Akamai - leaderboard - 6-5-17

Analysis for 'Skinny Bundles'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #372: Weekly Wrap-up: Viacom’s Skinny Bundle, Facebook TV, Amazon Channels Goes International, Snapchat Shows Gain

    I’m pleased to present the 372nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we discuss 4 stories that caught our attention in recent days. First, Viacom’s plan to anchor an entertainment-only skinny bundle without sports or news networks. Colin and I are intrigued, but for a variety of reasons are skeptical Viacom is the right company to lead this.

    Next we turn to Facebook, which has made no secret of its interest in pursuing longer-form video. This week brought news of its initial partnerships and potential business models.

    We then discuss Amazon Channels expansion into the UK and Germany this week, building on the US model for Prime users to easily subscribe to various SVOD services. Both of us have been very bullish on Channels for a while and see lots of potential for it in other geographies.

    Finally we dig into Snapchat Shows, the fast-growing social network’s plan to enlist multiple media companies to make vertical videos. Variety did a really good roundup of all the activity earlier this week, which suggests substantial progress.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 48 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-5-17
  • Why An Amazon Skinny Bundle Seems All But Inevitable

    Although there are already 5 major skinny bundles in the market - DirecTV Now, Hulu With Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and YouTube TV - it seems all but inevitable that a 6th will emerge, from Amazon, which could be the most disruptive one yet. While I continue to be skeptical about how big the market for skinny bundles currently is, Amazon has a number of unique attributes that could both enlarge the potential audience and change the current competitive dynamics.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-5-17
  • Broadcast TV’s Role in Skinny Bundles Bolstered by Networks’ Affiliate Deals

    I’ve been a skeptic of skinny bundles, partially because of the huge holes in their channel lineups (what I’ve dubbed the “Swiss cheese” problem) which I believe narrows their appeal. The most glaring hole has been the absence of all the broadcast TV networks except in a handful of the biggest metropolitan areas. Not having all the broadcast networks is a serious drawback because even in the fragmented cable era, they still draw the biggest audiences outside of sports.

    But there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic that this problem may soon be solved. Three of the four big broadcast networks have announced agreements with their affiliate boards which essentially allow the networks to negotiate carriage in skinny bundles on their behalf. NBC was the first to announce its deal, on April 13th. That was followed by Disney ABC on April 24th. And then yesterday, CBS announced its own deal. While FOX hasn’t announced a deal, it has added more affiliates to DirecTV Now, which is a positive sign of progress.

    continue reading

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #369: First Impressions of Hulu With Live TV

    I’m pleased to present the 369th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First, we’d like to thank this week’s podcast sponsor Brightcove,  which has their annual PLAY conference coming up in Boston the week of May 22nd. It’s a great show with lots of valuable sessions. I’ll be interviewing Stacey Shepatin, EVP, Director of National Video Investments at Trillia / Hill Holliday in a spotlight session focusing on the changing world of premium video ad buying. Learn more here and note, the first 50 visitors receive a Brightcove PLAY t-shirt!

    Earlier this week, Hulu With Live TV launched in beta, a year after initial reports about it surfaced. On today’s podcast we discuss some of the pros and cons of Hulu With Live TV and how it compares in the ultra-crowded skinny bundle market. Colin was also able to take Hulu With Live TV for a quick spin and shares his initial impressions of the service, particularly how it stacks up against DirecTV Now, which he’s been using for a while.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 55 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • Hulu Officially Enters Crowded Skinny Bundle Fray

    As expected, Hulu announced its skinny bundle offering today at its NewFront/Upfront presentation. Dubbed “Hulu With Live TV,” and priced at $39.99 per month, the service includes 50+ live and on-demand channels, 50 hours of DVR recording, 2 concurrent streams and 6 profiles.  

    Hulu With Live TV is the latest skinny bundle to come to market, joining Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and others rumored still to come from Comcast, Verizon, etc. All of these skinny bundles are vying for a slice of the approximately 15-20 million broadband-only homes in the U.S. (and growing). And though they won’t say it, they’re also looking to draw some of the approximately 95 million existing pay-TV subscribers who are questioning the value of their expensive multichannel bundle as their viewership moves to SVOD services like Netflix, Amazon and others.

    continue reading

     
  • VertaMedia - full banner - 4-3-17
  • Research: 22% of U.S. Broadband Homes Don’t Have Pay-TV, Double Vs. 2011

    As of year-end 2016, 22% of the 100 million U.S. homes that subscribe to broadband did not also subscribe to a pay-TV service. That’s up from 9% of the 85 million U.S. homes that subscribed to broadband but did not also subscribe to a pay-TV service in 2011. Over the course of 2016 alone, the rate of broadband homes subscribing to pay-TV declined from 82% to 78%, resulting in 22 million broadband homes without pay-TV at the end of last year, compared with 8 million in 2011.

    The data comes from a new report from The Diffusion Group, “Life Without Legacy Pay-TV: A Profile of U.S. Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers” that has just been published.

    continue reading on VideoNuze iQ

     
  • Beachfront - full banner - 3-26-17
  • Is There Any Rhyme or Reason for Which TV Networks are Included in Skinny Bundles?

    Here’s a Monday morning brain teaser to consider: is there any rhyme or reason for which TV networks are being included in skinny bundles like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and soon Hulu? If there is, it’s hard to discern what it is. In fact, the composition of skinny bundles is getting more puzzling all the time.

    For instance, last Friday, Hulu announced that it had reached a distribution deal with A+E Networks for its forthcoming skinny bundle. The deal followed previously announced ones with Hulu’s corporate parents Fox, Disney and Turner, plus CBS. But just a couple weeks ago, when YouTube TV was announced, it didn’t include A+E Networks (nor Turner, Viacom, Discovery, AMC or Scripps), though it did include CBS, Disney, Fox and NBCU.

    continue reading

     
  • Beachfront - full banner - 3-26-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #360: YouTube TV’s Pros and Cons

    I’m pleased to present the 360th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Earlier this week, YouTube took the wraps off its skinny bundle, YouTube TV. In today’s podcast, Colin and I explore the pros and cons of YouTube TV and also revisit our debate over skinny bundles’ value proposition. We’re both somewhat skeptical about YouTube TV, given the sheer number of popular cable TV networks missing from its lineup. But with YouTube’s massive user base and promotional opportunity, we both believe YouTube TV will attract an audience.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 51 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • Handicapping YouTube TV’s Odds of Success

    Another day, another skinny bundle launch. Yesterday, YouTube took the wraps off its long-rumored skinny bundle, dubbed YouTube TV, which will debut in unspecified select markets in the coming months. YouTube TV has all the usual skinny bundle characteristics - low price ($35/month), many broadcast and cable TV networks included, but many missing as well (e.g. Viacom, Discovery, AMC, Turner, Scripps, A+E, etc.), and some updated web-like features (unlimited cloud DVR, recommendations powered by Google, UI that integrates YouTube content, etc.).

    Fundamentally, YouTube TV’s value proposition to its target market of millennial viewers is the same as other skinny bundles: for a lower monthly price than a typical pay-TV multichannel bundle, you’ll still get access to a lot of great TV, available on all devices.

    continue reading

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #354: Interview with Sling TV’s Chief Product Officer Ben Weinberger

    I’m pleased to present the 354th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week Colin and I interview Sling TV’s chief product officer Ben Weinberger. We’ve known Ben for many years from when he was CEO and founder of Digitalsmiths, which was acquired by TiVo.

    As loyal listeners know, we’ve discussed “skinny bundles” like Sling TV many times on the podcast and so the interview was a great opportunity to get Ben’s views on the category in general and how Sling TV specifically is doing. We discussed many different topics, including the role of broadcast TV networks and antennas, sports and regional sports networks, how subscribers use the service on different devices, how Sling TV fits with SVOD services and much more.

    Importantly, Ben talks a lot about Sling TV’s value propositions including offering more choices and flexible packages. We wrap up with Ben sharing his views on where the market is heading over the next few years.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (33 minutes, 15 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Beachfront - full banner - 3-26-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #349: DirecTV Now Has Potential and Limitations

    I'm pleased to present the 349th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    DirecTV Now, the latest skinny bundle to launch, was unveiled on Monday. In this week’s podcast, Colin and I provide our initial assessment. Given AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s bold reveal a few weeks ago that it would include over a 100 channels for just $35/month, there’s been a lot of anticipation that DirecTV Now could be a genuine industry disruptor.

    Well, it turns out the 100+ channels are actually available at $60/month (the “Go Big” tier), though temporarily on special for $35/month. However, the base tier (“Live a Little”), which includes 60+ channels, turns out to be pretty decent itself, especially with a very aggressive $5/month HBO offer. What’s gained by moving up to Go Big for an extra $25 is actually not that impressive.

    Still, as we discuss, with no DVR, limited VOD, scarce broadcast TV (and no CBS at all) and a 2-stream cap, DirecTV Now feels like a niche product. At least for now, that means it will have little impact on incumbent pay-TV operators, tamping down concerns it could roil the industry. Skinny bundles still have lots of challenges, though 2017 is going to be an active year, especially with Hulu and YouTube coming, so it will be worth keeping a close eye on whole category.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 43 seconds)


    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Beachfront - full banner - 3-26-17
  • Cord-Cutting Remained Modest in Q3, But Potentially Turbulent 2017 Looms

    According to industry data compiled by Leichtman Research Group, cord-cutting remained relatively modest in Q3 ’16, with the top 11 pay-TV operators, which account for approximately 95% of the market, losing 255K subscribers vs. 210K lost in Q3 ’15. As has been the trend in recent quarters, cable operators performed better than satellite and telco operators, which are disprorportionately bearing the brunt of the overall market’s slow, but ongoing, contraction.

    continue reading

     
  • VertaMedia - full banner - 4-3-17
  • Hulu Gets Fox and Disney Networks, But Live Broadcasts are a Challenge as World Series Shows

    Hulu announced yesterday that it has struck deals with 21st Century Fox and Disney for access to over 35 different TV networks for Hulu’s skinny bundle, slated to launch in early 2017. The agreements are no surprise given Fox and Disney are Hulu’s two primary investors, along with Comcast (which has a back seat role per restrictions related to its NBCU acquisition) and Time Warner, which recently took a 10% stake in Hulu.

    But the devil is in the details, because when it comes to Hulu’s ability to include live broadcast feeds in its skinny bundle, the Fox and Disney deals only get it a small part of the way. Fox owns 17 stations around the country and Disney owns just 8. Since there are 210 DMAs in the U.S. that means Hulu needs to strike agreements with lots of different local station owners to enable a standardized nationwide skinny bundle offer including local broadcast feeds.

    continue reading

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #344: A Busy Week in the Video Industry

    I'm pleased to present the 344th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week was busier than usual in the video industry and on today’s podcast, Colin and I discuss a number of news items that hit our radar. First we talk about the new Google-CBS deal for the upcoming Unplugged skinny bundle. Next up is VUDU’s Movies on Us, new free, ad-supported VOD service which we both think has potential. We then dig into Facebook’s new feature for advance scheduling and promoting live broadcasts. Finally we review LeEco’s new content and TVs (Colin attended the company’s big launch event this week.)

    Clearly there was a lot happening this week as major players in the video industry continue jockeying for position. One news item that broke after we recorded is the rumor about AT&T acquiring Time Warner. That type of deal would be straight out of the Comcast-NBCU playbook and could trigger even more distribution-content tie-ups.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (26 minutes, 17 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • IBM Cloud Video - full banner - 4-24-17
  • Google, VUDU and LeEco: 3 More Potential Video Disruptions Coming?

    Each week brings more innovation, product announcements and new business models to the ever-changing video industry. This week was certainly no different, and news from 3 companies - Google (a deal with CBS for its Unplugged skinny bundle), VUDU (a new ad-supported on-demand movie offering) and LeEco (a range of new products from the Chinese giant, including TVs and content) - caught my attention. Each has the potential to cause further industry disruption, or amount to nothing. Below I share thoughts on each.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-5-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #339: Turner Moves Toward Direct-to-Consumer; Tough Realities for Skinny Bundles

    I'm pleased to present the 339th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week we discuss Time Warner’s investment earlier this week in You.i TV, a video app development platform. Colin notes that the acquisition furthers Turner’s strategy of owning its own technology and going direct-to-consumer. From my standpoint, You.i TV is critical in streamlining Turner’s app development across multiple connected devices, where viewing is migrating.

    We then transition to talking about skinny bundle research from Altman Vilandrie & Co., which I wrote about yesterday. The data confirmed my skepticism about how difficult it will be for skinny bundle providers to offer sufficiently comprehensive channel lineups while still enticing subscribers with cost savings. We dig into some of the most salient data points.

    (apologies, the recording quality was a little sub-par this week)

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 16 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • VertaMedia - full banner - 4-3-17
  • New Research Highlights Major Challenges Skinny Bundles Face

    New research from consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company highlights the major challenges that current and pending “skinny bundles” face. Skinny bundles - which are scaled down, customized and less expensive groups of TV networks - have become a hot industry topic, and are perceived as valuable in pulling cord-cutters and cord-nevers back into the pay-TV ecosystem.

    But AV&Co.’s 7th annual consumer video survey, which is the most extensive research that I’ve seen yet into the prospects for skinny bundles, paints a picture of how narrow the opportunity may in fact be. VideoNuze readers know that I’ve been very skeptical of skinny bundles, whether from Sling TV, PlayStation Vue or soon Hulu and DirecTV Now. The AV&Co. research largely confirms my concerns (see here and here).

    continue reading on VideoNuze iQ

     
  • Beachfront - full banner - 3-26-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #334: Debating Whether Hulu’s Skinny Bundle Makes Sense (Part 2)

    I'm pleased to present the 334th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    In this week’s podcast, Colin and continue the debate we began back in early May (see here) about whether Hulu’s “skinny bundle” makes sense. We took up the debate again because earlier this week Time Warner announced that it was acquiring a 10% interest in Hulu and that its ad-supported cable networks would be included in the skinny bundle.

    As I wrote on Wednesday, the deal seems to muddy Hulu’s skinny bundle proposition further. With all of the TW networks included, Hulu’s cost of programming also rises, in turn driving up the skinny bundle’s retail price. If the bundle ends up starting at $40, $50 or $60 per month, it won’t be able to create meaningful cost savings vs. pay-TV. Even with TW’s networks, there’s still the “Swiss cheese” risk inherent to all skinny bundles - not offering enough breadth to satisfy a family. If all that isn’t enough, Hulu will be competing with its best customers, a very risky approach.

    Colin disagrees and thinks this is a big opportunity for networks to take more control of their destiny. Colin argues that given all the uncertainty of the video market, being able to experiment and get actionable insights from viewer data is valuable. In short, he only sees upside opportunity.

    It’s a great debate and we’re both very eager to see how the Hulu skinny bundle will actually look when it’s introduced.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 2 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • VertaMedia - full banner - 4-3-17
  • With Time Warner’s Hulu Investment, Cable Networks Take Another Step Toward Disrupting Themselves

    After months of rumors, Time Warner officially announced this morning that it was taking a 10% ownership interest in Hulu for approximately $580 million. Time Warner also announced that its ad-supported cable networks (TNT, TBS, CNN, etc.) will become part of Hulu’s “skinny bundle” set for launch early next year.

    With Time Warner joining Disney and Fox in owning and guiding Hulu (along with Comcast, which is a silent partner), these 3 big cable and broadcast TV networks owners are taking the extraordinary risk of disrupting pay-TV, the very business model that has worked so well for them for decades.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-5-17
  • VideoNuze Podcast #321: Debating Whether Hulu’s Skinny Bundle Makes Sense

    I'm pleased to present the 321st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Hulu was in the news in a big way this week, confirming a WSJ report that it plans to launch a skinny bundle next year. As I wrote on Monday, the move raises numerous questions, which Colin and I debate on this week’s podcast.

    Absent more information, I’m still somewhat skeptical. It feels very risky to me for Disney and Fox to convert Hulu into a pay-TV competitor. It’s also not clear that the economics of a direct subscriber relationship are superior to the steady flow of monthly retransmission consent and affiliate fees. Finally, I wonder about how big the addressable market is and how appealing the Hulu skinny bundle actually will be, particularly from an all-in cost perspective.

    Colin, on the other hand, is much more optimistic. He doesn’t believe there’s much risk, thinks the economics are better going direct and believes the service can be very appealing. So clearly we’re coming at this from very different angles.

    Listen now to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 40 seconds)


    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today! (note the link has been updated)

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-5-17
« Previous | Next »

Sample