N’Jeri Eaton comes to Netflix by way of Apple and NPR. An award-winning storyteller, she has roots in documentary filmmaking, something near and dear to many a DC filmmaker.
While that’s all cool, the big surprise from the article for me was that not only that Netflix has a number of podcasts already –many being deeper dives into their TV shows and films– but that they are building up publishing and social media presences. That growth as an overall media company is, I suppose, something one might expect, but I confess to still thinking of Netflix as the streaming enfant terrible vs. “another media conglomerate.”
I’m also, for obvious reasons, wondering if they’re going to start making moves into original audio fiction.
I first learned of this over the weekend in an LA Times piece, but AT&T, who only a few years ago, bought Time Warner in a bid to become a new powerhouse entertainment ecosystem, is planning to sell its media goodies to Discovery Communications.
The resulting combination of scripted and unscripted shows, films, and assorted media could be peanut butter & chocolate or cookies & okra. I honestly don’t know and don’t particularly have a battlebot in this fight.
But from both the LA Times above, a piece in Ars Technica, and one from the New York Times that the various Conventional Wisdom is abuzz amongst the factions that are wont to have Opinions and Conventional Wisdom: other media companies, telecoms, Wall Street — and the people who follow media companies, telecoms, and Wall Street.
Now, all of this is dependent on shareholders and regulators agreeing to the sale, but there’s sure to be ripples from this.
Just shy of two weeks ago, Warner Brothers decided to drop a bombshell by saying that all their 2021 films would simultaneously go onto their streaming service, HBO Max, along with theaters, as reported in industry publications, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
This announcement broke a certain segment of the Internet the Thursday it dropped because –shockingly– Warner Bros. evidently didn’t let any of their producing partners know.
And that’s a big deal, not simply from being courteous to your business partners, but there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake since a big way production companies and above-the-line people get money is through profit participation in the theatrical ticket sales.
I guess this is turning out to be the week that my eye keeps catching articles about streaming services, given Monday’s post.
Yesterday, Peter Kafka over in Vox mentions how Disney+ now has over 28 million subscribers. While that’s nothing compared to Netflix’s well-above 160 million subscribers, it is impressive on top of its already impressive debut in November with 10 million subscribers. It also makes Disney’s stated goal to get to 60-90 million subscribers by 2024 very doable.
In fact, I won’t be surprised if they get over 40 million before the end of the year as they appear all ready to entice additional viewers with the upcoming Marvel shows starting in August — and then there’s the return of the Mandalorian in October.
I’ve searched for a succinct chart that lists the various streaming services, their last reported subscriber numbers, and their/analysts’ projections. I haven’t found anything yet, but a CNBC piece highlighted Disney+ and its debut subscribers and reporter Alex Sherman did provide some numbers of other services for comparison.
If there’s a “FiveThirtyEight” style chart out there, definitely let me know.
I know I’m not the only one who’s noticed how much content seems to be slipping away from Netflix as more and more companies take their metaphorical Matchbox cars and go home. And by “home,” I mean “create their own streaming service.”
I mean, I understand they want to have some legitimacy, prestige, and a glowing reputation. I just want it to have over 10,000 titles. And, by gum, I want it to be an online streaming archive akin to the old Leonard Maltin Movie Guides. How about that, Turner Classic Movies (TCM)? How about you work on curating all that awesome content you do and just let Netflix distribute it. Change money as makes sense.
What’s that you say? TCM is part of Warner Brotheres which is part of AT&T and that’s doing it’s own streaming service so there’s no chance in Hell or Gotham that might idea of Netflix-as-distributor will come to pass?