‘What Should I Watch on Netflix?’: A New Original Series

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The new series centers on Beth, a thirtysomething woman struggling to balance her work and dating lives while finding a new show or movie to enjoy. Her first choice, “The Devil Wears Prada,” is never available, and although she has the money, she won’t rent it on Amazon.

As ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns, Is Sharing Your HBO Password O.K.?

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The seventh season of “Game of Thrones” returns on Sunday, and if you’re like a significant chunk of HBO’s viewership, you can watch it thanks to the login credentials tracing back to your friend’s ex-boyfriend’s parents.

But if you listened to the headlines after a court decision last July, you might fear a SWAT team could bust down your door in the middle of your illicit “Veep” episode. Countless news sites reported that sharing your password would be a “federal crime,” while others suggested you might “go to jail” for it.

The less hysteric truth is more complicated but experts largely agree: You are in very little danger of legal trouble by sharing your password or using a shared one. The laws remain murky, but the government is unlikely to prosecute you, and the streaming video services have shown no desire to go after customers.

(We’re not saying you should use someone else’s password. As an ethical issue, it’s probably a good idea to pay for it. The same goes for news.)

Forget Netflix and Chill. Try Pure Flix and Pray.

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It was produced by Pure Flix, a faith-based entertainment production and distribution company in Scottsdale, Ariz… In June 2015, the company introduced an on-demand streaming service. While Netflix denizens devour series like “13 Reasons Why” and “Breaking Bad,” PureFlix.com offers bingeable programming like “The American Bible Challenge,” a game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy; “Family Affair,” a sitcom starring Brian Keith that ran from 1966 to 1971; “The Encounter,” a Pure Flix original scripted series about people who are visited by Jesus; and stand-up comedy from Sinbad and Louie Anderson.

… On-demand services allow Christians of different disciplines to find content that speaks to their individual interests and beliefs. A theatrical feature film can be a tougher sell to a religious population with many different denominations.

… “The major networks like the audience of faith,” he continued, “but when you have to go to the audience and say faith things on television, well, we might be too open.”

Ms. White responded, “They’re worried we’ll make the audience uncomfortable, like Jesus freaks.”

“I think the climate is different now,” Mr. White said of producing a reality show based on an evangelical Christian family. “I think it eventually will happen.”

Indian commuters are coping with their terrible commutes by watching Netflix


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Netflix’s subscribers are setting their own “primetime” streaming hours around the world.

Globally, streaming on the web-video service peaks around 9pm on weekdays, according to data provided by Netflix—the US included. Keeping in line with Americans’ viewing habits in the 90-year history of television, that’s also when most viewers tune in to traditional TV, Nielsen data shows.

But, in India, Netflix streaming peaks at 5pm, the earliest primetime in the world. It’s not unusual for workers in India to spend one to three hours commuting each way by bus, train, or car, which explains the heavy viewing during those hours. Mobile video, which accounts for 60% of mobile data traffic, is also on the rise the country, so viewers can stream on the go. Subscribers there are also 82% more likely to watch Netflix at 9am than the rest of the world, Netflix found.

Now Netflix Is All Thumbs

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Stars were on the out for several reasons. For one, Netflix was transitioning from a DVD rental business to a streaming company. It was less reliant on you telling it what you liked (via ratings), because it could already tell what you liked — simply by analyzing what you had watched.

And there tended to be a gulf between the two behaviors. People rated aspirationally, but they watched situationally. Yes, you did give That Important Documentary five stars when you got around to watching it, but at the end of a trying day at the office, you more often settled on viewing some pleasing pap like “The Ridiculous 6.”

The Downside to Cord-Cutting

Credit Minh Uong/The New York Times

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Yet the overwhelming majority of Americans — about 100 million homes — still cling to cable.

What could be getting in the way of cutting the cord? To assess this, I tried Sony’s Vue and Dish Network’s similar streaming service, Sling TV, which also offers a slimmer bundle of TV channels than traditional cable. I decided to compare the two TV bundles rather than stand-alone apps like HBO Go, Netflix and Hulu, because Vue and Sling TV were designed to replace traditional cable packages.

After testing the two for a week, I had an answer: Neither streaming service felt like an adequate substitute for a cable package, largely because of content restrictions, broadcast delays and the difficulty of using a game controller with one of the services.


The Entire Netflix History of Us

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And there it was: my recently watched list, representing the entire history of our relationship.

There was “Mad Men,” which we watched again from the beginning during a snowstorm, my legs across his lap, the cat asleep on my stomach, Peggy Olson still vulnerable and meek… Before I could think about it, I hit play on “Mad Men.” On some subconscious level I must have been hoping that by replaying the episodes, I could replay the memories, too, and surrender completely to grief.

By the end of the weekend, my friends let me crawl back into my cave. I turned on the TV and was surprised to see something new in my queue: “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

I stood up, mouth agape.

I wanted to be angry that he was still using my login — that he could still take from me after leaving me with nothing. But I couldn’t. This was my only connection to him, and changing my password would sever the last artery of this bleeding limb.

I also thought: Maybe if he sees the same titles that I see, he, too, will replay the highlight reel of our happy memories and be warmed by them. And, who knows, that might lead him back to me?


Original Streamed Series Top Binge Viewing Survey for First Time

Tons of stats to show how people are showing new TV watching behaviours, binging on shows online and more, from the TiVo Binge Viewing Survey:

Why We Binge
Respondents cite the desire to “catch up” on TV (28 percent) and “only having learned about the show after many episodes had already aired” (17 percent) as their top drivers for binging.

Three in ten of those surveyed prefer to wait to binge-watch certain programs until the entire season or series is over.

32 percent deliberately put off watching an entire season of a show until they can watch the whole season at once, a slight increase from the 2014 survey.

Risk Factors: Sadness, Lost Weekends and Lost Sleep
Ever heard of the binging blues? 52 percent report experiencing feeling sad when they get to the end of binging a series. When it comes to time spent binging, 31 percent said they have lost sleep due to binge-viewing, and 37 percent have spent an entire weekend binging a show.

The Couple That Binges Together… Stays Together
…31 percent say binge-viewing together is an important way they spend time with their spouse.

Netflix Is Going to Rule TV After All

Robin Wright accepts the Golden Globe for her role in Netflix's House of Cards.Image: Paul Drinkwater/AP

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Meanwhile, Netflix charges eight bucks a month to watch anything, anytime, anywhere, painlessly. Until recently, NetFlix still seemed like a supplement to the rest of TV, especially given its sometimes spotty offerings. But its original content upended that calculus, especially because it showed a willingness and ability to make shows whose quality rivaled anything on cable.

What’s more, Netflix isn’t hamstrung by anything as retro as seasons or time slots. No matter how good their shows are, the core business of HBO or Showtime or AMC is limited by how much programming they can fit into a 168-hour week. But Netflix can make as many or as few shows as it likes and put them up any time of year.

Netflix is also willing to release an entire season of shows at one time.