Survey: More Than 14% of U.S. Netflix Subscribers May Cancel It in Favor of Disney+

More than 14% of U.S. Netflix customers are considering ditching their subscription in favor of Disney+ when the new streaming service launches in November, which could amount to a loss of approximately 8.7 million subscribers for the streaming pioneer.

Those are the findings of a survey of more than 600 U.S. Netflix subscribers commissioned by Streaming Observer.

In the survey, 12.7% said they “might cancel Netflix” while 2.2% said they would “definitely cancel Netflix” and get Disney+.

Survey respondents with kids in their household were more than two times as likely to say they plan to cancel Netflix for Disney+.

Roughly two in five Netflix subscribers in the survey said they will try Disney+, which costs $6.99 per month ($69.99 per year), when it debuts. One-fifth of those surveyed said they plan on subscribing to both services, and 40% said they have no interest in Disney+.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Research: OTT Revenue Forecast to Reach $22 Billion in 2019

Based on 66 OTT providers, led by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, U.S. OTT access revenue grew 37% to $16.3 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach $22 billion in 2019, according to a new research from Convergence Research.

The research firm has released two new reports, “The Battle for the American Couch Potato: OTT and TV” and “The Battle for the American Couch Potato: Bundling, TV, Internet, Telephone, Wireless.”

Still, U.S. TV subscriber average revenue per user (ARPU) is still forecast to be three times U.S. OTT subscriber household ARPU in 2021.

The firm estimates 2018 U.S. cable, satellite, telco TV access (not including OTT) revenue declined 3% to $103.4 billion in 2018 and forecasts 2019 will see a similar decline. Also, 2018 saw a decline of 4.01 million U.S. TV subscribers and 2017 a decline of 3.66 million, according to the firm, which forecasts a decline of 4.56 million TV subs for 2019. The U.S. TV subscriber
base will decline 5% in 2019, from a decline of 4% in 2018, according to the firm’s estimates.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

By the end of 2018, the firm estimates 30% of households did not have a traditional TV subscription with a cable, satellite, or telco TV access provider, up from 26% at the end of 2017. The firm forecasts that number to reach 34% of households by the end of 2019. Convergence Research estimates 2018 saw almost 5 million cord cutter/never household additions.

The firm projects that a number of OTT plays, including large and niche, will fail due to insufficient subscriber traction, cost and competition, noting major programmers continue to accelerate their direct-to-consumer drive, including Disney and WarnerMedia. Other developments noted by the firm include:

  • Hulu spends more on content per sub than either Amazon or Netflix and continues to discount (notably with Spotify);
  • CBS/Showtime’s OTT subscriber trajectory has been faster than expected;
  • Discovery has backed and supplied Philo, gone live with Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV, and will be launching an OTT service with the BBC;
  • NBC Universal will be launching an OTT service in 2020;
  • and Viacom has backed and supplied Philo and others, acquired Pluto and Awesomeness TV and is producing for Amazon and Netflix.

French Daily SVOD Use Increases 61%

Following a sluggish start, consumer adoption of subscription streaming video – notably Netflix – continues to grow in France.

New data from Médiamétrie found daily use of SVOD services increased 61% in 2018 from 2017 – including adding 2.1 million subscribers across various services.

In December, the top three movies streamed included Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Extinction. Top TV series included season one of “The Protector,” “Suits” (season eight) and season one of “You”.

Subscribe HERE for FREE Media Play Daily Newsletter!

“Today, nearly nine in 10 French people know at least one SVOD service,” Marine Boulanger, director of cinéma and entertainment at Médiamétrie, said in a statement. “This strong response is due to a multitude of factors such as word of mouth, multiplication of platforms and strong communication around original or exclusive content.”

Médiamétrie found the average SVOD user in France is around 34 years old, single or a young parent and more tech savvy than the average citizen. S/he typically owns a video game console or related streaming video device or smart TV.

Nearly 60% of survey respondents used a SVOD service in the past 12 months, with 50% of millennials using a streaming video service in 2018.

Indeed, 96% of SVOD users streaming content daily, and 15% plan to subscribe to a second service. More the 2.4 million French are considering subscribing to a SVOD service in the next six months from word-of-mouth recommendation.

At the same time, 58% of French SVOD subscribers also watch television live or on-demand daily, while 75% use multiple screens, including a laptop computer, smartphone or tablet. The laptop is used by 55% of French SVOD users; 73% among millennials.

Indian Content Streaming Service ShemarooMe Launches in U.S.

Shemaroo Entertainment Limited, one of India’s leading integrated media content houses, has entered the U.S. market with the launch of its OTT video streaming  service, ShemarooMe.

“Building on its vast content library and expertise gained over the past 57 years and in more than 30 countries, ShemarooMe will give Indian American audiences on-the-go access to the company’s exclusive portfolio of Bollywood, regional language, devotional and children’s content,” according to a company press release.

Shemaroo unveiled the streaming service in India earlier this year.

“As the second largest group within the Asian American population that has the highest household income as well, Indian American audiences will remain a sizeable growth opportunity for digital entertainment companies,” according to the release.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Indian American consumers can choose from seven content categories: Bollywood Plus, Bollywood Classic, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Kids and Bhakti (devotional) through two subscription options. The customizable, individual category plans are priced at $4.99 per month/$49.99 each per year, and the all-access plan is priced at $9.99 per month/$99.99 per year.

“As a company we’ve always understood the pulse of our diverse audiences, and our history is a testimony to that,” said Shemaroo CEO Hiren Gada in a statement. “We are excited to extend our content offerings to loyal fans of Indian entertainment in the U.S. with a host of integrated features such as linear channels, live streams and video-on-demand services. With this launch, we look to further build strategic partnerships in the world’s leading OTT market.”

The ShemarooMe OTT app can be downloaded through Google Play, the iOS App store or online at http://shemaroome.com/, and will soon be available on Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV and Roku, according to the release.

Mike Myers to Produce and Star in Netflix Comedy Series

Netflix has ordered a half-hour limited comedy series produced by and starring Mike Myers, in which he plays multiple characters, according to the service.

“I love creating characters, and Netflix has given me a fantastic playground to play in,” said Myers in a statement.

The series will have six episodes and, in addition to Myers, executive producers include John Lyons and Jason Weinberg. Associate producers are Mackenzie Cyr and Justin Capraro-Gentuso.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Myers has been a cast member on “Saturday Night Live”; starred in the popular “Wayne’s World,” “Austin Powers” and “Shrek” film series; and, most recently, appeared in Bohemian Rhapsody.

SVOD Driving Danish Home Entertainment Market

Consumer spending in Denmark’s home entertainment market grew 7% in 2018 to DKK 10.21 billion ($1.53 billion) — driven by over-the-top video, transactional VOD and EST growth, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

SVOD (i.e. Netflix) spending grew more than 30% and is expected to DKK 2 billion mark by the end of 2019, accounting for more than 20% of total video entertainment consumer spend.

“Subscriptions grew 25% in 2018 to 2.1 million, with three services gaining 100,000 or more subscribers,” analyst Tanzim Rahman said in a statement. “SVOD consumer spend nearly doubl[ed] between 2016 and 2018 … growing by DKK 852 million. SVOD accounts for the majority of total growth in the entertainment market over the same period, which saw revenue rise by DKK 1.2 billion.”

Futuresource said SVOD in Denmark continues to benefit from a competitive landscape, with an attractive range of services from global players Netflix and HBO to local offerings from Viaplay and TV2 Play, with Netflix leading the market with 39% of subscriptions in 2018.

Streaming services are supported by a strong broadband environment, with average speeds of 39 Mbps and household broadband penetration at 83%.

As a result, Denmark saw a total of 1.2 million households subscribing to at least one SVOD service, leading to household penetration of 46% in 2018 — on par with the Nordic region average, which led European penetration rates in 2018.

Futuresource contends the transactional video market across both digital and physical formats is expected to decline by 2% to DKK 554 million, with the physical market declining DKK 57 million. However, from 2019 the transactional segment is expected to see a return to growth, propelled by a progressive EST sector, which will grow 31% to DDK 163 million.

Transactional digital video growth accelerated in 2018 to 16%, with total spend reaching DKK 349 million, although this is just 20% of the SVOD market.

A solid year of EST growth meant that revenue increased 38% to DKK 124 million, doubling since 2016, and accounted for 35% of the 2018 transactional digital market.

“Growth in EST has been driven by Viaplay and Google Play, although iTunes still dominates the market, taking a 57% share of spend,” Rahman said. “Apple have signed agreements with major TV manufacturers and is expected to consolidate its position over the coming years and help further stimulate the market.”

Transactional VOD continues to grow, but at a slower pace than EST, with spend increasing 18% to DKK 96 million in 2019 — and an average of 16% annually through 2023.

Hulu Buys Back AT&T’s Minority Stake for $1.43 Billion

As expected, AT&T has sold its minority stake in Hulu back to the streaming video joint venture, according to a joint press release from AT&T and Hulu April 15.

The deal leaves the Walt Disney Co. and Comcast as owners of the SVOD and online TV service, Hulu with Live TV.

The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion, with AT&T’s 9.5% interest valued at $1.43 billion, according to the joint press release. The transaction did not require any governmental or other third-party approvals and was simultaneously signed and closed, according to the release.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

AT&T will use proceeds from this transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt, according to the release.

“We thank AT&T for their support and investment over the past two years and look forward to collaboration in the future. WarnerMedia will remain a valued partner to Hulu for years to come as we offer customers the best of TV, live and on demand, all in one place,” Hulu CEO Randy Freer said in a statement.

The transaction comes less than three years after Time Warner acquired the 10% stake in Hulu for $583 million, which at the time valued the SVOD service at $5.8 billion.

After AT&T acquired Time Warner for $85.4 billion, the telecom was left with about $180 billion in debt. The Hulu asset sale is part of management’s plans to reduce debt by $12 billion in 2019, on top of the $9 billion cut last year.

 

 

 

Netflix Announces 10 Indian Film Originals

Netflix has announced 10 new original Indian films across a range of subjects and genres, including drama, sci-fi, thriller, horror, comedy and romance.

By the end of 2020, a total of 15 new original Indian films (including previously announced titles Music Teacher, Cobalt Blue, Chopsticks, Upstarts and Bulbul) will be available to Netflix members around the world, according to the SVOD service.

“When Netflix launched in India, we changed the way Indian audiences enjoy their films,” said Srishti Behl Arya, director, international original film, India, Netflix, in a statement. “Given our diversity, history and culture, India is home to powerful stories waiting to be told to audiences around the world. The depth of talent and vision of our creators is enabling us to create films our members will love. We want to be a home for India’s finest filmmakers where their stories travel to more people than ever before.”

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!  

The 10 new Netflix Indian original films include the chiller Ghost Stories; the drama Class of ’83; Mrs. Serial Killer, about a doting wife who must perform a murder exactly like the serial killer to prove her husband innocent; Guilty, exploring versions of truth that emerge when a small town girl accuses the college heart throb of rape; Yeh Ballet, about two boys from very low income families who discover ballet and through it a way to escape their challenging circumstances; House Arrest, about a shut-in; Kaali Khuhi; about a 10-year-old who saves his town from its dark past; Maska, about a confused millennial who sets out to fulfill his fantasy of becoming a movie star; Freedom, the story of an Indian family interwoven with the personal, ideological and sexual history of India; and Serious Men, about a wily slum dweller, who cons the country into believing his dim-witted 10-year-old son is a genius.

Previous Netflix Indian projects included Lust Stories, an Indian anthology film; Soni, a tale of two Indian police officers; new-age romance Love Per Square Foot; and the humorous family drama Rajma Chawal.

SiriusXM and Netflix to Launch ‘Netflix Is a Joke Radio’ Channel April 15

SiriusXM and Netflix April 15 will launch “Netflix Is a Joke Radio,” a full-time comedy channel to air exclusively on SiriusXM channel 93.

It is the first time the streaming company has worked in unison with another major subscription media company to create a new outlet for their content, according to a SiriusXM press release.

The channel will feature highlights from top Netflix talent including Adam Sandler, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Gabriel Iglesias, Jerry Seinfeld, John Mulaney, Ken Jeong, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, Sebastian Maniscalco, Trevor Noah and Wanda Sykes.

“Netflix Is a Joke Radio on SiriusXM will be an audio extension of our award-winning stand-up comedy on Netflix,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “We are thrilled to feature some of the greatest and funniest performers in the world with highlights from Netflix shows as well as original programming that further celebrates the art of comedy, and we are excited to do this in partnership with SiriusXM.”

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!  

“SiriusXM is delighted to become the audio home for Netflix’s blockbuster comedy programming,” said Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM, in a statement. “Netflix has established itself as the unrivaled video source for stand-up, attracting the biggest names in the industry as well as break-out newcomers, and we’re eager to deliver SiriusXM subscribers access to their star-studded library, new specials, and original live shows.”

“I’ve seen the power of Netflix on their service for my own special, Stay Hungry, and now with their own SiriusXM channel, this opens up a whole new audience and it’s a great way to digest comedy on the run,” said comedian Sebastian Maniscalco in a statement.

In addition to featuring top comedy from Netflix’s established and up and coming artists, segments from future stand-up specials will debut on Netflix Is a Joke Radio, granting SiriusXM subscribers the chance to hear new material from ‘A’-list comics before anyone else, according to the release. The channel will also broadcast clips of Netflix’s comedy talk shows and other comedic content from the service.

The exclusive channel plans to introduce an original daily show, featuring celebrity guests and comedians discussing pop culture and hot topics of the day. The program will be recorded from SiriusXM’s new studios in Los Angeles.

SiriusXM’s comedy lineup also includes Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio Channel, for which Hart hosts a regular show, as well as a regular series with Ricky Gervais. In addition to original programs hosted by Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Jim Norton & Sam Roberts, Sebastian Maniscalco and Nikki Glaser, SiriusXM also produces audio documentaries on comedians such as Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Garry Shandling.

SiriusXM subscribers with streaming access can listen to SiriusXM’s 200-plus channels – including Netflix Is a Joke Radio – at home on connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, Sony PlayStation, Roku and Sonos speakers.

Netflix Inks Deal With ‘High School Musical’ Director and Choreographer

Netflix has entered into a multiyear overall deal with producer, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, known for the “High School Musical” franchise, which earned him a Primetime Emmy and Directors Guild of America Award.

Ortega has directed and choreographed international hits including the “Descendants” trilogy, Newsies and Hocus Pocus, and choreographed classic films including Dirty DancingFerris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink, among others.

Truman Alfaro will serve as Ortega’s development executive.

The first two projects Ortega will direct and produce for Netflix are Auntie Claus (working title), a film, and “Julie and the Phantoms,” an original series, which he will also executive produce.

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!  

Auntie Claus is a musical based on the popular book series of the same name by Elise Primavera involving a young girl determined to get to the bottom of why her eccentric, Christmas-loving Aunt disappears every Christmas. It will be adapted by Tiffany Paulsen (HolidateNancy Drew).

“Julie and the Phantoms” is a musical comedy series in development based on an International Emmy Award-nominated Brazillian TV series. Julie is a teenaged girl who finds her passion for music and life with the help of a band of three teen boys (The Phantoms) who have been dead for 25 years. Julie, in turn, helps them become the band they were never able to be. Dan Cross and David Hoge (The ThundermansPair of Kings) will serve as showrunners and executive producers on the series, with George Salinas and Jaime Aymerich of Crossover Entertainment, as well as Hugo Janeba and Joao Tikhmiroff of Mixer Entertainment.

“Throughout the course of his career, Kenny Ortega has inspired generations of artists and audiences alike,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “That he has chosen to make Netflix his creative home to work on both feature films and series is thrilling. We can’t wait to see what he brings to Netflix to delight musical-loving families and audiences around the globe.”

“As a fan of Netflix and their dynamic range of high quality content, I am thrilled to begin a creative relationship with the company,” said Ortega in a statement. “I’m super excited about the projects we already have in development and the shared enthusiasm I feel from the company. l look forward to this new Netflix collaboration with the highest hopes.”

Ortega has received three Emmy Awards, two Directors Guild of America Awards, The Fred & Adele Astaire Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Fosse Award, American Choreography Lifetime Achievement Award, MTV Video Music Award, American Music Award, Billboard Award, ALMA Award, Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, Imagen Creative Achievement Award, and an NAACP Image Award, among others.