Global Pay-TV to Add 35 Million Subs by 2025 — Driven by Online TV

Pay-TV consumption in the United States is declining, but globally, there’s still life in the distribution channel — thanks to online TV.

New data from London-based Digital TV Research suggests there will be 35 million new pay-TV subs through 2025, with the global base reaching 1.06 billion across more than 138 countries.

Driving growth is online TV, which includes platforms such as Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now and YouTube TV in the United States. IPTV will add 84 million subs through 2025, topping 391 million. Online TV will grow its global market share in pay-TV from 30% in 2019 to 37% in 2025.

Satellite TV, which is projected to lose another 4 million subs through 2025, will generate 20% of pay-TV subs, down from 21% in 2019.
Cable will decline 7%, accounting for 40% of all pay-TV subs by 2025 — a near 50% drop from 74% market share in 2010. There will be 430 million cable TV subs (both analog and digital) by 2025, 101 million fewer than in 2010.

“Our forecasts are based on the assumption that professional sports will restart in August following relaxations in the COVID-19 lockdown,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “If this does not happen, then pay-TV will experience considerable churn.”

Rebooted Court TV Now Available on YouTube TV

Court TV, the rebooted network devoted to live, gavel-to-gavel courtroom coverage, is now available on YouTube TV ($49.99).

Since re-launching, Court TV has covered the nation’s highest profile trials, including: Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) cases of national significance and impact; the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein, which included an unprecedented new “instant replay” feature recreating testimony from the camera-less courtroom immediately for broadcast; Texas v. Amber Guyger, in which the brother of the deceased hugged former Dallas police officer Guyger following her conviction (seen live nationwide exclusively on Court TV); trial of high school cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson facing life in prison for allegedly killing and burying her newborn daughter in Ohio; and Florida v. Mark Sievers in which a husband was accused of hiring friends to murder his doctor wife.

Court TV’s on-air anchors include Vinnie Politan, Julie Grant, Ted Rowlands and correspondents Chanley Painter and Julia Jenae. Ashleigh Banfield recently joined Court TV as a special contributor.

Court TV is also available on cable, over-the-air and over-the-top video. It can be live streamed on CourtTV.com as well as the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android and Apple devices. It is part of Katz Networks, a division of The E.W. Scripps Company.

More ViacomCBS Content Heading to YouTube TV

ViacomCBS and Google May 7 announced a multiyear distribution agreement to deliver more content from ViacomCBS’s portfolio of news, entertainment and sports networks for YouTube TV subscribers.

In addition to featuring continued carriage of CBS broadcast stations, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, and The CW, the expanded agreement introduces 14 ViacomCBS channels to the live TV and on-demand subscription service.

BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 will launch this summer for YouTube TV’s more than 2 million subscribers. BET Her, MTV2, Nick Jr., NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic will also launch on YouTube TV at a later date.

The deal also includes a continued commitment to distribute ViacomCBS’s premium subscription services, including Showtime, on YouTube TV, as well as an extended partnership on the broader YouTube platforms.

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“We are thrilled to have reached an expanded agreement with YouTube TV that recognizes the full power of our newly combined portfolio as ViacomCBS,” Ray Hopkins, president of U.S. networks distribution at ViacomCBS, said in a statement. “Google has been an excellent partner, and we look forward to bringing even more of our entertainment networks to YouTube TV subscribers for the first time.”

“We’re excited to launch ViacomCBS’s portfolio on YouTube TV this summer,” Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV, said in a statement. “Our expanded partnership delivers on our promise to offer a premium portfolio of content to our YouTube TV subscribers, as well as across the YouTube platforms.”

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YouTube TV is a subscription streaming service that lets you watch live and on-demand TV from 70-plus networks. It offers live and local sports, news, shows, movies, and more, and can be watched on any screen (phone, tablet, TV, computer). Membership comes with free unlimited cloud DVR storage space to record favorites, personalized watch recommendations, and a family plan with six accounts per household.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

WarnerMedia Inks Distribution Deal With YouTube TV

WarnerMedia Entertainment and YouTube TV Feb. 20 announced a comprehensive distribution relationship that will deliver the media company’s entertainment, sports and news network portfolio to YouTube TV’s more than 2 million online TV subscribers.

The pact expands upon the existing 2018 carriage agreement between the two companies for WarnerMedia networks TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, HLN, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network to add access to the HBO and Cinemax services to the YouTube TV for the first time.

As part of a new deal, YouTube TV has also committed to distributing WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, the company’s upcoming direct-to-consumer offering debuting in May with 10,000 hours of curated content. HBO Max will offer programming for everyone in the home, bundling the entire HBO service, a slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and catalog fare from WarnerMedia’s library.

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“As consumers’ media consumption habits continually evolve and the landscape becomes more and more dynamic, our goal remains constant, and that is to make the portfolio of WarnerMedia networks available as widely as possible,” Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution, said in a statement.

Both linear and on-demand HBO and Cinemax content will debut on YouTube TV this spring for the first time. Included will be HBO’s extensive array of programming, which features titles such as “Watchmen,” “Big Little Lies” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” current and returning hit dramas “Succession,” “Westworld” and “The Outsider,” comedies “Barry, “Insecure” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and classics like “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Sex and the City.”

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Upcoming HBO releases this spring include returning favorites “High Maintenance” and “My Brilliant Friend” and upcoming limited series, “The Plot Against America,” “The Undoing” and “I Know This Much Is True.”

Cinemax will offer its slate of original series including “Strike Back,” which recently began its seventh season, along with “Trackers” and “Gangs of London”. Theatrical hits debuting on the network this spring include Boy Erased, First Man and Bad Times at the El Royale. 

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with WarnerMedia to deliver their family of networks that are popular among our members, as well as introduce HBO, Cinemax and HBO Max to our growing line-up of premium content,” said Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV.

YouTube Readying Third-Party OTT Video Platform

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly looking to borrow a page from the Amazon Channels playbook with a new platform featuring third-party subscription streaming video services.

Amazon launched Channels in 2015 featuring direct access to services such as HBO Now, Dove Channel, Acorn TV, Shudder, UMC, Showtime OTT and Starz. Amazon handles the billing and backend support for a fee or percentage of subscription revenue. Apple is doing the same type of business platform with Apple TV and Apple News.

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The Information, citing sources familiar with the situation, said the YouTube platform would enable a “wide range of subscription-streaming services,” including YouTube TV, which costs $49.99 monthly.

Google in 2015 launched ad-free video streaming subscription service YouTube Red, later bowing YouTube TV for $35 monthly. The platform recently topped two million monthly subscribers — just behind market leaders Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV.

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YouTube TV Tops 2 Million Subscribers

High-profile marketing around the World Series and Super Bowl is apparently paying off for Google’s proprietary online TV service, YouTube TV.

Google announced that the online TV service now has more than 2 million subscribers since launching in 2016. The tally puts the platform just behind Dish Network’s pioneering Sling TV with 2.68 million subs and Hulu with Live TV, reportedly at 2.7 million subs.

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YouTube (excluding $1.2 billion in ad-revenue from YouTube TV) generated more than $15 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 — up from $11 billion in 2018.

The tallies pale in comparison to overall revenue for Google parent Alphabet Inc.

“In 2019 we again delivered strong revenue growth, with revenue of $162 billion, up 18% year over year and up 20% on a constant currency basis,” CFO Ruth Porat said in a statement.

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NAB Show to Bow ‘Streaming Experience’ Content Showcase

The NAB Show is introducing The Streaming Experience, a new content showcase curated by streaming and online video expert Dan Rayburn that will feature more than 50 OTT platforms and streaming devices.

The showcase, which will give NAB Show attendees a first-hand look at the latest streaming video services, according to organizers, will be located in the Central Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center and is open to all registered attendees during exhibit hours starting April 19.

The NAB Show takes place in Las Vegas April 18-22.

A living-room setting will allow attendees the opportunity to test OTT services side-by-side to compare content, video quality, ad formats, playback features and delivery methods. The Streaming Experience will feature hardware from Amazon, Apple, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, LG, TCL and Samsung. Streaming services on display will include Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Disney+, Hulu, NBC Sports, Netflix and YouTube TV, among others. New services from HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi may also be showcased, dependent on their launch dates, according to organizers.

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“Streaming is a major focus of the 2020 NAB Show, and the new Streaming Experience is the largest showcase of its kind in the industry,” said NAB EVP of conventions and business operations Chris Brown in a statement. “We are excited for attendees to join their industry peers in this living room environment and experience nearly every live and on-demand streaming service on the market today.”

Additional details of the Streaming Experience, including renderings of the new space, can be found here.

 

YouTube TV Extends Free Trial Period

Google-owned online television service YouTube TV is extending its free trial period to 14 days through Jan. 15. The service with more than 1 million subscribers had offered new members a free seven-day trial period.

Launched in 2016, YouTube TV costs $49.99 monthly featuring 70 channels, including most major sports networks. The channel has been a presenting sponsor of the MLB World Series.

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YouTube TV is less expensive than Hulu with Live TV and fuboTV ($54.99) and AT&T Now ($64.99), but costs more than Sling TV ($30) and Philo TV ($20).

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Average U.S. Home Streaming Bundle Sweet Spot: $20-$21

With the field of subscription streaming video services growing, new data shows the average U.S. household would spend $20 to $21 monthly for combined platforms — slightly more than 20% of the average pay-TV bundle ($96.18).

Soda.com, in a survey of 1,000 consumers who stream video in the home conducted Nov. 7-9, 2019, found the majority (32%) of respondents would pay $20 or more monthly for combined streaming services, while 30% would prefer not to bundle services and 14% would not pay more than $10 for a bundle.

Notably, 44% of respondents said they use two or more streaming services per week.

With SVOD services ranging from $4.99 for Apple TV+ to $15 for HBO Max, which launches in May, consumers are faced with the challenge of mixing and matching services or prioritizing services based on the user’s favorite content.

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Netflix is projecting 61.2 million domestic subscribers at the end 2019, with actual figures to be released later this month. That’s more than 80% of the combined tally predicted for Hulu (28.5 million), Apple TV+ (10 million), Disney+ (15 million), CBS All Access (8 million), HBO Now (8 million) and ESPN+ (3.5 million), according to CNBC.

In August 2019, there were about 86.5 million traditional pay-TV households — a number that is projected to drop to 73 million by 2023, according to Statista. Most pay-TV subs continue their subscriptions based on habit, premium channels and sports.

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The survey contends Netflix remains the best overall streaming service followed by YouTube TV. Sports fans favored sports-themed fubo TV or ESPN+, whiles families sought Amazon Prime Video (Prime membership and free shipping) and Disney+.

Movie fans chose HBO Now (soon HBO Max) and Hulu, while budget-minded respondents opted for Sling TV and Hoopla.

 

PBS Member Stations Available on YouTube TV

More than 100 PBS member stations are now streaming live on YouTube TV, making local public television and PBS’s award-winning content available to more than 75% of U.S. households, with additional stations launching next year.

Dedicated live channels for PBS and PBS Kids, as well as on-demand programming, are now available to YouTube TV subscribers, expanding PBS’s digital footprint and offering viewers additional ways to stream PBS content.

“Every year, more and more households are seeking alternative ways to view their favorite PBS programs,” PBS Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Ira Rubenstein said in a statement. “PBS is committed to making trusted content available to all households across as many platforms as possible. We are pleased that YouTube TV recognizes public television’s unique structure and worked with us to provide our viewers with more ways to watch the programs that they love through their local PBS station.”

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“We are excited to partner with PBS on this unique partnership to further our commitment to providing a best-in-class experience for our users,” Lori Conkling, Global Head of Partnerships at YouTube TV, said in a statement. “PBS and PBS Kids are highly requested channels by our users, and we’re thrilled to be able to add these to the YouTube TV lineup starting today.”

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YouTube TV represents PBS’s first local live-streaming partnership and includes episodes and on-demand content from locally produced shows and PBS favorites, including “American Experience,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “Frontline,” “Great Performances,” “Masterpiece,” “Nature” and more.