In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Linear TV is coming back, Peacock will have linear channels, the streaming services won't admit they're at war, Tubi expanding to Mexico, Sony PlayStation 4 gets YouTube TV, analysis finds streaming services will dominate pay-TV in 2020, streaming TV programming for kids embraces iconic brands, and more!
"When Netflix started streaming its shows on-demand, viewers were freed to watch what they wanted when they wanted," says Broadcasting+Cable. "But now old-fashioned linear TV, with its schedules, dayparts and time slots, appears to be making a comeback in the over-the-top world." B+C reports that Digital Media Rights is launching linear versions of its five channels on the Samsung TV Plus platform, and says that DMR president David Chu "points to the growth of streamer Pluto TV, Roku and Xumo, which are seeing bigger chunks of viewing coming via linear channels. At the same time, smart TV operating systems like Samsung's have gotten less clunky and easier to use."
"NBCUniversal finally peeled back the curtain on Peacock," says The Streamable. "The company revealed their streaming service will launch nationally on July 15 with three tiers — a free and subscription version starting at $4.99/month and an ad-free version that will be available for $9.99 per month." That's comparable to Hulu's Basic service ($5.99/month), Disney+ ($6.99/month), and Apple TV+ ($4.99/month).
"In addition to the news, entertainment, sports, late-night and reality from the various properties around the company as well as new originals and library content, NBCU also announced that Peacock will have linear channels like Pluto TV, allowing for lean-back watching as well... Peacock is slated to have more than 15,000 hours of programming, including NBC powerhouses 'The Office,' which arrives in 2021, and 'Parks and Recreation.' In addition, Mike Schur, the creator of 'The Good Place,' and Lorne Michaels of 'Saturday Night Live' fame will contribute new shows."
CuriosityStream, a streaming video service that specializes in documentaries and nonfiction series about science, nature, history, technology, society and lifestyle, announced that it now has more than 13 million paying subscribers and is launching an advertising campaign to "highlight programming including two natural history selections, ANT MOUNTAIN and LIGHT ON EARTH, which both feature the legendary David Attenborough as host. The campaign also showcases the science and space series, LIVING UNIVERSE; cuisine and culture series THE HISTORY OF FOOD; history series THE CELTS; human origins series OUT OF THE CRADLE; and the paleontology series, AMAZING DINOWORLD.
What streaming wars? asks Quartz. "As Disney, Apple, AT&T, and Comcast all launch their own streaming services, headlines are overflowing with the same phrase: 'streaming wars.' But you won’t hear that from the executives running these streaming services. If you ask them, there is no war. In fact, there is hardly any actual competition, since they're each such unique offerings." But Quartz also points out that "there are still a finite number of talented actors, producers and directors who can help sell these platforms to consumers. And the competition over these performers’ services is as intense—and expensive—as ever. The companies who can stockpile the most valuable content creators may be the ones still here long after we’ve stopped talking about whether or not there is a war."
Deadline reports that "Tubi, one of the leading U.S. players in ad-supported streaming, will expand its service into Mexico later this year through a deal with TV Azteca. The expansion comes as the startup also prepares to enter the UK market later this year. Meanwhile, Variety says that "a selection of TV Azteca titles will be made available free to Tubi customers in Mexico, including cooking competition series 'MasterChef Mexico,' dating show 'Enamorándonos' and sports-competition show 'Exatlón Mexico.'"
The live TV streaming service Playstation Vue is shutting down, but a former competitor is not available on the PS platform. Cnet reports that "YouTube TV, a cord-cutter-friendly live TV streaming service designed to replace traditional cable TV, is now available on PlayStation 4 consoles... Google's YouTube TV service offers streaming of over 70 channels including locals like ABC, CBS and PBS, as well as a cloud DVR with unlimited storage, for $50 a month."
"Streaming video on demand (sVoD) services will dominate pay-TV services by the end of 2020 in more than 30 countries," says Slash Gear in reference to a new report. "According to Ampere Analysis, more than 30 countries will likely have more streaming video on demand subscriptions than pay-TV subscriptions by the end of the year. This would follow another record uptick in country numbers last year. According to the firm, the big increase in country numbers from 2018 to 2019 was largely fueled by the launch of Apple TV+ in late 2019."
An Associated Press article says that "When Apple was thinking about what kind of children's TV programming it wanted on its new streaming service, it doubled down on two multi-generational crowd-pleasers — Snoopy and 'Sesame Street...' The decision to use existing children’s icons as the bedrock for the fledgling platform is one shared by several other streaming services... Often the safest way forward is piggybacking on established titles that parents already know from their childhood and leaning into the nostalgia."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.