This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"She-Hulk has the fakest boobs I ever saw."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 01 October 2014




Tweet







February 15 2009

Dollhouse "Ghost" is in the iTunes USA Top 10 TV Episodes. As of Sunday morning Dollhouse's episode 1 has already become an iTunes USA top seller!

Build the buzz -- show Fox that Dollhouse will be a money maker -- buy for yourself and gift a friend.

I would if I could %*@#& international viewing laws!
What Beth says. Good news though.
I wanted to buy the full season (in advance) so that new episodes would automatically download as they became available on iTunes, but that option doesn't seem available. Consequently Dollhouse only appears in the episode best-seller list, not the season best-seller list.

But Dr. Horrible is still #3 on the top season's list so... yay!
What Beth and Bubblecat say (never in my life I've been that frustrated for being unable to pay for something...!!!), but, hey that's great news!! it should be taken into huge account by the network, right?
Well, it'll be taken into account if the trend continues for the rest of the season, certainly. It'll be taken into account in a considerably more ominous sense if it slowly fades into oblivion by the end of the season.
I bet they were expecting it. Whedonites have a reputation, after all.
Indeed. I think Dr. H clearly shows that we'll happily pay to download and watch Joss' work.

And whatever happened to Fox8 showing Dollhouse here in Oz?
Got mine, and with it the opportunity for a little frame by frame viewing.
Just wanted to note that, if you buy a prepaid credit card or an iTunes Gift Card, you can set up a US Store account from any country. I have mine set up from Canada and have successfully purchased many shows. I need to get a new card, so I can buy Dollhouse.
I thought you had to have a US address Knuckleball?
I just made one up, using my street address, but saying it was in Eugene, OR. You register the credit card for online shopping, usually, so you give it whatever information you want to give it for the address and just make sure that you give the same information to iTunes.

I was quite pleased - I feel so much better about buying Battlestar Galactica rather than downloading it. :)
Up to #8 already. Granted, I'm guessing the fact that it's on the iTunes front page doesn't hurt.
Do studios (like Fox) PAY to have their products appear on the front page of the iTunes store?
In the meantime, "Ghost" is #1 on Hulu's Most Popular Episodes. Yay.
Do studios (like Fox) PAY to have their products appear on the front page of the iTunes store?
The "buy a gift card for a new account that has an american address" is compelling, but does it actually work? When I go to buy a gift card iTunes says "...gifts purchased in the UK must be redeemed through the UK iTunes Store".

Any one tried it out?

If not, I'll try it, worse comes to worst and i'll just buy myself ten pounds of music on the UK store.
No one pays iTunes to feature items. They are from purchasing charts and iTunes users rankings (And APPLE Staff Picks!). There has been quite a fit by app(lication) developers and Music and Movie Studios about chart rankings. Kelly Clarkson's new single hit #1 in a few hours before it got any radio play. Proof of a hit...

Here's the only article (I speed search)that kinda mentions it.
Article
Sparticus: It does work, though I haven't tried it myself. You can buy American (or Japanese or whatever) gift cards off eBay UK. If you buy the gift card yourself off iTunes UK, it won't work*. The only caveat is that when you go to use the card, you need to register with a fake American address. I have no idea if that's legal or not, and it seems bizarre that people should have to fight so hard to actually give a company their money, but there you go...

ETA: *to my knowledge. What Knuckleball is saying is the first I've heard of being able to set up an American account from any country, without having both an American address and American credit card.

[ edited by MattK on 2009-02-15 17:23 ]
The card I use is the prepaid MasterCard gift card, which you can read about at http://www.vanillamastercard.com.

I haven't personally tried the iTunes Gift Card method, but the prepaid credit card method has worked for me and continues to work for me. Maybe my results are the exception, but the worst that can happen is that you end up with a prepaid credit card that you can use at most other places anyway.
Did my part and bought the episode yesterday, and left a 5 star rating and glowing review. :)
This all brings up a significant question -- to Joss or Fox:

"How can international fans help you monetize Dollhouse?"

To paraphrase Jerry Maguire: "Help us help you."

We WANT to help you make money on Dollhouse so that you (Fox) see the merits of approving Season 2, but the international copyright laws seem to block us. In addition to the clever workarounds discussed above, what other things can we do (with your help) to help you profit from Dollhouse?
- Buy merchandise?
- Watch on fox.com so you can show these stats to advertisers?
- Watch on Hulu so casual browsers see it as a top show?
- Lobby our local TV stations to pickup the remaining Dollhouse episodes?
- etc.
Hi, can I buy those American gift cards in germany?
Re: American iTunes accounts, this guide worked for me.
Is there someplace to see this list without having to install Itunes?
IceHunter, I couldn't find one (sorry), which is why I posted the link that launces iTunes. If someone else know a pure browser-based URL to the "Top iTunes TV Episodes," please post!

In the meantime...

Dollhouse "Ghost" is now up to #5!

1. BSG: "No Exit"
2. Lost: "This Place is Death"
3. The Office: "Lecture Circuit, Part 2"
4. Grey's Anatomy: "Before & After"
5. Dollhouse: "Ghost"
6. Star Wars (Clone Wars): "Mystery of the Thousand Moons"
7. Star Wars (Clone Wars): "Blue Shadow Virus"
8. The Suite Life on Deck: "Mom and Dad on Deck"
9. Private Practice: "Ex-Life"
10. T:SCC: "The Good Wound"
After some fiddling around with iTunes and eBay, "they" finally let me pay to watch Dollhouse. I am really annoyed with how complicated the process was, and it feels like such a waste.

I understand that there are rights issues, and that if a Norwegian tv channel bought the rights to Dollhouse at some time, they would theoretically lose a viewer in me (although, ironically, my television is just hooked up to my Xbox 360 and my computer, I don't actually watch "normal" television anymore). I wish they could just charge me 50% more per episode (or whatever) and give the extra money to whoever owns the rights to show the series in Norway.

*pant*

At least I did my part, and now I get to see the "Grr! Argh!" credit, which was cut out of the... other version I saw. ;)
Knuckleball , thanks for the tip, I just saw it and I'm gonna try it right now.. I'll feel much better if it works...
Fingers crossed..
#7 on Amazon.com

Dollhouse Amazon On Demand

1. BSG: No Exit
2. Ghost Town
3. Mamma Mia! The Movie
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Unrated)
5. Nights in Rodanthe
6. Burn After Reading
7. Dollhouse: Ghost
8. TSCC:The Good Wound
9. Eagle Eye
10. The Secret Life Of Bees

[ edited by Anonymous1 on 2009-02-15 20:59 ]
Are the iTunes best of list different in Canada? Because my list does not even remotely resemble the one provided by SteveP and Dollhouse isn't anywhere in the top 10--or the list at all, for that matter.
The lists are different in different country's iTunes stores. So, I'd guess they're different in US and Canada.
The fact that TSCC is in the Top 10 must be because of (1) the Friday effect (people going out and tuning in the next day), and (2) the tech savviness of sci-fi fans.

Unless they're complete idiots, the tops at Fox will look at DH's ratings in light of these facts.
Does anyone know if I can gift the episode to someone in another country?
SteveP said:

This all brings up a significant question -- to Joss or Fox:

"How can international fans help you monetize Dollhouse?"


At least in Australia, Cable Channel Fox8 have already bought the rights to Dollhouse. Selling the international rights is how Fox wants international fans to help them see it. They don't want you to see it right now :) Writing/emailing your local tv to say you want it might help. In Australia, if you are going to pick up cable just for this show, tell them that when you apply.

Having said that, Firefly was released on Region 4 DVD here before it had screened on TV - and it was a big hit. Ditto (I THINK) Battlestar Galactica. These shows no doubt built up an audience through *ahem* less legal methods of viewing which then translated into huge DVD sales, so I'd be surprised if the idea of hard-core fans seeing the show in advance of release kept anyone up at night. Particularly if they paid for it.

But in terms of renewal - methinks all that matters right now is US viewing audience. Which will include ITunes and Amazon to some extent I guess, which are, of course, legally all US viewers :)

I find some of this discussion frustrating, as the models for funding "free-to-air" tv are shifting rapidly. From the point of view of the studios, the best way you can "pay" for their investment is to be American, well-off, young and probably male, and watch their ads. Even better, buy something from them. We can't all achieve that. :) I don't think the ITunes and Amazon paid downloads even achieve cost-recovery (correct me if I am wrong someone?). And certainly, they don't reward creators very well at all (but a little is better than nothing, of course).

I'm not sure I'm making sense here, but I guess my point is, we all want our desire to see this show count. But it counts more for some than for others when it comes to renewal. AND, much as we all want to participate equally in rewarding the creators, it isn't always going to turn out like that either. (Which I get angry about, yes). Until we have a much better model than current copyright law and studio system combined.

So getting other people to watch it, preferably people who'll watch it on broadcast TV next week, and every week, is still pretty important I reckon.
I've just read on Syfyportal that dollhouse has a 2.8/5 rating. It states the source of fast national ratings. Is this the rating for DVRs? If it's true, isn't this good news?
Does it say how many people make up this list? Are we talking thousands or millions?
I don't think the ITunes and Amazon paid downloads even achieve cost-recovery (correct me if I am wrong someone?).


Not quite sure which costs you are referring to? I can't imagine the networks are making a loss by putting episodes onto iTunes.
The problem I always run into is that I get others to watch it... then they watch it on the same TV at the same time I am, which obviously does not add to viewers, though it ought to, obviously. Though since my family will be watching it this Friday at home, while I'll be at college, I guess that is a +1 rating. Which I'm sure will do a lot. Grr. Argg.
"Ghost" (Hulu link) is also fairly front and center on the IMDB homepage right now. That can't hurt.
mjwilson said:

Not quite sure which costs you are referring to? I can't imagine the networks are making a loss by putting episodes onto iTunes.


Sorry, it's early in the morning here, and my comment was very unclear. I meant, the income from pay-per-view internet sources wouldn't even recover the costs of producing a show like Dollhouse. Essentially, that the important revenue is still ad-revenue from broadcast.
I meant, the income from pay-per-view internet sources wouldn't even recover the costs of producing a show like Dollhouse.


I'd agree, I doubt it even comes close.
Oh yeah, they definitely don't make ENOUGH money from iTunes and Hulu or other internet distribution to pay for the production costs of the show (unless it's low budget and incredibly popular like, well, Dr. Horrible). But they DO make money from them, and that adds to the bottom line for the show as a whole. Plus, it (one hopes) increases the number of people that will tune in NEXT week for the next episode.
Canadian iTunes store does not have Dollhouse available, but I did put in a request for it. Maybe if others did the same, and they see it highly rated in the US store, they'll start carrying it here. In the meantime, I just rewatched it on my tape and was as intensely involved the second time around as the first!
OT, but @Pointy: Brilliant analysis of the first episode!!
samatwitch just requested it :)
Question...I have Tivo, and I heard that the networks or some other TV god can see those viewings. Is this true? And if so, would multiple viewings help?
True enough. International status has no impact on renewal. If the US audience isn't big enough for renewal, a massive overseas audience won't help. US networks make TV for US viewers. selling the rights is just icing on the cake.

What is the difference between watching a show on the actual TV/DVR and Hulu/Fox.com? Doesn't Hulu have the same amount of ads as the normal TV show? Wouldn't the profit be almost the same minus hosting costs?
Hulu has way less ads. There are only 16-30 sec ads in the commercial breaks.
Nope. Hulu has WAY fewer ads than a typical broadcast. I think they have 15 second ads, one for each ad break.
Wow! Why would anyone choose to watch it any way other than Hulu then? Besides poor internet speeds/data caps.
Those are big reasons, plus Hulu puts episodes online at best a day after they air, sometimes 8 days. So people who want the next episode ASAP will choose to watch it live.
That, plus my TV's bigger than my computer. Also Hulu doesn't have all the episodes, which was quite annoying when I finished Buffy Season 2 on Hulu, and realized I'd have to figure out how to watch Season 3 in a different manner.
sojourner: So getting other people to watch it, preferably people who'll watch it on broadcast TV next week, and every week, is still pretty important I reckon."

Here's something I've seen stated frequently but always failed to understand - why would it make the slightest difference to numbers if I - or folks I get to watch Dollhouse on broadcast TV - are neither Neilsen families nor TIVO'ing or otherwise recording it in a trackable fashion?

I loathe watching it with the broadcast amount of commercials, and can't see why I should subject myself to it if I'm not tracked. Am I missing something here?

I mean, if a tree falls in a forest, yada, yada...
So Tivo DOES track me? Is this what you're saying, QG?

And ya...I don't think it matters when you watch if you're not a Neilsen family.
Right, so if you don't have a Nielson box/Tivo/DVR is it better for the ratings to watch it online if you can? I know I can hook up my BF's flatscreen HD TV to my laptop. So screen size wouldn't be an issue for me (if we were living in the US of course)

You know, after all these years, I'm surprised they're still using Nielsen boxes/whatever. As if they haven't worked out a way to include a device in newly made TVs and another at Signal broadcasters to detect the number of hits.

[ edited by Ivalaine on 2009-02-16 00:43 ]
I think the moral of the story is that TV ratings are confusing as hell, and are nigh incomprehensible for normal people.
Yep, I hear that!
As if they haven't worked out a way to include a device in newly made TVs and another at Signal broadcasters to detect the number of hits.

Isn't that getting into Big Brother territory?
Hmm . . . while "Ghost" is number five on the iTunes TV page, on the iTunes front page (which has music and everything else) "Ghost" is Number Two!

(And thank you so much, Palehorse!)
Awesome that it's at number 2. :)
Yeah! Ranked at #2. That's pretty amazing. In a lovely synergy, "Dr. Horrible" has now ascended to #2 on the iTunes Top 10 TV Seasons. Yowza.
QuoterGal said:

Here's something I've seen stated frequently but always failed to understand - why would it make the slightest difference to numbers if I - or folks I get to watch Dollhouse on broadcast TV - are neither Neilsen families nor TIVO'ing or otherwise recording it in a trackable fashion?


It doesn't. Apologising again for lack of clarity, I meant that promoting it widely will eventually pick up Neilsen families, rather than "get your next door neighbour" to watch. Neilsen families don't operate in a vacuum - create an atmosphere where people twitter during it, talk about the next day, etc, all helps mean that more people will be watching it. But it only works in large numbers.
Hi. I'm in the same boat as others, wanting to use iTunes from outside the US. I've set up a free account, but now need a suitable way to pay.

Pre-pay credit cards were mentioned, but the link given above goes to a site that apparently only sells to North America. (The posters who mention pre-pay credit cards seem to all be in Canada.) Is it possible to buy a US pre-pay card from the UK? I assume a UK card won't do.

Buying a gift card on eBay seems dodgy. They're selling for about 30 for a $100 card, which seems too good to be true. I also found this post in an Australian forum:

Has anyone tried this site yet (itunesvendor.com)? The prices seem too good to be true, so I suspect they are

Still, US$200 credit for US$80 (about AUD$114) is very tempting. Even $100 credit for $50 ain't bad. I'm just a bit risk averse at the moment to try it.

Anyone willing to give it a go?


typical itunes gift card scam. they all work though, for a very short period of time, usuall a few weeks or days, then Apple will clear your remaining credit and suspend the account. However, everything you purchased with that gift card will still work. So if you really want to try, make sure you use all the credit asap.

p.s US$200 credit for US$80 is rip off, i've seen $200 for $20. Once i had a chat with a seller, and he just gave me a $50 code for free.


I checked out the site myself and found this in the FAQ:

When do the codes expire?
Apple has imposed a 12-24hrs expiration period on these Gift Certificates. Therefore you are required to use the code immediately after you have received it. However, once you have redeemed the gift certificate there is no expiration on the credit in your account and you may take along as you like to use it!


Sounds well dodgy!

Has anyone outside North America had success with any method?
I found another interesting post in the thread I quoted above:

There have been reports of ebay sellers using stolen credit cards to buy up a whole bunch of iTunes credit, sell it quickly and vanish. The fraud is then reported to Apple, who cancel all the vouchers. If you paid substantially less than $50 USD for the voucher then this could be what's happened to you.

Sounds like a very plausible explanation for the cheap vouchers, and puts me off buying one.
TICHTICH
I think this could be a good option for iTunes US vouchers;)

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/urphotos4less
Thanks, JohnnyMystery. That looks legit, and with the price being _above_ face value, it's certainly not too good to be true! Seems like a good idea for a home business, profitting off the restrictive practices of studios/iTunes.

I've just bought a $15 voucher from there. If all goes well, I'll get a higher value one next time, as the mark-up is less on the higher values.
Could you let me/us know if it all goes smoothly tichtich ? That'd be aces ;).
Could you let me/us know if it all goes smoothly tichtich ? That'd be aces ;).

Will do. Currently waiting to receive the voucher code.

By the way, I just checked out UK iTunes and discovered that other leading US series like Lost and BSG are there, which I hadn't realised. I've been downloading the latest BSG episodes from Sky Player instead. (I don't get pay TV.) Also discovered I could have downloaded Dr Horrible for 4 instead of paying 12 for the R1 DVD. Still the DVD is more convenient and I get the extra features, so I probably would have bought it eventually anyway, though maybe later at a lower price. This is the first time I've ever paid more than 7 for a DVD, and it's only a TV episode length. It had better be pretty damn good! (I haven't watched it yet.)
I've bought a few US iTunes vouchers on the UK eBay store, and occasionally, the sellers are usually get closed down after a while. I've had a few that have emailed to explain the situation, and I think the rules state that unless the seller has no physical voucher to sell then it's a definate no-no. If the seller emails the code and offers to post the voucher, I'd say you were buying it legit (I think a common situation is that someone has received a code from a promotion / redemption). Still, I have been buying the vouchers, legally, have yet to be ripped off, and purchase the videos, so the money ends back up in the studios pockets. I hope this goes some way to keeping Dollhouse on the air.
I received my $15 voucher code a few hours after paying for it, entered it without any problems, and am downloading the episode right now. :-)

I'll post again if it gets cancelled on me later, but I don't think it will.

[ edited by tichtich on 2009-02-17 01:25 ]
I received my $15 voucher code a few hours after paying for it, entered it without any problems, and am downloading the episode right now. :-)

Brill, ta for that tichtich. Just waiting on my code now.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home