With nearly 500 scripted shows airing on television last year, you may think this is a Golden Age for actors and writers. But while it may be a renaissance for things like creativity and expression, Hollywood’s middle class has taken a huge financial hit because of increased competition brought on by streaming services like Netflix.
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If you’ve ever scrolled through multiple streaming services looking for an old favorite movie and came up empty, screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Go) feels your pain. August, one of the co-hosts of the popular Scriptnotes podcast, recently tried to track down 1984’s The Flamingo Kid only to find that it’s joined the sad membership of older movies not available online to rent or purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, or any other service in the United States.
This is not a new observation – ever since the dawn of streaming services, hundreds of movies have been left by the wayside. But August took his frustrations and is attempting to channel them into a campaign to get some of these older films released digitally, and you can find out how to help below. Read More »
Good news for anyone who may have been on the fence about subscribing to Hulu: in a bid to lure new subscribers, the streaming service has now lowered its base-level service price to $5.99 per month for new and returning subscribers for the first year. Will that be enough to convince you to shell out a few bucks a month to watch The Handmaid’s Tale?
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You can stream on if you think that FX won’t get in on the cord-cutting fun.
The cable network responsible for such critically lauded fare like American Horror Story, Atlanta, Fargo, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Legion is launching an ad-free subscription service called FX+. There’s a catch however, the service is only available to those who have a Comcast Xfinity subscription and who are willing to shell out an additional $5.99 a month. You gotta really want those ad-free American Horror Story viewings.
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It’s been a long wait, but today the Xbox 360 finally gets access to Netflix’s Watch Instantly library courtesy of the “New Xbox Experience” update. To partake in the streaming video festivities you’ll need a Netflix account (the 1 disc unlimited $8.99 plan at the minimum), and an Xbox Live Gold membership. Once you’ve updated your console, you can set up the console with your Netflix account by selecting the Netflix icon in the Video Marketplace. Simply download a small application to your console, confirm the authorization code you receive on the console via the Netflix website, and you’ve got full access to your Watch Instantly queue.
The entire process is wonderfully simple, and shows how easily Netflix can deploy their software on other devices. The Netflix living room invasion started with the $100 Roku box, a device which currently serves only to stream Netflix content, and can now also be found on a few Blu-ray players as well. Down the line, you can expect to see it on the Playstation 3, and perhaps even embedded within televisions and mobile devices.
It’s ironic that Netflix, a company that has built itself from the ground up by revolutionizing the way we rent films via DVD, sees a future in streaming media. The HD-DVD and Bluray war was largely ignored by most consumers (except for us hardcore film-geek types), and Sony seems to be finding their Bluray victory empty given that format’s limp sales throughout the year. Netflix is aiming to take on HD streaming as well with 300 initial HD titles available to 360 owners today, and HD availability for all Netflix set-top devices by the end of the month.
If you’re not yet an Xbox 360 owner, now is certainly the time to jump in. I’m already using my PC to watch Netflix content on my TV, but I’m definitely going to check out HD content via my 360 as well. Aside from the hilariously unsubtle lack of Sony Pictures titles, the 360 does an excellent job streaming Netflix content (not that the task is all that difficult), and I predict it will lead to a widespread procrastination epidemic across America.
Discuss: Do you plan to use your Xbox 360 for Netflix streaming, or is this enough of a feature to convince you to get one? What titles are you looking forward to watching the most?