Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett is the Content Director of Televised Revolution. His musings on television have been heard across ABC Radio, on websites like The Guardian and Crikey, and drunkenly in pubs across the country. At night he spends too many hours watching repeats of Cheers.

Televised Revolution – TV Detective Shows (Ep 364)

Inspired by reading the book Inherent Vice and excited for the upcoming PT Anderson film, Dan has gotten excited about detective stories. Detectives have had a long, storied past on TV. What makes for a great TV detective show and which ones have we loved over the years?

The panel also discuss the TV news of the week:
*Netflix sign Adam Sandler to a 4 movie deal.
*Why is the NRL grand final not in HD? And just what is an MPEG4?
*Seven go discovering on the new Adam Boland tell-all book.
*And much, much more.

Please note: Due to a unique technical set-up this week, we were unable to provide a video recording of the podcast. The live video streamed podcast will return next Monday night at 8pm.

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Why Mainstream Cinemas Have Less To Fear From Netflix Than They Do Fear Itself

Traditional media holders have every right to feel threatened by the Internet. For many of them, upsetting the status quo means an entire business and revenue model is out the window. And that’s what the Internet is doing. It is upending the traditional way of doing things. The traditional ways that we consume things. It is therefore understandable that US cinema chains freaked out this week when Netflix unveiled their plan (in conjunction with The Weinstein Company) to simultaneously release the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel on their VOD service on the same date as the film would be released onto IMAX screens.

Mainstream cinemas really have very little to be worried about from Netflix. And being so aggressive does them no favours. It does nothing more than strengthen Netflix’s position as a competitor to their business when that’s far from the reality.

US theatre chains AMC, Regal, and Cinemark have all announced a boycott of the film. As they operate 247 of the 400 IMAX theatres in the US, this represents a considerable hurdle in the distribution of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend. While IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond has defended the distribution partnership with TWC/Netflix, emphasising the success they will yield internationally – particularly in China where this film will perform very well and is an area in which Netflix are not operating, the theatre chains have reacted with extreme hostility.

“AMC Theatres and [its parent company] Wanda Cinema are the largest operators of Imax-equipped auditoriums in the world. We license just the technology from IMAX. Only AMC and Wanda decide what programming plays in our respective theaters. No one has approached us to license this made-for-video sequel in the U.S. or China, so one must assume the screens IMAX committed are in science centers and aquariums,” – AMC

Clearly AMC, Regal, and Cinemark are attempting to prevent establishing a precedent. US studios have already tried shrinking the window between cinema exclusivity and home video in the past only to be met with similar resistance by the cinema chains. In their minds, once they no longer retain their grasp on the exclusivity window, cinemas will have difficulty maintaining their dominance.

Where the cinema chains have gone awry in their thinking is in not understanding that this current Netflix effort is actually a best case scenario win for them. They can keep the enemy through the gate while keeping them under a tight rein.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend is an aberration. Like CTHD before it (and a handful of inspired wuxia films), it is a rarity to have a film that appeals primarily to art-house audiences that demand big screen presentation on an IMAX-sized screen. Art-house and specialty releases very rarely offer large spectacle in the way mainstream Hollywood films do.

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.56.22 pmAdjacent to this is Netflix who certainly aren’t going to be making any huge budget spectacle films anytime soon. Yes, they may be making some Marvel TV series in the coming years, but they’ll all feature street level characters. Expect fight sequences on the scale of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and less what you’d expect to see in The Avengers movie. A Netflix budget is the same as a mid-tier film – approximately in the $30-50 million range. There’s no value in Netflix ever going higher than that. The risk is too great and the rewards simply aren’t there.

Mid-tier productions suit the Netflix model, which is to produce content that will perform very well for a specific audience. As soon as productions start reaching the $80+ million mark, films need to play as broadly as possible if only just to recoup costs. Netflix is built on targeted, niche audiences. Not everything on Netflix is of interest to everybody, but they offer just enough content on there for everybody.

Hollywood have been moving away from mid-tier productions. There’s a reason why your local multi-plex plays so many big and mindless action adventure films nowadays – it’s hard to justify getting an audience out to see a new film based on an Elmore Leonard book when Justified is available on TV. Premium TV shows are offering so much high value content that matches many mid-tier films for quality that it’s difficult convincing adults to leave their homes (which may require babysitters) and travel to a theatre for a similar experience to what they can get from the comfort of their couch.

Mainstream cinemas are not in competition with Netflix. Who are in competition? Art-house and specialty cinemas. What is the value of going to an art-house cinema to see Boyhood where you’ll be charged for the cost of a cinema ticket, parking, over-priced concession stand/snack bar, online ticket booking fees, etc. only to find yourself in a cinema that may have a relatively small screen, noisy/distracting patrons, and possible projection/sound problems? Now compare that to being able to watch Boyhood or any number of premium TV shows at home on a couch with loved ones (family and/or a dog) in front of a 50+ inch TV. At an art-house cinema it’s rare that you are treated to the same massive-sized screens and sound that cinemas playing the latest Hollywood blockbuster deliver. The perception of screen size when accounting for the distance from a theatre seat to the screen is now almost in direct proportion to the  screen perception of a couch to a TV set.

Art-house theatres did themselves no favours by making the move to digital projection. While it’s certainly an industry standard, the visual presentation is different. The experience of seeing projected film does differ from a digital production. There is a reason why cinephiles will make an effort to see a print screening. This week on KRCW’s The Treatment Quentin Tarantino described how he felt at a screening of A Fistful Of Dollars at Cannes where he was confronted with a digital presentation. He summed it up nicely:

“Did it look nice? Yeah it looked nice. My laserdisc looks nice. My DVD looks nice. We’re not talking about nice. I was depressed the whole screening because I’m sitting in the Grand Palais, the big house, and I felt like I should be pointing a remote control at the screen and hitting play. I was like “Where’s the effin’ menu?”. Is that fine in my home? Yeah absolutely, it’s fine in my home. I don’t think about it” – Quentin Tarantino

The more a cinema feels like being in one’s home, the less value it has to the consumer. Art-house cinemas offer very little that a decent TV set-up at home does not.

Netflix offering same-day SVOD release as an IMAX presentation presents no significant threat to mainstream cinemas. Audiences will still go and see a big blockbuster on a cinema screen. That experience cannot be replicated. Not yet. The only threat is the mid-tier movie that mainstream theatres are moving away from. Large chain theatres can see this as a rare opportunity. There are few films that a Netflix-sized budget will work for on an IMAX-sized screen. Make the ticket sales from that while the opportunity presents itself.

 

Don Hertzfeldt's Surreal Simpsons Couch Gag

This week we witnessed what happened when animator Don Hertzfeldt was given the keys to the castle to create the most bizarre and abstract Simpsons couch gag yet. For 101 glorious seconds, Simpsons fans were treated to a surreal commentary on changing artistic styles, the way our perception of ourselves changes through art over time, and perceived changes to what one understands to be entertainment over time. As abstract as The Simpsons in the year 10,535 may appear to be, is it really all that different to Seinfeld 2000?

The one constant we know is that The Simpsons will always be a commercially driven endeavour. Regardless of what shape and form humanity takes “They are just sold for merchandise”. Or to put it another way: “Consume now. Consume it. Rub it on your flippers. Now availabal in the Sampsans Outernet markat”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bf-MPCXguA

For those unfamiliar with the work of Don Hertzfeldt, you’re likely not alone. Despite a fan base that is ever increasing in size, the Simpsons opener is most certainly the widest exposure his work has received to date. Hertzfeldt is an Academy Award nominated film maker who has had several films play at Sundance.

Star Wars, Selfie, Survivor's Remorse, and Scrotal Recall – The Watchlist 28 September 2014

The roll-out of the new US broadcast TV season continues. This is a big week for returning US shows, along with a couple of series debuts worth keeping an eye on.

Most notable this week is the season return of The Simpsons. Launching with the death of a long-time character on the show, this is a show that has regained cultural relevance once more following a broadcasted Simpsons marathon on the FX cable network. People are again enthused and excited for The Simpsons in a way that we haven’t seen since The Simpsons movie in 2007.

Other returning US series: Once Upon A Time, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Resurrection, Family Guy, CSI, Revenge, NCIS: LA, Castle, Criminal Minds, Reign, The Vampire Diaries, Last Man Standing, and The Legend of Korra.

Returning UK series: QI, Peaky Blinders.

Also notable was Sunday’s second season finale of Masters of Sex – a season which at times was the best show on TV, but at other times served as a continual disappointment that failed to live up to its potential. Infuriating, yet brilliant.

The Watchlist is a primer for shows that are debuting or have an episode of note. If you want more complete TV listing site, be sure to check out the Pogdesign Calendar. Please note that all dates cited below are in accordance with their local broadcast times.

Special thanks goes to Jen Knight for assisting in compiling the Watchlist.

Selfie
Airs: 30th September 2014 (ABC – US)
Despite the terrible title and premise, don’t discount this series immediately. Starring Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and Harold & Kumar’s John Cho, this is a modern day update of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. The update of the series has Eliza Dooley being mentored by Henry Higgs on how to live a life free of the narcissistic drive of social media.

The show is terribly flawed in never really providing enough motivation for Cho’s “Henry Higgs” to take his marketing prowess and apply them to the flawed Eliza Dooley. Also, the series squanders much of Gillan’s charm by stripping her of her gorgeous Scottish accent.

But… A lot of the jokes in the show manage to work. If the show can stop being so unnecessarily condescending towards social media and build a richer world around the two leads, Selfie may have some traction.

Manhattan Love Story
Airs: 30th September 2014 (ABC – US)
Meet Peter. He’s a man.
Meet Dana. She’s a woman.

He’s a player who has commitment issues. She’s obsessed with shopping and buying shoes.

Ugh.

Scrotal Recall
Airs: 2 October 2014 (Channel 4 – UK)
A comedy series about a guy who learns he has an STD and must go and tell all of his previous partners. The fact this trailer refers to it as an “infectious comedy” kind of says it all.

Bad Judge
Airs: 2 October 2014 (NBC – US)
Kate Walsh stars as a tough LA judge who doesn’t have her life together who starts looking after a young boy whose parents have been jailed. It’s a less nuanced version of About A Boy.

This series boasts a fun cast with Kate Walsh and Ryan Hansen, but the show has had a troubled production and critics haven’t been kind. The show is worth a look, but temper expectations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF3vxmJsDIk

Gracepoint
Airs: 2 October 2014 (FOX – US)
In 2013 ITV aired a great 10 part drama series called Broadchurch about the investigation into the murder of a young boy. It was a tight, easily accessible series. This year the show has been remade for US audiences, again starring David Tennant in the lead. All the advance word from critics is that this is a poor copy that doesn’t do anything different from the original for the first 7 episodes before it starts taking its own path.

Might be worth watching for curiosity alone. If you haven’t seen Broadchurch though, you’re far better off spending your time with that series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9IWvbbZPZc

A To Z
Airs: 2 October 2014 (NBC – US)
Cristin Milioti, the titular mother from How I Met Your Mother, and Mad Men’s Ben Feldman are two mismatched lovers. This series charts the beginning to the end of their relationship. If the pilot of this series is anything to go by, it’ll be a rather unfunny, uninspired journey from A to Z.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FKlRDYy_7o

Star Wars: Rebels
Airs: 3 October 2014 (Disney XD – US)
Set 5 years before Star Wars: A New Hope is this animated series that seems to capture more of the spirit of the original movies than the prequel films.

Survivor’s Remorse
Airs: 4 October 2014 (Starz – US)
Easiest described as “The Black Entourage”, this series follows the success of a young up & coming basketball player. Like Entourage, this may quickly develop a strong and loyal audience of people who would never refer to this as their favourite show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaWneUYjzys

Televised Revolution – Slow Jammin' The News (Ep 363)

As always the Televised Revolution panel discuss the TV news of the week, including:

  • iiNet provide real-time TV ratings.
  • TPG to launch an IPTV product, powered by Foxtel.
  • Netflix’s vision for 2020.
  • Gangbuster AFL grand final ratings.
  • Netflix to co-distribute a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon film.

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Please note that this weeks Televised Revolution podcast comes in two flavours. There is the terrible YouTube video panel discussion that makes for terrible listening with delays and other tech issues, and then there is the audio podcast that distills all the information into a much tighter, short podcast this week.

It’s just like Sliding Doors and I’m Gwyneth Paltrow.

AUDIO:

VIDEO:

Pilot Watch: NCIS: New Orleans [Review]

No movie or TV series has ever been worse off for the inclusion of Scott Bakula, who leads the shows cast as NCIS Special Agent In Charge Dwayne Pride. The same can be said for the wonderful CCH Pounder who has a supporting role as the series medical examiner. Those two alone are reason enough to give this series a look, even if one maintains a rabid NCIS dislike. Also on the series is Lucas Black (American Gothic, Sling Blade, The X-Files Movie) and Zoe McLellan (JAG, Dirty Sexy Money). Put that same cast in any other TV show and I’ll watch it. They’re a great ensemble and even this series isn’t enough to make me believe otherwise.

The problem is that cast aside, this series is truly awful.

They’ve taken the standard NCIS tropes and just mixed in every New Orleans trope we’ve come to expect. Every scene may as well have the characters standing around discussing and eating gumbo while Bakula stands around playing saxophone.

One of the problems with NCIS generally is the manner in which the darkness associated with the grizzly crimes being investigated is matched against the jokey lightness of the NCIS characters. There are simply no real stakes at play. Case in point in this episode: This pilot episode seeks to raise the investment that the characters and audience have in the case by giving it a personal connection to the lead character.

Dwayne Pride is confronted by the Lucas Black character asking him if he’ll be okay investigating a case with a personal connection – challenging his boss’ ability to stay professional. 30 seconds later the characters are laughing and joking away in the same scene, negating any drama that should come from Black questioning his boss and his motives. AT no point does the audience ever actually feel that Dwayne has a genuine emotional connection to the case. It’s all on the surface.

While there’s certainly no need for every cop show to have their characters facing emotional anguish with every case, NCIS lacks any humanity at all. Not once does one feel that these are any more than case of the week TV characters. It’s a shame – NCIS: New Orleans has a great cast who are capable of handling challenging material, they’ve got a great location, and an opportunity to inject some real colour into the NCIS franchise.

What you need to know: It takes just 5 minutes and 14 seconds for the first scene to take place in a jazz club.

Will you watch episode 2: There’s better things you could be doing in life. But this cast really are pretty compelling. You may not see episode 2, but you’ll certainly channel surf across this one and find yourself watching more frequently than you expect.

Pilot Watch: Scorpion [Review]

You can always tell good writing in a pilot against bad writing by the final three minutes. If in the last two scenes of the episode characters stand around setting up the premise of the series (“Despite the problems we had in the past 36 minutes plus ads, we really made for a pretty good team. Let’s do this every week and fight crime together”), you know you’re not watching anything special. Scorpion ends with the team of genius’ in the show being hired by the government to do regular work for them.

Scorpion concerns a consultancy group comprised of some of the worlds smartest people struggling to make their business work who are contracted by the government to fix an immediate problem of a software glitch that’s preventing air traffic control from landing any aircraft. In haste they set up shop in a diner where they encounter a young boy genius and his mother. At the end of the episode when the planes are all saved, the mother is brought in to the team as a liaison between the genius and the regular folk.

*Yawn*

This series is simply a procedural drama version of The Big Bang Theory. In the same way that TBBT offers a modern day freak show look at nerds and nerd culture, dressed as a supposed loving portrayal of nerds, this does the exact same thing. The characters are built to be awkward, unattractive, and socially inept heroes. But at no moment is the viewer ever given the opportunity to actually connect with any of these characters, let alone (heaven forbid) actually identify with them. It’s very much a ‘point, but don’t touch’ approach.

PILOTThe idea of a consultancy team made up of the world’s smartest people solving problems lends itself to interesting storytelling. They could be out there solving the worlds problems in really interesting ways. Instead here they’ll just be solving standard police procedural issues in smart ways. After all, why solve the world’s inability to provide cheap medicine’s to third world nations when you could just be saving a kidnapped child in a really clever way.

This show is pretty dumb, but is oddly watchable. Not enough to encourage repeat visits, but the likelihood of turning the show off midway through the pilot is pretty low.

What you need to know: This is quasi-based on the real life Walter O’Brien who runs the technology security firm Scorpion Computer Services.

Will you watch episode 2: Maybe. The show really is the epitome of casual viewing. If you’re stuck for something to watch, this might be enough to keep your attention. Heck, the show may even develop into actually being fun.

Pilot Watch: Gotham [Review]

As Edward Nygma may ask, “Riddle me this: What do you get when you launch a TV series designed to cash in on the current superhero craze that doesn’t star a superhero?”. The answer is Gotham, but don’t be calling Edward Nygma ‘The Riddler’ just yet. That doesn’t take place for another 10 years or so.

Instead Gotham begins with the death of wealthy couple Thomas and Martha Wayne, murdered in an alleyway and leaving behind their son, Bruce. Usually in the story we then jump forward in time to when the story becomes relevant once more, we instead focus on James Gordon and his corrupt partner Harvey Bullock. Gordon is a cop new to Gotham who wants to clean up the town. If the show was just about James Gordon and Bullock fighting corruption in the city, that could make for a fun and interesting show. Instead the show overloads itself with a whole bunch of supporting and peripheral characters that will become key figures in Bruce Wayne’s future as Batman. In the pilot alone we encounter the kids and young adults who will go on to become Poison Ivy, Catwoman, The Penguin, and The Riddler. There’s also a very suspiciously inserted stand-up comedian who may well go on to become The Joker at some point in the series.

And this is the problem of the show. By incorporating all of these characters who the viewer knows will go on to roles of significance, the show keeps you thinking about what’s next not in terms of the episode or the season, but rather what takes place when this show is done. Viewers are not able to live in the moment of an episode.

Considering that the show borrows so much from the comic book series Gotham Central, one can’t help but wonder why the shows creators didn’t just adapt that directly to television rather than this strange pastiche.

Gotham Central

On the plus side, the show visually looks gorgeous and Ben McKenzie & Donal Logue are great as the series leads.

What you need to know: The series soon-to-be-Mrs Gordon, Barabara is not the same Barbara who goes on to be Batgirl. That Barbara Gordon is James Gordon’s niece. Thankfully this is just the confusing version and not a creepy version.

Will you watch episode 2: Probably. It’s a good-looking production and there is a curiosity factor in how they’ll make the show interesting and not just be a Smallville with better production values. Viewers forgetting to watch the show 5-6 episodes into the series run is a strong possibility.

Televised Revolution – "Why That Genre?" (Ep 362)

Comic book movies have dominated cinemas for the past decade with no end in sight. TV has embraced the genre, with no less than four series based on comics launching in this coming TV season with many others in development for next year. Launching this month in the US are: The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine, with iZombie and Agent Carter to follow later this season.

But this is just the current genre craze. Superheroes are big right now, so TV has embraced it. Just as they embraced the Western. What prompts a genre to be so heavily embraced by TV? And, in turn, what does that genre say about society?

Our panel this week discuss TV genres, along with the TV news of the week:

  • Looming job cuts at the ABC.
  • Margaret & David have announced their retirement.
  • Telstra set to dump their T-Box.
  • Quickflix’s open letter to Netflix.
  • Foxtel’s Comedy Channel dumps Fallon.

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Audio:


VIDEO:

Australian TV Bosses Squeezing Out Netflix Don't Understand Netflix

The AFR today ran a feature regarding the Australian TV network executives seeking to squeeze out Netflix from the marketplace by securing content before Netflix can get access to it. Based on the quotes that run through the article, however, it appears that local network executives are still too focused on combating Netflix as a current day broadcaster and not as a pure digital consumption provider.

Netflix is not just movies. Netflix is not just TV. Netflix succeeds by fulfilling broad-ranging content casual consumption needs.

What is being missed in the efforts to combat Netflix is to actually combat their strengths – movies, TV, documentaries, stand-up comedy, and foreign language content. Netflix are not a mainstream broadcaster, but rather they provide enough content for niche interests to be sated.

There are a number of points throughout the article that are misguided and simply fail to reflect the reality of what Netflix represents. It makes for positive spin now, but just won’t hold up once the US streamer launches a local presence.

TV bosses figure they can squeeze Netflix before it launches in Australia by acquiring the “holdback” rights on first-run TV shows and feature films … The holdback window can be up to 18 months for SVOD operators such as Netflix.

– AFR

Netflix operate as a casual consumption source. Fresh, first run content isn’t as significant an issue on a service like Netflix as it is on a broadcast service. Much of the viewership on Netflix comes from viewers discovering new content that doesn’t have much name recognition. The Netflix recommendation algorithms are a core component to the success of this discovery process. It pushes all the shows and movies a viewer may be interested in, prompting further exploration of content.

It’s this recommendation algorithm that is responsible for so many people sampling and enjoying low-profile shows like The Fall last year and (in recent weeks) Happy Valley. These are shows that would do limited audience numbers on FTA, but on Netflix they thrive. If these shows were up to 18 months old, that wouldn’t be an issue for Netflix as their consumers are casually discovering shows they may otherwise have limited familiarity with anyway.

Big marquee names are important to Netflix, which is why they’ve launched they commission their own original content (House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Bojack Horseman) and buy the rights to shows like The Blacklist and Gotham. But, in reality, Netflix only need a handful of these series to get people subscribing. Low-profile series and movies still drive much of the viewership on Netflix because the recommendations offer something tailored to watch when people just want something casual to enjoy.

“I’m not trying to undersell the task we have got in terms of raising Presto’s brand awareness but [Netflix] will be an inferior local service because of the rights that currently sit with Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC and Foxtel. They have looked at this market and seen that.”

-Shaun James, Presto

One of the biggest sources of competition to Netflix is actually SBS. It is the niche types of content that SBS have leveraged off to build their compelling SBS2 that actually echoes the sorts of series that does well on Netflix. Series like Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Real Humans, The Bridge, Breaking Bad, Community, Black Mirror, Lip Service, and The Office all perform strongly on subscription services. They’re niche and are often buried on commercial broadcasters in late night time-slots.

Furthermore, documentaries are an often-overlooked area of Netflix’s success. Docos do huge business on Netflix because they can provide targeted content that appeals directly to their subscribers niche interests. They’re exactly the same type of feature documentaries that often appear buried on SBS and the ABC, but thrive on the streamer.

“You will never see an HBO program on ­Netflix in Australia”.

-Richard Freudenstein, Foxtel CEO

One will also never see an HBO program on Netflix in the US*. And they’re doing just fine. US TV is currently out-putting more premium drama and comedy than at any other point. Long gone are the days of The Sopranos being the premium show on TV. Foxtel can hold onto that HBO deal for as long as they want – it doesn’t mean Netflix don’t have other content providers to choose from.

“In reality, the latest episodes of the Australian and international programs that the majority of Australian viewers love will not be available on Netflix.”

-Angus Ross, Seven Chief Programming Director

Again, the latest episodes of programs that the majority of Americans/Canadians/Brits/French/Scandanavians/etc love aren’t on their respective local Netflix services either. But there is just enough of those shows and movies on there that are interesting enough to justify a $7.99-ish monthly cost. Netflix use a handful of marquee shows to drive subscriptions, then keep audiences watching through recommended casual viewing. Netflix is also not an end-all and be-all platform. Most consumers will likely subscribe to 3-4 services to get a substantial content offering in the years to come. Australian providers would be well-advised to find what works for Netflix and emulate a similar strategy rather than trying to hold onto content that works very well for broadcast audiences, but less so for those watching recommendations on demand. These are not the same shows.

“Underestimating what the studios will do to make money would be naïve. Net­flix will have a lot of good product, as will Stream Co, as will Presto. There will be a lot of similar product and amongst it all everyone will have a few little golden nuggets that they own.”

-David Gyngell, Nine CEO

Don’t underestimate David Gyngell. He is spot-on and often is when discussing streaming video services. There will be similar content on many platforms. Not that much of it is genuinely exclusive. Furthermore, every platform will offer something that people want. This is why consumers will be looking for multiple service providers.

A marketplace that offers just Netflix and overseas providers will make for a poorer content consumption experience in Australia. The last thing any country needs is a large US content provider wielding complete control over the SVOD space. The global strength of Netflix also works as a plus, however, in that the company’s efforts to produce content in-house and signing deals for global distribution means we’ll see a reduction in wait times for content to be made available locally.

Netflix is going to be great for consumers. Their successful grey presence in Australia has spurred Australian content holders to get into the SVOD marketplace, which will provide an abundance of content for Australians to watch and enjoy legally. The growth of piracy in Australia can largely be attributed to the limited number of viewing options we’ve had until now. There will be room for more SVOD services than Presto. StreamCo has a great opportunity as long as they move early and launch with a compelling content strategy. Presto will do fine with their movie service once they start competing in the space and aren’t simply differentiating from the Foxtel service. And then there’s growth opportunities for other providers. To compete, however, it’s important to understand that Netflix is not a broadcast service and viewers do respond differently to content offerings.

To compete with Netflix is to understand it.

*The Larry Sanders Show being a strange aberration a number of years ago.