Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Streaming Video Report Cards for 2021: Part 2

Last week I started issuing my grades for the major streaming services and how they did with 1970s/1980s television shows in 2021. It wasn't all that fun, and today we have some more bad news, but let's get to it. 

Amazon Prime/IMDB TV: A/F (Last year: B+): How to grade them? I'm gonna tell you right now that even though we're looking at 2021, the recent price hike announcement for Prime is prominent in my head. The problem I have with Amazon is not only did it seed its free, ad-supported IMDB-TV with lots of older shows, it moved many shows that were on Prime and made them exclusive to IMDB-TV. So paid customers have to watch the same material with ads the same as all the non-members. That is bad business to me. I wrote a lot of this last year, but it got worse in 2021. One of the shows I praised Prime for adding, On Our Own, is now found on, you guessed it, IMDB.

Plus some shows just vanished, period, probably due to licensing agreements and whatnot, but the fact is with shows moving, leaving, being reclassified, etc., it is a constant struggle to keep track of what is on and what isn't on here.

The good news is there is a ton of stuff on here. The bad news is, it's hard to find, and if you are a paid member of Prime, you get very little consideration. The addition of some Norman Lear shows was an exciting event, but somehow Prime got syndicated versions of Diff'rent Strokes. It's rare to just get one show without strings on Prime.

Shout! Factory TV: D+ (Last year: B):  It added some Don Rickles stuff and little else as it slowed down considerably from previous years. It does gets credit for offering free streaming and for licensing so much of its holdings to various outlets. Plus it didn't lose anything that I noticed. So it gets some credit for that. Overall, though, it looks that Shout! has devoted its resources to movies, and it isn't adding as many of those, either.

Today's theme, then, is streaming services NOT getting the benefit of the doubt like they did last year. This is starting to get a little depressing. I tell you what, we will revisit this series in a couple days, and I promise I will share at least one GOOD grade. I can't guarantee I won't complain about something else, though.

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