Tag Archives: streaming television

Terrarium TV Will Die Soon

Last night the developer of television streaming app Terrarium TV announced the service will officially shut down at the end of this month. Terrarium TV was an extremely  popular television streaming app that was free for users of Android devices especially the Amazon Fire Stick. And best of all, it was free.

This is very bad news for cord cutters. Terrarium TV was beautifully simple to use because it avoided the use of torrents as a supply protocol. Instead Terrarium TV collected content from file-hosting sites much like Kodi add ons. The app was super easy to master making not so tech savvy cord cutters very happy.

Terrarium TV was the brainchild of a developer who went by the handle NitroXenon. His real name is Peter Chan and he lives in Hong Kong. Chan’s app became insanely popular in just a few short years.  Only a few other apps even came close to the number of users Terrarium TV entertained.

Terrarium TV became the first choice app for cord cutters looking for a television fix that offered literally thousands of shows and movies that many other services charged for. This made Terrarium TV a provider of stolen copyrighted content and basically illegal. But few users of the app cared.

But alas, the game is up.  Last night visitors to Terrarium TV saw a surprising notification from NitroXenon himself explaining that he has decided to shut the app down.  “It has always been a great pleasure to work on this project. However, it is time to say goodbye. I am going to shut down Terrarium TV, forever,” he wrote. “I know this day will come eventually. I know it would be hard to let go. But it is really time for me to move on to other projects.”

Terrarium TV you will be missed.

 

 

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 – Kenya Barris

Netflix has netted yet another major black television producer. Kenya Barris, creator of the ABC comedy Black-ish and the spin-off Grown-ish, has signed a multi-year deal with the streaming television service.

Barris will remain an executive producer on those shows while exclusively developing new series for Netflix. According to Techcrunch Barris’ deal only covers his television work because Barris, who co-wrote Girls Trip, has a first-look movie deal at Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barris agreed to a three year deal with numbers in “high-eight-figure range.”

Barris joins Netflix after negotiating his way out of a contract with ABC Studios. Barris’ label, Khalabo Ink Society, will write and executive produce Netflix shows that “reflect culture through an urban- youth- and female-focused lens.”

Netflix Vice President of Originals, Cindy Holland said of Barris, “Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers. Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”

Netflix is bringing onboard some of television’s  greatest black talent. Television producer Shonda Rhimes  joined Netflix last year. But Netflix is not alone. It seems that streaming television is the medium of choice for black talent as heavyweight producers like Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins have joined Amazon and Oprah Winfrey has joined Apple streaming television efforts.

 

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.

 

JayZ! What’s Up With Tidal?

Tidal, JayZ’s music streaming service, is still going through some changes. Some say its going out of business. Others say it’s on solid ground and growing. It’s all about who you believe. But any way you look at it, things are happening.

The most recent announcement from Tidal is that it is launching apps for Apple and Android streaming television. Subscribers to Tidal will now be able to stream not only  Tidal’s entire library of music but also video content like concerts, livestreams, and music videos directly on their TVs. 

The new apps are just the latest moves by Tidal.  Tidal recently added support for Apple’s CarPlay along with integration with Sonos speakers. The move is seen as a way for Tidal to reach listeners on AppleTV which doesn’t have a Spotify app.

The Tidal TV app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play.

But there is more to this story. Can Tidal even survive? Music streaming is a brutal business. JayZ knew this when he got in the game. His edge was to pay artists more for their work than other music streaming services and include them as part owners. Good idea. But is it working?

News reports are surfacing that Tidal is facing both money and subscriber growth issues. According to Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv (DN) Tidal is losing money to the tune of  $44 million dollars before taxes in 2016. The report also said that Tidal is down to just six months of operating capital. Most recently Tidal picked up a nice chunk of change from Sprint who purchased a 33 percent stake for $200 million.  The deal included a reported $75 million fund for exclusive content. Was that enough to keep Tidal afloat? According to JayZ’s business partner Juan Perez the money gave Tidal “sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months.” 

A spokesperson for Tidal told Endgadget, “We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year.” The company claims it will achieve profitability in middle of this year.

But Jay-Z’s report of Tidal’s subscribers is in dispute. In September 2015, Jay-Z tweeted that Tidal had over 1 million subscribers. But DN reported internal records of payments to record labels showed that number to be closer to 350,000. Six months later JayZ claimed it had reached the 3 million subscribers. Some say the number was actually 850,000. Internally Tidal claims about 1.2 million subscribers but has kept quiet about the numbers every since. 

But whatever the numbers are they lag way behind the really big boys of music streaming like  Spotify which, as of July of last year, claimed more than 60 million subscribers and Apple Music with 30 million subscribers.

One final note, JayZ’s boy, Kanye West, might want to pay attention since he considering a move into music streaming. There are lessons to be learned here.

Breaking It Down.

Tidal is in trouble. JayZ has the right idea to pay artists more and offering them ownership in Tidal. But JayZ has to do two things. First he needs to get real and come clean about the subscriber situation and the money situation. Get that out there. Then he needs to take a step back and focus on building audience. He has the content and he and his wife can reach millions of people. Focus on bringing the upcoming generation to his Tidal service. Bring new artist up. I know he has the connections with the top artists in the industry. But can he find the next big star? The new names. JayZ needs to take hip-hop and pop music forward a step or two. Forget competing with Apple or Spotify. Forget whats happening now. Work on what going to happen next. Someone found JayZ on a street corner in New York. He needs to go back to that same corner and see who took his place. Focus on a smaller segment of the market. Become a more exclusive service for the new generations. Bring in new names and subscribers will come running. Tidal is small. Stay that way until you get big.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Barry Jenkins, Prince

Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins, director of the Academy Award winning film “Moonlight” has signed a deal with Amazon. Jenkins will write and direct a dramatic series based on the best selling book “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. The streaming television series will follow the life of a young escaped slave named Cora.

Jenkins was a relative unknown until he directed “Moonlight.” His work includes the film “Medicine for Melancholy.” He directed one episode of the Netflix series “Dead White People“, and one episode of Futurestates on PBS

If you follow the Oscars you will remember that “Moonlight” was at the center of an onstage debacle at the Oscars.  The award for Best Picture was mistakenly given to the film “La La Land“. The mistake was quickly corrected and the statuette was handed over on stage. Moonlight also won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor.

Jenkins’ Pastel Productions will executive produce the series in cooperation  with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Pitt and Plan B also produced “Moonlight.”

Jenkins praised the partnership with Amazon saying the streaming service’s “reference for storytelling and freeness of form” as being “wholly in line with our vision.”

Prince

Prince is reborn online. His Royal Purpleness had a rocky relationship with the Internet and his music was rarely found online. But since his tragic death Prince’s music has returned to online streaming.

Prince’s music hasn’t been on Spotify  or any music streaming service for years. Prince fans can still buy it on iTunes,  but its availability on Apple Music is very limited. 

Prince was always very protective of his work and felt the Internet cheated artists of their true value. He removed his music a from the major streaming services, with the exception of  JayZ’s Tidal. But with his death things are changing. The Purple One is back.

Prince’s albums and compilation albums from Warner Bros., 27 of them, have returned to to streaming sites. Albums now available include some his most popular including “For You”, “Prince”, “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy”, “1999″, “Purple Rain”, and others.

Prince, the man is no longer with us. But Prince the artist lives on and continues to produce music. CEO of Warner Bros. Records, Cameron Strang  said in a statement that the company is “deeply aware of our responsibility to safeguard and nurture his incredible legacy.” Warner Bros. is planning to release a re-mastered edition of Purple Rain. In addition the company is also working on two albums of Prince’s unreleased music,  and two live concert films scheduled for relaese early this summer.  Prince has an agreement with Warner Bros. to license his pre-1996 music releases. 

Prince’s music catalog, including unheard rare releases, landed on the streaming services after the Grammy’s. You can hear his mighty Purple legacy on streaming music services, including Apple Music, Amazon Unlimited, Deezer, Google Play, Pandora and Spotify.