In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: YouTube cut from Fire TV, Amazon may compete with YouTube, Disney likely to remove Fox content from Netflix, increased interest for community-based Internet service, Sling TV's 2017 State of Live Streaming, overcrowded OTT market will produce losers, and more.
Amazon may be planning to compete with YouTube, speculates TV Answer Man, which reports that Amazon has filed trademark requests for 'Amazon Tube' and 'Open Tube.' "While Amazon does not mention YouTube in its applications, the lengthy descriptions for the two names bare an interesting similarity to YouTube's main features. Amazon says Amazon Tube and/or Open Tube would provide 'non-downloadable pre-recorded audio, visual and audiovisual works via wireless networks on a variety of topics.'"
TV Technology's Michael Balderston reports that the multiplatform news network Newsy is available in 26 million U.S. homes, (Information about Newsy on Roku is available here. "Newsy, which gained traction first on OTT service providers like Sling TV and YouTube TV, provides daily coverage of U.S. news and stories from around the world with an aim at reaching millennials." Newsy is also reportedly "on track to reach about 40 million U.S. households by the end of 2018," but that number includes subscribers to traditional cable and TV.
FierceCable is predicting that an overcrowded streaming TV market will produce losers in 2018. "There just can't be room for 10 subscription video services, all priced around $35-$40 a month, all delivering the same basic skinny package of ESPN and the Big Four broadcast networks." FierceCable predicts that least one over-the-top (OTT) service will fail in the coming year.
Have you noticed an increase in the number of ads for OTT streaming services? Over-the-top platforms are increasing their TV ad spend , reports Kevin Gallagher for Business Insider. According to data from iSpot.tv, "Hulu had the highest national TV ad spend in 2017. Hulu spent just under $100 million on national TV ad slots in 2017, a 32% increase from $75 million in 2016... YouTube spent just under $18 million on TV commercials in 2017, marking a significant jump from the $3 million it spent in 2016." Other big spenders included Amazon Prime Video ($55 million, up 74% from 2016), Netflix (just over $42 million, up 33% from 2016), Sony PlayStation Vue (nearly $77 million, up 20% over 2016), and Sling TV ($62 million, up 85% from 2016).
YouTube app on Fire TV stops working ahead of schedule, according to a report by Fast Company. This action is part of the ongoing battle between Google and Amazon that we previously cited. Fast Company explains: "Google has said it will cut off YouTube access on Fire TV starting January 1, citing Amazon's unwillingness to support Prime Video on Chromecast, or to sell Google hardware (including Chromecast) on its website."
Sling TV has published their 2017 State of Live Streaming, which includes some interesting insights into American's viewing habits. Based on hours viewed, the ten most popular series were:
- Fixer Upper
- Law & Order Special Victims Unit
- American Pickers
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Walking Dead
- House Hunters
- Property Brothers
- Impractical Jokers
- Live PD
- Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
In sports, "[a]t the state level, the College Football National Championship (Alabama v. Clemson) topped the charts as the most popular event in 12 states. The NBA Playoffs Game 7, Wizards v. Celtics came in second as the most popular event in 6 states, but apparently Washington D.C. was more invested in the India v. Pakistan cricket final than the fate of their own Wizards."
"Will Disney remove Fox content from Netflix, HBO? It's likely a matter of time" says Eli Blumenthal for USA TODAY. "Disney, which two weeks ago announced a deal to buy $52.4 billion of Fox TV and movie assets, has made clear its intention to go head-to-head with Netflix, saying it plans to yank its Disney movies and TV shows from the streaming giant in 2019 for its own soon-to-be-launched service. Once it owns Fox franchises that come with the deal... it may have the incentive to take these off Netflix, as well."
David Z. Morris, writing for Fortune, thinks that threats to net neutrality may spark interest in local broadband. "In the wake of the FCC's move (to repeal net neutrality regulations), there appears to be growing interest in ways to access the Internet without requiring the centralized services of corporate ISPs. Enter the community-based Internet service... Another option is the municipal broadband service, which are owned and operated by local governments and essentially mimic the Internet access provided by corporate ISPs."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.