Friday, December 7, 2018

Internet TV Digest #9

This is the ninth of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.  Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television.

Internet TV Digest

AT&T's WarnerMedia will launch new streaming service in late 2019

There seems to be a glut of new streaming services and WarnerMedia will enter into the fray by the end of next year.  On October 10, 2018, WarnerMedia, the division of AT&T that includes HBO, announced plans for the new service.  It is a potential rival to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney's upcoming new venture, Disney+.  It will build on the strength of HBO.

WarnerMedia's CEO, John Stankey. made the following statement in an internal memo: "Our service will start with HBO and the genre defining programming that viewers crave.  On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that tough both diverse interests and mass audiences."

Details of the pricing and the name of WarnerMedia's new service will be announced later.

Source: Brian Stelter, CNN Business

Gamespot's ( choice for seven best entertainment streaming services in 2018

Did Netflix stay on top in the streaming game, or did a new challenger emerge to dethrone the champion? 

"Yes, Netflix has absolutely dominated in the category of original content - largely by simply making as many exclusive movies and shows as it can, and hoping some of them turn out great (which they did).  But did you manage to take advantage of Filmstruck while it was around?  If not, you missed out on streaming some of the greatest films ever made, not to mention the exclusive special features that often accompanied them.

Or what if horror is more your flavor?  Sure, Netflix had some great original horror movies and shows this year, but the classics were located elsewhere, on a platform that finally hit its stride stride in 2018.  If you were looking for more recent TV, Hulu was your best best . . ."

- Gamespot staff

Gamepot's choice of the best entertainment streaming services in 2018
1.  Netflix
2.  WWE Network

3.  Hulu

4.  Filmstruck

5.  Shudder

6.  Amazon Prime Video

7.  DC Universe

Disney+ and WarnerMedia will not slow Netflix's momentum says Netflix content boss

Ted Sarados

Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarados, has played down looming threats from Dsney+ and WarnerMedia.  He says he doesn't think that his company will lose ground due to the imminent launch of new streaming video services from large media companies.  In a December 3, 2018 speech at UBS's 2918 Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Sarados stated, "I don't think they'll be to the detriment of Netflix . . . I think there's plenty of room in this business for other players to be successful."  He pointed out that when Netflix ventured into original programming seven years ago, starting with House of Cards, it "was a sure bet that studios and movie companies would likely move in to launch their own direct-to-consumer VOD (video on demand) offerings."

Source: Variety

Netflix has increased subscription rates in Canada

Watching Netflix in Canada costs you more now.  The giant streaming company has hiked its subscription rates in this country.  The increases were announced at the end of November and became effective immediately for new subscribers. Current subscribers were to receive an email notice before their bills increase.  The price for Netflix's standard plan, which enables subscribers to watch content on two screens at a time, has risen by $3.  It is now 13.99 a month.  The basic plan, which does not offer high definition and only allows one stream, has increased a dollar to $9.99 a month.  Premium plan subscribers will be paying $3 more or $16.99 a month to maintain four simultaneous streams and ultra high definition video.

Netflix is facing fierce competition from other streaming video services.  For example, Disney+ will enter the market in 2019 with its own streaming service and CBS All Access is adding to its library of of original shows,  Netflix has defended its subscription increases by saying that the funds will be used to subsidize upcoming TV series and for other improvements to its service.

Sources: The Canadian Press and CTV Ottawa


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