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Cordcutter News Brief - IFC Films launching subscription VOD service, Amazon Fire TV tops Roku in users, AT&T will pull popular shows like Friends from streaming competitors, and more!

May 17, 2019 - 18:04 -- RokuGuide

Cordcutter News BriefsIn this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: IFC Films launching subscription VOD service, AT&T Watch TV a not-so-great cable TV replacement, you might soon have to choose between local channels and cheaper TV prices, Amazon Fire TV tops Roku in users, AT&T will pull popular shows like Friends from streaming competitors, AT&T happy 'low-quality aubscribers' are leaving DIRECTV NOW, and more!

IFC Films Launching Subscription Video On Demand Channel

An exclusive report from Variety says that IFC Films will launch a new subscription video on demand channel. "Dubbed IFC Films Unlimited, it will comprise theatrically released and award-winning titles such as 'Y Tu Mama Tambien,' 'The Trip,' 'Two Days, One Night,' '45 Years' and 'The Babadook...' IFC Films Unlimited will initially launch on Amazon Prime Video Channels, with a monthly price of $5.99, and its launch will coincide with the Cannes Film Festival." Several hundred titles will reportedly be available at launch, with routine updates.

AT&T Happy 'Low-Quality Subscribers' Are Leaving DIRECTV NOW

According to Android Headlines, AT&T’s CEO & President, Randall Stephenson, said that "the customers leaving are primarily 'low-ARPU' (Average revenue per user) customers with the suggestion being they matter less as they do not generate enough revenue for AT&T to be concerned about their departure. Stephenson reiterated this statement by noting how once the “customer cleanup” has been completed, the service expects to be profitable thanks to the “high-quality customers” that are still on the books."

AT&T Watch TV review: Great freebie, not-so-great cable TV replacement

Cnet reviewed AT&T's live TV streaming service, which is described as "a cut-down version of DirecTV Now" that is pitched "primarily as an add-on for its mobile subscribers." Cnet concludes that "Overall AT&T Watch TV is not as robust as either Philo or Sling TV, its top two budget live TV competitors at $20 and $25 per month, respectively." However, "(i)f you can get the service for free, AT&T's Watch TV is great."

You might soon have to choose between local channels and cheaper TV prices

"(C)onsumers may one day have to choose between paying more for their live TV, or ditching sports and local channels all together," predicts Yahoo Finance. "(S)treaming services like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue face the same escalating expenses for local broadcast and sports networks as their cable-based counterparts."

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Amazon Fire TV Tops Roku In Users

"Amazon Fire TV, the set-top-box streaming platform, now says it has 34 million users," reports MediaPost, "making it the leading OTT platform, overtaking Roku... Earlier this year, Roku said it was at 29.1 million 'active accounts,' up by 2 million... Google's Chromecast and Apple TV devices are behind Amazon and Roku, according to industry estimates."

AT&T will pull popular shows like Friends from streaming competitors, says CEO

"AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed (on May 14th) that AT&T is planning to pull WarnerMedia-owned content like Friends and ER from rival streaming services and offer it exclusively on AT&T’s upcoming streaming service," says The Verge in an article about a report from The Dallas News. According to The Dallas News, "AT&T 'will be bringing a lot of these media rights, licensing rights back to ourselves to put on our own SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) product,' (AT&T chief executive Randall)Stephenson said Tuesday morning at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in Boston."

Hulu Insiders Upbeat After Disney Takes the Reins

"Nearly all of Hulu's 2,000-plus employees learned about Disney's deal to take full control of their company on Tuesday the same time the rest of the world did," says Variety, "— when the Mouse House and Comcast announced details of their agreement around 9 a.m. ET... The initial reaction among Hulu insiders: They're bullish on coming fully under Disney's wing, and optimistic that their sole corporate parent is fully committed to investing in Hulu's success — both doubling down in the U.S. and setting a course for international expansion. "

Roku CEO: Media companies are partnering with us, not destroying us

CNBC's Jim Cramer talked Roku CEO Anthony Wood on Cramer's "Mad Money" financial show. "'One of the things about Roku, we have succeeded by building a great user interface, making it super easy to use,' (Wood) said. 'And for regular Americans, it's an easy way to watch TV...' Roku's strategy is helping to scale the business, monetize active accounts with advertising, earn revenue from content distribution and help partners build audience for their services, Wood said." A video of Woods' appearance on "Mad Money" is available with the CNBC article at the link above. 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.