Is it about catalog or originals?

Verizon gave me a free year of Disney+ since I’m an Unlimited customer. I’m always wary of these deals, since you end up being charged and not realizing it, and oftentimes it’s hell to cancel. But I wanted to see what was going on.

Not much.

We used to get a thrill from hardware, now we get a thrill from software.

I went through the prompts. From the text to the Verizon site to Disney’s.

Then I turned on the TV and pulled up the Roku. Entered my e-mail address and password and I was inside. It was kinda like buying an iPod or iPad, but virtual. The aughts were about hardware, the teens have been about software, even though oldsters just can’t understand how you pay for something you don’t own.

But ownership is passe. Especially if you’re old. You realize you can’t take it with you, and in truth no one is counting. You can gather all the totems, believe you’ve won the game, and then find out you’re the only one playing it. Especially today, when everybody is in their own silo.

On paper, Disney+ sounds interesting. IRL? Not so good. You see you’ve seen everything, at least all you want to see. And the new product… I mean come on, “Star Wars”?

And then I went back to AppleTV+. You’ve got to hand it to both Disney and Apple, their interfaces are slick, but when you dig down deep their new offerings are thin. As for Apple…it seems they want you to buy things. Who came up with this model? Build your library? Weren’t we supposed to get rid of our libraries? With digital books, Felice wonders why we should keep the hard copies. And the truth is, I never reread a book, I put them on the shelf to demonstrate an accomplishment, what I’ve read. But the truth is the only people impressed by physical libraries today are the ones out of the mainstream. With everything at your fingertips, it makes no sense to own. Furthermore, digital is easier to search!

But if you went to an east coast college, it’s hard to let go of this old paradigm. Hell, it’s what’s driving the vinyl comeback. People want to own something. But it’s akin to Civil War re-enactment, a hearkening back to what once was. And if people even play this vinyl, so many of them have “stereos” that will kill it in one spin, they’re better off listening through hundred dollar headphones.

So what do I want to watch?


Hmm… But the media keeps telling us the most popular show on Netflix is “Friends.”

Then again, at this point “Lucy” is nearly burned out. All the sixties shows on endless reruns, “Mayberry R.F.D.”…turns out they don’t interest the young ‘uns.

But they do want to watch “Seinfeld.”

Hmm… Probably the best sitcom ever. But once upon a time it was created out of thin air, did you see the NBC exec who pushed for it just died, how he took money from his specials budget to pay for it? And now, Jerry and Larry are rich.

New products keep the flame burning, the cycle going.

I never watch a movie again, life’s too short.

Then again, I know people do.

And I’ll be honest, oftentimes Springsteen’s “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” goes through my brain when I’m searching for a streaming show.

Because I don’t want to waste my time, I only want greatness.

Most of the new shows on Netflix are not great, but there are more pickings there, I can find something to watch. On Disney+ and AppleTV+?

But ain’t that the establishment…studios, distributors and the media. They’ve got an investment in the past. When what excites people is the future.

So right now, Netflix is looking stronger. It’s got the most production. It’s not hobbled by relationships with cable systems.

As for those worrying about profitability, now is not the time. Netflix needs to produce and produce and end up on top, win the war.

As for Apple dripping out episodes of “The Morning Show”…that’s a failed strategy. The theory was if you drip it out, you create water cooler moments. But the truth is everyone agreed the initial episodes sucked, and now they’ve got no interest in seeing the rest, even though word of mouth is better on the later episodes. Proving even Apple has no idea how the customer thinks, how word is spread. You’ve got to let people FINISH! So they’ll testify! Yup, if someone has watched the whole series and says it’s great, the odds are better you’ll tune in too. It’s like Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” these early adopters live to spread the word. And this word reaches mainstream media LAST! Everything is off the radar before it shows up on the radar.

Tech has taught us you innovate or you die.

Right now, Netflix is innovating the most. Disney and Apple not so much. Don’t look at today’s dollars, but tomorrow’s. Right now, Netflix is winning the battle.

Right now I recommend “The Devil Next Door.” I lived through the Demjanjuk scandal, even remember it, but I was riveted. By the stories of the Holocaust survivors. By seeing the participants thirty years later. I know that has little to do with the story, but when you see the people from the eighties today, and see how they’ve aged, not only do you realize that everybody you haven’t seen in that time period has aged/changed, but you too!

“The Devil Next Door”

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