted it once. The only casualties have been about ten pounds and a callused channel-flipping thumb. Steaming really is a major time saver and has helped me discover a lot of shows that I bypassed the first time around. Of course my peers are skeptical, but they’re asking more and more questions.
Cancelling our cable and satellite plans is also a protest vote that says we’re not going to pay for channels we don’t watch and we’re no longer willing to subsidize those, like MSNBC, OWN, LOGO, Sundance and others, who constantly attack who we are.
In related news…
How is cable supposed to survive this:
New research by Nielsen confirms that Americans 35 and under now watch an increasing amount of television programming on phones, laptops, or devices other than a traditional, ad-friendly television. In 2011, that demographic’s daily TV viewing decreased by an average of nine minutes. (TV, in this sense, is defined as a Nielsen-measurable set and not a show made for television.)
Entertainment providers like ESPN have made a point of standing with cable providers, but people are moving elsewhere. Moreover, they’re used to getting unlimited choice and value online.
Within the decade, outlets like ESPN will have to move to online streaming and the old model of making money through ad revenue. In other words, when I was a kid we got TV for free. It was only a few channels, but you didn’t pay a penny for it. The way the networks made money, was through the sale of commercial time.
Today, networks make money from commercials and per-subscriber fees paid by cable companies. We might not watch OWN or MSNBC, but if we subscribe to a package that includes those channels, they still get the money. This is how networks nobody likes or watches stay alive.
If, however, we start cancelling our cable subscriptions and move towards streaming, outlets like MSNBC and OWN and ESPN will have to broadcast online via streaming. This means fewer cable fees and going back to the old model of making money off of ad revenue. This also means a lot of crappy networks go under.
One workaround to hold on to the old system that could be attempted online would be to sell streaming access in packages like they do cable. Meaning, if you want to stream ESPN, your package will also include MSNBC and OWN.
I don’t think this is going to work, though. The model of appointment television is what’s dying. We’re moving towards picking and choosing titles and watching them when we want to watch them. So outlets such as Netflix Streaming really are the future — and Netflix isn’t going to pay for OWN’s Rosie O’Donnell Show if no one’s watching it.
What to make of this:
Bridesmaids is officially the most in-demand movie available on video-on-demand (or VOD). The Oscar-nominated comedy has racked up 4.8 million rentals in just over four months, according to Rentrak (via a Universal Pictures release), which adds up to over $24 million in VOD grosses.
“Bridesmaids” is a good flick, to be sure, but not this good.
Perhaps this is just another sign of a trend where people are ready to watch movies from the comfort of their own living rooms.
I like Jeremy Renner, a lot. But if this is more shaky-cammed anti-Americanism, no thanks.
From the trailer, it looks as though director Tony Gilroy used a tripod, but who wants to bet that the Edward Norton character talking about protecting America is the villain?
What music industry?
Warner Music Group on Thursday reported flat revenue and a slightly higher loss for its fiscal first quarter.
The music company posted a loss of $26 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $18 million.
Revenue was virtually unchanged at $779 million in the quarter. Digital revenue rose 17 percent to $219 million.
If I’m reading that correctly, Warner is spending nearly a billion dollars in order to lose $26 million.
Music has the same problem as movies, a shortage of real stars — at least not in the sense that there were stars twenty-five years ago. Rap and country have their stars, but it’s always funny to look at the concert tour stats and see senior citizens in the top-grossing slots.
The satellite radio company ended 2011 with a record subscriber count of 21.9 million and projects net additions of 1.3 million this year. …
The satellite radio firm posted quarterly earnings of $71.3 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $81.4 million.
To each their own, but I cannot imagine paying a monthly subscription fee for radio.
The actor plays an ex-cia agent battling to escape rebel soldiers in Africa, and to fully understand his character, he opted to put himself through a terrifying torture scene, where water was poured over a cloth on his face.
He tells New York Magazine, “I wanted to see what it would be like. It’s strange. You can’t breathe in, because the water comes in, and it’s filling up your mouth.
“And that was just one time for a short time. Imagine having that done for 20, 30 seconds? You will give up the answers! You may not necessarily tell the truth, but you will tell (your captors) whatever they want to hear.”
Man, after all the nice things I said yesterday, I hope this isn’t what it looks like.
LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING
Interiors (1978) — This seems like the type of movie I should make fun of, but I happen to like it quite a bit. Woody Allen’s first leap into a purely dramatic picture is a fascinating examination of the dynamic of a family poisoned by Mom (an amazing Geraldine Page) and a damning indictment of the self-centered, dysfunctional, insecure, petty, and smallness of the godless left.
It’s only Maureen Stapleton’s character who earns any of our sympathy. About halfway through, she shows up in a red dress that hits like an explosion in a world defined by an oppressive lack of color. She also eats red meat and refuses to over-think things like Broadway plays into the meaninglessness leftists find so comforting. What a breath of fresh, unpretentious, bourgeois air.
SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR
CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10
10:30 PM Cheyenne Autumn (1964) — A reluctant calvary Captain must track a defiant tribe of migrating Cheyennes. dir: John Ford Cast: Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden. C-156 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format.
A movie that proves that political correctness is so toxic to art and storytelling that even John Ford, the greatest motion picture director ever, couldn’t overcome it.
This is nothing more than a stillborn piece of crap that strips humanity from the Indians and replaces it with stifling nobility.
So more of a lesson than a pick.
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