Tag Archives: streaming media

Netflix Names Verna Myers to VP of Inclusion

Verna Myers

Streaming television service Netflix has named Verna Myers to its newly created post of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy.

Although the post is new the relationship between Myers and Netflix is not. Netflix stated in the announcement that  Myers has worked with the company as a consultant. In her new role she will “devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.”

Myers has been the name and face of The Vernā Myers Company,  a consulting group that focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. Myers has written and spoken on this topic extensively.

Netflix has made incredible efforts at bringing in diverse talent and content into its entertainment offerings. The streaming giant has signed some of Hollywoods biggest African-American producers to produce content including Kenya Barris and Shonda Rhimes.

In a statement Meyers said; “I have been a longtime fan of the inclusive and diverse programming and talent at Netflix, and then I got a chance to meet the people behind the screen. I was so impressed by their mission, their excellence, and decision to take their inclusion and diversity efforts to a higher level. I am so excited and look forward to collaborating all across Netflix to establish bold innovative frameworks and practices that will attract, fully develop, and sustain high performing diverse teams.”

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Oprah Winfrey, Akon,

Apple, making a push into the streaming television market, scored a major coup by signing Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year deal to produce streaming content. The Wall Street Journal reported that Winfrey is expected to become part of Apple’s billion dollar push into direct-to-consumer video streaming.  Although what Oprah will produce has not yet been determined the programming is expected to debut in 2019.  

Apple stated to Reuters, “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Apple is in stiff competition with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon to produce original streaming content. Apple has signed other big name celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant to produce shows for their platform.

Even with this huge deal Apple is in hardball competition with Netflix and Amazon. Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama signed a deal to produce content for Netflix. Netflix and Amazon have both invested heavily in their streaming content by spending $6.3 and $4.5 respectively in 2017 alone.  

Akon

Singer Akon (Courtesy Dagency)

Singer Akon is jumping into the cryptocurrency game. The singer announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity  the launch ofAkoin” to finance his “Akon Crypto City,” a 100 percent crypto-based city in Africa.

According to the Page Six website Akon said  “I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people, and brings the security back into the currency system, and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves, and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”

According to the Akoin website Akon Crypto City is being developed in African on land donated by the President of Senegal. The city will be modeled on the fictional country of Wakanda from the movie “Black Panther.” According to Akon the new city will offer everything any normal city would including homes, retail businesses, parks, universities and schools.

The singer, who is of Senegal-descent, has moved his career efforts to giving back to African communities in recent years. In 2015 Akon  launched Akon Lighting Africa in an effort to solve chronic shortages of electricity in African nations.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Quincy Jones

Music legend Quincy Jones is working with a French TV producer to launch Qwest TV. Calling itself the “Netflix of Jazz” the  specialty streaming channel for jazz lovers will offer jazz, concerts and music centric documentaries.

Music Legend Quincy Jones

According to the New York Times Jones will personally select the first round of videos. Each video will be accompanied by an essay from either a journalist or a jazz expert. Jones’ goal of launching the channel is to help preserve and present jazz in a way that’s particularly suited for modern audiences. “I know I won’t convert the world to jazz,” said Jones. “If I serve high quality programs in HD, with good curation and have a good, close relationship with my audience, I’ll be fine.”

Qwest TV kicked off on December 15th and offered 50 videos from 30 to 90 minutes long. The launch featured a documentary on the late Al Jarreau, concert films featuring the pianist Jason Moran and his trio, European jazz-rock fusion band Kneebody and the Malian vocalist Oumou Sangaré.  Another feature for subscribers includes “The Sound of New York,” a 10-part series originally serialized in Italy. The series features half-hour portraits of musicians like Damion Reid, Mark Turner and Bilal.

Prices for Qwest TV will run between $8.83 – $11.68. The price will be slightly higher for HD/4K streaming. Qwest TV will also offer yearly subscriptions.

 

 

The War for Net Neutrality! Breaking It Down

The FCC voted along party lines to end the Obama administration’s rules on net neutrality. This war for a free and open Internet has been going on for some time. This is just the latest battle.  This decision is by no means the end of it. But what is happening and what does it mean for Black Internet users?

 

 

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that all data carried over the Internet is treated the same. That means that whether you’re streaming Netflix, shopping online, playing games or just reading the news, all the data is the same. Same speed and same price. For users of the Internet that meant that you could access any website and use as much data as you wanted. Before the change Internet service providers or ISPs like Comcast or Verizon could not deliberately speed up or slow down Internet traffic from specific websites or apps. But they did. The practice was known as throttling. The net neutrality rules, put in place by the Obama administration in 2015, were intended to keep the Internet open and fair. If you really want to understand how this works imagine sitting in traffic while those willing to pay whiz by you in the express lane. That is the basic idea behind the new rules of the Internet. 

How does that affect Black people?

People using the Internet, schools, small businesses and others are now subject to a potential new way of using the Internet and paying for it. You could be charged for high-speed streaming like Netflix. You could also be charged more for using data from some websites or apps over others. The rules used to say that ISPs could not favor one website over another for its content, the aptly named fast lane/slow lane Internet. Those rules just went out the window. Expect more throttling and slower web speeds and loading. Businesses with numerous computers and heavy data consumption could end up paying more. Start up businesses, especially minority owned, could be stifled by high data costs. According to MIT the repeal of net neutrality could be harmful to innovation. The exact opposite of what FCC chairman Ajit Pai claims.

Where this hurts black people, other minorities and the poor, is that just getting Internet could be costly. Already we are dealing with a lack of high speed Internet in poor and minority schools. As matter of fact the United States is already behind in both wireless and fixed wire Internet speeds.

Poor and minority children are already dealing with poor public education. That situation could be further eroded further by a lack of adequate access to the Internet. Classroom instruction will suffer as they fall further behind more affluent school districts. The digital divide is going to grow along with an under-educated under-class that is the source of poverty.

In some cities high speed Internet is nearly non-existent. Detroit for example is one of the worst cities in the country for high speed Internet especially for poor people. Repealing net neutrality is not going to help this situation.

Black people are avid users of mobile technology. The use of mobile devices could become more expensive. Shopping online, banking and other online activities could be slowed down or throttled. Another area of concern for black people is social and political activism.  A free and open Internet meant that no matter who you are you could get your message to the masses. These new rules could make it expensive for, or even censor, groups like #Black Lives Matter. Many believe that the Internet is key to free speech and the right of the public to know. 

Who is benefitting from this rule change?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Most people would agree that the telecom companies are benefitting the most from this rule change. FCC Chairman Pai, an Obama appointment and promoted to chairman by Trump, has claimed that the new rules will not affect a free and open and Internet. Pai has been a critic of the net neutrality rules and believes that the rules of the Obama administration allowed the government to “micro-manage the Internet.”

The telecom industry approves of Pai’s plan. Pai argued that earlier regulation was a drag on broadband investment and innovation. In a blog post, Comcast downplayed concerns, saying customers “will continue to enjoy all of the benefits of an open Internet today, tomorrow, and in the future. Period.” Yet at the same time it appears that Comcast is already planning to charge you for more Internet speed.

According to the Los Angeles Times  several companies have also been preparing for this moment for some time and the profits of priority handling of Internet content. These companies will not say what they consider a free and open Internet is nor will they promise to treat all data the same. Basically they are keeping quiet.

Telecommunications companies like AT&T, Charter Communications and Comcast have run full page ads in the Washington Post claiming to preserve an “open Internet.” These practices supposedly include “no blocking of legal content,” “not throttling” data speeds and “no unfair discrimination.” They never said you wouldn’t have to pay for it. 

Another winner of the repeal are the big content providers. Netflix, Google and other large content providers also have the money and the leverage of millions of subscribers to negotiate deals with ISPs. This would allow them access to the Internet fast lanes and potentially get a competitive advantage. Any deal that Netflix, Google or YouTube cuts with the ISPs could mean a price increase for the consumer. You lose.

Supporters of net neutrality believe that consumers could be charged extra to stream certain content if they don’t want to be hampered by network congestion or throttling. Others are warning that consumer choices of Internet service providers could shrink and prices of broadband service could increase due to lack of competition.

What is actually happening is that the FCC, under the Trump administration, has declared that information is free. Access to it is not. The Internet, until now, was regulated as a utility. This brings that to an end. Now the Internet belongs to private industry and they are willing to make you pay for access because that is what they do. They couldn’t care less about your business needs, your child’s education or your need to know…period. They have the capability to keep the ignorant ignorant, the poor poor and the the competition from competing.. They can slow down information or cut it off completely if you don’t pay. Corporations have scored a victory but the war is far from over. 

Next: The Net Neutrality War is Not Over!

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dave Chappelle, Kanye West

LeBron James

YouTube has added another big name to its Red subscription streaming service. NBA legend LeBron James will get executive producer credit for “Best Shot,” an eight-episode documentary covering a high school basketball team. The team is being mentored by former NBA star Jay Williams. “Best Shot” follows the players struggles with life’s everyday challenges while simultaneously chasing their hoop dreams.

The documentary will be directed by Michael John Warren. Warren has impressive credentials and is best known for his documentaries on hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj. No date has been released for “Best Shot” so look for it on Red sometime in 2018.

Dwayne Wade

Another NBA star showing up on streaming media is James’  teammate Dwayne Wade. Facebook is offering a reality based show with the NBA star.  The show, which premiered on November 20th,  gives fans a look inside the star’s daily life.  Entitled “BackCourt” cameras follow the three time NBA champion as he travels to Europe for fashion events, attempts to master golf all the while managing his business interests.

Wade will be joining other pro athletes with Facebook programs to include Lonzo Ball of the L.A.Lakers and his family,  and Raider’s running back Marshawn Lynch.  Episodes of “BackCourt” will air on Mondays.

Dave Chapelle

According to Variety comedian Dave Chappelle’s third Netflix special, “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” is set to debut on the streaming service on New Year’s Eve.  This is Chapelle’s first exclusive comedy special for Netflix. Last year Netflix announced that Chapelle would perform three specials for the channel.  The first two performances, released in March, were  shows performed at Austin City Limits entitled “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and “The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium.” Both were previously un-released performances. 

In addition to Chappelle’s specials, Netflix is rumored to have dropped $40 million for the rights to two Chris Rock specials.

Kanye West

Rapper and all around attention getter Kanye West is taking his business empire into cyber space. According to reports West’s business people recently filed a trademark for a new service called “Yeezy Sound.” “Yeezy Sound” is intended to do everything from stream music to broadcast television.

“Yeezy Sound” trademark statement reveals the service will offer “streaming music, audio, images, video, and other multimedia over the Internet, mobile devices, wireless networks, and other computer networks and electronic communication networks.”

Essentially Kanye is getting into the merciless combat that is fought among the likes of  Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and YouTube. Other services from “Yeezy Sound” will include “providing online chat rooms, online electronic bulletin boards and community forums” allowing fans and other users to communicate.

Kanye is known for his ego and grand aspirations. “Yeezy Sound” is no different. It appears that the bruising he is sure to receive in the music streaming game is not enough. “Yeezy Sound” will also seek  “broadcasting of cable television, television and radio programs” as well as “video streaming services via the Internet, featuring independent films and movies.” So it seems he is also picking a fight with heavyweights Hulu and Netflix. Good luck brother!

Cellphones and Streaming Media Capture Police Shooting of Black Men

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Philando Castile

Philando Castile was shot and killed by police. It took only minutes for the images of the aftermath of the shooting to be come real world news thanks to Facebook’s live streaming function.  Welcome to the age of new, instant, media.

Diamond Reynolds captured the horrifying aftermath of the shooting using her cellphone as her boyfriend lie dying next to her. According to Reynolds Castile warned the officer he was in possession of a licensed firearm. “He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” cried Reynolds in the video.

 

 

Phlando death

Philando Castile lay dying after being shot by police.

In the video Castile can clearly be seen struggling to breath and bleeding profusely while the police officer continued to hold the gun on him.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana Alton Sterling another black man was shot and killed by police during a struggle. This too was recorded by smartphone camera.

 

 

According to witnesses Sterling was known as the “CD Man” and regularly sold CD’s and DVD’s outside the convenience store where he was shot. The store owner had given Sterling permission to do so.

 

 

Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling

In this incident there are actually two cellphone videos (Video 1, Video 2) that recorded the shooting while Sterling was on the ground wrestling with two police officers. In the video police officers are wrestling with Sterling when one yells “gun!” The second officer then removes his gun from its holster and eventually shoots Sterling several times. After the shooting the police can be seen removing the gun from Sterling’s pocket.

Never before in the history of broadcasting has such an events been seen so instantly.

 

 

 

 

Breaking It Down

Once during an interview I heard the rapper Tupac predict, rather matter-of -factly, that we will watch him live and die live on your television. Andy Warhol said “In the future we will all be famous for fifteen minutes.” In the age of technology and instant communications it seems to have all come true. And this changes everything.

We are witnessing the reality of being able to tell our story to the world from a tiny handheld device that no one could have dreamed of just twenty years ago. Technology has ripped away any possibility that a person could be misunderstood or doubted when they tell their story be it good or bad. We as a society are left now to only interpret what we have seen or heard. And this changes everything.

We no longer have the luxury of exchanging stories. “Your word against mine,” is a thing of the past. Black people have long complained of police brutality. What we are witnessing is not new just recorded and the story is being told .You are left to interpret the facts not the” he said she said” aftermath. And this changes everything.

We can thank technology for this moment. These shootings have ignited searing anger in society. We are seeing our lives and the lives of others recorded and streamed to anyone and all who want to see, hear and know. And this changes everything.

The killing of black men by the police is no longer a question of how of or if it happened a certain way. You can see for yourself what happened sometimes while it s happening. And this changes everything.

We are in a new era where the investigation into police actions, violence, use of force, and death are no longer focused on what happened. We saw what happened. No we must investigate why it happened. Why was another black man killed by the police? That is the question we must ask and answer. And that changes everything.

See also: App of the Week-Driving While Black

 

 

 

Your Cable Box is About to Die

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Courtesy: BrandonSigma

Cable television has been under relentless pressure for quite some time now. More and more Americans are simply cutting the cord. Tired of the high cost of cable programming bundles and equipment rental many people are finding streaming to be a better option. This fact is especially true for black people, who according to Pew Research watch more television than any other group.

The Internet and streaming media services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have shown American television watchers there is a cheaper, easier and more convenient way to watch television. 

A new survey from ComScore revealed that among 18-34 year old viewers 24 percent don’t subscribe to a traditional pay TV service. This is a prime demographic for advertisers. Of that group nearly 46 percent of those viewers never had cable to begin with, while the rest simply cut the cord. And the number of Americans moving away from cable television has been steadily growing since 2009.

Now the F.C.C. has turned up the heat on cable companies further by deciding to kill the cable box as we know it.

On Wednesday the Federal Communications Commission announced a proposal that would allow cable and satellite subscribers to pick the devices they use to watch television. Currently nearly all cable customers must rent those set top boxes from their cable companies and pay, on average, $231 a year for these devices. Looks as if those days are coming to an end.

The move would save the consumer plenty of money because they would pay a one time price for the new device. The move would permit tech companies like GoogleTV, Amazon and AppleTV to expand their footprint in the television markets by introducing technology that blends television and Internet. As you can imagine the television industry has fought this move for some time.  The reactions to the announcement has been predictable. Technology companies love it. Cable television hates it.

With a focus on improving the overall television experience the  F.C.C. is looking to remove a prime source of consumer complaints; the set top box, cable company restrictions and expensive long term contracts.  Tech companies like Apple and Amazon make devices that connect to televisions and have new interfaces, but they provide streaming Internet video and do not replace the cable box. Many blue ray disc players and gaming consoles also provide streaming entertainment. The objective is to blend these devices into a more streamlined device that does it all…for less.

F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler said; “It’s time to unlock the set-top box market. Let’s let innovators create, and then let consumers choose.” Wheeler  wrote of the proposal on the technology news site Recode. According to the F.C.C. prices for other consumer technology such as smartphones has been on a steep downward spiral while estimates for set top box and other cable technology devices rose 185 percent over 20 years.

Opponents of the proposal believe that the industry was already providing more streaming options. The opponents said that F.C.C. intervention was not needed to spur innovation.

Cable companies have been slowly coming to the realization that streaming media is taking over and have been trying to adjust. Last November Time Warner Cable began a trial offering of cable television lineups through devices made by Roku. Charter Communications also offered its subscribers streaming TV through a Roku App. Cox Communications, an Atlanta-based cable company, allows customers to view programming through TiVo.

Television networks like HBO, Showtime and CBS recently introduced new offerings of à la carte offerings allowing customers to subscribe to an individual network without paying for the traditional full cable bundle.

Advocates believe that if the F.C.C. announcement is approved, consumers will see immediate savings.  Consumers could begin using just one device to access video content whether its video streaming online or cable television.

President and CEO of Consumer Reports, Marta Tellado,  said the changes were long overdue.

“With the ever-increasing price of cable and all of the advances in technology,” she said, “why should consumers have to keep renting a set-top box?”

 

 

Celebrity Cyber News – Jay-Z, Erykah Badu

JayZ

Jay-Z

In another bold move it seems Jay-Z is going hard into streaming content with the release of  two original television programs through his Tidal service. 

Money and Violence, is about criminals in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, turf familiar to the New York native. The show’s creator and star is Moise Verne. The show itself has a significant following  on YouTube. Tidal will have exclusive rights to the show for a week before it is released for wider distribution.

Tidal’s second show is a standup comedy venture named No Small Talk. According to host Cipha Sounds the show, like Def Comedy Jam, will highlight up and coming comedians “My goal is to help new guys get known,  Sounds told Variety magazine.

Since Jay-Z purchased the Tidal music streaming service earlier this year he has seen some serious set backs. His original intention was to offer a music streaming service that was owned by some the biggest artists in the music industry.

It has been a rocky beginning with the streaming service losing several executives. But the rapper/businessman/entreprenuer is not backing down from the fight to be a relevant force in the online streaming game. Recently Jay-Z was seen leaving the headquarters of Samsung Research America in Silicon Valley leading to rumors of a potential blockbuster deal with the tech company and Apple’s biggest rival.

Streaming content, be it music, television or movies is a cut throat business with some serious heavyweights fighting for supremacy. Its obvious that Jay-Z is not afraid of a good fight.

Erykah

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu recently Periscop-ed her latest single “Phone Down” to a live audience using the Periscope app.  

So what is Periscope? Twitter’s Periscope app allows users to live broadcast their lives to an Internet audience.  Users of the app can stream live video from their smartphone allowing viewers to look at what’s happening anywhere at any given time. Video can be viewed either on a mobile device, through the app, or on a laptop or computer, via the Periscope website.

Badu broadcast herself driving around Las Vegas singing along with her new song as it blasted from the car’s speakers and talking with people on the street.  If you missed it  you can watch a replay of the stream hereBadu is working on a new mixtape called “But U Caint Use My Phone”

 

Cable Television is Feeling The Heat

Slide1There is not a single black person who has not waited half a day for the cable technician to show up at our house; if they showed up. And who hasn’t put up with poor customer service and high cable bills for channels we don’t watch? You know the package where you get the two channels of you want and fifteen channels of crap! We have paid enough and put up with enough.

Video streaming is what’s happening now. The number of people dumping cable televison, or cutting the cord as some call it, is growing. Research conducted by TiVO subsidiary Digitalsmiths shows that 8.2 percent of former cable TV subscribers have cut the cord. That’s up a full percentage point from last year.  Another 45.2 percent reported having reduced their cable or satellite TV service during the same time frame. A practice known as cord shaving. These stats are putting huge pressure on the cable television industry.

Cord shaving consumers are chosing to go with smaller pay TV bundles. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video are becoming the video entertainment of choice. Why? Convenience is the first thing that comes to mind. Anywhere, anytime is a very appealing option. Second is the cost, streaming video services are significantly cheaper than cable television. Third, the shows people know and love are there for the viewing. And finally, cable customer service sucks!

Cable companies are feeling the heat. Verizon FIOS is the first major cable provider to go for the ala carte menu. They now allow cable customers to pick and choose what channels they want to pay for. But in defense of the cable companies they were in a bad position. Many media companies demanded that if the cable company offers one network they had to offer all of them. The result was expensive cable bills for the consumer.

Cable companies are also offering you that DVR thing that costs you so much a month to use but never own. Welcome to the age of the Internet, video streaming, on demand, wherever we want it. NOW! Its becoming obvious that the cable television business model is slowly dying.

Many people are worried about their Internet service and live programming like sports. But that is no longer a concern either. Keeping basic cable and Internet has always been an option. And new streaming services like SlingTV from DISH Network will provide ESPN and ESPN 2 for just $20 a month. You can get other ESPN channels for just $5 more.  And lets not forget that live sports will eventually become a regular part of the streaming media package. Yahoo will stream a live NFL game on October 25th. Its a sign of things to come. Other interesting services that are coming into the marketplace include HBO’s new service HBO Now. This allows you to stream HBO programs and movies as a stand alone service.

But lets get back to the cost of cable television. It is not unheard of for cable bills to be as high as $200 a month. African-Americans need to look at their bill and really make some hard choices about their cable package.  Black families can get an idea of the money they may save by using the interactive calculator provided by MarketWatch.com.

According to the survey 15.3 percent of consumers are planning to either switch, change, or cut the cord completely to cable television service.

Streaming media services offer original programming that is recieving high acclaim. Orange Is The New Black is an extremely popular program that is only available on Netflix. One of the most popular shows in the history of telelvision, Seinfeld, is now available on Hulu Plus. Another one of televisions hottest shows, Empire, is also streaming on Hulu Plus.

Cutting your cable may be a no brainer for some people. For others its a decision that may take some thought. But the bottom line is cable television is being threatened by a new technology with better choices and convenience.  Cable televison operators are fighting to stay in the game but its not looking good. I can take my tablet, laptop or cell phone anywhere and watch whatever I want, when I want.

Fox’s ‘Empire’ to Stream on Hulu Plus

fox-empireFox’s new showEmpire is big! Really big!  In the history of television the show is unequaled.  In the 23 year since Nielsen began tracking TV ratings no other program has grown its audience show after show, week after week. Last week’s finale captured over 16.5 million viewers leaving CBS’s Survivor in the dust by 7 million viewers.

Streaming media company Hulu has grabbed exclusive streaming rights for all past and future episodes of this record setting program.  Currently the entire first season is available for Hulu Plus subscribers. Future episodes will stream on the service the day after it airs on Fox. Hulu Plus is the paid, commercial free version of the service.

facebook_share_thumb_default_huluplusThe streaming media business is an extremely competitive business. Hulu is not publicly traded so it is not required to release financial data.  Netflix, Hulu’s biggest competitor, ended 2014 on a high note with a 26 percent revenue increase and adding over  four million more subscribers. The company earned $5.5 billion last year.

Amazon Prime is the other big player in the streaming game.  Amazon is usually quiet about its subscriber base but recently announced it has over 20 million Amazon Prime members globally.  This subscriber base is bringing in an an estimated $1.7 billion annually according to Forbes.com.

Apple is also launching a streaming television service that would let users stream up to 25 channels to Apple mobile devices and the Apple TV set top box. According to the Wall Street Journal Apple is negotiating with broadcasters to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks as soon as this fall. ABC, CBS, and Fox are reported on board.

Hulu used its advantage to get Empire. The streaming service is owned by Twenty-First Century Fox,  the Walt Disney Co., and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. But even though Hulu would appear to have a fighting advantage over Netflix and Amazon Prime the war over streaming rights is hot and expensive. Netflix picked up The Blacklist for a reported $2 million per episode. It grabbed rights to Gotham before the show even premiered.

Hulu will not be outgunned in the streaming war. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the company is extending its relationship with CBS. It has also signed an exclusive deal for ABC’s Nashville and improved it’s children’s selection with exclusive access to Fraggle Rock spin-off  The Doozers.

Some content will be available to all Hulu subscribers for free. This includes CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond and Wings. 

Hulu offers 1,650 shows, 2,500 movies, original programs and broadcast favorites including:

  • Scandal
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • The Mindy Project
  • Glee
  • Blue Bloods
  • Elementary

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Netflix offers over 9,000 titles and original programs along with these popular television shows:

  •  Mad Men
  • Breaking Bad
  • The West Wing
  • Friend
  • 30 Rock

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Amazon Prime offers the following programs and original content:

  • Justified
  • 24 Live Another Day
  • Falling Skies
  • The Good Wife
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Americans

Breaking It Down

What you see happening is the death of three different forms of video entertainment. Cable, broadcast television and movie rentals are all dying! The streaming media business is offering everything the consumer needs and wants on demand, anywhere they want it, and on any device they want. For black people this means saving yourself a lot of money by getting rid of your cable or at least reducing it to basic service.

Let me explain. Broadcast television has slowly been dying since the invention of the VCR. If not for live sports they would be gone already. Why? Because broadcast television held to a rigid schedule. All programs were aired on a certain date and time. The VCR changed all that allowing you to record your program and watch it when you wanted to. Cable came along offering movies and more adult oriented programming. Television has been fighting, with some success, to compete. But it is a struggle.

Cable television had the same problem but they were airing programs a few times a day so if you missed a show you could catch it later. But some cable bills are as much as $300 a month. And there is the DVR. That costs too.  Yeah, if you could master the technology you could access your DVR away from home using a computer or laptop. But again, it is expensive. Have you seen the cost of the data plans lately?

And let’s not leave out Red Box movie rental. That big Red Box is slowly becoming a big red coffin. Same as BlockBuster and those other movie rental stores.

Streaming media like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime do it all. Now you can pretty much watch any movie or television show anywhere you want anytime you want. Even on your smartphone.  You are completely in control of your time and entertainment choices. Cable can’t do that. Television can’t do that. Red Box can’t do that. And they sure as hell can’t do it for less than $10.00 a month as these services do. Cut the cable and save your money.