In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: HBO Max has launched on Roku, Warner Bros. is under siege, takeaways from Nielsen's Top Streaming Chart, the best hidden streaming gems of 2020, Redbox Live TV review, the average U.S. consumer now uses 7 streaming services, and more!
"Roku and WarnerMedia reached an agreement for the distribution of the HBO Max on the Roku platform — nearly seven months after the streaming service launched," says Variety. Scott Rosenberg, SVP of Roku's platform business, said in a statement that "we believe that all entertainment will be streamed, and we are thrilled to partner with HBO Max to bring their incredible library of iconic entertainment brands and blockbuster slate of direct-to-streaming theatrical releases to the Roku households with more than 100 million people that have made Roku the No. 1 TV streaming platform in America." More information can be found on our HBO Max Roku channel page.
While many Roku users are excited about the launch of Warner Bros.' HBO Max service on Roku, not everyone is happy with Warner Bros., which announced it would put all of its 2021 film relaeass on its HBO Max streaming service the same day they open in theaters. According to an earlier report by The Hollywood Reporter, "To many insiders, WarnerMedia's blindsiding of talent and their reps with news that it would send 17 films directly to HBO Max in 2021 felt like an insult." This week, The Hollywood Reporter said that "WarnerMedia’s production partners are eyeing court battles over its day-and-date HBO Max plan, and top talent like Denzel Washington isn't pleased by 'woefully inadequate' overtures."
Also from The Hollywood Reporter, an "analysis of 15 weeks of data from the Nielsen ratings service's new, closely watched Top 10 Streaming chart shows the staying power of Netflix's deep library — and the boom-and-bust cycle of the binge-release model. Nielsen started its rankings of streaming programming the week of Aug. 3-9, and Netflix has dominated the top 10 thus far (at the moment, the rankings cover Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix, with other streamers to be added in the future). Of 150 possible spots through the week of Nov. 9-15, Netflix occupied 139 of them — 93 percent."
"By the end of March, questions with friends and family went from 'Any plans this weekend?' to 'What are you watching now?'," says The Verge, which examines how "streaming, once an isolated activity, became one of the only forms of connection we had."
If you think you've binged-watched every show worth streaming this year, The Decider will "help add some spectacular streaming titles to your queue in an effort to help stave off the boredom of your holiday break" with "14 of the very best TV shows and films that you may have missed this year." Recommendations include the following:
- "The Dylan O’Brien-led Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic film that exudes kindness and heart. Available to rent on VOD, this endlessly entertaining jaunt centers on Joel (O’Brien), a 24-year-old living underground in the 'monster-pocalypse' who embarks on a daring journey to reunite with his girlfriend."
- "John Bronco is an absurd, delightfully offbeat mockumentary that'll make you laugh. The film stars man/myth/legend Walton Goggins as the titular John Bronco, an iconic Ford Bronco pitchman who skyrocketed to fame in the late 1960s. A surreal piece of inventive art that'd feel right at home on Adult Swim, this 35-minute slice of wonderfully bizarre alt comedy is now streaming on Hulu."
- "Banana Split, an underrated hidden gem from 2020, is a deliciously compelling story about two BFFs and their self-contained drama. There is betrayal, there is boyfriend-stealing, and there is Instagram stalking. It’s all the relatable angst that comes with being a 17-year-old girl, but it never once comes off as demeaning."
See the full article for the rest of the recommendations along with the streaming services where these titles can found.
Deadline reports that "Amazon Fire TV has updated its user interface, and says it now has 50 million monthly active users on its devices around the world, marking a 25% increase in reach since January." According to Deadline, "[t]he updated interface will reach all Fire TV Stick 3rd generation and Fire TV Stick Lite devices globally in the coming weeks" and "[a]mong the other top streaming gateways, Roku is comparable in size to Fire TV, with 46 million active accounts as of September 30 and total viewing of 14.8 billion streaming hours."
Last week we told you that Redbox added free SVOD to its Roku channel, but Redbox earlier rolled out a free live TV service, also available on the Redbox Roku channel. The consumer gurus at Team Clark have reviewed the Redbox live TV service, and found both pros and cons. The bottom line? "Ultimately, you're probably going to find a more enjoyable free streaming experience from a service like Pluto TV or Tubi TV because of better and bigger content libraries. But that shouldn't stop you from checking out Redbox now and waiting to see if its content grows over time."
New research from the NPD Group that was reported by Fierce Video reveals that "the average U.S. consumer now relies on seven different streaming video services – both subscription and free, ad-supported – up from five in April 2020... The survey results also showed that access to exclusive content is a primary reason cited for checking out subscription services, driving more than 25% of engagement. NPD said exclusive content is also driving consumer desire to switch services. Fully 21% of SVOD users in October, compared to 14% in April, are decreasing engagement or cancelling subscriptions because they feel other services offer better content."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.