Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Box office bomb

No thanks!

This is the dumbest promotion I’ve seen in a while.

As a streaming service, Paramount+ (until recently known as CBS All Access) is at best an iffy proposition. The “peak streaming” that it promises is shows generated by CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and the Smithsonian Channel. Hardly an all-star lineup. I have some idea of original shows on MTV because those are the ones I skip at the gym. Comedy Central? Well, if you’re really interested, the highlights are mostly available as clips on social media.

The service also offers some originals. Once upon a time, I subscribed to CBS All Access, so I have some familiarity with the lineup. I will grant them that “The Good Fight” and “Evil” are two terrific shows, both of them from the same writer-producers. But the Star Trek shows are very definitely a mixed bag; “Star Trek: Discovery” has more ups and downs than a roller coaster, and “Picard” was downright terrible. Seriously terrible. The latest adaptation of “The Stand” was laughably bad — miscast, never interesting let alone frightening, and so insipid that my wife and I suspected it was intended ultimately to air at some point on the safe-as-milk CBS. (Evidently, whoever did this show never noticed that pay cable / streaming grew up a bit with “The Sopranos.”)

I might resubscribe to CBS All Access — oops! Paramount+ — at some point just to watch “The Good Fight” and “Evil” and then quit all over again. But what I won’t be doing is resubscribing so that I can get… free movie tickets.

What we have here is an inducement to people like me who’d quit a streaming service to, for some reason, rejoin the streaming service so they can use eight free movie tickets out at a movie theatre.

Isn’t much of the point of streaming precisely not to go to the movie theatre?

Moreover, I have zero interest in seeing the movies they’re offering. I’m not 8 years old, and I’m also not 12.

What might work? A discount. Or a better pricing structure overall. Or my actually wanting to watch TV, which I mostly don’t. But I don’t think this is a bad promotion just for me. I think it’s a bad promotion: It’s like offering people a free tank of gas when they buy an electric car.

One Response to “Box office bomb”

  1. Dan Says:

    You remind me I’ve got to start watching more television.

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