Streaming Services

TV Professionals Expect Growth with On-Demand OTT Subscription Services and "Skinny Bundle" Packages

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Netflix started a movement. Now there are so many streaming platforms on the market to watch premium programming.

This movement continues to influence consumers to cut the cord and cancel their traditional cable service. Specifically, 39 million are expected to cut the cord, as reported by Conviva.

Instead, they are investing in a few streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video, etc.

There's a lot of potential in the OTT subscription market. Consumers are willing to invest in premium content they want, so the broad packages are no longer of interest. Instead, they want to be able to pick and choose what programming they pay for.

According to the recent “Industry Survey 2019 by Digital TV Europe, 44 percent of the TV industry professionals surveyed expect subscription video-on-demand services to grow. 40.7 percent think "skinny bundle" combinations paired with on-demand streaming services will also see tremendous growth.

"Once used to describe pared-down cable TV packages, the skinny bundle has since been brought into the digital video sphere and can describe linear OTT services that offer customizable channel packages or a service that combines linear and on-demand content, as defined in the Digital TV Europe study," writes "eMartker."

Sling TV is a subscription service that allows users to select the channels they want access to then they can also upgrade their programming with HBO or Showtime.

Read more at "eMarketer" now.

Hulu Now Has 25 Million Subscribers and an Aggressive Strategy to Get More

Hulu Now Has 25 Million Subscribers and an Aggressive Strategy to Get More

The streaming service Hulu has just hit the 25 million subscribers mark.

This is 50 percent more than its number of subscribers compared to last year, so how has the company managed to basically double its memberships? With more content.

The race to capture eyeballs is on.

Hulu, along with its competitor Netflix, has been rapidly collecting premium content to attract more viewers.

Hulu has exclusive content like ER, Bob's Burgers, and 30 Rock, all not available anywhere else. 97 percent of content streamed by subscribers have licensed deals, meaning it's not available on any other streaming platform.

Even though Hulu has popular programs like the original series The Handmaid's Tale, licensed programs still get 89 percent more viewing, according to the research firm 7Park Data.

25 million is quite the milestone but is still less than half of Netflix's 58 million subscribers.

Netflix is available internationally too and has an additional 70-plus million in these markets.

Disney, which is rolling out its own streaming service Disney+, poses a threat to streaming services.

The Roku Channel Now Has These Premium Subscriptions

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Last summer, Roku launched a free web channel to take on popular streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.

First Roku offered ad-supported movies for free, now the platform also has news, sports, and TV shows available for streaming.

But the Roku Channel also just added premium subscriptions with its free content.

Roku is partnering with video providers to offer its users more entertainment. Some of the subscriptions include Showtime, Starz, Tastemade, EPIX, CuriosityStream, Noggin, Baeble Music, and more.

Users can see what is available on the premium program before signing up. And if they do want to sign-up, they can use the payment card already on file with Roku– making it especially easy to do so.

“We’ve been focused on ad-supported content and will continue to have a very robust offering there. But there’s lots of great content that’s available only in subscription services,” said Rob Holmes, Roku’s vice president of Programming. “We also wanted to try to improve the user experience in a lot of the same way that we did with the launch of The Roku Channel around ad-supported content.”

Previously, users could download the apps of premium subscription programs like HBO Go to watch their subscription content. But now, a users' subscriptions will have their own standalone area in The Roku Channel.

Roku has plans to add even more video partners to its channel, but won't be offering subscriptions via packages similar to Sling TV. Instead, Holmes says that they will likely remain " à la carte."

“Ultimately, from a user standpoint, there’s a lot of value in being able to pick and choose exactly what you want to sign up for — without having to sign up for one of these base packages to start with," said Holmes.

Read more about how The Roku Channel is adding more content at "Tech Crunch" now.

Users are Watching 8 Billion Hours of Content on Streaming Devices a Month

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As consumers switch from traditional TV services like Satelite Dish and cable, Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV have quickly emerged as the most popular devices to stream video.

According to data from Nielsen, Americans are watching about 8 billion hours of content on these devices. The majority of the streaming is happening in the living room and users 13 and older using these platforms to stream to their TVs for an average of at least an hour a day.

Bigger screens are still the most popular when it comes to watching content. According to Nielsen's findings, consumers only stream for 36 minutes a day on average on computers and 24 minutes on mobile devices.

Younger audiences aren't watching live TV as much, with only 3 percent of live TV viewers being between the ages of 18 and 24.

"For example, out of total day viewers watching content aired across five networks on live TV, 7% are between the ages of 25 and 34, while 19% of connected device viewers are in the same age bracket," writes Nielsen.

Not to mention, there are multiple programs out their now streaming live TV channels. So how can advertisers reach all viewers watching live TV on multiple platforms?

Nielsen has launched the dynamic ad insertion (DAI) pilot that uses Gracenote Video Automatic Content Recognition technology.

"The tech is used to allow MediaTek-based smart TV platforms to deliver addressable advertising capabilities in live trials across five U.S. markets," writes "Fierce Video."

“Nielsen recognizes the huge opportunity addressable TV presents for our clients,” said Kelly Abcarian, senior vice president of product leadership for Nielsen. “So, we’ve worked hard to create an advanced DAI solution that covers everything from ad targeting to delivery. As the result of our expanded DAI pilot with leading smart TV platforms and manufacturers and some of the largest broadcast and cable networks, marketers will be able to better realize the value of their advertising inventory, achieve maximum return on their ad spend and viewers will see messages that are most relevant to them.”

But will this only push viewers to watch more content on commercial-free streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix?

Read more about Nielsen's Digital Content Ratings now at "Fierce Video."

Cable Cord Cutting is at an All-Time High

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Cable companies are continuing to lose more customers.

In July, August, and September, these companies lost 1.1 million subscribers, according to the research firm MoffettNathanson.

This is the biggest lost for these companies ever.

But S&P Global Market Intelligence is saying the number of subscriptions lost is actually closer to 1.2 million.

There are still 91 million customers with cable, Telco TV, or Satelite dish.

"Satellite TV providers had their worst quarter on record with a loss of 726,000 subscribers, the firm says. Cable operators have been hit with a tough trend, too. So far this year, they have lost nearly 1.1 million subscribers, their worst losses at the three-quarter mark since 2014. So far this year, traditional pay-TV providers have lost 2.8 million subscribers," writes "USA Today."

The average cost for cable subscribers is between $85 to $100 a month. Now that content is available on so many platforms for instant streaming, consumers are no longer willing to pay these premiums.

Netflix and Hulu, on the other hand, are under $12 a month. So a household can get multiple streaming platforms for less than a traditional TV provider and have access to more on-demand content.

"People have embraced them," said Tony Lenoir, S&P senior research analyst. "There's a lot of competition from streaming services out there. People are just cutting the cord. I don't think we've seen the end of it."

So is this the beginning of the end for cable companies? Or will these companies turn into strictly internet providers?

Read more about how consumers are cutting the cord at a rapid rate at "USA Today."

Why Consumers are Investing in Streaming Services Over Cable

Why Consumers are Investing in Streaming Services Over Cable

It's no secret that cable companies are struggling to keep consumers from cutting the chord.

According to a recent report by the Parks Associates, consumers think that cable services are a poor value in today's market.

"The primary driver for pay TV cancellation and downgrades continues to revolve around pricing and perceived value. While some consumers consciously plan to use OTT video services to address the absence of pay TV content, most consider each offering on its own merits," said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates in a press release.

Not to mention, there are so many streaming services under $15 a month with OTT content ready for binge-watching. There's Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, all of which have become wildly popular.

Roku also recently launched its own free streaming service. Disney is launching a streaming service too. Fox News is launching a new on-demand service at the end of this month. The company is shooting to release its content platform by the end of 2019, according to the Disney CEO Bob Iger.