The 2024 Streaming Draft (live from SXSW) | The Vergecast

The 2024 Streaming Draft (live from SXSW) | The Vergecast

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The hosts introduce themselves and mention they are recording live at SXSW in Texas.
  • David Pierce explains the concept of the streaming draft, where they will each select streaming services to fill different categories.

2023 results (00:02:20)

  • A recap of the 2023 streaming draft results:
  • The audience votes on who won the 2023 draft:
    • Alex Cranz is declared the winner.
  • The rules for the 2024 draft are explained:
    • Each participant must fill six categories with their draft picks.
    • The categories are:
    • Cheap (must be under $10 per month)
    • Mid-priced (must be between $10 and $20 per month)
    • Expensive (must be over $20 per month)
    • Niche (must be a service that appeals to a specific audience)
    • Wildcard (any service that doesn't fit into the other categories)
    • Bonus pick (awarded to the participant who spends the least amount of money)
  • Alex Cranz will go first in the draft, followed by Nilay Patel and then David Pierce.

Streaming Draft Board 2024 (00:04:18)

  • The streaming draft board has six categories: Under $10, Awards (won an Oscar), 4K, Live, Niche, and Wild Card.
  • Each participant must fill out all six categories over the course of the draft.

Alex's 4K pick (00:05:01)

  • Alex chooses Netflix for the 4K category because of its extensive K-drama library and other content.
  • Alex proposes adding a "go90 scale of Doom streaming services" to the draft, where 0 is alive and 90 is dead, to assess the likelihood of a streaming service shutting down.
  • Alex believes Netflix is at a 40 on the go90 scale due to its programming issues.

Nilay's Cheap pick (00:08:03)

  • TikTok is cheap as it's funded by the Chinese government and sells low-quality products.
  • TikTok had a full-screen splash screen that forced users to either call their representative or force quit the app, resulting in many calls from angry teens and boomers to Capitol Hill.
  • Congressional Republicans passed a bill to punish app stores that carry TikTok, citing concerns about the Chinese government programming teenagers' minds.
  • Despite the controversy, Nilay chooses TikTok as his first pick.

David's Awards pick (00:10:33)

  • Apple TV+ has a reputation for producing high-quality content, but some of its movies have received negative reviews and the streaming service has been criticized for its lack of transparency regarding the profitability of its movies.
  • A suggestion is made to create a product that recommends where to watch movies based on specific criteria, such as whether it's worth spending money on or if it's better suited for a quick watch during a flight.
  • The TikTok algorithm often recommends short clips of specific movies, which can be entertaining but may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the entire film.
  • A new podcast called "The Irishman" offers an in-depth analysis of the movie of the same name.
  • The YouTube video "The 2024 Streaming Draft (live from SXSW) | The Vergecast" features a discussion about streaming services and their upcoming content, including potential streaming series based on the movies "The Irishman" and "Killers of a Flower Moon."

David's Live pick (00:15:12)

  • David selects Amazon Prime Video as his live pick.
  • Amazon Prime Video offers live football with ads.
  • David is primarily interested in Amazon Prime Video for the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
  • David acknowledges that Amazon Prime Video's live sports offerings are limited compared to other streaming services.
  • David is happy with his choice and believes it is a good long-term investment due to the financial backing of billionaires.

Nilay's Awards pick (00:16:29)

  • Nilay chooses the Disney bundle (Disney, ESPN, Hulu, and Hotstar in India) for the Awards category.
  • He highlights the popularity of Bluey on Disney+ and mentions his experience with his daughter trying to scroll on a large TV.
  • Nilay expresses concerns about Disney's future due to factors such as the unknown direction of Marvel, debt load, and the Descendants movies.
  • He suggests adding points for the possibility of Bob Iger burning down Disney before retiring.

Alex's Cheap pick (00:19:49)

  • Alex selects Peacock for the Cheap category.
  • He mentions the availability of live events like the State of the Union and the upcoming Olympics on Peacock.
  • Alex emphasizes the affordability of Peacock and its importance to him as the platform where he watches Parks and Recreation.
  • He decides to save the Awards category for later, as he has a good pick in mind.

Alex's Niche pick (00:20:36)

  • Peacock, owned by NBCUniversal, is considered less likely to fail compared to Netflix and Disney+ due to its strong entertainment foundation.
  • Netflix is seen as more vulnerable due to its reliance on algorithmic content creation and lack of a solid entertainment foundation.
  • Crunchyroll, owned by Sony, faces challenges due to the merger with FUNimation, resulting in the removal of digital purchases.
  • Crunchyroll's future depends on its distribution agreement with HBO Max, which could potentially extend its lifespan.
  • The Vergecast discussed the 2024 Streaming Draft during a live event at SXSW, highlighting the shift from anime piracy to legitimate streaming services like Crunchyroll.

Nilay's Wild Card pick (00:25:45)

  • HBO Max was chosen as the preferred streaming service over Paramount Plus at SXSW, with tote bags influencing the decision.
  • HBO Max received a low score on the "go90 scale of Doom streaming services" due to its association with the failed AT&T merger.
  • Many AT&T customers are unable to cancel their HBO Max subscriptions due to grandfathering, limiting access to features like 4K streaming.
  • The quality of HBO Max's 4K streaming has been questioned due to previous performance issues with the app.
  • The YouTube video "The 2024 Streaming Draft (live from SXSW) | The Vergecast" discusses the future of streaming services and emphasizes the need for differentiation to succeed.

David's Cheap pick (00:30:00)

  • David picks YouTube with ads as his cheap pick.
  • He considers it the worst choice on the list but also the best deal in streaming.
  • YouTube is compared to American cheese, being the only thing left on the internet at the end.

David's Niche pick (00:32:57)

  • David considers taking Tubi as his niche pick but decides against it due to its mainstream nature.
  • He chooses Criterion instead, considering it sustainable and important for its continued existence.
  • James Cameron's support for Criterion is mentioned as a factor in its sustainability.

Nilay's Live pick (00:33:44)

  • Nilay believes he has already won the draft by choosing YouTube TV with Sunday Ticket.
  • Nilay argues that YouTube TV is the fastest-growing cable service in America with the most channels and the backing of the NFL.
  • Nilay suggests that Alex change his hairstyle.
  • Nilay watched Jason Kelce's retirement speech with ads on YouTube.

Alex's Live pick (00:36:07)

  • Alex chooses Channels, a DVR app that can be plugged into cable or an antenna.
  • Channels gets all the fast channels and can be used with Pluto, Tubi, ABC, and other streaming services.
  • Alex describes Channels as an "RSS reader for TV" and praises its user interface and active development.

Alex's Wild Card pick (00:36:58)

  • Alex's wild card pick is Paramount+.
  • Paramount+ is rated 89 on the "go90 scale".
  • Paramount+ has the Cowboys, Star Trek, and live stuff.
  • Paramount+ will likely merge with Peacock.
  • Paramount+ failed due to hubris and lack of content compared to Netflix.
  • Alex is addicted to 60 Minutes on CBS.
  • 60 Minutes provides insight into what CBS wants Boomers to think about.

Nilay's 4K pick (00:39:27)

  • Nilay Patel selects Bravia Core as his 4K streaming service pick.
  • Bravia Core is a streaming service exclusive to select Sony TVs.
  • It offers four movies in pristine quality, streamed at 80 megabits per second.
  • Sony does not own any movies or IP, and the service lacks an Ethernet port fast enough to support its streaming speed.
  • Users must use Wi-Fi or purchase a USB Ethernet adapter to achieve the desired streaming quality.
  • Patel praises the streaming quality but criticizes the confusing credit system and occasional technical issues.
  • He expresses his desire for all streaming services to offer Blu-ray quality streaming.
  • David Pierce is horrified by Nilay's love for Bravia Core.
  • He finds it amusing when Nilay mentions watching movies on Bravia Core.

David's 4K pick (00:42:26)

  • David selects Tubi for 4K.
  • Tubi has at least one confirmed 4K content, a fireplace video.
  • Tubi is doing well and is sneakily very popular.
  • Fox gives everything to Tubi since they have no other streaming service.
  • Tubi's model of free with ads is becoming unsustainable, leading them to acquire content from canceled shows.

David's Wild Card pick (00:44:02)

  • David struggles with his wild card pick.
  • He considers Instagram Reels, which he finds insane.
  • David argues that slideshows are a form of video and compares them to TikToks.
  • He chooses Tubi and Instagram Reels back-to-back, expressing sadness at the lack of better options.
  • David acknowledges the spectrum of streaming services from Oscar winners to content that calls itself "content."

Nilay's Niche pick (00:46:15)

  • Nilay recommends Motor Trend TV, a streaming service that focuses on car-related content.
  • The service features shows about restoring older cars and attending car auctions.
  • Nilay finds the content captivating and believes his father-in-law is keeping the service afloat.
  • Motor Trend TV is a one-word app, but it is pronounced as two words, "Motor Trend TV".

Alex's Awards pick (00:48:11)

  • The Vergecast hosts played a game where they drafted streaming services based on different categories, including "Movie that has won an Oscar," "Has a movie available that has won an Oscar in one minute," and "The most 89."
  • Movie was chosen as the streaming service with a movie that has won an Oscar.
  • Hulu was chosen as the streaming service with a movie available that has won an Oscar in one minute and is known for its resilience against attempts to shut it down.
  • Paramount Plus was chosen as the most 89 streaming service, followed by Hulu and TikTok.
  • TikTok is currently the 89th most popular streaming service, while Paramount+ is ranked 88th and Hulu is 87th.
  • There is a possibility that Hulu may merge into Disney, leading to its eventual disappearance as a standalone brand.
  • The future of streaming may involve watching content in one-minute segments on Instagram Reels.

Final draft results (00:54:06)

  • Alex picks: Peacock, Mobile SL, Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Paramount Plus.
  • Nilay picks: TikTok, Disney Bundle, Sony Bravia Core, YouTube TV with Sunday Ticket, Motor Trend TV, Max.
  • David picks: YouTube with ads, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Criterion Collection, Instagram Reels.
  • Nilay praises the range and quality of the streaming services available.
  • David criticizes Motor Trend TV for its low video quality.
  • Alex questions the need for a gigabit internet connection for streaming movies.
  • Nilay suggests that TikTok's content strategy is based on copyright infringement and Chinese propaganda.
  • The audience votes that Nilay won the draft.
  • The hosts thank the audience and invite listeners to send in their own draft orders.
  • The Vergecast is produced by Andrew Marino and Liam James.

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