59 posts in the Digital Media Category

Netflix lost 800,000 subs in the past 90 days

Netflix lost $1.44 billion in market value this afternoon after reporting 800,000 customers fled the service in the past three months.

Netflix CEO pledges to screw up even more

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings admits he screwed up in a message to customers and the public on the company blog, then promises to make things even worse.

Netflix raises prices, loses customers, stock price plummets

The results are in: after raising prices as much as 60%, Netflix lost $2 billion in value this afternoon after announcing a loss of 600,000 subscribers as its stock dropped almost 19%.

Actor to Plead Guilty to Leaking Black Swan to BitTorrent

Feds wasting money on being copyright cops, movies that get pirated early and then make tons of money, and innovate uses for iTunes.

What 202 digital media pirates say about piracy

What 202 digital media pirates had to say about what they do, and why they do it.

Comcast privately threatened network discrimination against Netflix

Netflix's SEC filings reveal threats from Comcast to cut if off from cable customers.

SAG and DGA bend over with a smile, WGA next?

Both the actors and directors unions went quietly in the night in recent labor talks, will the writers do the same, or are they itching for another disruptive strike?
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DirecTV drops low-rated G4TV

DirecTV subscribers will have to look elsewhere for G4TV after the satellite giant decided to drop the low rated cable channel.

Apple's next move: ruin the online TV market

Apple's attempts to muscle into the online TV market will result in higher prices and represents a step back in innovation.

Lost/Stargate prop auctions, lawsuits, Potter test screening, more

Silly lawsuits, spoiler-ific test screenings, dumb reality show ideas and more in quick links.

The NFL really, really doesn't want you to watch online

The National Football League will be streaming all regular season games online this season, but for a hefty price.

Is HBO saying no to Netflix, but yes to piracy?

HBO is going it alone in the streaming world, saying no to Netflix and possibly restricting online delivery so much that potential customers find piracy a more ideal solution.
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Is Hulu Plus vs. Netflix even a meaningful comparison?

NewTeeVee asks who has the advantage in Netflix vs. Hulu, but here's why it's not a fair fight to begin with.

Hulu ducks behind a pay wall

Hulu has announced a new $10/month service that opens access to entire seasons of TV shows with new streaming capabilities on mobile devices.

DGA President jumps in Viacom vs. YouTube fray

Directors Guild of America president Taylor Hackford gets a lot wrong in whining about Viacom's defeat at the hands of YouTube in a case asking for over $1 billion in damages.
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Big Business doesn't always get what it wants

Some people think YouTube's win over Viacom is unfair, but can't really argue that it was wrong.

FCC gives prehistoric Hollywood permission to be retarded

The FCC approved "selective output control" a few weeks ago that could allow Hollywood to disable your TV while trying to watch new movies, under certain conditions.

Google's coming set-top box may run Android apps

Google's push into home entertainment may involve a TV set-top box that will stream from flash drives, the Internet, open the floodgates for new Android applications to run on your television.

Netflix/Warner Brothers deal is a de facto price increase

Netflix has struck a deal with Warner Brothers that will force Netflix customers to buy new releases or rent them from a store if they want to see them in the first 30 days of release.

Hulu approaching 1 billion video streams per month

Hulu is reaching 1 billion video streams per month, despite traffic stagnation, but are they moving forward and innovating, or just existing?

Photos from inside the Stargate Universe press kit

A new image gallery featuring high resolution scans of the entire Stargate Universe press kit book.

Cable Internet sector will not rescue Hollywood

A selective quote from a research confab gets it all wrong when saying that cable companies will abandon flat-rate plans in order to protect Hollywood's offline business model.

New SModcast mirror

Added a mirror for the Kevin Smith/Scott Mosier podcast (SModcast).

SaveTheBiz produces anti-strike vid

A group of SAG members calling itself SaveTheBiz has produced a video that opposes a potential strike.

Indefensible provision dropped from bad copyright bill

The U.S. Senate passed a new copyright bill that further unbalances property rights in favor of billion dollar corporations, but had an unconscionable provision stripped at the last minute request of the Department of Justice.

Heroes webisodes are upon us

The first in a series of Heroes webisodes introducing various villains has appeared on NBC's website and Hulu.com.

Pilot and screener leaks just don't matter

NewTeeVee lists all the new fall pilots on the file sharing networks and I wonder why we're even giving attention to such a small, irrelevant thing.
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Martin Wood talks Sanctuary, Canadian productions

Stargate producer Martin Wood talks about his new web-to-TV series 'Sanctuary', and the struggle to compete with instead of serve the American TV market.
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MPAA censorship has got to stop

Kevin Smith's online-only teaser for his new comedy -- Zack & Miri Make a Porno -- has been censored by the MPAA.

Blu-ray fails at life

With the death of HD-DVD, Blu-ray sales remain flat after a 1st quarter collapse.

Report: most piracy within 12-18 hours

Report says most piracy peaks within 12-18 hours after TV broadcast.

Current challenges to HD movie downloads: ..what HD?

Most writers struggle to understand that what Apple and other streaming vendors call "high definition" video is anything but.
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Hulu is not the future of television

Slate's Michael Agge asks if Hulu and streaming video will replace TV, but most people don't understand what that really means. Plus a free Battlestar Galactica video, cause I'm just that awesome.

Big Content Still Doesn't Get It

Eric Bangeman writing for Ars Technica wrote yesterday about a change coming in April in the way DirecTV's satellite receiver/DVR combo will treat pay-per-view recordings. As has been feared ever since a bug in a TiVo software update triggered a "lockdown" of sorts on programming that would only remain on the system for 24 hours before being automatically deleted -- whether you wanted that to happen or not -- it seems that DirecTV has caved to outside pressure and implemented precisely this type of content control, effective April 15th....

Arguing with Zeff Zucker

NewTeeVee has lots of sound bites from NBC's Jeff Zucker's talk at the Harvard Business School a couple of days ago. For whatever reason, it seems like the main qualification to be a CEO is the completely inability to adapt to changing markets, with an irrepressible urge to hang onto the past as long as humanly possible, regardless of the consequences.Zucker fits that mold quite well, based on some of the crap coming out of this guys mouth. He's still mad at Apple for rebuking NBC's attempt to raise the price of TV shows (only for NBC to start streaming them for free), apparently doesn't know net neutrality is, and wants everyone to believe that the writers strike was a...

Quarterlife didn't impress

In case you didn't hear about it, and I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case, Quarterlife made a very quiet debut on NBC last night. For a little background, Quarterlife is a series made specifically for the Internet, spanning six episodes cut into six parts each, but produced with veteran talent and equipment you aren't going to find lurking in the garage anytime soon....

Who 'won' the strike?

Yeah, I've seen that question asked rhetorically in the titles of a number of blog posts and MSM stories since the middle of last week too. The contract hasn't even been ratified yet and fools such as myself are going out declaring winners like this was a sporting contest rather than a labor "negotiation", although it really was neither of those things most of the time. The answer is actually an easy one to find, but you've got to figure out who was in the dominant bargaining position first.The plaintiff in a lawsuit is in the dominant position, and I'll stretch that analogy a bit here in a minute to explain what I mean. But honestly, I think the answer...

Interview with Chip Proser (Adopt a Writer)

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for a project to interview striking writers, to give them the same kind of publicity that the studios and networks get by default from their parent corporations owning all of the largest newspapers and TV stations -- basically they own the media we depend on to get "fair and balanced" news.What follows is my interview with veteran jack-of-all-trades writer, director, producer, and everything else you can imagine, Chip Proser. who has been busy for much of the last three months working a cause that he deeply believes in....

This strike ain't over yet

Sorry to break the bad news to you all, the strike isn't over yet. It won't be over today, and may not be over tomorrow. You wouldn't know it by all these deceptive and downright false headlines I found with a quick glance this morning, every single one of them wrong:The WGA Strike is Over - The Movie BlogHollywood Writers Strike Comes to an End - Hollywood.comWGA Strike Over - Buddy TVI assure you that the strike is not over, and arguably has not even coming to an end. This process entails four separate votes in succession over the course of more than a week, and we're only half way through. Any single vote that comes down as no can...

WGA membership meetings tonight

The WGA-West is going to be holding their membership meeting to discuss -- not vote on -- the deal summary in a couple of hours, one that looks to have good points, bad points, and is every bit the result of trying to deal honestly with snake oils salesman. Deadline Hollywood has lots of "insider" coverage that is about as trustworthy as promises from the AMPTP. From what I understand, you only give a source anonymity when there's no other way to get that information. You don't give it just because someone wants to say something and not have their name attached, either because it will make them look bad, or because once you know who it is, you'll know...

Pay no attention to the boring labor negotiations

According to wire reports, there are going to be meetings this weekend where the WGA might present a deal to the membership -- the one they've been working on over the past week and supposedly have made great progress on. To clarify a little bit, this meeting was previously scheduled and was not called for any reason related to what is going on right now.That it may be used to present a contract is coincidental, and possible, not hardly guaranteed. At the very least though, the membership should be briefed about how things are going, how much work there is left to be done, and that news will undoubtedly leak out to us shortly thereafter....

Scifi Channel finds Sanctuary

I found it too, albeit I never actually saw it, I knew where it was! It was on a crappy website which was the only place you could actually see the series, which will in the end probably be remembered not so much as a pioneer, but one of those "ahead of its time" shows, like early scripted dramas that paved the way for the likes of 24, and Lost.This is actually worthy news because this is the second instance where a show was created outside of the studio system, for digital consumption only. Meaning it was made with a smaller budget, with shorter episodes, viewable only on the Internet via its home website. If that sounds familiar, NBC recently...
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Voices from the strike

Many apologies for not posting anything since Thursday; there hasn't been any real "reportable" progress on the talks between the AMPTP and the WGA, which is kind of what I had expected would happen. The chances that the DGA's deal with big media was going to be close enough to settle on something similar within a few days were nearly nonexistent. There probably is a lot of good stuff in that pact, but as SAG has recently said, without actually seeing the contract in all its glory, nobody can really say for sure.There are enough areas of concern that were not adequately addressed in the press releases to foresee a less combative, yet still contentious negotiations going forward. Regardless...
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Uniontown news

It's been an eventful month with the Directors Guild of America (DGA) making a soft deal with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), and SAG trying as hard as possible to get away from AFTRA which AFTRA clearly doesn't want. Kind of strange, that relationship -- AFTRA doesn't respect the SAG's logical position that voting rights should be relative to income earned, as it is with the WGA-East and WGA-West, yet they don't want this split to happen and will probably sue to try to stop it from happening....
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The DGA deal is a good start

Chances are I won't have any net access on the 19th because of weather, so I'm just jotting this down tonight (the 18th) for everyone to read tomorrow. Just a thought or two about the DGA deal -- primarily being that a lot of "moderates" seem to be extremely happy with the deal and though I've not actually seen it, many of them are undoubtedly going to pressure the leadership to take whatever the childish AMPTP offers them.Honestly, I think that's dumb....
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WGA signs landmark digital deal

I call this a landmark digital deal because the interim agreement may the first step towards changing how television is created and then delivered to viewers. Doug Liman has founded a startup called Jackson Bites to foster out-of-industry development of online entertainment."If the last strike is best remembered for the studios attempting to show they could create programming without writers, this could be the strike where the writers show they can do it without the studios," said Liman. "We are at a moment of opportunity in television where we have gone from three networks to six, and from a handful of channels to a thousand and YouTube. In that environment, what matters is compelling programming -- and compelling programming starts...

Why Blu-Ray is losing

I must either be stupid, or a HD-DVD loving (and owning) fan boy. No other possible explanation will be accepted, I will be insulted, dismissed, and ultimately ignored for daring speak out against the golden cow idol that is Sony.Sorry, I don't play that game....

Weinstein's make WGA deal; SAG & DGA Items

I admit, I thought the "divide and conquer" strategy wasn't much more than PR. "They want to split the guild and weaken us, so we'll do it right back!" and all that, only unlike the AMPTP which hasn't made so much as a dent in the writers' solidarity, independent companies are telling the AMPTP to bugger off one after another with opportunities to get back to work while their richer and more stubborn (and greedy) rivals sit on their hands, holding their breath.David Letterman's Worldwide Pants came first, and was dismissed as irrelevant since that company only owns two shows: Letterman's, and that other guy who comes on after. Then United Artists signed a deal and was "inundated with scripts...
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Paramount admits streaming profits at CES

You know, this really is the best indictment of the AMPTP corporations I've seen to date, and hysterically, they have only their fat mouths and unrepentant greed to blame for it all. Long before negotiations began -- we're talking three months before October -- the WGA started peppering the press with what it called the two faces of the AMPTP.When talking to the WGA about a new contract, management claimed virtual bankruptcy based on an uncertain future with dwindling profits and foggy prospects for new markets. Then they'd fly 3,000 miles east and tell Wall Street that revenue was soaring, profit was exceeding expectations, and how they were moving aggressively to capitalize on new media to suck up as much...

Top 10 stolen films and TV shows of 2007

I came across a post on Torrentfreak via NewTeeVee (a site you should consider scoping out) listing the top ten pirated films and TV series of 2007, which is worth mentioning for two reasons. The first being that a couple of the shows on the TV list are -- depending on how you view things -- ratings challenged, to say the least.All the people stealing these shows may do well to consider that if they acted like responsible adults and paid for this stuff like everybody else does, then these shows wouldn't end up getting canceled so often.Dexter, #9 on the list, is Showtime's most viewed show and set a personal ratings record for them in both the second season...

AMPTP celebrates corporate greed day

Variety inadvertently made a good point about the strike today when it happily regurgitated AMPTP propaganda messages about how the writers have lost more in regular wages during the strike so far than they would have earned in three years under the new media deal they've been asking for.Ignoring the fact for a moment that all such a statement does is underscore how incredibly cheap the demand is, and how terribly irresponsible and greedy the conglomerates are that they won't cough up an extra $50 million per year to cover digital downloads and streaming video -- what this statement really does is give us insight into the AMPTP's game plan.It's now clear that the congloms were well aware of the...

More media-complicit spin

Tired of strike stuff? Tough, I'm going to keep repeating myself until this fact is stuck firmly in the minds of everyone that is pissed because their favorite shows are now off the air. From Michael Hinman at Sy Fy Portal:We have the writers on one side, who feel they are being left out of the whole new technology game. We have the studios on the other side, who feel they are being asked to pay for something when no money is being made.Yes, I know it's almost impossible to boil down the entire Writers Guild of America strike in two sentences, but that's basically how the people who are paying attention to all of this are seeing it. And...

John Campea still doesn't get it

Back in September, I rebutted some things in a post on The Movie Blog about the strike in which its author, John Campea, got just about everything wrong. You can read everything I've written on the topic since this site was launched by going to the labor category.Since I've fallen behind in news gathering recently, I decided to target a few specific sites that I knew would have interesting content (good or bad) and topping that list was The Movie Blog. Given how badly Campea had been covering the strike up until that point, I figured there'd be some ripe material that needed corrections and explanations that Campea has proven in the past unwilling to publish, or even debate.I wasn't...

More "The Pretender" on the digital horizon?

I used to love The Pretender, but not while it was actually on the air. I'd catch an episode or two here and there, when I had the chance, but I wasn't dedicated to putting my butt in a chair once per week at the same hour back at that point. It wasn't anything close to a knockout hit, or anything, but I regret not giving it more of my time. Compared to some of the crap that has replaced it over the years and the stuff airing today, The Pretender seems like a step up.So, want some more?...

NBC intimiated by "uncertain" new media - makes 3rd investment in 5 weeks

While NBC and the other major networks and studios continue - even four weeks into a writers strike over these issues - to claim that the "new media" market (digital downloads and streaming video) is too uncertain and unprofitable to share in their booty with writers, they continue pushing aggressively into these supposedly nonexistent markets at a record pace with new deals being announced practically on a weekly basis....

Happy Thanksgiving

There's basically no news coming out this afternoon. A lot of people are looking forward to the 26th when the WGA and AMPTP return to the bargaining table, and I did read a story last night that said the total shutdown of scripted television figures to cost a little over $20 million per day once everything stops. It wasn't really clear if this was loss in revenue and/or profit for the studios and networks, or if that number included what writers and everyone else not working because of this strike are losing as well.Either way, that's a big number. If this strike lasts as long as the last one, we'll be looking at losses above $3 billion rather than the...

Michael Eisner Calls Writers' Strike "Stupid", Says They Can't Afford To Pay Writers More -- Time Warner Announces $1 Billion Profit On Huge Summer Box Office

$250 Million dollars -- About 1/28th what Time Warnermade this year.Two different stories from two different corporations on two different websites emerged today, that when put together, says all you need to know about why the writers are striking right now and how dishonest and pathetic the major studios are. Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner was on Wall Street today telling the stock market bigwigs that the writers' strike is "insanity" and "too stupid", according to The Hollywood Reporter, that "writers had been premature in pressing for digital revenue when the model was still unproven, and should have postponed action for at least three years."NBC and Fox recently initiated a beta test of their new video publishing website called Hulu.com...
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Sony and Marvel Raking It In This Year

When negotiations began between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) this year, the WGA accused the AMPTP of selling one story to them, and exactly the opposite story to wallstreet. Claiming to the writers that hardly any TV show or film made a profit, that they should stop receiving residual payments until after the studio has recouped its costs to produce the material in question, then producers would then turn to wallstreet and brag about record earnings and golden prospects for future profit.The producers denied every having done this, only they're doing it right this very second, with the most recent entrant bragging about its earnings just a day after...
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Sony Says HD-DVD Sales Figures Stink

But you know what they say about smelling something rotten, right? There's a bit of a petty dispute (usually born from ones own failings) over Paramount's sales figures from the HD-DVD edition of Transformers. The HD-DVD backer claims they've sold 190,000 units in the first week but Sony is having none of it, taking the opportunity to slap Paramount around as dishonest and desperate because they believe HD-DVD is losing the high-def format war.Unfortunately, Sony has credibility problems of their own....
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