HBO To Launch Standalone Streaming Service

Finally, a major cable player who has seen the light. More will follow, I’m sure.

HBO is cutting the cord.The company announced on Wednesday that it will launch a standalone streaming video service in the U.S. that will allow you to watch HBO programming without paying for an expensive cable subscription.

via HBO To Launch Standalone Streaming Service Next Year.

Where the Beautiful People Go to High School

Back from my moving-across-half-of-the-country sabbatical to bring you a quick check-in on the goings-on at Westfield Prep. And there are a lot of things going on!

For the uninitiated, Westfield Prep and environs is the mythical(?) Southern California setting for the super-soapy teen web drama Youthful Daze.

When Tommy Dinato (Ethan Daniel Corbett) comes back to town, it’s clear that he has a past with Drew Castle (series creator Bryan James), but it’s not until a heated argument turns into a heated make out session do we learn that their history is a romantic one.

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Nothing stays private for too long thanks to the movie studio everyone carries in their hip pocket. Will this restroom snogfest become fodder for the high school gossips or is it Grade-A blackmail material? As they say, tune in tomorrow.

Now, campers, your faithful correspondent, ‘Uncle Grandpa,’ is a bit long in the tooth for angsty teen drama, no matter how cute the angsty teens happen to be, but I was struck by this statement from creator James, “…[Youthful Daze] showcase[s] the straight storylines and the gay ones with no hang ups or discrimination in execution. We are a soap opera that has something for everyone.”

And that’s the way it should be. Besides, every generation needs their angsty teen stories and improbable dramas; it’s how we learn we’re not alone in the world. Take this well-crafted little soap out for a spin, I think you’ll enjoy yourself.

Here’s a preview, and below a link to one of the latest episodes.

http://ww2.webisodesnetwork.com/youthful-daze/videos/1304

A Grand Time for Singing

Steve Grand makes Top 10 list of most-funded Kickstarter projects.

When out singer-songwriter Steve Grand announced his Kickstarter a little less than a month ago, I contributed on the first day. I thought to myself, I think this is a good kid; I sure hope he makes it.

I needn’t have worried: he reached his $81,000 goal in 17 hours. As I write this, he has 8 days left on his Kickstarter and he’s at $237,000 and change.

Grand says he’s determined to stay independent and to use the money he raises over and above the costs of production to make sure the need for an openly gay singer, that has been embraced by his fans over the last year or so, feeds into the needs of the mainstream music community as well.

I like him. I like his work. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s cute as hell. If you can, send him a buck or two and let’s see how far he can go.

Big Gay Tweets

This Scoop Shop’s Secret Sauce? Social Marketing.

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Founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff outside of one of the locations of Big Gay Ice Cream, the quirky East Village ice cream shop. |Image: biggayicecream.com.

Great story on Mashable – with video – about Big Gay Ice Cream, the Manhattan-based ice cream truck and bricks and mortar stores of the same name and how they’ve used social media to fuel their brand.

They have found that their quirky take on tweets and Facebook posts have won over fans.

Next time you happen by, try a Salty Pimp. Or a Bea Arthur. You’ll be glad you did.

Netflix Checks Piracy To Help Decide What To Buy

Netflix has long argued that its service helps counteract piracy by offering a legal alternative; and it seems that the company is putting its money where its mouth is.

In an interview with Dutch tech website Tweakers, Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman, says that it actively seeks out  TV series that have high rates or piracy when making programming decisions.

via Netflix Checks Piracy Stats To Help It Decide What To Buy – Forbes.

More than just a little bit smart.

And why do people pirate? Because traditional media outlets have not kept up with the needs/wants of the 21st century consumer.

Steve Grand Would Like You to ‘Stay’

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The cover image from Grand’s latest independent release.

You can download the song at Bandcamp and set your own price. I think it’s a nice follow-up to “All-American Boy” but it’s always hard to get momentum on a sophomore release, so if you like this guy, you really should throw a couple of bucks his way. I think he’s well on his way to proving that out talent and indie talent are going to be essential components of our new entertainment mix. In case you haven’t seen the video for the song, I’ve embedded the YouTube link below. Enjoy.