streaming service

Sony’s streaming TV service PlayStation Vue raises its prices, too

PlayStation Vue, welcome to the price-hike party. Sony’s over-the-top TV streaming service is the latest to raise the price of its subscription service, which will now cost $5 more per month across all four tiers. That means Vue’s cheapest plan will now cost $44.99 per month instead of $39.99 per month. The most expensive plan will climb to $79.99 per month. Remember when we thought streaming TV was a cheaper way to watch? No? Above: PlayStation Vue’s current prices, before the price increases  The pricing changes arrived on the same day that AT&T raised the cost of its streaming TV service, DirecTV Now, also by $5 per month. And both changes follow similar moves by competitors, including the $5 per month increase announced by Sling TV only days ago, and the $5 per month increase annou...

Apple picks up the immigrant anthology series ‘Little America’ for its streaming service

Apple’s latest addition to its upcoming video streaming service is a timely one. The company has picked up “Little America,” a half-hour anthology series which looks at the “funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and surprising stories” of immigrants in America. The series comes from Oscar-nominated screenwriters of “The Big Sick,” Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and Emily V. Gordon, and Emmy-nominated producer and writer Lee Eisenberg (“The Office,” “SMILF”). Eisenberg will also exec produce alongside Emmy winning producer, writer and director Alan Yang (“Master of None,””Parks and Recreation”), and he will serve as showrunner. Joshuah Bearman and Joshua Davis will executive produce for Epic Magazine, where the stories originated, alongside co-executive producer Arthur Spector. “Little...

Hulu re-org sees departure of Content Chief Joel Stillerman, top SVPs

On the heels of Hulu’s news of its growing live TV business, which has now reached 800,000 subscribers, the streaming service today announced a major re-organization of it business focused on four strategic priorities, effective immediately. These include “the subscriber journey, technology & products, content and advertising,” says Hulu. The changes see three major execs departing: Chief Content Officer Joel Stillerman, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Distribution Tim Connolly and SVP Experience, Ben Smith. In addition, Hulu has hired two new executives to help it with its goals: CTO Dan Phillips, previously of TiVo, and Jaya Kolhatkar of Walmart Labs, who will claim the newly-created Chief Data Officer role. Phillips had previously led TiVo’s engineering, product and prof...

iHeartRadio opens up its playlists to all users with launch of Playlist Radio

iHeartRadio is best known for its free service offering thousands of live, streaming AM and FM radio stations and its ability to create your own custom station, similar to Pandora. Today, the company is adding a new feature for all users – both free and paid – that blurs the lines between streaming radio and the typically premium-only option of using playlists: Playlist Radio. Like most playlists, Playlist Radio isn’t a random assortment of songs. Instead, the songs it plays are curated and programmed by radio DJs and other iHeartRadio staff. That means there isn’t an algorithm deciding what to play next – you’re listening to a selection of songs an actual person has put together. However, because it’s still “radio” you can’t do some of the things you could with the premium product’s playl...

CBS launches a 24/7 streaming sports news network, CBS Sports HQ

As promised last year, CBS today launched its own sports news network, CBS Sports HQ, which will offer 24-hour streaming coverage of news, highlights and analysis for free online, via connected devices, and within the company’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access. The network had originally said its plan for the sports streaming service was to replicate the success it found with its streaming news network, CBSN, which launched in 2014 to bring CBS news content to digital platforms. That network grew to 287 million streams in 2017, up 17 percent over 2016 – which was an Election year, CBS notes. Similarly, CBS Sports HQ will stream for free, 24/7, and work across a range of devices at launch, including smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android), connected TVs (Amazon Fire TV, Appl...

Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch competitor, adds game sales

Twitch has long since allowed its streamers to generate revenue from their channels through things like subscriptions, virtual tipping, and game sales. Today, Microsoft is adopting one of those features for its own game streaming service, Mixer, with today’s launch of “Direct Purchase.” The addition will allow streamers to promote purchases – including game titles and other content – that are available for sale from the Microsoft Store. It can support things like base games, specific game editions, downloadable content, add-on packs, and more. All of these items can be purchased directly from the streamer’s Mixer channel itself, without having to exit the stream. In total, there are over 5,000 games that will be made available through Direct Purchase, including Xbox, Windows 10, and Xbox P...

Fox News to launch an over-the-top streaming service, Fox Nation

Fox News is going over-the-top. The Fox News Channel officially announced today the upcoming launch of an over-the-top streaming service called Fox Nation that will include live exclusive daily programing as well as long-form content available only to subscribers. Fox Nation will also include access to exclusive events and over 20 years of Fox News Channel programming, the company says. News of the upcoming service, set to launch in Q4 this year, was first reported by The New York Times, which noted that the streaming service’s content won’t overlap with what’s aired on the broadcast channel. Instead, it will include mostly new content, produced daily, from new anchors and commentators. One unique aspect to the service is that it will also encourage more interactivity with viewers through ...

YouTube TV raises pricing, expands with Turner, NBA, MLB additions

YouTube TV today announced a significant expansion of its channel lineup thanks to new deals with Turner, NBA TV, and MLB Network. A number of Turner-owned networks will be added to YouTube TV’s base package starting now, including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HLN, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies. NBA TV and MLB Network will soon follow. Unfortunately for cord cutters, the company is tweaking its pricing plan, too. Next month, YouTube TV will cost $5 more per month, bringing it more in line with competitors at $40 per month for new sign-ups. The good news is that existing YouTube TV subscribers will remain grandfathered in to the current $35 per month plan, which today includes access to over 50 networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, ESPN, AMC, FX, FXX, Disney Channel (plus ...

Viacom to launch its own streaming service this year

Is there room in the market for yet another streaming service? Viacom thinks so. The company, on its earnings call on Thursday, said it’s planning to launch its own ad-supported streaming service by September 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The service will include “tens of thousands of hours of content” from across Viacom’s library. Viacom had hinted about its plans in streaming before, but it shared a few more details on the call about what the service will include. The company, which owns cable TV channels like MTV and Comedy Central, already licenses some of its content to other streaming services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as newcomer Philo (which it’s invested in.) But it’s also withheld a lot from third-parties, which it believes will be a strategic advantage. “It’s go...

Hulu rolls out support for 60fps, a top request from sports fans

Hulu announced on Wednesday it has begun to rollout 60fps (frames per second) to its Live TV service – something that’s been one of the most-requested features, especially from those who stream live sports. These higher-quality streams are initially coming to a select number of channels and devices as the first phase of a larger rollout. One of the troubles with switching from cable and satellite television to internet-based live TV services is that streamed sporting events don’t always look right – the video can be choppy, which makes it more difficult to track the action. The issue is the frame rate. Streaming services often only support 30fps, while sporting events often come in at 60fps. Many of Hulu’s competitors already support 60fps streams to varying degrees. For example, Sling TV ...

YouTube TV’s app arrives on Roku

The YouTube TV app is at last available on Roku devices, starting today. Google had announced earlier that YouTube’s live TV service would be coming to Roku and Apple TV in the first quarter of 2018, following a delay that saw it pushing the launch date back from year-end 2017. Until now, YouTube TV has been fairly limited in its support of living room devices compared with rivals, only offering support for select smart TVs (LG and Samsung models), Android TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One devices. Roku is a major platform a TV app like YouTube TV needs to address, given Roku’s status as the top streaming platform in the U.S., according to multiple market research reports. However, it’s often one of the latter platforms to get a new app, as is the case with YouTube TV. The Roku app will work on...

Amazon’s a la carte TV service, Amazon Channels, adds CBS All Access

Amazon’s a la carte TV subscription service, Amazon Channels, just added another big name to its lineup. Today, the companies announced that CBS’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access – yes, the home to the new “Star Trek” – will now be available on Amazon Channels. However, only the higher-priced, $9.99/month commercial-free subscription will be offered for the time being. The lower-cost, $5.99/month Limited Commercials plan will arrive in the “coming months,” CBS said. Amazon Channels first launched in the U.S. back in 2015 as the less-catchy “Amazon Streaming Partners.” It later rebranded and expanded to select European markets last year. The goal with the service – which today is exclusive to Prime subscribers and Prime Video members – is to offer premium programming options ...

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