Netflix Users Are Watching a Billion Hours of Video Per Week

While facing increased competition from Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Hulu and others, Netflix revealed that its users collectively watched about one billion hours of content per week in 2017 (that’s more than 140 million hours per day). Despite being an impressive number, the average user may actually be watching less over time. Based on 109 million global subscribers, the math points to about 480 hours per account. According to TechCrunch, “at the end of 2015, Netflix announced that the 74.7 million users it had at the time had watched 42.5 billion hours of content that year. That suggests about 570 hours per year per account.” Continue reading Netflix Users Are Watching a Billion Hours of Video Per Week

Microsoft Releases its Powerful Xbox One X Gaming Console

At the global debut of its Xbox One X, Microsoft described it as the world’s most powerful game console, with 4K resolution, high-dynamic range (HDR) games and 40 percent more performance than other consoles. The new console already has 50+ Xbox One X titles that have been remastered to 4K, a number that will jump to 70 by end of the first week. The company says 160 games are being readied for 4K HDR, among them “Forza Motorsport 7,” “Super Lucky’s Tale,” “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” and “FIFA 18.” Continue reading Microsoft Releases its Powerful Xbox One X Gaming Console

Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Hulu announced yesterday that its subscribers will have the ability to add Showtime for $8.99 per month starting in time for the July premieres of “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.” The deal represents the first time that the streaming VOD service has partnered with a premium cable channel to drive subscriptions. Hulu customers will still need to pay $7.99 per month to stream the other available content. Hulu, which originally launched as a free, ad-supported service, recently rebranded itself by removing the word “Plus” from the name of its paid tier. Continue reading Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Fan TV App Offers TV and Movie Discovery for Cord Cutters

Fan TV has launched a revamped mobile app that works as a discovery engine to help users keep track of the TV shows and movies they want to watch via streaming services or as paid downloads. To find a show or movie, users simply search the title and the app runs a query across the 44 different services that it tracks. If not readily available, the search is stored and users receive an update at a later date when a title has become available. The company also has a $149 device with a touch remote that combines live TV, VOD and streaming services. Continue reading Fan TV App Offers TV and Movie Discovery for Cord Cutters

Video Service Vessel Out of Beta, Launches on Web and iOS

Online video subscription service Vessel had its public launch this week for Web and iOS. Founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Richard Tom, the service offers early access to the increasingly popular videos created by today’s YouTube stars. Kilar is betting that consumers will be willing to pay a monthly $2.99 subscription fee to access videos 72 hours before they become available for free on YouTube. The model has generated some early skepticism, but it is not much different from Hulu’s approach from six years ago. Continue reading Video Service Vessel Out of Beta, Launches on Web and iOS

Moonves Indicates Showtime Plans to Offer Streaming Service

Following HBO’s announcement that its new HBO Now streaming service will initially be available via Apple products in April, CBS President and CEO Les Moonves told an investor conference this week that Showtime would introduce its own standalone streaming service “in the not-too-distant future.” Speaking Wednesday in Palm Beach, Florida, Moonves noted that negotiations are currently underway with digital distributors and MVPDs. He added that discussions have accelerated in the wake of HBO’s announcement. Continue reading Moonves Indicates Showtime Plans to Offer Streaming Service

Streaming Video Subscribers Spend More Time Watching TV

Nielsen reports that about two in five U.S. households currently subscribe to streaming video services. According to the measurement company’s latest Total Audience Report, about 36 percent of households were Netflix subscribers in November. Netflix indicates it now has 40 million paid subscribers in the U.S. Following Netflix is Amazon Prime at 13 percent and Hulu Plus at 6.5 percent, explains the Nielsen study, which also shows that streaming service subscribers spend significantly more time viewing content. Continue reading Streaming Video Subscribers Spend More Time Watching TV

JustWatch Is a Search Engine That Scans Streaming Services

JustWatch is a new service that allows cord cutters to search many streaming services simultaneously to find their desired video content. This streaming aggregator is unique because it is aimed at an international audience, instead of just a U.S. audience. JustWatch also provides updates on new content added to streaming services. The service debuted in the U.S., and will soon be available in Germany and Brazil. Eventually, the company wants to help movie studios target cord cutters using an integrated adtech system. Continue reading JustWatch Is a Search Engine That Scans Streaming Services

Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

“Powers,” a scripted series based on a comic book, won’t make its debut on TV, but on Sony’s PlayStation gaming console. PlayStation consoles have long offered video streaming apps, but this is the first time that Sony has created an original scripted series for the gaming system. Sony is hoping that the series will encourage more people to buy the $50 PlayStation Plus membership, which include access to “Powers” along with free games and online storage. Continue reading Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Google’s Chromecast streaming device now supports new game apps that viewers can play on their TV screens. The games include both board game classics, like sped-up versions of Scrabble and Monopoly, in addition to new titles. Users must download the corresponding game app to their mobile phones and then they can use their phones to play the games on their TV screen. The relatively quick games are more like mobile games than they are like traditional video games. Continue reading New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Trial: Verizon FiOS and Netflix Test Bundled Subscription Plan

Verizon and Netflix are quietly testing a plan that could lead to an industry first regarding a major MVPD offering the SVOD service as part of a bundled subscription. Verizon is offering new FiOS Triple Play customers in New York City a free year’s worth of Netflix (a $108 value). The trial follows the back-and-forth between Verizon and Netflix contentiously debating which company was to blame for buffering problems that eventually led to a peering deal with Netflix paying extra fees. Continue reading Trial: Verizon FiOS and Netflix Test Bundled Subscription Plan

Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Amazon announced its Fire TV Stick, a $39 device ($19 for Prime subscribers) that plugs into the back of a television to provide access to movies and shows via online services such as Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and competitors Hulu and Netflix. Scheduled for a November 19th release, the Fire TV Stick offers twice the memory of Google’s $35 Chromecast (a bestseller on Amazon) and is priced lower than Roku’s $50 stick. However, it joins a crowded market of over-the-top Internet streaming devices. Continue reading Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Redbox Instant by Verizon to End Streaming Service Tomorrow

Just 18 months after its official public launch, Redbox announced it plans to shutter its streaming video service on October 7th. Redbox Instant is a streaming video service jointly operated by Redbox and Verizon that failed to gain traction with consumers. The hybrid service launched in early 2013, combining physical disc rentals via Redbox kiosks with a subscription video streaming option. Redbox primarily focused on movies, unlike the TV-heavy model of successful services such as Netflix. Continue reading Redbox Instant by Verizon to End Streaming Service Tomorrow

Game Consoles Most Popular Video Streaming Device in U.S.

Game consoles now beat out smart TVs and streaming media boxes as the device most frequently used for video streaming, according to a Parks Associates report on Americans’ streaming habits. In the survey of 10,000 households, 44 percent of respondents use a game console as their “primary connected” device for video streaming. Only 20 percent of respondents use smart TVs for streaming and only 12 percent watch video through a streaming media box. Continue reading Game Consoles Most Popular Video Streaming Device in U.S.

Hulu Bets Big on Original Series from J.J. Abrams, Stephen King

Hulu has ordered a nine-hour miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “11/22/63” with J.J. Abrams as executive producer. No formal release date has been announced and Hulu has yet to decide whether only Hulu Plus subscribers will get access to the series. This gamble on a miniseries about JFK’s assassination may make Hulu a serious competitor in subscription video on demand. Netflix and Amazon currently have a head start in critically acclaimed original programming. Continue reading Hulu Bets Big on Original Series from J.J. Abrams, Stephen King

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