Roku Aims to Expand Its Audience for Original Programming

Roku, the streaming media platform with more than 63 million U.S. accounts, has taken the plunge into exclusive programming this past year. In addition to purchasing the Quibi library and spending a reported $97.8 million to buy the home improvement franchise This Old House Ventures, Roku Originals has funded the Funny or Die production “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” budgeted at $12 million. Roku Originals has also produced a movie adaptation of NBC’s canceled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” and greenlit fresh seasons of Quibi’s Kevin Hart-starrer “Die Hart” as well as the remodeling series “Murder House Flip.” Continue reading Roku Aims to Expand Its Audience for Original Programming

HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Bodes Well for Netflix Ad Plans

As Netflix strategizes its rollout of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier, industry analysts are citing HBO Max data to predict the plan will be a win for the streaming service. A survey by Insider Intelligence says that 67 percent of HBO Max subscribers are opting for the $14.99 per month ad-free streaming tier, while 28 percent have chosen the $9.99 ad-supported tier. Launched in June 2021, the economy tier offers access to the same movie and series content, but is capped at 1080p and without the convenience of downloading for offline viewing. Continue reading HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Bodes Well for Netflix Ad Plans

Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Appearing at the NewFronts, Snap unveiled a new program in conjunction with celebrity greeting app Cameo as well as a new advertising initiative called Snap Promote and some new original programs. Snapchat creators will have the opportunity to team on short-form video ads with the 45,000-plus actors, athletes, musicians and influencers. The new Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program venture — an expansion of the Creator Marketplace Snap launched last year to increase monetization opportunities — was created by Cameo for Business and built by Snap. Continue reading Snap Teams with Cameo and Introduces Its New Ad Initiative

Spotify Debuts Live Streaming In-App, Rebrands Greenroom

Spotify is integrating live audio capabilities from its Spotify Greenroom app into the flagship Spotify service and rebranding the feature as “Spotify Live.” The company says the change “reflects our belief in the future of live-audio creators and live experiences being provided to all 406 million Spotify listeners around the globe.” Spotify Live will continue to live as a standalone app, as well as providing live-stream functionality within Spotify for music and podcasts. Beginning this week, Spotify will enable in-app live streaming for its original programming while independent creators can stream live using the separate app. Continue reading Spotify Debuts Live Streaming In-App, Rebrands Greenroom

Disney+ Service to Debut in 42 More Countries This Summer

The Disney+ streaming video service, which launched in November 2019 and is already available in 64 countries, plans to launch in 42 additional countries and 11 new territories sometime this summer. The announcement did not include exact release dates or regional pricing, but the scope of the expansion should help the platform jumpstart subscriber growth to better compete with other streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Max. The expansion plans should also steer Disney toward its previously predicted target of 230 million subscribers before the end of 2024. Disney+ already had 118 million global subscribers by the end of last year. Continue reading Disney+ Service to Debut in 42 More Countries This Summer

Netflix Subscriber Growth Ebbs in U.S. but Is Solid Overseas

Netflix stock dropped 20 percent Thursday on news that the streaming platform’s subscriber growth is slowing. Netflix missed its target only slightly, adding 8.3 million subscribers in Q4, versus its projected 8.5 million. But that missed target is combined with escalating content costs and a forecast that 2.5 million subscribers will be added in the first three months of 2022 as opposed to 4 million in Q1 2021. A significant portion of Q4’s subscribers growth was in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, up 3.5 million. Netflix added 1.2 million subs in the U.S. and Canada, only a slight improvement year over year. Continue reading Netflix Subscriber Growth Ebbs in U.S. but Is Solid Overseas

Netflix Increases Its Production Spending, Acquires VFX Firm

With the success of “Red Notice” — the heist caper starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Godot and Dwayne Johnson described as Netflix’s first stab at a film franchise — the streaming service has turned a corner, quelling resistance to making the first-run theatrical window an afterthought for direct-to-TV and Netflix’s 214 million subscriber households worldwide. Netflix has said it would spend $17 billion on original content in 2021, making it a talent magnet and major spender in Hollywood. The company plans to produce even more originals in 2022 and have them spread more evenly throughout the year (since the pipeline presumably won’t be interrupted with COVID-19 shutdowns). Continue reading Netflix Increases Its Production Spending, Acquires VFX Firm

Governments Are Crafting Ways to Regulate Streaming Media

In the last 10 years, streaming media companies have changed the film and television landscape, and government authorities have struggled to figure out if the companies should be regulated as broadcasters, video rental owners or in some completely new way. Netflix will, once again, not make an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival but across Europe, Amazon, Disney and Netflix are becoming an integral part of the film and TV industry. Streaming is big business in the EU, and the European Commission is developing new rules to regulate it. Continue reading Governments Are Crafting Ways to Regulate Streaming Media

Parrot Analytics Develops a New Model for Streaming Metrics

Measuring the success of streaming video content has been challenging, but startup Parrot Analytics said it has created a solid metric — which it dubs Demand Expressions (DEx) — that not only counts viewers but also their levels of enthusiasm. From that data, the company said it can also extract information to accurately determine how many subscribers the show will attract. Chief executive Wared Seger noted the challenge of creating a “new standard” that will measure across “different shows, on different platforms, at different times.” Continue reading Parrot Analytics Develops a New Model for Streaming Metrics

Netflix Remains Confident, Despite Increased Competition

For the second straight quarter, Netflix fell short of its subscriber-growth target. For some, this raises questions about Netflix’s ability to fend off competition in an increasingly crowded market, particularly as traditional media companies continue flooding the space with video-streaming services. On Wednesday, however, Netflix shares rose 8.5 percent based on news that the overall subscriber base did grow in the 3rd quarter, it didn’t lose domestic numbers, and it also saw strong international subscriber growth.

Continue reading Netflix Remains Confident, Despite Increased Competition

Netflix Rolls Out Audio Quality Upgrade For Its Programming

After noticing that the audio in episodes of the Netflix series “Stranger Things” wasn’t as crisp as it should be, the company’s internal sound technicians took steps to address the issue. For the past several months, they’ve been working to enhance the sound quality of all Netflix programming, original and licensed. This week and moving forward, subscribers will have access to what’s simply being called “high-quality audio.” The upgrade, which will not require Netflix users to change their Internet service speeds, is optimized for devices that support Dolby 5.1 and Dolby Atmos sound.

Continue reading Netflix Rolls Out Audio Quality Upgrade For Its Programming

Walmart Plans to Launch Original Content For Vudu Service

As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is known for selling many things, including TVs. However, it’s not typically known for what consumers watch on those TVs. That could soon change. This week, Walmart will unveil a sampling of a new slate of original programming to advertisers in New York with the goal of driving viewership to its Vudu streaming service. Unlike other streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, Walmart doesn’t plan to sell subscriptions. Instead, it wants to use shows to advertise products directly.

Continue reading Walmart Plans to Launch Original Content For Vudu Service

EPIX Offers Original Content, Movies via Streaming Service

MGM’s premium TV net EPIX has launched a new subscription streaming service that features original programming and films from MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate. The EPIX NOW app “is available for download today in the App store for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and in Google Play for Android phones and tablets,” reports Deadline. “It will also be coming soon to Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV.” The $5.99 per month service, which also includes the four EPIX linear live channels, will be available across additional devices later this year. Continue reading EPIX Offers Original Content, Movies via Streaming Service

AT&T Chief Outlines Future WarnerMedia Streaming Platform

At the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson revealed that investing in more HBO programs is a target for the coming year, as WarnerMedia readies its direct-to-consumer subscription platform due to launch by end of 2019. HBO will anchor the as-of-yet unnamed service, which will also offer original programming and other WarnerMedia content year-round. Stephenson did stress, however, that AT&T won’t spend the $11 billion that is Netflix’s current annual budget for content. Continue reading AT&T Chief Outlines Future WarnerMedia Streaming Platform

AT&T to Roll Out Three Tiers of Streaming Service Next Year

AT&T announced it plans to introduce three tiers of a new streaming video service to launch in beta by the fourth quarter of 2019, although pricing and details have yet to be revealed. The WarnerMedia service, intended to take on Netflix and other streaming competitors, will offer movies and TV shows from Warner Bros., Turner and HBO. In the future, the unnamed service is expected to feature licensed content from additional media companies. The venture is part of AT&T’s larger plans to pursue areas outside of its core businesses following the company’s acquisition of Time Warner. Continue reading AT&T to Roll Out Three Tiers of Streaming Service Next Year