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DramatistDreamer

Why are soap fans so averse to online streaming?

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Leaving aside the intense feelings about the Prospect Park reboots, there are other instances in which many (not all, I understand) soap fans have been opposed to having soaps on an online streaming platform.

In recent years, anytime the time for the Daytime Emmys rolls around, the complaints about the program being streamed online are consistent.  

Then there are the fans who constantly wish for their favorite defunct soap to be resurrected but on TV, not online.

My favorite category are the soap fans who complain online that they won't be able to see these programs if they're streamed online...while they are online!

 

Personally, I've never had an issue watching anything on my laptop (maybe because my laptop is giant, with a screen just under 20") but in the cases where I needed to watch on a television set, I've found that a HDMI cable works just fine and costs less than $10.

 

Most sports fans, who have been the biggest proponents of using TV screens (the bigger the better) have even begun to come around to the advantages of streaming (especially fans of niche sports).

Why do soap fans continue to be so averse to streaming?  Is it only screen size?  Does the nostalgia factor weigh heavily? 

 

Does anyone truly believe that networks are going to pick up cancelled soaps and put them back on broadcast?  

 

This is not a rant (okay the part describing my favorite category of soap fan was a bit of a rant).  Still...I genuinely welcome discussion on this.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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I think some of it comes from older fans (who are the vast majority) who feel like broadcast/cable TV confers some legitimacy, which is baffling in an age when Netflix outscores HBO at the Emmy nominations. Like why should the Daytime Emmys have to be on Periscope when the Primetime Emmys and the Tonys are aired on big networks. They may not realize that the Golden Globes, the second most-watched awards ceremony, have been close to going to Amazon. 

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Soaps are about habits, and also people bitch about changes no matter what.  Put those two things together and you have the majority of internet commentary.  The genre as we know it is pretty much dead.  Continuing story drama may survive, but anything like the original format soaps are down to the four that are collapsing, so even an online story wont truly be a “soap opera”.

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I remember telling someone back around 2006 that I didn't like watching TV on my computer. It wasn't about screen size,  I think it was more just what I was used to. Not even sure exactly when I made the switch, maybe around 2008.  Once streaming to the TV set became more prevalent I really didn't care where the show originated from if I liked it.

 

Part of the reason is that I like to do other things while I'm watching shows that aren't really complicated high quality TV that you have to pay close attention to.  At this point, it doesn't matter if the soaps are on Hulu or whatever because I could just watch it on TV anyway, while I'm on my computer or doing something around the house.

 

 

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I often wonder if there was this much resistance when soaps made the switch from radio to tv?  Only Guiding Light survived long term in the tv format.. and I know before they were canceled that there was talk about moving it online.. but it fell through.. which is a shame because if any soap could have started the process.. it could have been GL.

 

Hulu worked for AMC/OLTL because it was back during the free option era of Hulu.. but I remember a lot of people in message boards explaining that it wasn't they were opposed to watching on their computer, etc.. it was that they lived in areas where the internet didn't support watching large amounts of content online.  I'm sure that's changed in the last five years.. but it could still affect small towns/rural areas.

 

And these same people complain if the online show is about 10 to 12 minutes per episode.. and when I say soaps used to be 15 minutes with commercials.. they have a look of 'really?'.  

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I'm not averse to online viewing, I'm averse to how some sites tend to be set up. I also don't want to have to search for them. I have trouble finding the online soaps that are available. I have also NEVER heard anything about them on this board. I wouldn't mind getting 65 episodes every six months.

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With some soap fans (again, I stipulate not all), the stigma from the early online web series attempts haven't quite faded.  

To some, the early efforts at web series conjure up images of low production values and stilted acting.  I have to say that good writing would've gone a long way toward making up for low-budgets but many of those series suffered from mediocre writing as well.

 

For a long time, any series outside of Hulu (in its earliest days was a platform created and produced by network television companies/studios) and other network affiliated websites was considered to be unworthy of people's time.

 

It probably didn't help that the Daytime Emmy's first foray online was something of a shambles.

 

I do believe that if there are any hopes to bring back classic shows in any form (and that includes even showing old episodes), a slim hope at this point --the best chance would be on an online platform where ratings are less of an overarching issue than they are on broadcast television, where ratings are pretty much everything.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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41 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

With some soap fans (again, I stipulate not all), the stigma from the early online web series attempts haven't quite faded.  

To some, the early efforts at web series conjure up images of low production values and stilted acting.  I have to say that good writing would've gone a long way toward making up for low-budgets but many of those series suffered from mediocre writing as well.

 

For a long time, any series outside of Hulu (in its earliest days was a platform created and produced by network television companies/studios) and other network affiliated websites was considered to be unworthy of people's time.

 

It probably didn't help that the Daytime Emmy's first foray online was something of a shambles.

 

I do believe that if there are any hopes to bring back classic shows in any form (and that includes even showing old episodes), a slim hope at this point --the best chance would be on an online platform where ratings are less of an overarching issue than they are on broadcast television, where ratings are pretty much everything.

 

I've been touting the online thing too. It's their best option at surviving. But no one seems to be jumping on it. AMC/OLTL were a few years too early in their jump (which sounds odd to say, I know, but 2013 was ages ago in the scheme of technology and how people were embracing it; GL would have been even earlier and likely cancelled again - just a hunch).

 

It's a shame PP bit off more than they could chew and that ABC were such asses about it all. They should have been working together.

 

I also think you answered your own question on why soap fans (not really on here) were/are hesitant for the jump to online. "Web soap" and "online show" were almost dirty words. I don't know. There was just a massive resistance. I think it's a case of people being set in their ways and seeing things a certain way.

 

Many also don't have the luxury of high speed internet or even computer access. TV, free over the air, is always going to be what people want.

 

But there's so much advantage to streaming. I'm glad to see it coming so far and streaming on the TV has brought a lot of people around. There's quite a few jumping to streaming, DirecTVNow, YoutubeTV, etc. Lots of this wasn't available just five years ago.

 

There was a stigma attached to something being broadcast online. Most people just don't like going out of their comfort zone. We as a society (not all of us, of course) prefer what we know to what we don't so people hedge off. Then they come around when it becomes more "mainstream popular".

 

I think the reaction to AMC/OLTL going online, say, this year, would be different than 5 years ago, and seven years ago when they were cancelled (can you believe it's been that long already?). Some were bitter and didn't want to follow them online. No one's ever going to be 100% satisfied, especially a soap fan ;)

 

EDIT:

Let's not forget, people watching them on Hulu wasn't the problem.

 

Another problem was the somewhat nasty and negative coverage the AMC/OLTL reboots got. Wasn't Giddens particularly critical for no apparent reason other than to be a bitch about things? It was bizarre some of the reactions people had.

Edited by KMan101

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Count me as one who thinks it's more about legitimatacy. Online equates to low budget and less legitimate as stated above. 

 

However, these complaints were from years ago before technology made watching online shows almost indescernable from those that are on cable or network tv. Most cable boxes allows for watching YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc the same way we watch CBS and HBO. And for someone like me who typically watch almost everything on TV via On Demand, its even less discernable.  

 

I think that opinion for soaps going online has probably changed with the times. 

6 minutes ago, KMan101 said:

 

I've been touting the online thing too. It's their best option at surviving. But no one seems to be jumping on it. AMC/OLTL were a few years too early in their jump (which sounds odd to say, I know, but 2013 was ages ago in the scheme of technology and how people were embracing it; GL would have been even earlier and likely cancelled again - just a hunch).

 

It's a shame PP bit off more than they could chew and that ABC were such asses about it all. They should have been working together.

 

I also think you answered your own question on why soap fans (not really on here) were/are hesitant for the jump to online. "Web soap" and "online show" were almost dirty words. I don't know. There was just a massive resistance. I think it's a case of people being set in their ways and seeing things a certain way.

 

Many also don't have the luxury of high speed internet or even computer access. TV, free over the air, is always going to be what people want.

 

But there's so much advantage to streaming. I'm glad to see it coming so far and streaming on the TV has brought a lot of people around. There's quite a few jumping to streaming, DirecTVNow, YoutubeTV, etc. Lots of this wasn't available just five years ago.

 

There was a stigma attached to something being broadcast online. Most people just don't like going out of their comfort zone. We as a society (not all of us, of course) prefer what we know to what we don't so people hedge off. Then they come around when it becomes more "mainstream popular".

 

I think the reaction to AMC/OLTL going online, say, this year, would be different than 5 years ago, and seven years ago when they were cancelled (can you believe it's been that long already?). Some were bitter and didn't want to follow them online. No one's ever going to be 100% satisfied, especially a soap fan ;)

 

+1

 

Exactly this! The stigma no longer exist. 

Edited by ajsp35801

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3 minutes ago, ajsp35801 said:

Count me as one who thinks it's more about legitimatacy. Online equates to low budget and less legitimate as stated above. 

 

However, these complaints were from years ago before technology made watching online shows almost indescernable from those that are on cable or network tv. Most cable boxes allows for watching YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc the same way we watch CBS and HBO. And for someone like me who typically watch almost everything on TV via On Demand, its even less discernable.  

 

I think that opinion for soaps going online has probably changed with the times. 

 

+1

 

Exactly this! The stigma no longer exist. 

 

You said it well above my quote and I agree with you. There was a stigma attached. It doesn't exist anymore. Some of course still remain set in their ways but streaming has come a long way. It's much more "accepted" and seen as a means to get quality work out there.

 

I think B&B could very easily become a CBS All Access Exclusive Soap.

 

I also think all soaps should still be a half hour though ... lol

 

I wish creatives saw soaps as a way to tell a great story. We get so many serialized, soapy, shows yet soap operas are still looked down upon in the industry. Not as much by actors but overall it's an afterthought. They shouldn't be. It's really too bad they couldn't stay relevant (and they could have, without it being what they *think* is relevant, when it really isn't).

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NBC tried the online soap back in either 06 or 07 but they had horrible Danica Stewart as the lead and the writing was forgettable. They also had slot of interactive tie ins on their website for Passions. 

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I don't think people are so adverse to it now as much as they used to be. I agree it is all about viewing habits. But from what I do read a lot of soap fans have embraced being able to watch B&B or Days or whatever show on the show's respective network website(s).  They seem to like that luxury of being able to watch when they want and not have it take up space on their DVR or whatever.  

 

One downside to watching on ABC is you have to sign in with a cable provider, which IMO is stupid, given that so many are now cord cutters. 

 

I think soaps could do well online in a limited type format, maybe like small arcs like Port Charles did. I think it could be a shot in the arm for the genre

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7 hours ago, KMan101 said:

Another problem was the somewhat nasty and negative coverage the AMC/OLTL reboots got. Wasn't Giddens particularly critical for no apparent reason other than to be a bitch about things? It was bizarre some of the reactions people had.

People (especially the soap media) still bitch about them even now, especially when it comes to Howarth and Easton on GH. Funny and very hypocritical of Giddens now especially since his new show is online.

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12 hours ago, cassadine1991 said:

People (especially the soap media) still bitch about them even now, especially when it comes to Howarth and Easton on GH. Funny and very hypocritical of Giddens now especially since his new show is online.

 

Not so much hypocritical as adaptable.  I can recall a time when big name movie actors looked down on headlining TV shows. Now we've got will smith headlining Netflix originals. 

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