The digital world offers free content galore, and then there’s all that mystery content hidden behind pay-walls. We’ve sifted through the best of the priced materials to determined what’s worth paying for. Inspired by PaidContent, our TOH team picked what we’d buy if we had $100 to spend on digital entertainment content. There’s some overlap: clearly a Netflix subscription is something none of us can do without.
What: A Better Queue.com | Cost: Free, plus $13 donation
Value Proposition: The site, created by Dave y Dave Jachimiak, filters movies available on Netflix instant streaming by Tomatometer score, year and genre.
What: The New York Times Digital Subscription: | Cost: .99 for first four weeks
Value Proposition: The most advanced newspaper website, with top entertainment coverage, from Oscar blog The Carpetbagger and Tarantino commenting on “Django Unchained” to game-changing interactive multi-media features such as “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.“
McSweeney’s Wolphin Subscription | Cost: $50 for four issues
Value Proposition: Dave Eggers loves his Wolphin DVDs, packed with film content of varying lengths. Wholphin No. 15 features the Duplass Brothers celebrating friendship, Selma Blair and Jeremy Davies celebrating an awkward romance, the haunting prequel to the indie-hit Martha “Marcy Martha May Marlene,” Antonio Campos’ Cannes-winning “Buy It Now,” a couple who eat each other’s pain, Jonathan Lisecki’s “Gayby,” and seven contestants going neuron-to-neuron in a love competition!
Backstory iPad App and Subscription | Cost: $4.99 an issue
Value Proposition: Jeff Goldsmith’s gorgeous iPad magazine publishes in-depth interviews with screenwriters and filmmakers as well as entire scripts along with full-length interviews with their respective writers, from the Black List script “Subject Zero,” and the lost TV pilot by MST3k creator Joel Hodgson “The TV Wheel,” to tons of excerpts including a comparison of a screenplay and comic-book script.
TiVo Premiere | Cost: $14.99 a month
Value Proposition: This Phillips DVR connects to your cable service in HD; offers video on demand via Amazon (and Amazon Video on my iPad), Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Pandora as well as season passes to my fave TV series, from “Charlie Rose” and “60 Minutes” to “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “Homeland” and “Justified.” My TiVo queue stores tons of movies and shows I can watch at any time.
Cookie Doodle iPad App | Cost: .99
Value Proposition: Hours of virtual cookie-making enjoyment for anybody looking after a kid.
Mubi Subscription: | Cost: $4.99
Value Proposition: Watch a new movie every day for $4.99.
What: MP3 Soundtracks from Amazon | Cost: $19.98/two soundtracks
Value Proposition: I would buy two of my favorite soundtracks this year, from “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (co-written by director Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer).
What: iTunes Movie Rentals | Cost: $12.97/three movies
Value Proposition: I would rent movies that I didn’t get a chance to see this past year – “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” ($3.99), “Ruby Sparks” ($4.99) and “Oslo, August 31st” ($3.99).
What: Netflix | Cost: $15.98/three months, first month free.
Value Proposition: So much available here via red envelope snail mail or streaming; entire television seasons as well as recent movie releases. Looking forward to original content from Fincher’s “House of Cards” and new “Arrested Development” installments.
What: IMDb-Pro | Cost: $31.90/two months
Value Proposition: IMDb-Pro offers loads of insider and contact information about Hollywood players and in-the-works projects as well as wonky info about previous films.
What: Hulu+ | Cost: $15.98/two months
Value Proposition: They’ve got a nice set of Criterion Collection films – I’d watch “Smiles of Summer Night” and “The Rules of the Game” first. And then re-watch “Modern Times.”
What: iTunes Soundtracks | Cost: $8.99
Value Proposition: The soundrack from my fave movie of the year: “Rust and Bone.”
What: Netflix | Cost: $7.99/two months, first month free.
Value Proposition: Great for people who want to watch several different movies and/or TV shows at a time, based on mood and amount of watch time available.
What: Film Comment Digital Edition | Cost: $20
Value Proposition: A thoroughly good time reading in-depth writing about contemporary and past films, their makers and stars.
What: Amazon | Cost: $59.98
Value Proposition: The Ingmar Bergman Collection (6-dvd Box Set).
What: Netflix | Cost: $7.99/two months, first month free
Value Proposition: For February, 2013, so I can watch “House of Cards.”
What: Amazon Prime Membership | Cost: $79.00/1 year, includes movie streaming and free shipping on new Amazon purchases.
What: Kindle eBooks | Cost: $6.99
Value Proposition: Alan Sepinwall’s “The Revolution Was Televised”