Study Finds Many Consumers Seeking Multi-Service Bundles

Bundling is back. Following the cord-cutting that led to a decline in content subscriptions, consumers now indicate they want multi-service deals, with discounts and choice as to what type of content is included. A new study from Hub Entertainment Research indicates that traditional SVODs have declined overall in household usage while areas such as gaming, music, podcasts and social media have increased. “TV is no longer the center of the entertainment universe,” the study suggests, noting premium video only accounts for about 6.3 percent of consumers’ total entertainment sources. Continue reading Study Finds Many Consumers Seeking Multi-Service Bundles

Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

Venu Sports (pronounced “venue”) has been selected as the name of the new streaming joint venture launching this fall from Disney/ESPN, Fox Corporation and Warner Bros. Discovery. Although pricing has yet to be announced (some estimate it will run $40-$50 per month), the partners are underway in branding their bundled package, unveiled in February as an effort to reach sports fans who don’t already subscribe to pay TV. In March the group announced the new venture’s CEO would be Pete Distad, who spent six years at Hulu followed by a decade at Apple in positions including running global distribution and business ops for Apple TV+. Continue reading Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

Comcast StreamSaver to Bundle Peacock, Netflix, Apple TV+

Comcast broadband and TV customers will be able to subscribe to a streaming bundle that includes Netflix, Apple TV+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts announced this week at the 2024 MoffettNathanson Media, Internet and Communications Conference in New York. The package, called StreamSaver, will “come at a vastly reduced price to anything in the market today,” Roberts said, though he did not share pricing. Roberts’ plan comes a week after Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery unveiled plans to bundle Max, Disney+ and Hulu starting this summer, with pricing to be announced. Continue reading Comcast StreamSaver to Bundle Peacock, Netflix, Apple TV+

Disney+, Hulu, Max: Streaming Bundle Coming This Summer

Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that a new triple-play streaming bundle that includes popular services Disney+, Hulu and Max will launch this summer in the U.S. with both ad-supported and ad-free plans. “On the heels of the very successful launch of Hulu on Disney+, this new bundle with Max will offer subscribers even more choice and value,” said Joe Earley, president of direct to consumer for Disney Entertainment. While no specific pricing has been revealed, the release promises that “additional details regarding the bundle offer will be shared in the coming months.” Continue reading Disney+, Hulu, Max: Streaming Bundle Coming This Summer

AMC Plans to Feature New Ad-Supported Streaming Services

AMC Networks revealed it plans to offer ad-supported versions of all of its streaming services for the 2024-2025 upfront market, as it makes a broader play to provide brands a pathway into each of the company’s video platforms. Concurrent to opening the networks to ads, the company will be offering consumers cost effective bundling options around those niche services in lieu of an umbrella AMC+ plan. AMC is rolling out the changes this week at the 2024-25 Upfronts in New York, where it is also emphasizing an increased horror content quotient. Continue reading AMC Plans to Feature New Ad-Supported Streaming Services

Merged Disney+ and Hulu App to Launch as Beta Next Month

Disney, which is in the process of completing its purchase of NBCUniversal’s 33 percent stake in Hulu, will begin beta testing a combined Disney+ and Hulu bundle next month for subscribers of both services, according to CEO Bob Iger. Last week, Disney announced it would pay Comcast at least $8.61 billion for the Hulu stake, indicating the final cost could be higher, based on market value estimates by each party’s investment bankers. “We remain on track to roll out a more unified one-app experience domestically via Disney+,” Iger said in discussing the September quarter on an earnings call. Continue reading Merged Disney+ and Hulu App to Launch as Beta Next Month

Disney to Purchase Remaining Stake in Hulu from Comcast

Disney announced it plans to purchase the remaining one-third stake in Hulu from Comcast’s NBCUniversal in a move that has been widely expected. The announcement follows Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019, which gave the entertainment giant two-thirds of streaming service Hulu. Disney, which is expected to pay at least $8.61 billion for the remaining stake, currently offers the Hulu service as part of a streaming bundle with its Disney+ and ESPN+ platforms. “The acquisition of Comcast’s stake in Hulu at fair market value will further Disney’s streaming objectives,” explained the company in a press release. Continue reading Disney to Purchase Remaining Stake in Hulu from Comcast

Linear TV Viewership Dips Below 50 Percent for the First Time

Linear TV viewership fell below 50 percent for the first time in July, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge, which tracks total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption via television. Among total TV viewership, broadcast and cable accrued record low shares of 20 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively, representing a linear television total of 49.6 percent. Combined, it still topped TV set streaming viewership, at 38.7 percent, a 2.9 percent increase from June and that month’s streaming record-high share. YouTube (not including YouTube TV) was again the top streamer with a 9.2 percent TV share, up 5.6 percent versus June. Continue reading Linear TV Viewership Dips Below 50 Percent for the First Time

YouTube TV Will Bundle WBD’s Max with NFL Sunday Ticket

YouTube TV is bundling Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max with its own NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market football package. YouTube parent Google entered into an exclusive, seven-year deal to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket package through YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels, beginning with the 2023 season. Max has become a Sunday Ticket partner as part of a broader deal with WBD that includes getting Google TV behind WBD’s relaunch of HBO as Max. Philipp Schindler, chief business officer for Alphabet and Google, shared news of the promos with analysts during his company’s Q2 earnings call. Continue reading YouTube TV Will Bundle WBD’s Max with NFL Sunday Ticket

Meta Verified Subscriptions Coming for Facebook, Instagram

Meta Platforms is introducing a subscription bundle called Meta Verified that allows Facebook and Instagram users to authenticate their online identities. “We want to make it easier for people, especially creators, to establish a presence so they can focus on building their communities,” the company said in introducing the feature, which costs $11.99 a month for PC and Android users and $14.99 per month on Apple devices. “We’re starting with a gradual test in Australia and New Zealand later this week to learn what’s most valuable,” with the rest of the world to follow, Meta said. The news follows a similar move by Twitter with its subscription features. Continue reading Meta Verified Subscriptions Coming for Facebook, Instagram

Apple Increases Prices of Its Streaming Services for First Time

For the first time, Apple is raising U.S. prices for Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscription services. Starting this week, both new and existing customers will pay rates starting at $6.99 per month for Apple TV+ and $10.99 per month for Apple Music, a 40 percent and 10 percent increase, respectively. The family music plan, for up to six accounts, increases to $16.99 per month (from $14.99). Cost of the Apple One bundle — which includes TV, Music, Apple Arcade and iCloud+ storage — also rises as competing streamers raise prices while vying more aggressively for market share. Continue reading Apple Increases Prices of Its Streaming Services for First Time

Apple Reportedly Has iPhone Subscription Plan in the Works

Apple is reportedly working on a plan that will make its popular iPhone and additional devices available on a subscription basis. Popular first among content providers, then software firms like Microsoft and Adobe, subscription contracts are less usual in the hardware space, other than the long-term payment plans mobile service providers add to a customer’s monthly bill for costlier phone models, including iPhones. Apple itself has been offering iPhones in monthly payments. A hardware “subscription” would possibly bundle other Apple products, like Apple TV and Apple Music. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Has iPhone Subscription Plan in the Works

AT&T Plans to Introduce New Sports-Free Streaming Service

AT&T chief exec Randall Stephenson announced last Thursday that the company plans to introduce the AT&T Watch live TV service in the coming weeks. The streaming service will offer a sports-free, skinny bundle of channels to general consumers for $15-per-month and for free to AT&T Wireless subscribers. “At this price point,” explains TechCrunch, “the service would be one of the lowest on the market — less than Sling TV’s entry-level, $20-per-month package, and just a bit less than Philo’s low-cost, sports-free offering, priced at $16 per month.” Continue reading AT&T Plans to Introduce New Sports-Free Streaming Service

NAB 2017: Sling Announces New Hardware Plus AirTV Promo

Sling Media announced its $999 SlingStudio hardware this week, intended as a cost effective and easy-to-use alternative for video creators who plan to share live video streams via Facebook Live or YouTube. Sling TV is also offering a significant discount on its AirTV Player and AirTV Adapter for customers who prepay for at least three months of service. Introduced at CES in January, AirTV is an OTA/OTT box that runs on Android TV. According to Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch, a recent study found that four out of five pay TV subscribers are interested in a la carte TV. Continue reading NAB 2017: Sling Announces New Hardware Plus AirTV Promo

Apple Pursues Premium Bundle to Sell HBO, Showtime, Starz

In its latest pay TV proposal, Apple wants to offer a premium bundle that combines HBO, Showtime and Starz, three channels it already sells individually (sources say Apple does not yet have a deal with any of the networks for a package deal). The bundle would be different than a traditional subscription level offered by a conventional pay TV operator, since Apple could offer its proposed premium bundle as a “standalone product, delivered via its iOS devices and its Apple TV set-top box,” reports Recode. “Sony, AT&T and Dish all sell Web TV packages, and Google and Hulu have announced plans to sell their own.” Continue reading Apple Pursues Premium Bundle to Sell HBO, Showtime, Starz