Saturday, November 19, 2016

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week 34

This week we see the onset of winter weather across much of the United States, which likely means...absolutely nothing in terms of these power rankings. Wait till it affects MY part of the United States, and then you might see these rankings every day!

1) Netflix: Some weeks, Netflix is just gonna win by default. The Crown continues to get good pub, and a new Colin Quinn special is generating some buzz, but really it was an unspectacular week for the #1 SVOD service.'s the #1 SVOD service.

2) Shout! Factory TV: I enjoyed a lot of Dick Cavett episodes, plus some other material that made for good research for another writing project. I should mention here that Shout! rarely has issues with buffering, titles being suddenly unavailable, etc.

3) YouTube: I have been enjoying some seasonal-themed old TV on here lately, and it's been one of those weeks where I hit a good streak of, "Hey, I wonder if that's on YouTube. It IS? Great!"

4) Warner Archive Instant: Shoots all the way up to #4 based on how much I am watching it during my free month. On the good side, buffering issues were much less prevalent this week, the service added dozens of movies this weekend, and there is some fantastic content. On the down side, there is still no "New" category to identify those new titles easily, and the buffering does rear its ugly head at certain times.

5) Pub-D-Hub: Just because two of the new programs I watched here were ghastly--a Pinky Lee show and a rejected pilot called Little Amy--doesn't mean I am going to take it out on the Pub.

6) Hulu: All of the Criterion Collection is gone. Gone, gone, gone. So much for the idea of a November surprise of exciting movies to replace that. Really it looks to me like Hulu is focusing its energy on its "skinny bundle" TV service. Still, Hulu did give us another Triumph special and Creed, so it's not all hopeless.

7) Amazon Prime: I don't really give a toss (is that how they say it over there) about a new Jeremy Clarkson series, but the company did give a $20 discount on Prime to celebrate it, so that's worth mentioning. I'm still waiting for the return of Man in the High Castle

8) Acorn TV: Its head gave an interesting interview to Decider, and then the same site ran a nice puff piece touting how much more successful it is this year (Hmm, funny how that works), but the fact is Acorn's numbers are up, and AMC Networks' parent company just bought a controlling interest. That sounds good for Acorn, not necessarily good for viewers who fled to services like Acorn because AMC changed channels like AMC and Sundance.

9) FloSports TV: This is a sports streaming service that recently launched a pro wrestling component and made headlines with a buzzy (partly for the wrong reasons) live event last weekend. The deal is you  get a monthly subscription for a specific sport for 20 bucks or pay 150 bucks for a year and get access to everything (other channels are devoted to niche sports like volleyball and track). It's an interesting concept worth watching.

10) Brown Sugar: I have no intention of signing up for this 3.99/month SVOD until it gains a Roku component (right now it's almost only on the web), but I have to note a service that says it is "like Netflix, only blacker." This channel from Bounce TV launches with over 100 vintage Blaxploitation movies and promises they are uncut and commercial free. This will be worth checking out when/if it expands to other devices.

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