Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, July 18th, 2022
Prime Video is releasing an update of its really terrible user interface.
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday July 18th, 2022.
WHAT WILL NETFLIX'S Q2 2022 NUMBERS LOOK LIKE TOMORROW?
Netflix will be holding a call for investors and the media tomorrow at about 1:00 p.m. PT, during which company executives will discuss the streamers performance during the second quarter of 2022.
The number most people will pay attention to its the overall global subscribers numbers for the quarter. After Netflix's pretty disastrous Q1 numbers, company executives said there could be a loss of as many as two million global subscribers in Q2, although some media reporters and analysts are predicting results that exceed even that fairly grim guidance.
To be clear, no one outside the company really has a strong sense of what will be reported on Tuesday. I've seen some efforts to use data such as app downloads to try and predict subscriber numbers in the U.S. But I'm not convinced of the validity of any of those ideas. And for that matter, while downloads of the Netflix app have dipped in UCAN, I've seen data for some other regions in Africa and Asia that shows a rebound in app downloads. So I think it's fair to label anyone's pre-release take on Netflix subscriber numbers as being a "somewhat educated guess."
If the streaming police held a gun and told me I had to make a prediction, I'd hedge a bit and say that I suspect the numbers aren't going to be as bad as Netflix had been guiding. In large part because people from inside the company have been telling reporters on background (myself included) that the numbers will be really bad. And while that might be true, my years as a financial reporter taught me that when a company is privately pushing guidance lower to reporters, more often than that they're trying to spin reporters so that the bad news doesn’t sound quite so bad when compared to the estimates.
CBS TO AIR SEASON TWO PREMIERE OF 'BLOOD & TREASURE'
I have been pretty brutal in my criticism of Paramount+ and what has seemed to be a lack of serious promotional efforts for the new season of Blood & Treasure, which premiered on the streamer Sunday. The first season of the show aired on CBS nearly three years ago and the show is making a one-time return to the network on Thursday. CBS plans to air the two-hour January 6th Congressional Hearing live and as a result has moved Big Brother off that night's schedule.
But the network has decided to air the season two premiere of Blood & Treasure following the hearings, which I think is a great idea. Given that Paramount+ is rolling out upcoming episodes of the show on a weekly basis, I am hoping the streamer is running an ad or two during the episode pushing viewers to subscribe to the streaming service. (Promo code "Treasure" for a free month would be a nice touch).
PRIME VIDEO LAUNCHING A REFRESH OF ITS INCREDIBLY TERRIBLE USER INTERFACE
There are few subjects in the streaming world that can unite people in the way that the user interface for Amazon's Prime Video can. The current UI isn't simply the worst of class, it is a collection of endless horizontal subject tabs and a random mix of paid and free content that is almost impossible to navigate. Combine that with a search function that would require a few thousand development hours to hit the "useless" goal post and you end up with an interface that everyone loves to hate.
Subscribers to this newsletter will already know that Amazon has been working on a new look for its Prime Video service for a long time. While I wasn't able to share some of the specifics, I was able to write about some of the content discussions and A/B testing results that were helping to shape the final version.
One of the things that sucks that being a smaller independent media company is that while I have some really good access to industry sources, I don't always have the juice with corporate PR people that would allow me the opportunity to break a story ahead of the bigger sites.
So it was a little frustrating today to see Amazon give a few big sites the official heads-up a relaunch of the Prime Video app is on the way.
On the other hand, it was nice to see that the release version of the app is very, very close to what I've been discussing in my newsletter for more than a year.
Starting now and continuing over the next couple weeks, Amazon will roll out a new Prime Video experience for Android and connected living room devices, including smart TVs, Fire TV streaming hardware, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and game consoles.
It's a very Netflix-ish looking user interface with the main navigation tabs being shifted to the left side of the screen. The six tabs are labeled Home, Search, Store, Live TV, Free, and My Stuff. The Home section has sub-sections for movies, TV shows, and sports. And the Store has similar sub-menus for Prime Channels (aka subscriptions), rentals / purchases, and deals.
Another addition that will feel very familiar to Netflix subscribers is the addition of a Top Ten list on the home screen. The list reflects the most watched items in the U.S today and region-specific versions will apparently roll out as the new UI is added to other territories.
The thumbnails are bigger and for lack of a better description, more "artistic," and content that is free with your Prime Video subscription will be designated with a blue checkmark in the description.
There are reworked pages for live sports and for other live programming, including linear channels from other sources that the user also subscribes to (for instance, Paramount+).
One of the discussions I've recounted in this newsletter was the wrangling between Amazon engineers who wanted a cleaner interface for Prime Video subscribers and Amazon executives who worried (rightfully, to be honest), that making video rentals and purchases harder to find would impact revenue.
The new UI seems to thread that needle a bit, making it easier to separate the two. Although if you're not someone who frequently rents or purchases titles, you'll likely still find the forced inclusion of paid titles into search results other content tabs a bit annoying.
I'll have a fuller review and more insight once I get the chance to dive deeper into the new UI.
I'M NOT SURE I WATCH LOVE ISLAND FOR THE CLOTHES, BUT OKAY....
Every episode of Love Island USA, an original series from from ITV Entertainment launching on July 19th on the NBCU streamer Peacock, will integrate a wide range of shoppable products into the content as contestants attempt to pair up to win:
E! Online will feature shoppable articles and leverage its social presence to drive audiences to the shopping experience and enable the buys.
Viewers who scan on-screen ShoppableTV QR codes will be taken to shoppable articles on E! online, where they can buy apparel, home décor, cosmetics and personal care products VIA NBCUniversal Checkout.
ODDS AND SODS
* Reality Blurred has a great piece on Netflix's Love Is Blind and a lawsuit that has unveiled a lot of the details behind-the-scenes of the production. Including the fact that no one who appeared on the show that season has been paid yet - even though it was produced last year.
* Almost a third (29%) of individuals in the UK have struggled to pay for their media subscription services since the start of 2022, with people needing to borrow money or use savings to pay their bills, according to new research from KPMG.
* Side Hustle has been canceled by Nickelodeon after two seasons (46 total episodes).
* Don't expect any crossovers from other DC shows on Superman & Lois. Apparently this Superman is not the same superhero previously seen in those shows. Plus, both the Arrow and Batgirl shows have moved on to the big DC Universe in the sky.
* The original HBO documentary about Princess Diana - The Princess - will premiere on Saturday, August 13th.
TWEET OF THE DAY
WHAT'S NEW FOR MONDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Caught in the Act: Unfaithful Series Premiere (VH1)
Live Is Life (Netflix)
My Little Pony: A New Generation: Sing-Along (Netflix)
Shark Attack Files (NatGeo)
StoryBots: Laugh, Learn, Sing: Collection 2: Learn to Read (Netflix)
The Captain (ESPN)
The Submarine Killers: Confessions Of A Murderer (Discovery+)
The Captain (ESPN)
The Other One (Netflix)
The TikTok Man: Catching A Predator (Discovery+)
Too Old For Fairy Tales (Netflix)
World's Biggest Hammerhead? (NatGeo)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU TUESDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.
Too Much TV Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.