At this point, it’s a hoary old saw that sports networks and broadcasts of live sporting events are one of the main reasons your pay-TV bills continue to rise. We all kind of “know” that sports are expensive, and that the costs come through to everyone else… but as millions of dollars in charges and fees become billions, are consumers and viewers going to stick around? [More]
Once upon a time (two whole years ago!) the idea of successfully getting an internet-based cable alternative up, running, and profitable seemed, perhaps, like a pipe dream. These days, even though we don’t know if the ventures are exactly profitable, the online competition to get your monthly TV dollars is fierce. And now Hulu is latest player to grab some big headliners for itsplan to start zapping linear TV channels to your online eyeballs. [More]
Exactly one year ago, Verizon announced that it was jumping hard into the streaming-media biz, with a mobile-friendly service designed for the giant consumer base everyone apparently loves to hate, millennials. The company called it “go90,” helpfully reminding everyone that to watch TV on your phone, you need to turn it 90 degrees to the horizontal. But skeptics wondered: is this really going to, y’know, work? Will anyone watch? Will anyone care? And a year on, we seem to have our answer: nope. [More]
When you just want to watch something, you probably look for it first on Netflix or Amazon. When you really treasure something and want to make it part of your library, you might buy the disc. But when do you buy a digital copy of a TV episode or a movie? Basically never, right? Yeah, and that’s the problem for the whole industry, because you’re not alone.
Once upon a time, TV was mostly a thing you watched for free, over an antenna. Commercials and corporate sponsorships made up the cost for networks. Then TV became cable. Then cable became your internet, and TV was once again briefly free, through streaming services with commercials. But then came subscription internet TV, and that’s where we are today, with Hulu finally pulling the plug on its non-subscription service.
In an era when everybody and their grandmother seems to be launching their own proprietary subscription streaming service, something about Hulu seems almost quaint. The platform is jointly owned by three giant media companies, and therefore is almost a pre-bundled service that actually carries programming from all of them. And eventually — but not quite yet — you can make that four.
If it feels like the media and technology worlds of late are constantly going through this weird, ebbing, flowing, overlapping process, well, you’re not wrong. Jumping into the fray most recently is Verizon, which not only has its own streaming service but also now wants to sell you on original content… that it can, of course, stuff with advertising for your eyeballs.
Conventional wisdom still says that sports are the key to cable: people will stream their comedies and dramas, but will pay for their sports coverage, because Americans sure love their sports. So it is unsurprising, then, that over-the-top cable-alternative streaming services are lining up to add more sports channels to their programming, including PlayStation Vue.
Baseball is already brought to you by Disney, if it’s a game on ESPN. But now Disney wants to bring you all the baseball… at least if you stream it online.
Live sports — the supposed killer app that keeps people subscribing to cable when otherwise they might cut the cord — is, well, going cordless. Disney today announced a deal with Sony that will bring all of their programming, including ESPN, to a streaming service near you. At least, if you live in the right area.
For folks who might enjoy, say, Game of Thrones and Veep, but not enough to pay for HBO or HBO Now just for those two shows, or someone who wants to watch House of Cards without getting a Netflix subscription, Walmart’s streaming service VUDU might make sense: it charges per episode for TV shows, instead of requiring an upfront subscription fee for access to its libraries. VUDU is now sweetening the deal on some shows, knocking the per-episode price of all 2015 Emmy nominees and winners down to $0.67.
“I know, it starts out slow, but if you can just get through a few episodes, I swear, it’s totally worth it and you will be addicted. Just trust me.” We’ve all heard something like that before, and now Netflix is repeating it, with a list that pinpoints the exact episode its users get hooked on a TV show.
The first half of 2015 brought us the launch of a whole bunch of new over-the-top streaming TV services, including HBO Now and Dish’s Sling. Now, at the midpoint of the year, all of those earnings reports and investor calls are rolling in and we can start to find out just how popular those services are. Or we could… if executives would talk. Instead, they hem and haw and hedge and make only two things clear. One: cord-cutters are real. And two: when it comes to streaming, Netflix is still the biggest elephant in the room.
With Apple’s big developer conference getting underway this morning, we expect to hear more news of Apple exclusives. But fans of Penny Dreadful and Homeland who aren’t into the whole Apple ecosystem thing get a nice bonus this morning, as we find out that something isn’t actually locked only to Apple’s world.