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

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

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

Google Touts 25 Years and 2023’s Top Global, Local Trends

Alphabet is celebrating 25 years in search with a 25-Year Video Time Capsule on YouTube in conjunction with Google’s annual Year in Search global and local trend charts for 2023. Delving into local interests and traversing the globe, the lists demonstrate how human curiosity connects us across the planet through universal common interests. Topping the global searches for 2023 news is the Israel-Hamas war, followed by June’s Titanic-bound submersible disaster, then the earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria in June. In the entertainment world, “Barbie” was Hollywood’s most-searched film. Continue reading Google Touts 25 Years and 2023’s Top Global, Local Trends

Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

Roku TV and the Roku player are getting new features including better search and discovery to complement its more than 400 free live linear TV channels. The upgrades will begin rolling out with the introduction of Roku OS 12.5 in the coming weeks. Highlights include the ability to follow a favorite sports team, new music channels and the ability to link Roku’s Photo Streams image-based screensaver to a Google Photos account, so personal pictures can be displayed between viewing events. The changes are across a wide range of features targeting sports enthusiasts and others, including technical purists and casual viewers who need help finding entertainment options. Continue reading Roku Adds New Search, Sports, Music Features with OS 12.5

PlayStation to Offer Streaming Movies via Sony Pictures Core

Sony is leveraging the power of its hardware platforms to expand its streaming efforts. What has since 2021 been known as Bravia Core is now rebranded as Sony Pictures Core and will be coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 game consoles, with access to 2,000 current and classic films available for rent or purchase. In addition to being able to order Sony Pictures content through Bravia XR TVs, users will be able to transact straight through their consoles, with access to popular films such as “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Uncharted,” “No Hard Feelings,” “Bullet Train” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” among others. Continue reading PlayStation to Offer Streaming Movies via Sony Pictures Core

Likewise: Startup Backed by Bill Gates Launches Pix Chatbot

Likewise, a startup discovery platform backed by Bill Gates, is launching its own free chatbot named Pix. Billed as “the world’s first personal entertainment companion,” Pix helps users find TV shows, movies, books and podcasts, drawing from 600 million consumer data points. Trained on OpenAI models, Pix uses natural-language processing to answer user questions submitted by text, email or on the web at Likewise.com. Responses are promised “within seconds,” and Pix will learn users’ preferences over time. Likewise claims to have more than six million registered users. Continue reading Likewise: Startup Backed by Bill Gates Launches Pix Chatbot

Streaming Giants Form Trade Group as New Regulations Loom

Some of the nation’s biggest streaming services have banded together to form a trade group, the Streaming Innovation Alliance, that will lobby at federal and state levels for policies that support their goals. Early members include Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, The Walt Disney Company, TelevisaUnivision, ViX, BET+ and the MPA. Signing on as advisors are Washington D.C. veterans Fred Upton, who headed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Mignon Clyburn, once acting chair of the FCC. The creation of the trade group comes as new online regulations loom. Continue reading Streaming Giants Form Trade Group as New Regulations Loom

Amazon Prime Video to Run TV Commercials Early Next Year

Amazon Prime Video plans to introduce commercial breaks to its popular streaming service early next year, following top platforms such as Disney+, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max, which already offer ad-supported tiers. The company indicates it will run fewer ads than traditional linear TV broadcasters and broadband rivals but has yet to specify numbers. Subscribers in the U.S. who want to keep the streaming service ad-free have the option of paying an additional $2.99 per month. Amazon explained that its strategy to include ads would help it “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.” Continue reading Amazon Prime Video to Run TV Commercials Early Next Year

WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

Warner Bros. Discovery will begin adding free live sports to its Max streaming service beginning October 5 as a promotional period. Beginning February 29, 2024, subscribers will be charged an additional $10 per month to keep it as part of the new “Bleacher Report Sports Add-On Tier.” Max streaming sports will include Major League Baseball playoff games, regular-season National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games, U.S. soccer and the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness. The sports fee will be in addition to the subscription price for ad-supported or commercial-free Max. Continue reading WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

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

Nielsen: June Marks a New All-Time Record for TV Streaming

Streaming accounted for 37.7 percent of overall U.S. TV usage in June, a record share for the digital format. Cable TV accounted for 30.6 percent and broadcast 20.8 percent, according to Nielsen’s monthly snapshot The Gauge. TV viewing was up 2.2 percent in June, the first monthly increase since January. The uptick was principally attributed to young viewers and the summer break. Notably, TV consumption among the 2-11 and 12-17 age groups was up 16.3 percent and 24.1 percent, respectively, compared with May. Alternative viewing options — including streaming and video gaming — accounted for 90 percent among those groups. Continue reading Nielsen: June Marks a New All-Time Record for TV Streaming

Amazon Explores Launching Ad-Supported Prime Video Tier

Amazon may be further leveraging its enviable position with Madison Avenue by launching an ad-supported Prime Video tier. The move makes sense given Amazon’s surging ad revenue from online sales. The company also owns the FAST service Freevee. Amazon’s ad savvy runs deep, and reports suggest the e-commerce giant is also in discussions with Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global to package the ad-supported versions of Max and Paramount+ under the Prime Video Channels banner. The news comes on the eve of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the global marketing elite. Continue reading Amazon Explores Launching Ad-Supported Prime Video Tier