Available for both paid and free Spotify users is the new Netflix hub that offers access to Netflix-related soundtracks, playlists, podcasts, and exclusive content. It is available to Spotify users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, and India.
Netflix is an interesting beast in that its biggest promotional tool for content is its own platform. Outside of LA where Netflix billboards dominate, off-platform advertising is rare for Netflix. But when it comes to content marketing, Netflix has been more diverse with exclusive content launching on YouTube channels and now there's this material made available on Spotify. It is odd that the Netflix app doesn't support the streaming of promotional podcasts and other supplemental material. Surely it boosts time on platform and works to amplify the work done by the Netflix algorithm.
- Steve Burton has been fired from General Hospital over refusal to comply with a vaccine mandate. Read: Variety
- Anthony Anderson is returning to Law & Order, reprising his role in the new Law & Order series alongside Jeffrey Donovan. Hugh Dancy is also joining the cast. Read: THR
- It may surprise you to hear that Alec Baldwin can be difficult to work with on set. A new book claims he once threatened to hit a 30 Rock director. Read: New York Post
- Trans activist staffer Terra Field has resigned from Netflix. Read: Twitter
- Far-west QLD regional newspaper The Betoota Advocate has teamed up with Warner Bros to produce a TV show. Read: The Guardian
- Looney Tunes Presents: Bugs & Daffy’s Thanksgiving Road Trip is a new scripted podcast from Warner Bros Animation. Read: Variety
The Dan Barrett 1998 Streaming Value Index
The Always Be Watching newsletter is published out of Australia (the home office is currently in Sydney) where we are set for some streaming price increases.
Netflix is increasing the price of its two higher tier services with the mid-tier package rising from $15.99 to $16.99 a month, while the premium plan will jump $3 from $19.99 to $22.99. The premium plan gets viewers 4 simultaneous views instead of 2 and also delivers 4K video.
This naturally begs the question of how much money is too much for a Netflix subscription? Yes, the volume of new content these days seems equitable with the volume of shows delivered by way of a cable TV package, but 23 bucks a month also seems a lot for a single service.
Also, December 24? Jeez, merry Christmas, Netflix.
But Netflix isn't the only service with a price rise on the horizon. Disney+ is also seeing an increase in Australia. This is likely related to the inclusion of the additional Star library being bundled into the service.
My annual subscription is jumping from $89.99 to $119.99 per month. Disney is often spoken of as setting its prices below competitors and despite the increase here, that remains true. My $16.99 2022 Netflix cost will be $203.88 for the year. So Disney still seems like a good enough deal at that price. I guess.
Anytime the price of these services are discussed, there are a number of people who will ask how many streaming services a person is expected to have. My answer to that is: whatever works for you.
When I consider my own expenditure, I consider The Dan Barrett 1998 Streaming Value Index.
In 1998, just slightly pre-DVD, my entertainment budget would generally include a weekly trip to the video store. It was common that I would get a few overnight video rentals and maybe indulge in a 10 weekly rentals for $10 deal. All up, I was spending most weekends about $20 at the local Blockbuster. Over a month, that is getting to be about $60-80 a month on video rentals.
(Yes, as a teenager, I clearly had a very active social life.)
When working out how much is too much when streaming spending now in 2021, I'm using that as a benchmark. And, frankly, bundling in Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Paramount+, and a couple of niche services, I'm still coming out ahead of what I was spending 20+ years ago. Plus the volume of content is obviously considerably greater.
Regardless, that doesn't make me happy about these price increases.
Hulu Black Friday deal
The annual Black Friday deal with Hulu is back and a bit cheaper than last year. Sign up this week and get it for US$0.99 per month. Prices revert back to normal after one year. Last year the Hulu deal went up to $1.99 per month.
Reviews are in for Hawkeye
Later today Disney+ releases the latest Marvel series Hawkeye. The reviews embargo broke a few hours ago. Critics are either very happy with the show or find it to be a little tired and playing to the Marvel formula. I suspect your enjoyment will vary depending on where your Marvel bias lies.
Rosie Knight at Polygon:
How much you’re willing to lose yourself in that fun tone, will likely define how much you enjoy it. Early on we get to see that much talked about musical number from Rogers the Musical. It’s cheeky, meta, a certified musical banger, and laughs at the Avengers as well as poking fun at Clint himself. It’s the polar opposite to the dark Ronin era of the hero from the MCU. But it’s incredibly in line with the whimsical tone of the comics that inspired the show.
Brian Lowry at CNN is less positive:
While not employed thus far, the "Hawkeye" trailer does reveal that there will be trick arrows before it's over. Yet unless that arsenal significantly improves the show's payload, the guy who once said he couldn't miss might rather ironically be associated with a Marvel series that conspicuously does.
Caroline Framke at Variety:
As Kate and Clint get deeper into trouble in the first two episodes (premiering simultaneously Nov. 24 on Disney Plus), the show fails to capitalize on the fact that they’re both expert archers in any of its initial fight scenes. Instead, we get the same bland mishmash of rock ‘em, sock ‘em punching that most any other superhero show could’ve included.
Bel-Air debuts on Peacock in 2022.
Euphoria returns Jan 9 on HBO Max.
Nitram is streaming now on Stan in Australia.
Fast and Furious Spy Racers season 6 debuts Dec 17 on Netflix.
The Responder is coming soon to the BBC.
Puff: Wonders of The Reef debuts on Netflix Dec 16.
Ray Donovan: The Movie debuts Jan 14 on Showtime.
What's next? Tomorrow.