A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Ruby Rose is out... as Batwoman.
ALSO: Porn disrupted by COVID-19. AND: 24/7 Bob Ross painting.
Batwoman star Ruby Rose has called it quits on her show after just one season. The role will be recast for the second season. Industry reports suggest that injuries sustained by Rose, possibly on the set of Batwoman, are not why she is quitting.
The Batwoman series is the third highest-rated show on The CW.
You may recall a story in ABW earlier this month about Spotify embracing video versions of podcasts. I think this is a huge deal due to its impact on talk-focused TV - in one sense it could seriously disrupt opinion news channels like MSNBC & Fox News, but in another way it also opens up a whole new category for talk-entertainment.
The HUGE news today is that the biggest talk podcast on the planet, The Joe Rogan Experience, will debut on Spotify from Sept 1, becoming exclusive to the platform soon after. The deal is said to be worth $100 million. Episodes of JRE are already available as video on YouTube. Clips will remain there, but full-length video will only be available on Spotify.
Announcement: the podcast is moving to @spotify! Starting on September 1 the podcast will be available on Spotify as well as all platforms, and then at the end of the year it will move exclusively to Spotify, including the video version. It will remain FREE, and it will be the exact same show. It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show. They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now. We will still have clips up on YouTube but full versions of the show will only be on Spotify after the end of the year. I’m excited to have the support of the largest audio platform in the world and I hope you folks are there when we make the switch!May 19, 2020
Apple TV+, which launched with a strategy that involved building up a catalogue of originals as a way to entice viewers to its TV app (where it could then sell subscriptions to other viewing services to be watched through the TV app), is pivoting in strategy.
Executives from Apple have been taking meetings on the quiet to purchase pre-existing shows and movies to add to its library.
The company’s video-programming executives have taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have bought some shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter.
My guess is that you won’t see Apple buying beloved TV shows on the level of, say, Grey’s Anatomy, The X-Files, or Lost. Rather, I’m assuming they’re likely looking for shows that are more like what is being referred to now as ‘gently used’ shows. Under-the-radar high budget shows. Considering Apple’s relationship with Sony Pictures Television, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see shows like Mr Mercedes, Mad About You (2020), and Deadly Class arrive on the service.
Speaking of Apple TV+, it has just purchased the Tom Hanks WWII movie Greyhound. The film is a maritime adventure starring Hanks as a Captain leading a convoy of 37 Allied ships being chased by German U-boats.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the release of the movie indefinitely, Sony had pushed the release of the movie from May 8, 2020, to June 12, 2020. In the wake of the pandemic, with theaters shuttered and having re-dated movie like Morbius and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the studio has off-loaded some theatrical titles to streaming, including the Sundance movie Charm City Kings and the Seth Rogen comedy American Pickle.
Good news for the fan of Motherland: Fort Salem and the Josh Thomas show Everything’s Gonna Be Okay - Freeform has renewed both for a second season. Source: TVLine
Media outlets (and ABW was no exception) have reported on the increased traffic to online porn sites like Pornhub during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, what is being less reported is the impact that the stupid virus is having on the industry as a whole.
The industry has flipped. The power has shifted from traditional adult entertainment site owners to the performers as the audience seek more intimate and personalised experiences that allow customers to actually engage with performers rather than serving as passive viewers.
Sites like OnlyFans have increased in popularity, which has benefited performers who keep 80% of revenue.
In the week after Americans started receiving their stimulus checks, Tayler said Cams.com saw a 22% uptick in traffic to their live streaming site cams.com and tips to models increased by 40%.
Since February 2020, IsMyGirl's web traffic has increased 500%, and since early April, a 40%-50% increase in model signups. About 250,000 new models have signed up since February.
The increase of sign-ups is likely largely coming from the impact the pandemic has had on people’s jobs. But it’s also worth considering that these sites can deliver performers more money than performing live in strip clubs. The barrier to entry is low (performers just need a good camera and sound… and probably a pretty good exercise regime) and it is far safer and comfortable for performers who can do this from the security of their homes.
In the US there has been a rise of streaming services that provide a linear cable TV-like experience with branded channels of cheap content. What’s fun about these platforms is that they can regularly do stunt pop-up channels. For example, Pluto TV, owned by ViacomCBS, has done pop-up channels screening nothing but Baywatch and Wipeout episodes.
Streaming service STIRR has this week announced a channel that will air nothing but episodes of the Bob Ross show The Joy of Painting. All 380 episodes streaming back to back.
The Bob Ross Channel will feature episodes of the painter’s beloved Emmy-winning series “The Joy of Painting.” Each episode — a half-hour painting tutorial of varying landscapes — aired on PBS stations from 1983 to 1994.
Services like this can gently chip away pay TV subscribers who are more interested in just having a few options of shows to watch in a linear form and aren’t so bothered by how premium quality the content is. But it dawns on me that stunt channels like this make it difficult for TV programmers of traditional TV services to schedule stunt shows that air once a day/week. A stunt featuring archive TV now requires VOLUME. 24 hours a day of it.