In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Roku will triple its user base by 2022, Hulu subscribers can download shows to watch offline, Comcast’s "free" streaming hardware/service combo is a work in progress, 22 not-so-scary movies to stream for kids for Halloween, Disney Bans Netflix Ads, Plex continues growing its library of free, ad-supported content, and more!
"Shares of Roku jumped 9% on Wednesday after Macquarie predicted the company could experience Netflix-like growth overseas," CNBC reports. "Roku stands to triple its user base in the next three years by expanding into international markets, while benefiting from 'powerful growth' in connected TV devices and advertising, Macquarie analysts said in a note to clients. The firm projects Roku could reach 72 million users in 2022, up from the 30.5 million active users it reported in the second quarter."
Locast, a digital app that streams over-the-air television stations, "alleges that ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are engaged in sham copyright litigation and are colluding to deny consumers over-the-air signals they once committed to make freely available," according to The Hollywood Reporter. "As alleged in court papers filed on Friday morning, the major broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are purposely broadcasting weak over-the-air signals to the public as part of a conspiracy to limit consumer access to popular programming including local news and live sports and force Americans to pay for cable or satellite service."
"Hulu subscribers on the $12/month No Ads plan can save shows and movies for offline viewing,"Engadget reports. "You can download 25 titles at a time across five devices. You'll have 30 days to watch them, though you'll be able to renew your downloads as long as those titles are still on Hulu. For now, you can download Hulu shows and movies on iOS. The feature will be available on Android soon."
TechHive reviewed Comcast's new Xfinity Flex, which is "[e]xclusively available to cord-cutters who pay Comcast for broadband but not TV." Although the device is free, TechHive notes that "there are some big missing links in Comcast'’s service offerings. At present, Xfinity Flex doesn't play at all with Hulu, ESPN linear channels, Disney-branded services, CBS News 24x7, CBS All Access, nor with cultural exotica like the English-language NHK World from Japan... Also missing from Flex are such music titans as Spotify, the most popular of streaming music service; global internet radio aggregator TuneIn, which is 10 times better than the iHeartRadio app that is supported; and satellite radio biggie Sirius/XM."
USA Today identifies "a host of scary movies perfect for getting cozy on family movie night" on Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix. Recommendations are provided by age group: Toddler & young ones, Tweens, and Teens.
The Wall Street Journal says that "Disney... earlier this year put out an edict to staffers that it wouldn't accept ads from any rival streaming services, but later reversed course and found a compromise with nearly every company, the people familiar with the situation said. The exception was Netflix. In making its decision, Disney evaluated whether it had a mutual business or advertising relationship with the companies, one of the people said. Netflix doesn't show ads in its programs."
Reporting on data from creative asset management company Extreme Reach, Streaming Media says that "50% of all video ad impressions are now served to connected TVs. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter that CTV's share of impressions has increased, while mobile's share has declined over the same period. The share of ad impressions shows on desktop computers and tablet devices has also declined."
"Plex is continuing to build up its library of licensed content for a free, ad-supported streaming service it will make available to consumers later this year,"according to FierceVideo. "The company – which provides a unified platform for media libraries, OTA television, streaming video services and other media – has partnered with Legendary Television Distribution to add a selection of digital features and television programs to its AVOD service... Legendary is the third content licensing deal done by Plex. The service previously set agreements with Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution."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.