Ford to Debut New Bronco Vehicles in Short Films on Disney, Hulu Platforms

With automobile shows cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ford Motor Company July 2 announced it would reveal its new Ford Bronco 4×4 vehicles in a series of custom videos on July 13 across Disney’s Media Networks, including ABC, ESPN, National Geographic and Hulu.

It’s the first time Ford has launched a primetime TV product reveal across Disney’s broadcast, cable, digital and streaming channels.

The automaker initially planned to reveal the Bronco 4×4 SUVs in June at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. After the pandemic prompted organizers to cancel the show, Ford’s marketing team reconceived the reveal strategy, aiming to pull in an even broader audience.

The campaign marks the first time Disney’s creative agency is deploying custom branded content, across multiple networks. Each film will air on the respective networks during the first commercial break in the 8 p.m. ET hour.

All three-minute films will be available to viewers on Hulu, starting July 14, through interactive ad formats, and within a curated collection of outdoor and survival-themed content aligned with the Bronco lifestyle.

“With Ford, we’re reimagining what a product reveal can look like by drawing upon our sports, entertainment and streaming brands,” Rita Ferro, president, Disney Advertising Sales, said in a statement.

The ABC spot features country music singer Kip Moore during “CMA Best of Fest,” the Country Music Association’s three-hour concert experience, airing July 13 (8:00–11:00 p.m. ET). The ESPN video — airing during “SportsCenter” — features a different Bronco model with professional climber Brooke Raboutou.

Academy Award-winning director, cinematographer, photographer Jimmy Chin will spotlight another Bronco during “National Parks: Yosemite” on National Geographic. Additionally, Chin will judge a hashtag challenge contest and appear in an “Instagram Story” featuring the Bronco on NatGeo’s Instagram account.

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In addition to the films created for ABC, ESPN and National Geographic, Ford also will share additional special content with fans on its YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels starting at 8 p.m. ET on July 13.

“As a new era for Bronco begins, we’re proud to tap the strengths of epic adventurers like Jimmy Chin and Disney storytellers to help bring Bronco to life,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer.

ESPN+ Raising Subscription Price in August

Despite a dearth of live sports programming, Disney reportedly is set to raise the price of subscription streaming service ESPN+ by $1 to $5.99 monthly beginning in August. The new price would equal the monthly fee for Hulu basic with advertising. The annual $49.99 fee stays the same. Existing ESPN+ subs would be grandfathered into the new price point after one year, according to The Verge, which first reported the price hike, citing sources.

Launched in 2018, ESPN+ features streaming access to 20 sports, including the PGA Tour, UFC, NBA and NFL, and ended March with 7.9 million subs.

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Disney has been aggressively marketing the service bundled with Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 — a move research firm eMarketer contends will drive ESPN+ subs to 15 million by the end of the year. Disney is also offering standalone ESPN+ subs access to Hulu and Disney+ for $9.99 monthly.

eMarketer contends 36.5 million people in the country will watch live sports digitally this year (when they resume) — including 23.7% watching via digital channels.

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Disney+ Launching ‘Summer Movie Nights’ on July 3

Subscription streaming service Disney+ is set to launch its first “Summer Movie Nights,” featuring a lineup of brand new original and newly announced family movies.

Viewers can use #DisneyPlusMovieNights and follow Disney+ on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for live Q&As, watch parties and exclusive content bringing the excitement of the summer movie season into their homes.

Beginning Friday, July 3 with the premiere of Hamilton, the filmed version of the original Broadway production, subscribers can watch catalog titles and original features premiering every week. Titles include: Hamilton combines the best elements of live theater, film and streaming to bring the cultural phenomenon to homes around the world for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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The Mighty Ducks (July 3) – Emilio Estevez portrays a trial attorney who gets a community service assignment: coaching a hapless group of pee wee hockey players.

Friday, July 10
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves in an epic struggle to change the past and save our future.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story – Through a series of daring escapades, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca in an epic adventure directed by Ron Howard and written by Jonathan & Lawrence Kasdan.

Friday, July 17
X-Men: Apocalypse – Apocalypse, the most powerful mutant in the universe, tries to destroy all of mankind. To save humanity, Professor X leads the X-Men in a showdown that will determine the fate of the world.

Friday, July 24
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by old rival Captain Salazar and a crew of deadly ghosts who escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea … notably him.

Friday, July 31
Incredibles 2 – Helen is called on to help bring Supers back, and Bob must juggle the daily heroics of home life. But when a new villain arises with a sinister plot, the Parrs meet the challenge together!

Friday, Aug. 7
X-Men – The X-Men, a group of mutants with extraordinary powers, wage a fight against both intolerance, and a fellow band of radical mutants intent on exterminating the human race.

The Peanuts Movie– Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle and flying ace takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis The Red Baron, while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest.

Friday, Aug. 14
Ant-Man and the Wasp – As he struggles to balance his home life and Super Hero duties, Scott Lang finds he must suit up as Ant-Man again, joining the Wasp on an urgent mission to uncover secrets from the past.

The Greatest Showman – Hugh Jackman stars in this bold and original musical – inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum – celebrating the birth of show business and dreams coming to life.

Friday, Aug. 21
Beauty and the Beast (2017) – The story and characters you love come to life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, a cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.

Friday, Aug. 28
Fantastic Four (2005) – Transformed into superheroes after surviving a disaster in space, The Fantastic Four struggle to reconcile their powers, responsibilities and relationships as a dysfunctional family. Overcoming their personal conflicts, they finally join forces to defeat Dr. Doom, the malevolent, metallic embodiment of their treacherous former patron.

Alice Through the Looking Glass – When Alice comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland, she discovers that her friend the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) has lost his Muchness and embarks on a perilous race to save him before time runs out.

Friday, Sept. 4
The Wolverine – The Wolverine returns to face his ultimate nemesis in an action packed battle that takes him to modern day Japan; an epic fight that will change him forever.

“Disney Bundle” subs (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu) will also have new movies premiering throughout on Hulu, including the premiere of Palm Springs on July 10, alongside ESPN+’s library of original documentaries and films. Additional library titles and premiere dates will be announced in the Next on Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ monthly listings email.

Report: Netflix, Hulu Use Declined as COVID-19 Quarantine Measures Relaxed

The re-opening of the economy from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown could be having an adverse effect on subscription streaming service such as Netflix and Hulu.

New data from Strategy Analytics finds the surge in users of SVOD services during the stay-at-home period was not always sustained once people were allowed to move around more freely.

The report, citing a nationwide survey of more than 4,000 U.S. adults in March, April and May found that 42% of respondents used Netflix in May, compared to 50% in April and 47% in March. User numbers of other services, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+, followed a similar “pandemic peak” pattern.

The results suggest that significant numbers of users were binging on services in March and April but as restrictions were loosened in May the number of users declined as they were able to pursue more normal activities once again. This did not apply to all services, however: the number of users of both Apple TV+ and CBS All Access rose in both April and May.

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Surveys in the U.S. were fielded online March 21-22 (sample 1,444),  April 21-22 (1,220) and May 22-24 (1,270) and used a nationally representative sample of adults aged 18+.

“Ironically Netflix may have suffered through being the most popular SVOD service, since it appears to have attracted many new but ultimately temporary users during the pandemic,” Michael Goodman, director, TV and media strategies and the report’s author, said in a statement.

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Goodman said Netflix Q2 fiscal results next month would be “watched with interest” to see whether the streaming behemoth’s strong Q1 performance is sustained into Q2.

“We still believe that Netflix numbers will exceed expectations overall during 2020, but now that the pandemic impact is waning, the company will face more traditional challenges associated with customer retention, win-back and targeting the right content to appropriate interests and demographics,” Goodman said.

David Mercer, VP, media and intelligent home, said it’s not surprising that there was a spike in demand for video services as many people were stuck at home for several weeks. SVOD services, he said, have benefited to varying degrees, and must all now focus on retaining customers who joined recently as well as ensuring that their content development strategies are on track.

“This will prove challenging for many players, given the continuing crisis in video production as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” Mercer said.

Hulu’s ‘Love, Victor’ Top Rising Show, Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Hulu’s “Love, Victor” was the top rising show and Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” was again the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended June 21.

The fourth and final season of “13 Reasons Why” hit Netflix June 5, and the show topped the binge chart for a third consecutive week. As the series ends, the senior class at Liberty High School is preparing for graduation, but before they can say goodbye, they’ll have to keep a dangerous secret buried. No. 2 on the binge chart was the ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” moving up from No. 3. Taking the bronze was Netflix’s supernatural horror series “The Order,” season two of which hit screens June 18.

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Top rising show “Love, Victor” debuted on Hulu June 19. Inspired by the 2018 film Love, Simon, the romantic dramedy shares Victor’s challenges and self-discovery as he adjusts to a new high school and struggles with his sexual orientation.

Netflix swept spots Nos. 2 through 6 on the rising show chart. Taking the silver was “Mr. Iglesias,” featuring comedian Gabrial Iglesias as a high school teacher, with “The Order” at No. 3.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended June 21 by Share of Binges:

  1. “13 Reasons Why” (Netflix) — 3.44%
  2. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.48%
  3. “The Order” (Netflix) — 2.17%
  4. “Dynasty” (The CW) — 1.88%
  5. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.63%
  6. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.58%
  7. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.27%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.21%
  9. “The 100” (The CW) — 1.20%
  10. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 1.14%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended June 21 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 100%
  2. “Mr. Iglesias” (Netflix) — 97.6%
  3. “The Order” (Netflix) — 97.5%
  4. “Coronavirus, Explained” (Netflix) — 97.1%
  5. “The Politician” (Netflix) — 95.8%
  6. “Girls From Ipanema” (Netflix) — 95.7%
  7. “Tomorrow Is Ours” (TF1) — 77.3%
  8. “The Sinner” (USA) — 71%
  9. “Power Rangers” (Nickelodeon) — 58%
  10. “One Day at a Time” (Pop) — 50.2%

Hulu Celebrates Pride Month With Free Virtual Fest, New Content

Hulu is celebrating Pride Month by offering new content in its LGBTQ+ hub and mounting its first-ever virtual PrideFest June 28.

The moves commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march and allow consumers to observe the event via social distancing as festivities are cancelled or postponed.

The Hulu PrideFest event will be an immersive digital experience that will allow users to virtually connect and enjoy exclusive music, dance, and spoken-word performances and programming throughout the day, according to the service.

Both Hulu subscribers and non-subscribers can visit the free festival at www.hulupridefest.com.

Upon arrival, guests will enter “The Green Room,” where they will have the option to create their own fully customizable avatar. Avatars can be customized with a drag wig or outfit patterns, including ferris wheels (“Love, Victor”), crowns and swords (“The Bravest Knight”), “Bonkers” the dog (“Shrill”), and basketballs (“Defining Moments with Ozy: Jason Collins”). 

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Guests can then proceed to “The Main Stage” to view Hulu content and interact with talent in a live festival environment. The day’s lineup includes DJ sets from artists such as Coco & Breezy, who will premiere a new single “Convo” (out June 26), musical performances by singer/songwriter Daya, Alex Newell (Glee”) and VINCINT, a spoken word session by Lee Mokobe, and a dance performance on the “History of Voguing” by House of Ebony. Visitors can also attend an “Out in Sports” panel with U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, transgender boxer Pat Manuel, and Jason Collins, the first openly gay active player in one of the four major sports leagues.

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Hulu’s PrideFest also features experiences such as a flower field where guests are encouraged to plant their own virtual flowers in a community garden with inspiring or supportive messages. Attendees will also have the ability to donate to the ACLU, an organization that fights for racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights, by clicking through to the ACLU website.

As part of its ongoing commitment to diverse stories, Hulu’s LGBTQ+ hub will feature new episodes of its exclusive series “Defining Moments,” featuring “Pose” actress and advocate Dominique Jackson and Jason Collins. The year-round hub features more than 100 titles, including new Hulu Original “Love, Victor,” which premiered June 17 and was inspired by the feature film Love, Simon.

Imax Documentaries Headed to Hulu

With most movie theaters, including Imax screens, still shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Imax has reportedly inked a deal with Disney-owned Hulu to stream a slate of 16 theatrical documentaries on the SVOD platform beginning this summer.

Titles include Pandas, Into the Deep, Space Station and A Beautiful Planet, Hulu include Superpower Dogs, the Oscar-nominated Fires of Kuwait, Galapagos, Hail Columbia! and Journey to the South Pacific, among others.

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“With people at home there is an immense and growing desire for discovery, particularly for students, families and children. For years Imax has helped share the power of the natural world and the potential of human existence, and now, together with Hulu, we can bring those incredible, enlightening experiences to millions more,” Megan Colligan, president of Imax Entertainment said in a statement.

Since the first Imax film, Tiger Child, debuted at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, Imax has helped transport audiences into realistic screen images across more than 75 documentaries using proprietary technology. Imax originals have been nominated for Academy Awards (Fires of Kuwait 1992), traveled to the depths of the sea (Journey to the South Pacific 2013), and ventured into space 24 times.

Hollywood’s stars lending their voices to Imax docs, include narrations from Tom Cruise (Space Station 2002), Jennifer Lawrence (A Beautiful Planet 2016), Kristen Bell (Pandas 2018), and more. The forthcoming Asteroid Hunters is narrated by Daisy Ridley.

Many of the Imax docs headed to Hulu have also been filmed or digitally remastered with brilliant, proprietary visual and audio technology.

Colligan says that despite Hulu featuring Imax’s coveted screen and sound features, it will still be able to convey to streamers specific world experiences and information about science and exploration, among other topics.

“[Hulu is] absolutely crafted for immersive sound and the immersive screen,” she said. “School has ended and many kids and families across the country are searching for co-viewing content.”

Disney+ Tops 4.3 Million Subs in United Kingdom in One Month

Subscription streaming video service Disney+ ended April as the United Kingdom’s third-largest SVOD player, with 4.3 million subscribers — just weeks after launching on March 24, according to new data from Omdia Consumer Research.

Disney’s SVOD service has a 16.8% market share, which trails Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which claimed 58.4% and 46.9% market share, respectively.

“Disney+ arrived in the U.K. just as COVID-19 social distancing and quarantine measures commenced,” Maria Rua Aguete, senior research director of video, TV and advertising for Omdia, said in a statement. “Streaming services … have become the biggest winners during the lockdown as consumers have sought new entertainment experiences to keep themselves entertained.”

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Aguete said current catalogs offered by SVOD services have become increasingly alluring to viewers, given than the pandemic has halted production of new video content.

Streaming services such as Disney+ are also reaping the benefits as subscriptions fall for competitive pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) sports-focused platforms, such as DAZN,

These same dynamics are also propelling the success of Disney+ in other regions. Disney is now the fourth-ranked SVOD provider in the United States. Disney in April claimed 25% of U.S. SVOD subscribers, compared with 29% for Hulu, 47% for Prime Video and 60% for Netflix. One out of four U.S. households now has access to Disney+, Omdia’s survey revealed.

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WarnerMedia Names Richard Tom New CTO

New CEO Jason Kilar June 1 increased his management footprint on WarnerMedia by naming former colleague Richard Tom chief technology officer (CTO), effective immediately.

Tom will lead WarnerMedia’s technology and operations organization, including technology strategy, platform development and operations as well as shared services with other business segments. This includes the company’s data strategy, content delivery systems, master control operations, broadcast engineering and the technology platform for its new streaming service, HBO Max, among other areas. In addition, AT&T’s ad-distribution platform Xandr will also now report to Tom.

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Richard Tom

“Richard is a rare bird in that he brings deep technical chops, a dogged customer focus, clear and bold vision, and a magnetism that attracts other world class builders to him,” Kilar said in a statement. “WarnerMedia’s future will be as much about technology as it will be about storytelling and having Rich report to me as our technical leader strongly signals that.”

Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Tom served as an advisor and consultant for technology focused consumer and B2B companies, as well as venture-backed startups. His previous experience also includes serving as CTO and SVP of Hulu (when Kilar was CEO), where he built and led technical infrastructure at Hulu. He, alongside Kilar, co-founded Vessel — a global ad-supported, subscription-based, short-form video service that provided viewers early access to videos from top influencers, traditional television, major sports leagues and music publishers. Additionally, Tom served as CTO of Digital Entertainment at Verizon.

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Former WarnerMedia CTO, Jeremy Legg, will join AT&T Communications to lead the technology services organization as EVP and CTO, reporting to Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications.

“Jeremy, through his leadership of the technology organization, has had such a positive and material impact on WarnerMedia, with last week’s launch of HBO Max being just the most recent example,” Kilar said. “I know I speak for all of us when I say how glad I am that Jeremy won’t be going far. I wish Jeremy the best of luck in what is sure to be a period of wonderfully positive impact at AT&T.”

Hulu’s ‘Love, Victor’ Top New, Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ Top Returning Show on June Anticipated Series Chart

Shows about teen angst took the top spots on the TV Time anticipated series chart for June.

Hulu’s “Love, Victor” was the most anticipated new show, while Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” was the top anticipated returning show for the month.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the company. TV Time’s “Anticipation Report” is based on data from those users.

Inspired by the 2018 film Love, Simon, the romantic dramedy “Love, Victor” shares Victor’s challenges and self-discovery as he adjusts to a new high school and struggles with his sexual orientation. Taking the silver on the new show chart was HBO’s “Perry Mason,” about a down-and-out criminal defense lawyer in 1930s Los Angeles. Coming in third was the Italian fantasy thriller “Curon,” followed in fourth by Amazon Prime’s “Alex Rider,” about a reluctant London teenager who is recruited by the British MI6 to infiltrate a remote boarding school for the ultra-rich. Rounding out the anticipated new show chart at No. 5 was HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” a new series from “Chewing Gum” creator Michaela Coel.

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The fourth and final season of “13 Reasons Why” hits Netflix June 5.  In the top anticipated returning show, the senior class at Liberty High School is preparing for graduation, but before they can say goodbye, they’ll have to keep a dangerous secret buried. Netflix also swept the rest of the returning shows chart. The German drama “Dark,” at No. 2, debuts its third season June 27. The supernatural horror series “The Order,” at No. 3, launches season two June 18. Creator Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician,” at No. 4, bows season two June 19. Finally, season four of the animated series “F Is for Family,” at No. 5, debuts June 12.

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Most Anticipated New Shows for June:

  1. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — June 19
  2. “Perry Mason” (HBO) — June 21
  3. “Curon” (Netflix) — June 10
  4. “Alex Rider” (Amazon Prime) — June 4
  5. “I May Destroy You” (HBO) — June 7

 

Most Anticipated Returning Shows for June:

  1. “13 Reasons Why” (Netflix) — June 5
  2. “Dark” (Netflix) — June 27
  3. “The Order” (Neflix) — June 18
  4. “The Politician” (Netflix) — June 19
  5. “F Is for Family” (Netflix) — June 12