Full seasons, released all at once, are something genuinely new. And we’re just starting to figure out their conventions and aesthetics.
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
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.
Hulu has been working steadily over the past year to close the gap with Netflix, and now the company has unveiled a true game changer in its battle with other streaming services: a commercial-free option for subscribers. Beginning today, subscribers can upgrade to an ad-free plan for $11.99 per month, $4 more than the current fee for what the company calls “limited commercials.” But at the same time, the company stressed that it remains committed to advertising.
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.
Hulu is looking into offering an ad-free version of its service to strengthen its position against Netflix. The new option could launch as early as fall and cost from $12 to $14 a month.
Some analysts are becoming concerned that a rise in streaming television is fueling deterioration of traditional television — and advertising.
For about $100, you can get a great streaming TV device to do that. Or for about a third of that, you can get a pretty good one. Content selection varies, but all offer such basics as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. After trying out 10 streaming devices, here are three recommendations and an honorable mention.
The new streaming offerings from HBO and CBS are early signs that regular television is the new AM radio, writes Kevin Maney in Newsweek. The forces at work, driven by the Internet and data, add up to a giant generational shift toward a 21st century, free-form, urban, mobile lifestyle and away from the schedules, structures, suburbs, offices and marriages of the post-World War II era. In this new environment, the old model of broadcast TV will last about as long as an ice cube in a freshly poured glass of bourbon.
For the first time, digital devices and streaming services (and the viewers that embrace them) will be incorporated into Nielsen’s industry standard ratings system.
TV Everywhere is too complicated and fragmented to be really popular — but it has nonetheless been a success in an unlikely area: It has forced networks and operators to think more like Netflix, and radically change their development to embrace mobile devices and much shorter release cycles — all of which is helping them to prepare themselves for a streaming future.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is in talks with Comcast about a streaming-TV service that would use an Apple set-top box and try to bypass congestion on the Web. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.
The latest “State of SVOD” report from the NPD Group has U.S. households with HBO, Showtime and other pay channels down 6% between 2012 and 2013.
Two co-founders of TiVo want to give TV another shot. This time, their new product, QPlay, is all about streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Telemundo Media has cut its first licensing deal for library content covering distribution of 1,000 telenovela episodes to DramaFever, an online-video service that has specialized in Asian TV shows and movies.
Over the past year, Amazon.com has bolstered its streaming video library beyond typical movies and TV shows by locking down the exclusive streaming rights to such buzzed-about series as Downton Abbey, Falling Skies, Justified and Under the Dome. The Seattle-based company is hoping to now build hype — and attract subscribers — with its own shows. Amazon’s foray into original programming kicks off with Friday’s debut of the political comedy Alpha House, featuring Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and John Goodman as senators who live together.
The TWC TV app for Xbox Live, which was announced back in June, is now available for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft’s partnership with Time Warner Cable is a significant part of its efforts to position the Xbox 360 as the definitive one-stop solution for TV and movie streaming, and demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to the console even as it prepares for the Xbox One’s launch later this year.
Netflix continues its march to acquire big theatrical content exclusively for its streaming service — now with a big multi-year deal with The Weinstein Co. Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay TV service for first-run films from Weinstein beginning in 2016.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sony has reached a preliminary agreement with Viacom to carry the media company’s cable channels on Sony’s planned Internet-based TV service. Initially, at least, the service is expected to be available via Sony’s PlayStation gaming console — a new edition of which could be released soon — as well as Bravia HDTVs, but later will also work on other Sony devices including tablets and smartphones. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has found that in the streaming TV and movies category, Apple’s iTunes beat out competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus.
The live 24/7 linear broadcast network streaming service is now offered in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Also today, customers who had enjoyed free live viewing of local ABC stations in New York and Philadelphia on mobile devices will now need to show they are pay TV subscribers.
The newspaper is looking to build on the success of its U-T TV streaming site and expand the idea to metro newspapers across the country. U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch: “This would be an entrance into the broadcast marketplace with a cutting edge, interactive system that will open the door to millions of dollars for additional revenue, and it’s a game changer.”
Intel Corp., the computer-chip giant, will enter a crowded field of companies offering alternatives t0 traditional pay TV services. This year, the Santa Clara, Calif., company plans to sell a set-top box that streams content from the Internet onto a TV. Intel’s self-install set-top box will come with a bundle of live local TV, ad-supported cable channels, and premium cable. There will be no need for professional installers, an Intel spokesman says.
TV is drawing ever closer to its streaming tipping point, with all four of the major broadcast networks beginning to launch streaming stategies that will bring their local and network programming to mobile devices. Now the networks are wading through rights issues and vendors as streaming comes ever closer to disrupting the traditional TV environment. “It’s just become so much part of the culture now in how people consume content,” Digital Rapids’ Mike Nann says. Part four of a four-part special report. Find the full report here.
Aereo’s careful plan to upend the TV industry was going fine — until a company run by a Los Angeles playboy, with a streaming service of its own, got in the way. Here’s an inside view of what happened.
“Gray Television was one of the very first broadcasters to launch mobile DTV service,” says Gray President-COO Bob Prather. “Over the past few months, Syncbak has proven that can provide another critical route to reach our local viewers. We are therefore excited to be able to improve our local products by adding all  of our stations to the Syncbak platform.”
Streaming of TV shows has generally brought good news for those TV brand names. But there is a possible thorn in the side of TV show makers: Consumers seem to be watching less traditional TV. Consumer research company GfK says 42% of consumers “think more highly” of TV networks that make shows freely available via streaming platforms — up from a 31% level seven years ago.
Vdio, a new film and TV streaming service, has today been launched in the U.S. and U.K. in an attempt to muscle in on the fast growing market. Sister entity to music streaming service Rdio the new operation will initially be available solely to existing subscribers before being rolled out to new members.
New World Ventures is tuning in to a San Francisco streaming-TV software company. The venture fund run by J.B. and Tony Pritzker invested $5 million in Really Simple Software Inc., which recently launched what it says is the first streaming DVR. It allows people who stream content, such as Netflix movies, to also stream live TV on Internet-connected devices such as tablets, smartphones or televisions.
The number of U.S. digital TV users — those viewing at least one TV show per month via the Internet — will climb 37% in four years to 145 million in 2017 from 106 million in 2012. This amounts to digital TV user growth climbing at a 6.9% compound annual growth rate, quicker increases that previously forecasted in August 2012 by eMarketer.
As connected televisions start to take over living rooms around the world, streaming media is becoming a more important piece of the media landscape. The Guardian looks at streaming media from its earliest efforts in 1995 to today, and how it needs to overcome interoperability issues and the quality gap to trigger the mass adoption of connected TV.
FilmOn.com, the firm founded by controversial billionaire Alki David, has added hundreds of new channels to its video streaming platform as it looks to further disrupt traditional TV. FilmOn captures the signals of TV broadcasters, and then re-transmits them using a worldwide network to subscribers and users online and on connected devices.
Tivli, a new streaming video startup targeting college campuses, is an attempt to adapt to the ways young people increasingly want to watch TV — through a computer or tablet or video game console — while keeping the existing cable model intact.
The chief executive of FilmOn, an online video site, has started a new service in competition with Aereo, a Barry Diller-backed site which streams broadcast TV networks’ signal over the Web to paying subscribers. FilmOn’s new site is called Barrydriller.com, which Alki David says is “homage to a great guy and at the same time, it’s drilling him a bit.”
NBC has been posting big digital video usage results from the London Olympics versus the Beijing Games four years ago. The network has seen nearly a 200% rise in total video streamed to 75 million, with over a 300% rise in live streams to 34 million.
According to a report issued by Bernstein Research, there has been a major shift in regular viewing habits among streaming watchers — away from syndicated programming (repeats), sports and kids’ networks — and not just the ratings-challenged Nickelodeon.
NimbleTV is the latest example of technology companies trying to break into television distribution. The service takes the package of TV channels that a customer buys through a distributor like Dish Network, then streams the package onto the Web, allowing the customer more options for viewing than most distributors now allow. It also allows for thousands of hours of TV recording via a virtual digital video recorder.