Cordless TV streamers prefer Amazon Prime Video to Netflix

New comScore data shows one-third of TV streamers are cordless. It also shows that cordless Amazon Video users watch 13% more than Netflix users. The difference is all in their content strategies.

Cord-cutter and cord-never differences

According to comScore, one-third of households streaming to the television are cordless. The other two-thirds have either cable, satellite, or telco pay TV services. The cordless group is broken into two broad categories: those that had pay TV and got rid of it (18%) and those that have never had pay TV (14%.)

The cord-cutter group primarily skews older than the cord-never group. The largest group of cord-cutters comes from the 35-44-year-olds, with 23%. 21% of cord-cutters are millennials (18-34-year-olds). Millennials dominate the cord-nevers. 24% of 18-34-year-old TV streamers have never had pay TV, versus 15% of 35-44-year-olds.

Cordless favor Hulu, YouTube

Hulu has the highest percentage of cordless subscribers of the top four online video services. Hulu subscribers make up almost half of those without pay TV. 41% of YouTube users are cordless, and 37% of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are cordless.

Cordless Hulu users also watch a lot more online video on their televisions. They watch, on average, 86 hours per month and stream to the TV 21.6 days per month. Cordless YouTube users watch 78 hours per month and stream to the TV 19.8 days a month. Surprisingly, Amazon Prime Video users best Netflix in engagement among the cordless users. Amazon users watch 70 hours and 19.8 days per month, Netflix users watch 62 hours and 18.6 days per month.

The comScore data could suggest that, though the cordless group rejects pay TV, they are not rejecting traditional television. They will continue to hear about great TV shows through the social and traditional media and around the water cooler. Moreover, when they hear about a great show, the place they are most likely to find it online is Hulu.

Why cordless Amazon users watch more than Netflix
Another interesting question is why those cordless TV streamers using Amazon watch significantly more (12%) than those using Netflix. This fact is particularly interesting given there is a large overlap between the two groups.

The viewing difference stems from the different content business models used by both companies. Amazon provides a far greater variety of content than Netflix because it resells other SVOD services through its Channels program. It also rents and sells movies through the Prime Video app. According to Ampere Analysis, consumers could access 26,000 distinct movie and TV show titles through Amazon Prime Video as of February 2017.*

read more here: nscreenmedia.com

Hulu, Roku, YouTube Execs Talk Importance of Curating Streaming Content

With peak TV hovering at almost 500 scripted shows alone, for many content providers the question is not how to break through that glut with a standout original of their own but instead how to make sure the audience can find the content they will connect with on their specific platforms.

“Roku has over 5000 channels,” Rob Holmes, head of programming for the OTT service, said at the ATX Television Festival Thursday. “Our purpose was really to make it easy to find free stuff. …We worked with a variety of partners to make…sort of an end-cap, like you’d find in a supermarket. [The free content] is curated into this experience that’s front and center on the platform.”

Holmes acknowledged that as the landscape changes, there is an “increasing challenge to highlight the great stuff that’s there.”

“We’re going to leave the super high quality, must have, must pay [programs] to the others who are doing it very well,” Holmes said of Roku’s content plans.

For some, attracting an audience without focusing on originals is also about the sheer diversity of offerings.

“We set out to basically reinvent television. We were the first channel to present multi-channel television [online],” Dwayne Benefield, head of Playstation Vue, said, adding that the reason they have been able to have the high ratings they have is because they are doing something digitally that other streaming services are not yet.

Vue also uses “channels” as a way to further curate its content and help users navigate the large amount of choices they have, which Benefield acknowledges could go away in the future but for now has helped the audience narrow those choices down.

While originals are an important side to Hulu’s business, the acquisitions are key, too. Curating content for which the audience is clamoring is key there, and series such as “Golden Girls,” “Boy Meets World” and “ER” have been proven performers in getting viewers staying on the platform for days at a time. “ER,” for example, attracted more than 35,000 bingewatchers who watched every single episode within the first two months it was available on the service.

“We look for those shows that are sort of the comfort food to blend in with [originals like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’s’] intensity,” said Lisa Holme, vice president of content acquisitions at Hulu.

Hulu also expanded into the live television experience to provide consumers who cut the traditional cable cord a chance to watch series when they air in a more traditional time period.

But whether or not it will expand into hosting or creating live events the way YouTube has, Holme says it’s about, “What’s the right content that matches the right business model that hopefully matches the delightful consumer experience?” So while there are no solid plans to expand in that way today, “[it] could come some time,” she said.

As the success of series such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” proved for Hulu, the evolving landscape does often require the creation of original series to push streaming services forward in a bigger way.

YouTube Red also saw success with “Cobra Kai” last month and certainly hopes to continue it with series such as “Impulse” and “Origin.” The service, which is rebranding to YouTube Premium, gets a lot of pitches for high school set series as well as tech-based shows, said head of scripted drama Jon Wax. But that’s not all they want to be.

“On the drama side, we’re definitely looking for some more premium content that could compete with our brethren…but with probably a slightly younger bent for our audience,” he said.

Both Hulu and YouTube are open to acquiring series that started their lives on other networks. But both Holme and Wax said that the decision over whether or not to “save” someone else’s original comes down to if the “economics of the show and the size of the audience” match.

“The reality is that often when a show has declined over time and lost some of the audience over time and the network decides not to continue with it, that was the right decision,” Holme said.

read more here: variety.com

About 50% of Hulu subscribers take $11.99 limited-ads option

A significant number of Hulu’s more than 20 million subscribers are paying for the more expensive limited-commercials option.

That’s according to Fox CEO James Murdoch, who told Recode that about 50% of Hulu subscribers are willing to pay $11.99 per month to cut down on ads popping up during streams. Fox—along with NBCUniversal, Disney and Time Warner—is a part owner of Hulu.

Recode later updated its story to cite insiders who say that more than 60% of Hulu subscribers still take the less expensive, ad-supported tier.

Earlier this month, Hulu revealed that it now has more than 20 million subscribers, but the service has yet to reveal how many of its subscribers are opting for the $40-per-month live-TV service.

Hulu also said it has grown total engagement by more than 60% and that 78% of viewing on the service takes place in the living room on connected TVs.

“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer in a statement. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment—and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”

The strong uptake for Hulu’s more expensive tier with limited commercials is similar to the numbers CBS has been able to put up for its All Access streaming service.

Earlier this month, CBS said about one-third of its 2.5 million All Access subscribers are opting for the $9.99-per-month ad-free tier of the service.

Joe Ianniello, chief operating officer at CBS, said the fact that consumers are willing to pay more for a premium channel experience with CBS shows gives the company some added leverage when negotiating things like carriage and distribution.

read more here: fiercecable.com

If CBS All Access Is the Future of Television, We’re Screwed

Star Trek: Discovery finally debuted last night to mixed but hopeful reviews. The first Trek TV show in a dozen years definitely has promise. What’s yet to be seen is whether that promise makes fans open their wallets.

CBS released the first two episodes of Discovery last night. While the first aired on traditional broadcast CBS, the second was tucked behind a paywall at CBS All Access, the network’s streaming site/app/service for all things CBS. That’s where the remaining 13 episodes of the series’ first season will live, which means that, barring any creative Googling, you’ll pay $6 or $10 monthly for the privilege of watching the newest version of Star Trek.

Trek often portrays a rosy picture of humanity’s future. But CBS’s decision to hide Discovery inside its silo app as a prestige lure for people to pony up is a potentially worrying picture of TV’s future, one in which we’re asked to pay for a slew of single-entity streaming services

SO MANY SERVICES

Netflix was once monolithic in its domination of streaming. But in the past several years, many major copyright owners have gradually withdrawn content from the service, which has come to the fore with approaching departure of 30 Rock. Vanity Fair called it the “end of the wild west” of streaming.

There’s an even bigger exodus on the horizon though: Disney is set to take nearly all of its content off of Netflix and hide it within its own streaming service. This means no more Marvel movies, no more Star Wars, and no more films for keeping your kids busy, unless you pay $5 a month for the Disney app. ESPN, also owned by Disney (and part owned by Hearst, the parent company of Popular Mechanics), will also launch its own streaming service.

This may leave more choice when it comes to programming—after all, owning the copyright makes it pretty easy to leave it up there indefinitely. But it also leaves cord-cutters in a tricky position. If they want to keep current on TV and movies, they’re going to have to subscribe to lots and lots of services.

THE MONEY ADDS UP

For the sake of comparison, a just-above-basic cable television plan from Time Warner/Spectrum costs more than $60 for cable alone, and it only goes up after that. No surprise, then, that the number of cord-cutters is on the rise as people try to shed that fat monthly bill.

What we’re seeing now, though, is that the big cable bundle is starting to be replaced by lots of little ones. Add to the fact that internet providers are slowly introducing data caps on broadband access, with Comcast being the biggest abuser of this, and streaming becomes potentially even more costly since all these services will nom away at your monthly allotted data cap. Add in 4K content and that cap starts to look smaller and smaller.

If you’re paying only for, say, Netflix and Hulu, then the monthly bills don’t seem so bad. But let’s say you want to watch Star Trek. Commercial-free CBS All Access (where you can also watch SO MUCH Big Bang Theory) will cost you $10. Hulu without ads is $12. The most basic, standard definition Netflix plan is $8 for streaming on one device at a time, while going all the way up to four devices + high definition will put you at $12 (there’s a meet-in-the-middle at $10.) Amazon Video comes with Amazon Prime, which costs $99 per year or $10.99 if you go with a month-to-month plan. Disney will be $5 whenever it launches, and ESPN will be around the same price for what sounds like a terrible service where you have to be a cable subscriber already to get any new games.

That’s $55 already, and you haven’t added optional HBO or Showtime streaming through Prime or Hulu or another service (you’re paying $15 and $9 for those, respectively). If you opt for all of these services, your streaming-only bill is hovering at $80. That’s not including the bevy of other Amazon Channels options, from fairly well-known entities like PBS, Starz, and Cinemax down to odd Bollywood channels, B-movie fiestas, and more. A half-dozen services all with their own rules, logins, rates, and headaches.

BUNDLES AND BUNDLES

Now, one could argue that, at the very least, this is better than the old days of the cable bundle, where you might get to choose between a small, medium, and large bundle of channels, but not much more. That’s true. The current streaming environment allows you to pick and choose a bit more. If you only care about watching, say, Star Trek: Discovery, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Twin Peaks: The Return, then you could pay for CBS All Access and Hulu with the Showtime add-on, and cancel them when you’re done.

read more here:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/tv/news/a28344/cbs-all-access-bad/

Nielsen to Credit Video Views on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube

Broadening its visibility into the world of digital video and OTT distribution, Nielsen said it will begin crediting video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube.

That added capability, delivered via Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, will enable TV and digital publisher clients to capture viewing of their content within their reported audience numbers, Nielsen said, noting that this “consistent and transparent view ensures a level playing field” because it provides access to the same information across both publishers and platforms.
While enabled publisher clients will be able to receive credit for video offered on Facebook and YouTube in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, Hulu will be providing “select media partners” with credit for current series content that it distributes, Nielsen said.

That expansion follows Nielsen’s announcement last month that “eligible TV viewing” from YouTube TV and Hulu’s new live TV service would be included in its Digital in TV Ratings.

“The inclusion of video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings is a major accomplishment and part of our ongoing commitment to providing the industry with independent, comprehensive measurement of the evolving consumer landscape,” Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen, said in a statement. “Through capturing this audience, Nielsen is providing publishers, agencies and advertisers with a better picture of today’s media consumption, with comparable metrics.”

read more here:

http://www.multichannel.com/news/advanced-advertising/nielsen-credit-video-views-facebook-hulu-and-youtube/414612

Hulu boosts content, cuts out the middleman!

Hulu on-demand just got a massive boost to its library from Fox, and Live can now distribute HBO and Cinemax. Do Hulu’s broadcast owners need pay TV to distribute their content anymore?

The launch of Hulu Live in May of this year brought another strong competitor to the virtual MVPD market pioneered by Sling TV. The slick integration between the on-demand content from Hulu with live TV and DVR’d shows caught the markets attention immediately. It also offers solid consumer value with 59 channels for $39.99 a month. However, until now consumers could not access premium channels through the service.

Last week, Hulu announced that subscribers to Live and on-demand packages can subscribe to HBO for $14.99 a month and Cinemax for $9.99. Customers will get access to HBO’s and Cinemax’s East and West Coast live feeds through service. The many other live channels will become available in the coming weeks, including channels like HBO 2, HBO Latino, and MovieMAX HD.

Of course, this nothing new. Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue also allow customers to subscribe to HBO and Cinemax. However, Hulu Live offers a nice bonus. Customers will be able to access HBO’s own branded service, HBO Now, through their Hulu account.

Fox boosts Hulu on-demand library

Hulu announced a deal with one of its investors, Fox, that brings a huge library of TV content to the on-demand service. 20th Century Fox Television is licensing 3,000 episodes of 26 shows to Hulu. Recent shows like Bones, How I Met Your Mother, and Glee join classics like Hill Street Blues and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Hulu will also be the only site with all 11 seasons of M*A*S*H and all episodes of NYPD Blue.

Last week Hulu completed another deal with 20th Century Fox Television. It added all episodes of animated series Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, Futurama, and The Cleveland Show.

Market progress on all fronts

Hulu on-demand continues to grow strongly with the overall market for SVOD services. According to TiVo/Digitalsmiths data, 6.2% of US consumers were using Hulu in Q1 2015. By Q1 2017, 7.8% of consumers reported using the service. The company has also retained its position as the third most popular SVOD service. Amazon is the second most popular with 18% of consumers saying they use it in Q1 2017, and Netflix is number 1 with 36%.

There is one area where Hulu is number one: Hulu viewers watch more video on the service than any other. According to comScore, Hulu viewers watch 2.9 hours a day versus 2.2 hours for Netflix, and 2 hours for Amazon. comScore also says the virtual MVPD side of the house, Hulu Live, is driving a lot of viewing. Hulu Live delivers 9% of total time spent watching all the vMVPDs, despite being only a few months old.

read more here:

http://www.nscreenmedia.com/hulu-live-boosts-content-cuts-middleman/

OTT viewers watch more Netflix than Amazon, YouTube and Hulu combined

Netflix continues to loom large over the OTT video market and new numbers show that’s translating to an overwhelming command over total U.S. OTT viewing hours.

According to ComScore, Netflix accounts for 40% of all U.S. OTT viewing hours. That’s good enough to account for more than Amazon’s (7%), YouTube’s (18%) and Hulu’s (14%) shares combined.

While Netflix leads the pack in terms of penetration in Wi-Fi households at around 40%, Hulu is leading the charge in terms of average viewing hours per month per household at close to 30.

Hulu is also leading the top four video services in terms of engagement with viewers. Typical Hulu households average 2.9 hours of viewing per day, while Netflix averages 2.2, Amazon averages 2, and YouTube, somewhat surprisingly, averages 2.1.

ComScore said the increase in YouTube’s engagement times can likely be attributed to the service’s transition over time toward including more long-form content.

While other SVODs are outpacing Netflix in engagement times among viewers, Netflix is still likely out front in terms of the popularity of its original series.

Demand for Netflix originals is on average 8 times higher than that for Amazon’s originals, according to a study by Parrot Analytics released earlier this year.

read more here:

http://www.fiercecable.com/online-video/u-s-ott-viewers-watch-more-netflix-than-amazon-youtube-and-hulu-combined