Sep 28, 2019

A streaming month to remember

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

April 2020 will be a decisive moment for the future of television. Jeffrey Katzenberg's short-form video app Quibi, NBC's streaming service Peacock, and AT&T's streaming service HBO Max are all slated to launch within weeks of one another that month.

Why it matters: The threat of competition from these services is already starting to shake investor confidence in Netflix, which has been the dominant player in the streaming field for years. The company's stock hit its lowest point this year on Tuesday.

Yes, but: It will be hard for any one new streamer to establish a dominant footprint out of the gate. Selecting streaming services is already complicated enough for consumers, who are overwhelmed by choices and frustrated by the rising cost of digital TV.

  • According to media and entertainment consultancy Frank N. Magid Associates, the average person is willing to spend $42 on streaming services per month, which is up from $38 last year.

Between the lines: For now, the only way for these services to differentiate themselves is through splashy content deals and expensive marketing.

  • Disney shelled out big bucks for ads during this past weekend's Emmys. But it shared the spotlight with Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix — all of which also ran ads during the program.
  • HBO Max announced that it had acquired the rights to stream "The Big Bang Theory" exclusively, for a reported $600 million. Its rivals are also shelling out millions for exclusive rights to old TV classics that they hope will lure users.

More from Axios: New streamers battle over old shows ... The rising cost of digital TV ... Streaming choices overwhelm consumers

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,695,155 — Total deaths: 355,688 — Total recoveries — 2,351,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 1,699,933 — Total deaths: 100,442 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Minneapolis police clashed for a second night with protesters demonstrating the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted late Wednesday that the situation where the clashes were taking place was "extremely dangerous" as he urged people to leave the area. There were multiple news reports of police firing tear gas at protesters and of some people looting a Target store.

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.