A La Carte
When the Big Two come to play in your backyard, it’s time to up your game.
Netflix and Amazon have launched a push into Europe that will likely result in some bad nights of sleep for operators, pay-TV channels and broadcasters looking themselves to do more business over the top.
There’s been an awful lot of conversation about the survivability of the cable bundle, with new entrants like DirecTV Now, Sling TV et al., beginning to test the waters of “real” consumer demand for skinny bundles (along with other alternatives being floated) to counter the bloated 230+ channel bundles operators prefer.
The countdown to the weekend officially stands at two, and if you’re looking for a few giggles to help get you there, well, check out NBCUniversal’s new OTT comedy channel Seeso, which launched in (free) beta today.
You’ll need to register and – if you decide to stick around after the beta is wrapped in a month – you’ll need to pony up $4 a month, not to much to ask for the assortment of re-runs, occasional live stand up gigs and some original programming from the site.
CBS CEO Les Moonves, during an appearance on Bloomberg TV, said the network would likely reach an agreement to sell Apple content for its proposed streaming service.
But, he said, the timing for the service remains up in the air.
“Apple is having conversations with everyone about doing their own streaming services,” Moonves said. “We have had those conversations, as have the other networks. Do I think something will happen? Probably, but I do not know when.”
Acknowledging significant changes in how viewers are consuming video content in Latin America, HBO is launching a standalone over-the-top video product in Latin America, Brazil and the Caribbean starting with Colombia by the end of the year.
“Technology is the most disruptive force that so-called traditional media is facing,” Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC’ Squawk Box today. That technology – and the consumer’s appetite for a la carte programming – “inevitably” will lead Disney to offer ESPN direct to consumer… but not immediately.
"If we end up seeing more erosion in the so-called multichannel [cable and satellite TV] bundle, quality will win out," he said.
Strictly speaking, a la carte it’s not, but Sony’s PlayStation Vue Cloud TV service says it is, at least, starting down that path with Machinima, Showtime and Fox Soccer Channel being offered as individual channels to consumers and, executives say, more on the way.
Speaking at the E3 2015 conference Monday, Sony Computer Entertainment President and Global CEO Andrew House said a partially unbundled streaming service would be available in July.
Verizon’s promised mobile video service may be an ad-based model that eschews subscriptions, according to CFO Fran Shammo. Regardless, it's likely to push mobile data usage high enough that the company will see that revenue stream grow, too.
To date, other services, like Sling TV and Playstation Vue, are relying on a more traditional subscription-based model, as well as taking in premium mobile ad dollars.
Turn out the lights, the party’s over in Canada. Regulators in the Great White North are mandating that pay-TV operators offer a la carte programming to the hoi polloi. The big question? How much will it cost consumers to buy the programming they actually want to see?
In the first of what is likely to be many announcements around pay-TV operators carrying Cloud TV channel HBO Now, New York-based Cablevision said it reached an agreement to offer the standalone streaming service owned by Time Warner to its Optimum Online customers via the Internet.
Optimum becomes the first cable provider to partner with HBO to offer the new service, which is expected to launch in April in time for the fifth season of Game of Thrones.
More than one-quarter of new customers at U.S. operators are subscribing to broadband services only, a new study says, providing a snapshot of an industry undergoing a significant change, and suggesting that consumers are accelerating their uptake of streaming services.