The Internet as Bargain Bin

In his essay "The Death of the Bargain Bin" in this weekend's New York Times Magazine, Kevin Lincoln writes about the pre-Netflix days when he'd go to a store like F.Y.E. or Tower Records and find bundles of DVDs in the bargain section—40 of them for $15—and learn about films like Robot Monster, a 1953 science fiction film about a robot alien who sets out to kill the last remaining humans on Earth in a dystopian future only to fall in love with a scientist's daughter.
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How Amazon Chooses to Fund a Streaming TV Series

The Way Shows Are Made Now.
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The Sharing Economy of Streaming Services

This weekend, Jenna Wortham looked at the relatively recent phenomenon among young people (but all people, really) of sharing accounts to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go.
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HBO GO Won’t Go the Netflix Way

You can't always judge a show by its pilot, and I went searching on iTunes and Amazon to download episodes of the show. They weren't available. How was everyone watching it?
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Follow the Money: Netflix and Its $100 Million ‘House of Cards’

The Netflix original series “House of Cards,” which is basically about what might happen if Richard III and Lady Macbeth were married and decided to take over Washington, DC, has been extremely successful. It cleaned up at the Golden Globes, where it dominated the competition, and, along with its sister show “Orange is the New Black,” which is arguably even more incisive and engrossing, has made Netflix the new HBO. But has it made any money?

The show’s two seasons cost $100 million to produce, which is technically if not legally insane, according to industry analysts. Can Netflix recoup that investment?

The Way We Stream Now

And if said movie isn't on any of the streaming services, I go through the motions of either deciding on another movie to watch or paying for a streaming rental. Via David Rothschild, this site is also very helpful.

The Netflix Money Suck

I confessed to Karen that I had received a Netflix DVD rental of The Artist in June, and that it was still sitting in my apartment somewhere.

Netflix Hopes New Shows Will Woo Us Back

With the company still reeling, Sarandos’s original programming initiative is vital—a way for Netflix to both control costs and create exclusives that none of its competitors will ever be able to carry, drawing subscribers onto its rolls, and off of theirs. That’s why its shows need to be not just passable, but critically acclaimed.

“People keep saying, ‘Oh, you’re going to become like HBO?’?” Sarandos said over lunch in Las Vegas in April, before an event at which he unveiled the first footage from House of Cards. “I say, ‘No, no, no. HBO is going to become like Netflix.’ We just have to get really great at original before they get really great at all the stuff that we do.”

Remember when we all loved Netflix, and then our beloved company decided to call its DVD-by-mail service “Qwikster” and charge us more, and we laughed and said no, and then canceled all of our subscriptions? (I put my subscription on hold for a few months because I’m not currently using it.) Netflix hopes its new original programs will woo all of us back. Who is looking forward to Netflix’s “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey and produced by David Fincher? Well, we’re looking forward to new episodes of “Arrested Development,” right?

Photo: Flickr/Ozcast

House of Cards Against Humanity

Happy New Episodes of House of Cards Day! Okay I do not watch that show but I do love the guys behind Cards Against Humanity, and they apparently partnered (strategically) with Netflix to make a special House of Cards-themed CAH pack (sold out, but downloadable here).
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The Sharing Economy of Streaming Services (Part II)

Jenna Wortham's column this weekend about sharing passwords for streaming services caused a tiny uproar, which the Times public editor addresses this morning.

Remember When Qwikster Was Going to Be a Thing?

It's a great case study of how not to run a company, but also what you have to do when everyone hates you.