Paulie’s Perspective: Shelter & Stream


In these times of shut down and uncertainty – there are a few things are going right for a few people. Netflix, for instance, projected a growth of 7 million subscribers. It turns out they had a growth of 16 million subscribers. Naturally they do not know how long this trend is going to last and if it’s just for the shutdown or if everyone will keep their monthly rates going. Still, 16 million instead of 7 million – pretty good. 

Speaking of Netflix – let’s continue. Tiger King was on everyone’s lips this past month and stars such as Dax Shepard pleading with the media and anyone who would listen that he is exactly right to play the part of Joe Exotic. A reporter during a White House briefing asked Trump if he would pardon Joe Exotic. So yea, the show got around. Now, however, there is a show on Netflix poised to beat Tiger King in the ratings, or whatever Netflix calls it. “Choose to Watch” numbers I guess they call it. 64 million viewers for Tiger King, and now a Spanish drama “Money Heist” is poised to beat it. Money Heist is set to garner over 65 million views worldwide. Both shows were outdone be by The Witcher, a Henry Cavill fantasy series, which garnered 75 million viewers.  So although white trash Tiger King may have felt like it was the king of Netflix, we clearly see it’s just a baby tiger, and not the man-eater we all thought it was.

Now Netflix counts viewers differently than any other medium. YouTube counts someone “watching” a video if they stay at least 30 seconds on the video. Netflix has it so if you watch at least 2 minutes of a program, you are counted as a viewer. So let’s say you click on The Irishman, an almost 4 hour fiasco. If you watch the first 2 minutes of it – Netflix counts you as a viewer of the movie and tallies you as part of the numbers they will boast in advertisements and to Martin Scorsese. So if you click on something by mistake, go get a soda from the fridge and come back – Netflix clocks you in as viewing that program.  

It used to be a member had to view 70% of the program to be counted as a viewer, not anymore. Two minutes, and you have officially watched it. Netflix claims this will enhance viewing numbers by at least 35%, and I think it will be much higher than that, because I don’t think everyone is sitting on the couch with the remote in their hands just waiting for their show to end and to change it so they don’t get counted as a viewer of the next program. 


Warner Bros will be leading the charge in terms of skipping theatrical releases. Their animated film Scoob!which is baby Scooby Doo and friends, will be released straight to VOD and digital platforms. The film will be available to rent for $19.99 and to purchase for $24.99. The rental period will be for 48 hours. Scoob! may be for the kids, but it is no slouch. Marky Mark and Zac Efron voice the baby mystery machine clan.

Hollywood is hoping to open in June or July – so studios are saving their big budget films until then. In the meantime, films with small enough budgets that they think they can recoup the cost of and even make a profit – are being fed to the proverbial sharks of the digital world and into people’s homes. Trolls World Tour was released this way by Universal, and Universal seemed happy with the results, although offered no numbers to support their feelings. Disney’s Artemis Fowl will go straight to Disney+. These three films are small budgets, but they are testing the waters to see what can be done at this time, and how well they can do it. So far, the results have been good enough for studios to try again. Let’s hope the men in the labs feel that same way about COVID-19 vaccines.

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