Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 19th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and blueberry muffins from Starbucks.
ANOTHER SOURCE OF NEW PROGRAMMING FOR THE SUMMER
I just finished watching the first few episodes of "Cursed," a new teen-oriented series that premieres on Netflix in July. It's essentially a prequel to the King Arthur story, featuring the typical mix you find in a lot of the YA original Netflix shows: good-looking teen leads, lots of action and a storyline that subtly touches on more modern concepts like inclusion and loving who you are. The show is still under embargo, so I can't say much about it. But I can tell you that I suspect it's going to be very popular with its intended YA market. And with season two of "The Umbrella Academy" now set to drop on Netflix July 30th, it's going to be a good month for teens watching Netflix.
This is my way of backing into an idea I've discussed before: the principle of perceived value. I wrote a long piece about this back in November and it's a pretty good outline of my point of view on this. But here's a short excerpt so that this discussion makes sense:
The lesson from all of this is that the temptation is to look at some ideal monthly subscription fee charged by a streaming service & use that as a benchmark for a service's "value." But in reality, what a service is worth in the real world is a concept called "perceived value." This is how it's described in the business dictionary:
"A customer's opinion of a product's value to him or her. It may have little or nothing to do with the product's market price, and depends on the product's ability to satisfy his or her needs or requirements."
Media industry analysts and reporters often parrot the argument that "content is king." And while content is important, a bigger factor in the success of a media business is perceived value to the customer. How valuable is the content to the customers you're targeting? Is your user interface friendly enough that it doesn't lessen the value of your content in the eyes of frustrated users? There are a lot of factors that go into how customers perceive the value of a streaming service. And because it's all a bit squishy & difficult to quantify on a spreadsheet, it's often overlooked by industry analysts.
For instance, subscribers numbers are important. But to a certain extent, subscriber numbers are also a lagging indicator of perceived value. The customers subscribe in large BECAUSE the price matches or is lower than their perceived value of the service. It's why the cost of Amazon Prime Video is rolled into a package that includes everything from free music to free shipping. That's the customer's perceived value of the Amazon content.
This concept is why a lot of the hot takes about the streaming services tend to be off-base. Industry analysts can get stuck in the weeds of details about which executive is exiting or joining a service. Or they focus on an expensive content deal that seems as if it might bring in new subscribers.
Most customers don't care about this stuff. They make long-term subscription decisions based on a squishy feeling about whether or not a service feels like it's worth the costs. And that feeling is based on a highly personalized mix of factors like specific content, ease of use and buzz.
Which brings me back to "Cursed." Netflix's perceived value shifts depending on the demographic. For a specific group of teens, they like Netflix because it has decided to devote a lot of its original programming resources to creating shows that appeal to teenagers. No one else - on linear television or streaming - is making a similar effort. Not even Disney, which would be the natural home for this type of programming. Netflix owns the "YA show with mature topics" genre and it's a win-win for them. A lot of teens feel left out if they're not talking about whatever new YA show Netflix just dropped. That means their family is not likely to drop the service, even with all of the increased competition.
I'll admit that this concept is simplistic in some ways and it doesn't cover all of the complex factors that lead to subscriber churn. But it's an under-appreciated factor with industry journalists and analysts.
A SINCERE THANK YOU
I've added a lot of new subscribers in the past couple of weeks and I thank all of you. I have tried to put together a daily newsletter that really does include the important talking points of the day. That usually means a think piece of some kind and maybe some news if it's something really noteworthy. As well a quick rundown of the new programming premiering that day. I try to write something I would want to read on a daily basis and I hope that you find it useful.
I also wanted to thank the Entertainment Strategy guy for the wonderful mention of this effort in his newsletter. He chose this as his "Newsletter Of The Week," which I consider a great compliment. Odds are you are already subscribed to his newsletter as well. But if not, you can subscribe for free right here.
Here is a rundown of the new shows premiering today....
1) Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (Netflix)
Like the ancient grains of Babylon, Patton provides a healthy dose of witticism in his newest Netflix comedy special, Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything. Enjoy yourself as the Emmy and Grammy winning comedian reflects on hilarious existential anecdotes after recently embracing his fifties, which includes attending his daughter’s second-grade art show that cost him the chance to board a full-scale Millennium Falcon or how buying a house is like hiring a suicide squad of superhuman subcontractors.
2) Stargirl Series Premiere (The CW)
The series follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past. This new drama reimagines Stargirl and the very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America. The show focuses on the character that started creator Geoff Johns’ career as a comic book writer when he created her in 1999, lovingly inspired by his late sister who was killed in a 1996 plane crash.
3) Sweet Magnolias (Netflix)
Maddie Townsend has a lot on her plate -- including three kids, a cheating husband and one unlikely suitor who has everyone in town talking.
4) The Genetic Detective Series Premiere (ABC)
In this new series follows investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore and her work with DNA technology company Parabon NanoLabs. In the series, Moore and her team are revolutionizing crime solving by working with police departments and accessible crime scene DNA to help trace the path of a criminal suspect's family tree, uncover their identity and bring them to justice.
5) The Story Of Soaps (ABC)
This special explores how no genre of television has laid deeper roots into our cultural consciousness and serialized storytelling than the soap opera. In today’s shifting television landscape, "The Story of Soaps" traces how female creators migrated from radio to television to become the dominant force in daytime for more than three decades. Today, that legacy is alive and well all over prime time and reality, and much of what propels modern television traces its roots back to those first sprawling, steamy storylines. "The Story of Soaps" takes an extensive look at this iconic, impactful genre and the cultural phenomenon its massive impact has had on the world at large.
For a rundown of all the new episodes of television premiering tonight, click here.
TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.
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