Video Streaming Widens Appeal Over Pay-TV Among Telecom Customers

Video streaming expanded its lead over subscription TV service in terms of customer satisfaction, rising to a score of 76 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 100-point scale.

According to the ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018-2019, subscription TV service stagnated at 62, tied with internet service providers for last place among all industries tracked by the ACSI — subscription TV, ISPs, fixed-line telephone service, video-on-demand service and video streaming service.

Video streaming topped all industries tracked.

“Video streaming once again proves itself to be the best of the telecom industries in customer satisfaction,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI. “Traditional telecom providers have tried to step up their game, but they’re not providing original content the way video streaming is, and in part they suffer guilt by association — if customers aren’t satisfied overall with Comcast, they’re probably going to ding Comcast’s on-demand service too.”

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Among video streaming services, Netflix secured first place at 79 after sharing the lead with Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Amazon Twitch the previous year. Netflix ranked at the top for original content among all streaming services, according to the ACSI. Sony’s PlayStation Vue landed in second place at 78, followed by the Microsoft Store at 77. Hulu stepped up to match Amazon Prime Video and Apple iTunes at 76. Five services clustered at 75: CBS All Access, Google Play, Amazon’s gaming platform Twitch, Walmart’s Vudu and Google’s YouTube. Dish Network’s Sling TV was the most improved, meeting HBO at 74. Starz matched the combined score of smaller platforms at 72, while Showtime followed close behind at 71. AT&T’s DirecTV Now fell to 69, ahead of only Sony Crackle, which remained unchanged at 68.

For the past six years, customer satisfaction with subscription TV has languished in the mid-to-low 60s, according to the study. AT&T’s U-verse TV held the lead for subscription TV at 69, followed by Verizon’s Fios at 68 and Dish Network at 67. AT&T’s satellite TV service DirecTV came in at 66, Altice’s Optimum tallied 61, and Charter’s Spectrum came in at 59 to tie with Cox Communications. Frontier Communications and Comcast’s Xfinity came in at 57. Mediacom followed closely at 56. Altice’s Suddenlink tumbles to the bottom of the category at 55.

Customer satisfaction with video-on-demand service slipped to an ACSI score of 67 as viewers continue to turn toward streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, according to the study. AT&T’s U-verse TV service held the lead a year ago, but this year shared the top spot with Verizon’s Fios at a score of 72. Satellite provider Dish Network dropped to 71 but remained just ahead of DirecTV, unchanged at 70. Frontier Communications debuted in the category with a score of 67, in line with the industry average. Three decliners met at 66: Cox Communications, Altice’s Optimum and Comcast’s Xfinity. Charter’s Spectrum remains unchanged at the bottom of the category with a 64.

Unchanged at a score of 62, ISPs remain at the bottom of the ACSI rankings. Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an affordable price, according to the ACSI release. Verizon’s Fios was stable at the top of the category with an ACSI score of 70, but AT&T Internet closed in at 69. Altice’s Optimum fell to 63 but remained the leader among coaxial providers. Meanwhile, Comcast’s Xfinity inched closer to the industry average at 61. Cox Communications tallied 60, tying Altice’s Suddenlink. Charter’s Spectrum and CenturyLink came in at 59.

‘Lucifer’ Returns to Take Top Spot on Parrot Analytics Digital Originals Chart

The fourth season of “Lucifer” bowed on Netflix May 8, propelling the supernatural series to No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended May 11, the first time the show has appeared on the chart.

“Lucifer,” adapted from the DC Comics Sandman comic book, was canceled by the Fox network a year ago and subsequently picked up by Netflix, making it eligible for digital originals tracking with the debut of the new season, which registered 49 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. According to Parrot, “Lucifer” grew 57.8% in expressions, from 31 million, compared with the previous week.

YouTube Premium’s “Cobra Kai,” a sequel to 1984’s The Karate Kid, dropped to No. 2 after two weeks in the top spot, registering 41.4 million expressions, down 16% from the previous week.

DC Universe’s “Doom Patrol” held onto the No. 3 spot with 31.2 million expressions, up 2.4% from a week earlier.

Another DC Universe series, “Titans,” remained at No. 4 with 29.9 million expressions, down slightly from the previous week.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” jumped to No. 5 for the week with 28.2 million expressions, up 7% from the previous week, when it ranked eighth.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

By comparison, the biggest TV show of any kind for the week was HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” currently in its final season, which drew 607 million expressions.

“Lucifer” was the No. 6 overall show in expressions for the week, rising from No. 27 a week before.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

‘Apple Channels’ Platform Launches Offering Access to Third-Party Streaming Services

Apple May 13 has formally launched “Apple Channels,” an app enabling users access to third-party subscription streaming services such as HBO Now, Showtime OTT and Lionsgate-owned Starz, among others.

The platform mimics Amazon Prime Channels, which bowed in 2015 offering Prime members direct access to HBO Now, Showtime, CBS All Access, Shudder, Sundance Now, Dove Channel, Acorn TV, Urban Movie Channel, among other others.

Amazon Channels, which maintains control over third-party OTT usage among Prime members, in addition to revenue sharing deals, has been credited by WarnerMedia, LIonsgate and CBS for driving subscriber growth for their respective brands.

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Apple Channels reportedly is getting from 15% to 30% of third-party revenue from subscribers registering through The App Store on Apple devices.

In addition, Apple Channels users can only stream third-party content through its app on Apple devices; not on other platforms such as Roku, Google Chromecast or PlayStation Vue, among others.

Current third-party SVOD subs can access the platforms through Apple Channels. The platform is not Apple TV+, the new SVOD platform launching later this year.

Super Bowl LIII, Tax Credit Help CBS Offset Growing OTT Video Content Costs

Advertising revenue from February’s Super Bowl LIII broadcast and a tax benefit contributed to CBS Corp. May 2 reporting a 140% increase in first-quarter (ended March 31) net income to $1.58 billion, compared with $511 million in net income the previous-year period. Revenue increased 11% to $4.17 billion, from $3.76 billion for the prior-year period.

CBS said it received a “discrete” tax benefit of $768 million from the  reorganization of the company’s international operations.

The company said direct-to-consumer video subs, which include CBS All Access and Showtime OTT, grew 71% to 9 million combined subscribers, from 5.3 million in 2018.

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“We are seeing strong growth here in the second quarter thanks to premium original series such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ on CBS All Access and ‘Billions’ on Showtime OTT,” acting CEO Joseph Ianniello said in a statement. “At the same time, we also continue to produce more and more content for a variety of buyers, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, which will debut ‘Dead to Me’ from CBS Television Studios tomorrow.”

Increased content production for Showtime OTT contributed to the cable networks business unit (which includes Showtime OTT) reporting a 26% drop in operating income to $175 million from $236 million last year. Revenue dipped 3% to $552 million from $571 million last year.

The entertainment unit, which includes CBS All Access, CBSN and other streaming services, reported a 9% increase in operating income to $530 million from $486 million for the same prior-year period. Revenue increased 15% to $3.18 billion from $2.75 billion.

‘Cobra Kai’ Takes Over No. 1 on Parrot Analytics Digital Originals Chart

The premiere of the second season of “Cobra Kai” helped push the show back into the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals chart for the week ended April 27.

All 10 episodes of the season bowed April 24 on YouTube Premium, leading to the show registering 41.2 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. That was up 40% from the previous week, when it was No. 6 on the chart. The series is a sequel to 1984’s The Karate Kid, following the adult lives of the film’s teenage characters as they introduce a new generation to martial arts.

The previous week’s top title, Hulu’s true-crime drama “The Act,” dropped to No. 2 with 39.3 million expressions, down 9.5%.

The CBS All Access series “Star Trek: Discovery” held onto the No. 3 spot with 36.4 million expressions, up 9.6%.

Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” slipped to No. 4 for the week with a 15% decline in expressions to 36.1 million.

Rounding out the top five was DC Universe’s “Titans,” down one spot from the previous week with 31 million expressions, a 1.8% drop.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

By comparison, the biggest TV show of any kind for the week was HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” currently in its final season, which drew 482 million expressions.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

‘The Act’ Jumps to No. 1 on Parrot Analytics Digital Originals Chart

A pivotal episode of the Hulu’s “The Act” propelled the true crime drama to the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals chart for the week ended April 20.

“The Act,” which bowed its sixth of eight episodes during the week, registered 43.4 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. That was up 25% from the previous week, when it was No. 3 on the chart.

Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which bowed the entirety of its latest batch of episodes April 5, slipped to No. 2 for the week with a 20.6% decline in expressions to 42.5 million.

The April 18 season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” helped to bump the CBS All Access series to No. 3 with 33.2 million expressions, up 10%. The sci-fi series, which has been renewed for a third season after some major changes to its premise, was No. 9 a week before.

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The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

DC Universe’s “Titans” rose two spots to No. 4 with 31.6 million expressions, essentially flat with the previous week.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” dropped a spot to No. 5 after an 8.5% dip in expressions to 30.4 million.

YouTube Premium’s “Cobra Kai” jumped from No. 10 the previous week to No. 6, though its expressions dipped 2% to 29.4 million. The second season of the “Karate Kid” spinoff debuts April 24.

“The Twilight Zone,” another venerable franchise being restarted on CBS All Access, rose to No. 8 for the week, from N0. 11 a week earlier. Its expressions dropped 7.6% to 27.1 million.

The biggest jump on the chart came from a show with an eclectic distribution history, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” The animated series originally aired for five seasons on Cartoon Network from 2008 to 2013, but was canceled after Disney bought Lucasfilm. A sixth season of episodes that were complete at the time of its cancellation debuted on Netflix in 2014, making it eligible for digital originals tracking. A seventh season will debut on the new Disney+ streaming service this fall, and was previewed during a Disney investor presentation April 11 and at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago April 11-15. The publicity helped push the show from No. 28 to No. 10 on the originals chart, with an 86% bump in expressions to 23.3 million.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

‘On My Block’ Climbs to No. 2 on Digital Originals Chart

The March 29 debut of the second season of “On My Block” helped push the Netflix series to No. 2 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals chart for the week ended April 6, up from the No. 13 spot a week earlier.

The show, a coming-of-age drama about four teens in the Los Angeles inner city, registered 43.3 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content, representing a 142.5% spike from the previous week.

Another big gainer for the week was CBS All Access’ “The Twilight Zone” reboot from Jordan Peele, which debuted its first two episodes April 1. The show registered 40.3 million expressions during the week, a 135% jump that pushed it to No. 5 on the chart, up from No. 16 a week earlier.

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Netflix’s “Stranger Things” held onto the No. 1 spot for another week with 46 million expressions, an 11% dip from 51.5 million the previous week.

Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” slipped one spot to No. 3 for the week, drawing 42.5 million expressions, a 3% gain from a week earlier.

Hulu’s true crime drama “The Act” rose to No. 4 from the seventh spot a week earlier, upping its weekly expressions 58% to 42 million.

Amazon Prime Video’s “Hanna,” based on the 2011 movie of the same name, jumped to No. 8 from No. 28 with 28.5 million expressions, a 146% increase from the previous week.

The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

CBS All Access ‘Twilight Zone’ Producers Discuss Reimagining the Series

Taking on a reboot of the iconic “Twilight Zone” series from Rod Serling was daunting, but executive producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) made it simple.

“Jordon said to me, ‘Dude, “Twilight Zone’s” not broken. The more that we can honor the original, the more that we can be humble about the lessons we learned from Rod Serling in the original series, the better this show will be,’” said executive producer Win Rosenfeld.

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Producers discussed the reimagining of the iconic series March 30 at WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif., and the influence of Peele. The series debuts on CBS All Access April 1.

“He’s just a deeply ethical and moral person who really cares about the world that we live in, and I think the reason he’s become, he’s gotten the accolades and the attention he’s gotten in the last few years, is he also happens to be a master of genre,” Rosenfeld said of Peele on a panel during WonderCon.

Questions from immigration to guns to violence and corruption are ripe for the genre treatment, panelists said.

“What Jordan is great at is realizing the best way to address these things is through science-fiction and fantasy,” Rosenfeld said.

Fellow producer Glen Morgan noted that Serling had always been focused on society’s ills.

“Rod serling was writing dramas on TV and the networks were telling him you can’t talk about that, and that’s why he did ‘The Twilight Zone,’ so he could talk about those things, about bigotry and greed and warnings about upcoming technology,” Morgan said.

“The advantage of genre is actually — and in a way it gets underestimated — is you can slip things under the radar,” added writer Alex Rubens.

Reimagining the score had to include the legendary “Twilight Zone” theme, co-composers noted.

“The first thing we thought was we gotta keep the theme,” said co-composer Marco Beltrami. Co-composer Brandon Roberts commented it would be “musical suicide” to redo or reject the theme music. But they added new and old (including a theremin) influences into the musical score.

But the music isn’t the only thing recalling the old series.

“We’re Easter egg junkies, and there’s certainly a lot of that in there,” said Rosenfeld.

Producers went so far as to borrow a prop from an old “Twilight Zone” episode, the dummy Willie. The nearly century-old dummy (from Vaudeville times) was owned by David Copperfield.

“This thing is worth half a million dollars,” noted Morgan. Copperfield generously lended it to the series for a mention.

“He’s sitting in the green room in an episode,” Morgan said.

‘Umbrella Academy,’ ‘Doom Patrol’ Maintain Top Spots on Parrot Analytics Digital Originals Chart

Demand for Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” has grown since its Feb. 15 premiere according to Parrot Analytics’ digital originals Demand Expressions chart for the week ended March 2.

“Umbrella Academy” held onto the No. 1 spot for a second-consecutive week with 47.1 million average daily Demand Expressions, the proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. That was up from 41.7 million a week earlier, a 13% gain.

The show is adapted from the Dark Horse comic book about a band of sibling superheroes.

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DC Universe’s “Doom Patrol,” which launched on the same day as “Umbrella Academy,” held onto the No. 2 spot with 29.5 million expressions, up 4% from the prior week.

The Demand Expressions metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

DC Universe’s “Titans” rose a spot to No. 3 despite a 3.5% drop in expressions, to 27.8 million.

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” slipped to No. 4 with 26.8 million expressions, down 5%.

“Star Trek: Discovery,” from CBS All Access, rose two spots to No. 5 with 25.3 million expressions, up 6.4%. The show was renewed for a third season during the week.

Elsewhere on the chart, Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” rose to No. 7, from No. 12 the previous week, with a 9.8% jump in expressions to 22 million as news of the final season wrapping production made the rounds on social media.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ Tops ‘TV Time’ Binge Week Chart

Netflix’s just-released superhero series, “The Umbrella Academy,” was the most binge-watched show of the week Feb. 11-17, according to new data from TVTime.com.

The website registers a binge session when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

“Umbrella Academy,” which co-stars Ellen Page spearheading a dysfunctional family of superheroes, was binged-watched 3.29%, compared to “One Day at a Time” (Netflix), which was binge-watched 2.59%. Rounding out the podium was “Friends,” the former NBC sitcom being binge-viewed 2.57%.

Previous-week top shows – Netflix’s “Russian Doll” and “Sex Education” – ranked ninth and seventh, respectively. NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS All Access) ranked fourth and 10th, respectively.

The CW had two shows in the Top 10 with “Gossip Girl” (6th) and “Riverdale” (8th).