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Why No-one Will Lose The ‘Streaming Wars’- Except Us

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The so-called streaming wars are heating up and, while at this point it’s probably like beating a dead horse, I thought I’d give my take on it. Netflix undoubtedly won Round One, in fact they decimated the competition. And Netflix’s success was so enviable that every media outlet wanted the same. And so, comes Round Two. Netflix dominated what little competition it had in Round One, but now it’s a much busier playing field. Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Hulu, Peacock, and many more are vying for the top spot- or are they?

I don’t think there will be any one winner of the streaming wars. Everyone will be a winner. The current ‘King’ of streaming, Netflix, made an estimated $25 billion in 2020, Disney Plus generated an estimated $4.5 billion, HBO Max made an estimated $3.8 billion. If that’s losing, I’d happily be called a loser. Which brings me to my point; all these corporations are winning, eventually they’ll be making tens of billions a year. That doesn’t mean they’ll all be the same though…

I believe there will be a ‘Big 5’. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max (provided it launches worldwide), and Apple TV+. These five services will thrive, they will dominate the market, generate the most income, have the most influence, create the most content. Why? Netflix is the grandfather of streaming, it has had its foot in the proverbial door far too long to be ousted, and it has one invaluable advantage over all the others: experience. Netflix has been at this far longer than all the others, it is the blueprint for modern streaming, it paved the way, Disney Plus, HBO Max, all owe their success and even their existence, to Netflix. It isn’t going anywhere. Netflix’s experience also gives them knowledge about their audience. Netflix knows its audience well, it knows what we like, what is successful and what isn’t. Younger streaming services are just testing the water; yes, Disney has been going for over 90 years but 2021 is only its second year in streaming, and so it’s still figuring out what works and what doesn’t with regards to everything from their content to their user interface. Meanwhile Disney Plus and HBO Max will be part of this ‘Big 5’ because they are owned by Disney and Warner Bros respectively; two of the biggest studios in movie history, together they own some of the most famous intellectual property (IP) in history. Something we’ve already seen them both flex this year; Disney with their Star Wars TV shows, Marvel TV shows, and HBO Max having new DC films, gaining vast subscribers very quickly. Those two are also here to stay. 

Still from Disney Plus’ WandaVision

The reason I also think Amazon Prime and, perhaps controversially, Apple TV+ will be part of the Big 5 is because they aren’t streamers, or movie studios. They are two of the biggest companies in the world. Apple TV+ is backed by a multi TRILLION-dollar company, Amazon Prime is owned by the richest man in the world, they have an almost infinite supply of cash to pour into their streaming services until they are hugely popular and successful, it doesn’t matter if they lose money. Netflix is valued at about $250 billion, which is a drop in the water compared to Amazon’s $1.7 trillion and an ever-smaller drop compared to Apple’s $2.08 trillion worth. Amazon Prime already has the second largest amount of subscribers behind only Netflix, and have also recently acquired MGM, one of the oldest movie studios in Hollywood, giving them a vault of legendary IP like Disney and Warner Bros. Apple TV+ is trailing behind with only (roughly) 65 million subscribers, but as I’ve said, Apple TV+ is backed by the single largest company in the world, its current ‘failings’ mean nothing, Apple will keep throwing money at it until it becomes successful. And many of Apple TV+’s subscribers are using the free trial provided when you buy a new Apple product, and if one year for free is an incentive to buy a $1,000 iPhone, or a $2,000 MacBook, Apple don’t really care. If people upgrade their iPhone with every new release and pay $1,000, that’s far more than a year’s subscription to Apple TV+ costs and as they upgrade yearly, people are getting a subscription to Apple TV+ at no extra cost in perpetuity so Apple simply are too big to care about streaming profits that much, but they’ll keep pouring money into it regardless so it will grow. Apple is also a baby streaming service, launching the same year as Disney+ but without the huge catalogue of pre-existing content Disney had, over the years they will grow and have more content, they can afford to swoop in and pay $250m at the drop of a hat to acquire Martin Scorsese’s next film: Killers of the Flower Moon, they have won Emmys, they have deals with some of the world’s biggest stars, and they will continue to do so. 

A still from Apple’s (Martin Scorsese’s) Killers of the Flower Moon

What about all the others, then? What happens to Peacock, or Hulu, or Paramount+? I think all of these will comfortably survive. They won’t come close to threatening Netflix, or Disney Plus, but they also won’t come close to going bankrupt. They will exist very comfortably and be successful, just not so successful to threaten the ‘big 5’. So, my predictions for the streaming wars are that everyone wins, and no-one loses. Well, not no-one but no streaming service…

Call me cynical but the only loser in all of this is us. The consumer. Traditional television died because to watch everything you wanted to, you had to pay for lots of different channels, then streaming, specifically Netflix came along and provided an alternative; stream whatever you want, whenever you want, no ads, at a tenth of the cost, if that. And Netflix boomed, which led to the birth of every movie studio, every TV channel having their own streaming service and so… we’ve done a loop. We went from having to buy lots of different channels to watch everything we wanted, to paying for one or two streaming services, back to having to buy lots of different streaming services (channels) to watch everything we want. Streaming also had the advantage of no ads, but HBO Max recently introduced a cheaper version with ads.

 Perhaps other services will follow suit and we will be back to spending more money on our TV and we’ll have to watch ads (if you can’t or don’t want to pay for the ad-free version). Still though, they can’t take away the benefit of being able to pick what to watch and when to watch it, so that’s good. Also, the actual content we’re getting is incredible and volume we’re getting it in is tremendous compared to the pre-Netflix era. However, to subscribe to every major streaming service isn’t that much cheaper than traditional TV anymore and the cost will continue to go up; Netflix Premium had a 17% price increase in the US between 2013 and 2017, and another 14% increase between 2017 and 2019 (their price increases aren’t limited to the premium service) and that increase isn’t limited to Netflix and it won’t stop. Streaming was successful, streaming changed the way we consume media, because it was better and cheaper than traditional TV, now it’s just better. 

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PREY Review | A Brutal, Primeval Emotional Survival Epic

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PREY is one of the best entries in the Predator franchise. Director Dan Trachtenberg has crafted a brutal, primaeval & emotional survival epic powered by Comanche tradition which features a fierce performance from Amber Midthunder who kicks Ass as the animalistic Predator becomes her PREY!

Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, “Prey” is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to prove herself a worthy hunter. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien Predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Prey” stars Amber Midthunder, newcomer Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush, Julian Black Antelope, and Dane DiLiegro as the Predator. The film is directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison with a story by Patrick Aison & Dan Trachtenberg based on characters created by Jim Thomas & John Thomas. It is produced by John Davis, Jhane Myers, and Marty Ewing, with Lawrence Gordon, Ben Rosenblatt, James E. Thomas, John C. Thomas, and Marc Toberoff serving as executive producers.

The Predator franchise which is now a collection on Disney+ began with the 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and was directed by John McTiernan. It told the story of an elite set of mercenaries who form a team and head to the jungles of South America on a recovery mission. However, they find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior with an arsenal of high-tech weapons.

In “PREY” we witness the first time this creature comes to earth as the alien Predator lands his spacecraft in the Northern Great Plains in 1719, it’s looking to hunt for sport. The land however is inhabited by men, women, and children of the Comanche tribe, many of them skilled at hunting and are warriors themselves. What I thoroughly loved about “PREY” is that it shows how committed director Dan Trachtenberg and his crew were in creating a film that provides an accurate portrayal of the Comanche world at the height of their empire. This truly brings a level of authenticity and showcases the true experiences and the lives of its indigenous people. This phenomenal cast is comprised almost entirely of Native and First Nation talent.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Amber Midthunder brings a fierce and powerful performance to the role of Naru, a highly skilled Comanche warrior raised in the shadow of the legendary hunters who roamed the Great Plains. When danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her band and faces the supreme test when the prey she stalks and ultimately confronts turns out to be an alien Predator. Smart, confident, and resourceful, she is familiar with every inch of the surrounding landscape and its natural predators. Naru means “fight” in Comanche, which is more than appropriate for this character. She has strong ideas and opinions about things, her future, and her life. Her wants are quite different from what other people would assign to her or imagine for her, Midthunder truly leads with power.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Taabe, a young Comanche warrior played by newcomer Dakota Beavers truly shines in his debut. The leader of the band of Comanches, War Chief Kehetu is played by Julian Black Antelope. Aruka, Naru’s mother is played by Michelle Thrush. Aruka along with the rest of the older Comanche generation, wants her daughter to follow a more traditional path.

This primal David vs Goliath story also features the animalistic Predator, brought to life ferociously by Dane DiLiegro. This creature is a highly advanced alien seeking the strongest opponent. The Iconic Predator is the ultimate adversary, and one of the fiercest hunters in the universe, especially with its high-tech weaponry, cloaking, and heat-seeking abilities. This iteration of the character is more creature-like as it takes 300 years prior to the original.

“PREY is full of different kinds of Predators. The Comanches, hunt and fight for survival. Everything that they hunt is used and nothing is wasted for example they use every part of the buffalo and are also thankful for the spirit of that animal that’s able to nourish them, clothe them and ultimately is used for everything that they needed in life. Their fighting style is powerful and the costuming is traditional with authentic colours which ensures historical accuracy. They also have to be comfortable for the actors who do a good deal of horseback riding.

.© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Principle photography on “PREY” began in June 2021 at the Stone Nakoda Nation near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The entire production was filmed outdoors, with all the phenomenal exterior shots utilising the magnificent terrain of the Calgary landscape. The cinematography and the use of natural light were outstanding. Cinematographer Jeff Cutter has truly captured the epicness of dawn and dusk and embraces and respects nature. The earthy colours of the Comanche are black, red, and white and this colour pallet is well utilised through their face paintings. The score by Sarah Schachner is suspenseful and thrilling.

VERDICT

Overall It’s been 35 years since “Predator” first captivated audiences, and now fans have a chance to see the Predator in action once again. However, this particular “Predator” film truly revitalises the franchise with a deeply personal story and a thrilling hunt for survival.

Prey will be available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ Internationally on Friday, Aug. 5.

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Nailing It — First Official Clip From Marvel Studios’ She Hulk | Disney +

Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

August 17, 2022

Director:

Jessica Gao

Cast:

Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Charlie Cox

Plot Summary:

Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered Hulk.

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SDCC 2022: New Trailer for ‘I Am Groot’ Shows His Adorable Misadventures

Arriving August 10, exclusively on Disney+!

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San Diego Comic-Con 2022 has officially started and kicked off with Friday’s Marvel Studios Animation Panel in Ballroom 20, moderator Paul F. Tompkins introduced panellists Brad Winderbaum, Marvel Studios’ head of streaming television and animation; Ryan Meinerding, head of visual development; and Kirsten Lepore, writer, director and executive producer of I Am Groot. 

Wondering what that little seedling has been up to lately? Find the latest trailer for the upcoming series, and a brand new poster featuring Groot in all his glory below! 

There’s no guarding the galaxy from this mischievous toddler! So get ready as Baby Groot takes center stage in his very own collection of shorts, exploring his glory days growing up — and getting into trouble — among the stars. I Am Groot, five original shorts featuring several new and unusual characters, stars everyone’s favorite little tree, Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, who voices Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

A surprise screening of one of the shorts, “Groot Takes a Bath,” delighted everyone, and applause greeted the announcement of a second collection of shorts.

“I Am Groot” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 10, with all five shorts available for viewing.

I Am Groot, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 MARVEL.

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