In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Younger viewers bailing on traditional TV, Hulu to expand when Disney buys Fox, HDHomeRun gets into the streaming TV business, WarnerMedia streaming service will launch domestically first, AT&T is inviting DirecTV Now users to test its upcoming streaming box, and Sling TV hits the reset button on pay TV.
"New Nielsen data show a widening gap in viewing behavior among young and old that's alarming some network executives," according to USA Today. "For the four weeks ending Oct. 28, coinciding with the start of the official TV season, the number of people ages 18 to 34 using TV has plunged 15% and is down 36% from 2014. The drop-off among teens – 18% from last year and 48% since 2014 – is even more pronounced." At the other end of the spectrum, there was only a 2% drop from 2017 for those 55 and older.
SlashGear says that Disney's acquisition of Fox could mean big things for Hulu, not just in terms of content, but also in terms of availability. "Disney CEO Bob Iger reveal his company's intention for Hulu in a recent call with investors... Iger is looking to grow Hulu's subscriber base, and one way to do that would be to roll out the service internationally." But what about the upcoming Disney+ service? "Even with Disney+ on the horizon, Disney wants to keep building up Hulu’s library – especially its original content offerings – separately. It's clear that Iger envisions a future where Hulu and Disney+ exist side-by-side." But don't expect an international offering any time soon, as Disney's acquisition of Fox isn't expected to close until sometime in 2019.
SiliconDust is known as a hardware and software company with devices for cordcutters like the HDHomeRun line of TV tuners and DVRS, but they're joining the streaming TV service with HDHomeRun Premium TV. According to Engadget, "The $35 per month setup augments channels a subscriber catches via antenna with traditional cable channels like CNN, Disney, Comedy Central, FX and TNT. At launch it includes 45 channels, and like other internet TV packages there are no contracts or other strings, while recording is handled just like any other channel in its software."
WarnerMedia plans to introduce its own streaming service next year, and Brent Lang and Henry Chu report for Variety that it "will launch domestically first, followed by a potential international rollout, and could feature content from outside providers." They go on to say that "WarnerMedia is hoping that its direct-to-consumer offering will enable it to become a major player in a space currently dominated by Netflix."
TheVerge reports that "According to AT&T, the device will automatically launch DirecTV Now when turned on, users will be able to download content from the Google Play Store, and it will come with Google Assistant support so users can control the device with their voice." In addition, "the device will run Android TV, support third-party streaming services, and come with a voice search remote."
"Virtual MVPD FuboTV is adding commercial-free streaming services AMC Premiere and FX+ to its roster of premium add-ons for subscribers," reports FierceVideo. "FuboTV still trails bigger vMVPDs like Sling TV and DirecTV Now in terms of subscribers but the service is growing. The company recently revealed that it has nearly 250,000 subscribers which includes 30,000 subscribers added during the third quarter and marks more than 100% growth year over year compared to the 100,000 subscribers the service had back in September 2017."
"Over-the-top (OTT) delivery isn't destroying the TV experience, it's reinvigorating it," says an editorial on StreamingMedia.com. "Kicking off the 2018 Streaming Media West conference, Warren Schlichting, executive vice president and group president for Sling TV, explored the ways streaming is leading to a healthier and happier business model for both providers and viewers." Schlichting said that "We believe at Sling that streaming TV can actually reverse the trend that we've seen in pay TV." TV won't go away, says StreamingMedia, but the old model will.