Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, July 6th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and strawberry muffins.
Someone could publish a pretty entertaining book that contained nothing but snarky and hard-hitting takes on why Quibi is struggling. I have my own take this morning, but rather than focusing on the struggling mobile video service's content or business model, I want to highlight its absolutely insanely inept PR and social media attempts.
Given that Quibi has hundreds of employees and a couple of floors of sparkling headquarters, you would assume that it would have plenty of experienced employees in their PR and social media departments. So given that, how does this series of tweets happen yesterday?:
I don't even know where to begin. No photos of the shows. No video. Hell, the tweets don't even mention the names of the shows. It's as if the person who wrote them thought "Oh, we just have to mention there are new shows and the audience will come running." The high school student running my local bowling alley's Twitter account would get fired if they tweeted out "Come to our free bowling clinic" and then didn't give a time or any other information.
Focusing on these tweets might seem like overkill, but they really illustrate the approach Quibi has with publicity and promoting its shows. They seem to act as if they are already HBO and can just spend all of their time trying to get high-profile coverage of their shows in a few top trades and newspapers. They don't seem to put the slightest effort into reaching out to the sites and people who might actually cover them on a regular basis. Instead, they seem to have decided the focus should be Quibi, not most individual shows. Which might make sense if Quibi were free and it just needed as many eyeballs as possible. But it's a subscription service that costs $5 a month and for that it needs potential subscribers to constantly hear about all of the great shows they're missing.
So how should they approach it? They should promote their shows the same way the Pete Buttigieg campaign approached the challenge of promoting a mayor from a small town in Indiana as a viable Presidential candidate. You talk to everyone. Small sites, freelancers, college radio, whoever wants to talk about one of your shows. The people who might consider subscribing to Quibi aren't reading Entertainment Weekly or Variety. They are people closer to the street, people who apparently aren't all that familiar to the good folks at Quibi.
While this isn't about me, I will mention as a sidenote that I have probably reviewed more Quibi shows and covered their programming more than just about any other site. And that I've had to do without any help from them, since they have been impossible to reach since they launched in April. Some of the pieces - like this interview - have gotten a lot of traffic. So there is presumably people interested in learning more. But these pieces have only happened thanks to people involved with the individual shows or their production companies. And this is just not a complaint from me, I hear similar feedback from other TV and media critics. Although to be fair, most of them are just fine not hearing from Quibi.
THERE ARE METRICS, AND THEN THERE ARE BAD METRICS
I saw this tweet last night and it reminded me that while everyone would like to know more about how many people are streaming specific titles, it's also easy to conflate the meaning of the numbers, especially when you're comparing viewing numbers across several industries:
Comparing streaming numbers to the number of possible people paying at the box office is absolutely the wrong question. The revenue streams are different, the business model is different and there is no way to decide which movie is more "successful" by comparing the number of streams and the number of people who bought a ticket.
I often complain that the streaming services don't offer enough metrics on things such as viewers or even subscriber numbers. But this is one question we don't need answered because it wouldn't be accurate or informative.
ODDS & SODS
On Monday night, AMC, Cinemark and Regal sued the state of New Jersey over "unconstitutional" COVID-19 closures. The companies are demanding that if churches are allowed to reopen in the state, then movie theaters should have the same opportunity.
The Hilary Swank astronaut drama "Awake" is set to premiere September 4th on Netflix. On the same day, Amazon will be premiering season two of "The Boys." So while the pandemic shutdown has slowed the pace of new releases, the streamers still have a few big titles left in the pipeline.
Walmart's answer to Amazon Prime -- Walmart+ -- will launch in July. For $98 a year, perks will include same-day delivery of groceries & other items, discounts at Walmart gas stations, reserved delivery slots, and eventually a branded credit card.
Judd Apatow’s production business, Jim Henson Co. and an apparel firm linked to music artist Kanye West were among the companies approved for a government loan program aimed at reducing layoffs during the pandemic.
Here is a rundown of the very slim number of new television programs premiering today:
1) Rowe'd Trip Series Premiere (Discovery)
"Part reunion, part road-trip, part look-back-special, and part 'where-are-they-now,' this four-part series highlights everything that made 'DIrty Jobs' an 'essential' franchise in the first place. The original 'Dirty Jobs' crew travel together in a mini-RV and reminisce about all things dirty."
2) Jim Jeffries: Intolerant (Netflix)
Filmed at The Wilbur in Boston, the Australian comedian toes the 'comedy line' with sharp and unapologetic jokes about his intolerance of lactose, germaphobes, and people with peanut allergies.
3) What Would You Do? Season Premiere (ABC)
Anchor John Quiñones reveals how people behave when they think no one is watching by using hidden cameras to record people’s real reactions to thought-provoking, actor-driven scenarios, inspired by some of the biggest stories making national headlines.
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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