Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, April 29th, 2022
A bit of a Friday news dump
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, April 29th, 2022.
My apologies for the lateness of today's newsletter, especially on a Friday. It was an excessively busy afternoon and I found myself a bit buried.
And I have a correction from yesterday's newsletter. I wrote about some new data from Antenna and there were two typos. One came from the original Antenna release, but honestly, I should have caught it anyway. I hate making mistakes and this will remind me not to rush through things so quickly in the future.
Here is the updated info from Antenna: “When you compare SVOD signups in general vs. SVOD signups from people who have cancelled Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV accounted for 23% of churned Netflix subs' sign-ups vs. 11% (***this should be 12%***) for the market as a whole. Conversely, Paramount+ fared worse with former Netflix subscribers vs. the market as a whole: 7% (*** this should be 17%***) vs. 22% respectively.”
OKAY, THIS IS TECHNICALLY NOT ABOUT NETFLIX
Vulture is rolling out new newsletters at the speed in which McDonald's rolls out disgruntled employees. And while they are mostly quite useful, it can be hard to keep track of them all.
"Dinner Party" is one of the newest Vulture newsletters and the inaugural edition focused on the layoffs at Netflix's Tudum. I've already weighed in on this topic more than anyone really deserves. But I did want to highlight a point of view that has become a real pet peeve of mine:
But what it isn’t is special. Netflix treated those beloved journalists in the same way it does its dwindling number of beloved shows (Sense8, The Get Down, Tuca & Bertie, to name a few): a very splashy announcement before an algorithmic burial with no actual marketing support; the inevitable unceremonious cancellation after two seasons, and moving onto another product. It looks like those writers’ two seasons are up.
Viewers have been complaining about their favorite shows being canceled since the days of Milton Berle and George Burns. And while some shows are canceled for reasons that are difficult to explain, the majority of cancellations after several seasons happen for the same small group of reasons: not enough people are watching, the show lost viewers from season one to two, there are creative problems that seem insurmountable or someone behind or in front of the cameras is such a jerk that no one wants to deal with them anymore.
Complaining that Netflix cancels all of their good shows is this generation's equivalent of the boomer complaint that MTV has sucked since they stopped airing music videos. It's one of those claims that make you sound smart, even if you're just repeating the conventional wisdom.
To be clear, Netflix does have a bad habit of canceling shows because they are trying to keep their costs down, since later seasons tend to cost more. And I won't get into the streamer's reprehensible habit of ordering a full season of an animated show, then splitting the order into "chapters," so it won't have to order a second - more expensive - season.
But a lot of times, it's pretty clear why a show was canceled. A number of the shows critics point to as being canceled too early are wonderful shows. But also ones that aren't made for mass markets. Any media company - no matter whether they are a linear channel or a streamer - needs to balance the big hits and the projects that are more passion projects.
Take, for instance, the three Netflix shows mentioned in the quote above. I know from previous reporting that the primary reason one of them was canceled was that Netflix executives had some doubts about the future plans for the show and after they read some scripts for the upcoming season, they opted to cancel the show. Now Netflix isn't going to say that publicly, and the showrunner certainly isn't going to admit that their pitch was rejected. But that's the way TV works, even in this new streaming universe.
One last note from the "Dinner Party" piece:
So Netflix abruptly laid off at least ten members of Tudum’s editorial staff and an undisclosed number of folks from its social-media teams. Apparently, the staff was given just two weeks of severance and told to pack up and leave, while Netflix has maintained that it believes Tudum is still kinda sorta important.
Laying off people with two weeks of severance, especially when you convinced many of them to move across the country, is truly scumbag behavior. Netflix should be ashamed.
HULU'S NEW DISNEY+ ADD-ON TARGETS SUBS WHO DON'T WANT ESPN+
Beginning in mid-March, Hulu began offering Disney+ as a $2.99 per month add-on. Hulu had previously been part of a "Disney bundle," which offered subscribers a a $13.99 per month package that included access to Disney+, Hulu (with advertisements), and ESPN+, which ends up being a savings of $7.98 a month compared to subscribing to each service separately.
But according to new data from Ampere Analysis Insights, that 47% of current USA Hulu subscribers do not take Disney+, despite the relatively cheap Disney Bundle offer:
These Hulu-only subscribers over-index for older age groups and are more likely to live alone or with other adults than they are to live with children of any age. The skew in household occupancy is reflected in their reason for choosing their streaming service providers. Of those respondents who subscribed to both Hulu and Disney+, 31% agreed that having something for their children to watch was a reason why they subscribed to Disney+.
Another enlightening tidbit from the study is where the most popular titles on Hulu comes from. Among the 100 most popular movies and TV shows on Hulu in the USA in February 2022, 29 came from either NBCUniversal or Paramount Global. Of Hulu’s entire February 2022 catalogue, over 12,000 hours of content is at risk of leaving, representing 20% of its overall content volume. Prominent among these "at risk" titles are some of the genres most enjoyed by current Hulu subscribers: Crime & Thriller could lose up to 34% and Comedy up to 26% of its overall content volume.
I suspect that is one of the reasons why you're seeing Hulu lean so strongly into ABC News-produced true crime specials. Those titles - some of which are original for Hulu - would provide a reliable stream of crime and thriller content. Now, given the popularity of that genre, it's worth asking why it's not in its own content tab on Hulu. If you want to experience severe UX frustration, try and find an older ABC News true crime special on the service. They're often coded weirdly and they're not located in any of the places you would logically expect to find them.
And Ampere provided one additional set of data points, which is interesting given all of the talk this week about Netflix cutting back on content spend:
NEWFRONTS NEXT WEEK
The NewFronts (think of it as the streaming world's answer to the UpFronts) takes place next week and to give you an idea of what to expect, Monday's opening remarks by IAB CEO David Cohen are hosted by Senior Peleton Instructor Alex Toussaint.
I'll have coverage of whatever news comes out of the NewFronts in the newsletter and on AllYourScreens.com.
Here is a rundown of the presentations and times (all in ET):
MONDAY, MAY 2ND, 2022:
11:30 AM -1:00 PM: Peacock NewFront
2:00 - 3:30 PM: Vizio NewFront
4:30 - 6:00 PM: Tubi NewFront
7:00 - 8:30 PM: Amazon NewFront
TUESDAY, MAY 3RD, 2022:
9:00 -10:30 AM: Samsung NewFront
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Roku NewFront
2:00 - 3:00: Condé Nast NewFront
4:30 - 6:00 PM: Snapchat NewFront
7:00 - 7:30 PM: Meta NewFront
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4TH, 2022:
9:00 - 11:00 AM: IAB Inclusion Institute, featuring presentations from Digitas, Blavity, Revolt, Black Enterprise and YouTube
9:50 - 10:05 AM: Blavity NewFront
4:30 - 6:00 PM: TikTok presentation
7:00 - 8:30 PM: Twitter NewFront
THURSDAY, MAY 5TH, 2022:
9:05 - 9:20 AM: A+E
9:20 - 9:30 AM: Nielsen
9:30 - 9:45 AM: fuboTV
9:50 - 10:05 AM: Dotdash Meredith
10:10 - 1020 AM: Comscore
10:20 - 10:50 AM: LG Ads Solutions
10:55 - 11:05 AM: Innovid
11:05 - 11:20 AM: GSTV
11:25 - 11:55 AM: CracklePlus
11:55 AM - 12:10 PM: Nuestra.TV
12:10 - 12:24 PM: Samba TV FlexFronts
12:30 - 12:45 PM: Tastemade
12:45 - 1:00 PM: Estrella Media
1:05 - 1:20 PM: Wave Sports + Entertainment
1:20 - 1:35 PM: Canela Media NewFront
1:55 - 2:10 PM: The Recount
4:30 - 6:00 PM: Vevo
7:00 - 8:30 PM: WMX
TWEET OF THE DAY
WHAT'S NEW FOR FRIDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Bushwick Bill: Geto Boy (Showtime)
Corrective Measures (Tubi)
Grace & Frankie Season Seven Premiere (Netflix)
Honeymoon With My Mother (Netflix)
It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (Apple TV+)
I Love America (Prime Video)
Lamput Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Man Without A Heart (Discovery+)
Make Or Break Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
Ozark Season Four Part Two Premiere (Netflix)
Shining Girls Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
Slow Horses Season One Finale (Apple TV+)
Ten Percent Series Premiere (Sundance Now/AMC+)
The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs Season Premiere (Shudder)
Undone Season Two Premiere (Prime Video)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU MONDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.