In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: What's Coming to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in November; Netflix remains no. 1 U.S. streaming service; streaming TV bundles hit a wall; cord cutting accelerates as pay TV loses 1 million customers; Comcast is developing a video-streaming platform; NBC launches a new streaming network; FOX Nation to launch on November 27th, and more.
According to a Parks Associates ranking, Netflix remains the country's No. 1 subscription streaming service after closing the third quarter with 58.46 million U.S. customers, reports Multichannel News. " Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu continue to hold the top-three slots, with HBO Now and Starz moving into the top five. Notably, virtual MVPDs Sling TV and DirecTV, which have saw marked growth deceleration in the third quarter, round out the rankings in the Nos. 9 and 10 slots." Parks Associates senior director of research added, "According to our estimates, Amazon has more Prime Members than Netflix has subscribers. However, when you consider only those Prime Members that use Prime Video, Netflix is the largest."
Bloomberg says that rising prices from DirecTV Now and Sling TV contributed to a slowdown in new subscribers. "Dish Network Corp.'s Sling TV signed up just 26,000 new subscribers in the third quarter... after attracting 41,000 in the previous three months and 91,000 before that... Meanwhile, AT&T Inc.'s DirecTV Now added 49,000 subscribers last quarter, after signing up 342,000 customers in the prior three months." In addition to rising prices, Bloomberg reports that AT&T said on an earnings call last month that customers are 'seasonally shopping for shows' and 'jumping from promotion to promotion and really spinning in the industry between us, Hulu Live, YouTube TV."
Despite those slowdowns in streaming bundle signups, USA Today tells us to "Scratch the theory that cord cutting might be decelerating... Cable and satellite TV providers lost about 1.1 million subscribers during the July to September period, the largest quarterly loss ever – and the first time the industry lost more than 1 million subscribers in a quarter, according to media and telecommunications research firm MoffettNathanson." USA Today concludes they article by saying that "the verdict is: 'Cord cutting does not appear to be slowing at all,' [analysts] said."
"Comcast is planning to debut a product to broadband-only customers that will allow them to aggregate certain streaming apps, such as Netflix and Amazon Video," according to CNBC. "The product isn't quite a direct competitor to Roku or Apple TV because it won't allow customers access to hundreds of apps, including streaming TV bundles like AT&T's DirecTV Now or Dish's Sling... Rather, Comcast wants the device to be the hub to the connected home... In addition to aggregating streaming apps, the device will also allow customers to control anything that's connected to the Internet, including thermostats and smart-locks." The device will reportedly be launched in 2019, but a price has not been set.
The new network, called NBC News Signal, "will be available through NBC’s news mobile and over-the-top apps, as well as on other services including PlutoTV, YouTube, and Twitter," according to a TechCrunch article. "NBC is looking to reach a younger audience... The focus will be on the 'political and social issues in America,' the company says." According to NBC, the channel will have 24/7 news coverage starting in mid-2019.
That NBC announcement comes on the heels of the announcement by FOX News that they will launch their new FOX Nation on-demand service later this month. According to an earlier press release, "FOX Nation will present a fresh slate of daily short-form programming, including offerings such as Deep Dive featuring first rate political analysts and UN-PC co-hosted by conservative firebrand Britt McHenry and The Greg Gutfeld Show staple Tyrus." But while the new NBC service and similar OTT news services like CBSN are free, FOX Nation will be priced at $5.99 a month or $64.99 per year
"The Wii U looks set to lose access to a host of third-party streaming services in the new year," reports TechRadar. "Streaming provider Netflix reportedly sent an email out to Wii users, explaining that it would be pulling the Netflix app from the Wii on January 31..." In addition, a Reddit post reportedly states that "Nintendo will be suspending 'all video streaming services on Wii', meaning that the Youtube, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Amazon Prime Video will also be disappearing from the 2006 console." Note that these changes apply to the Wii, not the newer Wii U console won't be affected by the changes.
ArsTechnica reports that "Microsoft is removing an Xbox One feature that let users stream over-the-air TV broadcasts from a USB antenna to the Xbox app on iOS or Android." Users have been receiving the following message: "You may have streamed TV content using a USB TV tuner from your Xbox console to the Xbox app. In 30 days, the Xbox app on iOS and Android will no longer support this functionality. You will still be able to watch TV content on your Xbox One console and via streaming to the Xbox app on Windows 10."
"Christmas may be more than a month away," says Variety, "but that isn't stopping streaming platforms from adding some holiday cheer to their November lineups. Beginning with the animated film 'Angela’s Christmas' on Nov. 1, Netflix is adding several holiday movies to its streaming slate, including 'The Holiday Calendar,' 'The Princess Switch,' and 'A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding.' Hulu and Amazon Prime are also following suit with 'A Cinderella Christmas' on Nov. 15 and 'Christmas With the Kranks' on Nov. 1, respectively. "November is also seeing the premiere of several platform originals, including the final season of Netflix’s 'House of Cards' and Julia Roberts' Amazon Prime debut, 'Homecoming.' The documentary 'McQueen' is also joining Amazon's slate while Netflix will launch 'Doctor Strange,' 'Sixteen Candles,' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.' Hulu will see a similarly large influx of new films, including 'Goldeneye,” 'Amelie,” and 'Kick-Ass.'" Find the full list, including dates, here.
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