Thursday Links: Netflix, Indie, Hulu Notes

Chuck Tryon's picture

Yes, I should be working on my syllabi.  But a few recent news stories keep distracting me (and I’m not even ready to start thinking about that Apple tablet thingie):

  • A number of people have reported the story that Netflix and Warner have made a deal that would significantly expand Netflix’s ability to offer streaming versions of Warner films in exchange for delaying rental of Warner titles until 28 days after they go on sale.  This gives Warner a short retail window that might allow them to boost DVD sales while providing Netflix with access to more streaming content.  As NewTeeVee points out, it’s much cheaper for Netflix to stream videos rather than distributing them on DVD by mail.
  • Wired Magazine has an interesting article about The Asylum, a low-budget studio “specializing in shamelessly derivative knockoffs that are not-so-affectionately dubbed ‘mockbusters.’”  I’ve seen a couple of their titles, I think, at my local Blockbuster (including Snakes on a Train), but although the studio made approximately $5 million last year, they typically are ignored when we talk about “independent filmmaking,” one presumes because their films are perceived as schlocky or derivative.  But, as the Wired article astutley points out, there is a long history of this sort of practice, and given the glut of indies out there playing one or two festivals, we might benefit from thinking about studios like The Asylum, and how they fit into narratives of independent cinema, because they do make films that get relatively wide video distribution.
  • The most recent comScore analysis shows that viewers watched 31 billion online videos in November alone.  Google sites (i.e., including YouTube) accounted for nearly 40% of the total.  The nearest compeitior, Hulu, clocked in at 3%.
  • NewTeeVee also has some interesting, if somewhat odd, notes on Hulu’s audience, as compared to attendance at a number of blockbuster films.  I’m not sure what we learn from seeing that 42 million people saw a video on Hulu in October while nearly 20 million attended New Moon on its opening weekend, but the comparisons are worth a look.

Chuck

Publication date (from feed): 

Thu, 07 Jan 2010 19:48:07 +0000