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AT&Ts low-cost TV streaming service WatchTV goes live

Charmaine Blake

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AT&T’s newly announced WatchTV, a low-cost live TV streaming service announced in the wake of the AT&T / Time Warner merger, is now up and running. The company already has one over-the-top streaming service with DirecTV Now, but this one is cheaper, has some restrictions and doesn’t include local channels or sports (to keep costs down).

At $15 per month, the service undercuts the existing low-cost leader Philo by a dollar, but offers a different lineup (Fomopop has a nice channel-by-channel comparison between the two, if you’re in the market).

Both have 25 of the same channels in their packages, including A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Food Network, Discovery, HGTV, History and others, but AT&T WatchTV is missing MTV, Nickelodeon and Travel Channel.

In total, WatchTV has more than 30 live TV channels, plus 15,000+ TV  shows and movies on demand, and allows you to subscribe by way of updated AT&T Wireless plans. Non-AT&T customers can subscribe for $15 per month directly.

AT&T has been monkeying around with its wireless plans to best take advantage of its Time Warner acquisition. With the new unlimited plans, it removed the previously free HBO perk and raised the entry-level plan by $5 per month, Ars Technica reported, detailing the changes that coincided with the launch of WatchTV. (Existing customers were grandfathered in to free HBO.)

Instead, wireless customers on the top-tier AT&T Unlimited & More Premium plan can choose to add on another option — like HBO — for free. Other services they can opt for instead include Showtime, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium and VRV.

The company also quietly raised its “administrative fee” for postpaid wireless customers from $0.76 to $1.99 per month, Ars noted as well, citing BTIG Research. This will bring in $800 million of incremental service revenue per year, the analyst firm said.

Despite the price hikes and valid concerns over AT&T’s behavior, there’s likely going to be a market for this low-cost live TV service. The company’s DirecTV Now streaming service, launched in December 2016, reached 1.46 million subscribers in April. It’s catching up to longtime leader, Dish’s Sling TV, which debuted at……”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/29/atts-low-cost-tv-streaming-service-watch-tv-goes-live/

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New Movie Tech

Roku on track for $1 billion in revenue in 2019

Charmaine Blake

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“Roku plans to be a billion-dollar company in 2019, the company said on Thursday as part of its announcement of strong earnings. The company beat analyst estimates and reported strong growth in active users and streaming hours with earnings of $0.05 per share, compared with the $0.03 analysts had estimated, and revenues of $276 million, compared with the expected $262 million.

Roku also reported 40 percent year-over-year active user growth, with 27.1 million active users by year-end, and a 69 percent year-over-year increase in streaming hours, which reached 7.3 billion.

The company said it plans this year to invest in international expansion, its ad-supported service The Roku Channel, advertising and its Roku TV platform.

While cord cutting is driving some of Roku’s growth, only around half of Roku’s customers fit this description, CEO Anthony Wood pointed out. The other half are more like “cord shavers” — those who are still pay TV subscribers, but are shifting more of their TV viewing to streaming services.

Roku’s ability to also attract pay TV customers combined with the fact that one in four smart TVs sold in the U.S. now runs its software is helping the company’s market share grow.

Roku estimates that one in five U.S. TV households now uses the Roku platform for at least a portion of their TV viewing. In the year ahead, Roku aims to better capitalize on its traction by increasing the monetization per user and scaling the number of households using Roku………………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/22/roku-on-track-for-1-billion-in-revenue-in-2019/

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Netflix has the best movie selection, study shows

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“If you can only afford one streaming service, maybe this study will help you decide.

Based on the Rotten Tomato scores of all movies available on each of the big streaming services, it looks like Netflix has the best selection of movies, according to a study from Streaming Observer.

Compared to Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now, Netflix has the most movies that are “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, which means they have a steady score of 75% or higher and have been reviewed by a significant amount of critics and Rotten Tomatoes users. Of Netflix’s 3,839 movies, more than 15% are certified fresh.

Hulu has the closest number of movies at 2,336 but only 9.6% are certified fresh. HBO Now with 815 movies is sitting at 4.7% certified fresh. Amazon Prime has the most options at 17,461 but quantity does not equal quality for the online retail giant because only 1.3% of its movies are certified fresh.

All this basically comes down to the fact that Netflix has more higher quality movies than anyone else — 596, to be exact, which is roughly 360 more than both Hulu and Amazon Prime.

The data used by Streaming Observer is from Jan. 20, so it’s always possible that this could change. Movies are coming and going from streaming services all the time, and when new streaming services like Disney’s anticipated service come along, it’ll be quite a disruption for these sites.

Plus, this is all subjective and doesn’t take television shows into account. It’s really all about what you’re interested in watching. Not everyone wants to watch the best movies all the time. Sometimes you just want to watch King of the Hill, and you can only get that on Hulu.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/netflix-best-movies/

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Hulu drops price after Netflix raises rates

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Hulu isn’t done taunting Netflix just yet.

Image: Chesnot/Getty Images

Just as Netflix’s prices go up, Hulu’s are going down.

“Hulu has announced today that its reducing the price of its ad-supported subscription plan to $5.99 per month. The current price for Hulu’s lowest-tiered plan is $7.99 per month.. The company’s “no ads” plan will remain priced at $11.99 per month.

This move comes just a week after the streaming service’s biggest competitor, Netflix, unveiled its largest price increase ever. The price of Netflix’s most popular plan is now $13 per month.

However, the move to undercut Netflix’s prices isn’t the first time Hulu’s taken a swipe at its competitor this month. Last week, amid Netflix’s big promotion for the upcoming release of its anticipated Fyre Festival documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Hulu dropped a surprise. It released its own Fyre Festival documentary, Fyre Fraud, before Netflix’s film.

In its pricing announcement, Hulu also unveiled a price increase for its Hulu + Live TV plan. That plan will be going from $39.99 to $44.99 per month.

Hulu Live TV brings channels like……………………………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/hulu-price-drop-599/

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