Verizon Offering Free Netflix Premium with Peacock Purchase

Verizon is offering a year of Netflix Premium at no charge to Verizon Mobile and Home Internet customers who buy an annual subscription to Peacock Premium through its content subscription hub +play. That’s a $275 value (at $22.95 per month) in exchange for a $79.95 Peacock plan, according to the telecom company, which rebranded last month, launching a host of promotional plans in the lead-up to its 2025 silver jubilee. The offer, which started last week, ends August 31. The Peacock push dovetails with parent company NBCUniversal’s presentation of the 2024 Paris Olympics. NBC Sports coverage of the Olympics will include streaming on Peacock. Continue reading Verizon Offering Free Netflix Premium with Peacock Purchase

Verizon Revamps Its Logo, Adds Discounted Streaming Deals

Verizon has restyled its logo and is making a more concerted push for a slice of the home market with the launch of a myHome bundle that pitches savings for those combining home Internet, live TV, streaming, and connected home services like cloud storage. Modeled after the company’s myPlan mobile package, myHome is available to new and existing Verizon customers who can choose among Fios, 5G Home or LTE Home Internet for prices starting at $35 per month. Subscribers can add streaming for $10 per platform and opt for a live-TV package of either Fios TV (where available) or YouTube TV. Continue reading Verizon Revamps Its Logo, Adds Discounted Streaming Deals

DOJ Scores Criminal Conviction Against Operators of Jetflicks

A federal jury in Las Vegas has convicted five men for illegal streaming operations perpetrated through a company called Jetflicks, which generated millions of dollars in subscription revenue while causing “substantial harm to television program copyright owners,” according to the Department of Justice. Jetflicks, which charged customers $9.99 per month, had a catalog that included “hundreds of thousands” of copyrighted TV episodes, larger than the combined offerings of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime, prosecutors said, explaining the outfit “used sophisticated computer scripts and software to scour pirate websites for illegal copies of television episodes.” Continue reading DOJ Scores Criminal Conviction Against Operators of Jetflicks

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

Netflix Takes Advertising In-House with Launch of Ad Server

Netflix is launching its own ad server, bringing control of the advertising experience of its 270 million subscribers in-house. The company will use its new ad tech to create personalized ads that can be highly targetable, Netflix President of Advertising Amy Reinhard said onstage at the upfronts, providing brands with new ways to buy and to slice and dice consumer data. The deployment puts Netflix in the mix with other industry heavyweights like Google, Amazon and Comcast, which also operate their own ad servers. The move comes 18 months after Netflix entered the advertising business in partnership with Microsoft. Continue reading Netflix Takes Advertising In-House with Launch of Ad Server

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

Ad Firm Vibe Looks to Serve as the ‘Google Ads of Streaming’

Ad tech platform Vibe has raised $22.5 million in a Series A funding round led by venture firm Singular. Vibe plans to use the funds to “continue building a more efficient streaming TV advertising ecosystem and become the No. 1 connected TV ad resource for small and midsize businesses,” or SMBs. Vibe, which calls itself the “Google Ads of streaming,” says its technology “radically democratizes access to streaming TV advertising for SMBs with an easy-to-use ad platform mimicking the power and ease-of-use of Google or Meta, but for CTV and OTT.” Continue reading Ad Firm Vibe Looks to Serve as the ‘Google Ads of Streaming’

Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

FOX, Warner Bros. Discovery and The Walt Disney Company through its subsidiary ESPN are finalizing plans to form a new, multi-league sports streaming service expected to launch this fall. The direct-to-consumer offering would be made available via a new app and subscriptions could also be bundled with existing services like Disney+, Hulu and Max. The media companies launching the joint venture — who will each have one-third ownership of the new platform — have yet to announce a name or pricing model, but said content will be “from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports.” Continue reading Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

Nielsen: 21 Million Years Worth of Video Was Streamed in 2023

In 2023, U.S. audiences streamed the equivalent of 21 million years of video, according to Nielsen, which says that’s a record, surpassing by 21 percent the 17 million years’ worth of video streamed in 2022. Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” was the most streamed original, while “Suits” was the most-streamed show in a single year. Its 57.7 billion viewing minutes on Netflix and Peacock surpassed “The Office,” which generated 57.1 billion viewing minutes on Netflix in 2020. According to Nielsen’s Gracenote, “audiences had 90 different streaming services to choose from at the end of last year, up from 51 at the start of 2020.” Continue reading Nielsen: 21 Million Years Worth of Video Was Streamed in 2023

Hulu Is Joining Netflix in Cracking Down on Password Sharing

Hulu has revised its Terms of Service in an effort to ban password sharing amongst friends and family members outside of a subscriber’s primary personal residence. Hulu has been announcing via email that subscribers will have until March 14 to comply. According to the revised Terms of Service: “If we determine, in our sole discretion, that you have violated this Agreement, we may limit or terminate access to the Service and/or take any other steps as permitted by this Agreement.” The move by Hulu follows what has been reported as a successful crackdown on password sharing by Netflix in addition to a record number of subscribers in the fourth quarter. Continue reading Hulu Is Joining Netflix in Cracking Down on Password Sharing

CES: Marketers Shift Tactics in Streaming, Post-Cookie World

Audiences are migrating from broadcasting to streaming, and Google just announced its decision to phase out third-party cookies. What’s a marketer to do? At CES, Disney, Pfizer and GroupM marketers discussed how they plan to evolve in a changing landscape. The Walt Disney Company’s Lisa Valentino emphasized the need for interoperability of data across platforms, with the consumer at the center. GroupM debuted its Ad Innovation Accelerator to “strategize and create scalable ad formats that are designed to be ubiquitous across ad-supported streaming environments.” Partners include BrightLine, Disney, KERV, NBCUniversal, Roku, Telly and YouTube. Continue reading CES: Marketers Shift Tactics in Streaming, Post-Cookie World

Comcast Makes Its Xumo Boxes Available for One-Time Fee

Comcast is now making Xumo Stream Boxes available to its Xfinity broadband customers. New customers can get one Xumo Box for a $15 activation fee and no monthly charge. Additional units will be billed at $5 per month, the company says. The Xumo Stream Box comes preloaded with hundreds of streaming apps. In addition to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, popular favorites like Disney+, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are on the menu. Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels are also packaged in, with 20 options from Xfinity Stream and more than 300 from Xumo Play. Continue reading Comcast Makes Its Xumo Boxes Available for One-Time Fee

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