Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, June 9th, 2022
Is music the next hot niche for content hungry streamers?
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, June 9th, 2022.
IS MUSIC THE NEXT NICHE FOR CONTENT HUNGRY STREAMERS?
Scripted content is expensive and there's no guarantee it's going to find an audience. Which is why you see the major streamers embracing the type of unscripted content that used to be the sweet spot for cable networks: true crime, food, documentaries and home design.
I was interviewing the head of a smaller music streamer today and in passing they mentioned they had been having "extended and serious" discussions with one of the big streamers. Most of what I learned was off-the-record, but if the deal goes through, the small music streamer would be acquired and much of the material they've licensed will migrate to the big streamer.
This is a super smart move and I've mentioned in the past that music programming should really be considered low-hanging fruit for big streamers. It's not a major content category, but there is tons of already produced live concerts and music documentaries available for licensing. And if a streamer were to build a music vertical inside their service, they could likely build enough interest to justify producing more original music-oriented content.
Looking down the road, with all of the major streamers building out live streaming capabilities, offering subscribers the ability to see a live performance would also be a plus.
WANDA SYKES ON WORKING WITH NETFLIX
Mikey O'Connell at The Hollywood Reporter has an extended interview with Wanda Sykes (which weirdly includes a mention of the movie Pootie Tang in the story url) and she discusses what it's like working for Netflix. It's fascinating and while it's tough, I suspect the folks at Netflix also think it's fair:
You have a lot of business at Netflix. What’s your take on the troubles and culture changes over there? What are the pros and cons for you right now?
That’s a tricky one.
I don’t want to make you talk smack about the people with the purse strings.
Well, I’m not beholden to the purse strings. I’m happy to have a place to make shows that I want to make. And they have a right to make shows that other people want to make. Do I wish they didn’t make shows that harm a community? Absolutely. Do I wish they’d take responsibility and understand the connection between what’s being put out there and the effects on the community? Yeah. But, then again, I get to make what I want.
There’s a lot of debate over who does and who does not get promotion in streaming, particularly at Netflix. Did you feel your show was well positioned to succeed?
Well, we’re coming back, so something worked. (Laughs.) But I also realize that we have me, Mike Epps and Kim Fields — names that can make a little noise. I get booked on talk shows where I can promote my work. That’s great. The new shows with up-and-coming talent or new faces, it’s really hard for them to break through. There are so many shows out there that you’ve never heard of.
Why do you think that is?
It’s the algorithm. Mike can mention The Upshaws at his stand-up show, and the crowd went crazy. That’s a majority African American crowd, and they love him. My shows are more of a mixed crowd, probably majority white. If I mention The Upshaws, they look at each other like, “Huh?” In our first season, I’d go to my Netflix home page — or Regina Hicks, the co-showrunner, would log in — and see our show. Our white writers said they had to actually do a search to find it. So, even their algorithm says, “Oh no, you don’t want to watch these Black folks. Here’s some nice white people! Watch this.” (Laughs.) When I did my stand-up show in L.A., some [Netflix] execs were there. I said, “I hope you see that, from my audience, I don’t fit the algorithm.”
This fits into a long-running discussion we've had in this newsletter about marketing. The problem with using data to surface new shows a specific subscriber might be interested in seeing is that it relies on previous viewing data to make suggestions. And lessens the opportunity for true discovery.
Speaking of marketing problems, part one of the second season of The Upshaws premieres on Netflix June 29th, although you wouldn't know that from the Netflix press site:
YOUR THOUGHTS ON STREAMER UX WISH LISTS
Yesterday I asked for your thoughts, complaints and wish lists for the various streaming service apps and wow, did I get a big response. Thanks to everyone who contacted me and honestly, I had enough great comments to fill three or four newsletters:
"Top of my head, I wish Disney+ offered a “restart” option. And Paramount, Peacock and YouTube TV assume you only want to watch the most recent episode of a show. If you’re behind and want to watch the last two or three, you have to go to search, type in the show name to go to the show page, which gets old."
"I wish HBO Max would include the episode release date as well as a synopsis you could see without having to start the episode itself. Also, HBO Max is the one streamer I use that consistently seems to revert back to the beginning of the movie I've previously paused halfway through watching."
"I know you've ranted about it before, but I absolutely loathe the Hulu Live DVR. It's buggy, it continues to record shows I don't want to see anymore no matter how many times I delete them. You joked that the reason Hulu gave everyone an unlimited DVR is to make up for the screwups and I am beginning to believe you."
"Why do the versions of the streaming apps work so differently on my Apple TV as compared to my Roku stick? For instance, the Apple TV version of Netflix doesn't have the "new and coming soon" tab, which I find extremely helpful."
"I know Discovery+ isn't long for this world. But I wish there was some way to turn off the feature that autoloads some random show when the one I'm currently watching ends. My "keep watching" section is filled with shows the system forced in there."
"Why is so hard for streamers to just create a row of new episodes from shows I have put on my saved list? Either they don't add the episodes consistently, or they insist on mixing the shows I want to see with those that they are promoting, which I suppose makes the marketing people happy. But it pisses me off every time it happens."
ODDS AND SODS
* Lifetime has given a greenlight to Girl In Room 13, the latest in what the network refers to as their "ripped from the headlines" movies. Anne Heche stars as Janie and Larissa Dias stars as her daughter Grace, who is abducted by Richie (Max Montesi) for human trafficking. It will be directed by Elisabeth Rohm.
* Season nine of Married To Medicine premieres Sunday, July 10th on Bravo.
* Peter Rice has been ousted as head of TV content for Disney, to be replaced by his top lieutenant, Dana Walden.
* Fox has picked up the U.S. rights for the Channel 4 format SAS: Who Dares Win. The United States is the eighth country to pick up the format, which is designed to test the participants’ physical, mental and emotional resistance and reveal their true character and is a slight non-scripted departure for the network, which usually focuses on entertainment such as The Masked Singer.
* Amazon's Freevee has picked up a second season of American Rust after it was canceled by Showtime earlier this year. Production will kick off later this year with both Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney returning for the new season.
* A new cookbook will allow “Emily in Paris fans to experience the glamorous lifestyle of Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins) from the comfort of their very own kitchen.”
TWEET OF THE DAY
WHAT'S NEW FOR THURSDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Brat Loves Judy Season Two Premiere (WE tv)
Catching A Killer Series Premiere (Topic)
MTV Unplugged: Twenty One Pilots (MTV)
Rhythm + Flow: France Series Premiere (Netflix)
Queer As Folk Series Premiere (Peacock)
Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU FRIDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.