View Finder: Could Disney be The Simpsons’ streaming salvation in Australia?
A small silver lining to the gigantic media merger.
In one of the biggest company mergers in history, Disney is buying Fox. There's so much to unpack here, a lot of questions still unanswered and not much that hasn't already been asked; will Fox evaporate entirely? Will Wolverine draw his claws in a future Avengers film? Will Tarzan hunt Predator? Will Bart Simpson cameo in Kingdom Hearts III?
While it's quite concerning that the fifth-largest media company in the world is currently absorbing the sixth (according to Zenith's Top 30 Global Media Owner rankings for 2017), not only forcing everyone's favourite pop culture franchises into cohabitation in the house of mouse, but also giving the family-friendly empire control over Fox's 30% stake in streaming giant Hulu, there may be one small consolation prize for Australian fans of the iconic Simpson family.
When Australia's TEN failed to secure the rights to popular 20th Century Fox content like Modern Family and The Simpsons back in October, Springfield's finest disappeared from Australian free-to-air without so much as a D'oh – ending more than 20 years of reliable reruns. Since then, anyone who isn't a Foxtel subscriber has been wandering around wondering what's next for their favourite nuclear family.
As part of Disney's merger-in-progress, Rupert Murdoch has sold off $68 billion worth of 21st Century Fox, giving old Walt control over the popular aforementioned properties Modern Family and The Simpsons while Murdoch clings on to Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Sports 1 and 2 (and let's be honest, Disney's going to want to distance itself from those tripe-pushing fear mongers at Fox News post-haste).
However, snivelling hate platforms aside, the fact that Disney has scored a four-fingered discount on The Simpsons may mean Australians will have a second, or even a new exclusive, way to stream the animated classic in its entirety soon.
Disney plans to pull its content from its biggest streaming rival Netflix by the end of 2018 and launch its own over-the-top service in 2019. With the scale of this merger, Disney's Netflix bail and its stake in Hulu, it's hard to imagine the media mouse isn't planning total global domination.
Disney has already offered up a rough outline of its streaming strategy: Hulu would offer adult-focused content like FX originals Fargo and Legion, an ESPN subscription would give you access to an amalgamated sports streaming service and the Disney-branded service would offer the family-friendly fluff we've not only come to expect from it but Fox too (likely lumping in Fox's Ice Age and whatever the next teen-focused X-Men series it is they decide to pump out).
When that happens, we'll likely see The Simpsons launch in its entirety on Disney's own streaming service in Australia alongside all the movie and TV content it's currently pulling from Netflix and much, much more. Finally giving Australians what they've honestly wanted all along: Every single episode of The Simpsons on demand.
And while it is concerning that one company that's has helped rewrite copyright law has so much power over nearly every pop culture franchise you hold dear, it's also a little sweet to see properties we love taken away from the real world's Emperor Palpatine, Keith Rupert Murdoch.
Netflix knows when you're sleeping, it knows when you're awake
Netflix gets a kick out of revealing users' streaming habits. So much so, it's started publicising the excessive behaviours of individuals (like the one person who streamed Madagascar 3 352 times) and is even getting a little snarky about it.
The Madagascar stat was one thing; most likely a busy parent who left that baby on repeat for background entertainment or even a pediatrician's waiting room. Catching 53 festive folks with one net seems to have ruffled some feathers. Not only that, but the spritely PR also used some harsh language there: Who hurt you?
That's not uncommon language between casual friend circles but coming from a giant and ridiculously profitable streaming corporation, it comes off as condescending and nasty. Especially considering these are the exact people shoving Netflix Originals like A Christmas Prince down our gullets under the guise of "trending content".
It comes as no surprise that Netflix analyses viewer behaviour, most big websites (including Finder) pull apart user analytics to better serve what they have to offer.
Put simply: It's to help decide what's working and what's not.
However, the way in which Netflix has publicly and anonymously outed these folks (despite keeping their identities is anonymous) came off a little strong in the eyes of habitual binge-watchers.
Australian streaming service Stan weighed in with a harmless joke in response to one viewer's light-hearted concerns.
Notable trailers kicking up dust this week.
This adaptation of a popular cyberpunk/detective novel seems to be hitting all the right notes according to fans of the source material.
This Max Landis/David Ayer modern fantasy might be pulling the biggest star power Netflix has ever seen with Will Smith. Before it's festive release on 22 December, Netflix has dropped one last trailer which shows off Nick's (Joel Edgerton's officer Orc) musical tastes.
Looking for something to stream this week? Check out what's new on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Stan in December.
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