In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: How streaming changed everything; What's new on Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and Hulu in January; AT&T TV removes app from Roku; Sling gives customers free cloud DVR, raises monthly fee; online TV confronts rising carriage fees; Comcast trying to acquire free streaming service Xumo; and anime is one of the biggest fronts in the streaming wars!
Calling streaming the "disruptor of the decade," Deadline says that "Hollywood's unofficial wake-up call came on February 1, 2013, when Netflix dropped the first season of House of Cards in a single, binge-able chunk... It is impossible to find a corner of the industry that has not been reshaped by streaming, from the pay TV ecosystem and movie exhibition to labor negotiations and talent deals. The $70 billion TV advertising business is also hanging in the balance, as audiences become trained to expect limited, if any, commercials during programming. "
Men's Journal provides highlights of new shows and movies new to the top streaming services in January, including the following:
- Netflix - "This month, Netflix originals coming to the streaming platform include BoJack Horseman: Season 6 (Part B); Grace and Frankie: Season 6; the documentary Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez; and the action spoof Medical Police (a spinoff to Childrens Hospital)."
- HBO - "Over a year after the previous season, Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming back for Season 10 on January 19... Along with Curb, a couple of summer blockbusters are hitting HBO with Keanu Reeves' John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Godzilla: King of All Monsters, while Leonardo DiCaprio's Shutter Island also starts streaming."
- Hulu - "Tom Holland returns in the post-Avengers: Endgame MCU in Spider-Man: Far from Home, also starring comedian J.B. Smoove.. Dwayne Johnson's Fighting with My Family, the story of WWE wrestler Paige, also starts streaming, along with the classic comedy film Dazed and Confused and the Western-inspired TV series Justified."
- Amazon Prime - "One of the most shocking movies of the year: Midsommar starts streaming on Amazon Prime this month. The less we say about this one the better, but just be warned — it's super creepy and weird in all the best ways. The 80s classic The Goonies hits the streamer, as does the entire set of classic Star Trek films (not the Chris Pine-led ones, the William Shatner/Patrick Stewart ones)."
Find the Men's Journal list of all new titles on these services here.
Multichannel News reports that the AT&T TV app is no longer available on Roku devices. "Already have AT&T TV on your Roku device? You can keep using it as long as you don't delete the app. We're actively working on a new agreement with Roku and hope to resolve this soon," says a notice on an AT&T support page.
Cable alternative Sling TV is now giving all customers 10 free hours of storage space to record shows on their Cloud DVR service. "[Y]ou can now record your favorite channels, including Disney and ESPN channels and use player controls on any recorded content." Along with the addition of the free cloud DVR, Sling TV is raising the monthly price of their base services to $30 each, and the monthly subscription to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue to $45. However, Sling attributes the price increase to the rising cost of programming.
"When launched in 2015, online TV services such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now were championed as pay-TV saviors in the face of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu," says Media Play News. "Now Vue is history, DirecTV Now has been rebranded AT&T TV and Sling remains stagnant with about 2.6 million subscribers. All the while, carriage fees distributors must pay content holders continues to rise, leading to programming blackouts for subscribers." Media Play News goes on to cite fuboTV dropping Disney-owned FX, FXX, FXM, and National Geographic due to increased costs to carry the channels, and Sling TV's $5 price increase, also attributed to rising programming costs.
The Hollywood Reporter discusses a report by The Wall Street Journal that "Comcast is in advanced talks to acquire advertising-supported video streaming firm Xumo... Similar to ViacomCBS' Pluto TV, which Viacom purchased for $340 million in January, Irvine, Calif.-based Xumo offers a free, ad-supported streaming service. Executives from Comcast, led by chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, have said that Peacock will offer a free tier with advertising in addition to subscription tiers.:
"Over the course of the 2010s, streaming services for anime have grown from a niche market to a mainstream one," says TheVerge. "Companies like Sony, Netflix, Amazon, and AT&T / Warner Brothers are vying for top spots with shows like My Hero Academia and Carole & Tuesday. Investments by these huge corporations have helped produce more anime and made it more widely available outside of Japan. They’ve also made things much more complicated and expensive for consumers." So, what is the problem with the widespread availability of so much anime? "A membership for Crunchyroll, FunimationNow, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HiDive will cost you a total of $42.95 a month. Because there's little to no overlap between what is available on each service for simulcast, anime fans looking for a comprehensive selection can't just pick one."RokuGuide.com may receive a referral fee for any purchases or subscriptions made through links on this page. See our full FTC Disclosure Statement for more information.