BEAUCOUP LINK ROUNDUP: ALL THE METRICS AND JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE COLLAPSING. STARRING: NETFLIX, SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS, TRUE DETECTIVE, DIGITAL MEDIA, AND FRANKEN-DICKENS…

Afternoon Collapsers:

Two words: I’m BACK!

Your faithful morphologist apologizes for his extended absence, but during his time away from the keyboard, he wasn’t idle. He’s got a cornucopia of links documenting differing STAGES of the MUTATION (it’s looking pretty NECROTIC in certain places) for your reading pleasure. So let us not tarry…

FILM IS THE NEW TELEVISION, AND TELEVISION IS THE NEW FILM, AND NO ONE IS HAPPY WITH EITHER. OH…AND FRANKEN-DICKENS IS COMING…  

As I’ve previously documented via THE TRANSFORMERS WRITERS ROOM being set up at Paramount and THE CLASSIC MONSTER SERIES WRITERS ROOM set up at Universal, FILM is becoming the new TELEVISION, employing multiple writers working either in the same room, or in tandem, to churn out faster content in SERIES and SEQUEL FORM. But there’s another SCREENWRITING MUTATION, that is well documented in the article. In addition to pulling the WRITERS ROOM model over from TELEVISION, the individual SCREENWRITER is also now being held responsible for WORLD-BUILDING outside the FRANCHISE EPISODE they’ve been contracted for. JOHN AUGUST, the screenwriter interviewed for the piece likens his role in writing movies to being “…a TV SHOWRUNNER…”

Oh and on that TRANSFOMERS WRITERS ROOM: It finally GOT SOME LADIES

So as FILM succumbs more and more to the TV MODEL, VOX has a bone to pick with the ONLY SHOW ON TELEVISION that actually OPERATES WITH RELATIVE AUTONOMY: TRUE DETECTIVE: SEASON 2. VOX isn’t feeling SEASON 2 and their solution is to bring in A PROPER WRITER’S ROOM, because REBOOTING an ANTHOLOGY — in their informed opinion — is too much work for LONE WRITER NIC PIZZOLATTO. And this is my GRIPE WITH CRITICS — and I’ve got problems with TRUE DETECTIVE: SEASON 2 as well — but they moan and moan about the ever increasingly STANDARDIZED CONTENT rolling out of HOLLYWOOD, moan and moan about the lack of SINGULAR VOICES, and when they get one in TELEVISION, they want to SUBJECT IT TO THE TRADITIONAL TELEVISION MODEL because of a few hiccups along the way.

And VOX in another piece trashing TRUE DETECTIVE — seriously did PIZZOLATTO toss sugar in someone’s gas tank who works over there — complains that the PILOT EPISODE failed because it was a 58-MINUTE SLOW BURN, which would have worked on NETFLIX, because you could BINGE WATCH straight into EPISODE 2, but in the standard format you’re stuck waiting another week. So what VOX seems to want is all shows that aren’t A STRAIGHT BINGE to be nothing but WALL-TO-WALL “HAPPENING” with PACE and THEME thrown out the window. This pressure on the LINEAR TV STORYTELLING MODEL is probably why — in my own private theory — GAME OF THRONES keeps pissing everyone off (by killing everyone off). GOT is trying to deal with airing a WEEKLY SHOW in a BINGE CULTURE, which is becoming increasingly difficult, and which NIC PIZZOLATTO refuses to acknowledge — much to the chagrin of VOX — and GOOD ON HIM…

..And speaking of ANTHOLOGY TV, here’s a fantastic interview with master of the ANTHOLOGY FORM: RYAN MURPHY

So not only is BINGE WATCHING MUTATING NARRATIVE which I’ve discussed several times, it also MAKES YOU REALLY, REALLY DEPRESSED. Previously, I’ve focused on the consequences of BINGE on NARRATIVE and VIEWING PATTERNS, but if you’d like my take on why it depresses you: IT’S THE CONTINUED DESTRUCTION OF THE FUTURE. BINGE flattens out time and relegates you into a perpetual plugged-in present, which you already EXIST IN, and which STANDARD TV FORMAT was designed to combat — in between AD SALES OF COURSE.

And just when I thought the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA:CIVIL WAR had finally pioneered THE LOVE BOAT/HOLLYWOOD SQUARES FILM MODEL, by leaving NO ONE off the GUEST LIST…BBC had to go and SHOW UP MARVEL, and give us all FRANKEN-DICKENS. Yes, the BBC’S favorite PUBLIC DOMAIN AUTHOR outside of JANE AUSTEN, the BRONTE’S — and the occasional sprinkle of TROLLOPE — …the DICKENS HIMSELF is going to get his own DEDICATED WORLD-BUILDING EXPERIENCE wherein all his GREATEST CHARACTERS INTERACT in the same NARRATIVE SPACE…

THE BROKEN METRICS DEPARTMENT:

NIELSEN is looking to sell it’s FILM RESEARCH ARM. And they really should because apparently FILM OPENINGS are becoming impossible to track. PROJECTIONS were off by over $100 million when it came to the record-shattering JURASSIC WORLD OPENING WEEKEND. Additionally, tracking was off — IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION — by over $20 million with TED 2, and really went belly-up over JULY 4TH with TERMINATOR: GENYSIS and MAGIC MIKE XXL. Why?

It seems to me that they’re overly reliant on SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS to prognosticate POTENTIAL ATTENDANCE. TED 2 was punching up huge NUMBERS on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM. CHANNING TATUM was interacting nonstop with his FACEBOOK and TWITTER legion. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (The Terminator himself) even went so far as being the guest voice on WAZE APP, in addition to his usual full court MEDIA PRESS. Apparently, AWARENESS and SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTION don’t necessarily equal people rushing out to theatre…

And this could be why…

…Seems as if we can’t measure TRAFFIC to help ADVERTISERS personalize CONTENT either, because METRICS are counting up to a 40% potential BOT PRESENCE. So good luck using THOSE METRICS to figure out AUDIENCE ATTENDANCE. Frankly, I’m almost amazed they’re NOT MORE OFF…

THE WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO SECTION…

So just this MONTH ALONE, NETFLIX lost more than 300 MOVIES AND TELEVISION SHOWS, and even before the JULY MASSACRE, the site has been undergoing a pretty steady BLOODLETTING of all it’s LICENSED CONTENT. Seriously, have you tried to find a GOOD MOVIE on NETFLIX recently? But this is why NETFLIX moved into ORIGINAL CONTENT — increased competition and dollars for LICENSING FEES.

NETFLIX has been selling the world a bit of a lie — although CARL ICHAN decided to call bullshit on it — it didn’t create HOUSE OF CARDS and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK to DESTROY THE LINEAR TV MODEL, it created them because it LOST ITS DEAL WITH THE STARZ CABLE NETWORK’S CATALOG. But the destroying the LINEAR TV MODEL is sure a better story right?

So here’s my question: If NETFLIX is offering LESS and LESS OUTSIDE CONTENT TO STREAM, and relying increasingly on IN-HOUSE CONTENT, how is it NOT JUST A DIGITAL TELEVISION CHANNEL?

I’ve written previously about CONTENT AS THE NEW MONEY, as the BIG STICK you can swing to maximize control and dictate terms (this is less of a truism in TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING, until you sell the PROPERTY TO THE MOVIES OR TELEVISION). But the CONTENT AS THE NEW MONEY model has started to turn ABSTRACT, like MONEY ITSELF — that’s a side issue, but I think MONEY has literally become CONSCIOUS of itself — because A SHOW DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO AIR YET TO GET RENEWED for a SECOND SEASON. The RENEWAL ITSELF is part of selling it to the public as a PRODUCT the NETWORK BELIEVES IN. However, and this is what needs to be noted, this only happens when the NETWORK OWNS THE SHOW OUTRIGHT.

Apparently, every DIGITAL MEDIA NEWS NETWORK needs VIDEO, even those valued at BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Just this week: HUFFPO and BUZZFEED announced they were going into the TV and VIDEO MARKET. And it likely has to do with this: HUFFPO earned $146 million last year and barely BROKE EVEN.

And what does this tell us COLLAPSERS?

That the FREEMIUM MODEL is unsustainable without AD SALES. However, VIDEO is the king of AD SALES. And if you’re going to stay FREEMIUM, you need to CRANK OUT MORE AND MORE VIDEO in a NEVER-ENDING CYCLE…

…However, and I hate to play JACQUES THE FATALIST, but if FACEBOOK or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM decided to radically retool their ALGORITHMS ONE DAY, they could WIPE OUT HUFFPO and BUZZFEED with the flick of A ZERO, no matter how much VIDEO they decide to PUSH OUT…

…And they may not be going FULL-ON into VIDEO YET (they will though) but UPWORTHY, the LIBERAL FEEL-GOOD AGGREGATOR has decided to dump THE LIBERAL NEWS AGGREGATOR PART, and move into ORIGINAL CONTENT AND STORYTELLING. Why? Because BEING AN AGGREGATOR PLATFORM works for about a MONTH, the MONTH in which you debut, after that — NOPE.

And note the words: ORIGINAL CONTENT. Why?

Because SITE-SPECIFIC CONTENT YOU OWN AND CREATE IS THE NEW MONEY — just like with NETFLIX and ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING — you are only worth as much AS YOU PRODUCE ORGANICALLY, the rest can be taken away with licensing agreements and algorithm alterations…

…I know many say that CONTENT isn’t IMPORTANT ANYMORE, and on certain levels they are CORRECT — QUALITY CONTENT isn’t ESSENTIAL — however, CONTENT THAT YOU OWN AND DON’T GIVE AWAY ON THE FREEMIUM MODEL IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL. This CONTENT must be original, fully-owned, and organic to your SITE. It can’t be AGGREGATED and RECOMBINED on your PLATFORM (where would BUZZFEED be without Reddit really?).

Until next time COLLAPSERS…

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