Time Warner Looking To Roll Out HBO Streaming Service

Time Warner Cable are set to expand the HBO service by offering an internet only based subscription service, aiming to target customers who shy away from traditional cable.

HBO-internet-serviceEven though HBO have previously gone on record to say they would not offer a streaming only service, TWC last year launched a $49 monthly trial with Comcast offering a backdoor way to get HBO streaming. The package offers just Internet, HBO (along with HBO Go) and basic TV.

The rumor is that the deal will be expanded within the market and that more cable and internet providers will offer the deal. The offer is aimed at targeting cord cutters who refuse to subscribe to expensive pay TV services and source cheap/free material online instead.

The news comes shortly after Time Warner recently rejected a $75 million takeover deal from Fox, although the company owned by Rupert Murdoch is set to make a counter-offer.

TV Still Tops For Viewers But Online Streaming Continues To Grow

Although the traditional TV is still the most used device for watching content, internet content streamed from the web is continuing to close the gap according to a new survey.

Courtesy TNSGlobal

Courtesy TNSGlobal

The changing viewing habits of the modern day consumer are reported by internet usage from insights and intelligence group TNS and a new report called Connected Life, which surveyed over 55,000 internet users worldwide during March-June of this year.

The survey showed that a great number of viewers (48%) engaged in second screen activity (also called ‘screen stacking’) while watching the traditional TV set. This generally involved visiting social media sites, checking emails or shopping via the web.

Traditional TV is still most popular with 75% using this medium, while 25% of those surveyed watch content on computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone each day.

Speaking about the survey, chief development officer at TNS, Matthew Froggatt said, “The growth in screen-stacking and online TV viewing is huge, particularly in the Asian markets, driven by a growing demand for content. Online devices are offering more ways to access TV and video content, meaning that brands will need to adopt a more integrated online approach in order to engage consumers.”

Internet TV viewing habits vary depending on country. Russia watches the most online TV and video each day (44%), that is followed by Italy, China and Singapore with 33%.

 

Sky Looking To Consolidate European Pay TV

In a bid to bring European Sky TV together, BSkyB are said to have agreed to buy the Rupert Murdoch part-owned pay TV companies within Europe, to create a super satellite TV company boasting 20 million subscribers.

Sky-EPGThe UK based satellite broadcaster, largely owned already by Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is said to be willing to pay $9 billion for Sky Italia and for Fox’s 57% stake in Sky Deutschland.

BSkyB had already registered an interest in moving from just a UK focused satellite TV company, where it is the dominant pay-TV company offering premium movies, sports, and TV shows to over ten million homes.

BSkyB became such a big player in the TV market after securing rights to live Premier League soccer in the UK, but as they have started to share rights with others they have been concentrating on the ‘connected TV’ strategy. Services such as Sky Go and Now TV have been bringing streaming services to both subscribers and pay-as-you-watch users…

The deal would also give Fox more funds to pursue it’s aquisition of Time Warner, who recently rejected an offer from Fox of $80 billion.

Rabbit TV Will Pay More Than Cable For TV Retransmission Fees

In a turnaround that shows the growing power of the internet as a medium for TV watching, online media portal Rabbit TV have revealed that they are prepared to not only match, but beat the fees paid for retransmission of shows from TV broadcasters such as NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX, to then stream on the Web.

Rabbit-TVFreeCast Inc, who own Rabbit TV have revealed they would offer TV broadcasters the same $5 per-subscriber per-month retransmission fee which is the same as they cable companies pay.

Rabbit TV would then redistribute the networks’ live channels to its own subscribers via the internet. But they also say they will pay more as they plan to offer an agnostic platform for the networks to distribute their content, which will bring in more revenue.

The Rabbit TV service links to and aggregates thousands of freely available streaming titles, and also sells live TV packages such as MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, pay-per-view movies, and more.

The company plan to offer broadcasters a fee, unlike rival Aereo who thought they could get around that hurdle by taking on the broadcasters, and lost. But the case has led to online providers thinking they can become an online cable provider after the court compared Aereo to a cable system. Aereo have already applied to seek compulsory licenses to become a local cable provider.

Speaking for Rabbit TV, CEO William Mobley said, “TV subscriptions declined for the first time ever in 2013, yet in contrast the number of consumers watching video on streaming devices continued to grow by leaps and bounds, 36.5% overall. Meanwhile, the production of television sets is projected somewhere around 220 million in 2014, while mobile device production is expected to reach nearly 10 billion. This trend toward ‘TV Everywhere’ is being driven by wireless consumer devices, and not locally restrictive infrastructures.”

Rabbit say that that premium channels like HBO, ESPN and the four major networks are the next most important puzzle pieces for creating a true online TV experience for billions of device-enabled consumers.

 

Google Celebrates Chromecasts First Birthday With Free Google Play Music

The little Chromecast stick that has caused such a big stir has reached it’s first birthday. And Google are celebrating this monumental milestone by offering Google current and new owners a 90 day free trial to its Play Music All Access streaming service

Chromecast-BirthdayYou do have to be US based to get the offer, and the price of $10 per month will kick in after the trial, but hey it’s kind of a freebie. Interested parties can head over to the Chromecast offers page page.

The HDMI streaming stick was launched by Google one year ago for $35, and Google say that the stick has powered over 400 million Casts so far. Users with the stick can operate and cast to it by using an app on their android or iOS powered device, or from a Chrome browser on a PC. The gadget lets users stream content straight to any TV from services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora.

Google say of the stick, “We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.”

The chromecast has succeeded where the Google TV product failed, due to both its cheap price at $35, and the fact an idiot can use it as it has no real setting up needed. The device quickly expanded onto the international market in its first year, becoming available in over 20 countries, and has sold millions of units.

The Chromecast is an amazing gadget considering what it does and how much easier it makes the lives of streaming TV and video viewers just like us. Heres to the next year, and lets see what the little stick is doing by the time its two.

 

Watching TV After Work Can Make You Feel Like A Guilty Failure

I have always thought that a nice sit downin front of a TV after a hard day on the job is a good thing, but it seems im wrong according to new research. It appears that it will in fact, make you feel both guilty and an utter failure.

watching tv can make you stressedThe research carried out by the Journal of Communication, surveyed 471 respondents and talked to them about their previous day, how work was and what they did afterwards. The results showed that slouching on the couch and watching television can make you feel guilty and a failure.
The study found that people who had had a highly stressful day were particularly prone to having these feelings of abject failure. The reason for these feelings was that the respondents felt they were avoiding more important tasks by watching TV. They felt as if they were ‘giving in’to the gogglebox, or online media.

And because of this, respondents couldnt enjoy that relaxing time, binge watching a whole season of a TV show. Speaking about the findings, author of the study for the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, Leonard Reinecke said in a statement, “We are starting to look at media use as a cause of depletion. In times of smartphones and mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of content and communication often seems to be a burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource,”

You can keep a tight grip on that TV remote though, as it seems that many people do not have such feelings and can enjoy a good old session watching the box, and plenty of other research says that watching the television can be a benefit to a persons well-being.