Peleton In-Door Cycling Fitness App Coming to Amazon Fire TV

Peleton, manufacturer of an in-door cycling fitness platform featuring live-streamed video instruction, Dec. 4 announced first-time distribution of its app to Amazon Fire TV.

The Peloton App offers a collection of live and on-demand health and fitness classes, including strength training, cardio, toning, yoga, stretching, meditation, running, and cycling classes streamed to the living room television.

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Amazon Fire TV enables online content migration to the television.

Access to the app on Fire TV is free to Peloton members and $12.99 monthly after a free 30-day trial.

The Peloton App is available on Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV (3rd Gen Pendant design), Fire TV Cube (1st Gen) and the all-new Fire TV Cube. It will also be available on Insignia and Toshiba Fire TV Edition Smart TVs and Fire TV Edition sound bars. The Peloton App is not compatible with Fire TV (1st and 2nd Gen) and Fire TV Stick (1st Gen).

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Disney, Amazon in Dispute Over Fire TV App Ad Revenue

Amazon is much more than an e-commerce behemoth. The Seattle-based company is a major distributor of third-party streaming video services and proprietary content — the former through Amazon Channels.

So when Disney partnered with Amazon to distribute its media apps via the latter’s Fire TV streaming media device, it wasn’t about to relinquish ad revenue from the apps — even if Amazon is reportedly the second-largest distributor of streaming TV apps.

Fire TV, which trails only Roku in Q2 2019 streaming media device shipments, according to Strategy Analytics, enables consumers to stream Prime Video, Netflix, Sling TV and Hulu, among others, to the television.

Amazon wants a piece of Disney’s ad revenue from its branded apps — including ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel — according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited resources familiar to the situation.

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Disney is resisting the request, a move that could see its apps disappear from Fire TV. Indeed, the platform is not slated to carry Disney’s pending subscription streaming service, Disney+.

In the burgeoning over-the-top video ecosystem, media companies and tech companies are grappling with distribution issues — notably carriage revenue agreements — typically reserved for the pay-TV landscape.

Indeed, with Google and Amazon competing for the identical third-party ad revenue, neither offer its proprietary (YouTube, Prime Video) video platform on the other’s platform.

“The traditional negotiations between cable operators and media companies are the most vicious negotiations that I’ve ever been exposed to. And now you see that world colliding with these tech behemoths,” said Steve Shannon, chief executive of Tetra TV, which operates a marketplace for ads on streaming video, told The Journal.

When Amazon launched Fire TV in 2014, it didn’t seek a cut of third-party ad revenue. But five years later, Amazon takes significant revenue cuts from third-party streaming services offered on its Channels platform for Prime members.

The strategy is now being emulated on Fire TV, with the platform reportedly seeking upwards of 40% of third-party app ad-revenue. Disney apparently is willing to offer 10%, according to WSJ.

Meanwhile, Roku reportedly demands as much as 30% of revenue from third-parties operating on its platform. Disney-owned Hulu pays Roku about 15%.

Until the dispute is resolved, Disney+ will be available via Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Chromecast, Sony PS4, Xbox One and Roku.

YouTube TV Now Available on Amazon Fire TV Devices

Google-owned YouTube TV Sept. 30 announced it is now available on Amazon Fire TV streaming media devices.

The $49.99 (monthly) online TV service’s app is embedded in the Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen), Fire TV Stick 4K, all-new Fire TV Cube, all Toshiba, Insignia, Element, and Westinghouse Fire TV Edition smart TVs and previous generation Fire TV devices including Fire TV Cube (1st Gen), Fire TV (2nd Gen), Fire TV (3rd Gen — Pendant Design). The YouTube TV app is not compatible with Fire TV Stick (1st Gen) and Fire TV (1st Gen).

“The YouTube TV app brings 70+ channels of live sports, breaking news, must-see shows and movies from major broadcast and popular cable networks to the big screen,” Michael Polin, Fire TV product marketing, wrote in a blog post.

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Parks: Streaming Media Player Ownership Flattening With Roku and Amazon Leading Space

More than a third (39%) of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media player, but that’s a mere 1% increase from 2018, according to new research from Parks Associates.

Ownership has flattened, the firm noted, although purchase intentions are higher for 2019 compared to previous years.

The report, 360 Deep Dive: Adoption and Use of Connected Video Devices, found connected video device manufacturers may need to shift focus from hardware sales to service and advertising revenue, as ownership reaches saturation, according to Parks.

“Streaming media has reshaped how U.S. consumers interact with entertainment content and services, so as the market matures, sales increasingly come at another vendor’s expense,” said Parks senior analyst Kristen Hanich in a statement. “Video-quality features are the most important factors when consumers buy a connected video device, although Roku and Amazon have certainly benefited among streaming media players by having broad product portfolios that include lower price points.”

Among streaming media players, Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV are the clear market leaders with almost 70% of the installed base of streaming media players in the United States, according to the firm. Consumer-reported data reveals that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019, Roku’s share of the U.S. streaming media player installed base grew from 37% to 39%, while Amazon’s share of the installed base increased from 24% to 30%.

The report looks at the state of the connected video device space, including smart TV platforms, streaming media devices, smart set-top boxes and gaming consoles, examining the changing roles of these devices and how consumers are engaging with new functionality, such as voice control and live TV integration.

“As the addressable market shrinks, rivalry increases,” said Parks senior analyst Craig Leslie in a statement. “The combined installed base for Roku and Amazon is three times larger than the nearest competitor. The adoption of Roku and Fire TV streaming media players continues to grow at the expense of Chromecast and Apple TV.”

Vevo Ups Music Video Consumption 140%

Music video platform Vevo June 19 announced that its catalog of videos saw a 140% increase in U.S. viewing during the first quarter (ended March 31) compared with the fourth quarter of 2018 (ended Dec. 31) on its app on Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TVs.

The service said the results show audiences will watch music videos on the best screen available, including in their living rooms. Vevo music videos are now available on several major video devices, including Fire TV.

Vevo’s monthly views on all connected TVs have grown 47% since 2018, and in the last year the service saw more than 33 billion views across these properties in the U.S. alone.

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News of Vevo’s distribution expansion comes as the changing consumption of TV has shifted in recent years and OTT enters the mainstream and with a target approach to reaching viewers who seek music content.

With back-to-back years of streaming growth in the living room, nearly 20% of Vevo streams now occur on connected TVs.

“We have begun to re-define the return of music videos to the living room for consumers and advertisers,” Kevin McGurn, president of sales and distribution at Vevo, said in a statement.

Vevo is available on the following devices and services: Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo Show, Roku, Apple TV, Virgin Media (U.K.), Sky Q (U.K., Germany, Italy) and Sky’s Now TV (U.K., Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain).

Amazon Reveals 34 Million Fire TV Users, Topping Roku

Amazon has quietly staked the lead in active users of streaming media devices. The ecommerce giant disclosed it has 34 million Fire TV users – about 5 million more than Roku.

Amazon revealed the data May 14 in a presentation by Jen Prenner, global head of marketing at Fire TV, at the Pay TV Show in Denver.

The tally, first reported by TechCrunch, represents a 13.3% increase from the 30 million users Amazon disclosed in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Amazon now claims Fire TV has become the No. 1 streaming media device in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India and Japan.

Roku, by comparison, claims its operating system was embedded in 33% of all Internet-connected smart TVs sold in the U.S. in the first quarter.

Roku Shares Dip on News Amazon is Looking to Expand AVOD Service

Shares of streaming media device manufacturer April 3 Roku closed down nearly 3% after a news reports suggested Amazon is looking to expand ad-supported video-on-demand content on its Fire TV media devices.

If true, the news is significant for Roku, which operates The Roku Channel AVOD service – the fifth most-popular app on the Roku platform.

BusinessInsideand Chedder, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Amazon has been seeking bigger advertising commitments from marketers for the expansion.

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Advertisers spent more than $7 billion on digital spots in 2018, according to eMarketer. Fire TV reportedly has 30 million active registered accounts compared to 27 million for Roku.

The reports say Amazon has been asking for ad pricing commitments comparable to what media companies ask for primetime TV upfronts. Marketers reportedly have been reluctant since Amazon has not disclosed the scope of its expanded content offering.

While Amazon wouldn’t comment, the reports say the ecommerce behemoth is offering marketers targeted viewers, in addition to specific sales data and related non-personal information verifiable by Nielsen.

Separately, (Amazon-owned) IMDb’s AVOD service, Freedive, recently upped its offering of catalog movies, including Blade Runnerand Legally Blonde, and TV shows, “Heroes,” and “Fringe,” among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epix Now Streaming Service Available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV Devices

Epix, the pay-TV network owned by Metro Goldwyn Mayer, March 28 announced that its new streaming service, Epix Now, is available as an app on Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV. The SVOD service offers the network’s full library of original programming and movies for $5.99 per month.

“Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing rollout … making our streaming service available to everyone no matter where or how they want to watch TV,” Michael Wright, president of Epix, said in a statement.

Epix Now subs have access to original program such as “Get Shorty,” “Berlin Station,” “Deep State,” “Elvis Goes There” and “Punk,” as well as upcoming premieres of original series “Godfather of Harlem,” starring Forest Whitaker; “Pennyworth, the origin story of Batman’s butler Alfred, from Warner Horizon and DC; “Perpetual Grace, LTD,” from MGM and featuring Sir Ben Kingsley; “Belgravia,”from Julian Fellowes; docu-series “Slow Burn, based on the podcast.

Subscribers will also have access to thousands of hit Hollywood movies and classic film franchises.

Roku and Amazon Fire TV subscribers also have access to all four Epix live channels and a host of new features. Programming in 4K Ultra HD is also available to stream on supported Roku devices and will be coming soon to Amazon Fire TV.

Tubi Inks NBC Universal Catalog Deal

Ad-supported streaming video service Tubi Feb. 28 announced a content deal with NBC Universal, adding nearly 400 television episodes and movies. The deal is part of a strategy to invest over nine figures into content acquisitions in 2019.

Tubi users will have free access to catalog series, “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “The A-Team,” “Punky Brewster,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Quantum Leap” and the original versions of “Magnum, P.I.,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Bionic Woman” and “She-Ra: Princess of Power,” among others.

“We’re excited to be a home to this robust library of content … that appeals across generations,” chief content officer Adam Lewinson said in a statement. “We are aggressively working to expand our library, and this is one of many deals to come for Tubi.”

Tubi’s content library contains more than 12,000 movies and TV series –  claiming to double Netflix’s at 40,000 hours. The service’s app ranks as one of the most watched on Amazon Fire TV, Roku iOS, Android, and Xfinity X1, among others.

San Francisco-based Tubi ended 2018 with more than four-times the content on the service over the previous year. Viewers last December streamed nearly as much content as was consumed in all of 2017.

 

DC Universe SVOD Service Available on Amazon Fire TV

DC Universe, WarnerMedia’s superhero-centric subscription streaming video service, is now available on Amazon Fire TV. The $7.99 monthly service ($74.99 annually) can be accessed from the Fire TV Appstore.

Launched on Batman Day, Sept. 15, DC Universe is also available in the U.S. on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV and the Roku platform, as well as the Web.

The service on Dec. 21 released the first season of original series “Titans” season 1 finale will be released on Dec. 21. Other original series include “Green Lantern: The Animated Series,” available on Jan. 1, 2019, as well as live-action Warner Bros. catalog movies Batman(1989), Batman Returns, Batman Foreverand Batman & Robin.

Upcoming series include “Young Justice: Outsiders” debuting Jan. 4, plus “Doom Patrol,” “Swamp Thing,” “Stargirl and Harley Quinn” coming in 2019.

“Giving the tens of millions of Amazon Fire TV users in the U.S. the ability to view DC Universe’s first original series ‘Titans,’ and all of the amazing library shows and movies, is a win for DC fans and Fire TV users alike,” Sam Ades, SVP and GM, DC Digital Services, said in a statement. “DC Universe offers fans the opportunity to explore the iconic characters, series and movies from DC and we are excited to bring it to Fire TV users, not to mention digital comic books, a daily news show and a world of content made for the advanced features and voice functionality that Fire TV devices are known for.”