Every Friday the Always Be Watching newsletter sends out a bonus listing of all the new TV shows and movies that have debuted through the week. It's a reference guide for you over the weekend as you seek out a few of the more interesting things that may have escaped your attention during the week.
That will still be coming out this afternoon, but as today is a bit quiet on the big news front, I want to take the opportunity here to highlight a really extraordinary film streaming now on Netflix: The Summit of The Gods.
It's an animated film (which I know may immediately turn some of you off it, but please reconsider) about a photo journalist investigating the life of a man who has committed his entire life to the pursuit of climbing Mt Everest. For reasons that become clear in a harrowing event seen in the first act of the film, he is seeking to climb Everest alone. The lives of the two men eventually collide as the photo journalist follows the climber on a fateful trip up the mountain.
The Summit of The Gods is an incredible piece of work. Yes, it follows some very worn ideas about man fighting against the elements of the great outdoors as he seeks personal redemption, but it does it with some great eye-popping animation that will completely envelop you into the world of the film. It's an incredible work.
We have all spent the past two years in various levels of isolation. Trapped indoors for the most part, separated from other people. This is a story about man challenging nature, but doing it alone seeking a personal redemption. An escape from the confines of his personal world.
The Summit of The Gods is the spiritual tonic we all need at the end of what has been a really tough few years.
- RIP Laverne & Shirley actor Eddie Mekka. Read: [Variety](RIP Laverne & Shirley actor Eddie Mekka. Read: Variety)
- Golden-Con is the first Golden Girls fan convention. It will be held in April 2022. Read: Mental Floss
- Cobie Smulders returns to the MSC as Maria Hill in the upcoming show Secret Invasion. Read: Deadline
- Japan's TBS is setting itself up for the future by leaning into production, constructing a new studio that it plans to use to produce content to feed international platforms. Read: C21
SVOD competition set to get the world churning
Deloitte's 2022 TMT Predictions report has found that as the SVOD market matures globally, it will see a global churn rate of approx 30%. And that makes sense - the more competition in the streaming space, the more customers will seek the best bang for their buck in terms of entertainment options.
The US leads churn rates with 35%.
With competition intensifying, subscriber acquisition costs for SVODs will rise, Deloitte explains, with some spending up to $200 to acquire each new customer. SVOD churn rates have been highest in the mature U.S. market, where some consumers have “become overwhelmed by managing and paying for all those subscriptions, and they have become more sensitive to their cost. These conditions can drive customers to cancel subscriptions and/or seek less expensive ad-supported offerings, both to manage costs and as a way to pay only for the content they want by adding and canceling services as needed.” The U.S. churn rate stands at about 35 percent, and providers are looking at pricing as a key way to keep cancelation rates down.
More Disney+ library additions down under
Yesterday Always Be Watching reported on Disney buying back key titles for the Disney+ streamer in Australia. A few more notable titles were added yesterday. Now exclusive on Disney+ are shows including: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (joining companion show Angel on platform), The Golden Girls, Revenge, Sons of Anarchy, Revenge, and Family Guy (seasons 1-17). I believe all of these titles had been on competitor Stan. Again, a further sign of Disney beefing up its content library at the expense of third party deals.
For those interested in the recent Matt Damon/Adam Driver film The Last Duel, that gets a Disney+ release next week. In years gone by that first window would have been held by Foxtel.
The Jack Reacher series Reacher debuts on Amazon Prime Video Feb 4.
Station Eleven debuts Dec 16 on HBO Max.
Death To 2021 debuts on Netflix Dec 21.
Anxious People debuts Dec 29 on Netflix.
Smash hit UK submarine murder-mystery Vigil debuts in the US on Peacock Dec 23. I didn't care for it much, but I'm certainly in the minority.
The Club Part 2 debuts on Netflix Jan 6.
The second part of season 1 of Shaman King debuts on Netflix Dec 9.
Celebrity Bake Off Spain debuts Dec 16 on Amazon Prime Video.
Seal Team debuts Dec 31 on Netflix
What's next? Tomorrow.