Apple TV+ is all “about original programming” says CEO Tim Cook

Good old Apple, they always do things their own way. That applies to their streaming channel, too.

Don’t expect just another batch of rotating movies and old TV shows, they are going all in — $6 billion dollars worth — on original content.

“We love ‘Friends.’ Who doesn’t love ‘Friends’? It’s not what Apple TV+ is about, it’s about original programming,” Cook said. “It doesn’t feel right for Apple to go out and take a rerun. It doesn’t feel like Apple.”

Apple shareholder meeting: Cook talks Apple TV+, health, acquisitions

This is a smart long term play, but it will leave their service a bit skeletal for awhile. I’m seriously looking to join next month for the Amazing Stories reboot executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

The problem Apple is doing is they are dropping the episodes bingeable, which means people (like me) will sign up, watch them, and cancel the service. They would be better to roll out the episodes once per week. If you have a 12 episode season, that means you can get 3 months subscription $$$ versus a one and done. Also, you’ll get more ongoing buzz and promotion during the series weekly drops.

CBS All Access is currently doing this with Star Trek: Picard. Disney+ did it with The Mandalorian and DC Universe did this with Harley Quinn the animated series.

TV Time Top 10 Most Binged Shows of 2019

Friends is not the most binged TV show of 2019, that goes to Lucifer

Yikes, I’ve seen only 2 of the 10 most binged TV shows on TV Time’s list above: Friends (who hasn’t seen — amazing show!) and Grey’s Anatomy (was very strong the first few seasons, but I lost interest after that). I’ve been wanting to check out Stranger Things for some time, so that will be something in 2020 I’m hoping to start working through.

Just peeked over #1 Lucifer and it sounds like something I might enjoy.

Lucifer’s eight consecutive weeks at No. 1 is the longest amount of time a series has stayed on top in TV Time’s Binge Report history!

2019 BINGE REPORT: A Year In Bingeing

It’s impossible to watch everything and my primary focus here is covering movies. I do, however, enjoy watching and will cover some TV shows. Just finished covering The Mandalorian first season and currently covering the adult animated show Harley Quinn with new episodes every Friday on DC Universe.

Still considering whether or not to cover Picard on CBS Access that debuts in January 2020. After seeing Patrick Stewart on Charlie’s Angels ⭐️½ (2019), am not sure if I want to see a senior citizen version of Star Trek Next Generation Captain Picard. Great actor, don’t get me wrong, but some of my least favorite episodes of STNG were the ones that focused primarily on Picard. Also, they just teased and strung along the love story with Beverly Crusher and him too long.

How many of these top 10 binged TV shows have you seen?

Hulu Tries Binge Watch Creative Advertising while ROKU Ad Platform Blocked by Amazon Fire TV

Recently, Hulu raised their TV streaming plan pricing for the second time in 2019. Unfortunately, they also started having more reliability problems. Hulu is now the most costly streaming TV options. Sling is the least expensive. Playstation Vue is closing its service at the end of January 2020. There are some ad-supported streaming TV options.

We haven’t subscribed to any live TV streaming for awhile and just canceled our Hulu plan after a free month.

Hulu makes subscribers go through a half dozen “are you sure you want to cancel” confirmations

One thing I did not appreciate was how many “are you sure you want to cancel” messages. I didn’t count, but it was like a half dozen or so screens. Yes, I’m sure. I’m sure. I’m really sure. Really. Seriously.

Annoying.

I only subscribed to watch a few mostly-exclusive movies and the Stephen King adapted miniseries 11/22/63 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for anniversary of the JFK assassination.

I should have chosen the ad-free option for the free month rather than the version with the ads, but after spending a month using the service, found the ads throughout the month not to be very intrusive. In fact, they seemed almost intelligent at times.

Turns out that they kinda are, as the technology watches what we watch and then implements ads based on viewing patterns.

These “binge watch ads” utilize machine learning techniques to predict when a viewer has begun to binge watch a show, then serves up contextually relevant ads that acknowledge a binge is underway. This culminates when the viewer reaches the third episode, at which point they’re informed the next episode is ad-free or presents a personalized offer from the brand partner.

Hulu launches its viewer-friendly ‘binge watch ads’ | TechCrunch

This is a smart way to implement advertising.

If you’ve ever watched Sony’s Crackle, you know just how intrusive advertisements can be in exchange for “free” movies. I have watched free movies with ads on a few channels like VUDU and The ROKU channel.

Amazon Fire TV blocking ROKU’s DataXU

At the beginning of November, ROKU acquired DataXU ad targeting tech and it appears Amazon Fire TV, in a bid to increase usage of its own ad platform, is now blocking/preventing this third party ad blocking programs like DataXU:

Amazon’s move to restrict access to its inventory through third-party DSPs signals confidence from the company that it can grow demand for its ads without DataXu’s ad buyers. Amazon has a strong search ad business for its online marketplace, and it’s already the third-largest digital advertising company in the United States. 

Amazon Just Put a Dent in Roku’s Latest Acquisition

Clearly the swords are clashing over who will dominate the ad-free TV and movie marketplace. Amazon Prime Video shows one short ad for another Amazon Original before watching movies even in the paid subscription plan. Netflix doesn’t show ads, but does autoplay other shows when pausing on some screens or doing the hover-over when you click, which is also somewhat annoying.

Do you watch any ad-supported channels for movies or stick mostly (like us) with paid subscription channels?

Science Says It Is Good For You To Rewatch Movies

Apparently, science is on the side of rewatching movies:

What makes it feel good to us is this: nostalgia, particularly autobiographical nostalgia — which means you’re remembering a time in your life specifically, rather than historical nostalgia, which is just a general sense of longing for the past — can really be utilized as a kind of therapy. There is absolutely a calming effect to re-watching something you’ve already seen.

Now, you know it was all therapeutic for the guy who watched Avengers: Endgame over 115 times.

I don’t rewatch movies in the theater very often (watched twice: Rambo: Last Blood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½), but frequently rewatch at home, through DVDs, Blu-rays and streaming. We don’t have a 4K TV (we do have a 3D TV, which we enjoy watching 3D movies from time to time).

The majority of our reviews through Letterboxd in the last two months have been streamed via Amazon, Netflix and were rewatched movies. Of the 91 movies reviewed as of this writing, 51 (56%) are rewatched movies and 40 were either first time watches (29 in the theater, 11 on streaming).