NBA and Microsoft Team on New DTC Mobile Streaming App

The NBA becomes the latest sports league to court digital viewers, launching an app for streaming, personalization and socializing. The app is free to download, and NBA League Pass will be integrated into the app, with promotional pricing of $14.99 per month ($99.99 per season) for a standard package and $19.99 per month ($129.99 per season) for a premium subscription. The NBA App is a product of NBA Digital, the league’s joint venture with Turner Sports, and was built in partnership with Microsoft, the NBA’s cloud and artificial intelligence partner. Continue reading NBA and Microsoft Team on New DTC Mobile Streaming App

Apple Music Displaces Pepsi as Super Bowl Halftime Sponsor

Apple has secured main sponsorship rights to the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, with Apple Music replacing Pepsi, which had a lock on the slot for the past 10 years. The event takes place February 12, 2023, at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, broadcasting on FOX. The price wasn’t disclosed, but the NFL had reportedly been asking $50 million for the prime halftime positioning. The deal played out against a backdrop of the NFL’s Sunday Ticket rights sale, with a reported $2.5 billion asking price and Apple said to be the most serious bidder. Continue reading Apple Music Displaces Pepsi as Super Bowl Halftime Sponsor

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

Samsung TV Plus Targets Premium Content in FAST Relaunch

Samsung Electronics America is refreshing Samsung TV Plus, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) and video on-demand service seen in 24 countries on 465 million TV and mobile devices. The main emphasis will be adding premium content that Samsung is looking to license from industry partners. Launched in 2015 as one of the first FAST services by a device manufacturer, Samsung TV Plus has nonetheless maintained a low profile, despite offering what is now more than 220 linear channels in the U.S., over 1,600 channels globally, and 50-plus O&Os spanning news, sports and entertainment. Continue reading Samsung TV Plus Targets Premium Content in FAST Relaunch

Twitter Prioritizes Discovery in Its Podcast Tests with Spaces

Twitter is testing a heightened presence in podcasting, offering a redesigned Spaces tab that includes a podcast option in an announcement that hints at a collaboration with Vox Media. Couched as an investment in audio creators, Twitter says the redesign includes personalized hubs (which it’s calling “Stations”) that group audio content together by specific themes such as News, Music and Sports. Integrating podcasts into Spaces, Twitter’s designated area for audio, is “a simple and intuitive way that allows listeners to simply hit play and go” and compile personal collections of live and recorded Spaces audio discussions. Continue reading Twitter Prioritizes Discovery in Its Podcast Tests with Spaces

Peacock Offers Shows for Next-Day Streaming at New Price

Peacock is having a sale for new customers in September. As part of “a special Fall celebratory offer,” the rate for a Premium plan will be reduced from $4.99 a month to “just $1.99 a month,” or $19.99 for the year. Premium subscribers see up to 5 minutes of ads per hour and can stream news and first-run entertainment content next-day. Peacock also offers an ad-free Premium Plus plan for $9.99 per month and a free Basic plan that has ads but no next-day streaming. September will also be the month Peacock adds current NBC and Bravo shows for next-day streaming. Continue reading Peacock Offers Shows for Next-Day Streaming at New Price

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

Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Ticketmaster and TikTok have teamed up for an in-app event discovery feature that will let the short-form video app share live event information and direct users to Ticketmaster’s site for purchase. Influencers can now link relevant Ticketmaster events to their videos. Initially, the new feature will only be available to select creators, with plans to scale more broadly over time. Acts that have signed on to use the ticketing mini app at launch include Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys, Usher and more. WWE is also participating. The pact follows a similar agreement Ticketmaster made with Snapchat in February. Continue reading Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Streaming is expected to overtake linear TV viewing by the end of the year, according to a study by research firm Omdia. The Gauge, Nielsen’s latest media analysis report, found that streaming claimed 34 percent of total TV time in June for a fourth consecutive monthly record. That’s what cable claimed in June 2021, only to decline to 35 percent in June 2022. Nielsen SVP of product strategy and thought leadership Brian Fuhrer says what is unusual is “the extraordinary breakout that a number of the streamers had,” with Netflix jumping the most, a full share point. Continue reading Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Avid is moving its workflow to the cloud, providing its popular on-site editing interface to distributed production teams that will now have instant access to assets across platforms, from broadcast and cable to web and social media. Geared towards news and sports operations, the Avid Media Production in the Cloud subscription service offers a secure and convenient way to integrate existing tools and workflows with the power of the cloud “without committing to a forklift overhaul or the need for additional training,” Avid director of solutions marketing, media and cloud Raul Alba said of the rollout. Continue reading Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Big Tech Drives Up Sports Prices as Amazon, Apple Go All In

Big Tech has become a disruptor in the marketplace for sports rights, with Amazon and Apple bidding against traditional media for rights to NFL and MLB games in addition to college conference competition and Formula 1 racing, according to recent reports. Among the prizes, DirecTV’s expiring rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, a package that is being shopped with a $2.5 billion annual price tag, $1 billion more than the satellite operator’s current deal, which ends in January. In addition, Google is said to be bidding on behalf of YouTube. Beginning September 15, Amazon Prime Video begins its exclusive carriage deal for “Thursday Night Football.”  Continue reading Big Tech Drives Up Sports Prices as Amazon, Apple Go All In

Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Amazon is rolling out a redesigned Prime Video app for Android and connected living room devices, including Fire TV for customers worldwide, with iOS and web to follow. The company says the new interface will make discovery and navigation much easier. Among the visual enhancements are a Top 10 Chart showcasing trending Prime Video content and “Super Carousel” displays with “poster-style artwork” for Amazon Originals. Also emphasized is graphical distinction between content included with Prime memberships versus that which is available for general purchase. Continue reading Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Camera by Insta360 and Leica Records 6K 360-Degree Video

Insta360 and Leica have teamed to launch a new camera capable of recording 6K 360-degree video and 21MP 360-degree still images. The Insta360 ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition, which features dual 1-inch sensors, “allows creators to shoot in industry-leading image quality with a tool that’s small enough to carry anywhere they go,” according to Leica. “The 1-Inch 360 Edition represents Insta360’s continued mission to make ONE RS the most comprehensive and versatile camera on the market,” explains Insta360 founder JK Liu, emphasizing “impressive performance even in low light.” Continue reading Camera by Insta360 and Leica Records 6K 360-Degree Video

Spotify Says One Billion MAUs by 2030 a Path to Profitability

Trying to assuage fears over what investors are concerned is a limited-growth market, audio streamer Spotify says it plans to hit one billion global monthly average users by 2030. Spotify closed Q1 with 422 million MAUs and 182 million paid subscribers, per Statista. At an Investor Day presentation in New York City this week, CEO Daniel Ek and chief freemium business officer Alex Norström showed slides indicating the company’s goal represents compounded annual growth rates of 26 percent for MAUs, paid subscribers and revenue (on a currency-adjusted basis). To get there, the executives emphasized emerging markets and podcasts. Continue reading Spotify Says One Billion MAUs by 2030 a Path to Profitability