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DramatistDreamer

Why are soap fans so averse to online streaming?

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48 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

A lot of expense for not a lot of return given the volume. A lot of primetime series that were far more popular than soaps in their heydays haven’t been streaming for that very reason, but that has been slowly changing. I know Dark Shadows is on Amazon Prime now, but I think it’s an unusual cult show that had multiple lives in reruns.

 

Not saying that one day we won’t wake up to news that 1970s Y&R is available on some new streaming service. I’m just not ready to make that bet. Who knows what the future will hold, of course?

 

Yeah, that's why I mentioned the fact that SoapClassics put out curated selections, rather than trying to sell/stream episodes fully in some type of chronological order.  I got the sense that it wasn't an expense issue but a permissions issue from PGP and also, possibly getting enough manpower to do the digital conversion of episodes given how tricky it was to navigate episodes with popular music.  

 

I can't really speak of what Sony/Y&R would do, they've got a different system but PGP seemed somewhat amenable where the SoapClassics sets/streaming was concerned, provided they didn't have to actually do anything.

 

Then again, the daytime drama industry complicates everything, I mean everything!  We were discussing this in the Holy Grail thread but it seems utterly bizarre that soap archives like scripts are so difficult to access when I could easily access scripts of I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke show.  What makes an old Guiding Light script so much more precious than an I Love Lucy script?  It's crazy!

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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1 hour ago, dragonflies said:

Speaking of actor's who talk about their soap past, I remember a few years ago, Nolan North from Port Charles said some not so nice things about soaps. 

He said something about doing a voice inTMNT reached more people then his entire run on Port Charles

 

Maybe he had some bad vibes since GH didnt hire him in 2004 and 2009 to be Steven Lars Webber

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Yeah, that's why I mentioned the fact that SoapClassics put out curated selections, rather than trying to sell/stream episodes fully in some type of chronological order.  I got the sense that it wasn't an expense issue but a permissions issue from PGP and also, possibly getting enough manpower to do the digital conversion of episodes given how tricky it was to navigate episodes with popular music.  

 

 

I remember when SoapClassics went under they said in an interview that it wasn't because they weren't selling but the process to "scrub" the episodes so the sound could be heard was a huge undertaking.

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34 minutes ago, jcar03 said:

 

I remember when SoapClassics went under they said in an interview that it wasn't because they weren't selling but the process to "scrub" the episodes so the sound could be heard was a huge undertaking.

 

Yes!! 

It definitely was not a $$$ issue from what I've read.  They sort of ran into a wall because I gather that the process was painstaking and they had such a small crew working on digitization.  Also, it sure seemed as though PGP was never really going to do any heavy lifting where that process was concerned.

 

Someday the technology may come along that could allow them to seamlessly scan and put some sort of replacement sound over the scenes containing popular music.  I still think it's worth it to digitize as many episodes as possible until the technology catches up.  Of course, they wouldn't be able to release/sell anything but when they have the means to do it, digitizing episodes would be one less step to have to deal with.

 

SoapClassics had been streaming episodes on their own website, so we know it is possible.  

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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But PGP has the AOL streaming deal so at the very least, why not have Amazon stream the complete series of Texas? I’m sure based on those reruns the show is ready to go. Same for Edge or Search, even if you just start where AOL was, not to mention Another World. What I could see happening though is that these soaps are put up, but it’ll be more recent years similar to what happened with B&B recently. 

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9 hours ago, Chris B said:

But PGP has the AOL streaming deal so at the very least, why not have Amazon stream the complete series of Texas? I’m sure based on those reruns the show is ready to go. Same for Edge or Search, even if you just start where AOL was, not to mention Another World. What I could see happening though is that these soaps are put up, but it’ll be more recent years similar to what happened with B&B recently. 

 

Is that deal still valid?  Also, isn't AOL kind of a new company now since it acquired that Yahoo! (or the shards of what remains of Yahoo!)?

AOL is now technically known as Oath, I think.

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@DramatistDreamer When I mention AOL what I mean is that they already have those episodes ready to go for streaming since they had to do that for AOL and SOAPnet in Another Worlds case. Idk why even if it’s just those episodes they can’t put them up. 

Edited by Chris B

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It'd be nice to see someone at least try streaming classic episodes. Just to see the interest (or not). It's why I was so happy about RetroTV airing The Doctors. But they've yet to expand on airing soaps (I was hopeful for at least Dark Shadows, even Peyton Place ... but I think Decades has Dark Shadows, even though they don't air it). I fully believe the audience is there. But I understand cost vs. revenue and all that. It's a tricky situation. But like Chris B said, episodes were already made available to streaming years ago, why not just put them up somewhere? It's likely because no one cares enough to.

Edited by KMan101

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I'm still in the process of reading but the race to catch up with Netflix is clearly for the big outfits that compete on that level. 

It's not so much the streaming platform itself that is very expensive, it's the content that will cost a lot of money.  All those platforms that want to stream original content that can compete with the big budget Hollywood fare on the big screen. 

When Netflix was distributing independent films by indie filmmakers and streaming mostly classic films and second run TV series, the costs were very modest.

 

Once Netflix made the push for original programming, not even so much for TV (although that has changed with the likes of Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris, not to mention Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock), things got a LOT more expensive. 

Although you can make the case that once the U.S. version of House of Cards became a hit, it drove Netflix into a much higher cost echelon and began the drive for original content in earnest.

 

The smaller outfits are in no position to compete and so they don't.

 

Acorn streaming service does very well streaming British based series that are produced by other outfits like the BBC, Channel 4, Thames, etc.  It is subscriber based and charges a monthly fee at $4.99 per month, which is relatively modest by today's standards.

 

Bounce TV is an interesting case study.  It has a terrestrial TV channel that is antenna based yet they also have a website that streams their original programming.  It is not subscriber based, so I assume that advertising plays a big role in their monetization.  You can only stream their original programming, which is still not bad considering it's free.  With a decent antenna, you can watch everything else.

 

If an enterprising soap production company wanted to stream their classic series, The Bounce TV model seems like the most sensible one.

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In tangential news, with AT&T now cutting costs, Warner just shut down FilmStruck, which focused on arthouse film (Criterion) and Hollywood classics (in partnership with TCM). It was a great service and speaks to the difficulties of streaming older titles. It’s a bummer. So many films I wanted to see weren’t on the free Kanopy app. Hopefully they can return to Hulu or will be picked up by a larger Warner streaming platform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Faulkner

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If companies like Warner Brothers and whomever owns United Artists this week can't maintain these classic movies then they should all be on Hoopla and Kanopy and large public libraries like the New York Public Library where streaming platforms are large enough to accommodate a large streaming viewership.

 

If there are recordings from any medium, in this day and age, the technology is out there to preserve them.  It's time consuming, sure but it's not prohibitively expensive.  Send them to a University library, a large public library, a public streaming service.

 

Also, I'm convinced that a concerted public effort to push these companies to do so, is the only real way I see this happening.  If we don't agitate and get petitions and contact people, this likely won't happen and we can see titles fade and degrade, more and more, each year until we are unable to recover them.  That's likely happening with many episodes of our beloved soaps, every single year.

 

To go on a bit of a rant, soap fans have been putting their energies in the wrong direction.  Trying to get cancelled soaps back on their own networks is the wrong move.  And honestly, why would you subject a show's creative staff to that type of pressure, where they're likely to have bean counters breathing down their necks to water down the stories and put in the cheapest looking sets known to broadcast television??

 

Why not, instead, put your energies to preserving the gems of daytime dramatic television that are currently collecting dust, to prevent degradation and ensure future accessibility?  Why are we soap fans not at least trying to agitate for this? 

 

As a fan of ATWT, I realize that some of the best episodes are not on YouTube and I may never see these episodes ever again.  Even the ones currently on YouTube can get swept away at any time.  It bothers me as a soap fan.  Doesn't this bother anyone else?? 

 

The last I checked, there are even grants out there to help with film preservation for projects with merit.  A daytime television staple such as the daytime drama seems to merit such preservation efforts.

 

It's much like that person's tweet about film buffs needing to make the effort to see that the legacy of these films is not disregarded.  The same can be said of soap fans.  If these soaps were of no value than the likes of Sony/Bell, etc. would not be hoarding and carefully curating their collections.  P&G/PGP obviously believed that their shows had value, judging by the SoapClassics effort and I believe this is still the case even if they lack the motivation to make good on it.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Yeah, I just thought the parallels between classic film and classic soaps in the streaming age are interesting. Advocating for the preservation of older soaps is far more important than pushing to resurrect cancelled shows, which would almost inevitably return in depleted form. I was watching a late ‘70s episode of OLTL in which Karen (Judith Light) revealed to Viki that she was a prostitute, and it was absolutely engrossing and in decent quality. I’d love to see more from that era.

 

My fear is that we’ve missed our moment. The muted response to Harding Lemay’s death was actually sort of disturbing. To my knowledge he didn’t even get a NY Times obit (Nixon and Labine did, quite understandably), and he was a titan. The loss of cultural memory across all art forms (film, music, TV) is really sad.

Edited by Faulkner

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I love the Criterion Collection and TCM, but the fact is FilmStruck was a shitshow from the start.


It took months to get a Roku app and when it did it refused to play many films in 5.1 sound with proper audio sync. When quizzed about it FilmStruck claimed it had a fix which never worked. I had to give up on the service because of it. As a film buff and Criterion devotee it made me furious.


Even this month they've been promising Roku fixes and a PS4 app 'coming any day'. They've been saying that for over a year.

 

If there's any justice in the world, Criterion will move its full library back to Hulu where it used to be - where it belongs.

Edited by Vee

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1 minute ago, Vee said:

I love the Criterion Collection and TCM, but the fact is FilmStruck was a shitshow from the start.


It took months to get a Roku app and when it did it refused to play many films in 5.1 sound with proper audio sync. When quizzed about it FilmStruck claimed it had a fix which never worked. I had to give up on the service because of it. As a film buff and Criterion devotee it made me furious.


Even this month they've been promising Roku fixes and a PS4 app 'coming any day'. They've been saying that for over a year.

 

If there's any justice in the world, Criterion will move its full library back to Hulu where it used to be - where it belongs.

Oh I definitely hear you. They never made FilmStruck available on legacy apps, and I hate having to use AirPlay to watch movies via my older AppleTV. I would be thrilled if Criterion were back on Hulu since I use it for other titles as well. 

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