No One is Safe from ‘The Great Streaming Battle’

A few days ago we posted a video about recent events in the cord cutting world. Today we bring you more details, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal. In the classic early 20th Century tradition of Popeye’s “Let’s you and him fight,” we find this fascinating and hope you will too.

by Amol Sharma & Joe Flint

A new era is dawning in the entertainment world and you’re about to get a whole lot more choices—for better or worse. The streaming wars are here.

Titans of media and technology are wagering billions that consumers will pay them a monthly fee to stream TV and movies over the internet. Walt Disney Co. is launching a $6.99-a-month service next week, following Apple Inc.’s entry earlier this month. AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal next year will mount their own challenges to streaming juggernaut Netflix Inc.

The combatants are fighting on the same battlefield, all seeking to lure in subscribers, but they have radically different motivations—and some have far more at stake than others.

Legacy giants like Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia are racing to reinvent their core media business, which is under assault as consumers turn away from traditional broadcast and cable TV. For them, selling streaming subscriptions to consumers has to work—and has to be profitable. For Apple, while streaming can advance its business, failure is an option.

Consumers will have choices to make as new entrants join the fray: Americans are willing to spend an average of $44 monthly on streaming video and subscribe to an average of 3.6 services, according to a survey of over 2,000 people in recent days by The Wall Street Journal and the Harris Poll. That is up roughly $14 from what most people pay now.

But with so many existing players already in the market—Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access and ESPN+, among others—not everyone can emerge victorious. “This market is going to have to shake out — it doesn’t feel like all these players can continue to play this game forever,” said David Wertheimer, a former president of digital products at Fox Networks Group who is now a media and tech investor.

Netflix is in an enviable position with a big head start, but may be in for some turbulence. Nearly one in three Netflix subscribers said they would likely cancel the service in the next three months to make room for a new entrant, according to the Journal-Harris Poll survey. Some 43% of parents with kids under 18 said they were likely to cancel, as did 44% of men ages 18 to 34….

Read it all at

Blogging or Podcasting? Which is for you?

The future belongs to those of us who make the right choices for ourselves. Here’s some info to help content creators decide the best way to express themselves and get their work before an appreciative – and maybe even paying – audience:

by Lindsay Harris Friel

If you want to gain authority in your field, sell products, or influence others, then producing engaging, helpful content is a great way to drive traffic to your website. What’s the best way to present that content? Blogs and podcasts are the two biggest methods. Which one is going to be best for you? Let’s take a closer look at blogging vs. podcasting. We’ll figure out out what best uses your abilities, and engages your target market.

Why Choose Blogging?

The most popular choice for creating and putting out content is to start a blog. It’s not hard to see why.

All you need is internet access, and some writing skill. Web site editors are as easy to use as tweeting or posting on Facebook. The bar for entry is pretty low.

However, it can be difficult to keep people’s attention, once you’ve gotten it. Short, frequent social media posts seem to have conquered users. A Kennesaw State University study showed that frequent social media users have shorter attention spans. If you’re marketing your products, services and skills to people who spend a lot of time online, be aware that short posts have the most impact.

Podcasting Barriers to Entry

Like blogging, you don’t have to get permission to share your thoughts via a podcast. But, you have to make a bit more effort than simply typing thoughts into sentences. You need to record your audio, edit it so it makes sense, upload it to a media host, and then publish it online.

At its most basic level, podcasting can be nearly as simple as making a phone call. Most people have smartphones with decent voice recorders included. It’s very easy to record an episode and upload it to a free account on somewhere like Soundcloud. This is limited, but realistic. Even so, there are more steps between the initial idea and the published content….

Read it all at


by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 

Music from
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (
License: CC BY (


HBO Adds A New, Expensive Streaming Service Called HBO Max. 

In addition to a whole laundry list of shows including the prequel to Game of Thrones, HBO Max, at $15 per month, will have podcasts. To begin, these podcasts will probably be talk shows about the programs on the service, but it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that, sooner or later, HBO will add original fictional podcasts to try out new properties.


iHeart Media, which already has podcast agreements with Blumhouse Entertainment, Shonda Rhimes, yes that Shonda Rhimes, and Will Farrell, has placed an order for a new scripted science fiction podcast called, The Second Oil Age, created by Robert Lamb, host of iHeart’s non-fiction podcast, Stuff to Blow Your Mind. United Talent Agency has already begun discussions with TV producers to make the transition from podcast to TV series. iHeart’s head of podcasting, Conal Byrne, said, “Podcasting is an incredibly good medium to test intellectual property for TV and film because you can move quickly and cost-effectively.”


This post from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has some fascinating articles about podcasting in general and fiction podcasts in particular. The two most interesting articles are one about Kaitlin Prest, Canadian podcaster and founder of podcast production company, Mermaid Palace, who has some out-of-the-box ideas about how to make a profit. The other details how British comedy podcast, Wooden Overcoats, goes about spending the proceeds from their crowdfunding efforts. Some good information on budgeting a successful podcast.


From Nieman Labs, again. Independent podcast producers need to be careful when approached by potential partners, we should all be so lucky, and avoid bad contracts which are rampant within the podcast revolution. This article points out some of the things to look for.


Some Unusual Clauses From Podcast Host Terms And Conditions.

In the same vein, this article from Podnews goes into more specific language from some hosting companies that you need to be aware of.


October 2019 Audio Drama/Fiction Podcast Debut Releases.

Every month The Cambridge Geek compiles a list of audio fiction podcasts that have released an Episode 1 during the previous month. This month there are over 60 new fiction podcasts listed, and these are just the ones he found. It’s a good site to bookmark.


We’re Alive: Goldrush Passes 4 Million Downloads.

The We’re Alive franchise helmed by audio drama’s 800-pound gorilla, Kc Wayland, occupies a spot near the top of my favorite podcasts. The entire franchise has racked up over 140 million downloads. If you want to create top-quality audio fiction, this series is one of the gold standards. Even better, they recently released a behind-the-mic episode for Goldrush titled We’re Alive: Behind the Mic, that lets you in on the process.

That’s it for now. Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating!

How to Mentor Yourself

Because finding a reliable and genuinely helpful mentor is, for all practical purposes, as valuable and as difficult to find as the Holy Grail. Especially in showbiz.



by Nick Douglas

If you’re ever stuck for ideas or advice, and you feel like you can’t find a mentor, here’s how to become your own mentor: Look at everyone else who’s doing a similar thing. Some successful ones, and some failing ones. Find everything they could be doing better. And then don’t tell them. Tell yourself.

Do it positively: Think of every cool idea you want to suggest to these people, everything you’d pitch them if they let you contribute. Blue-sky thinking, upgrades to their current routines, every way they could grow and evolve and mature and really shine.

Do it negatively: Notice every stupid mistake, every misstep, every false assumption, every time that ego or novelty or razzle-dazzle distracts them from doing their best.

Make a written list. Keep adding things until you’ve got sub-lists, corollaries, multiple examples of every flaw or every opportunity. Don’t get obsessed, but pay attention and write things down. You don’t have to memorize the list.

You can write down the successes and good ideas too, that’s great, you should always be doing that. But you need to track all these missed opportunities. You are, of course, writing this list not for them but for yourself.

Have you ever seen a project launch with a manifesto? It happens a lot in media. Some new site launches and talks a lot about what it will and won’t do. Lifehacker did it with our parenting section, Offspring. When you’re making this list, you’re building your own manifesto. Don’t publish it, but consult it. It’s a list of pieces of advice you’ve given yourself….

Read it all at

Herbie J Pilato on Creating His Talk Show, ‘Then Again…’

TVWriter™ Contributing Editor Emeritus (because he’s so busy with other great things these days) Herbie J Pilato tells us how he got his new hit talk show, Then Again, off the lunching pad and streaming on Amazon Prime (and Shout Factory TV too).

More tips from top writers courtesy of Author Learning Center are HERE

More about Herbie J Pilato is HERE