In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Hulu, AT&T to run ads when viewers hit pause, AT&T to thin out bundle and raise prices to $50-$60, Hopster is now on Sling, Amazon's Prime Video Channels to generate $1.7 billion in 2018, Hulu CEO says most linear cable TV networks will be gone in a decade, and more!
Variety reports that "Hulu intends to unveil what it calls 'pause ads' in 2019. When a user chooses to stretch, or get a snack, [Jeremy Helfand, vice president and head of advertising platforms for Hulu] says, 'it's a natural break in the storytelling experience.' AT&T also has hopes to use the pause to lend new momentum to TV advertising. The company, which owns DirecTV and U-verse, expects to launch technology next year that puts a full-motion video on a screen when a user decides to take a respite."
If you're looking for more options to keep the kids entertained, Sling has announced that Hopster is now available with or without a base subscription for $5/month. "Hopster features preschool-age programming that helps develop children's literacy and numeracy, making it a win-win for parents and kids. And, since it includes hundreds of on-demand titles available right at your fingertips, you'll never have to wait for a show to come on." Sling is the first live OTT service to launch Hopster which provides on-demand access to popular kids shows like Bob the Builder, Sesame Best Friends, and more.
StreamingMedia.com discusses comments made by Karen Leever, president of U.S. digital products for Discovery, during a keynote conversation at the TV of Tomorrow show in New York City. "She's not talking about actual cheese, of course, but when video on-demand (VOD) networks offer some episodes from some seasons, but not a complete run of anything. Viewers hate that: They want to get a complete season run or, better yet, complete series run."
BESTAppleTV says that is "has duplicated and confirmed issues of poor streaming quality with the live streaming service YouTubeTV on Apple TV 4K and non-4K models. The issues have been reported by customers since last Thursday. YouTube TV has acknowledged the issue and has said that they are working to fix the issues, but can’t say when a solution will be ready. 'Our engineers are working hard on a fix, but don't have an exact ETA yet,' a tweet from TeamYouTube read on Twitter Wednesday."
Variety says that Amazon's "à la carte Prime Video Channels service is having a huge economic impact on the pay-TV business. According to new estimates from BMO Capital Markets, Amazon's Prime Video Channels will pull in $1.7 billion of revenue this year, more than double from last year's $700 million. That's poised to grow to $3.6 billion in 2020 worldwide." Prime Video Channels is a service that allows Amazon Prime and Prime Video members to purchase third-party channel subscriptions (like Showtime, Starz) and other streaming entertainment channels directly through Prime Video.
Another Variety report says that Hulu CEO Randy Freer predicted that "[t]he traditional pay-TV universe of 300-plus channels is going to shrink dramatically over the next 10 years... with maybe a dozen cable TV networks still standing... Freer believes the pay-TV lineup is due for a radical makeover. With the exception of live news and sports, everything else in the TV bundle will be distributed on-demand, said Freer."
Multichannel News says that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference, "said work is underway to 'thin the content out' on the DirecTV Now bundle and 'get the content out that's really relevant to the consumer.' Simultaneously, Stephenson seemed to indicate that further price hikes are in store for DirecTV Now, which already increased its base monthly fee from $35 to $40 over the summer. 'We’re talking $50 to $60,' he said."
"Discovery Inc.'s recent deals putting its channels on streaming TV services Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV will be big contributors to Discovery’s audience totals," according to a FierceVideo report. "Discovery CEO David Zaslav spoke today at a UBS investor conference and said those launches, which include about five or six channels, will contribute approximately 4 million subscribers... Despite new distribution deals for Discovery networks, Zaslav said that Discovery Channel ratings have been down recently. He blamed the ratings declines during the third quarter in part on production issues with 'Fast N’ Loud' which will delay the show's return until 2019."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.