Posts Tagged ‘netflix’

Television & Movie consumption July 2018

I have no idea how I missed Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, but they are both on Netflix, and you can take them offline, so in between all the flying I did this past month, I caught up on the entire two shows! They are both excellent shows, and I can’t wait for the next season of Better Call Saul! The TV shows are definitely binge worthy.

500 Days of Summer is surprisingly a good movie, starring both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It is a break up movie, maybe a bit of a dark comedy, but it is also a movie about self-realisation. It is not your typical love story or romantic comedy. It has a lot of dialogue, reminding me of the Richard Linklater series, Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset/Before Midnight. Like those shows, this was relatively cheap to produce but grossed wonders ($7.5 million budget, $60.7 million at the box office – 709% return!).

One memorable quote, since a lot of people talk about their dream partners. (paraphrased) Why look for the girl of your dreams, when it is better to have X, as she’s real? Gives one a lot to ponder about.

Midnight In Paris was also a good watch – one where the main character, Gil, finds himself throughout the show. Sometimes you miss things right in front of our eyes, don’t we? Memorable quote? Nostalgia is living in denial; denial of the painful present. (full quote on Wikipedia). Another movie with $17m budget, bringing in outsized returns at $151.1m – 789%!

These movies so far have been recommended by the Netflix algorithm, which so far is giving me way over 90% match rates, which suggest that the algorithm for July 2018, at least, is working! I suspect these movies do speak to me to some extent, and that’s what makes them successful in my eye.

Region restrictions in a globalised world

I think we can all agree that globalisation has won, and we live in a flat world.

However when it comes to consuming media, we still live in a world of regional restrictions. Rights are not issued globally, and rights owners see this as milking every last penny by ensuring that regional restrictions apply. This is not just true for the movie world, but also the music world, and generally the book world. Apparently the entertainment industry is one of the last holdouts in realising that we live in a truly globalised world.

Yesterday I read an interview in the FT with Kate Tempest, a writer/rapper whom I’ve not heard of. I immediately hopped onto iTunes, searched Apple Music and started playing her tunes from her album Let Them Eat Chaos – Kate Tempest. This was a success and I’d discovered a new artist.

A few months back I was in a bar (the recently shuttered La Conserverie) in Paris, speaking to a Japanese friend, and I was telling her that I did know some J-Pop; growing up it wasn’t too far fetched you would listen to some songs that made the mainstream English radio stations. One example was Utada Hikaru’s First Love. The French friend who was there said he’d love to hear it, so I fired up iTunes on my phone, and tried in vain to find the song, and realised its not in the catalogue (don’t worry, YouTube saved the day). This was a failure, and I didn’t get to reminisce properly.

Just last week, I fired up Netflix (now blocking all VPN traffic, an almost impossible thought two years ago, with VPN providers giving up the fight nowadays) and started streaming The Mirror Has Two Faces. I stopped around the half way mark and switched countries only to realise that now I’ll have to wait to be in the same geographical location again to continue watching the movie! I’d mark this as a failure because it hurts the user experience; it isn’t Netflix’s fault, it is the entertainment industry.

I still listen to an old song that I like, that resides on my drive and not in the cloud — Puff Daddy featuring Jimmy Page – Come With Me from the Godzilla soundtrack. It’s not on Apple Music, but it is available with Amazon Prime Music, that comes for free with an Amazon Prime subscription! I’d mark this as a failure since I’d expect my music collection to be available in one place, not scattered across various services.

We’re living in an increasingly globalised world. We have friends from all over the world. We’re travelling more frequently. This is all supposed to be a good thing – exposure to the world. Why hasn’t the entertainment industry caught up yet? Would they prefer everyone just focused on content piracy? Region restrictions do not work in a globalised world.

Netflix & streaming from overseas

New 37" LCDIt is disappointing reading that Netflix is cracking down on VPN and proxy “pirates”. This is how odd the movie industry has it when it comes to thinking about licensing — after all, people are subscribing to Netflix for $8.99 and then getting onto a VPN service like Unotelly from anywhere between $4.95-$7.95/mo.

Effectively due to the movie industry’s idiotic practices, foreign viewers are already willing to pay almost double in “taxes” to the VPN provider.

Where will these people turn to when Netflix stops streaming them movies? Torrents. Who loses when those offering to pay use torrents? The movie industry. 

Update: Why Netflix won’t block VPN users – it has too many of them. Apparently the numbers are in excess of 30 million subscribers.


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