While you present a good point Kor'Tar, that's exactly what CBS are wanting the fans to think. It's not people refusing to pay $6 a month, it's the principle of it considering that almost no one has heard of this service, and when a large percentage of people who do watch TV that way are using Netflix. As Star Trek fans, we have an entire RACE of people designed to show us these tactics and business practises!
This is exactly my problem with this distribution method; it's not that I'm unwilling to pay $6 bucks a month for Trek, (I'd pay $25 to have it on iTunes and I'll still pay the usual $100+ to get it on Blu–Ray/DVD,) it's that I'm not fond of CBS milking this for all its worth and assuming that I'll just sign up for their streaming service that's spent years languishing just because they decided to make it the only place to see the new Trek, especially when there are larger outlets that would gladly take this new Trek and give it far more exposure. (The CW has said as much when their President asked CBS to develop a new Trek series for them, which should have been easy given that they're half owned by CBS.)
Jay K, I should point out that it's not just Netflix. While Netflix is big, just as many people who watch TV this way are using Hulu and Amazon Prime, and may soon be using Apple/iTunes/the TV, as Apple is supposedly looking into creating original content as well. We've got two of our "big three" in Netflix and Hulu, and Amazon Prime and Apple are slugging it out to be the third of the "big three," with neither really winning at this point. (Apple has a better player than Amazon, but they don't actually stream yet, instead selling season passes for downloads, which I actually prefer even though I can understand why others don't.) As much as I absolutely hate Prime's interface, (and the fact that it behaves like a slug when I've used it,) it's a platform that people are actually using, and that could be good for Trek. The TV is another good option, because even if CBS charged a bit more for a season pass, you'd be able to keep every episode you've seen using their current distribution system, and that's appealing to me since I can download the show and not have to worry about the stream cutting out when my shoddy internet connection decides to act up. Netflix is big, but Hulu would be just as good as a place to release a new Trek series. CBS All–Access is a money–grab for a service no one seems to be begging or even really asking for, and yes, you have to have the earlobes of a Ferengi to think this is a good idea.
Also, I'm amazed that more people aren't a bit more concerned that their relagating one of their biggest, longest-running and most well-known franchises to a pay-to-watch digital channel, instead of putting it front and centre on their main network channels. I'm sure they'll paint a really great image in peoples minds when it comes to the marketing of it:
I'm very concerned about this; dumping Trek on a no–name streaming service hardly screams "confidence," and sends a message more along the lines of "stop bitching about a new series already and give us $6 for our shoddy streaming service so we don't have to bother showing this on an established platform you obnoxious Trek nerds." There's no reason for Trek to be anywhere near a subscription streaming service for its first run, not when at least one broadcast Television network is willing to show it, and multiple cable channels would likely line up to bid on the rights as well if given the chance. CBS is effectively writing off viewers who aren't die–hard Trek fans by making this a subscription–only series, and that's not a smart idea for the first Trek show since 2005. It would be one thing if a new Trek show was going to be coming to an actual TV network and something like the "Captain Worf" concept was going to be on CBS All–Access, (which would make sense since it could be a riskier show to run on broadcast, but Trek fans would likely still pay for it,) but that's not what's going on here.
In my opinion, this is a bad decision for them, not just because it shows a seeming lack of confidence in the series, but also because this is the kind of thing that'll lead to rampant piracy. As I said earlier, Netflix has a much bigger install base, and I'm sure people would jump at the chance to have a reason to sign up to that service (due to it offering so many tv shows and films), rather than one which will only offer alternatives such as CSI, Hawaii Five O, Big Brother and The Dome. lol
I'm in 100% agreement with you. Netflix or Hulu both have huge install bases, and so do Amazon Prime and iTunes for that matter; CBS could go to any of those four companies and it would still look better than sticking this on All–Access. I haven't signed up to Netflix or Hulu yet, but one person in my family has Prime and everyone has an iTunes account. As much as I enjoy CSI, Five–O, and Under the Dome, I'm far more likely to buy a Blu–Ray/DVD release of those shows than I am to ever care about streaming them, which means I'm really just paying for Trek if I sign up for All–Access, even if there's other stuff on there.
I've considered Netflix as an option to rent movies that my cable company doesn't offer in HD on–demand. However, given how poorly my internet connection performs, and given that there's no agreed upon UHD standard for streaming yet, I'm reluctant to touch anything for the time being, because I know I'm always going to wind up grabbing something I really like on Blu–Ray/DVD without ever even considering streaming it.
I tried out the CBS streaming service to watch Colbert's new show. The quality wasn't great and the commercial breaks would loop several times. Instead of getting 1-3 ads every so often it would turn into 9-10. REALLY frustrating. I wouldn't mind paying to watch a great Trek show directly but not on that service (unless they overhaul it significantly). If you told me my Netflix or Hulu bill would go up a few dollars for the show, then I'd be happy. Those services are outstanding.
This is another thing that I absolutely hate about CBS All–Access. I was actually using it to watch some of Letterman's old stuff awhile back and wound up having the same issues, and that was in the middle of the night when it wasn't my internet connection that was giving me a headache. The looping issues and other playback problems alone are frustrating enough to ruin what could otherwise be a plesant viewing experience. CBS All–Access wouldn't need an overhaul, it'd need to be nuked and rebuilt from the ground up to be worth paying attention too. I'd also be more likely to jump on one of the more popular streaming platforms if CBS put Trek on one of them, even if I'm still largely on the fence with them.
I also agree with Seth MacFarlane's tweet about the announcement: "Let's make this new Star Trek series optimistic, eh? I think we're all dystopia'd out."
Now this is a sentiment that I can get behind. This is just one of the many reasons why I want this show set in the Prime Universe, and why I hope Kurtzman is sort of the opposite of Orci. I do seem to remember hearing that he was a Star Trek fan before his involvement in the films though, but need to double–check that information. If it's true, it gives me a bit more hope about him, although I'd feel better if he had some "golden era" TNG–VOY alumni on his production team.
Wait a second, their $6 a month streaming service also makes you watch ads? What the hell are you paying for then? That is exactly why I considered Hulu to be absolute garbage (I know they have commercial free now), there is no chance I'd pay for a streaming service with ads.
If you believe CBS, the idea is that you're paying for access to their back catalog beyond what you'd find in your cable company's on–demand offerings, and are at least hypothetically under no obligation to have a cable subscription to use All–Access the way you'd need one for on–demand, so the $6 is meant to make up what CBS is supposedly losing from cord–cutters in the form of retransmission fees on cable. There aren't as many ads as their are on an actual TV broadcast though, and apparently that's another justification for the $6 dollar fee.
So if you don't subscribe to Netflix etc, then there's your new service. But don't tell people who are Netflix subscribers not to be upset at CBS choosing to do this, especially when Netflix has all sorts of CBS shows available on it (and even the CBS President says they have a 'good relationship' with them). Talking purely about the business side of this new show (not the show itself), this is starting to look a bit exploitative on CBS' part...
My problem isn't even with CBS wanting to push their streaming service with original content, my problem is with them milking Trek to do it. There are plenty of unknown ideas that can't make the cut for broadcast that CBS could try on this service, and that could propel it to compete with a Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime level streaming service. Trek is not in that category though, and I'd rather it be treated as the established property that it is while an unknown be given a shot it might not otherwise get. Yahoo! grabbed Community because nobody else wanted it; if Trek wound up in that boat I wouldn't be opposed to it winding up on All–Access, but it's not there now. The last time it was in such a situation was when Enterprise was cancelled, and if streaming existed at that point, it likely could have gone there. (The real problem was that the tectonic–shift in viewer tastes hadn't occured until after Enterprise was cancelled, and by the time the show started to get good again, UPN was hemmoraging affiliates and people who wanted to watch the show couldn't.)
Odds are I will be watching the pilot and 1 of 2 things will happen.
1. I get hooked, and subscribe to this stupid service to watch it. (Not likely since most pilots are not that good)
2. I am not hooked, and will waiting for it to release on Blu Ray/iTunes and buy it then, or watch it if they do put it on live TV after its run on CBS All Access.
This is pretty much the conclusion I've reached about the series as well. I'm going to wind up buying this on Blu–Ray anyway since I have everything else Trek–related on Blu–Ray/DVD or am in the process of acquiring it (again) on Blu–Ray, so if I'm not hooked from the get–go, I'll just wait for the Blu–Ray release and enjoy the show that way. Besides, even as a PS3 owner it's further incentive for me to justify purchasing a PS4 to use with another TV.
At some point there is going to streaming service fatigue. CBS could be under the impression that Star Trek fans subscribe to zero streaming services already, and that they won't boycott it on principle alone. There are only so many diff services that people will sign up for, no matter the income and free time.
Likewise, people with zero streaming services who happen to be Trek fans will not automatically go to CBS just for Trek, because Netflix. There are other people in the household to consider.
Morgan, this is an excellent point. There's already some streaming service fatigue, and while one person in my family has Amazon Prime, he has it for the free shipping and the video is just a bonus. Everybody has iTunes accounts so we can all get "streaming/downloadable" video that way, and I have no interest in paying for a service that I'm going to have to jump through hoops to use between my internet connection acting up and the service acting up.
EDIT: Just saw Drexler post this on Facebook, saying "Wow...":
My personal feelings are reflected in that article to be honest, but regardless, it's going to be an interesting 14 months! lol
I'm not sure if that "Wow..." is meant as Drexler being disappointed in the article or shockingly agreeing with it, but I can understand his reaction either way. While I normally avoid the New York Compost and The Daily Fail, I have to admit that I wound up agreeing with the former in that article, as I feel very similarly to the way you do about how this show is being handled. (I'd pushed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to the lower decks of my brain though before this reminded me of that mess. There were two memorable things in that movie, Mudflap and Skid, the VW bugs that spoke in jive, and the fact that the crew managed to film on the actual Egyptian Pyramids because someone in their government was a huge Transformers fan who was able to pull some strings to make it happen. That doesn't excuse the rest of the film though, which even Kurtzman and Orci admitted was a rushed mess in the same way that Brannon Braga likes to go after the Voyager episode Threshold.) Sticking this on All–Access is completely counter–intuitive, and I wouldn't be so concerned about it if I didn't think it was going to harm the show's chances of success. A no–name streaming service isn't where you stick something like Trek in a world where Trek is such an easy sell; it's where you stick a show that can't succeed anywhere else or that nobody else would touch. House of Cards, and Transparent wound up on Netflix, but they were shopped around to other outlets that wouldn't touch them first. That doesn't mean they're bad, it just means that no other outlet would take them. Trek doesn't have that problem, and I wish I could remember who passed on HoC, because I could have sworn I read something about them "regretting it" after all of those other political dramas took off around the same time that HoC did. This is going to be an interesting 14 months indeed though; hopefully the more we learn about this series, the more apparent it'll be that it's being handled correctly outside of being shoved onto CBS All–Access.