Tag: streaming

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?

“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?

My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I have a solemn confession: I don’t love Disney. I barely like it, in fact. The House of Mouse has come to own basically over half of all known creative content within my personal wheelhouse — that of the nerdy variety. It seems suspect that my head tells me I should have been coocoo-bananas for the recently launched Disney+ steaming service, yet my heart makes a wet fart noise and I move on.

And trust me, it feels like a rare feat. My social media feeds are nearly choked with baby Yoda (not Yoda)  memes, and genuine gushing goo-goo’ing over all the content on the service. Yet, no matter how many trusted friends stamp The Mandalorian with their recommendation, nor posting about reruns of Darkwing Duck… the excitement bounces off of me much like I assume elation over a new BTS album dropping does to a hipster. And let’s be clear as day kiddos: I ain’t hip. Continue reading ““So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?”

Brainiac On Banjo #040: Stream On, Big Media, Stream On…

Brainiac On Banjo #040: Stream On, Big Media, Stream On…

Frequent readers of Brainiac On Banjo (seriously; there must be something better for you to do) have been absorbing my incessant prattle about streaming media for a while now. Yeah, I think it’s important. Streaming is bringing about the biggest sea-change to the entertainment world since we dropped the atom bomb.

“Really?” you might ask. “Bigger than television? Bigger than VCRs/DVRs? Even bigger than microwave popcorn? Why?” Well, that’s a fair question, and thank you for asking.

It took television a while to become big. In constant dollars, tiny TV sets cost a lot of money, the image was low-resolution and often full of “ghost” images, and the youngest person in the room had to stand by the set holding the antenna in the proper position in order to watch anything. The sundry video recorders, mechanical and virtual, freed the viewer from a strict allegiance to the clock, and microwave popcorn saved Indiana from certain economic doom.

Steaming has taken time-control one step further: content creators no longer have to fight for a Donald Trump-sized handful of open slots on the broadcast networks. Cable television no longer is a monopoly unless it is your only source of wi-fi. It’s launched an employment boon for actors, producers, writers and other such entertainment reprobates. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #040: Stream On, Big Media, Stream On…”

Brainiac On Banjo #033: Stream On, It’s A Crazy Feeling!

Brainiac On Banjo #033: Stream On, It’s A Crazy Feeling!

Most likely you have noticed the shift from static broadcast and cable television and movies to streaming services such as Netflix and DC Universe… to name but two. This stuff is growing like amoebas on steroids. In the relatively few years since this all began, it has knocked the poo out of the free media industries.

Unlike their cohorts in cable and terrestrial broadcasting, theater owners saw this coming and, in order to protect their investments, started offering new experiences such as larger, more comfortable and more adjustable seating, a wider range of unhealthy overpriced foods and snacks, new screens that can be viewed from the International Space Station, and sound systems that will deafen you. Great fun!

For the moment, at least.

The American comic book industry jumped on this concept out of the same cultural-shift that affected these other entertainment industries. Peculiarly, American comic book publishers have not shown much in the way of innovation over the past 86 years; the last huge improvement came when Major Wheeler-Nicholson decided to commission new work instead of relying upon newspaper strip reprints. That happened a mere 84 years ago.

When comixology came along offering comics new and old to their subscribers to be read (but not stored) on computers and tablets, as well as on cellphones for those who enjoy squinting, most publishers were quick to embrace this new means of distribution. Since then, the quantity of such material has skyrocketed and now DC’s stream-liner, DC Universe, is claiming they will be offering damn near every DC-owned comic online as part of that service. It’s also available on your television set, assuming you enjoy squinting but doing so on your smartphone requires too much effort.

That’s cool. Technology marches on, and the side benefit is that we’re saving a lot of trees, creating more oxygen and using fewer fossil fuels to distribute pretty colors printed on the corpses of saplings. Some people, not all of whom are nostalgia-soaked geriatrics, don’t like this and that is completely understandable. Just wait until they must move their comic book collection to a new abode. With two-terabyte thumb-drives available and heading towards affordability, you can put a copy of every comic book ever published in America on maybe four such drives and drop them in your purse or pocket.

So, last week Apple announced their new Apple News+ program which will stream more than 240 newspapers and magazines into the ethersphere for $10 a month. Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue… lots of stuff, with the promise of more to come. Well, that sounds convenient, particularly to those of us with tablets, and even more so to my fellow geriatrics with growing vision issues. That 13” iPad is looking better to me all the time, and I haven’t subscribed to this new service – at least not yet. Several more daily newspapers of note would be nice.

Immediately and quite predictably, the naysayers started screaming nay. “This will kill magazines and newspapers,” they say. Oh, yeah? If you live within a convenient walk of a retailer who offers more than 240 magazines and newspapers, consider yourself very lucky. Most people do not. If you want to choose from a variety of publications, you better be ready to drive out to one of the rapidly-dwindling big box stores such as Barnes and Noble and then pray for the best. This distribution method, pioneered by Apple with iTunes, saved the music industry. Is FYI still around? How about Borders? Ya wanna get this stuff somewhere.

If there’s but one rule that pervades Earth history, it’s that change is constant. Maintaining access to editorial content must adapt. If you lust for the smell of old paper – and I kinda do myself – pull apart one of those CGC clamshells and take a good snort.

(A tip of the hoodie to Buddy Holly for our headline this week)

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb

I spend an inordinate amount of time out in the world calculating when I can go home, get in my pajamas, and sit in bed watching Netflix.

I am not proud of this, but I’m also not un-proud of it either. Take me as I am – a gal who envies anyone who can decadently put on a sweatshirt and decade-old soft yoga pants, then hop under the covers with a book or an iPad, especially during the weekday daylight hours. Living THE DREAM!

But, why Netflix and not another video streaming platform? Because its queue is the easiest. The watchlist on Prime has to be shared amongst the whole family, going to individual network sites is bothersome, and Hulu’s commercial model is ridiculous (don’t even get me started on their new ad concept when you press pause), so Netflix wins my loyalty by default. Not exactly the highest praise, but they locked me in enough to consider their monthly content changes some of the most important news/click-bait in my social media feed.

Here are February’s in-coming titles (and my reaction).  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #024: Netflix Gives and Takes This Feb”

Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe

Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe

The streaming service called DC Universe is up and running. Sort of. If you’re looking to discover why Robin angrily said “Fuck Batman!” you’re going to have to wait about a month, or fly to New York City, sneak into the New York Comic-Con (by all means, do not give those bastards your money), stand at the back of a cramped overstuffed under-air conditioned room and watch Titans about a week early.

Wow. I actually digressed in the lead paragraph. I’ll get back to my intended rant now.

The world of “television” changes every day, and where it’s heading right now seems to be an environment where you are getting a lot more entertainment and a lot more choice of where you want to get it. You also have a lot more hassle, signing up for Crom-knows how many streaming services. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sling, HBO Now, DirecTV Now, Showtime When, Playstation Vue, Acorn, WatchTV, CBS All Access, ESPN+, Cinephiles, YouTube TV, NuMedia, Mubi, Fandor, Sundance, and now DC Universe… I’m sure I missed a few. Hell, before I did my research I hadn’t even heard of six of them. But even if you have, do not relax: there are plenty more coming your way, including Disney, which may or may not include Marvel and/or Star Wars and/or Pixar and/or Fox.

Each of these services run between about $5 to $50 a month and while there is some overlap, you’ve got to join – and pay for – each one separately. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that we’ll see mergers and washouts and aggregating services to lighten the load. But it’s unlikely there will be a service that lets you triple your available viewing time.

OK. “It’s a brave new world, yadda yadda yadda.” Every day it’s a goddamned brave new world. No wonder our attention spans have been reduced to that of kittens.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe”

Beat JENeration #001: Confessions of A Lazy Pop Culture No-Getter

Beat JENeration #001: Confessions of A Lazy Pop Culture No-Getter

I blame a lot of things on my kids (and rightfully so), but the truth is, it’s not their fault that I became a lazy pop culture no-getter.  It partly came with age and an I’m-getting-into-pajamas-at-7pm attitude, but mostly it was a the dawn of TiVo and then streaming that ruined the last shreds of my street cred. When I found out I could still be entertained without having to do it right NOW, I realized dragging my well-shod feet wasn’t just for things I didn’t want to do. I could actually unite my talent for procrastination and the joy of an ordered list with my passion for entertainment.

Digital hoarding has always been kind of a hobby though. Perhaps it stems from being the right age at the dawn of Napster when I could magically download ALL the music. Oh, the delight of knowing that unlike the books and CDs on my shelves, those tens of thousands of mp3s didn’t need to be packed up in heavy boxes every time I moved. The power! The control! I never ever had to be that girl waiting to capture a song from the radio on a knock-off Memorex cassette again! Now I’m the girl who always has 500+ podcasts in her queue, an Audible library 20 deep of yet-to-be heard titles, and hundreds of shows and movies on her watchlists…just in case. Just in case what? I don’t know. Maybe there will be a day when the gravy train ends. All this entertainment at my fingertips feels like it’s just too good to last.

Continue reading “Beat JENeration #001: Confessions of A Lazy Pop Culture No-Getter”

Brainiac On Banjo #004: Do WHAT To Batman?

Brainiac On Banjo #004: Do WHAT To Batman?

One of the least surprising announcements made at the just-concluded San Diego Comic Con was the detailed debut of the forthcoming DC Universe streaming service.

The short reveal: this service will deliver a bunch of brand-new superhero teevee shows (Titans, The Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Young Justice: Outsiders, Harley Quinn, and Stargirl), evidently dumping most of an entire “season” at once in Netflix-like action. They’ll also offer much of their massive library feature-length movies, both animated and live action, and television shows, both animated and live action. You’ll be able to read various DC Comics right there on the screen, participate in discussions, look-up stuff in their encyclopedia, take a shot at a contest or two, and, surprise, buy all sorts of exclusive crap.

All of this happens for a mere $7.95 a month, or the cost of about two DC superhero comics. If you’re my age that probably seems high, but your mileage may vary. You get a 20% discount if you order a year in advance. There’s an even better deal going if you give them your money right now, trusting them to provide sufficient bang for your buck.

They showed a couple of trailers at SDCC because that’s what you do at SDCC. The big takeaway last week – their Titans trailer is 1:52 minutes of violent quick-cuts built around Robin’s verbalized oath “Fuck Batman!”

Well, the trailer is TV-MA. I guess that stands for “Mature Adults,” which is funny because such language often is perceived as immature. To me, a TV-MA is Barbara Billingsley. But (Hi, Peter!) I digress.

You might think Robin would never say “Fuck Batman.” Holy euphemism, Bat-fan! I find that impossible to believe. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #004: Do WHAT To Batman?”

DC Universe announces Digital Subscription Service

DC Universe announces Digital Subscription Service

DC Universe announced today more details on its streaming media service. They are calling it a “digital subscription service”.  The initial details are aggressively optimistic on DC’s part.  What they are proposing is a “Netflix meets Comixology and goes on a double date with Amazon and Facebook” kind of scenario.

Fans can sign up today for an opportunity for beta access, which will open in August 2018. Beta access will give members a chance to test the new digital experience and provide valuable feedback on the early version of the service before it goes live later this fall 2018.

Continue reading “DC Universe announces Digital Subscription Service”