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Messages - IndigoPrime

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Film & TV / Re: About Those New Film Studios
« on: 22 February, 2020, 06:46:09 pm »
iPlayer’s fine here. Our main bugbear is the BBC oddly ignoring its own remit for accessibility by not providing subtitles on the Apple TV app. But the main thing is the BBC’s huge archive, which could have once been a major commercial draw. Now, it feels too late. As for All4, it’s a disaster. (The nightmarish advertising means I never bother. Heck, the pre-roll ads on Amazon Prime are bad enough; and the ident stings on NOW TV were enough to make me cancel. I’m not going to sit through adverts these days.)

The change seems to be thought of in terms of 5G
That makes no sense to me. Perhaps there is some massive untapped mass of people not yet subscribed to a service, but these days everything’s based on VC capital and endless growth. The latter of those things is impossible, and when companies hit that plateau, funding often vanishes. At that point, the Spotifys of this world are fucked.

Owning what you create: agreed. But this band does own about half its back catalogue (including almost all of the profitable bits). The problem these days is in monetising that when no-one wants to buy anything. (Said band is fortunate in having a hardcore of fans, quite a few of which are old gits happy to buy vinyl and CDs. God knows how things must be for a bunch of 20-somethings otherwise in similar circumstances from a career/reach standpoint.)

I know this is banging a broken drum, but... If creatives could be convinced to put out their own work - as some are doing with Patreon - in a more organized fashion, then the hold over properties (and copyright) which large institutions have aren't going to screw over both creators and fans.
Which is true. But how many Patreons do you support? How many newspapers do you subscribe to? How many magazines? How many albums do you buy rather than stream. (I mean this in a general sense, note, Gary – this isn’t a personal pile-on!)

We are very quickly heading back towards a benefactor model, and that’s shit. No-one’s owed a living, of course, and that includes all creative types. But to leave ourselves in the position where magazines have to appeal to lowest common denominator reading, and where much of the creative fare we grew up loving may be effectively impossible in the future to make a living from, is deeply depressing.

TBF, I’m not saying Rebellion would approach it like that. They’re not idiots. But ultimately, you’d be asking someone if they still had files, on the basis you want to overwrite their efforts because they’re no longer considered acceptable. That’s going to sting however you approach it.

Personally, I do wish B+W scans existed for everything, by magic. I’d love to see Zenith IV without the colour (and amended by Yeowell as necessary). One for the list when I win millions on the lottery, obv.

Film & TV / Re: About Those New Film Studios
« on: 22 February, 2020, 12:55:24 pm »
Disney, Apple and BritBox (yeuch - that's a horrible name) are late to the party.
Apple and Disney will be fine, because they have deep pockets. Amazon, as noted elsewhere, is in a similar position – bolstered further by its hosting arm. (Google is in a similar space.) Britbox… I don’t think that’s going to be viable long-term. (iPlayer _might_ have been, had it been spun off as a subscription concern five years ago. Now, it’s also on a hiding to nothing, especially if the Tories demolish the BBC and thereby stop new programming entering the archives.)

Netflix may be the most important player
But skating along, making no money, investing huge sums, and watching as its most-watched shows are removed from it by other players looking to enter the market. Netflix might be able to survive, but it’s in for a hell of a time.

Isn't Netflix, by now, "too big to fail" as the news media loves to put it?
No company is too big to fail. Some would require a hell of a change in circumstances, though; and those – very few in number – are the ones that will survive in this industry in the long term. That’s why Apple Music and even Amazon’s rubbish music service will likely outlive Spotify. (Google’s a different beast – Google Music will probably limp on until Google gets bored with it. But then it will be shuttered without fanfare, as per the likes of Reader.)

It’s always hard to make predictions in this space, but Netflix has nothing backing it up. Yes, it has some decent shows, but it also has a worrying tendency to cut things off, and makes dubious purchase decisions. Historical draws like Friends and The Office are also being removed. So the only thing Netflix can do is ramp up more expensive production, but in the knowledge it’s probably reached saturation for subscriptions and is now surrounded by a large number of players competing for a finite amount of people’s cash.

And Spotify... Damn. I learn something every day.
Spotify’s main chance is that it’s objectively the best in kind. On that basis, someone might buy it and keep it going – but it’ll need to be someone with deep pockets, and it’ll also only happen as and when Spotify’s on the brink. No-one would touch it right now at an insanely over-inflated price tag. After all, it makes almost nothing. And every benefit it offers is a feature someone else could clone, assuming they can be arsed. (On the basis of what I’ve seen, Apple sort-of can. No-one else is really that fussed from the major players. Google and Amazon in particular appear to have ‘least effort possible’ approaches to music streaming.)

Everyone is probably already aware of this, but... It isn't the backers who are going to get burned if things turn to shit.
That’s always the case, but then those people have money to burn. They play the lottery. They cash in when things aren’t working out. But that’s also why whenever I see a company taking VC money, I get twitchy. 1Password doing so recently made me shiver, although that company maintains it’s an ongoing viable proposition. We’ll see.

the people killing themselves to make cool, entertaining stuff which they pour their souls into, are going to be the ones to get screwed over if / when things sour.
Well, they’re already screwed. Musicians get fuck-all from streaming. I’m friends with someone in a well-regarded indie, and he noted years back the Spotify cheque for a quarter was enough for the band to have “a nice meal”. By contrast, then-sales from iTunes were quite something. (Probably not these days.) So musicians need to have aliterate revenue streams: a Bandcamp store to encourage people to buy rather than stream; merchandise; live shows; even radio play. Those who can’t do these will have to resign themselves to working on music in a broadly hobbyist fashion.

These extends beyond music, though, to a wide range of media: news; magazines; comics; books; games; even – to some extent – TV and movies. People are diminishingly interested in ownership, and increasingly reluctant to pay anything at all. That doesn’t suggest a bright future for quality media – and we already see the cracks across entire industries, from the fine details (poor editing in television or print) through to more major concerns (abrupt cancellations).

Film & TV / Re: About Those New Film Studios
« on: 22 February, 2020, 10:43:16 am »
We have a period of consolidation to look forward to, and it’s going to be nasty and happen very quickly. Streaming is by and large unsustainable at every point, meaning you need some other income stream to keep it viable. Spotify doesn’t make anything and is surely screwed in the medium term. I suspect Netflix faces a rocky future too. It wouldn’t surprise me if a major tech company eats Spotify at some point (perhaps Samsung). Netflix will just shrivel, die and disappear unless Apple, Disney, Amazon or someone similar sees enough value in the IP to buy the remains.

*ring ring*

“Hey, Alan. You did a bloody awful job on America II, and so we want someone else to do it for a new book. Do you still have the original art scans? Hello? Hello? He hung up.”

Off Topic / Re: It's a bit warm/ wet/ cold outside
« on: 22 February, 2020, 10:37:35 am »
You say that, but I half remember a movie, and I’m pretty sure all you need to survive on Mars is some potatoes and a space suit.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 20 February, 2020, 05:28:32 pm »
lampooning of a fascist regime
Which could be done without the more questionable elements, mind. It’s not 1985 any more.

Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who (13th Doctor)
« on: 20 February, 2020, 05:26:29 pm »
if all criticism is made null by the worst of the critics, then Mother Earth is objectively as good as the Cursed Earth, Dead Meat as good as The Dead Man?
I think the point I’m making is more about nostalgia clouding the senses rather than objective quality. The former happens a lot in fandom, and 2000 AD is hardly immune to that, given the prevalence of the “it used to be better in the old days” brigade.

Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who (13th Doctor)
« on: 19 February, 2020, 04:39:53 pm »
See also fandom reaction to 2000 AD (bar, perhaps, the objectively crappy period around the 800s for a few years).

Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who (13th Doctor)
« on: 18 February, 2020, 03:39:33 pm »
I kind of forgot that we’re in short season mode with DW, and so only the two-parter left. My guess: part one will be great and part two will be pap, as is traditional.

I’m glad we’ve seen some properly great episodes during this series – the previous one was often good, but rarely beyond that. But it really is the most uneven production, and it needn’t be. Or perhaps the series should be shorter, with some kind of magic wand banishing the pap. Remove the dreck that was Orphan 55 and the rubbish Praxeus, and you still have some middling stuff (Spyfall, Part 2/Tesla), but the series as a whole would look a lot more solid.

Off Topic / Re: It's a bit warm/ wet/ cold outside
« on: 17 February, 2020, 10:31:05 am »
I used to live in Adamsdown. The entire area was… damp. Even so, that’s quite a sobering map. As for flooding, I do get the impression a lot of people are looking at sea-oriented flood maps and thinking PHEW. These things aren’t smart enough to understand increased rainfall, rising rivers, etc.

Here in sunny Fleet, we have a water sink in the shape of Fleet Pond. Even so, our garden for the first time ever was basically 50 per cent standing water yesterday, with a few bits of grass poking out. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I suspect I will again though. (And I’m not remotely trying to compare this to, you know, actual flooding. But from small bits of temporary flooding to genuine human disaster, these are all needles moving in the wrong direction.)

Prog / Re: Prog 2169 - 43 Years of Blood, Sweat and Tears
« on: 16 February, 2020, 01:55:18 pm »
I recall Matt saying Regened was the best-selling Prog last year. That might suggest a reason for it returning in this way. As for spinning it off, perhaps it will if this run works out. Who knows? (Personally, I’d sooner see Cor/Buster as a monthly though.)

I am a bit hmm about the scheduling though. Would have been nice if the strips had wrapped up, then Regened, then a jump-on. At least Brink was concluded. Two weeks for the final part would have been a nightmare.

Now, who do we have to bribe to get Brink in an Image-style HC?

Film & TV / Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« on: 14 February, 2020, 10:03:09 pm »
Well, we just watched episode 3. It takes 16 minutes to deal with two conversations. About three quarters of the way through, an event happens that should arguably have closed out episode one. It is so insanely slothful, and with some cringeworthy dialogue. Mrs IP wants to stick with it because she likes Star Trek, but that’s twice now where we’re both saying we hope it gets better. Right now, it’s like listening to an album of slow self-important surges written by someone who thinks slow means clever. Slow can just mean slow.

Film & TV / Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« on: 14 February, 2020, 02:39:11 pm »
not the endlessly dragged-out nested plots that the Modern Streaming Audience Wants
Almost all of the streaming stuff I’ve watched has had a sense of urgency and not pissing about. What I’ve watched of Picard feels a lot more like broadcast telly, stretching out 10 minutes of plot to fill an hour.

Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf is Coming Back
« on: 14 February, 2020, 02:36:21 pm »
plus Norman Lovett is back as Holly
Hmm. Given that he’s been a massive prick about Red Dwarf on multiple occasions, it’s curious that Hattie Hayridge continues to be so overlooked by the show. (Plus, her inclusion may have at least stopped it being an ongoing boys club. Oh well.)

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