With the return of fall, making sure your technology needs are met becomes even more essential. Between wanting to know where you can stream Sunday Night Football and worrying whether or not your Internet speeds will accommodate all the kids doing their homework at the same time, we know your questions are important. That's why we're here to help you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest Internet, streaming entertainment, and cord-cutting technology news, not only through these monthly newsletters, but also through the many resources available on MarshmallowStreaming.com.
This month, take a look at some of the biggest headlines from the world of streaming services and discover a new app designed to simplify the search of where your favorite shows and movies are available. Then, make sure to grab the family and pop the popcorn because we've rounded up some new, recommended titles that are fun for everyone.
Changes Loom for HBO Max
When the merger between Warner Bros, AT&T and Discovery came together, we mused in this newsletter that we hoped it was an opportunity to improve the HBO Max platform and that subscribers would benefit from an expanded content library courtesy of all of the companies coming together. In reality, it appears that the new Warner Bros. Discovery is quick to throw the HBO Max baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
In the past month, 68 shows have vanished from HBO Max, with 37 of them being original content for the platform. Original movies are being scrapped as they near completion and without warning to their creators. Even well-established names aren't safe—200 episodes of Sesame Street have been taken down. It was also announced that the previous deal to release Warner Bros. movies on HBO Max 45 days after their theatrical release would now be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The bottom line is that Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to save money wherever they can. The company also seems to think that Discovery Plus’ catalog of reality TV shows, along with a strategic pivot back to a purely theatrical release model for movies, will get them—and keep them—the customers they need.
But the reality is that HBO’s engaging and interesting library of content is what made the platform stand out in the sea of other streaming providers. While HBO Max and Discovery remain two different platforms for now, we hope that they can retain their individuality and distinct subscriber bases without too much damage from their parent company. After all, who really wants to pay hard-earned money for a subscription that doesn’t meet their needs or have enough content to interest them?
Change is in the air for Warner Bros. Discovery and this certainly won’t be the last big news to come out of this merger. We’ll be sure to share important information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about making sure your streaming subscriptions include the programming you’re looking for, we’re here to get you answers and find you solutions.
Disney is Celebrating, but are Customers Benefiting?
Disney Plus added more than 14 million subscribers between April and July. Disney now has a total of 221 subscribers across all of its streaming platforms, beating out Netflix in total subscribers—an important milestone as the company continues to push forward in the streaming platform competition.
Disney’s gain will unfortunately be bittersweet for customers. Come December, Disney Plus plans to raise monthly subscription costs, jumping up $3 to $10.99/month. For those used to the $7.99/month subscription cost, Disney also plans to launch an ad-supported level at that price to hopefully retain those customers who are feeling the crunch of higher price tags.
Ad-supported subscription levels have become all the rage lately, and while there’s an obvious benefit to consumers for having multiple price points available, the addition of advertisements may take away some of the appeal of streaming entertainment. Weren’t we all trying to avoid the commercial breaks in the first place?
All Qewd Up
If you’ve ever felt like you’ve wasted the better part of an evening just searching for where a particular movie or show is available for streaming, a new app is here to help. Qewd, a bit of word play on the act of queuing up streaming titles, is currently in Beta mode—the public testing phase—and available for free download for your smartphone in the Apple and Google Play app stores.
After downloading the app and setting up a unique user account, Qewd will begin to gather info like the streaming services you currently use and some genres of content that interest you. Qewd will then curate content based on this info and display relevant groupings on both the homepage and the discover page. This can range from general lists like “Top Movies on Netflix” to more personalized options like “Journalism Movies” and "Great Satire Flicks."
Have something particular in mind? Using the search function, you can seek out a particular title. For example, searching for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds will bring up a description of the movie, cast and crew details, and a list of where to watch. The “Watch On” section also includes specifics on if you can watch with a subscription, live on a movie channel, or if you’ll have to “rent/buy” it. Now I know I could watch The Birds with a Showtime or a Fubo TV subscription, or rent it from Amazon Prime, among other options. The search field will also remember your recent searches, in case you want to come back to something later.
There is an optional social media component aimed at connecting you with the titles your friends are viewing and enjoying, but this can be easily skipped.
There are also plenty of live TV channels that can be watched in-app, organized by genre. Most notable are the live news options, where viewers can watch from channels like ABC News, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, BBC World News, and more.
While you may already know that Googling the name of a movie or show will bring up some of the same information, the benefit here is to have a lot of information in one place with a simplified search feature. If this is a technology you feel like you’ve been missing, give it a try and spend that time saved enjoying movie night instead.
What to Watch: Family-Friendly Picks for Back-to-School
Speaking of movie night, as a new school year kicks into high gear, it's important to balance quality time with all of those after school activities. Here are some of our latest recommendations for family-friendly watch parties.
Sam Greenfield is the unluckiest person in the world until she’s gifted a lucky penny that turns her life around—too bad she accidentally flushes it down the toilet. Her quest to get it back leads her to the Land of Luck, where no human has gone before, in this Apple TV+ original animated film. The cast is star-studded—you’ll likely recognize the voices of Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg, plus frequent Pixar collaborator John Ratzenberger (Hamm from Toy Story, Mack from Cars, and Yeti from Monsters, Inc., among others). The creative team even includes some of the same visionaries that brought you Toy Story and Cars.
Jennifer Walters is just your typical 30-something attorney—specializing in cases involving superhumans—until an accident leaves her with the ability to transform into the 6-foot-7-inch and very green superhero: She-Hulk. Unsure of her new abilities, Jennifer is hesitant to leave her normal life behind, but it’s hard to deny the opportunity she has been given. The concept for the character of Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk has been around since the late ‘80s, but it has taken this long to turn that idea into reality. This is the eighth series within the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+, following Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel which both premiered earlier this year. New episodes are dropping every Thursday through October 13, making it a great watch for an end of the school week treat.
From the mind of Mindy Kaling, this uproariously funny (and sometimes extremely touching) coming-of-age comedy series is now in its third season. Loosely based on Kailing’s own high school experiences, the show follows 15-year-old Devi and her friends as they navigate typical teen dilemmas like crushes, kissing, and fights with their moms, all while Devi also combats the grief of her father’s sudden death. Fun fact: former professional tennis star John McEnroe serves as the series’ narrator.
Liked Ted Lasso? Then you’ll love this real-life story of actors Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) buying the Welsh football club Wrexham, which is the oldest team of its kind in Wales and one of the oldest in the world. This FX original docuseries follows their journey and well as the story of an old school, working class community letting two outsiders into their long standing traditions as everyone roots for the wayward team to climb Great Britain's football pyramid.
A Final Word
Streaming entertainment is such a rapidly shifting industry, sometimes it feels like the Wild West. Whatever solutions you may be on the hunt for and answers you may need, the Marshmallow Streaming team is ready listen and offer expert support. Get in touch today by visiting MarshmallowStreaming.com.
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