DiscoverA Little Skeptical - Media, Culture and the Modern Condition
A Little Skeptical - Media, Culture and the Modern  Condition

A Little Skeptical - Media, Culture and the Modern Condition

Author: james brown

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A show about media, culture, and the modern condition hosted by James Brown.
92 Episodes
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  Baseball Fans don’t have a strong opinion on expanding its postseason.   26 percent of fans told the morning consult that they want to keep this year's 16 team format. the league expanded their format because the regular season was shortened by labor strife abd the covid-19 pandemic   28 percent of fans that they wanna return to its typical ten team structure. They’ve had it since 2012.   More than a third of fans say they have no opinion on it.    Commissioner Rob Manfred and media partner ESPN have expressed interest in keeping a larger playoff field.  But Manfred says he doesn’t expect to keep 16 teams.
Nintendo Switch has surged during the pandemic.     The company said it expects to sell 24 million of them by March 2021, up from a forecast of 19 million. Nintendo also hiked its operating profit forecast by 50% to $4.3 billion.   A CNBC report says a new version of Animal Crossing brought new consumers to the Switch in its fourth year.    Sony and Microsoft will release next-generation consoles next week, adding to competition for the Switch.
Pokemon Go has some staying power, this according to the Morning Brew   So far this year, players have spent about $1 billion in the app, that’s a 20% increase over the year it debuted.   Players in the US account for the biggest share of the app’s lifetime revenue and downloads and they’ve installed on 109 million devices.   Japan and Germany are the app’s second and third largest markets
  More than a third of all YouTube views are on tvs, that up from a little over a quarter this time last year.    Collab, a network of around 300 youtube channels noticed the trend.   “What we have is a generation of consumers who have been trained to think of YouTube as a TV solution,” said Dave Rosner, a Collab executive     A Digiday article says the average view time in tv is longer too. 7 minutes versus 3 three and a half minutes for mobile and almost 6 minutes on desktops and laptops.
A recent lawsuit makes me long for the days yore—-back when i bought cassettes—- and yes i mean cassettes—and  cds—— dvds—- and more—-from record stores and yes even Amazon.com why the trip down memory lane—-  Well Amazon admitted in a response to a recent lawsuit that any digital content purchased on site can be erased at any time.  for any reason. it’s in their terms of service.  a customer of amazon’s prime video service claims the company—— misleads—- consumers into thinking they actually own movies and tv shows and videos they bought on it service. today—- we don’t own much content that buy online in fact we rent everything from netflix and disney plus——to spotify and apple music—- to microsoft office and adobe’s creative suite—— as PC magazine described Amazon’s process— “the content you purchased will be available until it isn't anymore. That means it could remain attached to your account for years to come, or disappear in a few months if licensing terms change.”
 jon stewart signed a deal with apple tv. stewart agrees to come back to TV in a much different world for comedy commentary—- than the one he left in 2015. back then he was a mainstream yet novel voice in the space——  grabbing good viewership numbers and outsized acclaim for his work—-  for more than a decade—- today—- his protégés— stephen colbert— john oliver—- samantha bee— and their less successful brethren have duplicated elements of his formula as has most of late night tv.  headlines are written about what these hosts think about politics.  many expect them to address hot button issues political issues daily—- often without a shred of funny the novelty is gone—  as is the appeal of a self proclaimed fake newsman—— even that phrase means something very different than it did a half decade ago—- also gone is most of the power of cable tv.  viewers have fled to streaming platforms like netflix—— disney plus—— youtube and parts unknown—- hence stewart’s shrewd move—- joining apple’s overpaid—- little watched— roster of shows.. stewart like fellow returning—- cable tv mainstay keith Olbermann, finds themselves rebuilding in a world that overgrew their thrones.  And I’m betting on Olbermann on YouTube more than Stewart on an obscure streaming network. the barrier for entry is too high for stewart and he’ll likely get lost in the shuffle...
Universal Music is introducing a line of Music-Based Experiential’ Hotels — potentially competing with music venues.  According to digital music news The establishments will reflect local culture, history, and music, “promoting positive social change, education and innovation” through their guest experiences and operations. They will open in Atlanta , Biloxi, and Orlando, with more locations “to come.” The hotels could host universal music artists like Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Billie Eilish. The locations could lead the label profiting off of all in one concert and accommodation passes for concerts
Rush Limbaugh is battling stage 4 lung cancer. The 69-year-old was diagnosed with lung cancer in February. He told his listeners that he's had a setback. Limbaugh said his doctors changed his medications in "hopes of keeping additional progression at bay for as long as possible." Prior to this week's update, he said that cancer "had been reduced, and it had become manageable." Limbaugh has been hosting "The Rush Limbaugh Show" in national syndication for more than 30 years. CNN says Limbaugh renewed his contact with the syndication company Premiere Radio Networks in January.
The XFL will be back in 2021...That’s what the Rock says. The Rock and other investors bought the league from Vince McMahon after the football league went into bankruptcy earlier this year.  They paid $15 million for it. ESPN and ABC televised the league that collapsed after just five games. It was a combination of bad timing: Covid-19 stopped all sports in the spring and poor management. Many former coaches and league employees are listed as creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings most prominently Oliver Luck who ran the league. He’s suing McMahon for wrongful termination. Luck is asking for nearly $24 million.
The long-running show  was canceled in the US by Paramount Network in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. But the thirty one year old show remains a hit world wide. So Cops crews started filming again in September. This time in Spokane Washington and they are expected to continue into November. Cops premiered on Fox in 1989 where it aired for 25 seasons. The show was resurrected in 2013 by Spike TV which became the paramount network.  
An NBC owned station in the bay area wants residents to binge watch local investigative news. Its first series is called Derailed and its in its second season. The show focuses on Bay Area transit data, policing, and finances and how it impacts that community. The Cronkite school of journalism blog says episodes are between 4 and 15 minutes long and stream on NBCBayArea.com, YouTube, and Apple TV and more than 300 thousand people have streamed it so far. The first season also aired tv as a one hour special. The same is expected for this season.
Apple bought a startup that makes listening to podcasts more like listening to a radio station. Bloomberg says Scout FM creates podcast stations on various topics like Spotify and apple music create stations based on songs and is already popular among apple users. it also worked with Android devices and Amazon’s Alexa. Apple  shut down the app after the purchase. The iPhone maker was one of the first technology players to popularize podcasting 15 years ago. It has since slowly added new features to its Podcast app across nearly all of its devices.
Text message based news is one of media's newest experiments. One of the most successful attempts is The New Paper which is based in Indiana. it’s been around only six months and curates and summarizes the day’s top stories into one daily text message. What’s new in Publishing reports that the service has over 7000 paid subscribers and projects $400,000 dollars in annual revenue. The company charges five dollars a month.
A new poll of live music bosses says they’re hopeful gigs will be back sometime next year. Concerts have been scaled back and most cases eliminated by COVID-19. Digital Music News says more than half of the execs think concerts  “will return to full capacity in 2021.” About a third of the bosses think it’ll take another year. 15 percent have no idea. The largest concert ticket company, Live Nation, expects concerts and festivals to return “at scale” next summer.
iHeartMedia has added regular national, regional and local sports breaks to its 500+ radio stations, most of which are not sports focused. This is according to Sports Business Daily.  Sports personalities like Cris Collinsworth, Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick and Joy Taylor are expected to appear on non-sports radio stations as well.  The move is part of iHeartMedia’s launch of the iHeartSports Network. The company cites a study that said 83% of sports fans want daily updates and a Nielsen stat that says 89% of sports fans listen to the radio every week.
  Pre-pandemic, 60% of parents said their children spent no more than three hours on devices. Now, 70% estimate their kids spend at least four hours with screens. Games are a popular source of entertainment for children, with 70% of parents overall saying their kids interact with that type of content while on their devices. YouTube was the most popular entertainment platform among children of all ages, with 62% of parents saying their children use the video platform.
Covid-19 is making people wary of going to theaters. The morning consult polled 14,000 Americans on  how they feel about going to movie theaters.  Only 18 percent of them said they were likely to go to the movies in September, while 23 percent said they were likely to go sometime this year.  Nearly a third of the people who said they were uncomfortable going to a movie in September said being able to rent a theater for personal use would make them more likely to go.
Rob and Michele Reiner are reviving Castle Rock Entertainment with the help of Warner Bros TV. Castle Rock is a familiar name for TV and movie fans in the 80s and 90s. They’re Best known for When Harry Met Sally…, A Few Good Men,, Miss Congeniality and The Shawshank Redemption and more than 100 other films. It was also the producer of one of the most successful TV shows ever… Seinfeld.  The Reiners tell Deadline dot com that they have about a dozen projects in the hopper including half-hour comedies, dramas, political and period shows.
About a year after leaving Fox News Sheppard Smith is back on TV. He begins a nightly newscast Wednesday at 7 p.m. on CNBC. Smith will work out of a new studio that’s been built for him at CNBC’s New Jersey headquarters says the Associated Press. He replaces reruns of Shark Tank averaging 150,000 viewers and admits that It’s not an easy thing to start from scratch”  There’s really no other place to go but up.
A recent survey says the gulf between Emmy nominated shows and America’s favorite show is pretty big. Roughly 10% of U.S. adults named “NCIS,” “Yellowstone” or “This Is Us” as the best TV show so says the morning consult.  68 of more than 16-hundred surveys called “NCIS” the best program that aired new episodes in the past year. Just three surveys said “Watchmen,” the most nominated program of the year was their favorite. Seven of the top 10 programs named in the survey aired on broadcast television or ad-supported cable, though just two of the 10 programs that received the most Emmy nominations — “Saturday Night Live” and “Schitt’s Creek” — can say the same.
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