PBS Masterpiece Launches on Amazon Prime Video Channels for Canada

PBS Distribution Sept. 15 launched its streaming channel PBS Masterpiece on Amazon Prime Video Channels for Canada.

“We have seen tremendous consumer demand and subscription growth since we launched PBS Masterpiece on Amazon Prime Video Channels in the United States in May of 2017,” Andrea Downing, co-president of PBS Distribution, said in a statement. “This expansion allows our committed and loyal Masterpiece fan base in Canada to enjoy these high-quality, award winning programs whenever they like.”

The channel launches with popular Masterpiece programs such as “Sanditon,” “Endeavour,” “Home Fires,” “Inspector Lewis,” “Poldark” and “Victoria.”

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In addition to Masterpiece programming, the channel will also offer titles from the Walter Presents library of series from countries all over the world, subtitled in English, marking the debut of Walter Presents programs to Canadian audiences. Titles include the highest-rated drama in Denmark, “Seaside Hotel,” and crime thriller/mysteries “Professor T,” “Though Shall Not Kill” and “Before we Die,” among many others.

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“I am genuinely thrilled to be launching Walter Presents in Canada, with its rich, bi-lingual culture and its history of active engagement with the world as well as its long-standing appreciation of world drama,” said Walter Iuzzolino, co-founder and curator of Walter Presents, in a statement. “I know Canadian audiences will embrace our collection of quality, award-winning series with a sense of curiosity and with real gusto.”

The subscription rate for PBS Masterpiece in Canada will be CDN $6.99 per month plus applicable taxes with an Amazon Prime membership.

PBS Appoints Marketing VP

PBS Distribution has been appointed Tonya Harley VP of marketing.

Harley will lead marketing and communications, supporting multiple brands and businesses, with a focus on customer acquisition and retention strategies for the company’s direct-to-consumer subscription businesses — PBS Masterpiece, PBS Kids, PBS Living and newly launched PBS Documentaries — on Prime Video Channels.

“Tonya is an Emmy-award winning marketing professional with a proven track record of successfully delivering results for clients that exceed expectations,” PBS Distribution co-president Andrea Downing said in a statement. “She brings keen analytical skills and experience across a wide range of industries, and her ability to create targeted and efficient media plans to drive acquisition across broadcast and digital platforms will support our key primary initiatives perfectly.”

Harley joins PBS Distribution from BCD Travel, where she led their hotel marketing team as the director of strategic marketing. She was responsible for building a modern brand identity, designing social media campaigns to drive engagement, and overseeing the creative development, social media, content development, sales training, and public relations to support product launches.

Prior to working for BCD Travel, Harley was a senior marketing strategist with Advito. During her five years there, she built a strategic vision for developing digital products to help clients reduce travel costs while building client retention and loyalty, and led a cross-functional team in creating the product strategy, positioning, and marketing plan to drive new business.

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Before joining Advito, she spent five years at Liberty Mutual Insurance, culminating in the role of manager of national advertising. She was responsible for more than $125 million in creative and media spend, focusing on the strategy and creative development of brand television, direct-response television, and digital and field marketing. Harley built the first-ever marketing portal for field sales agents to create brand consistency across the organization while helping agents leverage marketing tactics to boost sales.

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Early in her career, Harley’s experiences were rooted in client management at Argus Communications, where she developed omni-channel marketing campaigns for her clients. She saw her strategic recommendation come to life as a television ad that was nominated and won a National Academy of Arts & Sciences Emmy Award for “Outstanding Community or Public Service Single Spot” TV.

PBS Launches PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution Aug. 4 will launch a new documentary-focused Prime Video Channel called PBS Documentaries.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel, which allows access to PBS content outside the PBS Video App, is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription via Prime Video Channels and is available in the United States only.

The PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel library will include the entire Ken Burns collection as well as programs from “Nova,” “Frontline,” “American Masters,” “Nature,” “American Experience,” “Independent Lens,” “POV” and many independent producers.

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“PBS is the leader of high-quality, compelling nonfiction entertainment, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a natural addition to our current streaming offering on Prime Video Channels — PBS Masterpiece, PBS Living and PBS Kids,” Andrea Downing, co-president of PBS Distribution, said in a statement. “This channel will not only help bring engaging stories about life in all corners of our country to a new audience, it will provide needed revenues to sustain public broadcasting’s public-private partnership model for the benefit of all stations and the communities they serve.”

The entire Ken Burns collection will also be available via PBS Passport, a member benefit available within the PBS Video App.

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“We had long hoped to be able to have all of our films available in one place so the public would have access to the body of work,” added Ken Burns in a statement. “We’re thrilled that this is now possible thanks to the efforts of PBS Distribution and Amazon to launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel and also through PBS’s Passport initiative that allows viewers to support their public television stations. Both will also contribute to the larger mission of PBS.”

“’Frontline’ was founded on the belief that long-form documentaries could inform, educate and inspire public television’s audiences — and during these historic times, deeply reported and easily accessible journalism is invaluable,” “Frontline” executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath said in a statement. “Through this new channel, we’re excited to see our documentaries reach new and existing streaming audiences.”

At launch, the channel will feature nearly 1,000 hours of programming, including Ken Burns’ series The Civil War and Country Music, Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Academy Award-Nominated films such as “Frontline’s” For Sama and American Experiences Last Days in Vietnam.

“I’m thrilled to see that my work will find a new home on this channel,” Nelson said in a statement. “PBS has become a premier destination for documentary programming in the U.S. and has been hugely invested in giving films by diverse storytellers and emerging filmmakers much-needed national exposure. I’m so glad that my film on the Black Panther Party, which can inform communities in our current historical moment, will be able to reach different audiences on this new service.”

‘Somewhere South,’ ‘Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street’ and ‘Mind of a Chef’ Streaming on PBS Living Channel in March

PBS Distribution is bowing seasons of three cooking shows in March on the PBS Living Prime Video Channel: six episodes of the new series “Somewhere South,” the third season of “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street” and the first two seasons of “The Mind of a Chef.”

The subscription rate for the PBS Living Prime Video Channel is $2.99 a month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 a month with no additional annual fees.

Available now are seasons one and two of “The Mind of a Chef,” combining travel, cooking, history, science, and humor into one culinary journey. The series goes inside the kitchen and mind of acclaimed chefs from around the globe. Examining the intricacies of what it takes to become a remarkable chef, season one, narrated by Anthony Bourdain, follows David Chang who has earned almost every major cooking award. Chang travels to Japan to speak about his ramen roots and then to Montreal with comedian Aziz Ansari to satiate his thirst for culinary inspiration. Season two is split into two parts, following chefs Sean Brock and April Bloomfield, with eight episodes on each. Brock is renowned for his expansion and preservation of traditional Southern cooking traditions and through extensive historical research, his cuisine has shined a spotlight on the varieties of crops that once made America the envy of the world. British-born Bloomfield got drunk with friends the night before her police academy exam and overslept her chance to join the force, eventually leading to April becoming known as one of the most innovative chefs of her generation. April wrestles with the demands of opening a new restaurant, tests menu ideas, obsesses over ingredients, and cooks with her mentors and contemporaries.

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Due March 23 is season three of “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street,” in which Kimball and his team travel the globe searching for techniques and ingredients that can transform home cooking, producing better dishes and in less time. Viewers travel along from the very first bite to a perfectly executed recipe. The team travels to Mexico, Lebanon, France, Thailand, Italy, Australia and many other countries. They might find a new way to use spices, a simpler way to cook chicken, a fresh combination of spices or tricks and techniques that turn classic dishes into something a little more unique.

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Coming March 28 are six episodes of the new show “Somewhere South,” in which celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and award-winning host for PBS’ “A Chef’s Life,” Vivian Howard, hosts a culinary journey that explores the cultural twists on classic dishes and new traditions that are being formed in the American South. Howard examines popular dishes such as dumplings, hand pies, porridge and many others and speaks on how these dishes change from culture to culture. In North Carolina, Howard tries the collard sandwich, a staple of Lumbee Indian cuisine in the Carolinas. Then she goes to West Virginia to eat pepperoni rolls, a dish inspired by coal miners. She travels to Charleston, where rice is king, and enjoys grits along with other rice dishes that are among the favorites of South Carolina’s bustling food scene.

 

Percentage of U.S. Households With Multiple OTT Subs Has Jumped by 130% Since 2014

The percentage of U.S. households with multiple OTT subscriptions has increased by 130% since 2014, according to Parks Associates research.

In 2019, 46% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to two or more OTT services. The report, Partnering, Aggregation, and Bundling in Video Services found only 33% subscribed to multiple services in early 2017 and 20% in 2014.

“The number of OTT services available in the U.S. increased by 140% in five years, giving consumers an unprecedented number of options to meet their video needs,” said Parks Associates senior analyst Steve Nason in a statement. “Most OTT households are anchored by one of the three major OTT services — Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video — but consumers are finding they can’t fulfill all their interests through a single service. Many small and medium-sized services are building their brand and subscriber base by filling in these gaps in content.”

Several trends in the video services industry are shaping partnerships, including intense competition, the move of content providers to launch direct-to-consumer offerings, the lack of differentiation among OTT services, and the existing infrastructure and consumer relationships among larger players, according to Parks.

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While overall adoption and awareness of OTT video services as a category are high, awareness of any specific individual service is low, which will make it difficult for smaller services to match the scale, revenues, and marketing efforts of larger players, according to the research firm.

Parks Associates research shows nearly three in 10 OTT services in the United States are on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels aggregation platform, more than four times the rate from two years ago.

“Netflix can afford to license high-value content like ‘Seinfeld’ to supplement its original content, and Apple can buy commercial space during the Emmys and NFL games to promote its upcoming Apple TV+ service and its array of content and stars,” Nason said in a statement. “By contrast, smaller OTT services are having to harness the power of a partnership with an aggregator, bundling or content partner, or marketing and promotion partner to boost awareness of their brand and offerings.”

Additional findings include:

  • More than half (53%) of U.S. broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT service and a pay-TV service;
  • Nearly three-quarters subscribe to an OTT video service, up from 52% in 2014; and
  • Among the OTT video services available in the United States, approximately 90 have fewer than 50,000 subscribers and 72 have fewer than 20,000.

PBS Kids Launches Spanish-Language Shows on Amazon Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution has launched Spanish-language versions of a variety of PBS Kids programs on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Spanish-language versions of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Scigirls,” “Cyberchase” and “Caillou” debuted on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel May 24.

“We’re excited to expand our PBS KIDS channel offering to include a selection of episodes presented in Spanish,” said Andrea Downing, co-president, PBS Distribution, in a statement. “Our aim is to provide educational and entertaining programming for all kids, and this expansion helps further that mission.”

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The launch includes a total of 30 episodes of PBS Kids programming available in Spanish. Subscribers of the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Channel will not need to pay any extra fee for the newly available programs.