A proposed new Apple service that resurfaces a dicey issue about Comcast’s online TV business just when the company is about to face new merger conditions? That’s some funny timing.
Sony wants to launch its own online TV service with a cloud DVR and live TV feeds. The service will scheduled to go into testing in the U.S. later this year.
When soap operas “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” moved online, it wasn’t clear how fans would watch them. It turns out that most viewers are binge-watching — so the soaps’ production company is cutting back on the number of new episodes each week.
Nielsen is rolling out a pilot product that lets TV networks track viewing of shows on their websites. The tool doesn’t yet account for viewing on mobile devices, and the pilot doesn’t include viewing on sites like Hulu and YouTube.
Two years after ABC canceled them, soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children are coming back to life online, with four new 30-minute episodes per week available on Hulu and iTunes. But soap fans who are not used to online viewing may not tune in.
NimbleTV, a New York start-up, is looking to make good on the promise of TV Everywhere by offering an online TV platform that allows a customer of a paid TV subscription plan to get their content streamed to them wherever they are.
The promise of cord-cutting may get a lot brighter with the introduction of Aereo, a new TV broadcast service backed by IAC that enables mobile devices, set-top boxes, TVs and PCs to receive local broadcast programming over the Internet.
The search for a Hulu buyer continues, as it’s being pitched to a wide range of media and technology companies. While much of the press has been focused on the possibility of a tech giant buying Hulu, an acquisition by Verizon might be its best bet.
Cord cutters or those who want to watch American Idol in real-time or some of their home sporting events on their connected devices will soon have a new option thanks to Bamboom, a startup that said it raised $4.5 million today in seed capital.
While watching Hulu and other premium online content on your big screen TV isn’t a threat to cable companies right now (TV watching is at an all time high, and getting high-quality content from PC to TV isn’t that easy yet), Comcast (s CMSCA) can see the writing on the wall, so last week it mobilized its own online video initiative to provide its customers with a way to watch premium TV programming online as part of a cable subscription. Comcast says this extension will be free (though there could be some pay-per-view elements). But according to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), people will pony up for such a service.
TDG writes (emphasis theirs):
[A]pproximately 43% of consumers are to varying degrees interested in such a TV-to-PC service. Here’s the best part: they’ll pay extra for this privilege. In other words, they do not view a TV-to-PC video service as something they are entitled to due to the fact they are a Pay TV subscriber. … [T]o enjoy their TV content on their desktop and laptop PCs:
• 48% of those interested would spend as much as $10 per month above their current
Pay TV fees;
• 12% would spend as much as $15 per month; and
• 7% would spend $20 or more per month.
TDG does some math and figures that Comcast could wind up with an extra $522 million in revenue each year by charging $10 a month. But that is contingent upon people paying — and customers not canceling another part of their service. People have gotten used to a free premium content online right now; I’m not sure how much more they’ll spend for ad-supported video. Plus, spending ten bucks a month for access to content stored online could negate my need for a DVR, for instance, or another cable box in the house.
Is there a price point sweet spot for you? If so, what is it? Would you drop other services?