In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Why 2.7 million Americans still get Netflix DVDs in the mail, the best Roku channels for free movies, Amazon asks advertisers to pledge millions for Roku rival, Fox News sees subscriber traction on streaming Fox Nation service, study says cord-cutting trend losing momentum, Discovery to launch streaming service with BBC content, and more!
Nearly 3 million US subscribers still get DVDs by mail through Netflix, and CNN provides a number of reasons why:
- Rural America struggles with broadband access
- Streaming offers a limited selection compared with DVDs
- There is no one-stop shop for streaming
- Movie buffs need multiple streaming subscriptions
- Some Oscar nominees are not available on streaming
- Subscription fatigue may be kicking in
"And there's one final reason," according to CNN. "A former Netflix employee has said many subscribers still pay for the DVD service, even though they haven't ordered a DVD in a long time. Many have apparently forgotten they still have DVD accounts."
Business Insider has published ther picks for the best Roku channels with free movies. "There is no such thing as a free lunch, though, so nearly all the content is ad-supported... These services aren't a replacement for a premium provider's paid content, but they do offer a variety of movies both new and old." Here is Business Insider's list:
- Sony Crackle - "a mix of ad-supported TV shows and movies"
- The Roku Channel - "an interesting mix of new and old titles with new and featured content added each week"
- Pluto TV - "a large collection of streaming content, including movies... The platform offers both on-demand and streaming-on-a-TV schedule format
- Popcornflix - "a mix of TV shows and movies across multiple genres"
- Tubi TV - "a variety of movies and TV shows from multiple genres"
- Vudu - "an offering of free movies in its 'Movies on Us' category. This collection offers a large number of well-known titles from a wide variety of genres
- YouTube - "a small selection of free movies"
"Amazon is planning a vast expansion of its free streaming service on its Fire TV devices," reports Cheddar, "and has asked marketers to commit millions of dollars to support new channels and expanded content offerings." Sources told Cheddar that "Amazon has talked to executives at media companies and advertising agencies about its plans to include more ad-supported streaming channels to compete with Roku and Pluto TV." However, advertisers are reportedly showing reluctance to pledge millions without knowing what content Amazon would make available. "Some buyers said Amazon is asking for as much as a large cable network for advertising commitments."
According to an exclusive report from Variety, "Fox News' top executive says 85% of people who take a one-week free trial of the company's subscription-based Fox Nation streaming-video service are electing to stay on board... Fox News did not disclose how many subscribers Fox Nation has, but noted it has surpassed internal benchmarks." The company is reportedly also looking at "a revamp of Fox Business Network's digital presence. "
The Information reports that "Amazon.com is planning to launch a free ad-supported video news app for its Fire TV streaming video devices, featuring live and on-demand digital news programming from TV networks... With the news app, the e-commerce giant hopes to make Fire TV more competitive with its biggest rival, Roku, for both viewers and advertising dollars." The Information also reports that Amazon also hopes to integrate the news app into its Alexa service.
FierceVideo tells us about a new study from Digital TV Research that concludes that "Pay TV providers still can expect large numbers of subscribers to cancel service over the next few years, but overall the cord-cutting trend could be slowing... 'Despite the overall falls, cord-cutting is slowing. The U.S. will lose 3 million pay TV subscribers in 2019—down from a decline of 3.8 million in 2018. Annual losses will diminish after 2019,' said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, in a statement."
"Discovery and BBC Studio reached a series of agreements," according to Broadcasting & Cable, "including one that will create a new global streaming subscription video-on-demand service based on BBC factual programming... Discovery acquired streaming rights for all markets outside the U.K., Ireland and China to classic BBC natural history series such as Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life and Dynasties, as well as future BBC-commission series after their linear telecasts. It also acquired SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of other BBC factual programming. That programming will be the basis of a streaming video service that is expected to launch in 2020. The service will also include top shows from Discovery's portfolio as well as shows created for the service."
"For fans of a handful of Major League Baseball teams... cable and satellite are the only options to catch the game," according to Yahoo Finance. "The Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and... Washington Nationals all make streaming their games difficult for local supporters. The reasons that these teams won't stream their games online vary from deals the teams made with TV providers to internal leadership issues. But as traditional cable and satellite continue to see subscriber numbers plummet... something will have to give."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.