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

YouTube TV Expands NBA League Pass Choices in Multiview

To the appreciation, if not delight, of sports fans, Google is allowing YouTube TV subscribers to exercise more choice in what games to watch in their multiview windows. YouTube TV offers the option of watching up to four different sporting or news events simultaneously on a single screen. However, it doesn’t allow endless free choice, but presents combination options. Users complained and Google responded by serving up more multiview combinations to choose from, but stopped short of generating customizable multiplex streaming feeds for each user. Continue reading YouTube TV Expands NBA League Pass Choices in Multiview

Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Amazon this week began serving advertising to Prime Video customers who did not elect to pay an additional $2.99 per month in addition to the basic annual Prime membership of $139 per year or $14.99 per month. Adding commercials is estimated to potentially bring in more than $3 billion a year for Amazon, which is expected to have 2023 revenue of around $567 billion. The surplus will come in handy to pay out $1 billion a year over 11 years for the rights to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.” The ad-supported Prime Video service launches in the U.S., Canada, UK and Germany, with Mexico, France, Italy, Spain and Australia following later in the year. Continue reading Amazon Stands to Gain $3 Billion a Year from Prime Video Ads

Netflix Releases Engagement Report, Reveals Hours Viewed

In a move toward increased transparency, Netflix has begun sharing specifics regarding program consumption data. This week, the streamer released the first “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report,” detailing how many hours the most popular content was viewed January to June 2023. On a call with reporters, co-CEO Ted Sarandos described the information as “a continuum” of improvements to viewership measurement. The report “covers more than 18,000 titles — representing 99 percent of all viewing on Netflix,” which for the six-month period totaled “nearly 100 billion hours worldwide,” according to Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Releases Engagement Report, Reveals Hours Viewed

Samsung TV Plus Hits Refresh on a 60 Percent Viewer Surge

Samsung TV Plus reports it has seen enthusiastic consumer use over the past year, with a 60 percent rise in global viewership. Accordingly, the TV maker is upgrading its free streaming service — available on Galaxy devices, Samsung Smart TVs, Smart Monitors and Family Hub appliances and on the Web — with an emphasis on discoverability for kids and music programming. Launched in 2015, the free ad-supported TV (FAST) and ad-based video on-demand (AVOD) service offers content spanning news, sports, entertainment, music, and more, in 24 countries where it is accessed on 535 million TV and mobile devices. Continue reading Samsung TV Plus Hits Refresh on a 60 Percent Viewer Surge

YouTube Adds Dozens of Mobile Playback, Creator Controls

YouTube has introduced three dozen new features that do everything from improve mobile playback and search to expand creator tools. When the words “like and subscribe” are uttered by creators, the buttons will respond with animations. Bigger preview thumbnails and a “lock-screen” feature designed to prevent mishaps are also in the new toolset. The improvements build on the “new look and feel” YouTube debuted last year, adding “more modern design elements and features that helped our viewers feel more immersed,” the company says. Some of the improvements target smartphones and connected TVs, while others are for the web app. Continue reading YouTube Adds Dozens of Mobile Playback, Creator Controls

Indie Video Store Tries to Fill Netflix DVD-by-Mail Rental Role

With Netflix ceasing DVD rent-by-mail operations as of September 29, a market opportunity has been identified by Seattle, Washington-based independent Scarecrow Video, which wants to step into the role vacated by the streaming giant. Described as the largest remaining video retailer in the U.S., Scarecrow began experimenting with a rent-by-mail program in 2019, offering DVDs and Blu-ray Discs delivered to mailboxes across the country. While rare titles are excepted from the rent-by-mail program, and applications to participate in the program must be individually approved, Scarecrow has proclaimed the program a success. Continue reading Indie Video Store Tries to Fill Netflix DVD-by-Mail Rental Role

UI Update ‘My Netflix’ Aims to Streamline Mobile Experience

Netflix is updating its mobile user interface to consolidate watch activity in one place. Rolling out for iOS now and Android in August, My Netflix is the new hub for watchlists, downloads and views in progress. The “one stop shop” also collects My List items, notifications, trailers and other content with which users have interacted, including TV shows or movies that have been validated with a subscriber’s thumbs-up. My Netflix replaces the Downloads section globally, and the streamer says the more users interact with it the more customized it will become. Continue reading UI Update ‘My Netflix’ Aims to Streamline Mobile Experience

Netflix Shutters Cheapest Streaming Plan Without Advertising

Netflix is marshalling resources around its ad-supported Standard plan, pulling the plug on ad-free Basic in an effort to drive more eyeballs to the service’s sponsored tier. The $9.99 per month Basic plan is no longer available “for new or rejoining members” in the U.S. and UK and was dropped in Canada last month. Existing Basic subs can continue the plan until they decide to change tiers or cancel. Standard with Ads has since its November launch accrued more than 5 million subs, according to Netflix, which says 25 percent of new sign-ups have chosen that package. Continue reading Netflix Shutters Cheapest Streaming Plan Without Advertising

Advertising Exec Linda Yaccarino Named New CEO of Twitter

Twitter 2.0 is ready for takeoff, now that former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino has been appointed the social media giant’s new CEO. Yaccarino has extensive experience in advertising and has long been one of Madison Avenue’s major power brokers. Twitter, which relies primarily on ad revenue, is still trying to recover from stumbling after Elon Musk alienated sponsors in a series of erratic moves immediately after acquiring the company for $44 billion in October. Musk says he will now focus on product design and technology while Yaccarino concentrates on business development. Continue reading Advertising Exec Linda Yaccarino Named New CEO of Twitter

Hulu Content Is Coming to Disney+ for ‘One-App Experience’

Disney will soon be incorporating Hulu content on Disney+ in the U.S. said CEO Bob Iger, describing the move toward “a one-app experience” for investors on the company’s quarterly earnings call this week. Iger also confirmed discussions about Hulu’s future with Comcast, which holds a 33 percent stake in the Disney-owned streamer. “Where we are headed is for one experience that would have general entertainment and Disney+ content together,” Iger told investors. “How that ultimately unfolds is to some extent in the hands of Comcast.” Continue reading Hulu Content Is Coming to Disney+ for ‘One-App Experience’

AMC Networks Maps Out Its Future Ad-Supported Strategies

During a conference call with investors, AMC Networks explained the company’s plans for attracting new subscribers to its streaming services, including a new ad-supported version of AMC+, slated to launch later this year, and continuing to extend carriage deals of its FAST channels. AMC Networks — which operates AMC+, ALLBLK, Acorn TV, HIDIVE, Sundance Now and Shudder — experienced a drop in direct-to-consumer numbers during the quarter that ended March 31. Its overall 11.5 million subscriber count decreased about 300,000 since the end of 2022 (subscriber data was not revealed for each individual service). Continue reading AMC Networks Maps Out Its Future Ad-Supported Strategies

Netflix Delays Password-Sharing Fees, Cancels DVD Rentals

Netflix followed its triumphant Q4 with mixed results for Q1, the first quarter under new co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters. The period ending March 31 produced profit of $1.31 billion, down 18 percent year over year. Revenue was up 3.6 percent to $8.16 billion from $7.87 billion in Q1 2022. Paid sharing was launched in four countries in Q1, but the company delayed the broader rollout that was to come with a global crackdown on password piggy-backers, which was originally scheduled for Q1. The wider initiative, which includes the U.S., is now set for Q2. In addition, Netflix announced it would shutter its DVD rent-by-mail program. Continue reading Netflix Delays Password-Sharing Fees, Cancels DVD Rentals

YouTube TV Launches Its ‘Multiview’ Display, Ideal for Sports

YouTube TV is rolling out a new feature aimed at live sports fans. Called “multiview,” it lets people watch up to four different streams at once. Just in time for March Madness, multiview is debuting in early access to select U.S. subscribers and only for sports content, YouTube says, adding that it’s exploring how to apply the quad-screen format across a variety of content and will gradually make it available to more users. Slow-walking the initial launch will allow the platform to collect feedback and improve the feature in time for the fall NFL football season. Continue reading YouTube TV Launches Its ‘Multiview’ Display, Ideal for Sports

YouTube Testing ‘1080p Premium’ with Its Paid Subscribers

YouTube is experimenting with a higher bitrate 1080p format for Premium subscribers. The enhanced 1080p Premium reportedly provides a better viewing experience. For now, 1080p Premium is only available to a very small group. The existing 1080p HD resolution on YouTube remains unchanged, according to the company. “1080p Premium is an enhanced bitrate version of 1080p which provides more information per pixel that results in a higher quality viewing experience,” explains spokesperson Paul Pennington, clarifying “there are no changes to the existing quality offerings for 1080p (HD) resolution on YouTube.” Continue reading YouTube Testing ‘1080p Premium’ with Its Paid Subscribers