Over-the-top services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix are slowly shifting into classic media models, writes Graeme Mcmillan. Partnerships with traditional pay-TV providers, the monetization of most streaming services and cross-platform bundles are all signs that these OTT services are evolving into frameworks akin to classic pay-TV models.
Starry has announced that it will be expanding its wireless service to new markets in New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee. The company says that its customer growth is climbing by 25% each month and that it is on track to reach around 2.5 million households by the end of this year.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish is spearheading changes at Nickelodeon in an effort to recapture audiences from competitors such as Netflix. In addition to focusing on digital content, the network is also hoping to lure in viewers with reboots of Nickelodeon classics including "Blue's Clues" and "Rugrats."
Mother's 90-second animated spot for Greenpeace tells the story of a young orangutan that is made homeless as its habitat is destroyed by deforestation due to the production of palm oil. The ad, narrated by Emma Thompson, employs virtual reality and 3D technology to bring drawings to life, and it is running across social and in theaters to encourage consumers to call for brands to stop rainforest destruction.
NBCUniversal is developing a free, over-the-top app that will prompt viewers to sample programming in exchange for points that can be redeemed for gift certificates and other perks, a source says. The WatchBack app will reportedly feature content from NBCU properties such as NBC, Bravo and USA, as well as outside programmers.
Comcast's Xfinity Mobile has kicked off a Samsung Note9 promotion that includes 0% APR for 24 months for the $999 smartphone; the monthly payment is $41.67. The promo also includes a $300 prepaid card, with devices in Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple to begin shipping Aug. 24.
With regulators requiring Disney to divest nearly two dozen Fox regional sports networks to gain approval for its planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, the regional broadcasting landscape could be in for significant changes. Sources report that major tech companies such as Amazon and YouTube, as well as buyout firms such as Blackstone Group, are among those interested in buying the networks.
Legislators in California have introduced a revised version of net neutrality bill SB822. The bill would ban internet service providers from blocking or throttling broadband traffic and would also prohibit some zero-rating.
Sumner Redstone's trust agreement includes a provision that the trust must maintain at least 30% stakes in Viacom and CBS, restricting sales of the companies, The Wall Street Journal reports. The provision was revealed in Delaware Chancery Court, where Redstone's National Amusements is battling CBS in a lawsuit.
Hulu's subscriber count rose in the second quarter, but its cash losses more than doubled during the period, reaching $357 million. With Disney set to gain majority control of the streaming platform, questions remain about how the entertainment company will establish a profitable model for the over-the-top service.