Friday, February 10, 2017

Hey, why are these channels never in the Streaming Video Power Rankings?

After 45 weeks, you have probably seen some trends emerge in the weekly SVOD top 10--Netflix is almost always number 1, for example--and some prominent channels are often absent while a relative obscurity like Pub-D-Hub is a staple of the list. It seems like a good time to remind everyone, including some of our newer readers, why some of these high-profile streaming video on demand outlets rarely place:

CBS All-Access: I don't watch CBS shows on CBS, so why would I pay 6 bucks a month to see them here? I suppose it's a nice concept, to be able to watch CBS shows whenever you want (assuming you don't have access to an on demand library through a cable provider), but to charge for this stuff, they need a lot more. I just don't get the pitch. Hey, watch our shows plus SOME of our classic content! There are some old series that are intact, but otherwise it's like, here's a season of 90210. Here's half of The Brady Bunch.  Here's more than half of the original Odd Couple. Here's just over half of I Love Lucy. Uh, no thanks. Hulu offers most of the classic content and shows from ABC, FOX, and NBC among many others, for only a few extra bucks a month. This service is way overpriced. Even the free trial is skimpy: One measly week.

NFL Now: I am not even sure if the NFL has a Roku channel right now. It keeps disappearing. When it is around, it offers clips and ads to buy a fuller package. I've hoped for years it would open up the vaults and offer full access to the NFL Films library and original game broadcasts, but for now the league is content to run this as a propaganda outlet and to spend its time removing cool old videos from YouTube even though it has no intention of offering similar content to anyone.

Crackle: The news that Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was moving to Netflix was only the latest sign that Sony appears to be giving up.  This free service is often not worth even "free" because it is so difficult to navigate. There was a time when it looked like Crackle was serious about adding interesting content each month, but it's been going through the motions for months now.

Filmstruck: It seems to have squandered a lot of the goodwill it generated with its announcement by botching the launch. Now I don't hear anything about this pricy niche service, it still hasn't offered Roku support, and when I tried to check out its library last week, the site failed on two different web browsers.

Brown Sugar: "Like Netflix, only blacker." Even though a lot of its presumed content is available elsewhere or has been around the SVOD block, I'd love to take advantage of the free trial and sample this Blaxploitation streaming service, but so far it's  pretty much PC only.

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