So ... how was your week? Good? Good. Did you happen to wander over to Amazon to check out the big news yet? I'm sure you have, right? Welp, in case any of you haven't, let's turn to the wonderful Kevin Fallon at The Daily Beast, who this morning took to the World Wide Internet to do the undoable: Rank eight of the 14 pilots The Big A released last week for free. Don't believe me? Oh, silly, you ...
"Late last week the Web juggernaut posted all 14 of the the TV pilots it ordered and asked the public to view, rate, and review them all," he wrote Monday. "Of the eight comedy and four children’s pilots posted, those with the most views and best viewer feedback will be ordered to a whole series. In other words, only the most popular ones—those you like—will move forward."
We wrote about this a few weeks ago, though because our archives system isn't fully in tact quite yet (oh, and by the way — welcome to the new site!) it seems more than logical to tackle this subject again. Why is that? Well, because, as Fallon pointed out, now we can actually watch these things! The exclamation point is used to convey excitement.
I won't spoil his rankings (you'll have to click over to see for yourself), but I will say this: If even half of what he is saying about the Onion News Empire is true, I think I might now know what I'll be doing when I get home this evening. And considering how June Thomas at Slate went to bat for the John Goodman-starring "Alpha House" (coupled with a supposedly filthy cameo from Bill Murray), I think I might actually now know what I'll be doing when I get home for the next two evenings.
This is awfully, awfully interesting. The move itself makes Amazon an innovative and forward-thinking outlet. Now, just imagine if even one — just one! — of these series actually takes off into hit-land. "House Of Cards" set the bar at Netflix and if one of these 14 swings sees the ball land somewhere over the fence, who's to say a bona fide clicking war can't break out all over the land of Web TV by 5 p.m. Thursday? This can only mean good things for the medium. If the experiment fails, nobody notices. Though if it succeeds ...
Cue the link to the vote.
Look out, Aereo
Oh, how fluid the fickle world of entertainment can be these days. One week, you are convinced one company has cracked the code to revolution. The next, somebody up and releases a competing product that could run the thing out of the building by Close of Business on Tuesday. What say you, Shara Tibken of CNet?
"CBS has made an investment in Syncbak, the company said today, giving it a minority stake in the television-streaming technology provider as it continues its focus on mobile," Tibken wrote Monday morning. "Syncbak, a privately held company founded in 2009, makes location-based authentication technology that allows local television stations to stream their signals to in-market customers. Essentially, Syncbak localizes the Internet for broadcasters, networks, and TV studios, allowing retransmission of live television over the Web in much the same way it works over cable and satellite. The company's app is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, but it doesn't currently work in all regions."
Why does Aereo care? Oh, why does Aereo care?!
"CBS' investment in Syncbak is significant because it comes at a time when the company — along with several other broadcasters — is engaged in a legal battle with Aereo, a start-up that streams broadcast signals to consumers via the Internet," Joe Flint of The Los Angeles Times wrote earlier today. "Aereo does this without compensation (to the) the broadcasters, leading to accusations of copyright theft. Syncbak, which is testing its technology with more than 100 TV stations in 70 markets, may be a potential rival to Aereo."
So, in short, Aereo makes everybody angry. Somebody uses the same technology that Aereo uses, yet calls up the big guys at the big networks and asks them if they want to be in on the big deal. Then, boom: An uppercut knocks Aereo to the canvass. Can the scrawny upstart get to its feet and find a way to make sure its business is still profitable without the help of major broadcast network companies? Or will it listen as the referee counts to 10 and calls the fight in favor of the 300-pound beast that just fractured its nose?
Oh, the drama.