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+

Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Global streamer Cineverse has launched an AI-powered search and discovery tool called cineSearch. Developed using the Vertex AI platform from Google Cloud, cineSearch will be released in public beta this spring. A waitlist has already been started, and Cineverse says it will be made more widely available in partnership with OEM and third-party streaming platform partners in the coming months. Simultaneously, the Los Angeles-based firm is rolling out a new ad platform called Cineverse 360, or C360 for short, that will connect brands across omnichannel services reaching 82 million monthly viewers at launch. Continue reading Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Comcast’s FreeWheel Teams with OrkaTV to Target FAST Ads

Streaming platform OrkaTV has teamed with Comcast’s FreeWheel adtech firm on a product designed to help marketers reach target audiences for their advertising in the FAST sector. The partnership allows marketers using FreeWheel to access OrkaTV’s more than 3,500 free ad-supported streaming TV channels. The end result is expected to be “access to a more diverse pool of FAST ad inventory” that in turn helps drive up demand for inventory, according to the firms, which say the “more accurate contextual advertising targeting abilities” also raise the ante. Continue reading Comcast’s FreeWheel Teams with OrkaTV to Target FAST Ads

Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Xumo, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter Communications, has begun rolling out its Xumo Stream Box to Charter’s Spectrum customers, with plans to bring it to Comcast’s Xfinity homes soon. The Xumo Stream Box is powered by Comcast’s Entertainment Operating System (EOS), designed to simplify the process of finding content, regardless of where it resides. “Xumo is streaming simplified, bringing a live TV experience together with all the top apps,” Charter President of Product and Technology Rich DiGeronimo said of the new device. Xumo Stream Box can be used to find, discover and select content on-demand using voice control. Continue reading Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Xperi Advances Its Plan for TiVo OS Smart TVs in Sharp Deal

TiVo has indicated it will enter the North American smart television set market, announcing a “multi-year, multi-million-unit agreement” with Sharp that will see sets start to ship in 2024 beginning in Europe. The move to populate the TV ecosystem with hardware running Xperi’s TiVo OS pits the company against an entrenched group of smart TV competitors that includes Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Google TV, Roku, Samsung Tizen and LG Electronics’ webOS. Added to those is the Comcast and Charter Communications Xumo brand, and also Telly, which offers free TVs supported by ads. Continue reading Xperi Advances Its Plan for TiVo OS Smart TVs in Sharp Deal

NBCUniversal to Introduce Dozens of FAST Channels in July

NBCUniversal has plumbed its vaults to fuel nearly 50 new FAST channels launching in July on Amazon Freevee and the new Xumo Play joint venture from NBCU parent Comcast and Charter Communications. The lineup, taken from NBCU’s Television and Streaming and Global Distribution libraries, includes verticals for “Saturday Night Live,” “Top Chef,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “The Real Housewives,” as well as Spanish-language programs from Telemundo. There are also nostalgia channels featuring “The Lone Ranger,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Murder, She Wrote,” and genre-based streams of comedy, criminality and monsters. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Introduce Dozens of FAST Channels in July

Sky Glass TVs Add Interactivity with Motion Tracking Camera

Comcast’s UK broadcaster Sky is upping the ante on its Sky Glass smart TVs with a new camera called Sky Live designed to make content more immersive. In addition to Kinect-style games and interactive workouts, Sky Live supports Zoom calls and watch parties. Sky Live runs on the company’s proprietary Entertainment OS and requires a television that is part of that ecosystem. The camera launch comes as Xumo, the U.S. joint venture between Comcast and Charter Communications prepares to launch a new family of 4K smart TVs in partnership with Element Electronics. Continue reading Sky Glass TVs Add Interactivity with Motion Tracking Camera

Popularity of FAST TV Surges as Viewers Look to Economize

As inflation drives consumers to economize, free ad-supported streaming television is booming even as premium streaming services are growing subscribers in increments. A Q4 survey by Deloitte found that 44 percent of those surveyed had canceled at least one paid subscription service in the preceding six months. The Deloitte study also found that 59 percent of viewers were willing to watch some ads each hour in exchange for a free or discounted television service. Research firm Omdia says global FAST channel ad revenue topped $4 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $12 billion by 2027. Continue reading Popularity of FAST TV Surges as Viewers Look to Economize

Google TV Expands Free Live Channels and Revamps Guide

Google TV is launching a new TV experience with more than 800 free live TV channels across multiple providers as part of the smart TV operating system for Chromecast devices and various TVs. Included are news channels from NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, along with stations featuring popular shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Westworld” and “Law & Order: SVU.” New streaming channels Tubi, Plex and Haystack News will be integrated and showcased in a redesigned Live tab programming guide. The new content will be positioned alongside Google TV’s existing channel lineup from free streamer Pluto TV. Continue reading Google TV Expands Free Live Channels and Revamps Guide

Comcast, Charter Provide Details of Xumo Streaming Venture

Comcast and Charter Communications have christened their streaming joint venture Xumo, taking the name from the FAST platform Comcast acquired in 2020 for a reported $100 million. Built to challenge biggies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Roku, the Xumo joint venture aims to create “an entire entertainment ecosystem” to include hardware as well as content and a platform to help advertisers “reach audiences at scale.” The first Xumo devices are targeting late 2023 delivery, with distribution through Comcast, Charter and Walmart (and other vendors to be announced). Xumo’s FAST service will be rebranded Xumo Play. Continue reading Comcast, Charter Provide Details of Xumo Streaming Venture

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

Cablers Comcast, Charter Team to Launch Streaming Devices

Cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications have joined forces to offer set-top boxes for video streaming, pooling their combined reach to take on established players like Amazon, Apple, Roku and Google. The newly formed joint venture plans to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform leveraging Comcast’s Flex technology, which includes voice search. “Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer,” said Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge.  Continue reading Cablers Comcast, Charter Team to Launch Streaming Devices

YouTube Joins the Free, Ad-Supported Streaming TV Market

YouTube recently announced that it plans to offer full seasons of ad-supported streaming TV series free of charge, a first for the Google video platform. The move will put YouTube in competition with a growing number of free streaming services such as IMDb TV, Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi and Xumo. U.S. consumers can expect more than 4,000 free episodes to start, with up to 100 additional film and television titles to be added each week. The popular video site already offers more than 1,500 free, ad-supported movies, so the television content is expected to serve as a vital expansion of its streaming options. Continue reading YouTube Joins the Free, Ad-Supported Streaming TV Market

Amazon Expands Offerings via Ad-Based Streamer IMDb TV

Amazon is reportedly about to rebrand IMDb TV as a full-on ad-supported streaming television vertical. Launched in 1990 as a film and television credits directory, the Internet Movie Database launched IMDb TV in 2019 offering free access to catalog film and TV shows. Last year, it premiered its first original series, the teen spy show “Alex Rider.” Next week, IMDb TV will debut another original series, “Judy Justice,” featuring Judge Judy Sheindlin in a follow-up to her popular syndicated courtroom reality show, “Judge Judy,” which ended in March. And there are more new shows and content deals in the works. Continue reading Amazon Expands Offerings via Ad-Based Streamer IMDb TV

Rotten Tomatoes to Debut Channel on Roku, Peacock, Xumo

Rotten Tomatoes has been synonymous with movie scores since it was cooked up by three UC Berkeley undergrads in 1998. The site aggregates reviews from professional critics and provides a “Tomatometer” that averages out the reviews with a Fresh rating when 60 percent or more are positive or Rotten if it goes below that threshold. It also provides an audience score, based on what Rotten Tomatoes users think. Now, the company is debuting an ad-supported OTT service called the Rotten Tomatoes Channel, currently on Roku, to offer nonstop content and a lifestyle brand. Continue reading Rotten Tomatoes to Debut Channel on Roku, Peacock, Xumo