Streaming Wars


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Streaming Media wars heat up: Netflix, Stan, HeyU; Sports Streamers - WWE Network, FITE TV, New Japan World, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN +, Paramount Network, Global Wrestling Network et al. Opportunities, threats and unknown

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Streaming News

Tubi Makes Late Play To Be 'Streamer Of The Year'

Fox’s advertising supported streamer Tubi @tubi strikes deal with Warner Bros. Discovery to stream DC movies including “The Batman,” “Suicide Squad,” “Black Adam,” “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman,” in addition to as superhero themed series “Batwoman,” “Gotham” and “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”

The news comes at a not so great time for other streaming firms such as Netflix and don't even start us on embattled Disney, who parents and their offspring have been tuning out of in droves.

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” “Green Lantern” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” will also hit Tubi’s on-demand lineup in 2024.

Available as of Tuesday are “Batman,” “Batman Returns” and “Batman Forever,” as well as “Superman: The Movie” and “Superman II,” and TV series “Batwoman,” “Gotham” and “Krypton.”

Pro wrestling living legend John Cena of WWE and 'Peacemaker' fame is keen to do some more work and collaborations with DC into the new year now that that apparent communications "ban" between him and DC powers that be is no longer. What a business hey, hence showbiz! Hollywood er Hollyweird, never mind.

More Streaming News

FITE (soon to be Triller) is our 'Sports Streamer Of The Year', and BINGE wins 'Streaming Service Of The Year' (Australian region)

Sources: Variety, Wires, New Corp, Advanced Television, Digital TV Europe, Wikipedia and last but not least, X.

 

 


The Streaming Wars


The rise of FAST services
As streaming services continue to raise subscription prices, customers have attempted to find ways to cut costs—including free. According to a Hub Entertainment Research study, more than half (55%) of consumers said they use at least one free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, such as Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, Amazon’s Freevee, or the free version of Peacock. Perhaps there’s no greater example of the service’s success this year than Freevee’s Jury Duty, which quickly became a word-of-month hit, catapulting it to the top of U.S. streaming charts. Earlier this year, Tubi announced it was beefing up original programming in its catalog to lure new subscribers.

The great rebundling
In the spring, Warner Bros. Discovery unveiled Max, the result of HBO Max merging with Discovery+, to broaden the appeal of the new flagship streaming platform, while Paramount debuted Paramount+ with Showtime to domestic audiences shortly after. Meanwhile, more streaming bundles began rolling out this year: Disney—which already offered a bundle with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+—launched a one-app experience, offering Hulu and Disney+ programming in the same space. Recently, Apple and Paramount were reportedly in talks to bundle their streaming services at a discount, while Verizon announced it would offer a $10 bundle for the ad-supported subscription plans of Netflix and Max streaming services. An AlixPartners study found that about 70% of new streaming subscribers will get their subscriptions from streaming bundles, or with plans that combine a streaming subscription with cable TV, broadband, or wireless plans, as opposed to stand-alone streaming services.

A big bet on sports
According to one study, 29% of viewers are watching sports on streaming services like Prime Video. At the end of last year, YouTube TV acquired the NFL’s Sunday Ticket for reportedly $2 billion, beating out Disney, Amazon, and Apple for the package. The deal allows subscribers to watch the Sunday Ticket as an add-on for YouTubeTV, or as a stand-alone purchase on YouTube Primetime Channels. Last year, Prime Video began live streaming Thursday Night Football games, which saw viewership go up 25% this season. Netflix announced last week it will livestream a tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the spring, while Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed last month that the company will launch a stand-alone streaming app of ESPN in 2025.

Studios uploading entire TV shows and films on social media
Pirating content online isn’t anything new, but Gen Z has been turning to social media to watch full episodes and movies for free. On TikTok, a quick search shows that the platform is overrun with episodes and parts of full movies uploaded by users, while an uploaded version of The Super Mario Bros. Movie was viewed by 9 million people on Twitter before it was taken down. To meet users where they are, Peacock experimented with releasing programming on social media and uploaded the pilot episode of its comedy series Killing It on TikTok in five parts, which according to a Peacock spokesperson, garnered 7 million views. A month later, on October 3 (aka Mean Girls Day), Paramount uploaded the entirety of Mean Girls on TikTok. A study found that nearly a quarter (23%) of TikTok users are more likely to discover entertainment content on social and video platforms versus other platforms.

Reruns are back in (again)
This isn’t exactly a new trend, but it’s one that’s been building as more consumers become cord-cutters. Unsurprisingly, popular classic shows with massive fan bases like The Office, Friends, Seinfeld, and Breaking Bad continue to find success on streaming services. Some other recent examples include Nickelodeon’s 2005 animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender debuting on Netflix, making it one of the most-watched children’s shows during the pandemic, while the CW’s Riverdale and All-American have trended on Netflix when it was made available on the platform. This year’s biggest example was USA Network’s Suits, which gained newfound popularity after being licensed on Netflix, pushing it to the No. 1 spot on U.S. streaming charts. If the success of Suits proves anything, it’s that licensing might be the way to go if networks want to generate interest in (and get paid for) some of their older programming.

That movie you didn’t watch might grab your attention as a 3-part limited series instead
When BlackBerry came out in theaters this spring, it was met with much critical acclaim for its acting and storytelling, and earned $2.9 million at the global box office. In October, IFC Films released the 121-minute-long film as a three-part limited series with 16 minutes of unseen footage. “I look at this as a way for a smaller, independent piece of work to double-dip and find its audience,” director Matt Johnson told Variety when asked about the decision to recut the film. Last month, Hulu premiered Faraway Downs, a six-episode series, which is an reedited version of Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 film, Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. While the original film has a running time of nearly three hours, the series adds an extra hour of new footage, with some plot changes. While Australia received mixed reviews when it premiered, Luhrmann told the Daily Beast that he wanted to revisit the film, and leaned on episodic storytelling to present the story in a different way, in hopes of giving it a second chance with some viewers.

 

 

 

 

Subscribers abandon Netflix as cost of living bites

The streaming service’s crackdown on password sharing caused quite a stir and doesn’t appear to have worked.

 

The crackdown by Netflix on password sharing to boost subscriber numbers appears to have backfired, as new figures show subscribers fell for the first time since its launch in Australia in 2015.

Research firm Telsyte’s annual industry survey revealed that the number of Netflix subscribers had plunged three per cent to 6.1 million over the past year.

That means around 189,000 Aussies have ditched the service in the last 12 months.

In May, Netflix announced the sharing change, meaning families or friends in different locations could no longer watch Netflix using the same account.

Instead it added a new payment plan option allowing users to add an ‘extra member’ to standard or premium plans for an additional $7.99 a month.

It prompted backlash from outraged customers on social media threatening to cancel their accounts.

Utilities writer and streaming broadband expert at Finder, Mark Neilsen, told news.com.au that by cracking down on password sharing, Netflix was trying to increase subscribers numbers, a move that has evidently failed.

Mr Neilsen said that cost of living pressures were the biggest reason people were dropping streaming subscriptions.

“Our August survey found that 27 per cent of people had unsubscribed from a streaming service and of those, 44 per cent had done so to save money,” he said.

But despite the fall, Netflix remains the most popular streaming service in Australia.

Paramount+ recorded the biggest rise in subscribers numbers over the past year, up 41 per cent to 1.5 million. It was followed by Foxtel’s Binge, up 22 per cent to 1.5 million.

Amazon Prime Video increased subscribers by nine per cent in the past year to 4.5 million and Kayo Sports by eight per cent to 1.4 million, while Disney+ increased its subscribers by one per cent to 3.1 million, and Stan grew two per cent to 2.6 million.

The figures include people currently on free trials, although they may soon become a thing of the past.

The CEO of Nine Entertainment, which owns Stan, Mike Sneesby told The Australian Financial Review that free trials no longer make sense, and flagged that Stan may look to end them.

Disney+ and Kayo have also moved to scrap free trials, with the Kayo change to take effect from late September.

Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, released last month, found that the average Aussie has two streaming services while 69 per cent of us subscribe to at least one streaming service.

On average, we spend $45 a month on streaming, according to the Finder statistics.

Streaming services have become more expensive since they were first launched in Australia, with Netflix among the first to increase its prices in November 2021, Mr Neilsen said.

The Telsyte report found the subscription streaming market in Australia was worth $2.7 billion in the year to June 30, up 14 per cent increase on the previous year.

 

 

Sports Business, PPV and Streaming News, By Greg Tingle

2023

 

Aussie subscriber TV giant Foxtel Group @Foxtel is enjoying a winning run after recent sports b2b deals with U.S. Riding off the back of success with pro wrestling giant WWE @WWE and HBO @HBO smash hit, 'Succession' at least in part. 'The Idol' snatched the teen eyeballs in Australia and they haven't let go. Migrated to other shows including addicative sports and sports entertainment says Media Man. Foxtel chief exec Patrick Delany can finally celebrate, and he started to a little in public at the UFC Q&A earler this week we noticed that took place at Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, Sydney. So confident were the FOX execs in their winning ways they gave the live mic to fans and media commentors known for pushing the limits er envelope. One used to work for the other guys (Optus) in the PPV, bundling and retention (stopping customers churning to FOX) dept, but that was many moons ago. Insider goss, we know, but that's why your hear right. Foxtel struck a deal last week with ESPN to continue as the Aussie default (in a good way) broadcaster for top sport played in the United States. Foxtel announced the deal on Wednesday morning with moderate buzz and overview detail – issuing a media release which advised the distribution deal was a “new multi-year” agreement to keep broadcasting the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and UFC in Australia. The release also carried a statement from Kylie Watson Wheeler, the local head of Disney, the parent company of ESPN. Foxtel’s execs are enjoying streak, some say overdue by a few years, but everyone has an opinion right - securing and making moolah on the most valuable content they licence, to the pleasure of potential investors should they finally get on the ASX. In the meantime it's a strong Win-Win-Win.. for Foxtel, UFC and combat sports fans. As fighter and influener idol of sorts Logan Paul @LoganPaul may say, Let's Go! Or if your more a sports media vet, "Just Bring It' (Dwayne Johnson @TheRock ), or how about, "Acknowledge Me" (Roman Reigns @WWERomanReigns ) Ok, back to work BMF (per UFC @UFC ) modified lingo now entrenched in U.S and Aussie pop culture.

 

 

Articles

Can movie theatres and online streaming live side by side?


It’s been a tough time for movie theatres around the world with a number of factors contributing to the decline in the number of people heading to the cinema to watch movies. In a world that is embracing digital technologies, the movie industry is in danger of getting left behind unless they quickly embrace the technologies available that will get people excited to return to movie theatres and get the enjoyment of the cinema experience once again.

The rise of the video game industry

Whilst there are plenty of factors that are influencing people’s decision to visit the cinema, there is no doubt that the rapid rise of the online video game industry is a large contributing factor. People are starting to look elsewhere for their entertainment and online video gaming provides a lower-cost alternative to a trip to the cinema.

A report by MarketWatch in 2020 found that the video game industry is now bigger than the sports and movie industry combined. Just take a minute to digest that. Bigger than movies and sports - that’s big.

The news outlet reported that global video game revenue is expected to increase 20% in 2020, making $179.7 billion, according to data from IDC.

The biggest gain is expected to come from mobile gaming, according to the news outlet, which is expected to surge 24% to $87.7 billion. Part of this is due to China recently lifting a ban on gaming consoles.

Game console revenue is expected to soar to $52.5 billion this year, while PC and Mac games are expected to make $39.5 billion.

In their most recent report, MarketWatch reported that whilst overall revenue was expected to grow by 11% in 2021 to $251.39 billion, the forecast for 2022 is just a 2% growth and a flattening out of that rapid growth over the past two years.

Is this a potential opportunity for cinemas to reclaim some of that lost audience share?

Early signs look good for cinemas in 2022

If the latest movie releases in 2022 are anything to go by, it looks as though the movie theatre industry is not ready to give up just yet. Spider-Man: No Way Home became the biggest grossing movie of the past two years, grossing over $US1 billion ($1.38b) in the first two weekends. It is the second-fastest film ever to reach the $1 billion mark and suggests that this could be a big year for cinema-goers.

Following in its footsteps is another 2022 release, The Matrix Resurrections, a movie that grossed $US12 million in its opening weekend.

Whilst this is a great start to the New Year for movie theatres around the world, it remains to be seen whether this is a trend that continues throughout the year. With a number of high profile movies due for release in 2022, this could be a time for cinemas to really cash in.

The impact of streaming and long-form content

It is unlikely that cinemas will have it all their own way in 2022. Whilst it is great to see people returning to movie theatres to watch the latest releases on the big screen, there is no question that home viewing is here to stay.

As more studios and media distributors are developing their own direct-to-consumer streaming services, this starts to eat into the revenue of major studios.

Studios derive almost half of their revenues from theatrical releases. Although the average number of movie tickets purchased by Americans each year has declined from 4.2 in 2009 to 3.4 in 2019 (Source: Deloitte), studio revenues are driven more by box office tickets now than they were 20 years ago.

Streaming is having the biggest impact on people going to the movies. As televisions have improved, where you can now watch movies at home in 4K high-definition on screens with sizes up to 100”, with surround sound, people have become more willing to wait for the latest release movies to become available on streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Stan.

Another major impact on the cinema industry is the consumer switch to long-form content in the form of series. Many people feel there is more depth to a series that contains anywhere from six episodes upwards. Game of Thrones was one of the groundbreaking series to really capture the audience’s attention, however, there are so many amazing series now that it is becoming more difficult for movies to compete with the depth and the character development that a series can bring.

Huge series like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more recently, Succession, have really captured the attention of audiences around the world and this is something movie producers need to consider.

The entertainment factor

It’s not just video games and streaming that are competing for people’s attention. Another industry embracing technology is the online casino and betting sector. Here, we have seen huge advancements in the way people are able to game online. One company leading the way in the sector is Betway, “Developed by our exceptionally talented people, Betway creates market-leading, cutting-edge interactive gaming experiences. We bring people closer to the action – putting them at the centre, making them feel a part of it.”

From the introduction of in-game betting to the development of new and exciting interactive games, these online gaming sites are leading the way when it comes to embracing new technologies that can lead to better experiences for customers.

The movie industry is at a real crossroads. With competition coming from every direction within the entertainment industry, studios and distributors need to find a way to either a) get more people back into movie theatres or b) look at alternative ways to ensure that movies can compete with online gaming, live sports streaming and online casinos for a share of customer eyeballs.