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

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Streamers go to war over marketing

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The battle among streaming companies is getting competitive, as rivals block competitors from marketing on their TV channels or distributing content on their apps.

Why it matters: TV networks, hardware companies and telecom giants control access to some of the biggest audiences for new products, but they want to use that reach to benefit their own streaming offerings and stymie the competition.

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Disney+ ushers in streaming war for kid-friendly content

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Streamers, eager to bill themselves as family friendly entertainment alternatives, are eyeing kids content as their next big investments.

Why it matters: The streaming wars have focused on competitors looking to oust Netflix, but when it comes to kid-friendly options, the yet-to-launch Disney+ is the company to beat.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

Generation Z-focused Brat TV expands to Amazon and Roku

You can't have a conversation about the future of TV without talking about Brat TV, a digital content studio based in L.A. that's become the production hub for Gen Z content.

What's new: The company has recently struck a deal with Amazon Prime and Roku to have its top titles carried there, sources tell Axios.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019