All those streaming services can add up to serious $$

All those streaming services can add up to serious $$

We continue to hear more and more about chord cutting as consumers increasingly to over the top and streaming vidoe services and they shift how, where and when they consume that content. Given the Content is King perspective that we have, it comes as little surprise to see that consumers are utilizing multiple platforms because they want the content they want – plain and simple.

While it’s one thing to have one or two streaming services, as companies like Apple and Disney/ESPN follow Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others  the content game,  it means consumers could very well see their montly content bill soon rival the monthly cable bill they were looking to avoid. If we game it out, it means either consumers will swallow and pay those bills or as we have seen with in other industries market share will consolidate around less than a handful of providors. In many ways this will be the same evolution the internet went through over the last decade plus, the only difference is it will be unfolding not on the PC but across all of our other connected devices.

No matter what type of media consumer you are, there’s a difference between paying $13.99 per month for Netflix and the thousands of dollars you will be paying per year when you add up all the streaming services you will probably want to subscribe to. And that doesn’t even include the $40 to $300+ per month you will have to spend on broadband access. Let’s have a look at the various ways you might spend your streaming media dollars.

Movies, TV, and Video Streaming Services … Oh, My!

The rise of video streaming services has given us a world of alternatives to traditional cable and satellite video providers. Whether you’re a cord-cutter (ditching cable in favor of streaming services), a cord never (someone who’s never paid a cable provider for monthly services), or a cord plus (someone who pays for cable plus services like Netflix or Hulu), you’re likely paying for at least some of these services:

  • Netflix – $13.99/month ($10.99/month without 4K)
  • Hulu – $11.99/month ($9.99/month with ads)
  • Amazon Prime Video – $13/month (includes free shipping on Amazon purchases)
  • CBS All-Access – $9.99/month ($5.99/month with ads)
  • HBO Now – $14.99/month
  • Showtime Anytime – $10.99/month
  • Starz Play – $8.99/month
  • YouTube Premium – $11.99/month

What started out as an inexpensive way to replace trips to Blockbuster (or to keep you from buying DVDs) has turned into a battleground for your eyes and your wallet. And if you’ve got TV FOMO? Forget about it. Almost every service offers at least some awesome original content. We are lucky to be living in the Platinum Age of video storytelling.

I paid $99 for the first year of CBS All-Access, just to watch Star Trek: Discovery. Is that a smart financial decision? No! Is it worth it? For me it is, because I am a die-hard Star Trek fan and Discovery is awesome!

What further complicates the issue is the ever-changing landscape of rights ownership. Want to binge Parks and Recreation? Better sign up for Netflix. Oh, it’s on Hulu now? Better pay for that, too. Sure, you could buy the complete series on DVD for less than $50, but are you really going to get up from the couch and walk over to the DVD player 21 times to swap out the discs?

Source: Streaming Sticker Shock – Shelly Palmer

Facebook’s Content is King effort Watch goes live… will you watch it? 

Facebook’s Content is King effort Watch goes live… will you watch it? 

 

We’ve seen a number of companies, like Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) look to position themselves within our Content is King investing theme. It’s a smart strategy as that proprietary content is a competitive moat that helps reduce customer churn. With Watch, Facebook (FB) is looking to push into streaming video and vie with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube as a home for longer-form video. And Facebook is hoping to grab a bigger chunk of money from advertisers’ TV budgets, by steering users toward content with more 15-second ad-break opportunities.

It’s worth noting that in addition to smartphones and desktops, Watch is available on several connected-TV platforms: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TV. We like the multi-platform approach, especially since Apple TV has yet to get Amazon’s Prime Video… perhaps we’ll hear more on that on Sept. 12 at Apple’s next big event?

Starting Thursday, Facebook’s Watch feature — essentially a programming guide to episodic shows hosted on the social platform — will become broadly available to users in the U.S., after a three-week limited beta run.

The Watch guide is stocked with several hundred shows, a mélange of scripted, reality, documentary and sports content of varying lengths from both traditional media companies and individual digital creators. (Here’s a select list of shows currently in Watch or coming soon.) The new Watch tab isn’t the only way to access the series: They’re also available through Facebook’s new “Show Pages,” which provide features specifically for episodic video content.

 

Source: Facebook Launches Watch Feature, Shows in U.S.: Will Viewers Tune In? | Variety

Tencent set to Stream 2017, 2018 and 2019 NFL games in China

Tencent set to Stream 2017, 2018 and 2019 NFL games in China

We’re not only seeing a blurring of our Content is King and Connected Society investing themes here in the U.S., we’re seeing in China as well in a deal between Tencent and the NFL. Live news and sports were two of the holdouts in streaming content, but with Google (GOOGL) adding streaming news to YouTube;  Amazon (AMZN), and Facebook (FB) streaming live sporting events this fall, and Disney (DIS) bringing a streaming ESPN service to market next year we think the TV broadcast only business is resembling the newspaper industry around 2001-2002.

 

Tencent is to become the exclusive live streaming partner in China for the National Football League’s American football games. The social media, games and streaming giant will air live and on-demand selected preseason games, all Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, as well as selected Sunday afternoon games, the playoffs, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. The deal also includes non-game NFL content.

NFL live games and content will be available through Tencent’s NFL sections on both mobile and desktop terminals including Tencent Sports, QQ.com, Tencent Video, Kuai Bao, Penguin Live, the Tencent Sports app, the Tencent Video app, the Tencent News app, as well as its social networking services, QQ and WeChat. At the end of June, the combined monthly active users of Tencent’s social communications platforms, Weixin and WeChat, was over 960 million.

Source: Tencent to Stream NFL in China | Variety

YouTube’s  ‘breaking news’ addition further complicates things for broadcast TV

 

Whether it’s on the go, at work or at home, streaming content continues to account for a growing portion of consumer content consumption. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and others are looking to join Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) in delivering proprietary content. On the flip side, Disney (DIS) is angling to bring its content directly to consumers rather than through Netflix or broadcast mechanisms.

We see these moves signaling more competition ahead that will force companies to up the ante. Already Amazon and Facebook are looking to bring live sporting events to consumers, and now Google’s YouTube is planning on adding a streaming news section for users to digest “Breaking News.”  This adds to its growing deployment of YouTube TV and raises more questions as to the speed of the demise of broadcasted content. As we see it, the intersection of our Connected Society and Content is King investing themes are poised to deliver more creative destruction that will radically alter the existing playing field much the way the internet skewered the newspaper industry.

YouTube has started rolling out a “Breaking News” section in people’s feeds today across platforms as Alphabet continues to tailor custom content playlists to users logged into Google Accounts, Android Police reports.For most, YouTube is a place to hop from one video to the next and descend down rabbit holes, but browsing anything like a feed has become less straightforward than other platforms, which makes the breaking news section an interesting addition.

As the video sharing site has grown older, the content has grown more produced with YouTube personalities mounting “celebrity” careers, while commentary-heavy videos grow in popularity over the raw video that is more common on Facebook and Twitter.For YouTube’s part this has grown to be a very valuable distinction.

While Facebook’s has seen its video views increase heavily by way of quick-and-dirty videos, YouTube seems to be somewhere where people invest major time browsing, even if there seems to be just as much noise. In June, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that the site had 1.5 billion watching an hour of video each on mobile alone.

Source: YouTube starts delivering ‘breaking news’ on its homepage across platforms – TechCrunch

An NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ Games Win Cements Amazon’s Content Plans

An NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ Games Win Cements Amazon’s Content Plans

If there is one company that blurs the lines across several of our investment themes and their tailwinds it is Amazon (AMZN). From the accelerating shift to digital commerce and cloud that is a part of our Connected Society investing theme to Cashless Consumption and increasingly our Content is King investing themes, Amazon continues to make strides as it expands the scale and scope of its Prime offering.  The latest includes beating out Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube to stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football. We’ll see how many viewers stream these games across Amazon’s Prime Video footprint across its various TV, tablet and smartphone apps, but in our view, this goes a long way to cementing Amazon’s position in content.  

 The only thing better than one thematic tailwind pushing on a company’s business is two… so you can imagine how powerful three of them must be! Our only question is how long until Amazon expands into our Guilty Pleasure investing theme?

The NFL has a new streaming host for part of its Thursday Night Football package.Amazon will stream the 10 games broadcast by NBC and CBS next season as part of a one-year, $50 million deal, according to The Wall Street Journal and The Sports Business Journal.

The games will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers, per The Sports Business Journal.

Amazon beat out Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for the rights, according to the report. Twitter paid $10 million last season to provide live streaming services for the same number of games.

Link to Story: Reports: Amazon lands $50M deal to stream NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ games

 

Details of this story are featured on this week’s Cocktail Investing podcast. Click below to listen: