A Rebranded ‘Paramount+ with Showtime’ Will Roll Out Soon

Paramount Global will be fully integrating Paramount+ and Showtime across both streaming and linear platforms later this year, according to president and CEO Bob Bakish, who said both the premium streaming tier on Paramount+ and the Showtime linear cable network will be known as “Paramount+ with Showtime” in the U.S. Pricing was not disclosed. In September, the studio began offering Paramount+ bundled with Showtime for prices ranging from $11.99 to $14.99 for premium. Paramount+ with Showtime will include Showtime original content, while Showtime will also get some Paramount+ original fare. Bakish said details will be shared in upcoming weeks. Continue reading A Rebranded ‘Paramount+ with Showtime’ Will Roll Out Soon

YouTube Tests Waters with Hub of FAST Streaming Channels

YouTube is embarking on tests of a new FAST channel hub. The move is the latest by the Alphabet-owned platform to expand its ambitions to become a full-service video provider. YouTube is reported by The Wall Street Journal to be in talks with entertainment firms about featuring films and TV series in a configuration not unlike that typically offered by cable (i.e., packaged) and is testing the approach with a limited number of media companies in anticipation of a potential full-on launch later this year. Deployment of a free, ad-supported TV hub would put YouTube on a path to become a go-to destination for general video in competition with entities such as Roku, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. Continue reading YouTube Tests Waters with Hub of FAST Streaming Channels

Amazon Prime Video Knocks Netflix from Top Streamer Spot

Amazon Prime Video has overtaken Netflix as the most popular OTT video service in the U.S., according to a new study by Parks Associates, marking the first time Netflix fell from No. 1 in the history of the company’s annual report. Peacock entered the top 10 list for the first time in 2022, debuting at No. 9, while Showtime dropped off. The research firm reports that 83 percent of U.S. broadband households have at least one OTT service, while 23 percent subscribe to nine or more OTT subscriptions. While Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu have traditionally held the top three spots, the list has recently become more varied due to an influx of new players. Continue reading Amazon Prime Video Knocks Netflix from Top Streamer Spot

Disney Could Be Planning to Create a Mega Bundle with Hulu

Speculation is afoot as to the fate of popular subscription streaming service Hulu, initially launched 15 years ago. Disney presently owns 67 percent of the company, and Comcast 33 percent. The two had agreed to come to terms of a sale by January 24, but now there is talk that Disney wants to resolve the matter sooner and is planning to buy out Comcast and integrate Hulu into Disney+, providing access to titles from Disney’s “Star Wars” and Marvel Universe franchises along with popular Hulu originals such as “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Great” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Continue reading Disney Could Be Planning to Create a Mega Bundle with Hulu

Top Peacock Tier Adds Live NBC Affiliates from 210 Markets

NBCUniversal’s OTT video streaming service Peacock is adding local NBC affiliate channels from 210 markets to its $9.99/month Premium Plus tier. The 24/7 feature is phasing in gradually, with all stations scheduled to be live by November 30, when subscribers will see a homepage tile that syncs the local broadcast feed, offering everything from NBC hits like “Law & Order” and “Saturday Night Live.” Integration of a live option puts Peacock on a more direct footing with Paramount+, which offers live CBS affiliate feeds. Continue reading Top Peacock Tier Adds Live NBC Affiliates from 210 Markets

Amazon Offers Expanded Music and Podcast Catalog Ad-Free

Amazon Music has taken a major leap forward, expanding its catalog from about 2 million to 100 million songs that will be made available ad-free to Prime members as part of their existing $139 annual membership fee. Starting this week, Prime members can “shuffle play any artist, album, or playlist, plus stream a selection of All-Access playlists on demand” as well as “access the largest catalog of ad-free top podcasts,” the online retail giant said. The move underscores a new battleground for membership-focused retailers, including Costco and Walmart, who see streaming as an opportunity to add value. Continue reading Amazon Offers Expanded Music and Podcast Catalog Ad-Free

YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

In Google’s ongoing bid to become a one-stop destination for video entertainment, the company’s YouTube has launched a U.S. streaming marketplace called Primetime Channels that debuts with 34 services, including Paramount+, Showtime, AMC+ and Starz. The company jumps in the ring with Amazon, Apple and Roku, all of which offer streaming subscriptions directly through their platforms, although none has managed to secure every major on-demand outlet. YouTube, the leader in free video streaming says it has integrated Primetime Channels among user-uploaded content, making it easy for viewers to hop from free trailers to subscription purchases. Continue reading YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

YouTube Tops Nielsen Gauge for First Time, Pluto Breaks Out

Streaming broke another all-time record in September, claiming 36.9 percent of total television usage. YouTube captured an 8 percent streaming share, enough to make it the No. 1 most-watched service, a first for the Google-owned platform, according to Nielsen’s monthly media snapshot “The Gauge.” Broadcast’s share also grew in September, climbing to 24.2 percent, while cable dropped to 33.8 percent. Total television usage increased 2.4 percent over August, with Nielsen citing the return of football as the rising tide that lifted all boats in in September, “as it provided new content across broadcast, cable and streaming.” Meanwhile, Pluto TV made a splash entering the rankings for the first time. Continue reading YouTube Tops Nielsen Gauge for First Time, Pluto Breaks Out

Paramount Considers Absorbing Showtime into Paramount+

Just weeks after introducing a new bundled approach to marketing Paramount+ and Showtime, there are reports that Paramount Global is considering discontinuing Showtime as a separate streaming service and merging its content into Paramount+. Although couched as in the early phases of discussion, the idea would be to boost the signature platform’s consumer appeal in an increasingly crowded market. Showtime is currently available for $10.99 per month as a standalone service, and Paramount+ subscribers can get Showtime at special pricing through October 2, gaining access to its premium content, including “Billions” and “Yellowjackets.” Continue reading Paramount Considers Absorbing Showtime into Paramount+

Paramount+ Adds Showtime in Single App at Special Pricing

Paramount+ is now available with Showtime in a single app. Paramount+ subscribers can upgrade their package to include the premium cable channel’s content at discounted pricing through October 2. Paramount Global had been selling a Paramount+ and Showtime bundle for the past year, but the content had to be accessed through separate apps. The promotional pricing sees Paramount+ with Showtime available to U.S. subscribers at $7.99 per month with ads, the Essential Plan, representing a discount of 33 percent, and $12.99 per month ad-free under the Premium Plan, for 13 percent off from the regular bundle pricing. Continue reading Paramount+ Adds Showtime in Single App at Special Pricing

Netflix Reportedly Bumping Up Ad-Tier Launch to November

Netflix has reportedly moved the timeline for launching its ad-supported subscription tier to November 1 in an effort to get to market before the December 8 debut of the Disney+ tier with advertising. Over the summer, Netflix told investors it planned to launch the lower-priced alternative tier “around the early part of 2023,” a strategy that appears to have shifted, with a Q4 rollout that is expected to include the U.S., Canada, Germany, France and the UK. The streamer is also said to be discussing a pricey $65 CPM rate per thousand impressions. Netflix characterized the conjecture as “speculation.” Continue reading Netflix Reportedly Bumping Up Ad-Tier Launch to November

Big Ten Rights Deal Most Lucrative in College Sports History

Comcast announced that Peacock and NBC will “become the exclusive home of ‘Big Ten Saturday Night’ football” beginning in 2023. CBS and FOX also get a piece of Big Ten action in a rights deal that also includes basketball. The college mega-conference will reportedly reap more than $7 billion over seven years, beginning July 1, 2023. CBS and FOX will share the remainder of the Saturday football schedule, with FOX broadcasting the noon games and CBS (and Paramount+) getting mid-afternoon play. The arrangement concludes ESPN’s 40-year run of Big Ten football programming. Continue reading Big Ten Rights Deal Most Lucrative in College Sports History

Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

July was the first month in which streaming has overtaken cable viewing, according to Nielsen’s monthly snapshot The Gauge, which reports streaming captured a record 34.8 percent share of total U.S. TV viewership, cable 34.4 percent and broadcast 21.6 percent. While streaming has exceeded broadcast’s viewing share before, this is the first time it also exceeded cable, said Nielsen Global Media’s Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy and thought leadership. Audiences spent 23 percent more time streaming content than they did in July 2021, 9 percent less time watching cable and 10 percent less time watching broadcast television. Continue reading Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

Walmart+ Subscribers Get Basic Tier of Paramount+ for Free

Walmart is taking a page from Amazon’s playbook and providing its Walmart+ customers streaming video content thanks to a deal with Paramount Global. Walmart+ subscribers will receive an ad-supported Paramount+ subscription as a perk. In addition to helping Walmart keep customers happy, the deal will further Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish’s stated goal of having 100 million Paramount+ subscribers by 2024. Walmart launched Walmart+ about two years ago charging $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, in exchange for free shipping with online purchases, free grocery deliveries for orders above $35 and discounted prescriptions and gas. Continue reading Walmart+ Subscribers Get Basic Tier of Paramount+ for Free

Warner Bros. Discovery Explores Adding a New FAST Service

Warner Bros. Discovery reported Thursday that the number of direct-to-consumer subscribers to HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+ was up 1.7 million since the close of Q1, for a total of 92.1 million subs. As part of its effort to reach a broader streaming audience, the company plans to launch a combined subscription version of HBO Max and Discovery+ in summer of 2023. CEO David Zaslav revealed that the company is also exploring a free ad-supported TV service. “We see potential,” Zaslav said of launching a discrete FAST service, one that may offer different content from what is currently available on the premium VOD platforms. Continue reading Warner Bros. Discovery Explores Adding a New FAST Service