Hulu Plus over the past year has suffered from a high customer churn rate, Parks Associates has found. Netflix lost 4% of U.S. broadband homes, equivalent to about 9% of its subscribers, while Hulu Plus shed 7% of broadband homes, making up about 50% of its customers. "The high churn rate for many of these services suggests that consumers are holding onto their Netflix account while experimenting with the wide variety of other video subscription options," said Brett Sappington, Parks Associates' director of research.
Crown Media Family Networks has signed a sponsorship deal with Ford Motor Co. built around its Warriors in Pink breast cancer program. The agreement calls for Warriors in Pink to be integrated into the Season 3 conclusion of Hallmark Channel drama series "Cedar Cove"; the integration of Ford vehicles into the show; and "custom" Ford ads featuring certain "Cedar Cove" cast members in Warriors in Pink gear.
ESPN, despite speculation about its future following moves to cut pricy talent amid falling subscribers, is still likely "better positioned" than rivals for the changing TV landscape, Will Hobson writes. Among ESPN's advantages: It's the most popular cable network; sports rights are holding their value; and its budget cuts are small, relative to its overall outlays.
Some cable network groups have increased their ad time to offset falling ratings, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger has found. AMC Networks in the second quarter increased its ad loads by 10%, while Viacom's ad time was up 7% and A+E Networks' was up 5%, compared with the same period in 2014. Juenger said the increases were "unsustainable" and would "further [contribute] to the audience declines."
The stars were aligned with Jon Stewart's arrival as host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" meshing with the trajectory of cable news channels and world-changing political events, making him seem possibly "irreplaceable," Brian Lowry writes. "When [Johnny] Carson announced his retirement in 1991, Bob Hope was quoted as saying that it was 'sort of like a head falling off Mt. Rushmore,' " Lowry writes. "Stewart's leave-taking doesn't rise to that level, but as latenight-TV monuments go, odds are they're not going to be building many more that will rival this one."
Amazon Prime cares only about producing the best content and doesn't base its decision-making on trying to play catch-up with Netflix or mimicking TV networks, executives said. "None of us are up here trying to make anyone's third-favorite show," said Joe Lewis, Amazon's comedy chief. "Internally, we talk about the quality of the shows a hundred times more than we talk about the numbers."
Pandora has unveiled what it claims is the largest marketing effort in its almost decadelong history. The campaign spotlights Pandora's Music Genome Project, which helps shape personalized user listening. The push comes as Pandora faces increased competition from iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Music and other rivals.
Longtime Washington, D.C., radio host Donnie Simpson will be ending his more than five years of retirement to become an afternoon drive host on Radio One's WMMJ-FM. Simpson, who will reportedly start his new radio gig Aug. 17, also is said to be in talks to helm a music-themed show on Radio One's cable TV sibling, TV One.
Radio in the second quarter solidified its status as the nation's top national platform, Nielsen is reporting. Radio set a record for its national audience in a given week, with some 245 million listeners age 12 or older tuning in. Radio also set highs for its reach among African-Americans and Hispanic Americans. "As we are faced with an ever-expanding list of media options, radio maintains its place as a significant part of the listening experience," Nielsen writes.
As Univision prepares to go public, it is starting to slip from its perch as the top Hispanic TV destination, as both English- and Spanish-language rivals court younger viewers. One of the biggest issues for Univision is the assimilation of second- and third-generation Hispanics. "As viewers become younger and younger, maybe Spanish isn't their primary language," said SNL Kagan analyst Justin Neilson.