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.

 

Netflix Bows Automatic Download, Delete Feature for Android

Netflix July 10 introduced “Smart Downloads.” The feature, initially available on Android phones and tablets, automatically deletes a downloaded episode when subscribers finish watching it and then automatically downloads the next episode, according to the company blog.

“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better,” read the blog from Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation. “Whether it is smart downloading or viewing a mobile preview, we realize the best part of Netflix is connecting with the stories you will love in an easier and more fun way.”

Members can choose when they want to use Smart Downloads, according to the blog. There are more details on the feature here .

Dish Debuts Google Assistant Voice Control

Dish July 9 debuted its integration with the Google Assistant for a hands-free TV entertainment experience.

Dish customers with a Hopper, Hopper Duo, Joey or Wally can control their TV using their voice when paired with an Assistant device, such as Google Home, Android phones or iPhones.

Dish is the first pay-TV provider to offer direct compatibility with the Assistant.

“Since we first introduced voice control technology, we’ve seen our customers really embrace the hands-free TV experience,” said Niraj Desai, Dish VP of product management, in a statement. “Our collaboration with Google is an exciting opportunity for us to continue meeting demand for voice and changing the way we interact with television.”

“We want to make it easy and fun for people to turn their living room into a smart entertainment center with the Assistant,” said Michele Turner, senior director, Google Smart Home Ecosystem, in a statement. “By working closely with Dish, we’ll ensure that customers can easily control their TVs through the Assistant, instead of searching for or having to share the remote.”

Customers can ask the Assistant to set recordings, adjust volume and launch apps such as Game Finder, Netflix and Pandora. Customers can also use the Assistant to navigate, play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and search content based on channel, title, actor or genre. When using search functionality, the results displayed include Dish’s live, recorded and on-demand titles, as well as Netflix’s selection of TV shows and movies.

Spanish-language support will be coming soon, according to Dish.

FandangoNow Bows 4K UHD Titles for Android TV for Arrival of Top Pre-order of All Time ‘Black Panther’

In time for the May 8 home entertainment debut of Black Panther, Fandango’s video on-demand streaming service, FandangoNow, has launched 4K Ultra HD titles for all Android TVs, bringing the service’s catalog to Sony Bravia-connected TVs, NVIDIA Shield 4K HDR streaming media players and Hisense brand connected TVs.

The new product rollout adds to FandangoNow’s support of 4K devices, including Roku, LG and VIZIO.

Marvel’s Black Panther, released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, ranks as the top pre-order of all time on FandangoNow and is available in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. FandangoNow is the only digital streaming service to offer 4K Ultra HD content from all of the major studios, as well as dozens of other content providers, according to the company.

“We’re excited to bring our 4K Ultra HD content from all the major studios and content providers, including Marvel’s Black Panther, to Android TV,” said Fandango VP Cameron Douglas in a statement. “We want to offer customers easy access to the best entertainment choices available for streaming and our latest product rollout on Android TV greatly expands our footprint for fans searching for 4K content.”

Fans ordering Black Panther on FandangoNow will receive an exclusive complimentary fan art poster of General Okoye (Danai Gurira) with every purchase or rental of Black Panther on FandangoNow, while supplies last (shipping and handling not included). The new artwork by illustrator Jon Moody marks the first time FandangoNow will offer an exclusive poster, in partnership with movie merchandise marketplace Fandango FanShop.

Dish Anywhere Available on Android TV Devices

The Dish Anywhere app is now available on Android TV devices, Dish announced.

While Dish Anywhere has been available on Android mobile devices since 2013, customers can now use Android TV media players and smart TVs for the first time to access their Dish programming, either at home or on the go, according to Dish.

Dish Anywhere gives Hopper customers the ability to watch 100 percent of their live and recorded content, plus thousands of on-demand titles, from any location on internet-connected mobile devices, including smart phones, tablets and computers, and televisions via Amazon Fire TV and now Android TV.

“Media players provide easy access to video content, so it’s no wonder one-third of U.S. broadband households own these devices,” said Niraj Desai, Dish VP of product management. “By expanding the Dish Anywhere app to Android TV, we’re giving our customers more ways to view their content on devices they already own, at no additional cost.”

Dish Anywhere can be accessed on Android TV devices, including media players such as the AirTV Player, Mi Box and NVIDIA Shield TV, and Sharp Aquos and Sony Bravia smart TVs. Dish set-top boxes that give customers access to live, recorded and on-demand content on Dish Anywhere include Hopper 3, Hopper with Sling, and first-generation Hopper or compatible ViP receivers connected to a Sling Adapter. All Dish customers may use Dish Anywhere to watch on-demand titles.

To watch Dish Anywhere on Android TV, consumer can download the free app from the Google Play Store.

Netflix Launches Mobile Previews

Netflix April 19 introduced mobile previews on iOS, according to a blog post by Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation.

The service is coming soon to Android, he wrote.

“Mobile previews present members with a fun, simple, and easy way to learn about all the new content on Netflix — and find something great to watch even faster,” he wrote. “Each preview is about 30 seconds long and presented in a vertical format, so you can watch them without turning your phone. The previews are shown like a slideshow, so if you see something you like, you can tap play or add to your list. If not, you can swipe or tap the screen to advance to the next preview.”

The move comes on the heels of video previews on the TV launched last year.

“Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly,” Johnson wrote. “With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.”

“Mobile previews load very quickly, are personalized to your specific tastes, and are easy to use.”

Fandango Incorporates Google Pay

Seeking to simplify online payment transactions, Fandango Jan. 8 announced it is using Google Pay as a digital payment option for movie ticket purchases across its online, mobile and social ticketing platforms.

Google Pay includes Android Pay and Google Wallet.

According to a recent Fandango survey, 81% of respondents said they currently used some sort of digital payment service.

“Fandango is always looking for new ways to make discovering movies and purchasing tickets faster and easier for moviegoers,” Mark Young, SVP, strategy & business development, said in a statement.

Moviegoers can expedite the checkout process on Fandango by selecting Google Pay as a payment option after choosing the show time and entering the quantity of tickets to purchase.

Fandango is offering a $5-discount on all tickets ordered using Google Pay on the Fandango Android app and entering the promo code (GooglePay2018). Offer available while supplies last, with a limit of one code per person.

In 2017, Fandango saw more than 70% of its ticket sales coming from mobile devices.  In December, the company closed its acquisition of MovieTickets.com, which will join ticketing brands Fandango, Flixster, Ingresso and Fandango Latin America to create a global suite of movie ticketing properties.