Technology Make Things Fast

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Technology Make Things Fast
Number 111
Broadcast Date March 7, 2016
Episode Length 1:02:52
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Andrew Mayne

Netflix is 50% killing television, Facebook might get NFL games, and Roku won’t take the FCC’s side. With special guest Andrew Mayne.


Intro Video

Primary Target

MoffettNathanson report
Netflix equivalent to mid-size cable network
~6% of traditional TV hours
Cause of ~half of decline in TV hours
HH w/ young people raise TV hours when subscribed to Netflix (watch more ESPN and Adult Swim)

Signals Intelligence

NFL selling digital rights (owners meeting March 20)
Stream 18 regular season games
Peter Kafka ReCode says these are the interested parties
Amazon (looking for streaming sports exec too)
Verizon (has mobile rights)
Yahoo (submitted preliminary paperwork)

Gear Up

Roku’s spokeswoman Tricia Misfud to IBD: "We have not been advocating for a rule making in this area at this time. While we are known for selling streaming players, it is only one area of our business. Customers also access our platform through smart TVs and streaming players that operators deploy."
Roku partners w/ TWC and Charter on skinny bundles over Internet, Telstra and Sky license hardware for co-branded streamers
Working on a hybrid streaming/cable box (sky etc.)
Investment by Viacom, 21st Century Fox, and UK cable operator Sky might be shaping Roku's thinking as well
Essentially Roku thinks it wins either way
No FCC rule, first in line for slower cableco adoption (the TiVo route)
FCC rule, Roku probably gets a big chunk of the market.

Front Lines

Starting March 1st Canadians could purchase basic TV packages for $25 plus add small bundles of favorite channels. But the new packages end up being almost as expensive as the old when you count in fees or lack of discounts for triple play and such.
AT&T said it will launch three online-only TV services by the end of the year. DirecTV Now will offer content from its current packages including live and on-demand video. DirecTV Mobile will be for phones only. And DirecTV Preview will be a free service centered around the Audience network channel.
The Emmy Awards are adding new and updated categories for short-form content in reality, variety and comedy categories under 15 minutes. Each episode must have more than six episodes to qualify. There are also now awards for the best actor and actress in a short comedy or drama. The awards will be presented as part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which happens a week ahead of the main event.

Under Surveillance

JJ Abrams is producing and Orlando von Einsiedel is directing a documentary series about Google’s Lunar X Prize,called Moon Shot, debuting March 15 on Google Play and on YouTube March 17.

Dispatches From The Front

Great work guys I was just listening to your latest podcast and I have to tell you that I am cancelling my Sling TV service. The concept is great but it is the only application that doesn't seem to take take full advantage of my 150mbps connection at home. It constantly pauses, stops and otherwise finds ways to make me unhappy of my TCL Roku TV, my windows 2in1, my iPad AND my MacBook Pro. The connection is not the problem. Either the app or the infrastructure is. Too bad. But I can't continue to pay for something with promise that continues to not work.

Oh, and little to no problems with any other similar app.

- Jay

Hey Tom and Brian,

Long time listener and fan of the shows. You guys have talked about the X-ray feature on Amazon Prime and needing to pause and such like that. I wanted to mention I have the Amazon Prime app on a Nintendo Wii U. I love the Wii U as a streaming device for a variety of reasons, but that's for another time. The Wii U, if you recall, has a tablet screen as part of the main controller. In Amazon Prime, while you're playing a show on your TV screen, the controller tablet screen lets you do things like show cast members, the synopsis, as well as a live version of Prime's X-ray. So as characters come on/off screen and scenes change, I can see who's playing those people as well as get more info. I can prop up the controller and sneak a peak at this 2nd Screen or pause and do the same. I think this feature works similar on the Nintendo 3DS, but I don't have experience there. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in.

Your fan, - Stuart

P.S. Tom, Citadel 32 is next on my list.

Dear Tom and Brian,

I thoroughly enjoyed your discussion about HBO NOW and wanted to chime in on a few points.

First, I wholeheartedly agree that $15/month is too much to pay for the service when you compare the available content with other services. The best direct comparison IMO is Showtime Anytime. For $12/month (same as Hulu ad-free) I get access to a lot of quality programs (though a rather poor movie catalog). Better yet, I can save $3/month by subscribing through Hulu, Amazon or PS Vue. Likewise, I can subscribe to Starz via Amazon for $9/month and get access to some movies before they’re available on HBO.

The other point I wanted to hit upon is the quality of HBO's programs. Throughout your discussion, Tom echoed that HBO hasn't produced a major hit since Game of Thrones. I would propose that HBO has produced some fine programs since then that have celebrated various levels of success, but just not on the same level as GoT (I would include Veep, Girls, The Newsroom, True Detective and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the latter two Tom mentioned). Each of these programs has done well to very well in terms of Golden Globe and Emmy wins and nominations (I’ve included a breakdown below, along with GoT’s stats for comparison), and while awards aren’t exactly the best measure of success (I’m looking at you Arrested Development) they can at least indicate a high-level of quality.

Call me crazy, but I would compare GoT to the iPhone, in that they're both a once in a lifetime blockbuster product that people are fanatic for around the globe. Apple has since released popular products like the iPad, AppleTV, Apple Watch and new iterations of the Mac lineup, all of which have done so well that they would be a very good businesses all on their own, but are nowhere at the iPhone's level. I suspect it will be a long time that we'll see HBO (or most other content providers) release a mega-hit GoT that has captured the world’s imagination like GoT has.

Love the show! - Jesse (a.k.a. hometownrival) Indianapolis, IN

Tom and Brian,

I enjoyed your lively discussion regarding HBO on the last episode. I have to agree with Tom about the lack of high-quality content coming from HBO at the moment. The only show I gravitate to HBO for right now is Game of Thrones.

Take a direct competitor, Showtime, for instance. Showtime introduced Showtime Anytime, which I can add to my Amazon Prime subscription for $8.99 month. I understand that on other platforms, the price is different, but still cheaper than HBO Now.

Showtime has been killing it, in my opinion, with original shows recently:

Homeland Masters of Sex Billions (*new) Ray Donovan The Affair Shameless The Tudors Penny Dreadful I would much rather pay for Showtime than HBO right now. Game of Thrones is still the best show on TV and one that I will always find a way to watch HBO for - but once it's done, they better get some more quality content to get viewers coming back.

AMC and FX are two other networks that are doing a great job with original content, but don't yet have stand-alone streaming services. If they did and the price was reasonable, I would much rather pay for them than HBO. Hopefully HBO can get back to attracting amazing shows, because people will follow the content.

- Sean



Preceded by:
"Oh the Humanity!"
Technology Make Things Fast
Followed by:
"DVD Swingers Club"