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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.
Spider-Man outrage! And an answer to how many is too many?
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett who is no longer part of the MCU
It’s not as if foreign language TV and movies are the most popular TV in Australia, but we’ve long had an appetite for it thanks to sources like TV broadcaster SBS. In the US, mainstream watching of TV shows from anywhere outside of the country has historically been pretty rare. That has been changing thanks to streamers like Netflix offering an increasingly large library of foreign shows.
It has opened the door to more. And as companies scale up and start becoming global networks, that blend of content is going to become even greater. It’s almost as if American cultural imperialism will be the driving force of TV globalism, but the end result might just be diminishing the dominance of US content in favour of a community of global voices. Tho, I’m pretty sure we’ll all still be watching Friends.
Foreign language TV used to be scattered on the fringesof American media, there for those who sought it out. International YouTube channels offered emigrant viewers a taste of their home cultures, while networks like PBS and Sundance TV delivered the occasional co-production, like Germany’s Cold War sleeper hit Deutschland 83, to suit arthouse tastes.
But in the age of streaming, subtitled series developed and shot all over the world are a click away on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, available in more American households than ever before. The idea of what feels foreign versus familiar has evolved as generations increasingly grow up online, and it’s playing out in how we consume media. As networks grow their operations around the world, they’re making series available to subscribers everywhere.
My entire Twitter feed seems to have been taken over by people crying that Spider-Man won’t be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore. What I find odd about it is that the best Spider-Man stuff has been made independently of Marvel in the last few years. Sony’s Academy Award-winning Into The Spider-Verse film. Sony’s outstanding Spider-Man PS4 game. And then there are all the upcoming Spider-Verse spin-off films and TV shows. It was also Sony that gave creative control to Miller & Lord for Spider-Verse, whereas Marvel’s parent company Disney fired them off the Star WarsSolo film.
I think I’d rather consider all of those pluses against the idea that in a movie Spidey could high-five the Incredible Hulk.
Caroline Siede at The Verge has a good opinion piece on how Spidey is better-off being able to play in his own sandbox.
Less time spent on Stark gadgets would mean more time for Jacob Batalon’s loyal Ned, Zendaya’s oddball MJ, and the rest of Peter’s enjoyable high school world. And with Peter’s MCU-based father figures off the table, that would also give future Spider-Man films a chance to make up for the most baffling decision Marvel ever made, which was to hire a phenomenally talented Oscar-winning actress to play the most important person in Peter’s life, and then put her on the back burner for two films. In a superhero cinematic landscape where inspirational maternal figures are still far too rare, Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May could be a welcome trailblazer in that regard, rather than just well-dressed window dressing.
A study has found that Netflix is likely to be watched less when there are more streaming companies. I’m shook by this.
Despite a wobbly second-quarter earnings report, which saw the company disclose its first dip in domestic subscribers in eight years, Netflix will see U.S. viewership rise 7.6% this year over 2018 levels, eMarketer said. Even so, the company’s share of U.S. OTT subscription users will fall to 87% this year from 90% in 2014, dipping further to 86.3% by 2023, as the marketplace becomes more diversified.
How many streaming services is too many? That’s the question asked by Australia’s ABC which includes a few quotes from some Dan Barrett guy from Always Be Watching:
"The assumption that most industry speculators are making is that customers will be happy to subscribe to approximately three general entertainment services, while also subscribing to any offering niche services," said Dan Barrett, of the online newsletter Always Be Watching.
"For example, sports fans might want to subscribe to Kayo, fans of DC Comics might subscribe to the comics and superhero video site DC Universe, and horror movie fans might want Shudder."
Australian streamer Stan has signed a deal for Paramount content. It will include a handful of TV shows and access to a healthy number of films from their library. It’s a good deal for Stan, but the content is more something that provides value to customers rather than driving new interest in the service.
You’ve watched The Loudest Voice TV show about Fox News head Roger Ailes. Now the feature film about Ailes is ready to launch. Expect to see Bombshell, starring Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie in December.
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