Streaming TV: What It Costs, What You Get

Cable or satellite packages, excluding promotions, can easily run $70 to $100 a month. That gets you hundreds of diverse channels — ESPN for sports lovers, premium channels like HBO and Showtime, the major networks and niche options. But maybe you can find more cost-effective options online. Here’s a sample of services for different tastes

7 In 10 US Internet Users Watch OTT Video

This year, 181 million people in the U.S. will watch video via an app or website that provides streaming content over the Internet and bypasses traditional distribution, according to eMarketer’s first forecast of over-the-top video viewership. The vast majority are regular YouTube viewers.

CBS OTT Gets Nielsen Digital Certification

CBS is the first broadcast network to include digital audience measurement in its television ratings by incorporating Nielsen’s SDK metering technology into the CBS All Access experience within the network’s mobile apps and online video player.

TVB FORWARD

Stations Offer Big Value To Skinny Bundles

Wall Street analysts say cable and satellite operators will be hurt more by OTT offerings than will stations because the skinny bundles are going to need stations’ local programming as well as their network lineups.

BBC To launch Netflix-Style U.S. Service

The BBC will launch a Netflix-style video subscription service for American audiences next year, the head of the U.K.’s public broadcaster said Thursday. Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC’s director-general, said the new Internet-based service will allow U.S. audiences to access BBC programs that aren’t already screened on TV channels or available on existing streaming services.

Skinny Bundle Seen Hampering Content

While some in Hollywood are heralding a golden age of quality TV, driven by investments in new shows and movies by the likes of Netflix and Amazon, some content provider execs say the growing interest in a la carte options and skinny bundles could stifle the development of new and experimental TV programs and content.

Cable Has More OTT Subs Than Sats, Telcos

Some pay TV providers are better at attracting OTT subscribers than others. That includes Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Cox Communications. A study by Millward Brown Digital found these traditional cable operators performing better — in general — than satellite and telco operators.

TV Bundles Challenge Apple To Make A Deal

A new version of the Apple TV device has a lot more capabilities than earlier versions. But getting television shows on the device is a challenge.

IBC 2015

PBS Prepares Itself For IMF Deliverables

Renard T. Jenkins, the public broadcaster’s senior director of operations: production, media and distribution, talks about why PBS is converting to the Interoperable Mastering Format for delivering programming to OTT services. While the move was spurred by a Netflix requirement, Jenkins says that because of the format’s many advantages “I think IMF makes sense. It is the right thing for television broadcasters to be looking at right now.”

NEWS ANALYSIS

Is Overhauled Apple TV The Future Of TV?

It’s the first time a company has turned out a set-top box and a home entertainment system that could be considered comprehensive. The new Apple TV takes what competitors do in a piecemeal way, brings it all together and adds more functionality.

IBC 2015

TV Is Adapting To Survive OTT, Smartphones

The opening session at IBC features broadcasters from around the world talking about how they’re finding ways to cut through the noise of other media — both traditional and digital — with their news, entertainment and even brand to establish themselves as a go-to destination for the content people want to consume. The panelists (l-r): David Butorac, Phillip Luff, Fran Unsworth, Thomas Riedl and moderator Ray Snoddy.

Revamped Apple TV Targets The Living Room

Apple will introduce a retooled, more ambitious Apple TV on Wednesday marking a new seriousness for the company in the competitive “living room” market. Among its upgrades are a new remote and greater support for apps and games, which could position the device against mainstays like the Xbox and Playstation.

What Surprised Showtime After Streaming

One discovery: many subscribers are opting to stream the network’s live feed, instead of seeking out on-demand programming. “The livestreaming has done better than we expected,” said President David Nevins of the feature, something which HBO Now doesn’t offer. “As people are discovering Showtime, a lot of them just want to see what’s on the livestreaming, so they’re watching it there.”

Local TV Creates Hurdle To Streaming

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that big broadcast TV networks and their affiliates are wrangling over which of them will be the ones to negotiate with the new generation of direct-to-consumer streaming services and what each side’s split should be. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

Connected TV Devices Reach Tipping Point

According to The NPD Group, half of Internet-connected homes in the U.S. have a device that connects their television to the Internet (the tally includes Internet-enabled TVs, as well as separate devices Blu-Ray disc players, video game consoles and commercial streaming media players, that use the TV as a screen). In total, 46 million homes had some sort of connected-TV device in the second quarter of this year, up four million from the same period last year, according to NPD.

ANA: Connected TV Viewing Rises Sharply

Viewing with over-the-top streaming devices on connected TV sets is rising sharply — 380% in the first quarter of this year — yet engagement in ads on these platforms remains low, according to a recent study by Freewheel cited by the ANA/BrightLine research.

TVN TECH

IBC To Offer New Insights For Future Success

This year’s annual tech gathering in Amsterdam has an ambitious agenda including tackling shifting business models and new viewer behavior; how broadcasters are beginning to adopt the Netflix on-demand, streaming model with their own online offerings; challenges in delivering new mobile broadcast platforms; the latest OTT developments as well as up-to-the-minute status reports on ATSC 3.0 and Ultra HD.

Hispanics Are Becoming Big OTT Fans

More than half say they spend part of their video time on over the top networks, including a growing number of Spanish-dominant Hispanics. Adriana Waterston, SVP of marketing and business development at Horowitz Research, talks about what recent research findings mean for media buyers and planners, how Hispanics can be targeted using this information, and why Spanish-language offerings are finally going up.

OTT Firms Push Back Against FCC Proposal

The nation’s biggest online video distributors would rather the FCC not do them any favors by regulating over-the-top services like it does cable. Representatives from Microsoft, Amazon and Apple, companies that haven’t been regulated by the FCC, have been increasing their face time at the FCC to keep the agency from advancing a proceeding that would regulate some OTT services like facilities-based multichannel video distributors.

CBS All Access Expands To Most Of U.S.

CBS All Access — CBS’ standalone digital video streaming service — will expand its live local TV station feeds to 75% of U.S. TV homes. The $5.99 a month platform, that launched last October, will now cover 124 markets across the country. Forty affiliate groups have signed up along with the 14 owned-and-operated CBS stations.

OTT Revs Could Triple To $12B By 2018

Revenue from “premium” U.S. OTT services will grow from $4 billion in 2014 to somewhere between $8 billion to $12 billion in 2018, according to a study conducted by London’s MTM and commissioned by online video service providers Ooyala and Vindicia.

Local TV Takes Cord-Cutting Battle To Web

This fall, 112 TV stations will begin streaming their newscasts through the NewsOn app, one of a number of planned OTT alternatives. Verizon Digital Media Services is also talking with affiliate owners about programming directly over the Internet. All are moves to adapt to viewers looking to watch TV on their own schedules.

Apple, Nets In Talks On Cable-Killer TV App

Where Barry Diller’s Aereo failed, Apple is hoping to succeed. The Cupertino, Calif., tech firm is making broadcast networks the centerpiece of its cable-killer TV app — and talks with all four networks are rapidly gaining momentum. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are close to obtaining the right to negotiate with Apple on behalf of their affiliates, sources say, with the nets promising their stations a share in the added revenue the Apple streaming product will produce.

REVIEW

HBO Now May Sound Death Knell For Cable

The new live-streaming subscription service from HBO is part of a trend. Television channels are going rogue — dealing directly with cable customers. If this model is successful, expect major production companies (think Disney) to follow suit.

Showtime Has Launched Its Streaming Service

The OTT era has begun at Showtime. The premium cable network launched its new stand-alone streaming service Tuesday. The service, which is also called Showtime, is available for $10.99 per month via Apple, Roku, PlayStation Vue and Showtime.com. Hulu subscribers can add Showtime at a discounted rate, for $8.99 per month, on top of Hulu’s $7.99 monthly fee.

Lifetime To Launch Movie Streaming Service

Lifetime will soon launch the Lifetime Movie Club, a Web streaming service of its signature melodramatic movies. The service will feature a rotating pool of 30 movies for $3.99 a month, refreshing the selections every week.

Newsy Sees Higher Engagement Via OTT

Newsy, a video news provider owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., has been expanding the breadth of its over-the-top offerings, including a completely revamped (and home built) Roku channel. Its consumers are spending more time with Newsy on OTT than other channels, and are more likely to let its story stream run than users on desktop or mobile.

Hulu Hooks Up With Showtime

Demand Up For Digital Video Subscriptions

A Deloitte study of U.S. pay TV subscribers in 2014 found that a majority preferred to subscribe only to the channels they watched regularly. This was not the case two years earlier, when 50% of subscribers preferred to pay for a package of channels, even if they didn’t watch all of them on a regular basis.

A La Carte TV Service Gains Momentum

For TV consumers, the ideal new digital a la carte TV service isn’t getting hundreds of traditional TV channels — more like a dozen and a half. A new first quarter 2015 survey from TV search company Digitalsmiths, a TiVo-owned unit, says consumers ideally want a package of 17 channels, with the ideal monthly price of $38.

PlayStation Vue OTT Launches In L.A., S.F.

DMA 28

KFMB San Diego Available On CBS All Access

Midwest Television-owned CBS affiliate KFMB San Diego (DMA 28) today launched on CBS All Access, CBS’s subscription video on-demand and live-streaming service. For $5.99 a month, CBS All Access subscribers in the San Diego market are able to watch complete live streaming telecasts of CBS programming, CBS News 8 and other KFMB shows including Dr. […]

OTT Revenues Forecast To Hit $19B In 2019

New research shows that TV homes with broadband are increasingly signing onto over-the-top TV service — with and without traditional pay TV services. In the U.S., 57% of current traditional pay TV providers have an OTT video service, while 7% (8.4 million U.S. homes) have an OTT service but no pay TV services, according to Parks Associates. Globally, Parks says revenue from OTT service will more than double in four years, reaching $19 billion in 2019 from $9 billion in 2014.

Study Shows OTT Is The Place To Be

A recent study by Ooyala, Vindicia and Parks Associates finds that consumers want more OTT content — and it has to be good, recent and plentiful.More than 70% of consumers state that they subscribe to these services due to specific titles available through the service, and over one-third of consumers do so in order to access original content.

Cable Model Set For Revival In Streaming Era

Another day, another set of announcements that seem to herald the end of cable TV. But Wednesday’s news that the NFL would finally live-stream a game and that Showtime would be available as a streaming service through Apple only highlight that some aspects of the cable TV model are not going to die easily.

CBS Sets July Launch For Showtime OTT

The cable channel said Wednesday that it will begin streaming on July 12 for $10.99 a month on all Apple devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. CBS Corp., which owns Showtime, said it will be available on non-Apple devices soon.

HBO Now To Launch On Android This Summer

HBO Now To Join Google Play Lineup

HBO Now, the online-only version of Time Warner Inc.’s premium pay TV channel, will join Google Play’s lineup, adding another distributor as it seeks to reach young viewers.

MLBAM At Forefront Of The OTT Revolution

It seems that with each passing week there’s a new over-the-top streaming service that allows consumers to directly access video for a fee without the need for a pesky cable-bundle subscription. As major media organizations look to develop OTT offerings, many are finding it’s no easy task to build the backend infrastructure required. So at the center of many of these new streaming outlets is one company: MLB Advanced Media.

Apple Wants Local TV In Its Web TV Service

If Apple launches a TV service, it won’t be the first company to offer TV subscriptions over the Web. But it wants to offer at least one thing rivals don’t have: Widespread access to live programming from local TV stations.