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what's up

Welcome to slackingoff, where we have in-depth conversations on whatever is particularly interesting. Follow below.

No Chill Netflix 📺

No Chill Netflix 📺

ameet
What's up Anthony.

anthony
Sup

ameet
Trying to watch Silicon Valley. Do you have an HBO login I can borrow?

anthony
Ha. I'm already using a friend's brother's login. My rule is not to share logins with someone who doesn't know the login user IRL.

ameet
That's a dumb rule. What happened to friendship

ameet
Also what happened to cable

anthony
Recode
Another half-million Americans cut the cord last quarter
A historically horrible Q1.

anthony

The diagnosis: Identifying the root cause of the acceleration in cord-cutting isn't hard. It's not demand (the demand has always been there). It is supply. Would-be cord-cutters and cord-nevers are finally being given options, like Netflix, HBO Now and, to a lesser degree, those skinny bundles.


anthony
It's true - think about all the options we have now.

ameet
I mean, I'd never get cable. It's so stupidly expensive for a bunch of channels that I never watch.

anthony
Let's break it down.

anthony
What do you actually watch?

ameet
Live? Not much other than the news. As for old stuff to binge, probably Mad Men.

anthony
So it sounds like Netflix fulfills most of your needs.

ameet
It probably does, so that's $12 per month which my mom currently pays.

anthony
Netflix has most of the shows I want to watch but I need to find a way to watch sports too.

ameet
Check out this guy:

ameet
tv.youtube.com
YouTube TV - Watch & DVR Live Sports, Shows & News
Stream live TV from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN & popular cable networks. Record without DVR storage space limits. Try 1 month free. Cancel anytime.

anthony
Cool. I took a look at their channel list:

anthony

anthony
I think the five ESPN's and three Fox Sports channels satisfies the live sports criteria.

ameet
So that's another $35.

ameet
What else are the cool kids watching these days?

anthony
Can you really talk about TV without mentioning HBO?

anthony
GoT, Silicon Valley, VEEP

ameet
Here we go:

ameet
HBO NOW
HBO NOW | Order
Stream all of HBO the biggest shows, movies, and documentaries, plus hundreds of kids titles to your favorite devices, no TV package required. Start your free trial.

ameet
That's $15 per month. Where does that leave us?

anthony
Looks like we've built ourselves our own cable replacement.

anthony
Netflx + YouTube TV + HBO Now comes out to about $72 bucks.

anthony
Is that a good deal?

ameet
Our friends at Leichtman Research seem to think so:

ameet
leichtmanresearch.com
Leichtman Research Group | Press Releases
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. offers actionable research on the adoption and impact of broadband media.

ameet

Mean reported monthly spending on pay-TV service is $103.10 -- an increase of 4% in the past year (the lowest annual increase in five years)


ameet
$72 is much cheaper than $103 and you can watch everything on your phone, so yeah this appears to be way better.

anthony
What about internet?

ameet
What about it?

anthony
You need internet to get those streams streaming.

ameet
Good point. How much would that cost on top of our little $72 DIY bundle up there?

anthony
It comes out to about $40 bucks:
internet

anthony
This puts us at about $100/month all in. How does that compare to traditional bundles?

ameet
Check this out. This is from Comcast XFINITY:

ameet

ameet
Also about $100/month, also including HBO and some fast af internet.

anthony
Well that puts a dent on my plan on saving some $$$ with my own bundle.

ameet
Okay then. In the new world you are not necessarily saving any money, though you do have the ability to slim down your DIY bundle once Game of Thrones goes off the air.

anthony
True. I think this brings up a more interesting trend. In the old world, you would have had to get the entire cable package to watch GoT. Now, you can sign up for HBO Now as a standalone service, independent of any cable package. The flexibility in choice is a game changer.

ameet
If you think about it, this is really about leverage. Back in the day if I wanted to watch Silicon Valley, I had to get a monthly cable package and then add HBO on top of that and pay for a bunch of stupid channels that I never watch. But now I have so many entertainment options between the Snapchats and Instagrams and whatever that I can be perfectly happy without getting cable, which is why we're seeing these new slimmed-down cable packages pop up.

ameet
It's because I as the customer have more options for entertainment, so the cable company has no choice but to meet me where I live, which is somewhere on the internet.

ameet
Also, Netflix.

anthony
To point out the obvious, Netflix has had a big impact on how we look at entertainment options. For $12 bucks you're given a pretty wide library of movies and shows that suits most people's entertainment needs. "Good enough" coupled with a very attractive price point has reset consumer's willingness to pay for cable.

ameet
Plus you can't talk about Netflix without talking about "originals" and bingeing TV shows because they basically created an entirely new kind of media consumption behavior. For me (someone who doesn't give a damn about sports) the idea of parking myself in front of the TV at a given time every week to catch a specific TV program sounds so old-fashioned right now. On the other hand, watching House of Cards Season 2 for 12 consecutive hours (which I have done) feels totally natural.

ameet
That's what you call "appointment viewing" in TV land.

anthony
The only appointment viewing we have today is sports. You really can't record a game and watch it after the fact. Content providers (both old and new) know this. Most major sports deals have been locked up by traditional players (ESPN, FOX, NBC, CBS) so anytime there is a new package on the market, newer content distributors are getting into the action.

anthony
See the bidding war by the new guys:
recode.net
Recode
Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and YouTube are bidding to stream the NFL�s Thursday night games
These streams are the highest-profile sports rights currently on the market.

anthony
Amazon eventually won the bid for $50 million with the stated goal of using these games to expand the reach of Amazon Prime Video. I don't know how serious Amazon is about going after other live sports content long-term but it shows that these new guys are willing to try to get their hands on any type of content.

ameet
I agree, but these are relatively short-term deals and are very experimental for the new guys. It's more interesting to look at what kind of media we'll be seeing in the future, and for that we should go back to that YouTube TV channel list:


ameet
If you look at the channel selection, the composition is mostly sports, some reality/unscripted TV, some news, and a few interest-based channels (like SyFy or children's TV). Sports, reality, and news inherently need to be watched "in the moment" because who wants to DVR a breaking news cast and watch it two days later? The interest-based stuff is already few and far between, but what's even more revealing is what's missing here: "prestige" television.

ameet
My prediction for the future of TV is that you're going to have your Live-ish content (sports, news, reality) on your skinny bundles like YouTube TV and stuff. All your interest-based library content (like Chopped) along with "prestige" television (like AMC) goes to Netflix or becomes its own little independent option like HBO Now.

anthony
This "cord cutting" future looks pretty familiar to what we're already accustomed to. We identified that there isn't much of a pricing difference with these new options. But in return, we are getting more flexibility in what content we're getting and how we're getting it (on demand, mobile, etc). Netflix has helped re-calibrate content pricing and providers have responded with these skinnier, more niche bundles at lower price points.

ameet
I guess that in TV, as in real life, history repeats itself. I look forward to the reruns.



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Mr. Robot 🤖

Mr. Robot 🤖