Media Titans Square Off With Streaming Services
The over-the-top streaming space got a lot more interesting this week with further announcements of plans for forthcoming and newly launched streaming services that have their sights set on rival Netflix’s crown for digital market supremacy.
Among the recent streaming news makers were Apple which offered more details on its soon to appear AppleTV+ service; Disney+, which is Disney’s new kid-friendly streaming platform carrying content from some major franchises, and AT&T’s new AT&T TV cable-for-internet service.
Waiting in the wings are WarnerMedia, which is priming its HBO Max streaming service and Comcast NBCUniversal, which is readying its own as yet unnamed streaming service. Both are due early in 2020.
For a brief look at some of the new challengers entering the fray were offer the following roundup below:
Apple will launch its much-anticipated TV+ subscription video on demand (SVoD) service in November, at a monthly price reported to be $9.99 following a free month trial. The service will launch globally in over 150 countries.
Apple TV+ is reportedly committed to spending some $6 billion on original shows and movies, including the much-promoted “The Morning Show” with actors Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Other fare announced so far includes Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” “See” with Jason Momoa, “Truth Be Told” with Octavia Spencer, and “Home,” a documentary series on oppulent houses.
The video service is targeted at Apple’s large base of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch users, providing the company with yet another recurring revenue stream from content-related services.
Apple TV+ will be part of Apple’s TV app, which comes installed on the company’s devices, and will also be accessible from third-party products, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV and the latest Samsung televisions.
AT&T TV is a new streaming service from the telco-giant that lauched in 10 cities this week.
Positioned as the pilot of the company’s future workhorse TV platform that will eventually replace AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse services, AT&T TV is a fullscale cable-like live streaming service including a cable-like two-year contract commitment. It starts at $59.99 per month (with two-year commitment) for about 70 channels and is available in bundles with broadband service.
The service will need to be accessed via a special set-top box which includes a voice-powered remote. Additional boxes are available for a $10 per month fee. No more than three streams are available at one time per subscription. Boxes will access other apps like Netflix in addition to AT&T TV’s mix of live and on-demand content.
The service is rolling out now to select cities including: Orange and Riverside, Calif.; West Palm Beach Fla.; Topeka and Wichita, KS; St. Louis and Springfield, Mo.; and Corpus Christi, El Paso and Odessa, Texas.
Subscriptions to AT&T TV will begin with a two-year subscription starting at $59.99 per month. The company is also offering bundles with broadband band service included in eligible markets at rates starting at $89.99 per month. In addition, AT&T TV subscribers will get 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
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The system is designed for easy self installation and setup and will not require any sort of satellite dish.
AT&T TV is not to be confused with AT&T Now, which is the newly rebranded DirecTV Now live skinny bundle streaming service.
The latest 800-pound gorilla is Disney+, which will launch in the U.S. and Canada on November 12. The streaming service will cost $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. The service will include a library with 7,500 TV episodes and 500 movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Disney+ will also include movies and television programs from Fox.
Video content will be available to stream in up to 4K HDR. Disney+ will also support downloads for offline viewing.
Devices and platforms that will support the Disney+ app at launch include the following: Apple TV; Android TV; Chromecast; Roku; PlayStation 4; Xbox One; Android and iOS mobile devices, Web browsers and other platforms to follow.
Disney+ will be 100% ad-free and will enable creating profiles for kids to limit what content can be accessed and viewed.
Coming in early 2020 are services from Comcast NBCUniversal and Warnermedia’s new HBO Max.
Comcast plans to launch its NBCUniversal streaming service in April 2020. Content plans have not been specifically announced but the company is expected to launch with a majority of content acquired from outside of the company. The Office is also a likely early target.
The service will also have access to content from Sky Studios which the company purchased last year.
WarnerMedia will launch its new HBO Max next Spring, offering content from its various brands and more.
The services library is to include programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and others.
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This will include exclusive streaming rights to every episode of Friends that had been a favorite of Netflix viewers as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars, which will stream all episodes on the service.
The service will present a number of originals as well and has signed Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon to help produce signature films for the service.
By Greg Tarr
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