Hey Roku, Peacock has 10+ million signups and HBO Max 4.5+ million

If you needed any more proof that “free” sells in the streaming space, Peacock, the only major contender streaming service that offers a free version already has 10+ million subscribers.

More than 10 million households have signed up for Peacock, the new streaming service from Comcast’s NBCUniversal. The media giant shared the update in its second-quarter earnings release, and management had much more to say about the early results during the accompanying conference call.

“Not only are more people signing up than we projected, but they are watching more frequently and engaging much longer than we projected,” Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, told analysts.

Comcast’s Peacock Is Off to a Strong Start

HBO Max, by comparison, has had 4.5 million subscribers. That is roughly 15 million new subscribers without Roku and Amazon Fire stick users. This most certainly is not what Roku wants to hear. They need to hurry up already and get to the bargaining table. A couple months have passed (see: Why not put the deal terms with Roku and Amazon Fire out there for everybody to see, HBO Max and Peacock?)

Speaking of earnings calls, Roku is scheduled to deliver theirs Wednesday 8/5, and some analysts are predicting — gasp — no profits.

The average estimate right now is for revenue to come in 25% stronger in Q2 2020 than it did in Q2 2019. Despite this sales growth, however, analysts predict that Roku’s losses will only increase — more than quintuple, in fact, to a loss of $0.51 per diluted share.

Why Roku Stock Popped 5% This Morning

I probably shouldn’t get started on companies that don’t make profits being popular, but it concerns customers. This week Sprint is going the way of the dinosaur, as it was gobbled up by another company. Maybe that will be the future for Roku someday.

(this gets me thinking about who might want to buy them … hmm)

Did you sign up for Peacock and/or HBO Max? If you did, what motivated you to do so? Yellowstone (FIRST LOOK) has been on the Reelgood top trending picks (https://reelgood.com/curated/trending-picks) for several weeks.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #31 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, DC Universe, Hulu

Weekend #31 of 53 (7/31 – 8/2/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

The first of the month is huge for the various streaming services, as this is when a bunch of movie licenses move around.

It’s not uncommon to see dozens of movies added and removed from the leading services each month on this day. For movie lovers like us, this is like Christmas Day every month. Included in this week’s streaming picks are lists of movies cycled in on the first of the month by service.

There are plenty of sources out there covering every single movie title.

KEY

*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming services.

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *Banana Split (2018)
  2. *The Hater (2020)
  3. *Seriously Single (2020)
  4. *Killing Hasselhoff (2017)

If you missed rewatching (or watching for the first time — gasp!) the first three Jurassic Park movies have moved from Peacock to Netflix this month and are available as of August 1, 2020. Also, Mad Max (1979).

NETFLIX available for streaming on August 1

A Knight’s Tale
Acts of Violence
The Addams Family (1991)
An Education
Being John Malkovich
Death at a Funeral
Dennis the Menace
Elizabeth Harvest
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Hardcore Henry
Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Season 1-2
Jurassic Park
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park III
Mad Max
 (1979)
Mr. Deeds
My Perfect Landing: Season 1
Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea: Season 1
The NeverEnding Story
The NeverEnding Story 2: The Next Chapter
The Next Step: Season 6
Nights in Rodanthe
Ocean’s Thirteen
Ocean’s Twelve
Operation Ouch: Season 1
Operation Ouch: Special
Remember Me
Seabiscuit
Super Monsters: The New Class — Netflix Family
Toradora!: Season 1
Transformers Rescue Bots Academy: S2
The Ugly Truth
What Keeps You Alive

NETFLIX TV

  1. *The Umbrella Academy – Season 2
  2. *Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – Chapter 1 (5 episodes)
  3. *Tread
    Documentary, True Crime
  4. *Last Chance U – 5 parts
    Documentary, Sports
  5. *The Speed Cubers
    Documentary, Puzzle, Game

I’m not a huge Transformers fan, but the Cybertron trilogy on Netflix makes me want to check it out. The trailer is below.

HBO Max Movies

  1. *JoJo Rabbit ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  2. The Dark Knight

HBO Max available for streaming on August 1

10,000 BC (2008)
All the President’s Men (1976)
Altered States (1980)
Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (Season 1)
Bad Influence (1990), HBO
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
Batman (1989)
Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Returns (1992)
The Bear (1989), HBO
Bee Season (2005), HBO
Before Sunrise (1995), (HBO)
Before Sunset (2004), (HBO)
Biloxi Blues (1988), HBO
Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007)
Blue Crush (2002) HBO
The Candidate (1972)
Carefree (1938)
The Change-Up (2011), HBO
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Contact (1997)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dishwasher (2020), HBO
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Elf (2003)
The First Grader (2011), HBO
The First Wives Club (1996)
Flipper (1996) HBO
Flying Down to Rio (1933)
Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Fool’s Gold (2008)
Fracture (2007)
The Fugitive (1993)
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Get on Up (2014), HBO
Go Tell It on the Mountain (2004), HBO
Grace Unplugged (2013), HBO
Hard to Kill (1990), HBO
Harley Quinn: Seasons 1 & 2 [RECOMMENDED]
Highlander: The Final Dimension (1995), HBO
Highlander IV: Endgame (2000), HBO
The Hindenburg (1975), HBO
Hours (2013), HBO
House of Wax (2005)
House Party (1990)
House Party 2 (1991)
House Party: Tonight’s the Night (2013)
How to Be a Player (1997), HBO
Idiocracy (Extended Version) (2006), HBO
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
Jim Thorpe: All-American (1951)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Leprechaun (1993), HBO
Leprechaun 2 (1994), HBO
Leprechaun 3 (1995), HBO
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997), HBO
Leprechaun: Origins (2014), HBO
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
The Lost Boys: The Thirst (2020), HBO
The Lost Boys: The Tribe (Unrated Version) (2020), HBO
Love Field (1992), HBO
Lovelace (2013), HBO
Lying And Stealing (2019), HBO
The Marine (Unrated Version) (2006), HBO
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), HBO
Marvin’s Room (1996), HBO
Maverick (1994)
Monkeybone (2001), HBO
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007), HBO
Murder at 1600 (1997)
The Mustang (2019), HBO
My Blue Heaven (1990)
My Sister’s Keeper (2009)
Nell (1994), HBO
New Year’s Eve (2011), HBO
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
On Dangerous Ground (1952)
On Golden Pond (1981), HBO
Phantom (2013), HBO
Pi (1998), HBO
Raise the Titanic (1980), HBO
Roberta (1935)
Romeo Must Die (2000)
Savages (Unrated Version) (2012), HBO
Say It Isn’t So (2001) (HBO)
Serendipity (2001)
Skyline (2010) (HBO)
South Central (1992)
Spy Game (2001) (HBO)
Steven Universe Movie (2019)
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
Striptease (1996)
Swing Time (1936)
They Live by Night (1949)
Things Never Said (2020) (HBO)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
Time Bandits (1981) (HBO)
Top Hat (1935)
Two Minutes of Fame (2020) (HBO)
Walk the Line (Extended Version) (2005), HBO
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Without Limits (1998)
Yes Man (2008)

HBO Max TV

  1. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 6 – finale episode
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  2. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 8 (also available on DC Universe)
  3. *Perry Mason – episode 7

Amazon Prime Video available for streaming on August 1

3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Inception (2010)
Margin Call (2011)
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Rain Man (1988)
Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)
Safe (2012)
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Square Parts (2015)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Steel Magnolias (1989)
The Holiday (2006)
Top Gun (1986)

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 12: “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E Part One”

Last week’s episode #10 was action-packed, fun and entertaining. Will be cool too see if they can follow up that episode.

Hulu available for streaming on August 1

71 (2015)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
A Good Woman (2006)
A Perfect Murder (1998)
Australia (2008)
The Brothers McMullen (1995)
Cats & Dogs (2001)
Child’s Play (1988)
City Slickers (1991)
City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994)
Company Business (1991)
Death At A Funeral (2010)
Elena Undone (2010)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Free Fall (2013)
Gayby (2012)
Hellraiser (1987)
Hurricane Bianca (2016)
Just Charlie (2017)
The Last Stand (2013)
Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole (2010)
Margin Call (2011)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Pit Stop (2013)
Rain Man (1988)
Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)
Safe (2012)
The Saint (1997)
Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)
Sordid Lives (2000)
Spare Parts (2015)
Stanley & Iris (1990)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Stuck On You (2003)
Top Gun (1986)
Ultraviolet (2006)
Up in the Air (2009)
Were The World Mine (2008)

WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll growing, despite curated hub on HBO Max, maybe DC Universe will enjoy similar autonomy?

Crunchyroll’s free 14-day trial outlines benefits paid subscribers receive

Anime is popular in 2020. Is it bigger from a streaming site subscription than the comic book subscriptions? I don’t know.

We’ve all heard people saying they hate reading, so maybe that has something to do with it. One you can watch that makes you think, the other your read and makes you think. One is clearly more passive than the other.

Also, there are videogames. Anime and videogames go together perhaps even better — because of active audience participation — than comic book adaptations to movie or TV shows. Clearly, Crunchyroll has videogames going for it, too.

I hadn’t considered Crunchyroll — but probably should have — in my DC Universe coverage of how they are being treated during the release of HBO Max getting most of their movie content (see: HBO Max and DC Universe bundle is a good idea – Merging? No, here’s why).

Warnermedia is a hydra with many different businesses, some competing with each other for subscribers. It’s tough when you compete against yourself, but a company as large as their parent AT&T is no doubt going to have some tiger eating their own conflicts.

Their solution on HBO Max for Crunchyroll was to have a curated section, a best of Crunchyroll, which could be an attractive add-on for Max subscribers, but not pull away from Crunchyroll.

This strategy is working.

In an interview with Deadline, Waage declined to speculate on the broader strategy of WarnerMedia in streaming, but she said “the goal is to fuel both” Crunchyroll and HBO Max. “We believe we can grow this area by exposing people to it,” she added. “Dramatic animation is in its infancy … We are Fox 30 years ago with The Simpsons. This is a category that will only grow.”

WarnerMedia’s Crunchyroll Hits 3 Million Streaming Subscribers As Anime Continues To Make Strides – Deadline

With Crunchyroll adding subscribers it’s a different circumstance than DC Universe which might be holding even or losing paid subscribers based on the wide amount of negative publicity we’ve seen.

The difference is HBO Max has what DCU subscribers feel is more and better movie and TV content than DCU. A lot of the people seem to be heading to HBO Max for the movie and TV content and don’t see the value in keeping DCU.

Frustrating that the comic books aren’t being considered, but it isn’t a curated DCU comic books — which would have been a cool idea had HBO Max done that — instead they basically gutted DCU of the bulk of the movies they had.

Still, I’m reminded that DC Universe have like 24,000+ DC Comics. They have an active community around the comics and it’s more than just the animated movies, live action and TV shows.

I can see subscribers who want DC movies and TV shows only and don’t care as much about comics might find paying for a DC Universe subscription less desirable.

As for Crunchyroll? I know almost nothing about their site except that they do anime. I like anime but it’s not something I’d put in my top five genres of movies. I’ve seen some absolutely killer anime and have covered some anime here at this blog.

What I don’t understand, and maybe this is something a reader can help me with is why isn’t there as much excitement around comics? There are anime comics, so is that niche all self-contained and doesn’t carry over to the big companies DC and Marvel?

Maybe HBO Max should rethink how they do the DC Universe section of HBO Max and include a “best of” curated comics for HBO Max subscribers? This would be a great tie-in for HBO Max subscribers buying a subscription to DCU.

It just seems strange to me that HBO Max took two different strategies with how they handled Crunchyroll and DCU. The former is working and driving new subscribers whiel the latter is driving anger and frustration. At least from a segment of the subscriber base, those of us who see the value in the comic books aren’t as upset about the circumstance.

I think the biggest problem with WarnerMedia is communication. They haven’t communicated to their paid customers what they want to do with DCU. The sooner they can make their intentions known there the better. Are they leaving DCU to run the way it is? Are they closing DCU? Merging it entirely with HBO Max? Making DCU a comics-only subscription portal? Customers deserve to know what’s going on.

At least Crunchyroll subscribers know where they stand. Business is good there.

FIRST LOOK: An American Pickle – HBO Max

HBO Max has its first exclusive movie coming next month and it’s starring a preserved and present day Seth Rogen and, yes, pickles.

I’m a fan of Rogen’s comedies, so this one could be good, bad, or somewhere in that “forget about it after watching” between. I’m fairly confident during the movie it will make me laugh at least once or twice.

Directed by Brandon Trost (“This is the End,” “Neighbors,” “The Interview”) and based on Simon Rich’s (“Man Seeking Woman,” “Miracle Workers”) 2013 New Yorker novella, “An American Pickle” — HBO Max’s first original film — stars Rogen as both Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920, and Ben Greenbaum, Herschel’s mild-mannered computer programmer grandson.

‘An American Pickle’ Trailer: 2 Seth Rogens Strive For American Dream | IndieWire

The official trailer recently dropped:

Pickle factory worker, preserved in pickle relatives, computer programmers, yes … it’s got the ingredients for something really stupid or funny, we’ll soon find out which. Are you looking forward to this one? I am.

An American Pickle will be available for streaming on HBO Max exclusively on August 6, 2020.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #30 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, DC Universe

Sequel premieres on Netflix

Weekend #30 of 53 (7/24 – 7/26/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

If you plowed through everything Peacock had to offer last week (Lost Speedways was very good for those who like racing, BTW, I recommend that series), then several movies await this weekend across the streaming services.

I haven’t seen the first movie The Kissing Booth, but the sequel is coming straight to Netflix this weekend and the main lead stars are returning. I’m looking more forward to seeing Radioactive and Spotlight. The animated films: Animated Crackers and Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing might be worth a look, too.

KEY

*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming services.

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *The Kissing Booth 2 (2020)
  2. *Animal Crackers (2017)
  3. *Spotlight (2015)
  4. *Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing
  5. *The Larva Island Movie

NETFLIX TV

  1. *Signs (2018) – Season 1
    Crime, Thriller
  2. *Fear City: New York vs The Mafia
    Documentary
  3. *Love on the Spectrum
    Documentary

HBO Max Movies

  1. *Motherless Brooklyn ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (July 25)

HBO Max TV

  1. *Tig N Seek – Season 1 – episode 1 “The Five Rules of Finding”
    Animated, Children’s
  2. *Room 104 – Season 4 – premiere episode
  3. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 5
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  4. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 7 (also available on DC Universe)
  5. *Perry Mason – episode 6

Amazon Prime Video Movies

  1. *Radioactive (2020)

Amazon Prime Video TV

  1. *If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Season 1
  2. *Jim Gaffigan: Pale Tourist
    Stand-up Comedy

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 11: “Shining Knight”

Last week’s episode #10 was action-packed, fun and entertaining. Will be cool too see if they can follow up that episode.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #29 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on VOD as of June 30 to rent or own

Weekend #29 of 53 (7/17 – 7/19/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

Movie-wise, this is a pretty quiet weekend for new releases, unless we’re talking about Peacock, which has opened up a library of movies — some certified classics (like Psycho) — to the world at large.

Peacock is what I’m going to be spending at least some time watching several of their Peacock Originals. Have already watched a couple of the originals. Leading my interest as of this writing is Dale Earnhardt Jr. visiting a bunch of old racetracks (Lost Speedways). I’m always fascinated with how nature grows up through man-made structures. Even 10 years without upkeep can make something look ancient.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming services.

PEACOCK Movies

  1. *Psych 2: Lassie Come Home

PEACOCK TV

  1. *Brave New World – 9 episodes
    Adaptation of Auldous Huxley Novel
  2. *The Capture – Season 1 – 6 episodes
    Thriller
  3. *Intelligence – Season 1 – 6 episodes
    Comedy
  4. *Lost Speedways – 8 episodes

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *Fatal Affair (2020)
  2. *MILF (2020)

NETFLIX TV

  1. *Cursed – Season 1 (July 17)
    Fantasy
  2. *The Last Dance – Limited Series ESPN
    Sports, NBA, Docuseries
  3. *Gigantosaurus
    Disney Junior series on dinosaurs

HBO Max Movies

  1. *Harriet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (July 18)

HBO Max TV

  1. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 4
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  2. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 6 (also available on DC Universe)
  3. *Perry Mason – episode 5

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. *Lake of Death
  2. *Nina Forever (July 20)
  3. *The Pool (July 20)

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 10: “Brainwave Jr.”

Why not put the deal terms with Roku and Amazon Fire out there for everybody to see, HBO Max and Peacock?

Think about it. Maybe the “fire” in this Amazon and Roku deal can be put out by customers?

This is 2020, not 1960. Technology exists to share info with the masses quickly, easily and gain feedback: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, a company blog post, etc.

We live in a social time where just about everything seems to find its way online. Why not release the deal terms being discussed “behind the scenes” that are impacting us — customers — so we can see who is being “reasonable” and who is being “greedy.”

I think given the amount of time behind the scenes that a deal between HBO Max, Peacock and Amazon (Fire) and Roku hasn’t been made suggests a more radical solution.

Transparency.

The standoffs, of course, revolve around money. More than that, the distribution disputes are about long-term strategic access to rapidly growing streaming-first audiences, as well as advertising inventory. One media company exec says Roku and Amazon are asking for “egregious” terms. On the other side, an insider at one of the over-the-top platform providers says they’re simply looking for “a reasonable share” of the value they create for partners — and adds that companies like WarnerMedia and NBCU are coming to the table with an “old TV mindset.”

HBO Max, Peacock Are in Standoff With Roku and Amazon Fire TV – Variety

Is it too much to ask for transparency in this day and age from the companies we do business with? So many times we’re like pawns on the chessboard while the real chess masters play their game behind some gigantic curtain.

I’ve written several posts about how this is stupid and hurting us, customers, at a time when neither side should want that:

(Site navigation tip: just use the search for “Roku” is how to quickly pull up these past posts)

If Roku and Amazon are asking for a reasonable deal and it’s HBO Max and/or Peacock that’s being greedy don’t subscribers have a right to decide if they want to support that?

I’m tired of companies claiming something without showing us any facts. Put up or shut up. Put the deal out there so we can see who’s being reasonable and who’s not.

You never know, maybe some of your customers can help you get over this impasse? Both sides digging in and not budging isn’t going to reach some compromise.

What do you think? Would you like to see the deal terms so that you can judge for yourself who’s responsible for not making this go through? How long should we all wait in the dark while they “work this deal out in private”? Sorry to be impatient, but sometimes you get things done when you try something different. Whatever both sides are doing doesn’t seem to be working.

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #28 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – AppleTV+, Netflix, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on VOD as of June 30 to rent or own

Weekend #28 of 53 (7/10 – 7/12/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

  • AppleTV+ subscribers — or those who want to be — will find the new Tom Hanks movie, Greyhound available to watch on July 10
  • Netflix – The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron.
  • HBO Max – Close Enough, an adult animated TV series debuts.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

APPLE TV+ Movies

  1. *Greyhound

NETFLIX Movies

  1. *The Old Guard – Charlize Theron
  2. *The Claudia Kishi Club – Documenatary

NETFLIX TV

  1. *The Twelve – Season 1 (10 episodes)
    Legal, drama
  2. *Japan Sinks – Season 1, Episode 1
    Anime
  3. *The Protector – Season 4 (final season)
  4. *Down To Earth With Zac Efron
    Original
  5. *The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants in Space
    Family

HBO Max Movies

  1. *Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (July 11)

HBO Max TV

  1. *Close Enough – Season 1, Episode 1 – “100% No Stress Day” (July 9)
    Adult, Animated – FIRST LOOK
  2. *I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – episode 3
    Crime, Golden State Killer – Original Miniseries
  3. *Doom Patrol – Season 2 – episodes 5 (also available on DC Universe)
  4. *Perry Mason – episode 4

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. Jeruzalem
  2. The Beach House

DC Universe TV

  1. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 9: “Brainwave”

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.

FIRST LOOK: Close Enough (TV Series 2020–) – HBO Max

It’s not often I read about major companies using gummy bears infused with cannabis to promote a new animated TV series.

Yes, really, serious.

According to various articles I’m reading, there’s some history behind this show having difficulty being published, that WarnerMedia — known has having a penchant for TV-MA content — picked up for HBO Max.

HBO Max is taking an unconventional approach to promoting its upcoming new series Close Enough. The streaming service is partnering with Sunderstorm’s Kanha to release limited edition cannabis infused edible gummies to celebrate the new animated series set to premiere on June 9th. The gummies feature strains inspired by each of the show’s four main adult characters and will be available at select California dispensaries as well as for delivery in California via Eaze while supplies last through the month of July. The unconventional campaign is one that SVP of Program Marketing at HBO Peter Sherman said feels “authentic” to the series.

HBO Max Releasing Cannabis-Infused Edible Gummies to Celebrate Close Enough Series

Ok, we’ve got plenty of background in that article about cannabis, but what is Close Enough the animated TV series about? IMDB:

A comedic look on a couple trying to face various challenges in their daily lives while trying to cope with their changes from 20s to 30s

Close Enough (TV Series 2020– ) – IMDb

Boring description. Trailer?

Can this fill the hole left in my adult animated heart by the finale of Season 2 of Harley Quinn? Um, not sure, but will definitely check out at least the first episode. Are you interested in watching this show? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Close Enough is available for streaming on HBO Thursday, July 9, 2020.