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amazon are turning up the dial, finally.

 

Netflix must have given them a kicking / a whole bunch of peoples renewals are coming up

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On 09/09/2019 at 14:56, SeanR said:

amazon are turning up the dial, finally.

 

Netflix must have given them a kicking / a whole bunch of peoples renewals are coming up

 

I would be fascinated to see the internal logic behind Amazon's current strategy by going big with 'classic' TV. I imagine they have the metrics which suggest that the people they want to be Prime Members (i.e. spend heavily whilst a Prime Member) are people who are more likely to watch an episode of Buffy or the OC then they are to watch an Amazon Original - or at least that the stats are stacked in such a way that Amazon feels they have to spend just as heavily on archive TV than on simply Amazon originals. 

 

I don't blame Amazon at all for focusing on classic TV.  From both my personal experience and publicise research (allegedly Friends and the Office US are among the most popular Netflix shows in the US) people do like comfort TV and are happy watching old episodes from their favourite shows. Netflix occasionally gets some publicity for one of its shows but there also seem to be a lot of Netflix originals which come and go without really ever making a mark. It doesn't help that with the amount of Netflix Originals available, we've gone from water cooler House of Cards type content to so much content that no one really pays any attention. There have also been articles saying that the binge model of releasing all episodes at the same time doesn't help Netflix promote new shows - you get publicity for 24 hours, then it drops sharply, never recovers and people can never discuss the shows online due to spoilers. Compare that to something like Game of Thrones with its weekly releases and attendant publicity for a much longer time period. 

 

I guess Amazon are also in the favourable position that they are not really in the business of making TV and films.  They want you to be a Prime Member which means that you are more likely to buy your products from them.  Sure they want some Prime TV to help keep you a Prime Member, but why spend x billion on an original show when buying the rights to the OC will please just as many of your Members than an Amazon Original which could be very hit or miss. I think the problem will be, as Netflix is finding, is that it is quite possible in the future these classic shows will either not be for sale (available on their own parent corporations streaming platforms) or cost so much that you may as well make your own shows. 

 

it is definitely a shift though, a few years ago these types of classic shows are exactly what you'd expect Netflix UK to be offering.  Netflix UK seems to be abandoning  this space whilst Amazon moves squarely into it. 

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I don't think it's that Netflix UK are abandoning it as such - it seems to apply to every region. Netflix US is like a barren wasteland compared to how it used to be. Even their movie selection isn't that different anymore.

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You do have to be concerned for Netflix long term. Take away other companies content and do you have enough original stuff left to make a subscription service attractive. They have first mover advantage and cultural word of mouth which will help dramatically but if everyone starts siloing their content you'd have to figure Netflix will suffer. Sure they can, if they want compete on new content, but Disney et all have decades of back catalogue content they can use to supplement their services. Put it this way, I don't think we'll be seeing any Netflix start up competitors anytime soon. 

 

They are not the only ones in trouble. Amazon might be similar but Prime Video is a very small part of their business model. I'd be more concerned about Sky. Deeply inbedded yes, but again quite reliant in content produced by other people. You lose that TV content, the licensed films and things like the Premier League and what would they have left to offer apart from a fairly decent television platform and service. And you'd have to think it might not be too long before someone else really goes hard for the Premier League content - Amazon are dipping their toes in the water this season but it is a massive driver for a group of consumers who would likely follow it to any new platform it ends up on. 

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Yep, Amazon could do with spending a bit of TLC on the app. 

 

On my previous post, I forgot that Sky is now, of course, owned by Comcast. So they are pretty safe for content now. You'd think Netflix could be a target although I guess it's valuation is too high compared to the cost of just building your own streaming platform. 

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

It's just a shame the encoding on Prime video is so shit now.

 

Depends on the show/movie, really. It's always been a bit random. Netflix can be just as bad, though.

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On 06/08/2019 at 23:47, Nick R said:

... I find that all of Bob's Burgers seasons 1-9 are now included with Prime.

 

:omg:

 

Woo-Hoo!

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Just watched the trailer for the new series of Goliath (Oct 4th).

 

Billy Bob goes up against Dennis Quaid and Beau Bridges..looks awesome.

 

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17 hours ago, McCoy said:

You do have to be concerned for Netflix long term. Take away other companies content and do you have enough original stuff left to make a subscription service attractive. They have first mover advantage and cultural word of mouth which will help dramatically but if everyone starts siloing their content you'd have to figure Netflix will suffer. Sure they can, if they want compete on new content, but Disney et all have decades of back catalogue content they can use to supplement their services. Put it this way, I don't think we'll be seeing any Netflix start up competitors anytime soon. 

 

They are not the only ones in trouble. Amazon might be similar but Prime Video is a very small part of their business model. I'd be more concerned about Sky. Deeply inbedded yes, but again quite reliant in content produced by other people. You lose that TV content, the licensed films and things like the Premier League and what would they have left to offer apart from a fairly decent television platform and service. And you'd have to think it might not be too long before someone else really goes hard for the Premier League content - Amazon are dipping their toes in the water this season but it is a massive driver for a group of consumers who would likely follow it to any new platform it ends up on. 

 

In two years we'll have 20+ services all with about 2-3 good shows and none worth the sub price.

 

Totally idiotic.

 

People will pirate shows because it'll be less hassle. 

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18 hours ago, McCoy said:

You do have to be concerned for Netflix long term. Take away other companies content and do you have enough original stuff left to make a subscription service attractive. They have first mover advantage and cultural word of mouth which will help dramatically but if everyone starts siloing their content you'd have to figure Netflix will suffer. Sure they can, if they want compete on new content, but Disney et all have decades of back catalogue content they can use to supplement their services.

 

It's unlikely to happen any time soon, but part of me thinks it would be funny to see Netflix get left behind because they didn't adapt to changing times and tastes, the way they left Blockbuster behind.

 

Quote

Put it this way, I don't think we'll be seeing any Netflix start up competitors anytime soon.

 

The cost of building up a back-catalogue library of video is probably the biggest cost for any new video streaming service. But presumably the cost of setting up the storage capacity for all that video, and the network infrastructure to distribute it smoothly, is also prohibitively expensive.

 

So I think it's more likely that instead of seeing new competitors, we'll see more companies piggybacking their libraries on the existing streaming services (e.g. the way that the BFI has an Amazon Prime Video Channel).

 

That cost of setting up the infrastructure to stream video is probably the main reason we won't see any YouTube competitors any time soon. Yes, there are smaller specialists like Vimeo, and sites like porn sites and Liveleak that do things YouTube don't touch, and assorted language-specific sites like the various ones in China. But as far as I know, no English language video sharing sites are directly trying to compete with the might of Google and YouTube.

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We will keep getting more & more services until the city financiers and the company boardrooms realise the time is right for consolidation and of course they'll all make huge sums of money from corporate mergers with each other, they'll all make billions in fees and shares options....and our subscriptions will go up to pay for them.

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, MpM said:

We will keep getting more & more services until the city financiers and the company boardrooms realise the time is right for consolidation and of course they'll all make huge sums of money from corporate mergers with each other, they'll all make billions in fees and shares options....and our subscriptions will go up to pay for them.

 

 

I do think we will see some consolidation eventually. Every man and his dog will give it a try but eventually the best of the rest will probably start to work together - see something like Britbox as an example. 

 

As for whether it will harm consumers, who knows.  You look at Uber which is losing billions trying to gain a foothold and keeping prices down and to some extent we're just seeing hedge firms funnelling money directly into consumers pockets. 

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5 hours ago, MpM said:

We will keep getting more & more services until the city financiers and the company boardrooms realise the time is right for consolidation and of course they'll all make huge sums of money from corporate mergers with each other, they'll all make billions in fees and shares options....and our subscriptions will go up to pay for them.

 

 

 

Meanwhile those who do the work at those companies, get their roles cut or downsized.

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I've been given 6 months Prime Video for free with my EE account and I've installed the app on my Apple TV. I've been a Netflix subscriber for about 8-9 years (I think) and my God, is the Prime Video app fucking terrible. 

 

It's difficult enough to actually find anything, I searched for "The Sopranos" because it did have a making of special, so I presumed it had the full series and sure enough it came up in the search results. Except, when I try to watch it I get an icon saying "How to Watch" and it then tells me I need to buy it. WTF? So how do you actually search for anything that's purely on Amazon Prime Video then? Then there was some horror film was on the app, I clicked on it and again it said "How to Watch This" and it then told me I had to subscribe to some other fucking third party service that was for Horror films that looked like it was delivered by Prime Video.

 

It's bad enough that the majority of content if absolutely terrible (the kids section seems to consist of shit CGI films, cheap knock offs or shite like roblox "movies" that look like they should be on YouTube), but the actual service seems like Amazon just trying to sell you the equivalent of virtual DVDs (or worse, acting as a delivery method for other subscription platforms). 

 

Maybe with Amazon buying the rights to old programs (although Netflix just announced exclusivity for Seinfeld from 2021) is part of their plan for Prime Video. Have mostly shite included in the "free" service and then having to actually pay for anything decent.

 

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36 minutes ago, gone fishin' said:

I've been given 6 months Prime Video for free with my EE account and I've installed the app on my Apple TV. I've been a Netflix subscriber for about 8-9 years (I think) and my God, is the Prime Video app fucking terrible. 

 

It's difficult enough to actually find anything, I searched for "The Sopranos" because it did have a making of special, so I presumed it had the full series and sure enough it came up in the search results. Except, when I try to watch it I get an icon saying "How to Watch" and it then tells me I need to buy it. WTF? So how do you actually search for anything that's purely on Amazon Prime Video then? Then there was some horror film was on the app, I clicked on it and again it said "How to Watch This" and it then told me I had to subscribe to some other fucking third party service that was for Horror films that looked like it was delivered by Prime Video.

 

It's bad enough that the majority of content if absolutely terrible (the kids section seems to consist of shit CGI films, cheap knock offs or shite like roblox "movies" that look like they should be on YouTube), but the actual service seems like Amazon just trying to sell you the equivalent of virtual DVDs (or worse, acting as a delivery method for other subscription platforms). 

 

Maybe with Amazon buying the rights to old programs (although Netflix just announced exclusivity for Seinfeld from 2021) is part of their plan for Prime Video. Have mostly shite included in the "free" service and then having to actually pay for anything decent.

 

 

I mean, the app is not great but I don't think it is quite as hard as you're making out - although I've never tried the Apple TV version. 

 

On the android app it is pretty clear what's included in Prime and what's not. The ability to buy films and programmes not included might divide opinion - I rather like it. I feel at least if I buy digitally from Amazon the content is not likely to disappear when the company closes down ala Blinkbox etc. Basically when you search anything included has a prime banner in the left corner, everything else can be purchased. But yeah, you can basically buy anything through the app but the stuff included with Prime is free. I can see it can be confusing if you've primarily only used Netflix which is what you can see you can watch. 

 

As for content, well horses for courses really. I genuinely feel for TV, back catologue particularly, Amazon is doing a better job than Netflix. As for films, I just had a quick look and it's clearly got some decent films - John Wick 2, Dunkirk, IT are all promoted fairly early on when you click the films tab. It goes in phases for me but at the moment prime content is getting more viewing time than Netflix content (it helps I'm working through something like 8 seasons of the US Office). 

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15 hours ago, McCoy said:

 

 

 

On the android app it is pretty clear what's included in Prime and what's not. The ability to buy films and programmes not included might divide opinion - I rather like it. I feel at least if I buy digitally from Amazon the content is not likely to disappear when the company closes down ala Blinkbox etc. Basically when you search anything included has a prime banner in the left corner, everything else can be purchased. But yeah, you can basically buy anything through the app but the stuff included with Prime is free. I can see it can be confusing if you've primarily only used Netflix which is what you can see you can watch. 

 

 

If you're an extensive buyer from Amazon, then I can see why that might be OK having a single interface to manage all of your content (either purchased or available on Prime Video). I suppose it's similar to Apple's iTunes, but with some free content thrown in as part of your Prime subscription, however as iTunes is being phased out in favour of Apple TV, acting as a sort of "TV and Film aggregator" app, the Amazon Prime Video app (including the browser version) just feels like an absolute dogs dinner. Another annoying example was I put Lego Batman on my watch list, I went to watch it with my son last night, clicked on it from my watch list and I only get the option to rent it or buy it. I'm presuming it must have been removed since I added it a couple of weeks ago. So we browsed around the kids section, literally couldn't find a single film to watch and then went over to Netflix. Where Lego Batman has just been added... But the whole thing of not removing it from my watch list and instead offering to buy or rent from Amazon again feels like Amazon trying to sting you for extra money (which let's be honest, they're not exactly shy in doing). "Sorry kids, I know it's in our watch list but we can't watch Lego Batman.", "Please. Please. Please. Please", "oh, ok, I'll just pay the £3.50 to rent it to shut you up"

 

15 hours ago, McCoy said:

 

As for content, well horses for courses really. I genuinely feel for TV, back catologue particularly, Amazon is doing a better job than Netflix. As for films, I just had a quick look and it's clearly got some decent films - John Wick 2, Dunkirk, IT are all promoted fairly early on when you click the films tab. It goes in phases for me but at the moment prime content is getting more viewing time than Netflix content (it helps I'm working through something like 8 seasons of the US Office). 

 

Sure, there are a few good films on there ( I watched You Were Never Really Here the other night), but it does feel a bit like Now TV. There's maybe a couple dozen or so great films, the rest have either been on Netflix at some point or are utterly terrible that you wouldn't bother. Or maybe they're just hidden in the terrible interface! 

 

Again, I can see if they're pitching it as "here's something free as part of your Amazon Prime subscription, which you've really got to get free next day delivery", but as a standalone  streaming service competing against the likes of Netflix, the content overall doesn't come close to the £7.99 a month they're asking. I think they're really going to struggle with Disney+, Apple TV+ and all the other streaming services coming out of the US networks if they try to pitch it as a standalone streaming service. 

 

Also reading about how the Lord of the Rings TV series has been given a significant tax relief by the NZ government to the tune of $300m again just makes me think of how fucking cheap Amazon really are in paying their taxes.

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Anyone heard about some kind of resolution issue on the Prime Video app on certain TVs that makes it crash? Supposedly if the resolution doesn't match the TV it can crash. Which is what happens on my Panasonic Viera like 95% of the time. I have to watch it by mirroring my phone, which is a pain in the arse considering it comes with a Prime app installed.

 

Any solutions?

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On 20/09/2019 at 23:49, McCoy said:

 

I mean, the app is not great but I don't think it is quite as hard as you're making out - although I've never tried the Apple TV version. 

 

On the android app it is pretty clear what's included in Prime and what's not. The ability to buy films and programmes not included might divide opinion - I rather like it. I feel at least if I buy digitally from Amazon the content is not likely to disappear when the company closes down ala Blinkbox etc. Basically when you search anything included has a prime banner in the left corner, everything else can be purchased. But yeah, you can basically buy anything through the app but the stuff included with Prime is free. I can see it can be confusing if you've primarily only used Netflix which is what you can see you can watch. 

 

As for content, well horses for courses really. I genuinely feel for TV, back catologue particularly, Amazon is doing a better job than Netflix. As for films, I just had a quick look and it's clearly got some decent films - John Wick 2, Dunkirk, IT are all promoted fairly early on when you click the films tab. It goes in phases for me but at the moment prime content is getting more viewing time than Netflix content (it helps I'm working through something like 8 seasons of the US Office). 


The app is so bad even Sony would be embarrassed to release it, it’s honestly the worst app I have ever used (as in I use it, because I have to) and as intuitive as an ash tray on a motorbike!

 

Just today I went to watch an episode of community and it was something like 30 levels down to get ‘continue watching’ because why the fuck would I want that front and centre (null)

 

And this is before we get into separate listings for 4k versions of the same content that often don’t come up when you search the fucking name of the fucking show :blink2:

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46 minutes ago, Shimmyhill said:

The app is so bad even Sony would be embarrassed to release it, it’s honestly the worst app I have ever used (as in I use it, because I have to) and as intuitive as an ash tray on a motorbike!

 

Just today I went to watch an episode of community and it was something like 30 levels down to get ‘continue watching’ because why the fuck would I want that front and centre (null)

 

I've only used the Xbox 360, PS3 and mobile versions of the app, so I don't know what it's like on smart TVs or current gen consoles. The 360 version has always been really unreliable when it comes to accurately displaying TV series in progress under "Continue Watching". (And the 360's "Recently added to Prime" list is no longer updated.)

 

But the PS3 version has a very different design, and its home screen is pretty useful - a few rows below the default cursor position, there's a row called "Watch next" which combines both your Watchlist items and TV series you're in the middle of. Clicking on a TV series in progress takes you to the first unwatched episode.

 

Unfortunately in my experience in the PS3 app, going into the Watchlist itself and scrolling too far to the right tends to crash it!

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