Company / division: Sling TV
Online Pay TV Streaming Services Have Few Subscribers (Oct 4, 2017)
In a blog post I wrote in August about cord cutting in Q2 2017, I noted that there were likely around 3 million online pay TV streaming subscribers as of June, compared to around 4 million subscribers that had cut the traditional pay TV cord during the period those services had been available. The Information today reports that there are around 3.4 million of those online pay TV subscribers, including 2 million at Sling, half a million at AT&T’s DirecTV Now and slightly less than that at Sony’s PlayStation Vue, with just 200k at Hulu’s new live service, with a few more at YouTube. The Information uses this information to suggest that these services haven’t yet been all that popular, and that’s certainly one way to look at it, but given that until this year they mostly either came from unknown brands like Sling or were heavily limited in terms of their mainstream device support like PlayStation Vue, I’d bet we’ll see some faster growth going forward with the entry of Hulu and YouTube into the market, and I’d argue that AT&T’s rapid growth to the same scale as Sony in a much shorter period is evidence of that. With both Hulu and YouTube gearing up for big promotions in the coming weeks for their services, that growth will accelerate further. Meanwhile, cord cutting is also accelerating, and that acceleration is likely to be exacerbated by this growth in streaming options, leaving cable networks with fewer subscribers as users both cut and shave the cord. None of this is great news for the traditional TV industry.
via The Information
Dish unveils a 4K Android TV streaming box with Netflix, Sling TV, and local channels – The Verge (Jan 3, 2017)
Though cord-cutting is often seen as “breaking the bundle”, in reality many cord cutters end up creating their own stitched-together bundles of multiple streaming services, and in many cases an antenna for over the air content is part of the mix too. DISH’s Sling recognizes that, and this box combines the Sling service, Netflix, YouTube, and OTA channels into a single box running Android TV. That makes it a fairly compelling box – arguably more so than most of the other Android TV boxes out there.