Yesterday Comcast made a smart move by converting its Xfinity Flex service to free for its broadband-only subscribers, eliminating the $5 per month charge that was in place since its launch this past March.
Colin and I discussed Flex on our podcast back then, and while we both liked its overall value, we found the $5 per month fee to be a head-scratcher. Paying the equivalent of $60 per year for a streaming device with 10K mostly older content titles seemed limiting as other companies were competing aggressively on price and streaming sticks could easily be bought for $30 or less.
NBCUniversal’s SVOD service will be known as “Peacock” and will launch in April with over 15,000 hours of content. As expected, classic shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” will be exclusively on Peacock, along with “30 Rock,” “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Will and Grace” and numerous others.
Peacock will be available both ad-supported and ad-free, though NBCUniversal didn’t announce any pricing just yet (Peacock will be included at no charge for Xfinity subscribers). SVOD pricing has been under pressure since Disney announced initial Disney+ pricing at $6.99/month, with Apple TV+ following at $4.99/month. HBOMax is likely to be at the high end around $14.99/month.
I’m pleased to present the 482nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
First up this week Colin and I assess the prospects for Apple TV+, now that we know the full details of pricing, promotion, devices and content. I really like how Apple TV+ is being bundled for free for a year for Apple device buyers as an easy on ramp to give the service a try. Colin agrees, but cautions that absent Android support, Apple TV+ remains mainly an effort to bolster the Apple ecosystem, not close to a full competitor to other SVOD services.
Colin then shares key data from TiVo’s latest Video Trends report, which finds the video market’s competition continuing to intensify. Free, ad-supported services like Pluto TV and Tubi are growing strongly, TV networks’ sites are slipping and surprisingly, virtual MVPDs appear to be losing some viewership.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 37 seconds)
Apple finally revealed details of its Apple TV+ SVOD service and by all accounts it looks poised to get off to a fast start when it launches on November 1st. Positives include 9 original shows from A-list talent, low pricing of $4.99 per month, 1 week trial period, ad-free viewing, binge-watching (albeit limited to 3 episodes per show to start), account sharing for 6 family members and downloading.
But the biggest tailwind Apple TV+ will enjoy is that it will be bundled for a free year for buyers of new or Apple-refurbished iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, Apple TVs and Macs who activate Apple TV+ within 3 months of their purchase. That means millions of viewers will become exposed to Apple TV+ at no cost, especially during the all-important holiday season. There is virtually no upfront friction since the Apple TV app is pre-installed on all these devices, including Macs running the latest macOS.
Topics: Apple TV