OTT Video News: Week of 4/18/22

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CNN+ bites the dust…after one month

Warner Bros Discovery is shutting down its CNN+ streaming news service less than a month after its launch, which is not surprising based on the reports of the rift between Discovery and CNN execs about how to spend more than $1 billion set aside for the service. Discovery execs wanted the platform to be focused on hard news, while CNN executives wanted the streaming service to feature cutting-edge material that complemented its cable counterpart. None of that matters now.

And here I am thinking that AT&T was quick to shutter Warner streamings services. I didn’t even get a chance to check out the UI. If you would have told me CNN+ would get shuttered faster than Quibi…I would have told you to GTFO.

HBO Max now has 76 million global subscribers…kinda sort of

HBO Max (and regular HBO) added 3 million subscribers in its final quarter as part of the AT&T fam, bringing the total to 76.8 million worldwide. Additionally, 48.6 million customers reside in the U.S, and 28.1 are international.

[Related: HBO Max joins Verizon’s +play aggregation platform]

Netflix gets gut-punched and is now scrambling to create an ad-supported model?

Netflix lost 200,000 net subscribers from January to March, a far cry from the 2.5 million subscriber growth it projects — blaming password sharing (45% of users share accounts), mature markets, increased competition, and a Russian boycott for the slowdown. Moreover, it’s the first time Netflix has lost subs since 2011 — when the company announced the split in its streaming and DVD business (Qwikster, anybody?) shortly after raising the prices for both services.

As a result, the company has experienced the largest single-day stock drop in its history, losing about $54 billion. And while Netflix has been adamant about always remaining ad-free, they’re planning on potentially introducing an ad-supported tier of their service in the next couple of years.

However, don’t hold your breath for Netflix to feature advertising anytime soon. Netflix is well-known for trialing, testing, and fine-tuning features on its service before putting them into production. Besides, they’re creating an ENTIRELY NEW BUSINESS MODEL from absolute scratch. Like, where do you even put ad breaks in shows like Ozarks or Stranger Things?

So now what?

  • Where does Netflix go from here? Link
  • Is it time to sound the SVOD alarm and reverse course to arms dealers? Link
  • How will Netflix prevent password sharing? Link
  • What does advertising look like on Netflix? Link

[Related: Netflix has refreshed its TV interface adding a new feature called the “Category Hub”]

“Where’d ya go?”

This is what several Disney+ users were asking themselves this week when several episodes across the Disney, Pixar, and Marvel hubs completely disappeared from the service. The House of Mouse attributed the purging of episodes to a technical issue.

[Related: Disney’s focus on genre fans and programming makes Disney+ 30% more valuable than average streaming services, according to Fandom’s “State of Streaming” report]

Apple is rumored to be close to securing a deal for NFL Sunday Ticket

Per sources, the official announcement is being delayed to better fit Apple’s timing. The deal could be worth up to $2.5 billion per year for the NFL.

NBA League Pass grows subscriber base by 30% for the 2021-22 season

The end of the 2021-22 regular season marked a big jump in unique viewers for their NBA League Pass package, which saw a 19.65% increase over the previous year. In addition, League Pass also saw its total number of hours watched rise by 18.4% throughout the season. 

For additional direct-to-consumer and OTT video news, insights, resources, and events, subscribe to 43Twenty CEO Kirby Grines’ The Streaming Wars newsletter, coming to your inbox every Friday.

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