After years of asking, Netflix is finally allowing their subscribers to download select movies and TV shows from their service. You can now watch most of their Originals, such as The Crown, Narcos, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on an airplane or train without worrying about the wifi connection. (The new season of Gilmore Girls, Gillian Anderson’s The Fall, Luke Cage and a few others are not currently offering this feature.)
Back in July, on their Q2 earnings call, Amazon said they would double its video content spend during the 2nd half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. CFO Brian Olsavsky told investors Amazon would “nearly triple our offering to customers of new Amazon original TV shows and movies” compared to last year.
One of those investments (according to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, they spent $250MM for three seasons) was their new show, The Grand Tour, a reincarnation of the hit TV series “Top Gear” which just premiered globally on Amazon Prime. According to a company press release, the first episode has become the biggest show premiere ever on Amazon Prime Video, beating The Man in the High Castle. Total new Prime membership sign-ups exceeded all previous days with the exception of Amazon’s renowned Prime Day.
Turner made a splash this month in the already crowded SVOD field with their launch of FilmStruck; a collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and The Criterion Collection.
Research firm Parks Associates updated their list of top 10 OTT video services. They are ranked by number of paid subscribers, excluding transactional or ad-based services.
(Since not all subscriber numbers were provided in the press release I took a stab at some of them.)
Netflix kept the top spot with 46MM US subscribers. Amazon doesn’t release numbers so their subscription tally is a bit tricky to determine. It’s estimated that there are 56MM US customers paying for Prime, which technically puts them ahead of Netflix. However, not every one of these paying customers are doing so for the video service, since most are there for the Free 2 Day shipping – the main reason for signing up. According to a new CutCableToday survey, nearly 20% of all Prime subs don’t use the video service. So with that complicated triangulation it’s estimated that there are roughly 45MM Amazon Prime Video subscribers.
Ever go to a network website in hopes of watching the pilot of one of their new shows? And when you get there you notice that the first episode is gone, yet they have the five most recent episodes, otherwise called the ‘rolling five.”
Well that’s about to change. Back in May, the broadcasters, especially ABC and NBC negotiated ‘stacking rights’ with the studios that make the shows. Now, all episodes from most of the new series from the current 2016-17 season along with several returning shows, will be made available, or ‘stacked’ on their website and apps. The one catch is that you must be an authenticated viewer, which means you still have to subscribe to a Pay TV service provider (e.g. AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Charter, Verizon FiOS).
Yesterday, Netflix held their Q3 quarterly earnings call. Here are the Top 10 things you should know:
1. Over $2B in Streaming Revenue: For the first time they crossed over the $2B mark in quarterly streaming revenue. Domestic streaming was $1.3B, an 8% increase from the previous quarter and up 23% YoY. International streaming revenue of $.853B was 40% of the total, and 13% higher from Q2 and an impressive 65% growth YoY.
Starting next week, through the second week of November will be the quarterly earnings conference calls for the major entertainment, tech and telecom companies. The chart below has the complete schedule. As usual, Netflix will kick things off first, with their Monday 5PM ET call.
Showbiz Brief will have a write up after each call.
|Netflix||Mon||Oct 17||5:00pm ET|
|Verizon||Thu||Oct 20||8:30am ET|
|AT&T||Tue||Oct 25||4:30pm ET|
|Apple||Tue||Oct 25||5:00pm ET|
|Comcast||Wed||Oct 26||8:30am ET|
|Amazon||Thu||Oct 27||5:30pm ET|
|Alphabet||Thu||Oct 27||4:30pm ET|
|Thu||Oct 27||5:00pm ET|
|Regal Entertainment||Thu||Oct 27||4:30pm ET|
|Discovery||Tue||Nov 01||8:30am ET|
|Sony Corp||Tue||Nov 01||4:15am ET|
|Frontier Communications||Tue||Nov 01||4:30pm ET|
|Time Warner||Wed||Nov 02||8:30am ET|
|21st Century Fox||Wed||Nov 02||4:00pm ET|
|Wed||Nov 02||5:00pm ET|
|Charter||Thu||Nov 03||10:00am ET|
|CBS||Thu||Nov 03||4:30pm ET|
|Lionsgate||Thu||Nov 03||5:00pm ET|
|AMC Networks||Thu||Nov 03||11:00am ET|
|Scripps Networks||Mon||Nov 07||11:00am ET|
|Viacom||Wed||Nov 09||8:30am ET|
|Disney||Thu||Nov 10||5:00pm ET|
|Dish Network Corp||TBD|
Netflix just signed a 10 picture deal with luxury theater chain iPic Entertainment to screen their original movies in theaters, the same day they premiere on the SVOD service. What once took a 6-12 month ‘window’ for a theatrical movie to reach home viewing, is now instantaneous.
These movies will play in iPic’s LA and NYC theaters, with a possible wider release to their other 13 locations. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but the usual split between a studio and a US theater chain is 55/45, with 55% of box office receipts going to the studio.
This Friday, The Siege of Jadotville will be the first movie to launch under the deal.
Layer3 touts itself as ‘The New Cable’ and even trademarked the phrase.
Founded in 2013 by a bevy of media and tech executives from Google, CNN, Fox, Comcast, Motorola, Time Warner, Cablevision (now Altice USA), Microsoft and others. They are headquartered in Denver and led by CEO Jeff Binder and CTO Dave Fellows.
Why should we care about another video provider, when so many are out there?
Here are the 8 reasons why the Pay TV industry should follow them closely:
Back in August 2014, two of the biggest cable companies in Canada, Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, launched an SVOD service called Shomi. It was to compete with the SVOD behemoth Netflix.
Well, apparently they lost. Come November 30th they are shutting down their service. Rogers will take a C$100 million to C$140 million loss ($75 million to $105 million), while Shaw had already written down the service for C$51 million.
That leaves Netflix and BCE Inc’s Crave TV as the last standing large SVOD providers.
What went wrong? Here are my 5 best guess reasons: