Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

AT&T Unveils Pricing and Channel Lineups for Its DirectTV Now Streaming Bundle

November 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Starting Wednesday, cord-nevers, cord shavers and cord cutters will have a relatively inexpensive, easy new option to access live TV. AT&T finally unveiled pricing, channel lineups and more details about DirecTV Now, its over-the-top, streaming bundle service, which launches on Wednesday. The service, which doesn't require a set-top box, satellite dish, annual contract or credit checks, will debut with an introductory price of just $35 per month for more than 100 channels. "This is the foundation of how we're going to do things in the future," John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, told reporters who gathered at New York's Venue 57 for the product launch. He added, "For the first time in our history, we have control of the full stack," explaining that it will use data insights from subscribers to create more targeted advertising capabilities for brands, which will keep its pricing low. With the launch, AT&T is targeting the 20 million-plus U.S. households that don't have cable or satellite service. "We get to address a new audience," said Stankey. "This opens up a whole new segment of the market." (Brad Bentley, evp and CMO at AT&T Entertainment Group, noted that market includes the "5-6 million people" who attempted to sign up for DirecTV but were unable to pass a credit check.) And, the company hopes, it persuades even more subscribers to its "mobile-first" product to switch over to its wireless service. AT&T wireless subscribers will be able to use DirecTV Now without the streaming counting against their data plan. While the service contains almost all of the country's biggest networks, there are a few major omissions. "The only thing missing is CBS and Showtime, which we are working on, actively," said Bentley. (The CW, which is also part of CBS Corp, is also MIA.) While "we're hopeful and optimistic" that AT&T and CBS will come to terms, Stankey noted, "the demographic may be a fit" for a CBS-less lineup—i.e., millennials don't watch CBS. However, they do watch The CW, which isn't available either. And while subscribers in "owned and operated" markets like New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia will be able to stream broadcast content live on NBC, ABC and Fox, those in smaller, affiliate markets will have to wait until the next day, when they can access network prime-time programming on demand. (The company said it is working with affiliates and hopes to expand its live offerings in the future.) The service also doesn't include DirecTV's prized NFL Sunday Ticket package—Stankey said the company is in talks with the NFL—DVR capabilities (those are coming next year) or the ability to pause live TV. (However, many channels have "72 hour lookback" capabilities.) While Stankey said that subscribers in owned and operated markets will be able to watch NFL games live on Fox and NBC, the feed will not be available to mobile subscribers in those markets, as Verizon retains exclusive NFL mobile streaming rights.

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Matthew Weiner Heads to Amazon for His Next TV Move After Mad Men

October 26, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A year and a half after wrapping his iconic TV series Mad Men, the show's creator, Matthew Weiner, has finally picked his next TV project. The creator is leaving AMC for streaming, making a $70 million deal with Amazon and The Weinstein Co. for his new, modern-day series. While Amazon often allows its subscribers to vote on its pilots before deciding which ones to pick up to series, Weiner's show has received a straight-to-series order, as was the case with the streaming service's recent drama Goliath and Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes. According to Deadline , which first reported the news, Weiner's new series is a "contemporary anthology set in multiple locations worldwide." Weiner will be creating, writing and executive producing the show, and directing several episodes. Since finishing Mad Men's seven-season run last May, Weiner has laid relatively low as he plotted his next move. He directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black's most recent season, and wrote a novel, Heather, the Totality, which is due out next fall. Weiner's choice of Amazon, which like Netflix releases an entire season's worth of shows at once, is somewhat surprising given that Weiner said last year that he'd prefer to have his shows released weekly. If he ever were to make a show for Netflix, he said shortly after Mad Men's finale , "I would try to convince them to let me just roll them out, so there was at least some shared experience. I love the waiting, I love the marination. I think when you watch the entire season of a show in a day, you will definitely dream about it, but it's not the same as walking around the whole week saying, 'God, Pete really pissed me off!'" There was no immediate word from Amazon about the release schedule for Weiner's new series.

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Even as TV Creators Come Around on Integrations, Buyers Are Starting to Look Elsewhere

October 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After years of treating "integration" as a dirty word, the people behind many of TV's biggest shows have changed their tune and are embracing them as something beneficial to their shows, rather than a punishment that must be endured. "We like having that extra money that allows us to do some scenes, or buy music, we otherwise wouldn't be able to," said Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan. "In some cases, it actually helps the scene. It sounds more natural to say, 'Who wants to go to Target with me?' than, 'Who wants to go to the department store with me?'" Yet in a surprising role reversal, as TV's showrunners (including a dozen that spoke with Adweek) are more receptive than ever to integrations, buyers and brands no longer have the same enthusiasm for them. "It used to be the showcase in a buy, to say we brought in integration," said Neil Vendetti, president of investment at Zenith. "Now we're talking about integrations with clients a bit less." That sentiment is reflected in new data from Nielsen TV Brand Effect, which indicates that the number of integrations in original, nonsports prime-time programming on the five broadcast networks has fallen each year, from 4,701 in the 2013-14 season to 4,538 in the 2015-16 season. That's not to say that TV integrations aren't still plentiful, or high profile. In last season's most successful partnership, Empire featured a multi-episode arc in which rising star Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) was wooed by Pepsi to endorse the soda. As the cast sat down to watch the ad, Empire cut to commercial where the actual spot played. "That was pure kismet because we broke a story in the [writers] room where we said, Jamal is going to get a major endorsement, and it's going to be a threat to [his father] Lucious because it means he's going to be a bigger star," said Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken.

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Netflix Debuts Haters Back Off, a New Original Series From YouTube Star Miranda Sings

October 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Miranda thinks she's incredible," said Colleen Ballinger, the creator of Miranda Sings. "She takes pride in her singing, dancing, acting, modeling... all of which she's not good at!" Nine years ago, when YouTube was essentially still a toddler, the character of Miranda Sings was born. Back then, Ballinger was studying vocal performance and had started to observe the girls around her. "I saw all these mean, snooty girls in my classes," she said, "so Miranda is really based on those girls. She was a way for me to poke fun at them." "She's very confident in her lack of talent," said Ballinger. Miranda, whose signature look is a red lip and a bad attitude, started as a much more tame version than what you see today. "When the first videos came out, and started to become viral, I started getting hate comments," she explained. "People would write 'you suck,' 'you're ugly,' 'you can't sing.' I became fascinated that people were so bored, they'd write something so mean about someone who wasn't even real." If they didn't like her singing, she'd sing worse. If they didn't like her style, she dressed worse. Ballinger really wanted to exaggerate Miranda's worst qualities so they would comment even more. She wanted to "engage with the haters." Miranda Sings currently has more than seven million subscribers on YouTube .

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Roku Wants to Make It Easier for Your Content to Be Spotted, and Monetized

October 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Roku customers streamed 4 billion hours of video and music in the first six months of 2016, according to the company. Compare that with 5.5 billion hours in all of 2015. Additionally, there are over 10 million active Roku accounts using either the physical device or one of the 12 percent of smart TVs currently powered by Roku. With over 3,500 apps available on Roku to stream video content, it can be daunting for creators and services to get their products in front of viewers. An added challenge is that all content creators have to have an app specifically for Roku users. But not all content creators are well-versed in building such apps. Roku thinks it has a solution. Publishers like Mashable, Rolling Stone and Cracked have been testing Roku Direct Publisher to help accelerate the process of getting in front of Roku's millions of active users. Content creators will "automatically get included in Roku's unbiased universal search," said Bill Shapiro, Roku's director of project management

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Here’s How The CW Is Forging Its Own Digital Path, Without Hulu

October 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This week, as The CW begins to debut its season premieres, viewers used to streaming those shows on Hulu will be in for a surprise. The network's five-year deal with the streaming service has lapsed, which means that for the first time, The CW's website and apps will have exclusive in-season streaming rights to its shows like Supergirl , which has migrated over from CBS, Jane the Virgin and The Flash . It's a brave new digital world for The CW, which created its CW Seed digital platform in 2013 in part so it would one day be prepared to go it alone without Hulu. Last week, the network rolled out its CW app on Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Chromecast and Amazon Fire, and will be amping up marketing efforts to direct audiences to the new digital destinations. "When you know this is the only place you have to go, that makes a big difference, and it helps our business model," said network president Mark Pedowitz. While ABC, Fox and NBC, whose parent companies jointly own Hulu, were able to sell a big chunk of their ad inventory on the streaming service, The CW was not given the same access to Hulu ad revenue. (That did not change when Time Warner, which jointly owns The CW with CBS Corp., acquired a 10 percent stake in Hulu in August.) "We had none of it, and I'm sure a lot of advertisers went there to get our shows," said Rob Tuck, evp, national sales for The CW. "The advertisers had been looking for more from us because our inventory was somewhat constrained, and we now have been able to release it. We've got a lot more available to us, and clients definitely responded. Our digital growth this year was really significant." Sources close to Hulu counter that the company didn't want to pay more to renew its deal, and be required to take on the entire network's portfolio without in-season stacking rights to all episodes of a current season when only The Flash and Arrow were generating meaningful traffic on the site. In addition to being the only network to offer unauthenticated access via its apps ("our median age on digital is 23, and our viewer does not want to authenticate," explained Tuck), Pedowitz and Tuck have reduced The CW's digital ad load this season, from 12 minutes per hour, which mirrored the linear load, to seven-to-nine minutes per hour. "We're trying to figure out what is the right load so that viewers feel that they've had a great viewing experience," said Pedowitz. While The CW ended its partnership with one SVOD, it has enhanced its relationship with another. In July, the network signed a lucrative, multiyear deal with Netflix, giving that company exclusive streaming rights to full seasons of each CW series, beginning just eight days after its season finale. Under its previous CW deal, Netflix did not get streaming access until several months after a season had concluded

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How Marvel Juggles the Development of 6 Intertwined Netflix Superhero Shows

September 30, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TV's crowded superhero genre needs to make room for a new entry today, as Netflix drops the first season of Marvel's Luke Cage. It's the third entry in what is now a six-series universe of Netflix shows revolving around Marvel's street-level heroes and villains in New York's Hell's Kitchen. Almost three years ago, Marvel and Netflix announced four separate series—Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage—to culminate in an Avengers-style team-up in a miniseries called The Defenders. Since then, Netflix has released two seasons of Daredevil (and ordered Season 3 in July), one season of Jessica Jones (and ordered Season 2 in January) and now Luke Cage. In April, it announced a spinoff series, The Punisher, centering around the character (played by Jon Bernthal) who was introduced in Daredevil's second season. That makes six Netflix Marvel series in all—with some characters appearing in multiple shows, like Luke Cage, who was first introduced last fall in Jessica Jones—which need to be plotted out and juggled by Jeph Loeb, Marvel's head of television and the executive producer of all Marvel's television series. While Marvel has announced its film schedule for the next several years (it currently extends to a fourth Avengers film due on May 3, 2019, with three 2020 release dates already earmarked for still unnamed films), the company plays things much closer to the vest on the TV side. Next year will bring Iron Fist and The Defenders and then … only Loeb knows for sure. "We very much have a schedule as to when things are happening, but we have chosen to say, look, this is where we are right now," said Loeb. "I also personally tend to find that when you talk about something that's coming, as opposed to what is happening right now, that people want to talk about the new thing, the new, shiny penny." Also, Marvel is ultimately at the mercy of Netflix and the other networks that air its shows. "Unlike the motion picture division, which has the ability to say, 'On this date we're doing Ant-Man 2,' the television driving is always going to be talking to our [network partners], and they're the ones that are going to tell us whether or not there's going to be another season," said Loeb. "I can't do anything about that. All we can do is tell the best stories we can and hope that the audience comes." But it also makes things more challenging for the showrunners behind Netflix's Marvel shows who not only have to wait to find out whether their shows will be renewed, but at which point in the ongoing saga the next season will actually air. Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg said that Season 2 will air at some point after The Defenders, but she didn't have any input as to when it would be slotted. "I just show up when they tell me to and pick up the pieces that are laying there for me, and start to play," said Rosenberg. Before she began to plot out the story lines for Jessica Jones' second season, Rosenberg met with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, the Daredevil Season 2 showrunners who are overseeing The Defenders, for a detailed rundown of what was in store for her characters in that miniseries

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‘You’re the Worst’ Star Aya Cash on Finding Validation Through Instagram

September 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 34 Claim to fame Stars on FXX's You're the Worst (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.); appears in the new Netflix anthology series Easy (premieres Sept. 22) Base New York Twitter @maybeAyaCash Adweek: What's the first information you consume when you wake up in the morning? Aya Cash: I would like to say that I make a cup of coffee and I read and meditate, but I absolutely pick my phone right up to check my email, and often when the show is airing, I check my social media as well. Do you not use social media when the show is on hiatus? Yeah, I try not to. I take [social media apps] off my phone on the regular, and I never have alerts turned on, which is very helpful in keeping me less engaged. But unfortunately when the show is airing, I tend to be on it way too much. I try to set boundaries. I don't think social media is innately evil; I just think the way I use it is. So how do you use it? You know, the constantly checking … I've even joked about it in posts where I'm like, "Please validate me right now because I'm feeling shitty, but here's a picture of me looking like I've never looked in my life!" Sometimes you get on and feel bad about yourself because everybody's life looks better than yours and then you look at your [social media] and realize your own life looks better than yours and you think, "What am I contributing to?!" You often Instagram your reading list, which is pretty cool. Well, my mom's a writer and I'm also an only child, so I grew up reading a lot. Once on Twitter I asked people to recommend some books for me, and I ended up reading six or seven of the recommendations and liking them all. There's actually another actress—I won't name her name—who actively pursued a friendship with me based on my reading list [laughs]. What's on your list right now

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The People v. O.J. Simpson, Game of Thrones Dominate 2016 Emmys

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the night before the 2016-17 TV season began, the television industry honored its very best shows and actors at the 68th Emmy Awards—and the broadcast networks once again found themselves dominated by cable and streaming networks. For three hours on ABC, a series of broadcast stars strode onstage at the Microsoft Theater, and more often than not, presented Emmys to HBO's Game of Thrones, FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Amazon's Transparent. Of 27 Emmy awards, just four went to broadcast outlets: Kate McKinnon won for supporting actress in a comedy (NBC's Saturday Night Live), NBC's The Voice was named best reality competition program, Regina King won for supporting actress in a limited series (ABC's American Crime) and Fox's Grease: Live was honored for directing in a variety special. HBO and FX dominated the evening, with 6 Emmys apiece, led by Game of Thrones and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Netflix and Amazon were also well represented (with 3 and 2 awards, respectively), and even BBC America snuck in, as Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, who read her acceptance speech via smartphone, was a surprise pick for best actress in a drama series

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