Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, April 5th, 2023
Another perspective on the "theatrical vs streaming only release" question.
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, April 5th, 2023.
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON THE 'THEATRICAL RELEASE VS STREAMING-ONLY' QUESTION
The Entertainment Strategy Guy has just posted part one of a multi-part that lays out the case that generally speaking, movies receiving a theatrical-first release make more revenue than films released straight-to-streaming:
The streamers have always argued that “exclusivity” was valuable. Presumably that meant more people were watching on streaming because they hadn’t gone to theaters to see the movies. Or that subscribers were more likely to stay subscribed to a streamer based on the exclusivity of films that went straight to a streamer. That’s the basic bet of Netflix (and formerly Apple and Amazon, and sometimes Disney, Hulu, Paramount+, and Peacock, and formerly HBO Max).
My hypothesis, having worked with this data since 2020, is that we’ll see option 3 (no impact), with an outside chance at option 1 (theatrical generates bigger streaming numbers). And cards on the table, I’m writing this section before I’ve pulled the data for this report.
If I’m right, that’s a pretty big blow for the straight-to-streaming crowd. Remember, if all things are equal, take the extra box office money, right?
I don't quite agree with all of his conclusions so far, but he makes some good points and he's right to argue that not enough of the coverage of the streaming industry bothers to look past the headlines.
I will make a couple of relevant observations I'd like you to keep in mind.
ESG is one of the best in the journalism business when it comes to crunching numbers. So I would be an idiot to try and make an argument based on the same data. Instead, I have been approaching the question from a different angle. If the data is so clear, then why has Netflix (and to a lesser extent the other major streamers) stuck with their straight-to-streaming release schedule for many of their films? The glib answer from a lot of analysts seem to be executive ego or just an inability to see the "truth." Either reason seems unlikely, given what we know about executive motivations at big media companies.
So I've been trying to answer that question. What could be the underlying reasons for sticking with a straight-to-streaming release schedule?
I took a preliminary look at the issue in this piece last week and I have some additional reporting coming over the next couple of weeks.
I think the thing to keep in mind is that there is no black-and-white answer that works 100 percent of the time. The case for releasing The Irishman to theaters is different than the case for releasing Extraction 2. It's no different than "binge or weekly episode release" question. It depends on a lot of factors, which I know isn't the type of answer that makes for clickworthy stories.
I'll also note that there is a tendency to compare the financials of a theatrical/physical media/Pay1 release to straight-to-streaming. The problem is that the physical media market has collapsed. Not just from the demand side but also from the distribution side. And the Pay1 market is suffering its own issues as well. So even if you wanted to release films that way, that flowing through of windows that was common even 10 years ago doesn't exist at the same level in 2023.
But a bigger question is philosophical. If a streamer is producing films and planning to release them across multiple windows before adding them to streaming, why are they even producing them at all? Why not just license everything from other studios?
VOICES OF THE WGA
With the collapse of Twitter, a lot of great conversations from members of the WGA are getting lost in the chaos. I've started collecting some of the ones worth highlighting in a series entitled Voices Of The WGA. First up is the story of the "Futurama Deal," which illustrates nicely the lengths studios will go to in order to scrape a bit of money back from writers.
By the way, I know I this newsletter has a lot of readers in the WGA and if you have a story to share - on or off the record - reply to this newsletter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX ANNOUNCES ITS SUMMER SCHEDULE
With a possible writers strike looming next month, the broadcast networks are trying to play a bit of strategic Jenga with their summer schedules. Do you hold some completed shows for the fall in case of a prolonged strike? Or do you aggressively program the summer and hope the strike only delays the fall premieres a few weeks?
Fox released its summer schedule today and it seems to be playing it a bit safe. The regular summer suspects are back, but nothing unexpected and more importantly, nothing scripted.
Monday, May 22nd
Crime Scene Kitchen Season Two Premiere
Tuesday, May 23rd
Beat Shazam Season Six Premiere
Don't Forget The Lyrics! Season Two Premiere
Wednesday, May 24th
Masterchef Season Thirteen Premiere
Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars Series Premiere
ODDS AND SODS
* Showtime has canceled Ziwe after two seasons.
* I recently spoke with Lindsey Uselding and Kirsten Meehan, sisters from Minneapolis who star in the new HGTV series Renovation 911.
* The new Food Network series Summer Baking Championship premieres with two back-to-back episodes on Monday, May 15th.
* Starting June 5th, Genius Brands International will debut 26 episodes of Shaq’s Garage exclusively on Kartoon Channel! on Pluto TV.
* The theatrical documentaryPath Of The Pantherwill premiere April 22nd on NatGeo. It will premiere on Hulu the following day and on Disney+ on April 28th.
* The new series Funny Or Die's High Science will premiere Thursday, April 20th on Discovery+ and HBO Max. The series stars Matt Klinman, and Zack Poitras, featuring Paul Bettany as the voice of futuristic, talking bong "Dr. Oh" who will "take Matt and Zack on psychedelic trips of scientific discovery to blow their minds with real facts from the cutting edge of human knowledge." I can't wait to see what show they premiere on June 9th.
* Apple TV+ has ordered a second season ofThe Big Door Prize.
* Hulu president Joe Earley is the new top streaming executive at the Walt Disney Co. Earley officially assumes the role of president, direct-to-consumer, for Disney Entertainment. He replaces Michael Paull, the former Amazon executive who had held the same position at the now-dismantled Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution organization.
WHAT'S NEW FOR WEDNESDAY
Dave Season Three Premiere (FXX)
Dr. Pimple Popper Season Premiere (TLC)
Growing Belushi Season Premiere (Discovery)
Hullraisers Series Premiere (IFC)
Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Disney+)
KamiKatsu: Working For God In A Godless World (Crunchyroll)
KONOSUBA - An Explosion On This Wonderful World! (Crunchyroll)
Lewis Capaldi: How I'm Feeling Now (Netflix)
Schmigadoon! Season Two Premiere (Apple TV+)
The Crossover Series Premiere (Disney)
The Good Mothers Series Premiere (Hulu)
The Pope Answers (Hulu)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU THURSDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.