In a bold move, Comcast announced earlier this week plans to launch a cloud-based video service called X1 in several markets around the country. The digital service requires a new user interface and allows access to social media such as Facebook, along with several other apps. Read more
It was widely reported on December 8 that Verizon was planning a Netflix-type killer service. Described as a subscription on-demand video service featuring films and television episodes, the new service started to take on additional intrigue when it was revealed that Verizon is in discussions with RedBox.
RedBox, recognized for providing a simple, user-friendly and low-cost kiosk service, also has been rumored to have a streaming service under consideration. The Verizon element adds fuel to the probability fire. Information provided by Verizon indicates that the service will be totally Internet based and will likely support Apple’s iOS platform, Android, Google TV, XBox, Roku and other streaming boxes and browsers.
If the rumors are true that launch is planned for mid second quarter 2012, Verizon will need to get busy putting TV show deals together.
For more, see this Reuters article.
If the list of bidders in the proposed sale of Hulu are Google, Yahoo, Dish Network and Amazon, which company would you likely pick to have made the highest bid? If you selected Google you’d be correct, although there is a “but” after the price pledged. Google has placed conditions on the bid that may make it less attractive than the next largest bid. Read more
Nearly everyday this week there has been a short article in one of the trades trying to get the complete story straight on what it is that Netflix is or isn’t allowing in its new subscription packages. Read more
According to a report from Parks Associates, consumers by and large prefer to pay a monthly subscription for film and video content from sources like Netflix and Amazon Prime rather than pay an a la carte transactional fee for more conventional “on-demand” content.
The Parks report measured usage and purchases over a six-month period. Those who used a subscription service spent approximately $50 on the average for their video subscriptions, while the a la carte users typically spent between $13-$25 per month on per transaction films.
The study went on to note that those households with a subscription reported streaming 2.4 movies per month on the average. This is an increase of 60% over the 1.5 films per month measured in 2009.
The Parks reports says that the “all-you-can-eat style subscription” has proven successful, while cautioning that “proper monetization, content licensing and distribution costs” are potential areas of concern.
The Netflix price increase and altered retail model goes takes affect September 1. It will be interesting to see if the behavior continues and increases, or if the source for content shifts.
In a move engineered to provide on-demand content to small and independent video service distributors, Echostar announced that it will be demonstrating the “Aria” system at the National Cable Show this month in Chicago.
Mark Jackson, president of the company’s EchoStar Technologies business unit said, “Innovative products are being introduced every day, but the technology to use them is designed for the nation’s largest providers. Aria is engineered to perform on existing networks without a painful integration period.”
The Aria system provides on-demand content to a set-top-box via the cloud. The system allows for video viewing in the home and to wireless mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Read more
YouTube announced May 9 that it will now offer more than 3,000 additional films from three major studios for rent, with some titles reportedly available the same day as the DVD offering.
The Google-based video service recently signed deals with Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros, Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, in addition to its previously announced partner Lions Gate Entertainment.
YouTube has been offering movies for rent since early 2010, but its content was limited to catalog and independent fare. This announcement is a significant step in the video giant’s evolution from user-generated content to studio-produced fare.