In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Paramount Plus Will Debut Movies as Soon as 45 Days After Their Theatrical Release, YouTube TV Adds MLB.TV, Roku claims 38% of all smart TVs sold in the U.S. in 2020, Dish Chief Speaks Out On Discovery and Sling TV, 7 Apps to Make the Most of Your Streaming Music Subscription, TV News Makes the Move to Streaming, and more!
On March 4, CBS All Access will be rebranded as Paramount+. And when it relaunches, Hollywood Reporter says "its existing lineup of programming — originals such as The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery and live news and sports — will get a boost from sister brands across the ViacomCBS portfolio. Among the 36 originals expected within Paramount+'s first year are a revival of Frasier, a Yellowstone spinoff and [a] new Taylor Sheridan show starring Jeremy Renner. Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, will host a new weekly show for the service. Inside Amy Schumer, which last aired in 2016, will return. A streaming version of CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes that previously streamed on Quibi will also be available. Meanwhile, shows originally planned for other ViacomCBS networks — including a Halo adaptation, Star Trek animated series and the seventh and final season of Younger — will make their home on Paramount+."
But Paramount+ won't limit itself to reboots and spinoffs. The Streamable reports that "select larger Paramount films will appear on Paramount+ 30 to 45 days after their theatrical release. This includes 'A Quiet Place Part II' and 'Mission: Impossible 7', which are set to be released in September and November respectively. All other new Paramount movies will appear on Paramount+ after their theatrical run some as early as 90 days. In addition, Paramount+ will also receive MGM films thanks to as part of an extension of their deal with Epix, which has streaming rights to MGM films. These films include House of Gucci, Creed III and the new James Bond title No Time to Die.
We also learn from The Streamable that "[w]hile it's not the return of Regional Sports Networks like many fans had hope[d], YouTube TV and MLB.TV announced a new deal that would bring the out-of-market streaming package to the Live TV Streaming Service... MLB.TV hasn't been offered by any other Live TV Streaming Service, but it has been available through Amazon Prime Video Channels for the last few seasons. Through YouTube TV, MLB.TV will cost $24.99 per month or $129.99 for the entire season, a savings of roughly $45... This is the same price as if you purchased directly through MLB.TV, except you’ll be able to access games through the YouTube TV interface."
"Roku is coming off another impressive year of platform growth and said that in 2020, 38% of all smart TVs sold in the U.S. were Roku TV models, "says Fierce Video. "The smart TV business helped in part to continue Roku's user base and engagement growth. The company said it added 14.3 million incremental active accounts in 2020 and ended the year with 51.2 million, in line with preliminary figures released last month... The Roku Channel, the company's ad-supported streaming and subscription service hub, saw fourth-quarter usage grow nearly twice as fast as Roku's overall platform, according a letter to shareholders. The company said the Roku Channel now reaches U.S. households with an estimated 63 million people, up more than 100% year over year."
"TV Answer Man reports that Dish "released its 2020 fourth quarter report which showed its satellite TV service lost a net of 149,000 customers while its live streaming service, Sling TV, added a net of 16,000. At the end of the year, Dish had roughly 11.3 million subscribers with 8.82 million for Dish and 2.47 million for Sling." In remarks following the report's release, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen "noted that Sling TV was the first multi-channel live streaming service on the market. (It launched in January 2015). However, Sling's sub total has been surpassed by both YouTube TV and Hulu, both of which launched two years later. Ergen blamed Sling's user interface and occasional technical snafus for the disappointing performance."
Wired brings us their recommendations for 7 tools that can be used with streaming music services to add extra features and option. Music streaming services "are inspiring a growing number of add-ons and companion apps designed to help you get even more bang for your subscription buck, either by finding new things to listen to or helping you save songs you enjoyed. That means you're not restricted to just the features inside Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, or whichever streaming platform you're signed up for, because you can use tools that run on top of these services." Apps include Next, which "works like a smart shuffle, looking at play counts for the tracks in your library to surface some of the songs you love as well as a few "hidden gems" that you might not have heard in a while, and which would otherwise not get rediscovered" and MagicPlaylist, which "promises to make 'the playlist of your dreams' from just a single song."
Deadline reports that "Discovery said it has passed 11 million direct-to-consumer streaming subscribers and will reach 12 million by the end of February, a gain of about 7 million subscribers since December... Executives have not laid out a specific target number of subscribers but they describe the service as a valid complement to Netflix, which has 203 million paying customers around the world. Verizon has signed on as a key distribution partner, bundling one year free of Discovery+ with many customer plans."
"Sports and news are frequently cited as the two main reasons why viewers continue to subscribe to pay TV, whether that's from traditional cable providers or from vMVPDs, "says NextTV, "But with nine multibillion dollar subscription streaming services ('Flixes') up and running, viewers are likely to be abandoning traditional pay TV in much greater numbers in the years to come... The question is, does it make sense for national news services to distribute their live streams across all the free, ad-supported streaming services, or just the one their parent company owns?... These are the questions that TV news services will need to address in the years to come and they need not be an “either/or” decision. "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.