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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Schwarz’

Morning Media Newsfeed: HBO to Launch Streaming Service | CNN Cuts Continue

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HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service Beginning in 2015 (LostRemote)
HBO announced plans Wednesday to offer a stand-alone streaming service in 2015. FishbowlNY “We will work with our current partners,” HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler said, in a statement. “And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” SocialTimes Having a Web-only option will help the channel with online-TV watchers, who cite flexibility as the main reason for watching original series online. Internet users are becoming more accustomed to consuming what they want, when they want it; HBO is finally adapting to this reality. THR Plepler didn’t give too many details about the service, such as pricing and when it would launch, saying he didn’t want to tip off competitors too much. Shortly after Plepler’s announcement, shares of Netflix dropped 4 percent, while shares of Time Warner were about 3 percent higher as investors digested the HBO news as well as some other rosy predictions coming from the Time Warner investor day presentations. Mashable It is important to note that HBO is far from giving up on cable television. Plepler stressed in his statements before the announcement that HBO’s business and relationships with cable partners is important. The channel brought in $4.9 billion in 2013 and has about 114 million subscribers. There has been eager anticipation for HBO to capitalize on its already popular streaming platform by offering it outside of cable subscriptions. HBO Go logins have become something of a social currency, allowing users to access content via accounts of friends and family. Game of Thrones has also grown into the most pirated TV show of all time.

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The Atlantic for December

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Benjamin Schwarz reviews Napoleon’s Master, a biography of Talleyrand by David Law and Duff Cooper’s Diaries. We’d never thought about either person, and Schwarz is such an engaging reviewer that we thought seriously about putting both books on our Amazon Wishlist.

Virginia Postrel struggles to find jeans that fit.

Michael Hirschorn on why newspapers aren’t smart and interesting. This from the man who gave us World’s Most Smartest Model.

Hanna Rosin on The Golden Compass and New Line’s wrestling with religion or lack thereof.

Sarah Chayes on her Afghan soap business. Must read.

The Atlantic–150 Years Old

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The Atlantic celebrates 150 years of publishing with a special anniversary issue. Also, there’s an essay contest for readers on The American Idea in 200 words or less, which is a blog post.

Benjamin Schwarz reviews a couple of books on Hollywood history and comes to a conclusion all his own:

Moviemaking in Hollywood’s classical period was colossally complex, backbreakingly difficult, obscenely expensive–and it almost always failed.

One of the books is by Jeanine Basinger, who encouraged Michael Bay, which is enough to damn her to a slummy corner of hell. (James Harvey is a better historian and writer, too.)

Schwarz writes “No wonder Hollywood’s “golden age” is a history of driven, freakishly hardworking, unhappy people, including its show-horse stars” which is dramatic but overlooks the hundreds of talented craftspeople and artists (many of them gay) employed by the studios who wouldn’t have flourished back home on the farm, especially during the Depression. Making movies was as close to making art as many working people were ever going to get, and Hollywood still resonates with their legacy. So, while he’s a wonderful writer, we don’t agree.

Caitlin Flanagan, whom so many love to hate, knocks out a killer piece about another woman who inspires mixed emotions–Hilary Rodham Clinton. It all started with Socks.

Semi-new Angelena Virginia Postrel writes about real estate, and philosophically compares Dallas to LA.

Michael Hirschorn wonders if celebrities can survive too much information. He writes:

Justin Timberlake, like Nick Carter a veteran ’90s boy-bander (in his case N’Sync), may be the only truly bankable star of the blogger era. He deftly melds old-school Rat Pack glamour with new-school multimedia omnipresence, talent, and taste.

Also, Timberlake can make fun of himself, ala Dick in a Box. Like he has a choice.