Less than 10% of Quibi FREE 90 day trials converted to paid subscribers

Quibi’s original launch on April 6 included a free 90-day trial — that’s over and 90% of those who checked it out — including us — didn’t convert to paid subscribers

I don’t have a source to link, but believe that the conversion from free trial to paid subscriber averages greater than 10%. Obviously it differs based on a number of factors and Quibi had a very long and generous free trial. The Amazon channel store usually offers 7-day or 30-day, Hulu trials are often 7-day or 30-day. I’ve never seen a 90-day free trial for a streaming service until Quibi.

Whatever the case, the numbers for Quibi are under 10% conversion (I saw 8% quoted in one article). We didn’t pay to renew, so we’re not part of the sub 10%.

Streaming service Quibi only managed to convert a little under 10 percent of its early wave of users into paying subscribers, says mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower. According to the firm’s new report on Quibi’s early growth, the short-form video platform signed up about 9 10,000 users in its first few days back in April. Of those users, only about 72,000 stuck around after the three-month free trial, indicating the app had about an 8 percent conversion rate.

Quibi reportedly lost 90 percent of early users after their free trials expired – The Verge

What could have improved Quibi’s conversion rate? The big one is the cast to TV feature (see: Quibi “accelerating” engineering roadmap for cast to TV feature, was “always” planned, says Whitman) that is on the ridiculously slow track to completion, but another would be the obvious: having better content. They spent so much money developing content, but there just aren’t any break-out popular shows.

Is it the quick bite 7-10 minute episodic length or is it the content at any length?

If you run a streaming service and don’t have movies and/or shows people want to watch, why should they pay? I think the reason the service continues to suck is because they miscalculated the features in their service and don’t have any killer shows. They have a few decent ones that we watched, but not that amazing “must-see” show to keep more people subscribed.

Look, Amazon Prime has had a lousy user interface since its inception, but they have the second most number of subscribers. One could argue that it’s because it’s a gimme for those who have a Prime subscription, but even Disney+ that came out less than a year ago has already amassed over 53 million subscribers. Quibi is lagging because they don’t have the content people want to see nor do they have any other business like Amazon to sweeten the deal.

Anybody reading currently have a paid Quibi subscription? What do you watch there? Any recommendations for those of us on the outside of the paywall?

HBO Max and DC Universe bundle is a good idea – Merging? No, here’s why

Don’t know who this writer, Paul Tassi, is at Forbes, but his byline indicates he primarily focuses on “Games”, see the screenshot above from the article quoted below.

All of this is a mess and needs to be consolidated ASAP. If licensing deals are in place for years, leaving content on the likes of Netflix, sure, you have to wait until those expire. But DC Universe being folded into HBO Max would be enormous value added for that service and benefit both it and the shows themselves, with greater exposure and not leaving them relegated to this weird, spin-off DC service that only has like 25% of DC TV and movie content on it. Make the call.

It’s Clear HBO Max And DC Universe Just Need To Merge Already

It might be “clear” to the author of this Forbes piece, but it’s clearly not so clear to WarnerMedia and others. Will attempt to dissect this more clearly — ah, that translucent word — below.

Mr. Tassi’s work is an opinion piece, and on that basis is subjective in nature. His opinion can’t be wrong if he truly feels that DC Universe should just be merged into HBO Max. However, his article fails to focus on the main benefit of DCU not being the movie and TV shows — it’s the comics. The 24,000+ DC Comics. Time and again I see articles, including from prominent publications like Forbes failing to properly acknowledge the comic books, devaluing the amazing amount of creative artistic work included for subscribers.

In fairness, the article does indicate there is a “large library of comic books” available to DC Universe subscribers but the author, who also says he is a subscriber, doesn’t seem to place any value on them. In fact, he uses the word “weird” a few too many times to describe DCU. I counted at least 4 uses of the word “weird” in his piece.

There is also the DCU community, and that is free to everybody, not just DCU subscribers. Go over there with this article, and be ready for some pitchforks, Mr. Tassi. They will be kind pitchfork jabs, yes, because they have community guidelines to follow, but they won’t like the verbiage used flippantly in this article describing the service they love.

Comics are a major part of the DCU subscription. Even other DCU subscribers seem to miss this benefit, sometimes, and it is a cause of frustration among other subscribers who love the comics.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge comic book reader any longer — my darn lousy eyes make it difficult to focus on reading them comfortably for long periods of time — but even I can see how good a deal, for most comic book readers, having 24,000+ DC comic books available to read for $8/month. If I already owned the comics in physical or digital copies that I was interested in, yes, it would be less desirable subscribing, but the massive comics library, which grows every single month, can’t be discarded and overlooked.

And article after article just blindly compares DCU to every other streaming service. It’s not trying to be Netflix or HBO Max or even the horror niche Shudder. It’s more in line comparatively to Marvel’s comic book service that costs $10/month and Disney/Marvel does not include any movies or TV shows with that service. At least DCU includes some movie and TV content. The author speaks fondly of Disney+. You can’t read any comics at Disney+, but yes you can see a bunch of Marvel movies. Not all of them, by the way, also due to licensing. Eventually, they will all be there, I’m sure, but now they are in the same boat with pre-existing licensing deals.

Failing to prominently acknowledge these comics and labeling disrespectfully as a “weird, spin-off DC service” is unfair, ignorant and incorrect. Come on, Mr. Tassi. Do a little more research to backup strong opinions like these. You aren’t speaking for all other subscribers, especially not me.

DCU is a good service if you’re interested in DC comics, its heroes and villains. It’s not a very good movie and TV service. I wish the author would have made that distinction “clear.”

Oh, well. If I had a nickle for every online article I disagreed with … well, I could donate significantly to the cause on developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

That aside, I don’t completely disagree that HBO Max and DCU could merge successfully. The problem is people would continue to declare and dismiss the comic books, and consequently their customers, just as they are now. I think WarnerMedia, at least those in charge of DCU, understands this . They don’t want to be some sub service of HBO Max, relegated to a virtual subdomain or subcategory dungeon. And making their comic book customers feel like they weren’t important enough to have their own independent service.

These customers still enjoy buying comic books, subscribe to services like DCU. These people deserve their own service, however large or small that might appear to be — or actually is — to disinterested others.

Probably the wisest move that HBO Max could do is to offer a bundling plan that keeps DCU doing what’s already doing. Give DCU more original programming like the excellent Harley Quinn the animated series and then offer it on HBO Max (with the most recent announcement on 7/6/2020 that Stargirl season 2 will not be on DCU, but exclusively on CW, this does not bode well for any future exclusive DC TV shows, sigh — see: Stargirl Season 2 Renewed for The CW only, not on DC Universe – Crows are circling). Rotate DCU some content out of HBO Max or duplicate for these subscribers movies and TV series like Wonder Woman the original TV series.

Guess what, that’s what they are already doing.

There’s also Batman ’66, owned by Fox (Disney, go figure) and that would be a scoop to buy that back from Disney somehow. Arrowverse, mentioned in the article, will run its license out at Netflix and eventually return to the HBO Max nest and should/could also be made available to DCU subscribers.

What’s I’m saying here is offer a bundle like Disney does with Disney + Hulu + ESPN+ that offers both. I know recently DCU subscribers were offered $5/month to subscribe to HBO Max, but stupidly this was only offered to brand new HBO Max subscribers. Those who signed up for HBO Max like me weren’t included. Also, the offer was limited to six months and then the price jacked up to the regular $14.99/month.

How about they just make a bundle for both for $19.99/month. Or discount it further to $17.99/month. Either price would be a good deal and we wouldn’t have to keep reading articles like this Forbes one where the comic books are completely overlooked and ignored and the anemic movie and TV library at DCU is highlighted.

Making this argument is like saying Netflix should just buy Shudder and merge it into Netflix. Sometimes separate niche entities are executed better. We know when we go to Shudder, it’s all horror, all the time. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, they’ll never, ever be able to say that. There’s value there.

I’m not so sure a merge of the two services would be very good. HBO Max can’t even list their extras/bonus content properly or prominently (see: Companion Podcasts as Extras to Original Shows are Good Marketing and Fan Service) so what makes anybody think HBO Max would even be able to execute properly merging DCU into their service?

Merge, for these reasons is a no from me. Bundling? Yes, that makes sense. But it needs to be a real bundling deal for everybody, not just “new” customers, which is a slap in the face of customers like me who have subscribed for some time to DCU and was a day 1 subscriber to HBO Max.

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome below. Agree, disagree, it’s all good with me as long as you are thoughtful about it. My opinions aren’t facts, nor are the author’s of this piece. The best business decision is probably somewhere between both proposals.

Stargirl Season 2 Renewed for The CW only, not on DC Universe – Crows are circling

It was a DC Universe “original” …. but it will become a season 2 exclusive for The CW

As a paid subscriber to DC Universe I’m growing weary reading about TV series’ DCU is canceling, losing or moving.

More and more signs making it painfully obvious that DC Universe is not creating any new, exclusive, original movie or TV content. Worse, what they already have that makes the service one you might want to subscribe to is being moved elsewhere.

Not that this is the only reason to subscribe, they have tons of comic books (honestly, it’s best to think of it is a comics-only platform right now, not a streaming service), but if you’re not interested in reading DC comics, there are not many compelling reasons to subscribe (or stay subscribed).

The newest announcement comes today via Variety that Stargirl, which I’m currently reviewing new episodes weekly (see most recent: TV SERIES Review: Stargirl S1E8 – Shiv Part Two ⭐️⭐️⭐️½) on Sunday/Monday will be renewed for a second season, but be exclusive to The CW and not on DC Universe. Great news for Stargirl fans, bad news for DC Universe subscribers.

With the renewal, The CW and its digital platforms will be the exclusive in-season home of the series starting with its second season. Season 2 will not stream on the show’s original home at DC Universe.

‘Stargirl’ Renewed for Season 2, Moves to CW From DC Universe – Variety

I wrote another post which will appear here tomorrow morning about whether or not DC Universe should be merged into HBO Max. That’s what some are saying should happen and news like this will only intensely validate those requests. I’ll let you read that post to address my detailed thoughts and opinion, but this news makes it more than obvious that DC Universe is actively trying to get away from having its own original TV content.

I wish WarnerMedia would tell me, their paid subscriber, what is going on with DCU? Are they changing it into a comics-only service and will continue to provide us with a few token animated movies and TV shows? Or are they going the Marvel route and making DCU strictly comics-only?

They recently canceled DC Daily, their inexpensive daily DC news show with their 450th episode that aired last Friday, they are moving the most awesome Harley Quinn animated series to HBO Max. Swamp Thing season two was picked up by The CW, Doom Patrol is on both DCU and HBO Max and now this Stargirl season two decision.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that DC Universe is fast becoming a comics-only platform. Their DC comics library is extensive and worthwhile (24,000+ comics I believe), but they aren’t being very transparent with their existing subscribers about what’s going on with the service. They owe it to paying subscribers to say something about their future plans rather than just let us continue to guess based on news reports.

Like maybe: hey, we’re going to fold this into HBO Max or we’re going to be a comics-only service or, well … just tell us what you’re plans are so we can decide to stay subscribed or cancel? Yes/no? What do you think?

I’m currently a paid subscriber and don’t like to getting news about the subscription service I’m paying for from third party news outlets. I expect to get it from the source directly first. Send me an email, DC Universe. You do have my contact. Post something on your official DCU boards. Something, anything to show that my paltry monthly revenue to you has some kind of value.

It’s BS putting out press releases before notifying your own darn customers. Come on.

The big three theater chains will all require wearing masks – except inside theater when eating and drinking

Masks.

Those not used to them by now must live in some remote area of the world. Some clever artist needs to paint the world with masks including animals, plants, trees … every living thing should be masked.

And then like the band Kiss, after a vaccine is available, we can all unmask and sing, Lick It Up.

Ok, I’m being silly. I’ve been working more lately because, ironically, we lost a bunch of our temp labor and a lot of people aren’t wanting to work right now because they will make more on unemployment + the $600/week CARES Act. Yeah, don’t get me started on that.

But it’s good to know that all three movie theaters will require masks, but not inside the theater when eating and drinking. I was wondering how convenient it would be eating popcorn and drinking soda with a mask on.

“For the safety of our guests, employees and communities, Cinemark will require that face masks be worn throughout our theatres. Masks may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium,” reads an updated Cinemark Standard safety policy on the chain’s website.

Cinemark Now Requiring All Guests To Wear Face Masks – Deadline

I’ve finally found a mask I like that doesn’t fog up my glasses very often. It’s got big comfortable string that’s yarn-like soft and comfortable. The fabric is double-mesh. My son gave it to me from his job because he wanted to wear a different type of mask. His loss, this mask is great and the price — free — even better!

Have you gone creative with your mask? Found one with some style or are you strictly the “give me whatever you have paper mask?” type?

HBO Situation for Cable TV Users on ROKU Getting Messy as of July 1

Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam arm wrestling over HBO branding (just a joke, folks!)

It’s not just cable TV subscribers, but WarnerMedia needs badly to simply what they are doing with their HBO brand. It seems to me like they are trying to put all their eggs in the HBO Max basket, which is a good package — if you can access it.

Aye, there’s the rub.

In case you didn’t already know, it’s about to get very confusing on Roku for HBO Go customers, and maybe even impossible when that is removed as of July 1, 2020. Even though I’ve read multiple articles, and consider myself fairly intelligent, I don’t completely understand what the heck is going on with HBO Go.

It’s going away, sort of, in place of HBO Max. HBO wants to just have one HBO which is HBO Max, but as we’ve already written about here several times: there is no HBO Max on Roku right now, nor is it on Amazon Fire. There is HBO Now, which is contains a fraction of the overall HBO Max content.

If you want to watch HBO Max on your TV, the simplest way to do it is to sign up directly and use Chromecast. I gave up that fight recently, and that’s where I ended. Others might not feel as compelled to go out and pay $29 for Chromecast, subscribe directly to streaming channels and pay for cable TV (wouldn’t blame anybody who thinks that way, btw).

It gets dicey if you already subscribe to HBO through your cable company. I’m feeling for you folks, because again, I don’t understand how you get the new HBO (HBO Max) without dropping HBO and just signing up directly and using Chromecast? You can read the article quoted below and maybe you’ll glean some kind of knowledge of what to do.

WarnerMedia will be replacing HBO NOW with a rebranded HBO App, but cable authentication isn’t supported. That means in order for cable customers (and those who subscribed via Roku) will have to access HBO content through their cable company’s platform. If you already created a HBO Max account, you may be able to use your log-in to access HBO Now.

Roku Customers Won’t Be Able to Access HBO App with Cable Credentials Starting July 31st

I think most of our readers here don’t have cable TV, but that’s just a guess. And at least a good percentage of those readers probably have at least one streaming account.

But that’s just a guess, as I don’t have any scientific data to back that up. The comments section below provides a chance for you to tell me if you still have cable TV. Anyway, if you do, and want to keep cable TV (I’m interested to hear why anybody does want to pay for that any more, but that’s not meant as any kind of diss), then what do you recommend to others who have cable TV and want to enjoy HBO Max?

This too many HBO brand conflicts needs to end. What would you tell your friends o do who want to watch HBO Max? I’m telling them, just get Chromecast and sign up directly.

LC from Love Is Blind Dumps Mark Who Was Dumped By Jessica – Reality after the Reality Show

Love Is Blind ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

I’m not a huge reality TV fan. It is usually pretty trashy TV that makes you feel all kinds of intrusive into people’s private lives as they dance around trying to become wannabe stars. Are these people being real or phony? Is the show — how much of the show — scripted or real? At least with other non-biographical entertainment, I don’t have to play this viewer guessing game. It’s a bit tiresome and yet and, odd guilty pleasure when a show like t his hooks you.

Then again, you want to continue to watch these shows you like after the show ends. Just like with any other show.

I think Love Is Blind was a little different than most reality TV dating shows in that most of the contestants really did go into the show, the experiment, looking to find their true love of their lives. That, to me anyway, was a noble experiment. Something worth watching.

If you haven’t seen the show on Netflix, then you might want to skip reading the rest of this post and come back once you have. The headline might sound like a spoiler, and it kind of is, but you have to watch the show to even know who LC and Mark are, so it’s not going to mean much to those who haven’t watched. I do recommend if you have any sort of affection for reality TV dating shows, checking out Love Is Blind.

Now let’s get to what happened with LC and Mark …

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Poor LC.

I liked her, however fleeting it was that we got to see her in the pods. She was pining for that player Barnett (who after the fact who was in a pod dating triangle with Jessica, LC and Amber. Not a major spoiler, if you haven’t seen the show, but Barnett didn’t choose LC, which led her to a tearful breakdown.

LC was one of those side characters that we didn’t get to see much from once they didn’t make a successful match in the pod (see: Love Is Blind Participants We Want To See More (and less) + Season 2 Challenges). Mark, however, would become one of the main characters, if you will, going onto date Jessica, who would leave him hanging at the altar. He got a lot of sympathy online.

After the show ended — well, the show aired 18 months after it was filmed, so we were already almost two years past — LC and Mark had started dating. Maybe both these two would make a not-so-love-is-blind match?

Nope. Mark found somebody else and was dating her on the side and thanks to a Reddit post, LC found out.

The end: ‘This is awkward because I live in Atlanta and I’ve been dating mark since the beginning of May…. I definitely just broke it off with mark so I really do appreciate you posting this and saving me the energy on dating another liar,’ wrote LC

Love Is Blind’s Mark Cuevas dumped by LC after she learned he had another girlfriend on Reddit | Daily Mail Online
Mark Cuervas from season one of Love Is Blind in the midst unhappily of a love triangle

If this sounds soap operaish, that’s because this is what reality shows do: they spill over into life after the show. I don’t know why producers of these shows don’t make like five year contracts (maybe they do?) with these “stars” who give up their anonymity and privacy for being a celebrity. Some of the most interesting things happen often when the camera isn’t rolling. That is content.

Now, I’m pulling for LC to come back for season two. Instead of the rather useless hosts of season one, if LC can’t or doesn’t want to be a season two contestant, maybe she could be an advisor? Kind of like what Rory was in season one?

I’m rooting for the people who did make successful matches in season one and those who didn’t like LC. Mark probably just wants the coverage of his private life to go away, but sorry, man, you’re going to be on the radar for awhile. Lesson to those younger regular folks who sign up to be on these shows. Realize what you’re getting into goes beyond the show itself.

Wrong or right, the reality doesn’t end when the cameras are turned off.

HBO Max temporarily pulling Gone With The Wind good or bad?

When I first read that HBO Max pulled Gone With The Wind, the adjusted for inflation bestselling movie of all time, I was concerned.

After reflecting on their intentions and seeing several weeks of protests (many are peaceful, btw), looting and more, and realizing this is a temporary action to ease tensions, it makes more sense.

But where does this end?

“Let me be real clear: I don’t believe in censorship,” Ridley wrote. “I would just ask, after a respectful amount of time has passed, that the film be re-introduced to the HBO Max platform along with other films that give a more broad-based and complete picture of what slavery and the Confederacy truly were.”

HBO Max pulls ‘Gone with the Wind’ until it can return with ‘historical context’ – CNN

This is a very slippery slope. If streaming companies start pulling every type of movie that is historically offensive, where does it end? This is entertainment, not reality. Fiction and fantasy, regardless if the time it depicts in history is no longer relevant or socially acceptable. Or does it matter?

Don’t know why, but I’m getting a Fahrenheit 451 vibe. Metaphorically. What do you think? Good idea for HBO Max to pull this movie? Bad idea?

I don’t get SPACE FORCE, do you?

Greg Daniels is talented, no doubt. We’ve been given two new TV series by him recently and one I loved Upload (see: TV REVIEW: Upload Season 1 – All 10 Episodes Rated and Reviewed) and the other … well, I just don’t get.

I’ve watched the opening episode of SPACE FORCE several times. Tried watching part of episode two and keep bailing. I’m lost. It seems from several articles I’m coming across, maybe this emptiness of space and comprehension is shared?

If only the same could be said of SPACE FORCE, Daniels’ second new TV comedy to hit screens in the past month. Indeed, smartly interrogating its concept, adding depth and doing more than cycling through easy gags aren’t the Netflix series’ priorities, or even close to them, at least based on its just-released debut season. And let’s be clear: SPACE FORCE isn’t just the lesser of Daniels’ two new shows; it’s simply not great in general. THE OFFICE, but about an amusing true new offshoot of the US military, this definitely isn’t

UPLOAD vs SPACE FORCE | Birth.Movies.Death.

Would like to think that I get all forms of comedy, because I’ve been around the block awhile, but don’t understand — seriously, this isn’t bashing, and this isn’t a review — what the heck is Daniels trying to do with this series?

There are talented actors involved. Lisa Phoebe Buffay Kudrow, Steve Carrell, who worked with Daniels on The Office. Kudrow looks too old in SPACE FORCE and Carrell is criminally unfunny.

I’ve never been a huge Carrell fan — he’s just too dry to be funny to me (sort of like a poor man’s David Spade, without Spade’s innate charm) — but at least I can appreciate what he’s trying to do from a comedic standpoint. Kudrow, on the other hand, is a very funny actress and I’m hardpressed to think of anything I’ve seen her do that was intended to be funny that wasn’t funny.

Until this.

So, let’s assume it’s not the actors, it must be the story, the script, the overall idea. What exactly is funny about establishing this race to a space station? Or is that even what this is about?

Alas, this is not a review. I don’t review TV or movies that I can’t get into, because the reality is not everybody is into everything. I haven’t seen The Office or Parks & Recreation — both are acclaimed series from Greg Daniels. After Upload, I’m more interested in watching both of those workplace shows. SPACE FORCE is a workplace show, so it stands to reason maybe it’s the setting that’s throwing me off.

Definitely couldn’t get into SPACE FORCE. Would like somebody to explain it to me, however, because I feel like I’m really missing something. Maybe, and not afraid to admit, it’s just smarter than I.

Don’t you just hate being on the side of a joke you don’t understand? Embarrassing? Not really. More like disappointing.

Anybody else watched this? What’s going on? What makes this funny? Is it the irony? Is it political satire? What is it?

Spinning Yarns – Differing Viewpoints on Why HBO Max Not On Roku and Amazon Fire

Spin cycle on agitate … if you are a customer.

Currently, you can’t access HBO Max on Roku or Amazon Fire TV devices, and if you’ve subscribed to HBO through Roku Channels or Prime Video Channels you’re also out of luck. That’s frustrating for customers who use those platforms, and it obviously will inhibit HBO Max’s initial uptake. Talks between WarnerMedia and the two companies continue, but there’s no indication when the parties may come to any agreements.

Why HBO Max Isn’t Available on Roku or Amazon Fire TV – Variety

The Variety article quoting 80 million people not able to access HBO Max that are on Roku and Amazon Fire is a half-truth, at best. If every one of those 80 million people didn’t find another way to access HBO Max than that would be true.

Of course it’s not.

I think many are finding other ways, sure there are a lot who aren’t, but still, let’s be intellectually honest with the numbers. We’ve used a Roku 3 since 2013 when it came out. When I realized that HBO Max and Roku were arguing over the finer details, I had already planned to access HBO Max through my Android phone. The article fails to mention there are other ways to watch HBO Max on your TV, even if you are a Roku or Amazon Fire user.

Fact check alert, here are more stupid quotes from the article:

Amazon, for its part, said in a statement: “AT&T is choosing to deny these loyal HBO customers access to the expanded catalog. We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using. That’s just good customer service and that’s a priority for us.”

Half-truth.

HBO isn’t choosing to deny access to HBO Max through Amazon. They offer a standalone app, not include as an added channel like they have done previously. Those who pay for HBO as an add-on channel aren’t getting the extra HBO Max content, but that was already stated in advance that these subscribers wouldn’t. The sheer amount of content HBO Max have added makes them more than some add-on premium channel. Amazon doesn’t currently offer a way to watch Netflix, Disney+ or Hulu through their service either, so who’s fault is that?

Verdict: Amazon is factually correct with their statement, but disingenuous because HBO Max as designed and rolled out doesn’t fit in Amazon Prime Video channel’s ecosystem. HBO Max as a standalone service won’t work any more than Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, DC Universe will.

Now, let’s tackle Roku.

In a statement about HBO Max, a Roku spokesman told Variety, “We are focused on mutually positive distribution agreements with all new OTT services that will deliver a quality user experience to viewers in the more than 40 million households that choose Roku to access their favorite programs and discover new content. Unfortunately we haven’t reached agreement yet with HBO Max.

To parse these words: HBO Max doesn’t want to share as much of their subscription revenue with Roku.

So, here we are, Amazon and Roku entrenched on one side, WarnerMedia on the other. In the middle? As always, us, customers in the tug of war middle. We suffer because both sides think they have leverage over the other.

The saddest thing? HBO Max has some amazing content. They’ve got Saturday morning cartoon fodder galore with Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Scooby Doo: Where Are You? (Popeye, too, coming soon). The classic movie sector is covered with TCM, anime is covered with Ghibley and Crunchyroll and Adult Swim sections. Iconic TV shows like all seasons of the best ensemble group comedy ever, Friends, not to mention all the other award-winning HBO content.

HBO Max is worth $14.99/month

I don’t understand why some people are complaining about the price. HBO without the Max-added content as a premium add-on through Amazon was $14.99/month. If I signed up through HBO Now, it was, yes, $14.99/month. Now, it’s essentially the same price, only with about three times the content. They didn’t raise or lower the price, they kept it the same.

How is this not worth it? When 80 million people were subscribed to HBO already, most of these people should be able to figure out how to get HBO through their cable companies or however for about the same price, yes/no? I realize there were subscription deals depending on how and where you received HBO. That’s the complicated part of this and maybe some (or many?) were receiving HBO for less than $14.99/month. Those of us who were on the outside, cord cutters as we’re known, didn’t get HBO for some screaming low price deal. Whenever we wanted to sign up — and we have in the past, binged what we wanted to watch, and left — we paid $14.99/month.

Will take much longer than a month to binge everything good at HBO Max

We’re going to be subscribed to HBO Max for much longer than a month or two, that’s for sure. Our watchlist is overflowing with movies and TV shows. Neither of us have seen The Big Bang Theory or Rick and Morty, two popular shows with many seasons.

HBO Max has the strongest overall library of existing movies and TV for any streaming service at the moment. Their only weakness is originals and brand new content. Netflix is far and away the leader there, followed by Amazon and Hulu and then maybe even Quibi or AppleTV+ … HBO Max is at the bottom with Peacock for lack of originals right now. But they are working on them and I suspect that will change.

Yes, it’s a stronger existing library than Disney+ of stuff we haven’t seen on streaming services (who hasn’t seen the Pixar movies, classic Disney movies and Star Wars?), IMO. Disney’s content is top notch, no doubt, and they had the best launch possible for Disney+ based on their IP but their only original bet was The Mandalorian, amazing as it was, and here we are almost a year later, waiting for what? A second season of The Mandalorian. Sure, they offered us a final season of The Clone Wars in between, but pretty much everything else interesting and new happens at their more adult streaming service, Hulu, not Disney+.

HBO Max – a good streaming service with huge potential that needs to get this Roku and Amazon Fire device issue resolved soon, which I do believe will happen. Both sides need each other, and time and stubbornness plus customers being irritated and complaining will wear them down.

In the meantime, however you’re accessing HBO Max, they’ve given us a ton of great stuff to watch. Enjoy!

Summer 2020 Viewing Challenge + Spring 2020 Viewing Challenge COMPLETE

We always have a viewing challenge happening at this blog. Feel free to join in!

Here’s your chance as a reader and movie lover to get interactive. If you have a blog, even better, then blog your movies watched and reviewed and let us know.

Before getting to the newest challenge, here’s a recap on the most recent completed viewing challenge.

Spring 2020 Viewing Challenge

From March 1, 2020 – May 31, 2020 goal was to watch or rewatch any 30+ action/thriller/suspense movies. That’s an average of 10 action/thriller/suspense movies every month or about 2-3 per week.

Here are the ranked by review rating results of movies watched during this viewing challenge:

  1. Taxi Driver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. A Clockwork Orange ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Enter The Dragon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Die Hard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Wonder Woman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  7. The Dirty Dozen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  8. Heavy Metal ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  9. Total Recall ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  10. D️ie Hard: With A Vengeance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  11. Starship Troopers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  12. The Simpsons Movie ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  13. Death Wish ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  14. Die Hard 2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  15. Commando ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  16. Rambo: Last Blood Extended Cut ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  17. Rumble In The Bronx
  18. Onward ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  19. The Platform ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  21. Deep Impact ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  22. Stargate ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  23. Star Trek: First Contact ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  24. Any Given Sunday ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  25. 2012 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  26. Extraction ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  27. The Last Action Hero ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  28. Raw Deal ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  29. Suicide Squad ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  30. One Cut Of The Dead ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  31. Olympus Has Fallen ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  32. Den Of Thieves ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  33. Outbreak ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  34. Call Of The Wild (1972) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  35. Coffee & Kareem ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  36. Troma’s War ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  37. The Plagues Of Breslau ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  38. Blood Machines ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  39. Unknown ⭐️⭐️½
  40. The Green Hornet ⭐️⭐️½
  41. Scoob! ⭐️⭐️½
  42. Vivarium ⭐️⭐️½
  43. Bloodshot ⭐️⭐️½
  44. Trolls World Tour ⭐️⭐️½
  45. The Hunt ⭐️⭐️
  46. 21 ⭐️⭐️
  47. Dangerous Lies ⭐️⭐️
  48. The Assignment ⭐️⭐️
  49. Mermaid Down ⭐️⭐️
  50. Good Morning, Killer ⭐️⭐️
  51. Man On A Ledge ⭐️½
  52. The Main Event ⭐️½
  53. Doom: Annihilation ⭐️
  54. Jurassic Galaxy ⭐️

Past Viewing Challenges

Summer 2020 (June 1 – September 30, 2020) will be interactive movie viewing challenge #6. Here are the past challenges:

  1. 2019 October Viewing Challenge: 66+ Horror Movies Viewed In October (completed74 movies watched, rated & reviewed)
  2. 2019 Holiday Viewing Challenge: 25+ Christmas Movies Viewed 11/1-12/25/19 (completed25 movies watched, rated & reviewed)
  3. 2020 January Viewing Challenge: 21+ New/Unseen Movies
    (completed30 movies watched, rated & reviewed)
  4. 2020 February Viewing Challenge: 14+ Romance Movies
    (completed: 14 movies watched, rated & reviewed)
  5. 2020 Spring Viewing Challenge: 30+ Action/Thriller/Suspense Movies Viewed March 1 – May 30, 2020
    (completed: 54 movies watched, rated & reviewed)
  6. 2020 Summer+ Viewing Challenge: 100+ Any Movie or TV Episode Viewed June 1 – September 30, 2020
    (ongoing, results pending)

Summer+ 2020 Challenge: Watch/Rewatch 100+ ANY Movies or TV Episodes June 1 – September 30, 2020

For the first time, TV show episodes are being included in our viewing challenge, which means any movie (streaming or in the theaters, whenever they reopen) or TV show you want to watch or rewatch from now until our 2nd annual Halloween horror challenge in October counts toward the challenge.

This is also our longest and biggest viewing challenge spanning 4+ months and 100+ movies or TV shows, which breaks down to 25+ movies or TV show episodes per month, a little less than one per day on average. September is typically back to school, but this year nothing is normal, so including that month, too, as a bonus.

Can you complete this viewing challenge?

With at least some of this time involving people staying at home due to the pandemic, getting a jump on this challenge should not only be possible but realistic.

TV series binge-watchers rejoice, this should give you a chance to participate as well.

What are viewing challenges?

It’s where we try and watch a minimum number of movies — or in this challenge case, TV show episodes count, too — of certain type(s). They are usually themed based on the month(s) or seasonal. For example, around Halloween, horror movies and holiday movies during the holidays.

Any movie watcher is welcome to participate. You do not need a blog or website, but do need some way to track the movies you’ve watched during the challenge. Fortunately, there are several free services available including Letterboxd (movies only), Google Docs Spreadsheet (FREE) and others.

How To Participate

Just keep track of all movies and TV episodes, regardless of genre, you’ve watched or rewatched from June 1, 2020 until midnight September 30, 2020. Sites like Letterboxd make it easy to do.

Tag movies watched with #summer2020challenge. EXAMPLE. here are movies tagged #feb2020challenge. You do not need to write reviews or rate any movies to use the Letterboxd service, you can simply use to mark as watched.

It’s free and fun to participate. Be sure to comment below if you’re in the challenge and/or those with movie/TV blogs link in so I get pinged and can add you to the participation list. Hope to see others joining in too!

If you have a movie/TV-related blog

Again, this is optional to participate, but for those who do have a blog or movie/TV review site, here’s an additional recommendation.

Having something to write about on your blog can be a challenge sometimes. This gives you something you can write about with updates on your progress over the next four months. Tie your updates into monthly recaps about the progress and encourage your readers to get involved, if you want. You might even schedule live viewing events with your subscribers.

Social movie and TV watching in 2020, good luck to all taking the challenge!