Tag Archives: netflix

Disney is about to go to war with Netflix

Disney may be closing in on a media-industry-rocking deal to acquire a collection of assets from 21st Century Fox. CNBC reports that a deal, which would include Fox’s movie studios, could be announced as soon as next week.

The deal comes as media companies look for ways to survive as consumers shift their attention to ad-free streaming services from Netflix and Amazon, cut the cord in increasing numbers and spend an inordinate amount of time glued to mobile screens and social media.

Disney’s already declared that it is going to war with Netflix by launching its own streaming service. Already Disney has some big assets to offer subscribers to this potential service, including movies made by its own studios and the rights to mega-hits like Star Wars. But it’s going to need as many big guns as it can get in that fight. If the future is less about cable bundles and classic TV advertising, and more about bringing content directly to paying subscribers, giants like Disney can’t stand pat. That’s where Fox comes in.

As one industry observer put it, “nobody knows what the business model of the future is. But if you have a lot of content, you’re either going to get people to pay for it, run ads in it, or license it to somebody. So this is a pretty good hedge for Disney.”

read more here: www.cnbc.com

Could 2018 Be The Year Of The OTT Breakthrough?

Consider, next year Netflix will spend as much as $8 billion on content, potentially more than any other media or technology company.

Amazon will continue its own investment in OTT, and will be given a signal boost thanks to its high-profile simulcasts of NFL “Thursday Night Football,” along with the Amazon Video app addition to Apple TV.

AT&T, in its latest earnings report, said streaming video subscribers jumped by 300,000 subscribers, while its traditional pay-TV customer base had a net loss of 90,000 subscribers.

Meanwhile, according to an FCC filing, AT&T is developing an Android-powered and DirecTV-branded OTT video hub that appears likely to be released in short order. Assuming AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is approved by regulators, the company will have a vast swath of content, including HBO, to entice new customers to start streaming.

If you’ve been watching the World Series over the last week, you’ve certainly noticed it was “presented by YouTube TV,” with a reminder that you could watch the games without a cable subscription through the service.

Hulu is also launching its bundled OTT video service.

CBS plans to significantly increase its content spend on original programming for its CBS All Access service, and will be rolling out a sports streaming service in the coming months. Disney will launch an ESPN streaming service sometime next year, though the details of what sports it will include remain under wraps for now.

2018 feels like a tipping point. Every major television company will have a dedicated streaming service by the end of next year, while the powerful technology trio of Google, Amazon and Netflix continue to invest and expand their subscription video offerings. And technology will make it easier than ever to watch OTT video on our TV sets, while mobile phones continue to feature screens well-suited to watching video.

For advertisers, these products present new opportunities: to advertise on sports events that may have a loyal following, but are not big enough to air on traditional TV. To advertise on new video bundles with a largely millennial consumer base. To use the scale of a company like Google or AT&T to reach key constituencies not served well by existing video products.

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Study: Netflix most preferred way to watch TV

“Goodbye​ ​broadcast,​ ​hello​ ​streaming”​ ​is​ ​the​ ​overwhelming​ ​response​ ​from​ ​a​ ​study​ ​about​ ​content​ ​and​ ​viewing​ ​habits produced​ ​by​ ​Qualtrics,​ ​a​n ​experience​ ​and​ ​insights​ ​company.​ ​Although​ ​the​ ​shift​ ​from broadcast​ ​television​ ​to​ ​on-demand​ ​streaming​ ​has​ ​been​ ​a​ ​talking​ ​point​ ​of​ ​media​ ​watchers​ ​for years,​ ​Qualtrics’​ ​study​ ​has​ ​produced​ ​some​ ​surprising​ ​data​ ​points.

Netflix​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Champ

Although​ ​Amazon​ ​Prime​ ​and​ ​Hulu​ ​put​ ​up​ ​a decent​ ​challenge,​ ​nobody​ ​has​ ​a​ ​greater​ ​hold​ ​on viewing​ ​audiences​ ​than​ ​streaming​ ​stalwart Netflix.​ ​Even​ ​live​ ​TV​ ​now​ ​lags​ ​behind.​ ​The​ ​data is​ ​clear,​ ​however,​ ​that​ ​most​ ​viewers​ ​do​ ​not​ ​limit themselves​ ​to​ ​a​ ​single​ ​option.

Q. In which of the following ways do you prefer to watch shows?
1. Netflix ​ ​ ​ ​ 30%
2. Live TV ​ ​ ​ ​ 23%
3. Recorded ​ ​ ​ ​16%
4. Amazon Prime ​ ​ 15%
5. Hulu ​ ​ ​ ​ 11%
6. Apps by station ​ 4%

Settle​ ​in,​ ​this​ ​could​ ​be​ ​a​ ​long​ ​evening

When​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​TV,​ ​most​ ​people​ ​would​ ​prefer​ ​to​ ​binge​ ​on​ ​multiple​ ​episodes​ ​at​ ​a​ ​time​ ​than spread​ ​out​ ​in​ ​weekly​ ​installments.​ ​Around​ ​two-thirds​ ​of​ ​respondents​ ​had​ ​no​ ​interest​ ​in​ ​delaying their​ ​gratification​ ​and​ ​would​ ​prefer​ ​to​ ​just​ ​keep​ ​going,​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​very​ ​much.

Q. ​ Which do you most prefer when watching a show?
1. Binge watching ​ ​ ​ ​ 66%
2. Via weekly episode release ​ 34%

Netflix​ ​and​ ​Chill?​ ​Not​ ​really​ ​a​ ​thing

There​ ​are​ ​a​ ​few​ ​key​ ​things​ ​that​ ​would​ ​make​ ​viewers​ ​hit​ ​the​ ​pause​ ​button,​ ​but​ ​sex​ ​is​ ​not​ ​one​ ​of the​ ​top​ ​results.​ ​Only​ ​13 per cent ​of​ ​respondents​ ​would​ ​pause​ ​a​ ​show​ ​to​ ​get​ ​frisky,​ ​but​ ​bathroom​ ​breaks (22 per cent)​ ​and​ ​food​ ​(19 per cent)​ ​rank​ ​higher.​ ​Even phone​ ​calls​ ​and​ ​a​ ​reluctant​ ​need​ ​for​ ​sleep are​ ​more​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​get​ ​that​ ​pause.​ ​Two​ ​things that​ ​were​ ​less​ ​popular​ ​responses​ ​than​ ​sex? Texting​ ​(5 per cent)​ ​and​ ​family​ ​time​ ​(12 per cent).

Q. ​ Which of the following would make you pause a show while binge watching?

1. Bathroom ​break ​ 22%
2. Food ​ ​ ​ ​ 19%
3. Phone call ​ ​ ​ 15%
4. Sleep ​ ​ ​ ​ 14%
5. Sex ​ ​ ​ ​ 13%
6. Family time ​ ​ 12%
7. Text ​ ​ ​ ​ 5%

Bingeing​ ​happens​ ​late​ ​at​ ​night

It’s​ ​worth​ ​mentioning​ ​that​ ​sleep​ ​is​ ​the​ ​natural​ ​enemy​ ​of​ ​binge​ ​watching.​ ​You​ ​are​ ​most​ ​likely​ ​to find​ ​a​ ​binger​ ​in​ ​comfy​ ​sweat​ ​clothes,​ ​past​ ​1​am,​ ​with​ ​water,​ ​chips​ ​and​ ​pizza.​

Q. ​If​ you binge watch a show in a weekend, ​which of ​the following ​do ​you ​do ​to ​prepare? ​Check all that apply.
1. Put on sweats/comfy ​clothes ​ 24%
2. Finish ​chores ​ ​ ​ ​ 15%
3. Order take out ​ ​ ​ ​ 15%
4. Purchase treats ​ ​ ​ ​ 14%
5. Cook ​food ​ ​ ​ ​ 14%
6. Turn ​out the ​lights ​ ​ ​ ​ 13%
7. Cancel ​plans ​ ​ ​ ​ 3%
8. Turn ​off ​cell ​phones ​ ​ ​ ​ 2%

Q. ​ Which ​of the ​ following ​have ​you ​done ​because ​you ​couldn’t ​stop ​watching ​a show? ​Check all that apply.

1. Watched past 1am ​ ​ ​ ​ 24%
2. Watched during dinner ​ ​ 19%
3. Stayed up all night ​ ​ ​ 15%
4. Missed planned workout ​ ​ 8%
5. Bailed on social ​plans ​​ ​ 8%
6. Didn’t ​brush teeth ​ ​ ​ ​ 7%
7. Watched ​using the bathroom ​6%
8. Didn’t eat ​ ​ ​ ​ 5%
9. Watched at work ​ ​ ​ ​ 4%
10.Missed a class ​ ​ ​ ​ 2%
11.Called in sick to work ​ ​ 1%
12.Watched while driving ​ ​ 1%

The​ ​life​ ​of​ ​the​ ​typical​ ​binge​ ​watcher

The​ ​typical​ ​binge​ ​watcher​ ​is​ ​an​ ​unusual​ ​creature.​ ​Almost​ ​two-thirds​ ​are​ ​happy​ ​and​ ​optimistic about​ ​their​ ​lives,​ ​and​ ​60 per cent per cent ​are​ ​satisfied​ ​with​ ​their​ ​work-life​ ​balance.​ ​However,​ ​they​ ​must​ ​have learned​ ​that​ ​money​ ​isn’t​ ​everything,​ ​because​ ​50 per cent ​of​ ​the​ ​binge​ ​watchers​ ​make​ ​less​ ​than​ ​$40k per​ ​year.

● 50 per cent​ of binge ​watchers ​make ​less ​than ​$40K ​per ​year
● More ​than ​65 per centsay ​they are ​satisfied ​with ​their ​life, ​happy and optimistic
● 60 per cent ​say ​they are ​satisfied ​with their ​work-life ​balance
● Over ​60 per cent ​are ​not ​religious

There’s​ ​always​ ​something​ ​good​ ​on​ ​Netflix

Among​ ​Netflix’s​ ​original​ ​series,​ ​Stranger​ ​Things ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​popular​ ​with​ ​22 per cent of​ ​viewers​ ​having​ ​watched​ ​the​ ​show.​ ​Orange​ ​is​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Black ​is​ ​a​ ​close​ ​second​.

Q. ​Which of these ​Netflix​ shows have you watched?
1. Stranger ​Things ​ ​ ​ ​ 22%
2. Orange Is The New Black ​ 20%
3. Other ​ ​ ​ ​ 15%
4. House of Cards ​ ​ ​ ​ 14%
5. 13 ​Reasons ​ ​ ​ ​ 12%
6. How to Make a Murderer ​ 10%
7. The ​Crown ​ ​ ​ ​ 4%
8. The ​Keepers ​ ​ ​ ​ 3%

A​ ​big​ ​chunk​ ​of​ ​people​ ​watched​ ​all​ ​of​ ​Stranger​ ​Things season​ ​one​ ​in​ ​under​ ​three​ ​days​ ​(42 per cent).​ ​The​ ​total​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​people​ ​who​ ​watched​ ​the​ ​series in​ ​less​ ​than​ ​a​ ​week​ ​was​ ​a​ ​robust​ ​73 per cent.​ ​Only​ ​10 per cent​ ​of​ ​viewers​ ​took​ ​three​ ​weeks​ ​or​ ​more​ ​to complete​ ​the​ ​first​ ​season.

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Netflix’s changing user base

Not only has Netflix’s audience grown significantly in the past two years, but the composition of its user base has changed dramatically as well, according to a DeepProfile study from consumer intelligence research platform CivicScience.

Back in May of 2015, CivicScience published a detailed study on the profile of Netflix users, as well as people who didn’t use the service yet but appeared poised to do so. Among a range of findings were signs of an emerging segment of parents signing up around that time.

Two-and-almost-a-half years later, Netflix Nation has grown and evolved in ways which CivicScience says it couldn’t have imagined back then. Today, approximately 50 per cent of US adults watch streaming content on Netflix at least occasionally, while 29 per cent watch a few times per week or more. In October of 2015, only 39 per cent of US adults watched Netflix and 23 per cent watched weekly. “That’s an addition of several million new Netflix junkies in a fairly short amount of time,” notes the firm.

The DeepProfile report details the demographic and psychographic differences between Netflix’s current user base, its user base in October of 2015, and the general US population. CivicScience compared the two groups across hundreds of dimensions, from their gender and income, to the TV genres they prefer, to the types of restaurants they frequent.

Among the findings:

– Today’s Netflix population is much more gender-balanced, showing a rise in the number of male users over the past two years.
– The average income of Netflix users has risen significantly.
– One of the biggest has been among parents, who represented only 32 per cent of users in October 2015 but 48 per cent of users today.
– New Netflix users are much more heavily influenced by social media in their shopping and entertainment decisions, which could explain why they gave in to the Netflix seduction in the first place.
– Early Netflix users were much more price-sensitive than the new generation, suggesting that the platform’s early appeal was its cost relative to other forms of TV.
– New Netflix users are more likely to be foodies, following trends in food and cooking, cooking dinner for their families, and researching recipes online.
– Both groups watch TV less than average overall.
– New Netflix users are much more likely to be concerned about things such as climate change and buying environmentally-friendly products.

CivicScience founder and CEO John Dick also took a closer look at the consumers who told the company they don’t currently watch Netflix but are planning to. This group represents about 8 per cent of the current US population, up from 7 per cent in the 2015 numbers. “No surprise, they’re more likely to be older, particularly 55+. But they’re also more likely to be unemployed, meaning that they could just be waiting to subscribe to Netflix once they have a steady income. People who are documentary fans over-index in this ‘planning to’ segment, which could provide a window into what will push them over the fence. The next wave is much more likely to come from urban centres,” he suggests.

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Nielsen Will Publicly Share Ratings for Netflix Shows

Ever since House of Cards premiered in 2013 on Netflix, the TV industry has been frustrated by the streaming service’s refusal to share ratings data for its content. Netflix ratings have become the industry’s white whale, with many companies attempting to nail down the company’s metrics, but seemingly failing to do so in any precise way.

That is finally about to change, as Nielsen says it will now be measuring, and publicly sharing, Netflix ratings data, while allowing networks and studios to finally get a sense of how the audience for the streaming service’s shows like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, 13 Reasons Why and American Vandal measures up to broadcast and cable series. The company has launched SVOD Content Ratings, a syndicated service that measures content from subscription video on demand services, though out of the gate, the offering will only provide ratings for Netflix content.

Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings will provide clients the same ratings and demo data for Netflix’s original shows, movies and acquired content that they receive for linear TV programs, broken out both by season and by episode.

Initially, the offering will only provide ratings for Netflix content, and will be restricted to programs viewed on connected TV devices like Roku, Apple TV, video game consoles and smart TVs (which accounts for around 75 percent of SVOD viewing).

SVOD Content Ratings, which Nielsen has been testing with select clients since August, relies on data from Nielsen’s national panel, which is comprised of 44,000 households and more than 100,000 people.

Eight TV networks and production studios, including A&E, Disney-ABC, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate and Warner Bros., have already subscribed to the new service, and the company said more will be added in the coming days and weeks. “We’ve got a number of clients in various stages of subscription and evaluation,” said Brian Fuhrer, Nielsen’s svp of product leadership.

Nielsen has been measuring streaming content since 2014, but previously, studios working with Nielsen only had access to metrics about their own shows. They were also only permitted to use the data internally, which meant they couldn’t discuss it with the press or use it in negotiations. Now they’ll have access to ratings for all content measured by Nielsen.

“The question I always get is, ‘How did my program do?’ And the second question is, ‘How did it do in comparison with everybody else?’ That second key question is what we’re trying to answer,” said Fuhrer.

While the ratings metrics will be similar to what Nielsen collects for linear shows, it will take as much as three or three weeks for the data to be processed. “It’s definitely not an overnight process,” said Furher of the ratings, which will be made available each week. He added that Nielsen’s clients have said they would rather the data be accurate and complete rather than rushed, “so that’s what we’re working through to be able to do that.”

Initially, the SVOD Content Ratings will measure viewing via connected TV devices only, and the company will analyze its data approximate to how much viewing is done on mobile devices.

Hulu and other providers consistently say that around 75 percent of their viewing occurs via a connected TV device. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a low estimate, particularly for the high-value content,” said Fuhrer. “People like to watch content on a big, high-quality screen.”

In its infancy, SVOD Content Ratings won’t be measuring every single piece of content on Netflix. “We’re continuing to build our library, so we don’t have a comprehensive library of everything on Netflix right now,” Fuhrer said. “What we’re focusing on right now is the most-viewed assets out there. It breaks down into three categories: movies, Netflix originals and back seasons of TV.”

Netflix, which has always refused to share any ratings metrics, has tried to impede Nielsen’s measurement efforts by stripping out the company’s digital watermarks from its content.

For its SVOD Content Ratings, Nielsen captures a content’s video signature, compares that against a high-quality video signature that it holds for each program and loads that information into its crediting engines to determine viewing among its national panel.

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Netflix hits new high as subs soar in Q3

For the quarter ended 30 September 2017, Netflix’s global streaming revenue rose 33% year-on-year, driven by a 24% increase in average paid memberships and 7% growth in ASP. Operating income nearly doubled year-over-year to $209 million with a Q3 global operating margin of 7%.

Driving the spike in revenues was a Q3 record of 5.3 million additional global memberships, up 49% annually, a continued result, said the company, of strong appetite for its original series and films, as well as the general increased demand for online video and TV across the world. Year to date net adds of 15.5 million were up 29% versus the same period in 2016. Regionally the company reported 850,000 streaming additions in the US to total 52.77 million out of a global total of 109.25 million. Non-US subscriptions were up 4.45 million in the quarter.

Looking towards the fourth quarter, Netflix forecast global net adds of 6.30 million, 1.25 million in the US and 5.05 million internationally. Even though it acknowledged the recent price rises in key markets, Netflix was confident that the increased revenue over time would help it grow it content offering and continue its global operating margin growth.

Key to growth would be original titles, it said. Netflix www.netflix.com noted that even though it had multi-year deals in place preventing any sudden reduction in content licensing, the long-term trends were clear: its future largely lies in exclusive original content which it says “drives both excitement around Netflix and enormous viewing satisfaction for our global membership and its wide variety of tastes”. The company’s investment in Netflix originals was over a quarter of its total P&L content budget in 2017 and was set continue to grow.

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Despite hiccups, live streaming is moving to the next level

The critics were out in force for Amazon’s inaugural live football stream last week. However, growing interest in live streaming online and a renewed focus from video platform providers on scalability should deliver TV quality and TV scale in the not distant future.

Amazon, Yahoo deliver mostly satisfying experiences

Amazon’s first Thursday night football live stream did not go off without a hitch. Some struggled to join the Chicago versus Green Bay stream at the beginning of the game. Others had their viewing interrupted by buffering issues. Some viewers of the NFL game between Jacksonville and Baltimore streamed live by Yahoo on the previous Sunday reported similar problems.

However, the truth is that in both cases most people that watched the games online enjoyed them as the NFL intended. I watched both and completely forgot how the games were coming to me. So much so that I grew bored with the Jacksonville game and gasped at the foul on Davante Adams in the Green Bay game.

Not just sports driving live viewing

It is not just sports that are driving the growth of live streaming online. According to Freewheel, ad views during live streamed news grew 150% between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017. Ad completion rates were also unusually high, 96%, indicating that viewers are very engaged in the content they are viewing. Again, this is another strong indication that the quality and overall experience of watching live online news is meeting the expectations of viewers.

More live streaming providers coming

Expect the number of live streaming services to continue to increase. A 2016 survey of online video service providers and those planning to launch service within the next year found 44% said their service provided live events. 30% said they provided a mix of live and linear. Live was by far the largest class of video content provided, beating out on-demand content providers handily.

This sharp focus on live streaming by video providers speaks loudly to the state of live streaming technology. They are confident enough in the ability of the Internet to deliver that they are willing to bet their business on it.

Video platforms take on the problems of scale, quality

That said, there are still challenges in delivering live streaming video online. One major video platform provider freely admitted to me at IBC in September that the Internet cannot sustain Super Bowl-sized audiences today. Other live streaming issues need solutions as well. For example:

The action in live streams typically lags far behind the actual event (latency)
Two people watching the same live event online typically see the action occurring out-of-sync with each other
Video start-up time is frequently far longer than changing the channel on broadcast television.
In each case, however, I saw companies at IBC offering solutions to each of these problems. In other words, the Internet is doing what it has always done: as problems arise companies find solutions. I, for one, do not doubt that the Internet will deliver Super Bowl-sized audiences when the viewers demand it.

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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


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.


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.


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.

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Netflix CFO hints content spending could get more cautious

Netflix CFO David Wells said his company’s nearly unparalleled content spending could become more cautious, particular as competition increases for top content.

Speaking today at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Wells said Netflix could possibly become more budget constrained in the future, but as long the company is able to grow the top-line and operating margin, it will continue to invest in content.

As more competitors like Amazon, Apple and Facebook look ready to spend big money for top-tier content, Wells said the bidding for that content is getting higher. He said that you have to have confidence that you’re going to monetize it effectively—confidence he said Netflix gets from its subscribers totals—but he insisted that Netflix is still disciplined on price.

When bidding on content, Wells said Netflix considers the cost and compares it to how similar content has already performed in order to determine the efficiencies Netflix can expect.

“If there’s more competition for top-tier content, we may end up producing one less show,” Wells said.

Wells’ comments seemingly had a positive effect on Netflix stock, as shares rose nearly 2% while he was speaking.

Netflix, of course, has been one of the most aggressive companies in terms of spending on content. Its $6 billion content budget for 2017 puts its ahead of SVOD rivals like Amazon Prime Video and premium programmers like Time Warner’s HBO.

While Netflix continues to spend heavily on content, the threat of price increases for the services continues to loom. When asked directly about future price increases, Wells was careful to not specifically point to when prices would increase, but instead frame his answer around building more value into the platform.

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Smart TV users watch 36% less than streaming box users

Most TVs shipped in the US are smart and increasing numbers of consumers are connecting them and using them to stream video. However, will they catch up to, and overhaul, the market leading streaming media players?

Smart TVs the norm when purchasing a new set

Smart TVs are now the default choice for consumers when purchasing a new set. 70% of all televisions shipped in North America in 2016 were smart. A third of total smart TV sales have gone to Samsung, with Vizio close behind with 30%. The rest of the market is divvied up between multiple manufacturers. LG secures the third spot with 10%, Sony is next with 7%.

Smart TV and streaming media player benefiting from OTT growth

Streaming media player (SMP) and enabled smart TV penetration has grown strongly over the last four years. In Q1 2014 just 10% of TV homes had a smart TV and 15% had a streaming media player. In Q1 2017, smart TVs have narrowed the gap on SMPs as penetration has grown to 29% and 31% respectively.

Both devices growth reflects how video streaming has moved into the mainstream. Between Q1 2014 and Q1 2017, Netflix U.S. streaming subscribers have grown from 36 million to 52 million. Moreover, services like Netflix put a strong emphasis on the television as the primary viewing platform. This trend seems likely to accelerate as consumers continue to move traditional television viewing to online platforms.

So, will smart TVs continue to catch up to, and overtake, SMPs as the preferred device for online streaming? Maybe not looking at usage data.

Smart TV usage is mixed

When it comes to usage smart TVs come with a natural advantage. When the TV is turned on many smart TVs start from the devices web portal. Moreover, many smart TVs make content and app suggestions in the opening screen. These advantages impact how often an owner uses that functionality. According to Nielsen, enabled smart TVs were used on 20.8 days between December 26th, 2016 and January 29th, 2017. Game consoles were used 15.3 days and SMPs 14.9 days.

When it comes to raw viewing hours the smart TV is well behind other devices. For example, game consoles are used for 4.4 hours per day, though that usage is likely dominated by gameplay rather than video viewing. On the other hand, SMPs are used for 3.6 hours per day with most of that usage dedicated to streaming. Enabled smart TVs are used for 2.3 hours, over an hour less than devices like Roku and Apple TV.

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